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Mexico’s Hidden Port

Despite being popular with surfers and backpackers, and offering direct flights daily from Mexico City, the beach town of Puerto Escondido (which literally means “Hidden Port”) still feels like one of Mexico’s beautifully kept secrets. Unless you happen to arrive during Christmas or Easter, you will be amazed at the quiet, relaxed vibe that this surfing hot spot exudes. Puerto Escondido is on Mexico’s Pacific coast in the southern state of Oaxaca and is one of Mexico’s most enchanting beach towns.

If you can pull yourself out of bed just before sunrise, take a walk down the beautiful Zicatela beach, or sit in the sand and watch the surfers ride the huge waves as the sun comes up. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to Cafecito for a delicious coffee, a fresh juice and some Mexican-style eggs to start your day. With your appetite well and truly satisfied, jump in a taxi and take the five-minute ride to Carrizalillo Bay. Take your camera, you’ll want to capture the view over this stunning cove as you head down the steps to the sand. The waves are calmer here, so it’s a great spot to go for a dip or to learn to surf, and there are plenty of surf teachers just waiting to get you out on a board. If you simply want to relax, you can grab a lounger under an umbrella, so long as you eat and drink $7 worth of food; this is easily done, especially with chilled, gin-filled coconuts (coco locos) on the menu. Soak up the sun, sand, and sea until your heart’s content, and then head back to your hotel to cool off with a dip in the pool.

Habita Group’s Hotel Escondido, located just outside of town, offers the perfect combination of surfer chic and modern, crisp Mexican design. Each of the 16 thatched-roof cabins has its own chill out area and individual pool, so lie back, grab a cocktail and watch the sun go down in luxury. Once the sun has set, head back into town to the aptly named Fish Tacos and Beer for delicious fish and shrimp tacos, before heading out to one of Puerto Escondido’s great bars: Babylon has live music most nights, Kaballah is popular on Fridays and Saturdays, and Panorama Beach Club rocks to a reggae beat on Sundays. Grab a drink and dance in the sand until the sun rises or your bed calls. Sleep, wake, and repeat.

Susannah Rigg has English blood coursing through a Mexican heart. She has lived in Mexico for three years, if you don’t include her past lives in which she may have been an Aztec. She writes about Mexico from her picturesque home in Oaxaca and can be contacted via her blog

Soak up the sun, sand and sea until your heart’s content, and then head back to your hotel to cool off with a dip in the pool.

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