My Surf Adventure to Puerto Escondido (Hidden Gem in Mexico)

La Punta Beach 🤙

I picked Puerto Escondido over other cities in Mexico because it was known to have great surf spots for all levels. Indeed, I really enjoyed my stay there.

According to Wikipedia, the name “Puerto Escondido” has roots in the legend of a woman who escaped her captors and hid there… 😱 I hope she survived.

My trip in Puerto lasted about a week in late June, 2022.

Before the trip & Preparation

Puerto Escondido — located in the south of Mexico.

I was a bit worried that I’m booking the trip for the end of June during the wet season which lasts from May to November.

In retrospective, it wasn’t too bad. When there was rain, it only lasted 30–60 minutes per day for 3 out of 5 days that I had stayed in Puerto.

I packed my summer clothes in my carry-on and got the Mexican pesos. My bank did not have Mexican Pesos on hand so I had to go to the Currency Exchange store at Chinatown in San Francisco to get them.

Unfortunately, there was no direct flight from San Francisco to Puerto Escondido so I had to choose 1-stop flight to Mexico City with Aeromexico. It costed about $950 with taxes and fees.

I had to find a place to stay so I decided to go with Surf, Travel, y Amigos surf school which offers hostel and surf lessons. I talked to the host on WhatsApp to arrange my stay and pay them in cash when I get there.

On the day of my flight to Mexico City, I was notified that my flight got delayed to 4 hours and my flight from Mexico City to Puerto got pushed to the next day. Apparently, this happens quite frequently for international trips to Mexico City. Anyways, vamonos (Let’s go)!

Flight to Mexico City

Mexico City from the top.

Flight lasted about 4 hours. Upon arrival at the Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City) airport, I rushed to Aeromexico ticket counter to get vouchers for food and hotel. Unlike the U.S airlines, you don’t get vouchers via emails 😭. Maybe is it just JetBlue?

I waited about 1.5 hours, and I made a friend who works at Tesla and was on the way to visit his family in some city in Mexico. We had dinner together at Wings restaurant (I thought it meant chicken wings but it meant airplane wings), and he told me Puerto Escondido is a hidden gem in Mexico. It got me excited. I picked a right place to visit. Then, we got a taxi to our hotel for the flights the next day.

he told me Puerto Escondido is a hidden gem in Mexico.

Flight to Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido from the top.

As you can see in the picture, it’s beautiful. Flight took about 1.5 hours.

I needed to get a taxi driver to get to my hostel. If you try to get a taxi at the airport, they will try to charge you 300–400 pesos ($15–20 at the time of this writing).

I walked a bit more out from the airport. There was a taxi stand and it costed me 180 pesos to my destination in La Punta. Later, I realized I got scammed about 30 more pesos (1.5 dollars, not much) but It should’ve costed me 150 pesos or a little less.

Short walk to the taxi stall near Puerto Escondido Airport.

It was very important to me how much it costs to get around in the area. I asked the locals before getting into the taxi to make sure what I’m paying is fair. Some taxi drivers were honest, and some weren’t. Most importantly, they don’t use the meter 🤯!

Environment

Street view at La Punta Zicatela

The area is very safe. People walked around at night. I didn’t observe any kind of violence.

Locals were diverse and came from Mexico and other parts of Latin America and Europe. In terms of demographics, I’d say mostly white and hispanic.

It’s definitely a huge advantage if you can speak Spanish. I was not good at Spanish so I did not hesitate to pull off my Google Translate on my phone to converse with the locals. They were very patient and respectful.

I did not hesitate to pull off my Google Translate on my phone to converse with the locals.

Surfing

Mi amigos + instructor

I surfed 3–5 hours every day during my stay at Puerto. I took some lessons and rented a board to surf at La Punta beach and Carrizalillo beach. Waves varied but they were between 5–8ft. I’ve heard from the locals that there are some other beaches where the waves can be 10ft+.

Surf lessons from Surf, Travel, y Amigos were good. They gave me some tips when I was a bit late to pop up and pushed me to catch waves which I thought was very helpful to train the muscle memory.

Hostel

I forgot her name but she lives at the surf school. Unfortunately, she doesn’t speak English or Spanish.

I stayed at Surf, Travel, y Amigos as they offered the package deal with surf lessons. Stay was good overall. There were a lot of mosquitos but as long as I sprayed mosquito repellent, they didn’t bother.

WiFi wasn’t good so I mostly used my phone data. It was okay since I was on vacation. If I am coming back here, I’d stay somewhere with good WiFi so I can work from home.

Restaurants

I’m a huge foodie. Here is the list of restaurants that I liked.

Casa Del Surfer (House of Surfer): really good fish tacos and smoothies. Recommend for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

One of the best fish tacos I’ve had in life.

Lychee: Thai restaurant. Coming from California where there are really good Thai restaurants, I think this restaurant was decent. Their drinks were good too. Good for dinner.

Nightlife (10pm-10am)

People partied from 10pm to 10am.

https://www.google.com/maps/@15.8514865,-97.0544069,17.52z

Zicatela beach was where people went for the fiestas (parties). The bars and restaurants alongside the beach turned into night clubs when the night came.

There was a variety of music such as reggaeton, house music, etc. I was very tired from all the surfing so I was only able to last until 3am 🥱.

Baby Sea Turtle Release

Baby Turtle Release Centre https://goo.gl/maps/wTa6BJC1DBgsdPfE7

I named my sea turtle Bruno. Why Bruno?

Then, I had my sea turtle raced with my friends’ turtles who would get to the water first. Truly, it was a gamble. Bruno started off as first and placed 3rd.

Adios, Bruno. Hope the birds don’t eat you 🙏.

You can see the baby turtle release on my Instagram highlights.

Parting Thoughts

This was my first time traveling solo and met some amazing people along the way. I felt some gazes from people (I don’t blame them. Tall Asian dude with a Hawaiian shirt) but locals or Mexicans that I talked to were patient and kind.

I will definitely visit Puerto again in the future. When I’m back, I hope I can converse with others in Spanish without Google Translate🤞.

Stay tuned for more travel stories!

P.S: Thanks to the friends that I’ve made during this trip. It wouldn’t have been this much fun without you guys. Keep in touch ❤️

P.S.S: If you enjoyed my story, don’t forget to follow me on Medium 😃

Live life to the fullest,

Stephen Sungsoo Lee

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Software Engineer 🇰🇷 🇺🇸 | Avid Traveler — Writes about my travel, career, and personal finance. 📍in California. https://linktr.ee/korean_cowboi

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Stephen Lee (Sungsoo)

Stephen Lee (Sungsoo)

Software Engineer 🇰🇷 🇺🇸 | Avid Traveler — Writes about my travel, career, and personal finance. 📍in California. https://linktr.ee/korean_cowboi