things to do in puerto escondido

All the adventurous things to do in Puerto Escondido with local guides

Reader Mail: Trisha, I really appreciate your blogs about Mexico travel. I know you said you do not encourage us to visit Mexico because of COVID but I still appreciate all the stories you share with us about your life. It’s very refreshing! I plan to go there for a long vacation this year and I really am looking at Puerto Escondido based on your blogs. Do you already have a things to do in Puerto Escondido list? If not, what are the most locals things to do you can recommend? I would also appreciate if you can connect me to some people there if that’s not too much to ask! Thank you and more power to your blog!
– Laverne Hoehne, USA

Hi Laverne,

Glad you found me! Thank you so much for reaching out! I only blog about things that readers ask me so it’s really great to hear from you! I know I said I do not encourage you to travel to Mexico but please make sure you get a COVID test upon arrival. You also need it when you travel back to the USA anyway! I feel that it’s essential to take care of the Mexicans who still work in tourism here. Some of them may not be able to provide for their families even just for one day of being sick. I appreciate your participation in taking care of our locals!

Below are my recommended things to do in Puerto Escondido and most of the tours here are supporting individual businesses. I hope you can support them, too! If you have any more questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me via Instagram. Good luck and safe travels to Mexico!

Xx,
Trisha

I’ve been living in Mexico for the last three years and I am really surprised how I was able to make instant local friends in Puerto Escondido. As a surf town, the people of Puerto Escondido are very warm and welcoming. Everyone’s living the chill and slow vibe. Everyone says hi to everyone. It’s so easy to be here, especially when you are traveling alone. People in Puerto Escondido are so kind and loving!

The bulk of my travels are about local family stay. I did it in most of South America and Southeast Asia. I just prefer to stay with local families because I feel like this is where I learned a lot, especially when it comes to cooking local dishes. This is my favorite part!!!

I did a lot of tours while I was in PE but in this things to do in Puerto Escondido list, I would love to highlight the individual businesses of the local people I met there, hoping you can support them too!

Is Puerto Escondido open for tourism?

Mexico accepts tourists all over the world and there is no requirement for a COVID test upon entry (for now). Mexico measures the COVID situation in every state and assigns a color according to the number of COVID cases and its intensity. Green (safe), yellow (moderate), orange (limited), and red (total lockdown). As of 24 Feb, the state of Oaxaca is currently in orange. If you want to know more about my experience traveling in Puerto Escondido during COVID, click here.

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#1: Rent a motorbike

I rented a car for my Oaxaca road trip but within Puerto Escondido, it’s still best to rent a motorbike if you are traveling Puerto Escondido solo. Motorbikes here are actually scooters. They are automatic and are very easy to drive. In the beginning, I was adamant about driving the highways on a motorbike but this city is a bike city. Just follow everyone on the main road and you’re good to go! You will find yourself driving with big trucks and lots of cars so I don’t really recommend this if you are not confident enough to drive in Mexico.

Puerto Escondido Motorbike

Solo travel tales: always hard to take a photo of yourself! I wish I have longer arms or a better selfie pod!

During COVID, motorbike rental companies in Zicatela are closed. They did not have a fixed opening/closing time so it was really hard for me to find one. When I did, they charged me $400 MXN ($25 USD per day) but I was able to haggle for a local price. We then agreed to $250 MXN ($12 USD) per day without the gas. They will only need a copy of your driver’s license and passport in order for you to rent a motorbike. You also don’t have to deposit. I saved have all the phone numbers of the motorbike guys in PE so get in touch if you’d like their contacts!

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#2: Visit all Puerto Escondido beaches on a motorbike

Puerto Escondido has lots of beaches (within 20-30 minutes drive) and you can definitely visit them all. I think I did 8 of them in one day! Being from the Philippines, I am not easily impressed with beaches and I also live on the Pacific coast of Mexico (where PE is) so I felt like it will not be that impressive.

things to do in puerto escondido

But wow, Puerto Escondido beaches are beautiful! I think what I like the most about these beaches are the adventurous hikes that go with them. Especially Carrizalillo beach which was a downhill hike (stairs/flat, so don’t worry). I visited when Puerto Escondido opened in August (from a very long lockdown) and I couldn’t believe how crowded the beaches were. Puerto Escondido has a semi-strict COVID rule so outdoor activities are allowed. Visiting all the beaches here is probably the bulk of the things to do in Puerto Escondido but they’re all worth-it, I promise!

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#3: Participate in a turtle release

Job, a Puerto Escondido local is one of the people who first started this turtle release activity. He founded the Manglar Tourist Cooperative, an organization working with native people in the area where this tour takes place. Many of the locals that Job’s tours support are fishermen who are very knowledgeable about Puerto Escondido’s waters. Job has years of experience living in PE – he’s been swimming the famous waters of Manialtepec Lagoon ever since he was a child!

things to do in puerto escondido

Job also works with the Ocean University of Puerto Angel to protect and preserve the Manialtepec Lagoon.

Job trained himself how to be a boat captain in order to do his own tours in Puerto Escondido. He will also provide pick-up and drop off at your hotel when you book this tour. This turtle release activity with Job also includes a bioluminescence tour in the Manialtepec Lagoon for only $35 USD! I hope you enjoy this day with Job. He really is a great guide!

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#4: Take surfing lessons

Surfers from all over the world flock Puerto Escondido for its waves. Even my friends from Sayulita spend half the year here as the best time to surf in Sayulita and Puerto Escondido are in different seasons. It’s a win-win for every avid surfer! I do feel like PE’s waves are bigger than Sayulita’s and I see a lot of pro surfers go to Mexico just to do this trip. Puerto Escondido is a surfer’s dream place!

things to do in puerto escondido

Pablo also has knowledge about functional stretching exercises for injury prevention.

There are many surf instructors in Puerto Escondido but I recommend Pablo, a 20-year old who’s been surfing the waves of PE ever since he was a young boy. Sure, he’s only 20 but he knows these waters in and out. For his age, he’s really professional and very clear with instructions. He can teach beginner surfers how to catch the first wave and can also bring pro surfers to spots that are not very well-known.

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#5: Take a paddleboard yoga class

Surf and yoga go hand in hand and there are many yoga classes in Puerto Escondido. I particularly like the yoga on a paddleboard because it’s something that I always found a challenging activity. Imagine doing yoga on a board! How do you even concentrate on your breathing if you’re worried about falling off the board?!?! It was only until I tried it that I realize that you need to have the right teacher/instructor when doing this. It’s really not that hard!

things to do in puerto escondido

You don’t have to have any surf or paddleboard experience. Kelly-Anne will lead the way!

Originally from Canada, Kelly-Anne moved to Puerto Escondido and never looked back. She loves how she can do her own business in PE while enjoying the thing that she loves – yoga on a paddleboard! She is a certified yoga instructor, a flatwater SUP instructor, and a hobbyist surfer. Kelly-Anne’s close friends call her a mermaid as she can also swim for hours on open-water and spends most of her time in the ocean.

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Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#6: Oaxaca food tour: a must!

Oaxaca prides itself as the best culinary destination in Mexico and they really are! Oaxacan food is very iconic to this country and you should get to know it. I am still doing a lot of research and participating in food tours all over the state because this cuisine is really interesting. Alex and Ricardo have been doing Oaxacan food tours in Puerto Escondido for years and I really love their routes! I don’t think I will be able to find these food places in PE if I am doing it by myself (even if I am fluent in Spanish).

things to do in puerto escondido

From the small local “secret” spots to famous restaurants, Ricardo and Alex are very generous and will show you everything!

Oaxacan cuisine is known for its cheese and chocolate, believe me, I ask my friends in Puerto Escondido to send it to me here in Nayarit every month! I really love it! When people come to Mexico, they always think that food tours are only about tacos but this one isn’t. This walking tour takes 3 hours but I would really recommend you to come on an empty stomach. Seriously. Don’t eat at all before coming to this tour.

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#7: Professional travel photos with local photographers

As a solo traveler, it’s always hard for me to take pictures by myself though I’ve gotten used to it from years of traveling alone. The first time I did a photo session was in London and the only reason I did that is that it was cold. I couldn’t be bothered to move around with my camera gear! In Puerto Escondido, local photographers Laura and Luis not only takes professional photos for their clients/guests but will also show you around the beautiful photo spots in PE!

things to do in puerto escondido

Originally from the New York area, Luis and Laura decided to trade their winter boots for sandals!

They are both very casual so you don’t need to be conscious about posing. Laura and Luis can guide you and you can really learn from them about your photo angles. Just relax, have fun, and make sure to bring lots of outfits! They also professionally edit the photos so you’ll have a great souvenir – print it, post it on your Instagram, or even make a Puerto Escondido postcard using your photos.

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#8: Experience ancient mezcal in a factory

Like tequila, mezcal also came from the agave plant. The word is from the Nahuatl language which means”oven-cooked agave.” It is one of Mexico’s most typical alcoholic beverages and this is something you shouldn’t miss when you are in the country. Personally, I am not a tequila fan – I know it’s crazy since I’ve been living in Mexico for years. But give me a mezcal and I will drink them all! The thing with mezcal, in my opinion, is that it will never give you a hangover. Oaxaca is also the popular state for mezcal so make sure to do it here!

Discover a genuine, traditional and remote Mezcal distillery with Antoine.

This mezcal distillery tour is hosted by Antoine, a French who fell in love with Mexico and has been living here for the last 5 years. He started his own business when COVID hit, leaving his private consulting office job along the process. In this tour, he will also show you the proper mezcal pairings (food) so make sure to come hungry!

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Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#9: Learn how to make Macrame wall hanging

I’ve tried to do macrame myself (a lot) and always failed. It looks so easy but it really is challenging, especially if you’re just learning from Youtube videos. I wanted to fill my house with it but they are so expensive on Amazon so I decided to just give up and take macrame wall hanging lessons in Puerto Escondido. It’s a really fun activity and after this, I was able to do a lot by myself without ordering the expensive macrame online!

things to do in puerto escondido

The host, Nikki, is a fashion designer from the Netherlands. She moved to Puerto Escondido to make her own fashion brand where she designs not only macrame but also bags, dresses, and accessories. Nikki has traveled all over the world but she somehow found a home in Puerto Escondido. She really loves living here and it shows in the pieces of art she creates. PE is also home to many artists like Nikki so if you are one, check out Puerto Escondido. You’d be surprised at how you’re going to find your home here as Nikki did.

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#10: Bioluminescence Night Spectacle in Manialtepec Lagoon

I’ve seen a lot of bioluminescence tours in my life (most recently in Costa Rica) and I did not know that Mexico is also big on this. I know that we have it in my area on the Pacific coast but I have not unfortunately seen it myself. This bioluminescence tour in Manialtepec Lagoon is a must-do when you are in Puerto Escondido! The tour starts after sunset and the ride takes 45 minutes from Zicatela (where I stayed). The tour guide will pick you up in your own hotel so don’t worry. You just need to give them the address when you book.

things to do in puerto escondido

Marvel at a spectacular natural show while crossing the lagoon in a boat with the help of a local guide. According to the guide I talked to, there are only 2 lagoons in Mexico that have this spectacular and beautiful phenomenon and I believe the other one is in the Bay of Banderas (where I live!) I will investigate further and will let you know about it, soon! This tour ends past midnight so don’t forget to take a nap before the tour guide picks you up!

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#11: Sunrise whale watching

This sunrise whale watching tour starts at 6:00 in the morning so make sure not to go out the night before (like I did. HAHAHA!). The tour guide will pick you up at your hotel 30 minutes before the tour. This is a boat activity so most of the time, you will be on the boat. You are not allowed to swim not go down the boat. This is a 3-hour tour and honestly, you might think why it will take that long if you’re just watching whales from a boat.

things to do in puerto escondido

The whales are in the wild (they are not captured) so the boatman is just following the sounds that they make. This is not an animal show and you need to be quiet while the boat comes closer to these spectacular sea creatures. It looks scary, especially if the boat is too close to the whales. I always felt like it can just flap its tail and our boat’s going to turn upside down but they are also pretty fast. They move a lot and our boat needed to keep up all the time.

Food and drink are not included so make sure to bring some light snacks. You can always have a big breakfast after the tour. Aside from whale watching, you will also witness the beautiful Puerto Escondido sunrise when you book this tour.

Things to do in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico

#12: See all 7 bays of Huatulco

Huatulco is one of the best places to visit in Mexico as it offers the perfect mix between a quiet, relaxing paradise and an outdoor adventure playground. Since it’s located so far south, it’s a very hot and arid climate (perfect if you’re not into humidity). With no big cities nearby, it’s the perfect secluded escape with the Sierra Madre mountain range looming in the background. Touring the 7 bays of Huatulco on a boat is one of the best things to do in Puerto Escondido – you should really see Huatulco!

things to do in puerto escondidoThe drive to Huatulco from Puerto Escondido is about 1.5 hours and most tours include free pick-up/drop-off at your hotel’s lobby. During the drive, it was nice to see the little small towns in between. I plan to drive that route in the future and visit these towns – I am really curious what they’re all about!

The bay of Santa Cruz in Huatulco is where you’ll board the cruise boat and from there, you will visit all the other bays like Chahue, La Entrega, El Oregano, Maguey, and Cacaluta. You will also stop in Chachacual National Park where you can see wildlife depending on the season. After the cruise, the guide also took our group to local places on the mainland to try mezcal and chapulines.

Ready to book your trip to Puerto Escondido, Mexico?

Most readers of this blog can easily plan their trips on their own and if it’s too stressful for you (especially because of COVID), you can always call or e-mail me – I do a lot of customized trip planning that guarantees your most authentic Puerto Escondido trip experience. Below are the main things I use (and trust) when booking all my trips.

  • Airbnb: This is still my accommodation preference, especially if you want to have your own space during COVID. Airbnb is always cheaper and more comfortable than other accommodations.
  • Hostelworld: I backpacked a lot for most of my formative years and always used Hostelworld. This is best for people who travel solo and want to meet friends on their trips!
  • Agoda: This platform has lots of deals and no other booking platform shows the best accommodation discounts!
  • Booking.com: Since I am always traveling indefinitely, I do not always have fixed travel dates. I use Booking because they don’t need a credit card to secure your accommodation. Most of it is on a ‘pay at the property’ set up so you don’t need to pay for a cancellation fee in case your travel plans change.
  • Kiwi.com: You can find the cheapest flights here with the best airlines. What Kiwi does is analyze your route and give you the best prices for your itinerary. Try it and see the difference with other flight booking platforms!
  • E-dreams: I use this platform when booking flights to and from Europe. All the flights here are guaranteed cheap. I once booked a Mexico-Madrid flight for only $300 USD!
  • Get Your Guide: I must admit – sometimes, I am super lazy to do things on my own so I always book the tours here! They are really cheap compared to other tour booking platforms and most of the tours here are not super guided. They give you a lot of free time!
  • TripAdvisor: I book tours here whenever I want to see real-time reviews. The reviews here are from real people so you can always compare their experiences! Tours are super cheap, too!
  • Travelwifi: take the internet with you! As a digital nomad, this is very important to me. If you decide to rent a portable wifi device, use my code PSIMONMYWAY to get a 10% discount.
  • Transferwise: As a digital nomad, handling money in different currencies have always been hard for me. Read my experience with Transferwise here – the best bank for long-term travelers!
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puerto escondido things to do

Have you been to Puerto Escondido? What did you do? Where did you go? Did you meet a lot of locals? Leave your suggestions and ideas on the comment box below and let’s help other travelers plan their trip to Puerto Escondido!

Trisha is one of those people who left their comfortable life to travel the world and learn about life. Her style is to stay in one place she likes for 3 months (or more) to know what it feels like to eat, cook, speak, and sleep in another culture that isn’t hers. She'd like to believe she's not traditionally traveling but she just chooses to be somewhere else all the time. In no particular order, her favorite cities in the world are Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Mexico City, and Tel Aviv.

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