A few years ago, when I called DF (Districo Federal) home, I discovered a true treasure – the soft sands of the once secluded Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca. After an easy one-hour flight and you leave the crowded metropolitan Mexico City and land at a two-gate airport.
Late summer through January provides the best surf conditions at the Mexican Pipeline and the high surf season is bookended by two major surfing contests that draw some of the worlds best surfers. But, even if youre not a pro, certain surf breaks can be found close by for all skill levels.
My advice, rent a short board (5-6) or fun board (7-8) to brave the 4-8 foot waves and find the right break for you. All the local shops will get you set for a few pesos.
Also, abundant accommodations can be found at all price points, but travelers will not find major hotel chains or resort. Most hotels provide quaint and simple means with your main choices either staying in town or on the beach.
Arriving without a reservation, I decided to head towards the beachfront properties for a room with a view of the water. I eventually selected Hotel Arco Iris, but later came to discover that most surfers stayed (and partied) at Hotel Innes. No matter, I was quite pleased with my selection especially when I noticed a different wave crashing on the beach in front of my hotel; the weekenders.
With a large percentage of the new arrivals female language students I asked the laid-back hotel attendant about the surprise;
“Buenas tardes, porque todo las chicas llegan hoy?”
He smiled, “Suerte” and then continued to play his guitar.
Yes, good luck. For whatever the reason, the weekend seemed brighter even with the sunset.
Puerto Escondido nightlife kicks off at sun down and a pattern developed for me. Each evening I took in the splendid sunset resting on a hammock enjoying a local cerveza. Then I munched down some fresh fish tacos prior to a trip to town centre for the scene.
A short five minute and twenty pesos taxi ride and you arrive at the entrance to St Perez Gasga, the roped off main street. Seafood restaurants (if you didnt take in tacos on the beach) supplied daily by the towns fisherman line the beach side of the street, while the other side was plagued with souvenir stands capitalizing on the growing tourist popularity of the town. But sprinkled between it all was the main nightlife of the town. There the numerous clubs and bars compete for your business providing specials each night. Good, no great nights as I recall.
Surf conditions cooperated for most of my stay at Puerto Escondido during the long weekend. My issue was not the weather but the previous nights tequila that kept me from braving the water. (Yes, great nights indeed) But one day, with a bit slower surf, I decided it was time to paddle my past the break. After catching my breath, I caught some waves and enjoyed a taste of the salt water both from above and below. I surfed the Mexican Pipeline.
Puerto remains a special place to me after all my travels. It can be hard to argue with sun, surf, and bikinis. But eventually I needed to return to DF, but in all my time in Mexico, I`ll always remember the climate, culture, cuisine, and camaraderie I found on the sands of Puerto.
Stay adventurous, Craig
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Craig Zabransky traveled across 40 states and 30 countries both as a global management consultant and with a backpack on a RTW (round the world) adventure. Still traveling, he now shares his stories on how to enjoy the journey by writing tales of travel and adventure to inspire others to take and make adventure in their life.