Thursday, August 6, 2015

Places to visit in Oaxaca, Mexico: Puerto Escondido

For a pair of active, twenty-something year olds with minimal Spanish-speaking knowledge, Puerto Escondido is the perfect base for a Mexican retreat, especially if your priorities include surfing and keeping a low budget.

A photo posted by Raquel Minh (@globaltumbleweed) on
Puerto Escondido has a few neighborhoods, all offering their own benefits – since surf and cost were important to us, we spent our time in La Punta. The first two weeks were spent at AirBNB, Casa Kei ($10/night). This little compound is a great introduction to the beach bungalow life. Behind the gates, there is a lush garden full of mango, lime, and papaya trees alongside hammocks, an outdoor shower, and an  outdoor kitchen. Beautiful murals and colorful tiles grace almost every wall. Not for the delicate, all accommodations are open-air. At night you can hear crashing waves, and from the top room you can see the sunset over the ocean. We took a few nights adjusting to the sounds of this working class neighborhood – a rivalry of roosters, dogs, frogs like car horns, and Mexican announcements being played on loudspeakers are orchestrated at almost all times of the day… eventually, these sounds start feeling like home.

After two weeks, we looked for longer-term housing. We stumbled upon Casa Isabel (2,500p/month, Calle Michoacan) located closer to the beach and nightlife. Hands down, this place is the best value of the many hostels and casas we checked. Fan-only private doubles, multi-room suites, and air conditioning rooms are available. The shared palapa terrace has an empty bar, cable tv, and hammocks offers 360 views of La Punta. Perhaps you’ll spend time watching the exotic wildlife – hummingbirds, iguanas, tarantulas, alongside stray dogs, horses, turkeys and roosters.

The shared terrace at Casa Isabel.

Most days are spent surfing, napping, and practicing yoga.

Your choices for waves are at La Punta – the far southeast end of the town where the point surf break is a bit more predictable and tamer compared to it’s neighbor, Playa Zicatela. Playa Zicatela hosts more surfers and is located at the most commercial strip of the beach.
We brought our surfboards from Florida, but in retrospect, I would have purchased a board in Puerto. Summertime is considered low-season, so there are plenty of boards on sale at reasonable prices. Or you can also purchase a brand new board from world-reknowned shaper, Ody at Ody Boards in La Punta.

@stular in La Punta, Puerto Escondido. Captured by @thecockandcarrot

Most popular evenings are salsa nights on Wednesday at Congo in Bahia Principal or Kabbalah on the beach. On Fridays at Casa Babylon’s there is Hip Hop Night and the after party continues at Fly Bar where expats rub shoulders with each other until 5am. Thursday nights are a chance for 2 for 1 sushi at Sumaray Sushi if you need a break from Mexican food. We purchased most of our groceries from the local veggie and fruit stand or at the superstore, Chedraui… although a visit to SuperChe was often just an excuse for a moment in air conditioning. Everywhere in Puerto is just a short colectivo/shared taxi (7 pesos) or taxi ride (35 pesos at most) and walk away.

From Puerto Escondido, there are multiple first class buses and minibuses to neighboring beach towns and mountain villages. If you don’t have much time (or money) I would still try to make Oaxaca City and San Jose del Pacifico a priority.

Casa Isabel: Phone Lupe & Luis at 954 136 2279
Casa Kei: Instagram, @casakei_airbnb
Photos: Rene Vincit - Instagram, @thecockandcarrot

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous place, I just went here with someone. The venues in Houston were beautiful and spacious, the seats were comfortable and wide. From where I was sitting at least, the views were great. I think the music really did a great job of filling up the space.