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Sunset Puerto Escondido Mexico

Sunset Puerto Escondido Mexico (Nature)

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Tags: mexico (72 pics)

Puerto Escondido (literally: "Hidden Port") is a small port and tourist center in the municipality of San Pedro Mixtepec Distrito 22 in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Prior to the 1930s, there was no real town here. The bay had been used as a port to ship coffee intermittently, but there was no permanent settlement here due to the lack of potable water. The name Puerto Escondido has roots in a legend of a woman who escaped her captives and hid here. The Nahuatl word for this area was Zicatela, meaning “place of large thorns. Today, it refers to the area’s most famous beach.

Today Puerto Escondido is one of the most important tourist attractions on the Oaxaca coast. It caters to a more downscale and eclectic clientele than neighboring Huatulco, mostly surfers, backpackers and Mexican families. The main attraction is the beaches, from Zicatela Beach, which hosts major surfing competitions to beaches with gentle waves. Just south of the town is a large lagoon area popular for fishing and birdwatching.

The main attraction of Puerto Escondido is its beaches, surrounded by dense jungle, which have become internationally-known. The area also is attractive to scuba divers because of the variety of fish to be found here, as well as large oysters, lobsters and manta rays. Although the Pacific Coast of Mexico runs north-south, this section of the coast in Oaxaca runs east-west. Playa Zicatela is on the eastern end.

Puerto Escondido became famous due to surfing competitions held at Zicatela Beach every year in November. This beach is considered to be the second best place in the world to practice the sport due to its high waves. The competition brings competitors from various countries. The languid pipeline that breaks on Zicatela Beach draws an international crowd of surfers, boarders and their entourages. Mid- to late summer is low season for tourists, but prime time for waves and international tournaments. A number of international competitions such as the ESPN X Games, the MexPipe Challege have taken place here. This beach is separated from the other beaches by a rocky outcropping called "El Morro". The beach is forty to fifty meters wide and a couple of km long with large waves that reach up to six meters. Lifeguards are stationed at this high-risk beach as well as Marinero and La Punta. About half of these are professional and the other half volunteers. Zicatela is still a surfers beach, with the strong undertow making the area unsuitable for swimming. The Zicatela Beach business district this mostly caters to a surfer clientele with specials on surfboard rentals and even Bible studies for surfers. However, the area is slowly being developed. The beach now has a promenade of paving stones, landscaped with flowers and scrubs. Along here are restaurants and hotels, many recently established.

West of Zicatela over El Moro rocky outcropping is Playa Marinero, which is the best beach for swimming as the surf and undertow are much less. There is some surf here, but gentle enough for beginning surfers and bodyboarding.

West of Playa Marinero is the Playa Principal or main beach, which is in front of the town proper. The only thing that distinguishes this beach from Marinero is that boats and water taxis are anchored close to shore here. Here fishermen arrive at dawn to sell their catch, to local restaurants and families. It is 500 meters long with fine, gray sand and low to moderate surf. This is the primary place to hire boats. These boats take tourists to otherwise-inaccessible beaches, to see porpoises and marine turtles or for deep-sea fishing. This beach is popular with Mexican families to picnic on the sandy shore and play soccer.

West of the Playa Principal is the lighthouse with a stone walkway in front of it. At the end of the walkway, and on a bit further west are the twin beaches of Puerto Angelito and Manzanillo, between which is small rock outcropping. These are on a sheltered cove, making it safe for swimming, with Manzanillo having slightly more surf. Angelito beach is full of family-owned small restaurants located in palapas (open-air thatched structures).. Both these beaches have water that varies in color from emerald green to turquoise blue. Puerto Angelito tends to be crowded and frequented by busloads of visitors. Playa Manzanillo is quieter as there is no road that is passable to buses.

West of these beaches is Playa Carizzalillo. Playa Carrizalillo has fine, white sand, low surf and cobalt blue water edged in light green. This beach is on a very small bay and extends for about 300 meters. There are no vehicular roads to this beach, and the footpath traverses a steep slope that recently had a rock stairway installed. It takes about fifteen minutes to walk here from the town. A water taxi ride from Playa Principal is another option for getting to Carrizalillo. Waves here are normally gentle here, except for a zone that opens directly onto the ocean. Here waves are big enough for surfing. The difficulty getting here means that the beach is not as crowded with walking vendors as the Puerto Angelito Beach. There are few restaurants here and the area is generally cleaner. There is also no lodging except for a few chalets for rent. On the east and west sides of the bay, there are rocky outcroppings that serve as habitat a wide variety of fish and coral, making it popular for snorkeling. Near Carrizalillo is the Rinconada, a former landing strip that is now lined with restaurants, salons, and shops. It also contains a lending library run by a local charity run by expatriates.

The westernmost beach is Playa Bacocho. The Hotel Posada Real and Coco’s Beach Club are located here. It has fine, soft sand, palm trees, warm, blue-green water and a moderate surf although the far west part of the beach can have a strong undertow. It faces southwest, offering good views of the sunset. West of Bacocho is still undeveloped.


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