A few weeks ago I took a bus from San Cristobal de las Casas in Chiapas to Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca to see an old friend and check out the beach life. I had a blast!
There isn’t much to tell about the bus ride. My OCC Bus left San Cristobal at about 7:30pm and arrived in Puerto Escondido about 8:15 in the morning. It was a 13 hour night trip with 6 or 8 stops and lots of windy highway on the last several hours of the trip. The ticket was just under 500 pesos. The Mexican bus line OCC has good buses, good terminals and is a generally comfy ride, I’ve never had a problem with them.
I spent the first three nights at Tower Bridge Hostel in Puerto Escondido. It’s not too far from Carrizalillo beach. My friend helps out at the hostel and suggested it would be fun for a few nights. The place was fun, crazy and international beach party in feel. I was the oldest customer by far. Once everyone realized their parents hadn’t sent me to spy on them, it was great. If you consider yourself all grown up, I don’t really recommend this place. If you like being with a crowd that knows where all the best 3am parties are, this place is for you. I had 3 fun nights and spent the next three days recovering at my friend’s house.
Puerto Escondido is really a series of beaches, each with different characteristics. Playa Coral is north west of the center of Puerto Escondido. It’s a less used beach with a couple of beach clubs. I’m told it’s not the best for swimming or surfing, but it sure is beautiful.
The next beach heading towards the center of Puerto Escondido is Carrizalillo. It is accessed by a long set of stairs. This is a great beach. There are about 6 or 8 different food and beverage booths with umbrellas and plastic chairs and a well rounded group of surfers, expats, vacationers and locals.
The next beach is at Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo, two different names that feel like the same beach. Though amazingly beautiful, I didn’t care for this beach. The people who have food stands and the people trying to get you to charter boats seemed aggressive and unrelenting. At this beach you are walking dollar/euro sign. I didn’t feel this way at any of the other playas near Puerto Escondido.
The next beaches heading in to Puerto Escondido are the Playa Principal (the main beach) and Playa Marinero. They connect as one and are the original center of the Puerto Escondido beach scene. There are some nice restaurants on the beach. Each night Puerto Escondido blocks off a section of the street near Playa Principal and it becomes a walking street, very nice for dining, shopping and people watching.
The last major beach is Zicatela, famous for surfing and beach parties. I will save that for my next post.