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Is Puerto Escondido Safe to Visit in 2022? (Safety Guide)

Puerto Escondido is located In the southern part of the state of Oaxaca, situated between the mountains and the ocean.

In 2021, Puerto Escondido was named one of the Top 100 Extraordinary Places to Explore and a rising design destination by TIME Magazine

The most frequently asked question about Puerto: Is Puerto Escondido safe?

Despite México’s media driven reputation, Puerto Escondido is one of the safest places to visit in all of México.

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Is Puerto Escondido Safe for Tourists?

Puerto Escondido is a very safe destination for tourists.

Since Puerto is a very small town, most locals know each other.

Puerto Escondido heavily depends on tourists and the amount of jobs that tourism provides – this is another reason why Puerto Escondido’s safety is so important to them.

Due to the rapid growth of Puerto, crime rates have been slightly rising for the last three years.

Nevertheless, Numbeo rated Puerto Escondido’s crime at 49.40%.

In comparison, other destinations such as Mexico City are rated at 69.07% and Tijuana at 71.16%.

While Puerto Escondido is safe, it is essential to use your common sense when visiting as most crime against tourists is by pickpocketing or robbery. 

We highly recommend avoiding showing off items such as mobile phones, laptops and expensive jewelry.

Be sure to keep your most valuable items close to your body or in the safe of your accommodation in order to avoid any unnecessary incidents.

Is Puerto Escondido Safe at Night?

Generally speaking, Puerto Escondido is safe at night. Like many other destinations in the world, you should always be aware of your surroundings, especially at night.

Criminals see tourists as easy targets and tourists so in order to avoid attention, it’s recommended to avoid excessive drinking and consuming drugs in Puerto Escondido.

Most robberies in Puerto Escondido happen in poorly lit and empty streets. Always consider taking taxis rather than walking home late at night.

Important note: There is a common scam that has been reported on the beach at night in Puerto Escondido and it usually goes like this: As soon as you step foot on the beach at night, the police will approach you and threaten that they will bring you to jail if you do not pay them a bribe. Some of the common reasons they use when threatening to arrest you are usually for having drugs, smoking marijuana on the beach or being intimate on the beach if you’re with your significant other. Even if you are not doing anything wrong or illegal, they will be aggressive and try to force you to pay the bribe. The easiest way to avoid this situation is to avoid Playa Zicatela and La Punta during the night hours.

Is Puerto Escondido Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

While Puerto Escondido is very safe for solo female travelers, women should always take extra safety precautions when going out at night.

In order to enjoy Puerto Escondido as safely as possible, please be sure to use your common sense.

We recommend avoiding the use of unofficial taxis and transport while in Puerto. The best way to find reliable and reputable transport is to ask for personal taxi recommendations in Puerto Escondido Expat Groups such as Locals and Foreigners in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.

Tip: Hostels make it very easy to make new friends. If you’re staying in more private accommodations and you’re interested in meeting like-minded travelers, you can try posting in a popular local Facebook group for women called Mujeres de La Punta Zicatela.

Is Tap Water Safe in Puerto Escondido?

It is not safe to drink the tap water in Puerto Escondido and it’s recommended to avoid brushing your teeth with tap water if you’re a foreigner who is not accustomed to the water in México.

In order to avoid buying unnecessary amounts of bottled water during your stay, it’s recommended that you buy what is called a garrafon de agua.

Garrafones are 20-liter bottles of filtered water that are safe for drinking and can be found in most households in Puerto Escondido.

A garrafon de agua costs approximately 50 pesos as you’re also paying for the actual bottle itself. After the initial purchase, it should cost approximately 15 to 20 pesos to refill your 20-liter bottle.

Local Tip: Every town has their own water delivery service, ask one of your trusted local friends for their number or use these: Vive Agua +52 954 103 5823 or Axel +52 954 154 9880. These companies will bring garrafones de agua directly to your door, for no extra charge.

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.

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.

  • Playa Carrizalillo: Beginner Surfers
  • La Punta:  Intermediate Surfers
  • Playa Zicatela: Advanced/Expert Surfers

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 in beaches that are tucked inside of a bay as these are generally a lot safer than beaches that are wide open without protection.

Below, you’ll find a list of the safest beaches to swim in Puerto Escondido:

  • Playa Carrizalillo
  • Playa Manzanillo
  • Playa Angelito – Swim with caution as there are a lot of boats here.
  • Playa Coral
  • Playa Bacocho – Swim with caution.
  • La Punta – Swim with caution.
  • Playa Zicatela –  Avoid swimming here.

Is Public Transport Safe in Puerto Escondido?

Public transport is very safe in Puerto Escondido and there are two main options when it comes to transportation:

Taxis: Taxis are very reasonably priced in Puerto Escondido although you should always find a personal recommendation for a taxista when possible.

Every legal taxi has a paper in the front of their car, providing its legal taxi number, name and a picture. Also note that it’s common to see taxis charge more during the night hours.

Colectivos: If you speak a bit of Spanish or if you are feeling adventurous, you can choose to take a shared minivan also known as colectivo. 

There are a few colectivo routes that run from the market in the center to different parts of town in and around Zicatela. Every colectivo passes by Zicatela and the entrance of La Punta. The cost is 10 pesos and they are perfectly safe to use. 

Is It Safe to Drive from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido?

The drive from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido is not recommended due to the treacherous and curvy route that winds its way through the mountains.

The drive time takes anywhere from 6.5 to 10 hours depending on your mode of transportation.

Nota: There is a new highway which is currently being built between Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido which has been estimated to cut the travel time between the two destinations by more than 50%. The new road connecting Oaxaca City and Puerto Escondido is predicted to cause significant economic growth for not only Puerto Escondido but also to the rest of the coast of Oaxaca as it will drive tourism to the area.

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