Go here now: the Oaxacan Coast

Puerto Escondido

Getting there

Fly into Puerto Escondido via Mexico City, then rely on private taxis to get around town and other destinations along the coast. Alternatively, rent a car from Los Tres Reyes, a reputable car agency at the airport.

Where to stay

Perched on a seaside cliff, Villas Carrizalillo are a collection of expansive Spanish-style lodgings. The property is tucked away from Puerto Escondido’s main tourist areas, and has a private stairway leading to scenic Carrizalillo Beach. Catch the sunset each night from the hotel’s open-air restaurant, Espadín.

The chic Hotel Escondido is located thirty minutes west of town on a secluded shoreline. Its 16 palapas (thatched roof cottages) exude eco-luxury and offer individual plunge pools and surfboards for guest use. 

Farther down the coast, in Zipolite, Hotel Noga is comprised of ten modern treehouses that are accessible from an elevated canopy walkway. Each room has its own outdoor terrace with a two-person silk hammock for lounging. The hotel can organize yoga or surf lessons on the beach a few steps away.

Hotel Noga

What to do:

For the surfer: Enlist The Puerto Experience for a surfing excursion in one of their “secret spots” far from the crowds. This local tour operator will assign a dedicated instructor to each person for a one-on-one session. If you prefer to go it alone, you can also rent surfboards and paddleboards from the shacks on Carrizalillo Beach. 

For the free spirit: The town of Zipolite is best known for having Mexico’s only legal nude beach. Bookended by lush promontories, the sandy cove is lined with casual hotels, bars, and restaurants. Some are clothing-optional, like the aptly named Hotel Nude.

For the yogi: Visit Hridaya in Mazunte, an internationally recognized yoga community. The center primarily teaches their own Hridaya method, which combines the principles of hatha yoga and meditations inspired by revered Indian sage Ramana Maharshi. Drop in for a daily morning class during the week or plan in advance for one of their seminars or workshops.

For the gastronome: Spend the morning in Puerto Escondido’s vibrant Mercado de Benito Juárez. Meander through lanes of fresh produce, seafood, meats, and dairy before picking a food stall for lunch. Sample antojitos (snacks) like cabbage and bean memelas (masa pancakes) and empanadas stuffed with vegetables and mild Oaxacan cheese. 

For the aesthete: Drive to Casa Wabi, a non-profit foundation created by Brooklyn-based artist Bosco Sodi. The six concrete, thatched-roof pavilions were designed with the wabi-sabi philosophy of finding beauty in imperfection. The organization offers residencies to international and Mexican artists that seek to engage the surrounding communities.

Casa Wabi

Where to eat:

For breakfast: 

Begin your day with breakfast on the beach at San Agustinillo’s La Mora Posada. Enjoy typical Mexican egg dishes like huevos rancheros and chilaquiles, then wash it down with fresh papaya juice. Shop locally sourced artisanal home goods, hats, and clothing at Abunda, a boutique several doors down.

Make your way to popular post-surf hangout Café Ole in Puerto Escondido’s La Punta neighborhood. Fuel up on fair trade coffee, sprouted grain bowls, organic salads, and open-faced veggie sandwiches on house-made bread. Then grab a snack for later from Moringa Fresh and Wild. The mini-market sells vegan pastries, dried fruit, and kombucha.

For lunch:

The entire state of Oaxaca is a mecca for street food. Sit by the open kitchen at Antojitos Regionales Las Juquilenas and go for a hearty spread of the region’s most iconic plates. Try the tlayuda (crispy corn half-moons) stuffed with zucchini flowers and herbaceous hoja santa leaf (Mexican pepper leaf), as well as the caldo de piedra, a local seafood stew that's cooked with hot stones placed inside the broth.

Dine with your feet in the sand at Sal y Pimienta on Zipolite Beach. The casual café makes its guacamole to order and grills super-fresh seafood with olive oil or à la diabla (slathered in a spicy guajillo chile sauce). After, stroll down Zipolite’s pedestrian boulevard to Tienda de Artesanías Piña Palmera, a shop that sells colorful souvenirs and crafts made by disabled children at a nearby rehabilitation center.

For dinner:

Reserve a table at El Coste, a stylish cevichería on Puerto Escondido’s buzzing Zicatela strip. Aside from the extensive mezcal selection, seafood is the star. Ask to see today’s catch, then sample raw specialties like citrusy shrimp aguachile negro, grilled octopus served on fresh tacos, and whole grilled snapper with garlic dressing. 

You’ll encounter impressive views of Zicatela Beach from Tribu, a family-run restaurant on the second floor terrace of the Bungalows Puerta del Sol hotel. All the furniture is elaborately hand painted by the proprietor's daughter with traditional Oaxacan motifs. Come for a homestyle meal of braised beef in mole negro and vegan cucumber “ceviche.” 

Go to Almoraduz Cocina de Autor for a multi-course experience from husband-and-wife chef pair Quetzalcóatl Zurita and Shalxaly Macías. Opt for the tasting menu, or go the à la carte route with a fig and smoked cheese salad with Yucatán Melipona honey vinaigrette and a rack of lamb with black garlic sauce, pasilla chile, and roasted carrots.

Almoraduz Cocina de Autor

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