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Puerto Escondido, Huatulco
 Page updated on 03.10.2015
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Activities on the Coast of Oaxaca

Golfing at Campo Tangolunda (very beautiful views of the bay).
Fishing along the Oaxacan Coast : The most popular fish are the guachinango (sea bream) and the pargo (snapper) but in the deep waters it is easy to find, all year long, other fish such as the candle-fish, the marlin, the barrilete (crab) and the rooster-fish. The cold waters in winter give more opportunities for real fish trophies with plentiful yellowfins. The lagoon of Chacahuá and the lagoon of Manialtepec are good spots for fishing the mojarra (small fish with white meat and many bones) or the robalo (bass).
Riding horses along Copalita River.
San Agustin Beach Snorkeling in the reef of La Entrega Beach, Santa Cruz Bay, Riscalillo Beach and San Agustin Beach as well as the reef islands of Cacaluta and Montosa. You can also snorkel in the Lagoon of Chacahuá, sanctuary of turtles.

   Right picture : San Agustin Beach

Mountain biking on the dirt trails linking small villages in the mountains surrounding the coast.
Kayaking in Manialtepec, an excellent option to enjoy nature.
Visit the Mexican center of the Turtle where many diverse sea turtles are displayed. Every aquarium is set with the flora and fauna essential to the specie that it contains.
Visit the coffee plantations and enjoy nature with wonderful mountain sceneries.
Abseiling in Punta Celeste, Piedra de Moros and Copalitilla Falls.
Rafting in Copalita and Zimatan Rivers that offer nice tropical sceneries. There are kayak or canoe trips offering class 1 to 4 rides.
Driving ATV on dozen miles long beaches or in the jungle.
Visit the Lagoon of Chacahuá, a National Park that houses 136 species of birds, 23 of reptiles, 4 of amphibians and 20 of mammals. The sea turtles come lay on the beaches of the park. There is also a crocodile hatchery.
Visit the Lagoon of Manialtepec with its luxurious vegetation of mangrove, home of thousands birds. You can rent a motor boat and kayaks and follow tourist paths.
Abseiling in Cascada Reforma (about 60 m or 180 feet high) : It compounds a natural rock wall as well as several ponds.
Bird watching in the Lagoon of Chacahuá.
Visit the archaeological site of Nopala (52 km or 35 miles from Puerto Escondido) : it houses an ensemble of objects sculpted by Chatina Indigenious. You can also visit the site of Tutupec (81 km or 50 miles from Puerto Escondido), a Mixteca lordship displaying some remarkably well finished Pre-Hispanic sculptures.
Carrizalillo Beach (One of the numerous beaches in Puerto Escondido) Surfing in Puerto Escondido : it is one of the 10 best spots in the world for surfing. From November to April, the swell goes from weak to moderate and from May to October, the swell goes from moderate to strong. The beaches have a sand bottom with breaking waves all year long. One of the best spots is Zicatela.

Left picture : Carrizalillo Beach (One of the numerous beaches in Puerto Escondido)



Temperatures Winter Spring Summer Autumn
C°/ F° 26°C/78°F 28°C/82°F 29°C/84°F 28°C/82°F

Puerto Escondido

This is a picturesque town with many bays lined with high mountain ranges covered with a dense tropical vegetation. It is known under the name of Costa Esmeralda (Emerald coast) because of the colors of the crystal waters contrasting with the fine white sand beaches.
One of the first names given to Puerto Escondido was "Zicatela", name of one of the main beach of the harbor, which means, in Náhuatl: "Place where there are big thorns".
During the thirties, the harbor started to change into a real village but it nevertheless remained an almost virgin place with quiet and fine white sand beaches, crystal emerald waters and luxurious vegetation housing an abundant fauna. This is why, in the seventies, some brave tourists ended up there in search of freedom, adventure and beautiful scenery.

In 1982, the federal government and the government of Oaxaca State supported Puerto Escondido, the Hidden Port, to make it one of the new tourist paradises of the Pacific Coast.

This sea resort, with a promising future, has an international fame : it is one of the rare places in America where one can surf at a professional level thanks to huge waves on some beaches. Zicatela Beach (with a 3km2 or 1.2 mi2 surface) is one of the famous beaches for huge waves, ideal for surfing. The fauna is abundant: you can see migrating birds, crocodiles, iguanas, sea turtles and armadillos in their natural environment. The inhabitants of Puerto Escondido promised to conserve the ecosystem and to preserve it with the creation of an ecological reserve.
The climate is hot and humid, with summer rains and an average yearly temperature of 28°C (82F). It is not yet “invaded” by majestic "resorts"; there are many small scale hotels.

Zicatela Beach

The city is parted in two : the old city, with a walking street called El Adoquin and the street running alongside Zicatela Beach, called Moro street. In the old city, you can find many hotels, restaurants, boutiques, banks, ATM and the tourist Office.
In Moro Street, there are many restaurants, bars, laundries, banks, ATM and scooter rentals.

Left picture : Zicatela Beach

The most famous beaches are :


From West to East :


Bacocho Beach : This is a very long beach divided in three sections among rocks, with many hotels and restaurants.
Carrizalillo Beach Carrizalillo Beach : nested in a cove, it is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and surfing (lessons are available). There are many services for RV and diving. It is accessible via many stairs down. There are Palapas and bars if you need food or drinks. It is a nice paradise.
Manzanillo Beach : ideal for swimming and snorkeling, with nice underwater landscape, warm and shallow water.
Port Angelito Beach : it is like a natural swimming pool! There is a restaurant as well as a shop for renting diving equipment, beach chairs and umbrellas.
These last two beaches are quieter because of a less easy access. You can take a lancha at Principal Beach.

   Right picture : Carrizalillo Beach

Principal Beach : You can rent motor boats to go high-sea fishing, enjoy water sports or visit the different beaches. Hotels, restaurants and bungalows are available. This is a quiet beach; the sea is calm and the water color is a magnificent turquoise.

Principal Beach
Marinero Beach : ideal for surfing, especially for beginners.
There are hotels and restaurants. You can ride horses and rent beach chairs ($ 20).

Left picture : Principal Beach

Zicatela Beach : it is a very long beach with open sea. It is famous for the waves that can reach 6m (20ft) high; it is ideal for expert surfers. An international surf tournament is held every year, in November.



Be careful on Bacocho, Marinero and Zicatela Beaches because of the strong swell....

Principal Beach



   Right picture : Principal Beach




Marinero Beach



Left picture : Marinero Beach





Map of Puerto Escondido :

Places of interest :

Lagoons of Chacahuá (80 km or 50 miles west)
La Pastoria, Chacahuá and Las Salinas : On these three lagoons, you can ride a lancha (boat) among islets lined with mangroves spreading over 30 km (20 miles). This is the habitat of seabirds, perch-birds and reptiles, including crocodiles. It is one of the last sanctuaries in Mexico. During the trip, you will see two beaches where the lagoons and the sea merge. Visit the Villa de Pescadores where you can taste a huge variety of fresh fish and seafood and visit a crocodile hatchery. A few cabins are available for lodging, far away from everything and close to heaven! You can eat the specialties of the Pacific Coast in a few palapas : shrimps, lobsters, giant oysters, huachinangos and cierras. The swell is strong so this place is good for sunbathing (hammock for rent) and beach games. Sometimes, from May to November, turtles come to lay their eggs. The travel agencies of Puerto Escondido offer a one day trip (quite expensive).


Lagoons of Manialtepec (16 km or 10 miles west)
This lagoon is located a few kilometers from Puerto Escondido; it spreads over 15 km (9 miles). It is lined with mangroves, natural habitat of seabirds and iguanas. You can see gorgeous sunsets in Bocabarra, where the lagoon, the sea and the river merge. You can swim in salt or fresh water. You can also rent canoe-kayaks to explore the lagoon while paddling. The lagoon can be explored by lancha from the restaurants in Alejandria and Las Negras

la Ventanilla Ventanilla (3.5 km or 2 miles from El Mazunte) :
Concerned with environment, the community started a program to save the ecosystem. This includes the reforestation of the mangroves and the repopulation of the crocodiles. The tourists can watch the babies born in the husbandry as well as the adults in their natural habitat. They are either basking in the sun or stalking their prey. It is also an excellent place for bird watching. On the road to Ventanilla, you can visit the ranch El Potrero (the pen), that spreads over 2 km2 (0.8 mi2). It is a private project destined for raising and repopulating iguanas. There are daily lancha trips on the lagoon for bird watching; the cooperative also organizes hiking and horse riding.

   Right picture and picture below : la Ventanilla

la Ventanilla Atotonilco/ thermal waters
This is an adventure since you start riding a horse up the banks of Manialtepec River in the middle of the jungle and you end up down to the sulfurous waters of a natural spring where you can enjoy soaking –a truly medicinal and relaxing bath – Then, you follow the riverside far away from civilization.

Culture and Traditions
Puerto Escondido is surrounded by many typical villages where you can admire churches and noticeable old buildings. Also note the great variety of local craft. The villages celebrate their own town Patron Saint. Each village has its own believes and legends. Nopala, Bajos de Chila, Santiago, Jamiltepec and Mixtepec have nice colorful markets. They offer a large selection of ceramics, fabrics and leathers among others.



Huatulco Beach
Located 300 km (200 miles) south from Acapulco, close to Puerto Angel and 113 km (70 miles) from Puerto Escondido, this sea resort consists of nine bays with clear water as in the Aegean Sea. The ocean bottom is beautiful. Twenty years ago, a tourist infrastructure was created especially around Tangolunda Bay. Not so long before, the fishermen picked up white corals and sometimes they brought back lobsters and crawfish. This sea resort is located where the Sierra Madre joins the Pacific Ocean, making nice bays and strangely shaped rocks. The tourist development covers a huge area including nine bays, each one more beautiful than the others. The bays offer 36 beaches, most of them being deserted and with a weak swell, ideal for water sports. The climate is hot and humid with an average yearly temperature of 25°C (77F).

   Right picture : Huatulco Beach

The origin of the city :
It goes back to the Pre-Hispanic time. It was the center of the Zapotec culture. During the sixteenth century, it was the center of operations of pirates and corsairs; during the colonial time, it was a commercial port and a link with the Orient. In 1849, Benito Juárez, then President of Mexico, visited this place and founded the "Villa del Crespo".

The nine bays :

From West to East :

San Agustin Beach San Agustin Bay : many rocks, reefs and small islands surround the bay and make it a privileged place for snorkeling. The different beaches are : San Agustin, excellent for snorkeling and Cacalutilla, with warm crystal waters. This bay is located 13 km (8 miles) from downtown and accessible via a bad dirt road. However, it is worth the trip because of the paradise you will find at the end of the road: palapas, beach chairs and parasols. You will also have the opportunity to see many colorful fish.

Left picture : San Agustin Beach

Chachacual Bay : It is a very important ecological reserve. The beaches are : Chachacual, with a weak spell; La India, a desert beach accessible only by sea and Jicaral, with crystal waters ideal for diving, fishing and swimming; it is also famous for its violet ink snails which are used to dye t-shirts.

Cacalutá Bay : it is an important ecological space with mountainous vegetation and a few swamps. The beaches are: Cacalutá, where you can practice water sports with caution because of the strong swell; Arroyo, with an abundant vegetation and sea birds; This one kilometer long beach offers deep waters with strong swell that allow surfing and windsurfing. This Bay is interesting because of its wild side. It is part of the National Park; it is home to birds, iguanas and turtles.

Organo and Maguey Bays : there are some swamps and many birds. The beaches are Maguey, a popular beach because of weak swell (you can practice water ski, jet-ski and diving) and Organo, a virgin beach perfect for meditation.

Santa Cruz Bay : one of the most beautiful bays with an excellent tourist infrastructure. On the pier, locals sell handicraft from Oaxaca. On the main plaza, a pleasant kiosk is the meeting place for locals and visitors. There is an open theater, two small plazas and many diverse restaurants. In La Crucecita, a small village, there are pleasant open bars, restaurants, a handicraft market, an ATM, a laundry, internet access and many diverse shops. The beaches are : La Entrega, ideal for sunbathing and snorkeling (very nice cove). There are palapas (bar-restaurant) where you can have fresh fish and seafood; Yerbabuena, an excellent place for relaxing; Santa Cruz, where you can rent snorkeling equipment as well as Jet Ski and canoes. Many tourists are concentrated on this beach which serves as the departing point, by boat, to the other bays.

Chahué Bay : A huge urbanized place with many condominiums, hotels and restaurants. The beaches are : Chahué, with white sand and moderate swell; Esperanza, with strong big waves; Tejon, with warm waters and quiet swell.
These last two beaches are the busiest ones.

Ventura Beach Tangolunda Bay : it offers luxurious hotels (resorts), modern malls, a 18 holes golf course and residential zones. The beaches are: Ventura, ideal for snorkeling, sailing and kayaking; Manzanillo, Tornillo and Tangolunda, all excellent for water sports and sunbathing; Rincon Sabroso, with a low swell. This Bay contains the most buildings in the area

   Right picture : Ventura Beach

Conejos Bay : nice bay with luxurious residences.

The beaches are Tejoncito, very private and quiet; Punta Arenas, surrounded with rocks (during the high season, there are fresh fish and seafood booths);

Conejos, a small white sand beach with warm crystal waters. All of them are perfect for swimming, snorkeling and fishing.

Map of Huatulco sea resort :

Puerto Ángel

It is a quiet fishing village, an exceptional rustic nice place with some hotels, restaurants, a bank, a pharmacy and a fishing port. It is surrounded with high cliffs covered with luxurious vegetation.
It offers simple tourist services. There are nice beaches with crystal waters. The sea has an intense color with different shades of blue and green; the swell is changing. On the main beach, there is room for RV by the restaurants; there is always a local, a fisherman for example, ready to serve you as a guide to visit the surroundings. Some beaches are far away and accessible by taxi if you don’t have a car (example of price : Puerto Angel to Zipolite : $35).

Puerto Angel La Boquilla and la Mina beaches are excellent for swimming and snorkeling.
Panteón beach is ideal for swimming; it is famous for its mangroves.
Zipolite Beach : it is an open sea with crystal waters.
There are restaurants. You can rent cabins and beach chairs. There are several clothing optional camps at the west of the beach.
Zipolite is also a village with cheap hotels, stores, internet and laundry. You can go on a boat tour with Azur Profundo ( 584 31 29). Departures from 9 AM and 9:45. You first watch dolphins, whales, killer whales and sperm whales, then you snorkel in Boquilla beach among colorful fish and corals and then you reach Mina Beach where you can dive from rocks. Finally, the boat stops at Estacaluite for a good lunch on the beach before going back to Zipolite.

    Above picture : Puerto Angel

Zipolite Beach at sunset


    Right picture : Zipolite Beach at sunset



Beach of Love (del Amor) : it is secluded behind huge crag rocks. There is a trailer park and a snorkeling equipment shop. These two beaches are clothing optional beaches.
Mazunte Beach : it is ideal for swimming and enjoying the jungle landscape. The museum of the turtle, "Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga", is open Tuesday-Saturday 10 AM-4:30 PM except on Saturdays (it is closed at 2:30 PM). Guided tours in Spanish and English ($25).
La Escobilla Beach : it is a long beach with a strong swell. From June to September, thousands turtles come to lay eggs on these beaches.
San Agustinillo Beach San Agustinillo Beach : it is a nice beach for swimming. It is surrounded by family owned hotels and palapas. San Agustinillo is also a village located 1 km (0.6 mile) from Mazunte which is also a cute small village.

Left picture : San Agustinillo Beach

Ventanilla Beach : it is located west from Mazunte; it is a long beach with a lagoon. There are boat tours organized by a cooperative on the premises, "Servicos Ecoturisticos de la Ventanilla". They offer tours in the mangroves to admire crocodiles, turtles and birds. Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel fight over the belonging to the Mexican center of the Turtle and la Ventanilla !

mangroves of la Ventanilla Consult this website in English with precious information about the Pacific Coast of Oaxaca (tours, transportation, hotels, restaurants, beaches, etc...) :



   Right picture : mangroves of la Ventanilla





Estacalunte Beach in Puerto Angel



Left picture : Estacalunte Beach in Puerto Angel








See the pages about the sea resorts on the Pacific coast :

North part :

Puerto Vallarta & Costalegre


then :






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