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Is Puerto Escondido Worth Visiting? What to Do in Puerto Escondido Guide

Mexico is a huge country with an enormous array of experiences, landscapes, and cuisines. However, when most people hear “Mexico,” their minds jump to the resorts and crystalline waters of the Riviera Maya. This part of Mexico is popular for a reason—the weather is almost always perfect, the beaches are some of the world’s best, and towns like Tulum are at the forefront of the Instagram movement. This sounds idyllic, but if you’re looking for something with similar beauty and more authenticity, you’ll have to travel elsewhere.

Puerto Escondido is often described as Tulum before it got cool—all of the charm, none of the pretension. Much like the rest of Mexico, Puerto Escondido on the Oaxacan Coast has a long history dating back to the 1500s. These days, it’s better known for long sandy beaches, barefoot bohemians, and lively nightlife. This beach town is the perfect place to visit for a few days or a long-term trip to get the Tulum vibes without the price tag. Are you wondering what to do in Puerto Escondido? We’ve created this Puerto Escondido guide for the best Puerto Escondido tours and experiences.

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Puerto Escondido ToursClick here to check out the top Puerto Escondido tours
Best Puerto Escondido Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Puerto Escondido
Best Puerto Escondido Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Puerto Escondido

What to Do in Puerto Escondido: Best Puerto Escondido Tours

Mezcal Experience 

If you don’t know by now, mezcal is not tequila. While they are made from the same plant, they are very different due to their distillation process and flavor profiles. Oaxaca is the capital of mezcal, so no Puerto Escondido travel experience would be complete without education in “the elixir of the gods.” The best way to do this is to learn from the professionals at an ancestral distillery. 

Puerto Mezcal Tours is hands down the best option for a mezcal Puerto Escondido tour. The tours are run by Antoine and Arely, a French and Mexican couple who have partnered with a local family-owned and operated distillery to provide the best authentic experience around. The tour is incredible value for the money at only 800 pesos per person. It was the best value tour I found in the area—even better, the price is all-inclusive. 

things to do in puerto escondido | Mezcal tour

Once you choose your tour time and confirm with Antoine, he will take care of the rest. Each tour fee includes round-trip transportation in a comfortable, air-conditioned SUV to and from anywhere in town, a short, entertaining presentation on the history of mezcal, an informative tour of the mezcal distillery, a group tasting of 10 different mezcals produced by this distillery, and some time to purchase a bottle or two of your favorites before heading back to town. 

Whether you’re a big drinker or not, this is an essential Puerto Escondido tour for anyone visiting the area, traveling solo or otherwise. It’s a great way to support local businesses and have a fantastic, fun afternoon exploring part of Mexico’s culture. My group had such a great time together that we headed into town to keep the fun going with dinner and drinks.

Pro Tips:

  • Pack bug spray! This is a functional farm, and there are mosquitos.
  • Book in advance! If you can’t get the availability you want, Antoine may be able to accommodate you, but to avoid disappointment, book in advance.
  • Take the 3:30 p.m. tour! You’ll miss the peak heat of the day, and it’s the perfect time to start sipping the sauce.

Quick Tip: I highly recommend booking all of your Mexico transportation with GottoGo. You can search for buses, shuttles, ferries, and Flights on their website. What I love most about them is their customer service. I know these guys personally from living in Guatemala, and they look after their customers.

If anything happens and you get delayed and miss your bus, you can just call them, and they are always there to help. If you book through them, you will pay a little more than booking in person at the bus station. But it’s worth it for the ease and security. Click here to search for transportation in Mexico.

Surf Lessons

Is Puerto Escondido worth visiting? It is if you’re an avid surfer! Puerto Escondido is known as the Mexican Pipeline, one of the world’s Top 10 Surf Spots. If there was ever a place to try surfing, it’s Puerto Escondido. Seven beaches run the town’s length and are great for different activities. Zicatela, at the south end of town, is a world-renowned spot for surfing.

The waves here are extremely strong which makes them great for experienced surfers, but less than ideal for swimming. Even if you’ve surfed before, I recommend hiring a local professional to help you ride the waves.

For beginners, the best place to start is on the picturesque hidden beach of Carrizalillo, about a 10-minute taxi ride up the coast from Zicatela. The waters are much more manageable and swimmable. 

things to do in puerto escondido | Puerto Escondido beach

Finding a surf instructor on Zicatela or Carrizalillo is easy—sometimes, they’ll find you! The local experts are on the beach from sunrise to sunset, and they live and breathe surfing. There are formal surf schools that offer camps and class packs you can book in advance, or you can take a more casual lesson from one of the pros on the beach.

A private lesson usually lasts two to three hours and will cost about 1200-1600 pesos. If catching a wave sounds a bit too risky, find a spot on the beach to enjoy a cold beer and watch the pros carve it up.

Pro Tip: Cash is king in Mexico! Make sure you bring pesos when you travel to Puerto Escondido to negotiate a lesson and price with one of the beach pros. You can ask around for who can give you a lesson or if you sit long enough, one of them will likely approach you to offer their services.

Gastronomy at Almoraduz

This Puerto Escondido travel guide would be incomplete without visiting Almoraduz. A sleepy surf town on the Oaxacan Coast may not seem like a gastronomic hub, but Puerto Escondido has a culinary scene to be reckoned with. Street food, seafood, pierogies, pasta, Peruvian—there’s no shortage of options in Puerto Escondido. If you only eat at one place, it must be Almoraduz

Almoraduz is a small, chef-driven restaurant located on the Rinconada in the north end of town. The unbelievably gifted and creative husband-and-wife chef team, Quetzalcoatl Zurita and Shalxaly Macias, are the operation’s masterminds. With traditional Oaxacan cuisine at its heart and a flair for the modern, there is nothing old-fashioned about the food here. The menu is small but varied, with a focus on local ingredients and dishes changing seasonally. 

things to do in puerto escondido | Food in Bacalar

Dinner at Almoraduz is a must when visiting Puerto Escondido. I recommend enjoying at least a two-course meal here, in addition to the complimentary amuse-bouche of corn stew with chapulines and customary salsas and tortillas.

Food isn’t all they do! Almoraduz has an in-house sommelier, Pablo, who is incredibly well-versed in Mexican wine. They also have an excellently curated cocktail menu with the best mixologists in town. 

Almoraduz was one of the best dining experiences I’ve had anywhere in the world, all while being casual and not breaking the bank. If you’re a foodie or enjoy the occasional splurge meal, you won’t regret this spot.

Pro Tip: This isn’t just food, it’s art—therefore, the kitchen doesn’t allow substitutions. Be brave and trust the pros! 

Get Off the Beaten Path in Chacahua 

There is no shortage of Puerto Escondido tours, from horseback riding to kayaking and surfing. To try something truly unique, consider a day trip to Chacahua National Park. Although it’s possible to do this trip alone, I strongly recommend hiring a guide as the journey is long and complicated. 

Chacahua National Park is about an hour and a half from Puerto Escondido and is inaccessible by car. When you book a tour, the journey will include a couple of drives and boat rides through the mangroves before reaching the town. It sounds arduous, but this is an adventure worth taking. Most tours include an easy hike to the lighthouse, swimming in the magical bioluminescent lagoon, a gorgeous sunset on the beach, and relaxation time.

What makes Chacahua unique is that it is home to the country’s largest population of Afro-Mexicans. Because the area is situated between the ocean on one side and hidden by the jungle and mountains on the other, it was a prime haven for runaway slaves seeking freedom. This landscape gives the town a remote and peaceful feeling, coupled with the lack of internet and phone service.

Because it’s so difficult to reach, this is not your typical tourist destination. It won’t be crawling with sightseers, you won’t see fast-food chains, and there’s no sign reading CHACAHUA on the beach. This area is of cultural and ecological importance, and it offers an incredibly unique and authentic experience for people who don’t mind a sense of rusticness.

Pro Tip: If you travel in the wet season, book this tour early in your trip in case it needs to be changed—heavy rains make the journey unsafe and uncomfortable.

Quick Tip: View my full Mexico packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my Mexico Essentials shopping list here.

Bonus: Catch a World Class Sunset

things to do in puerto escondido | sunset in Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido’s location on the Pacific Ocean gives it some of the most dramatic and beautiful sunsets you’ll find anywhere in the world. Every night, locals and tourists pick a spot on the beach to watch the sky dance with vibrant oranges, pinks, purples, and blues. You can sit on the sand or try one of the beachfront bars and restaurants for extra comfort.

Looking for a place to stay in Puerto Escondido?

Villas Carrizalillo
Hotel Escondido – Adults Only
Selina Puerto Escondido
Hotel Blater
Casa de Olas Boutique Hotel
Casa Losodeli & Coworking – Adults Only

Is Puerto Escondido Worth Visiting? What to Do in Puerto Escondido Travel Guide

Whatever you decide to do when you travel to Puerto Escondido, there is no wrong way to experience the stunning area. This is where everyone is welcome to stay for a day or longer, so what are you waiting for? Visiting Puerto Escondido is an unforgettable experience, and these Puerto Escondido tours will enhance your vacation.

If you are looking for excursions and car rentals in Riviera Maya, look at what my friends from Turismo Channel have! You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices: clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours).

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

Puerto Escondido Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Puerto Escondido?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Mexico which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Mexico on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Puerto Escondido?

I strongly recommend using GottoGo. You can book almost all transport in the major Mexican tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Puerto Escondido?

First and foremost check out all of the amazing Mexico tours Where Sidewalks End has. They are a small local company and they have some really special experiences.

For everything else I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide

If you are traveling to Cancun you can use GoCity and save up to 55% of the initial cost of entrance tickets to various museums, tours, and attractions!

If you are traveling to Playa del Carmen then I recommend booking through my friend Vanessa at Turismo Channel. You can check out their tours by clicking here and using the following discount codes for the best prices clairecaroff (car rental), claire10off (for 10% off group tours), claireprivate (for a discount on private tours). You can also send her a WhatsApp message quoting the above codes to receive the discount.

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

Author’s Bio

Things to Do in Puerto Escondido

Ashlea is the voice behind She Roams About, where she shares her love of Mexican culture, food, and travel with the world. 

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