About Puerto Escondido
“What was once established as an old port for the shipment of coffee and thought to be uninhabitable due to the lack of potable water is now one of México’s top trending destinations receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the world each year.” – Pedro R.
Here are three interesting facts about the recent growth of Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, México:
526,423+ Visitors 👨👩👧
526,423 passengers arrived to Puerto Escondido Airport in 2021, up 96.6% from 267,826 in 2020 making Puerto Escondido one of the fastest growing destinations in all of México.
Tourism Boom 🚀
Tourism in Puerto has been growing at a rapid rate over the last few years. With the new highway from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido in the works, tourism is expected to grow exponentially.
The History of Puerto Escondido
While indigenous people had been living off the land along the western coast of Oaxaca for centuries, Puerto Escondido was formally established in the 1930s.
Prior to that, the bay was known as Bahia de la Escondido which translates to Bay of the Hidden Woman.
The Legend of Pirates and Runaway Captives
The name has its roots in the legend of a brutal pirate known as Andrés Drake, who along with his crew kidnapped a young Mixtec woman from a village in south-western Mexico (present-day Santa María Huatulco) and anchored his ship in the bay in order to avoid the authorities.
The woman escaped captivity while in Puerto Escondido’s bay and hid in the jungle just beyond the beach.
From that point forward the young woman was referred to as ‘La Escondida’ (the hidden one) by the pirates.
Punta Escondida or Puerto Escondido?
The trendy Mexican surf town that we now know and love was not always known as Puerto Escondido. The name has changed several times over the years from Punta Escondida (1522-1911) to being recognized as Puerto Escondido and listed as part of the Municipality of San Pedro, Mixtepec, Juquila in 1930.
Coffee Shipping Port
In 1928, the town was used as a port for shipping coffee. There was a shortage of potable water in Puerto Escondido at the time which led many of its inhabitants to move away and find a more sustainable place to live.
People who stayed were appointed by the merchants to look after the nearby coffee plantations and are considered to be Puerto Escondido’s first residents. In 1930, the census reported 55 people living in Puerto Escondido.
Development Period (1940s-1960s)
Puerto Escondido saw massive development between 1940s and 1960s, including the formation of the town’s first school, introduction of electricity, and formation of wells for better water supply.
However, residents still faced problems sourcing much needed supplies and managed to survive on local products which included poultry, chicken and turtle eggs, fish, and iguanas.
The construction of the Sola de Vega (Mexico HWY 131 or Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido) to the capital of Oaxaca helped alleviate this problem but only to an extent.
The Beginning of Tourism in Puerto Escondido
The 1960s marked the start of Puerto Escondido’s tourism with the construction of Highway 200 that connected the coastal towns of Oaxaca with Acapulco.
As more and more people began to hear stories of the beautiful weather, the laid back vibes, world-class surfing and virgin golden sand beaches, the tranquil pueblito known as Puerto Escondido slowly started to receive what some would say the attention that it deserved.
If you’re wanting to dive a little deeper into the history of Puerto Escondido, Marc from “Mexican Corrido” has done an absolutely fantastic job outlining it here.
About This Website
This website serves as a comprehensive guide and resource for those who are planning to visit Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, México.
Over the years we have helped thousands of visitors plan their trips to Puerto Escondido — learn more about how we can help you with your itinerary below.
Disclosure: This website not affiliated, associated with or owned by Puerto Escondido International Airport (Aeropuerto Puerto Escondido).