A Tour of Puerto Escondido in Photos

You guys, I’m just going to come right out and say that Mexico may just be my favorite country. The proof? Mexico is now becoming at least an annual trip, and the country I’ve visited more than any other. However, my feelings about Mexico really came to a head on my last trip, a few months ago, to what is now one of my favorite Latin America beach destinations, Puerto Escondido.

If you’ve never heard of Puerto Escondido, don’t worry, because you’re definitely not the only one. Puerto Escondido isn’t typically mentioned in the same breath as Mexico destinations like Los Cabos, Cancun, Mexico City, Cozumel, and Puerto Vallarta. And there are a couple likely reasons for that. For starters, it’s not a place you can typically fly directly to, even from somewhere nearby like California. In my case, I flew through Mexico City, where I boarded a smaller plane, which then traveled due south to the Oaxaca coastline (yes, Oaxaca has beaches).

Then, once you do arrive in Puerto Escondido (flying into Puerto Escondido International Airport), you’re not going to find a single all-inclusive or major hotel. And that’s exactly why I like Puerto Escondido, and specifically Playa Zicatela, so much. Okay, so perhaps the sunsets are pretty amazing, the beer and mezcal is cheap and plentiful, and the food is damn good. Sign me up!

Puerto Escondido, and especially Playa Zicatela, feels like a Latin American beach town like it should feel. Here, the no-frills Mexico beach town is characterized by surfers dodging scooters on the main cobblestone thoroughfare, thatched-roof bungalows and bars, family-run corner bodegas, restaurants with sandy floors, a plethora of vintage VW vans (one of which was retrofitted into a restaurant's grill), and small fishing boats anchored in a horseshoe-shaped bay. (Albeit if you want that Latin America nightlife, you'll find that, too, late on Friday and Saturday nights.)

Simply put, of all the places I've been so fortunate to travel to, the Oaxaca coastline definitely makes the shortlist of destinations I'd return to. See below for my tour of Puerto Escondido in photos (most of which come from Playa Zicatela).