Puerto Escondido

Playa Zicatela

Puerto Escondido is a town in Oaxaca known for its big waves and excellent surfing conditions. You are probably better off going to Zipolite or other nearby smaller places if you are looking for the "hidden" (Escondido) port.

Get in

By air

Puerto Escondido International Airport (IATA: PXM) ☎ +52 951 516 4982. You can also fly to Oaxaca (IATA: OAX) and then reach Puerto Escondido with Aerovega's daily flight.

Another alternative is flying into Huatulco (IATA: HUX) and taking a taxi to Puerto Escondido (~90 min drive, ~USD50-60 if you negotiate in advance).

Shared taxis (called colectivos) from the Puerto Escondido airport are cheap - about 35 pesos or USD3.50 per person- and reasonably quick. The airport is close to town, but you may have to wait a few minutes as the colectivo driver waits to get a few more passengers, or drops one or two off ahead of you.

By bus

TuriStar and Estrella Blanca from Mexico City are the most comfortable and most expensive way to get here ($500-900 MXN, 12 hours), traveling via Acapulco. These buses only leave from the South (Taxqueña) bus terminal. Other first class buses leave from both the North and South terminals, traveling via Puebla and/or Oaxaca City, and taking several hours longer than the buses via Acapulco.

More comfortable but longer are the buses leaving from the 2nd class bus station. Do not take a 1st class bus because the trip is over 15 hours – it takes the longest route. 2nd class buses take around 7-8 hours. There are also many buses from Acapulco.

By shuttle van

A less expensive and faster alternative to the bus, two shuttle van companies do multiple daily runs between Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca (city). The very scenic route winds directly through the mountains with hairpin curves and takes about 6-7 hours depending on road conditions. Passengers who are inclined to get car sick should definitely take motion sickness tablets. There is a toilet and snack break about midway.

By car

Driving to Puerto Escondido is only advisable if you have experience with windy, poorly-maintained mountain roads. That said, it is an exhilarating, scenic drive from any direction. The roads that connect Puerto Escondido to Acapulco and Oaxaca are both narrow, twisty 2-lane roads in poor condition, that traverse the sparsely populated Western Sierra Madre. Driving your own car will not save you much time over taking the bus.

Get around


Frequent local buses (urbanos) ply the main roads. There is no route map, but all buses have their destination painted on the windscreen and pass through the   crucero (the only intersection in town with a traffic light). The fare is $5 MXN for a single ride, no transfers.


The fixed price for a taxi in town is $30 MXN and $50 MXN for the airport and Bacocho beach. Night rates are $35 MXN. Be aware some taxis will charge more than the going rate if you do not specify $30 MXN before the ride. You may be able to hire a cab driver for the day for about $800 MXN.


There are lots of great spots to visit if you have a vehicle, such as the nearby lagoon of Chacahua, the nudist beach of Zipolite, beach towns like Puerto Angel and Huatulco, all within two hours of Puerto Escondido.


The sunset above La Punta



Surfing at Punta Zicatela

You can take lessons if you're a beginner – try one of the friendly surf instructors on any beach or at one of the surf shops. Female instructors are available for those who may find the roaming hands of some of the male instructors a bit more than just being friendly.


Playa Carrizalillo
Playa Principal

Other activities

Cascada de la reforma




Beach restaurant on Playa Zicatela
Seafood on Playa Zicatela



Beachside accommodation near Punta Zicatela

There are numerous other hotels on Zicatela with great beachfront locations and moderate to downright cheap rates, especially off-season during spring and early summer. For longer stays such as one month or longer renting an apartment is also an option.

Stay safe

Due to a recent spate of assaults and knife-point robberies, the beaches should be avoided from dusk until dawn; this especially applies to Playa Principal and Playa Bachoco. If you do not have a companion with you, it is best to not carry valuables on some of the more isolated stretches of beach even during the daytime.

Go next

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Sunday, October 25, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.