We’ve been eyeing Puerto Escondido for quite some time as a destination ahead of us on our maps, but it wasn’t until I read a bit about this coastal city in the guidebook that I yearned to take a few days off there. We discovered this city has the best of all worlds for a Mexican beach town: an eclectic population of tourists – we’ve been getting used to hanging out with Canadian surfers along the coast, but here there are a good mix of visitors from many European countries and Australia; excellent food from a variety of different ethnic cuisines; it is big enough to have services like banks, grocery stores, and lodging and food options, yet small enough to have a relaxed atmosphere – and fortunately free of the busy resorts we have seen frequently down the coast. It seemed like the balance here was just right for us, as previous towns always seemed to lack something: like Nexpa, which felt a little small and had no internet access or decent grocery stores; or Puerto Vallarta, which was too big and overwhelming at times; or Sayulita, which seemed a little inflated price-wise. Puerto Escondido has three different beaches which feature one of the top 10 surfing spots in the world, scuba diving, snorkeling and swimming, and the sand is the cleanest we’ve encountered so far with fewer hawkers, more room, and less noise.
We’ve been using Lonely Planet’s Mexico guidebook, which has been fantastic so far at recommending places to stay. We typically stay at the most budget end of the spectrum and their recommendation here was our favourite so far – Cabanas Buena Onda. Set right on the beach in Zicatela, a small community a few miles south of the city itself, this place was a little paradise! Lush greenery provides a lot of privacy. Clean bathrooms where the toilets have seats (yay!) and a communal kitchen. The camping area is excellent, and the cabanas are exceptionally clean and come with 2 hammocks and a set of table and chairs out front. There are just enough restaurants in the area to try out, such as an Italian crepe café and a wood-fired pizzeria – all offering delicious, well-priced food. There’s also laundry just around the corner where they line dried our wool clothes for us! The colectivo taxi route passes by the front door of Buena Onda, which we used to get into town to explore a bit and resupply for the next leg of our journey.