Puerto Escondido beaches are known as the “playas de oro” in Spanish which translates to the golden beaches.
The coastline of Oaxaca, Mexico is home to some of the most beautiful stretches of golden sand beaches in the country.
With year-round sea temperatures ranging from 28 °C (82 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) and great surf, it’s hard not to fall in love with the beaches in Puerto Escondido.
Table of Contents
- La Punta
- Playa Zicatela
- Playa Carrizalillo
- Playa Angelito
- Playa Bacocho
- Playa Manzanillo
- Playa Coral
- Playa La Barra
- Playa Bahia Principal
- Playa Delfin
- Playa Puerto Suelo
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The southeasternmost point of Zicatela is known as La Punta and is famous for being the more laid back part of Puerto Escondido.
It’s also one of the most popular beaches in Puerto Escondido for watching the sunset and hundreds of people gather here each afternoon to watch the sun goes down.
La Punta is a place where the surfers and bohemian vibes are plentiful — it’s also a place where the most beautiful people of Puerto hangout during the daylight and evening hours.
Some of the best things to do in La Punta Puerto Escondido include, surfing, shopping, tanning on the beach, watching the sunset, dining at some of the best restaurants in Puerto, meeting friends for drinks and more.
The beach is suitable for beginner surfers and you can find people offering surf lessons as soon as you step foot on the beach.
Directly in front of Savanna, you’ll find a small surf shack that provides surf lessons as well as umbrella rentals (150 pesos), ice cold beers and fresh coconuts served with or without alcohol.
Note: If you’re not a confident swimmer, we don’t recommend attempting to swim here as the currents can be quite strong.
Playa Zicatela, also known as the Mexican pipeline, is only for experienced surfers.
During the surf season (from late April until September) you can regularly watch big wave surfing contests here.
If you visit Playa Zicatela during the morning hours, you will have the chance to see waves up to 4 meters (13ft) high.
Playa Zicatela is a highly commercialized, long stretch of beach with lots of restaurants, shops, cafes and more.
Some of the restaurants on the beach will be kind enough to let you use their beach chairs if you continue to keep an open tab throughout the day.
Note: We do not recommend swimming at Playa Zicatela due to the strong undercurrents. People drown in Zicatela every year and we can’t stress enough how dangerous the tides are here.
Playa Carrizalillo beach is a beautiful little bay filled with beginner surfers attempting to catch their first waves and is the best beach for those who want to learn how to surf in Puerto Escondido.
If you’re in the mood for a fresh coconut or light food there are a few restaurants available with beach chairs that can be rented for the day.
Carrizalillo is also a great beach for those who want to enjoy a day of swimming and snorkeling in the bay.
Note: In order to reach Playa Carrizalillo, you must walk down a set of 150+ stairs. If you are disabled or have trouble walking distances, it’s probably best to avoid this beach.
Don’t miss our Surf Guide for more information on the best places to surf in Puerto Escondido.
Playa Angelito is a small port with lots of boats offering dolphin tours, whale watching tours and sea turtle tours.
Whale season in Puerto Escondido runs from December until February and if you are lucky you will be able to spot a whale or two during your trip to Puerto Escondido.
Rates: A reasonably priced whale watching tour in Puerto Escondido will cost approximately 700 pesos per person.
Tip: If you are hungry there is a great little local seafood restaurant on the beach called Los Buzos.
Playa Bacocho is a long stretch of beach with plenty of space to bring your dog or to go for a nice stroll on the beach at sunrise or sunset.
There is a baby sea turtle release program that runs every day at 5 PM on Playa Bacocho.
The sunsets from Bacocho are truly something special and there are three different beach clubs where you can spend the day at the pool and enjoy a nice meal and a cocktail.
Note: Please note that Playa Bacocho is not suited for swimming, as sometimes the waves can get quite rough.
Tip: There is a volleyball net on the beach in front of Hotel Suites Villasol – bring a volleyball and some friends for an afternoon beachfront volleyball game.
Playa Manzanillo is located right next to Playa Angelito and it’s the perfect beach to go to if you’re interested in swimming and snorkeling in Puerto Escondido.
If you visit during the morning hours, you should be able to spot lots of fish, turtles, and even manta rays.
There are a few restaurants on the beach offering drinks and food — as with many beaches in Puerto Escondido, if you consume food and drink during your visit, you should be able to use their beach chairs free of charge.
Tip: Playa Manzanillo can get quite busy on the weekends so it’s best to visit during the week if you want to avoid the crowds.
A short walk to the left of Playa Bacocho just past some rocks will lead you to a beautiful beach known as Playa Coral.
Playa Coral is absolutely perfect for swimming and snorkeling. Be sure to bring a towel or beach blanket with you, as there are no beach chairs or umbrellas for rent here.
Sometimes you can find local vendors selling coconuts and beers here, but don’t count on it.
Tip: For faster and more direct access to Playa Coral, you can pay an 80 peso entrance fee at the hotel ‘Villa Mexicana’ to enter via their property and in return they will offer you the choice of two drinks or a hamburger and easy access to Playa Coral.
Playa La Barra
Playa La Barra is a virgin beach located south of La Punta Zicatela in Puerto Escondido.
La Barra can be reached by car, scooter, taxi or colectivo.
During the sunset, you’ll notice all of the birds flock to the lagoon on the left hand side. The sunset with the lagoon, mountain views and birds flying in the distance make for a beautiful photo here.
Tip: Do not attempt to swim at La Barra – the currents are simply too strong.
Playa Bahia Principal
Playa Bahia Principal is a beach where in the morning hours you’ll find local fishermen arriving back from sea with their catch of the day.
Keep an eye out for a little blue tent on the beach where they sell fish all morning.
Note: The beach is filled with boats, so this is not the best beach for swimming or relaxing.
Playa Delfin is a beach that is only accessible by car, scooter or taxi.
You can reach Playa Delfin by taxi but be sure to arrange for the driver to pick you up later in the day as there are no vendors, restaurants or taxis available due to the beach being not so easily accessible.
Note: Play Delfin is not recommended for swimming. Also be sure to bring an umbrella for some shade because there is no shade to be found on this picturesque stretch of beach.
Playa Puerto Suelo
Puerto Suelo is the last beach on our list and while it’s a little bit further away, it’s absolutely worth the effort.
Playa Puerto Suelo is located just past the Manialtepec Lagoon and is accessible only by boat.
You can drive to the lagoon or take the minivans from the city center ‘terminal de colectivos going in the direction of ‘Rio Grande’.
The cost for the colectivo is approximately 30 pesos per person and will drop you off right where the boats dock.
When it comes to tours of the lagoon, prices will vary depending on the type of tour you take, but the approximate cost is around 1,000 pesos per person.
Once you arrive at Playa Puerto Suelo, you’ll get to watch the sunset on the beach before heading back through the lagoon at night and witnessing the bioluminescent lagoon and all of its magic.
Note: Bioluminescent tours cost approximately $450 pesos per person.
Before you decide to swim in the lagoon, make sure to ask your guide when it’s safe to swim as there are specified areas where it is not recommended to swim in the lagoon due to it being a breeding center for crocodiles.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the Best Beaches in Puerto Escondido?
The best beaches in Puerto Escondido are Carrizalillo, La Punta and Zicatela.
Carizalillo is best for those who want to learn how to surf in Puerto Escondido. It’s also a great beach for swimming.
La Punta is a great beach for surfers who have experience and are at least at an intermediate level. La Punta is also the most popular beach to watch the sunset in Puerto Escondido.
Zicatela is a great beach for long walks (3.5km / 2.1 mi) and catching the sunset. This beach is also famous for its world class surfing. It should be mentioned that this beach is strictly suited for pro surfers only as it is one of the most dangerous surf spots in all of Puerto Escondido.
As you can see from the list above, there are a wide variety of beaches in Puerto Escondido to visit during your stay.
Choosing the best beach in Puerto Escondido is as simple as deciding whether you want to swim, surf or simply relax in the sun and enjoy some good food and drink with family and friends.
Are Puerto Escondido Beaches Open?
Yes, the beaches in Puerto Escondido are open 365 days per year. In other words, Puerto Escondido beaches are never closed.
It should be known that Puerto has a rainy season that brings cyclones, hurricanes and heavy rain storms that can make going to the beach a lot less appealing.
That said, for the majority of the year the beaches are open and populated.
Is the water clear in Puerto Escondido?
Many visitors have reported that the water is clear in Puerto Escondido but it really depends on when you visit as the clarity and visibility of the Pacific Ocean varies depending on the season.
Can you swim in La Punta Puerto Escondido?
You can absolutely swim in La Punta, Puerto Escondido although you should swim with caution as the waves and the undertow is known to be quite strong here.
There are two ways that you can find out if it’s safe to swim in La Punta.
1. Check to see if there are red flags on the beach. If so, you’ll probably want to avoid swimming unless you’re a very confident swimmer.
2. You can also stop by the lifeguard tower to ask if it’s safe to swim.
Can you swim in the ocean in Puerto Escondido?
Yes, you can swim in the ocean in Puerto Escondido but before you do, be sure to read the descriptions of each beach above to see which Puerto Escondido beaches are the safest for swimming.
Is Puerto Escondido Safe for Swimming?
The short answer is that Puerto Escondido is safe for swimming but you have to know where to swim and understand that there are beaches that look inviting yet they can be quite dangerous due to the strong undercurrents and riptides.
The general rule of thumb is to only swim at beaches that are tucked inside of a bay as these are generally a lot safer than beaches that are wide open without protection.
Is Puerto Escondido Safe for Surfing?
Puerto Escondido offers a variety of beaches for surfers of all levels of experience.
If you’re interested in learning more about surfing in Puerto, don’t miss our Surf Guide to Puerto Escondido.
Some beaches are better suited for beginner surfers while others are for the more advanced. What is most important is that you’re confident in your skills and you know your limits in order to avoid injury or worse.
If you are dreaming about catching your first wave, it’s recommended to head to Playa Carrizalillo beach.
Carrizalillo beach is tucked away inside of a small bay and offers perfect waves for beginner surfers and those who want to learn how to surf.
The more experienced and confident surfers are found at La Punta and Playa Zicatela, both of which receive much larger waves and are home to major surf competitions each year.
Safest Beaches for Surfing in Puerto Escondido:
1. Playa Carrizalillo: Beginner Surfers
2. La Punta: Intermediate Surfers
3. Playa Zicatela: Advanced/Expert Surfers