27 Best Things To Do In Puerto Escondido [Mexico] in 2024

George Alvarez
Written By:
George Alvarez
Last Updated:
February 26, 2024
Whether you're looking to go on a whale-watching tour or you'd prefer to relax on the beach, here are the best things to do in Puerto Escondido, Mexico!
Best Things To Do In Puerto Escondido

Once a hidden port town (which is the literal translation from Spanish), Puerto Escondido has now become one of the most popular destinations to visit along the Mexican Pacific.

From lounging on its picturesque white sand beaches to releasing a baby turtle out into the Ocean ...

You’ll find yourself with plenty to see and do in this beautiful Oaxacan town. 

But what I found is, it’s not just about relaxing with nature here,

Since Puerto Escondido has an awesome nightlife scene that can stake its own claim amongst others on this stretch of coast.

Including other popular Mexican destinations I loved, like Puerto Vallarta.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about Puerto Escondido.

Including not just the very best things to see and do; but also where to stay & the best time to visit.

Plus some added tips & tricks I've picked up on from many months exploring Mexico.

Let's get stuck in ...

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Getting to Know Puerto Escondido

Why Visit Puerto Escondido 

getting to know Puerto Escondido

Those looking for a beach vacation in Mexico (that isn’t too filled with crowds) will love Puerto Escondido. 

Whilst it’s still pretty touristy, you’ll have more breathing room here than other destinations like that of Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta.

This area of the Mexican Pacific is one of the most beautiful too, where you’ll find beaches like Zicatela and La Punta perfect for relaxing on whilst sipping margaritas on deck. Carrizalillo Beach is also located here, which is one the top beaches in all of Mexico!

Another good reason to visit Puerto Escondido is that, despite its growing popularity, it still retains its intimate and familiar vibe. 

This is most so in La Punta, where people are very friendly and within just a few days you’ll feel like you're part of a big family here.

Lastly, you’ll also find a tonne of things to do and see in this coastal town. 

A turtle release is one of the most popular, however you can also explore the Oaxacan Coast with many picturesque towns worth visiting which include Huatulco and San José del Pacifico.

As there's so much to do here, it can be difficult to decide what to pack as you'll be able to do a wide range of activities. Not to worry, we've written a packing list for Mexico so you can be fully prepared! 

How to get to Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido airport

Puerto Escondido lies on the Pacific coast of the Oaxaca state, in western Mexico. There are two main ways of getting here, which is either by flight or bus.


This is by far the most popular method of getting here, and for various reasons. 

The first is that there are several, daily direct flights from both Mexico City and Oaxaca City, so it’s not that hard to get over. 

You’ll also save a lot more time doing it this way instead of the bus, which can take up to 18 hours (and that’s on a good day!).

Whilst it will be more expensive than taking the bus, the prices certainly won’t break the bank either. A one-way can cost just $30-50 (minus baggage fees), which sways most travellers in favour of flying.

You can check flight schedules and prices here on SkyScanner


Whilst Puerto Escondido isn’t the most remote destination in all of Mexico, it certainly isn’t the easiest to get to by bus either.

The bus from Oaxaca City is the most popular way of arriving, with the route taking roughly 10 hours (the night bus is the perfect option where you won’t be wasting daylight hours). 

However it’s also an adventure in itself too - where you’ll feel pretty much every turn along the winding roads as you make your way down from the Oaxacan mountains. 

It often makes travellers sick, so if you’re prone to bus sickness then I’d recommend flying instead!

The advantage of going by bus is that it will be slightly cheaper, costing between $20-30 (it’s not actually that much difference after all). 

And those who are looking to better explore Mexico will also prefer this option, since you’ll be able to visit awesome destinations along the way from the capital. Some of the best destinations to visit include Puebla City, Toluca and the Monté Albán Ruins.

You can check out bus schedules here at BusBud

Getting around Puerto Escondido

getting around Puerto Escondido

Once in town, you’ll easily be able to get between areas such as Puerto Escondido and Zicatela by taxi. 

Whilst you could technically walk, I don’t personally recommend it since the distance is pretty big (but if you want to go for it then make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen).

The areas which are good for walking between are Zicatela and La Punta. 

The beach here connects them both up well, and you can walk between them in around 30-45 minutes. If anything, this walk alone should be one of the must-do activities when in Puerto Escondido!

When it comes to travelling around the surrounding region (such as to nearby Mazunte), then you can use the local colectivos to get between different destinations. 

These are like small minivans which run up and down the highway, and are by far the cheapest way of getting around (schedules are mostly on-time too).

From the airport you can either take a bus or a shuttle to any of the areas we’ve mentioned in this guide, both of which have their own particular advantages that are compared in this guide.

Where to Stay in Puerto Escondido?

where to stay in Puerto Escondido

There are three main areas in town which are good for staying at, each with their own particular advantages. These are ...

  • La Punta - This is the overall best area. Here you’ll find everything is better set up for travellers, with many awesome bars and restaurants along its main street (it’s quite a small area). It’s the best choice for those looking for a social vibe and who are keen on surfing.
  • Zicatela - Zicatela is located slightly north of La Punta, and has a more relaxed and bohemian feel. You'll find more mellow bars and restaurants here, with the beach also being one of the most wild and remote (not as crowded as others in the area).
  • Puerto Escondido (town) - The least popular of the three since it’s less touristy, with the vibe here being somewhat less appealing for tourists (locals mostly live and work here). The advantages of being here include being close to some incredible beaches like Carrizalillo, as well as having cheaper prices for services and accommodation.

Those who want to keep things cheap will want to stay at Pipeline Hostel, which is located right on the Zicatela Beach and has comfortable dorm beds.

If you’re looking for a mid-range option, then Casa Cocos in La Punta will be the best. Here you’ll have the beach right at your feet, as well as a beautiful jungle-style room for relaxing in-between beach dips.

The best option for those who want luxury has to be Hotel Arcoiris, which is in Zicatela. As well as having an on-site private pool and classic Mexican-style designed rooms, there’s also a nice breakfast included too. 

Best Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Now we’ll explore the very best things you can see and do when in Puerto Escondido.

1. Enjoy the views of Playa Carrizalillo

Incredible Carrizalillo Beach

When it comes to beautiful beaches in Puerto Escondido, there’s no better place to wind down and relax than on that of Carrizalillo

Often ranked amongst the most picturesque beaches in all of Mexico, here you can enjoy the small stretch of sand that is hidden within the cove, with these waters also safe for swimming and for beginner surfers. 

Whilst it’s a bit of a hike down to get to, it’s very much worth it as you can then rent an umbrella and deck chair (and also get a massage if that’s what you’re feeling). 

It’s best to come during the weekdays, since the weekends will fill up with families quickly given it’s not the biggest of beaches. 

Playa Carrizalillo is located within the main town, and you can easily walk or ride a bike to get to the entrance at the top.

If you're looking for free things to do in Puerto Escondido then I recommend spending some time here! 

2. Baby Turtle Release

Baby Turtle Release in Puerto Escondido

Of all the things you can do in Puerto Escondido, this is by far the most popular and memorable of them all. 

Whether you’re into the local nature or not, there’s nothing more heart-warming than helping a baby turtle make its first steps towards the big Pacific Ocean.

And that’s exactly what you’ll do when you visit Playa Bacocho, where they do daily turtle releases from 5:00pm onwards!

As you can imagine there tends to be a lot of people coming here for this, so try and arrive in good time before, where you’ll be given a small wooden bowl with your own little friend inside. 

You’ll have to pay a small fee, however this helps towards ecological conservation efforts and improving the facilities for looking after the turtles. 

I also recommend heading with this guided tour, where you’ll have all transport and fees conveniently sorted for you.

Playa Bacocho is located west of Puerto Escondido town, and you can get here with a taxi in just 10 minutes.

Isla Mujeres is another great spot for turtles as you might even get to see them nest on the beach! 

3. Go Surfing in the Pacific

Surf Shops in Puerto Escondido

This town is renowned for its great surfing, often holding annual competitions where riders come from all over the globe.

The best thing though is that surfers of all abilities will be welcomed in Puerto, with a variety of different beaches and swells to choose from. 

Beginners will want to head to Carrizalillo, which has much smaller waves that are more forgiving than other spots along the Oaxacan Pacific. 

You’ll find instructors here ready to go, where you can also rent a board by the hour.

La Punta also has a small area for beginners, however certain parts are best reserved for those who are more skilled, since some waves can roll in for a good 200-300m. 

Pros will want to head to Zicatela, which is arguably the best of them all. You can read more about choosing the right beach for you in this helpful surfing guide.

The best time to surf in Puerto Escondido is from May until August, although you’ll also find good waves the rest of the year (smaller too which is best for those starting out). 

4. Day Trip to San José del Pacifico

San Jose del Pacifico in Mexico
Source: Angelobcn, Wikipedia

This remote, mountainous town may just be what you need if you feel the beach life is starting to drag on a bit. 

Situated within the Oaxacan highlands, San José del Pacifico is actually located up at a lofty 2300m above sea level, so you’ll want to take it a little slower since there’s less oxygen up here compared to the coastline. 

One of the very best things to do here is to go hiking along the numerous rugged paths, where you can get lost in dense green vegetation whilst watching the clouds floating beneath you.

The town is also famed for its magic mushrooms, so those looking for a trip will want to head here too. 

Other notable things to do include having an ancient Temazcal Ceremony, as well as riding the Swing at the End of the World (not to be confused with the one in Baños in Ecuador). 

There are plenty of day trips from Puerto Escondido but this is definitely a place you'll want to include on your itinerary! 

San José del Pacifico is located roughly 70 km from the town into the nearby mountains, which takes around 3 hours to get to.

5. Watch the Sunset on Zicatela Beach

Sunset in Zicatela

Like with other popular towns along the Mexican Pacific (such as Mazatlán and Cabo San Lucas), the sunsets here truly are something extraordinary. 

One of the very best places to enjoy it is from Zicatela beach, and all you need is a clear sky, your own plot of beach, a few beers and you’re good to go!

I recommend coming around Golden Hour (around an hour before the sunset which is perfect for photos), where you can then sit back and watch the stunning show of crimson reds and oranges take over the sky. 

The exact time of the sunset can vary throughout the months, however you’ll be able to check it here on TimeAndDate

The sunrise is also a nice sight too, but whether you’ll be up in time for it depends on how you manage the intense nightlife scene here (those who party late can always stay up for it too). 

There are plenty of Puerto Escondido beaches to choose from when it comes to watching a sunset, but Zicatela is definitely the place to be! 

6. Visit the Bioluminescent Lagoon

puerto escondido bioluminescent lagoon
from GetYourGuide

There’s only a few special places in the world where you can witness this natural phenomenon, and Puerto Escondido is one of them!

Due to an abundance of tiny bioluminescent plankton in the water (which only occurs with the right mixture of salt and freshwater), you can see a bright blue glow over the lake when the plankton are disturbed.

Whilst they do exist in more places, they’re not seen as clearly since it also requires a very low level of light.

This is why Puerto Escondido is perfect, given it has very little pollution here and can be seen clearly during the night. 

Of course it’s best to head on a day when the moon is at its weakest, and also to head into one of the tents for future light reduction. 

This bioluminescent lake is located around a 30 minute drive from Puerto Escondido, and the only way to get here is with an organised tour.

I highly recommend coming with this tour, which includes a boat ride as well as hotel pick-up and drop-off.

7. Head on a Deep Sea Fishing Tour

sailfish in the sea

The Pacific Coast of Mexico is renowned for its fishing, where you can find an incredible range of colourful and exotic marine wildlife. 

Puerto Escondido after all was once a sleepy fishing village, and still today you’ll find this sport thriving in many areas.

There are different seasons that will vary the types of catches you could have, so it’s best to take note of the following. 

During the wet season (May until October), you have the best chance of spotting Marlin, Dorado and Sailfish. 

The dry season on the other hand (November until April) is best for those who want to catch Snappers, Yellow Tail and Roosters. 

I recommend heading on this all-action fishing tour, where you’ll head out from Bahia Principe to some of the very best waters for a solid catch (local guides and the boat captains will always know best). 

You’ll also have all fishing equipment, drinks and hotel pick-up and drop-off included.

8. Get to know La Punta

La Punta

Of all the different areas you can stay in Puerto Escondido, La Punta has to be the very best of them all. 

It has a very lively and homey atmosphere, where there’s always something interesting happening. 

La Punta beach is one of the best places to hang out, where you’ll find many beachside bars and venues that offer drinks, food and deckchairs. 

You’ll also notice this when walking from Zicatela, given there’s always music and a more loose atmosphere here. 

You can walk right to the end of La Punta beach too, where you’ll find the main lighthouse amidst the rocky outcropping and crashing waves. 

Within the town of La Punta, you’ll find all the action along Calle Alejandro Cárdenas Peralta, with a variety of restaurants, juice bars and even authentic boutique shops in abundance here.

9. Snorkel Playa Puerto Angelito

playa puerto angelito

Puerto Escondido is home to a large number of beaches, which are each worth a visit with their particular pros. 

However, for those who want to go snorkelling and spot incredible fishes and underwater delights, then Playa Puerto Angelito is your best bet. 

Here you’ll have some of the calmest and clearest waters of all, which makes swimming and observing much easier than in other places (in certain beaches like La Punta it’s not even worth trying). 

Between swims in the sea, you’ll also find many beachside bars and restaurants lining the beach which are perfect for lunch and evening drinks. I recommend heading to Los Buzos

The best time for snorkelling is around 8:00am, where the beach is virtually empty, making snorkelling a more peaceful and enjoyable experience. 

Playa Puerto Angelito is located just across from Playa Manzanillo, in the heart of Puerto Escondido town.

10. Buy Souvenirs 

mexican souvenirs

Getting yourself something memorable (or a gift for family and friends) from Puerto Escondido is a must, and here you’ll have plenty of awesome markets to choose from. 

The shops in La Punta are a good starting point, however they can feel somewhat repetitive, so I would recommend heading to Zicatela and walking along the main street that runs next to the beach

Here you’ll find plenty of souvenir shops with everything from handmade goods to beach towels and beyond. 

Those after something more novel can head to the Alfonso Pérez Gasga Market which opens up at night, and offers more authentic goods from the Oaxaca region. 

If you’re stuck for what to buy, then wIrecommend looking at buying a bottle of tequila or mezcal, surfboard fridge magnets, postcards or even a traditional Oaxacan garment.

11. Head to the Lagunas de Chacahua National Park

Lagunas de Chacahua National Park
Source: Nsaum75, Wikipedia

Those who are looking to explore more of the Oaxacan wilderness need look no further than Lagunas de Chacahua National Park

With over 130 km of mangroves and lagoons, you can easily explore these by boat whilst taking in the more relaxing atmosphere (which is especially needed if staying in La Punta for a longer time).

You’ll also find many low-key beaches that are perfect for snorkelling, as well as some off the beaten path trails for some much needed hiking. 

It’s full of nature too, where you can spot many different types of rare birds, as well as turtles and crocodiles that are native to the Mexican Pacific. 

I highly recommend coming with this organised day trip, where you’ll also head to the Arco del Amor for a memorable sunset.

The best time to visit the park is from October and April, which is within the dry season. 

Lagunas de Chacahua National Park is located roughly 50 km west of Puerto Escondido, and you can either take a taxi or bus to the entrance. 

12. Take a Yoga Class

yoga on the beach

Puerto Escondido has much more of a bohemian and chill vibe compared to other coastal destinations, especially those such as Cancún and Cabo that are more party focused. 

As a result there are now many fantastic Yoga centres where you can get away from all the noise and enjoy a more peaceful moment. 

Zicatela is known to have some really great options (especially on the beach since it’s less crowded), however one of the best has to be at the Selina Hostel

They have daily Yoga classes in the morning, and you don’t even need to be a guest to sign up. 

Those who want a more secluded feel and to go it alone can head along the Zicatela beach in the early morning, and also to other beaches like Manzanillo (early hours during the week is best when they’re much quieter).

This comprehensive guide will give you more great ideas on where else to do yoga in Puerto Escondido.

13. Let Loose on Zipolite Beach

Zipolite Beach

There’s a good chance you’ve already heard of Zipolite Beach before, and that’s because it’s one of Mexico’s most popular nudist beaches (the only legal one too). 

So if you’re into becoming one with nature, then this is the place for you! 

If you’re not so keen on taking your kit off then it’s still a great place to come, with the long beach perfect for relaxing (it’s also a little quieter than its neighbour in Mazunte). 

Along Zipolite you’ll find many low-key restaurants and bars right there on the beach, so you’ll be able to have everything you need within touching distance. 

Walking in the town you’ll also find lots of awesome street art, so it’s worth a short wander around. 

I recommend coming here around the early afternoon for lunch, and then staying for the sunset. 

Zipolite is located roughly 72 km east of Puerto Escondido, and you can get here in around 2 hours. 

You’ll first need to take a bus to Mazunte, and then a short taxi to Zipolite.

14. Join a Humpback Whale Watching Tour

humpback whale jumping out of water

One of the all-time best things you can do when visiting Mexico’s Pacific coast is to get up close with its wildlife. 

And in Puerto Escondido you can spot many species of Whales, however it’s the Humpback Whale which is most notorious, given their large breaches where they jump high above the water. 

And weighing up to a mammoth 36,000 Kilos, don’t be surprised if they make quite the splash too!

The best way to see Humpback Whales is to head on an organised trip. 

I recommend heading with this awesome whale watching tour, where you’ll spend the day spotting both Whales and Dolphins along this beautiful stretch of Mexican coast. 

It’s important to remember that the whales are only around these waters from December until March, before continuing on their long migration to cooler waters.

Mazatlán is another great spot for whale-watching in Mexico! 

15. Hike to La Reforma Waterfall

La Reforma Waterfalls
Source: Leonard Saers, Wikipedia

Frequent dips into the Pacific are very much needed when in Puerto, especially given how hot it can get during the day. 

However there’s nothing quite like swimming in a cool waterfall, and that’s why you’ll want to make a trip to La Reforma Waterfall

Located within the nearby jungle, this scenic waterfall is 147 ft tall, and is surrounded by vast canyons and lush green trees. 

To get here you’ll first need to drive for roughly 2 hours to the trailhead, and from here it’s just a short 15 minute walk. 

Those up for an adventure can begin their trek back in the town of La Reforma, where you’ll hike for around 3.5 miles along stone steps through the jungle until you reach the waterfalls. 

If you do, just make sure to bring lots of water and sunscreen since it can get very hot. 

I also recommend leaving early in the morning to avoid the mid-afternoon heat, and to have less crowds with you. 

Those who want all logistics handled for them can head on this guided tour.

The distance from Puerto Escondido to the waterfalls is roughly 38km.

16. Enjoy Puerto Escondido’s Nightlife 

nighttime cocktails in Mexico

When it comes to after-hours entertainment, Puerto Escondido has one of the best scenes along the Pacific. 

Sure, it’s not quite as thumping as say that of Acapulco or Cabo, however it still can pull its own punches with a variety of different tastes. 

La Punta is the very best area, with its strip located on the Calle Alejandro Cárdenas Peralta. 

A bustling street by day, this area transforms at night with many awesome bars here worth going to such as Xcaanda and Bikini Bar

Zicatela also has many awesome options too, with hostel bars like Selina being the perfect place to kick things off at. 

When it comes to nightclubs, some of the best along this stretch of beach include Iguana and Mar & Wana

Things usually kick off in Puerto around 8:00pm, however if at the beach in La Punta then you’ll find many day drinkers kicking things off as early as the sun will rise!

I recommend reading this awesome nightlife guide, which gives more recommendations on where to head out when the sun dips.

17. Horseback Riding along the Coast

horseback riding at sunset

There’s nothing quite like watching a red sunset on horseback, and when in Puerto you’ll definitely want to spend an evening doing just this. 

With this guided tour, you’ll first visit the rural community of Puerto Suelo, which is also a nice break from the more heaving areas of Puerto Escondido. 

You’ll then saddle up and pass by stunning mountains as well as kayaking across a river. 

At the end you’ll then have the horse riding experience along a more remote beach just in time for the incredible sunset. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re a horse riding pro or have zero experience, since all the horses are well tamed as well as the fact that you’ll be in good hands with the guide and owner. 

Whilst you can find other tours offering a similar experience, I really recommend this one since you’ll head along a more off the beaten path trail.

If you're wondering what to do in Puerto Escondido then why not try out this awesome activity?

18. Explore the town of San Pedro Tututepec

Located within the hills behind Puerto Escondido, this town is steeped in history and is a great place to spend your day exploring authentic culture. 

Known as “Yucu Saa” in the ancient Mixtec language, San Pedro Tututepec was originally selected to be inhabited by a king due to its commanding views over the nearby region. 

One of the best things to do here is to simply walk around its streets and plazas, where you can also see the main church and cemetery. 

Along your stroll you’ll see many historical murals that depict old events in the town, from the Mixtec times up to the Spanish conquest. 

The museum here is also worth a visit, which is home to many ancient artefacts and carved rocks. 

San Pedro Tututepec is located roughly 81 km west of Puerto Escondido, with the drive taking roughly 1.5 hours.

19. Explore Puerto Escondido Town

puerto escondido town

Most travellers will stay in La Punta and Zicatela, and to be honest it’s my recommendation for you to set up camp there too. 

However the actual town of Puerto Escondido (which is north of Zicatela, and is close to the airport) is also worthy of a visit, which is more of an authentic Mexican spot rather than just tourist fun. 

Here you’ll find many markets such as the Benito Juárez Market as well as the authentic night market of Alfonso Pérez Gasga. 

After exploring these you can also head to Manzanillo beach, which is more popular with locals and has some great seafood restaurants at the bottom near the sands. 

There’s also the abandoned cathedral which is a surreal sight in itself, which you can spot along the way to Playa Manzanillo.

20. Eat your way through Puerto with a Food Tour

food in puerto escondido

Eating tasty Mexican food should be on every bucket list when coming to this awesome country! 

Puerto Escondido in particular has more of a focus on seafood dishes (it is on the coast after all), however it’s not just limited to this. 

And when it comes to trying these foods, there’s no better way than with a local food tour. 

This all-inclusive food tour is one of the best of the bunch that you can join, where you’ll be taken to some of the best and most authentic Mexican restaurants around. 

You’ll also visit the main market of Benito Juárez, where you’ll try more local dishes from the Oaxaca region, as well as some mezcal if you’re feeling it. 

The benefit of going with this tour is that you’ll be in a small group, so this experience will be much more personable and memorable, especially once your guide starts showing you what’s next on the menu!

21. Head to nearby Mazunte

Awesome beach in Mazunte

Many who head to Puerto Escondido make the mistake of only spending their whole time in town or on the beach. 

The truth is that the Oaxacan coast that runs along here is full of picturesque towns and sites, and Mazunte is another that you’ll want to visit when in the region. 

A more bohemian and relaxed town, you’ll find many artisan markets when walking along the dusty road from the town to the beach. 

Whilst still touristy, it has a much more artsy and rustic feel to the place (and is also another worthy spot of picking up an awesome souvenir).

This all-action day tour from Puerto Escondido is a great way to explore Mazunte, where you’ll also head for a guided hike along Punta Cometa.

One of the very best things you can do is to hike up to Punta Cometa, which is a green cliff that juts out and gives some really outstanding views of the turquoise Pacific. 

Other awesome things to do here include going whitewater rafting, seeing nestling turtles as well as enjoying the sandy beach of El Rinconcito. 

Mazunte is located around 74 km east of Puerto Escondido, with the drive taking just over an hour to reach. 

22. Skydiving over Zicatela

tandem skydive

Whether you’re after an ultimate adrenaline fix, or have Skydiving on your own travel bucket list, this will be a very memorable one. 

Whilst there are many awesome areas to skydive over in Mexico, jumping out of a plane over Zicatela has to be one of the very best since you’ll have epic views of the deep blue Pacific. 

One of the most important things is choosing to go with a reputable company, and I recommend going with SkyDivePuertoEscondido

They also offer packages which can include some memorable video photography, using GoPros to capture this epic moment in all its glory. 

It’s recommended to book in advance since it can get popular at times (mostly during the dry season). 

Of course be sure to get in touch with them close to the day too, since bad weather can sometimes cause delays or having to move it to a different day.

If you're not feeling skydiving, then why not send your drone up so you can still appreciate Puerto Escondido from above!

23. Get up and close with Dolphins 

dolphin in Puerto Escondido

This is another fun activity that you’ll want to do in Puerto, especially since there are many Dolphins in these warmer waters

Whilst there are tours that combine marine wildlife sightseeing (such as with Turtles or Humpback Whales), it’s better to go with a specific dolphin tour if these are a must-see for you.

I recommend going with this awesome tour, where you’ll spend three hours on a private boat heading to the very best waters to find Dolphins. 

It includes hotel pick-up and drop-off, a professional guide as well as all snorkelling equipment for when you want to get in for a dip too. 

The other good thing about doing this activity in Puerto Escondido is that you can see Dolphins at any particular time of the year, whilst in other areas they can be more seasonal.

If you've loved this experience (which you will), then Cabo San Lucas is another great spot for dolphin-watching in Mexico! 

24. Visit a Mezcal Distillery

Mezcal drink

Mezcal is like the rougher cousin of Tequila; known by less, however just as lethal. 

It’s also made from the same blue Agave plant, which has its roots in the neighbouring Mexican region of Jalisco. 

However you’ll be surprised to learn that there are many awesome distilleries along the Pacific Coast, and Puerto Escondido has a few of its own charming ones too. 

With this guided tour you’ll visit one of the very best in this region, which includes Mezcal tasting as well as seeing how the notorious spirit is made. 

Whilst you can also make independent trips to some of these factories, I recommend going with the tour since you’ll still be in a small and intimate group, whilst a professional guide will teach you things that you’d otherwise not learn by yourself. 

It’s worth buying a few bottles from the factory as they can make great souvenirs. These will be a much better upgrade from the usual mezcal varieties that you’ll find in regular shops.

25. Kayak along Manialtepec Lagoon

Manialtepec Lagoon
Source: Jaumahell, Wikipedia

Translated as “The lake where water is born” in the ancient Náhuatl language, Manialtepec Lagoon is another stunning lake that is really worth the visit. 

Home to both mangroves and the jungle, it’s the perfect spot for watching birds. 

Here you can see everything from Falcons and Ospreys to Hawks and even Parrots. 

You’ll also discover an array of tropical plants lining the lake too, which make for a perfect photo. 

Like the bioluminescent lagoon, here you’ll also find the same algae that makes patches of this like bright blue. However it exists in smaller quantities, meaning it’s only visible to the human eye just a few nights each year. 

I really recommend heading on this guided tour of the lagoon, where you’ll set off at sunrise with your expert birdwatching guide, who knows the area really well.

The best time to visit Manialtepec Lagoon has to be from December until March, given it’s during the dry season and also when you have the best chance of wildlife spotting. 

The Manialtepec Lagoon is located just 18 km from Puerto Escondido, and is open to the public from 7:00am until 12:00am every day of the week.

26. Visit a Coffee Plantation in the Oaxacan Mountains

homemade Mexican coffee

Those who are interested in diving deeper into the more authentic Mexico will love this one! 

Located deep within the South Sierra Madre (the mountains that surround Puerto), you’ll find untouched nature along with some of the best coffee in the country. 

What makes this area stand out even more is the fact that this region is home to over a dozen indigenous groups!

With this all-inclusive tour, you’ll visit the coffee plantation in the Llano Grande community, where you'll see how it’s made and also get to try some of the good stuff. 

You’ll also meet the ethnic group who still live here, learning about their rich history as well as visiting other scenic wonders such as waterfalls and untouched jungle. 

The small town of Llano Grande is located just over 220 km west of Puerto Escondido, so it’s worth heading with this tour since you’ll have all logistics and transport already handled for you.

27. Explore the Benito Juárez Food Market

mangoes in basket

Every Mexican City and major town has a main food market, which is one of the best ways of getting to know the food on a more intimate level. 

In Puerto Escondido it’s the Benito Juárez Food Market, and you can join the locals here trying some tasty seafood dishes, as well as the regional dish of Tasajo. 

There's some really good Pork Tacos too, as well as Molé for those who are not so keen on fish. 

There’s also an array of fresh fruits such as Mangoes and Pineapple, which are worth taking back to make fresh smoothies for your mornings in Puerto. 

The Mercado Benito Juárez is located in the Juárez district of town which is further north than the centre, and is located next to the small park of the same name. 

It’s open from 6:00am into 7:00pm all days of the week, although it’s best to head here around 7:00am to avoid crowds and also to get the freshest produce.

Puerto Escondido Travel Tips & FAQ

When is a good time to visit Puerto Escondido?

Puerto Escondido is located on the west coast of Mexico, next to the Pacific. 

As a result it has a tropical climate, with both a dry and wet season that vary quite dramatically from the other.

The dry season begins in November and lasts until April

Here you’ll find daily average temperatures of 83-86°F, with highs of 95°F and lows of 72°F. 

Rainfall is at its lowest this time of year, with between 0-0.5 inches falling throughout each month. 

This is the most popular time to visit Puerto Escondido, given its perfect for heading to the beach.

The wet season then follows, which starts around early May and lasts up until October. 

Average daily temperatures rise up to 85-87°F, with highs of 93°F and lows of 77°F. 

Rainfall sharply increases from May onwards, with anywhere from 2-7 inches falling within any month (the wettest period is usually between late June and September). 

This time is better for those who want cheaper prices, and don’t mind an occasional shower or two (they’re are very quick, and are actually a nice cool-off from the sometimes overbearing temperatures).

You can check out the weather for the exact days you plan on heading here on WeatherSpark.

How long should you spend in Puerto Escondido?

Given this town not only has a great climate but also many things to see and do, I recommend spending a minimum of 5 days here. 

This will be enough to recharge your batteries, enjoy the lifestyle as well as make a day trip or two out to the surrounding towns along the Oaxacan coast

Don’t be surprised if you end up staying much longer though. The majority of travellers that arrive in Puerto Escondido often find the pulls of the tropical life quite hard to let go of! 

What is a good budget for Puerto Escondido?

Despite Puerto Escondido being a small town, you’ll find that you can easily visit this paradise on varying budgets.

Those who are travelling on a shoe-string budget can expect to spend roughly $20-25 a day. With this you’ll be able to stay in a dorm bed in La Punta, and eat a couple of nice meals in town. You can also find cheap hostels in Zicatela or Puerto Escondido town, it just comes down to personal preference. 

You’ll also be able to take a couple of buses around the town or region, or even a taxi if you’re tired after walking along the beach to Zicatela.

Travellers who want an upgrade on comfort and lifestyle can expect to spend anywhere from $30-50 a day. With this higher budget you’ll be able to stay in a private room near the beach, and eat at better restaurants (more authentic Mexican food is another win!). 

Whilst you can’t go crazy taking taxis, you’ll have more freedom here than on the shoe-string budget, also with extra to spend on nights out or renting snorkelling gear for the day.

It’s important to remember that these budgets are only for accommodation and food costs, with just a little left over for an attraction or taxi ride. 

It doesn’t account for flights, travel insurance, tours or buses between destinations.

Can you just book a tour for Puerto Escondido?

Sometimes a tour is a really ideal way of seeing all the top sites. 

And let’s be honest, when first arriving in Puerto Escondido you can be forgiven for wanting to crash out the first few days on the beach!

This full-day tour is the perfect way to explore Puerto Escondido, where you’ll first have a boat cruise along the coast where you can visit some of the very best beaches such as Bacocho and Carrizalillo. 

You’ll also have opportunities to spot turtles, whales and dolphins too. 

Heading back to town, you’ll then visit the market of Benito Juárez where you can try some of the most authentic Mexican and Oaxacan dishes around! 

Where to go after Puerto Escondido?

Once you’ve spent the week chilling out and letting loose (or several, it’s quite common to overstay here!), you may feel ready to move on elsewhere after Puerto Escondido. 

If that’s the case for you, then I recommend heading to Oaxaca City, which is the capital of this surreal region. 

Here you’ll be able to eat some of the best Mexican food in the country, as well as explore everything from its colonial roots to breathtaking landscapes such as those of Hierve el Agua. 

I recommend heading on this awesome tour, where you’ll be able to explore these petrified waterfalls, as well as having a visit to an authentic Mezcal factory where you can try the very best blends.

If you're traveling through Mexico, here are some other guides you may find helpful: 

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