Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Beaches in Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico beach photo

Considered by The New York Times as one of the must-visit spots in 2017, Puerto Escondido has some of the best beaches not just in Oaxaca but in all of Mexico. And this still rings true up to this day. 

With more people discovering the undeniable beauty of this once-sleepy fishing village, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the playas (beaches) available. That is why we combed through the best beaches in the area and came up with this list of the 7 best beaches in Puerto Escondido to guide you on where to swim, surf, and snorkel.

With a long stretch of gorgeous coastline, there’s surely a beach for every type of tourist! Thankfully there are also some great hotels in Puerto Escondido to stay near the beach.

The Best Puerto Escondido Beaches
1. Playa Zicatela (ZIcatela Beach): The Mexican Pipeline
2. La Punta: Best for Backpackers and Budget Travelers
3. Playa Carrizalillo (Carrizalillo Beach): Most Idyllic Puerto Escondido Beach
4. Playa Bacocho (Bacocho Beach): The Longest Puerto Escondido Beach
5. Playa Coral: Best Secluded Beach6. Playa Principal
7. Playas Puerto Angelito and Manzanillo

1. Playa Zicatela (Zicatela Beach): The Mexican Pipeline

Playa Zicatela Beach

If you’re a surfing aficionado, chances are you’ve already heard of Playa Zicatela (Zicatela Beach). This beautiful beach is one of the most famous in Puerto Escondido since it’s where big international surf tournaments and events take place. 

In fact, this surf beach is also sometimes referred to as “The Mexican Pipeline” since its surf conditions are similar to that of Hawaii’s famous Banzai Pipeline. Having said that, its strong undertow and giant waves that only expert surfers can handle make it quite dangerous for non-surfers. 

Aside from its unforgiving wave break, Zicatela Beach is also known for its nightclubs and restaurants that line its 3-kilometer stretch of white sandy beach.

2. La Punta: Best for Backpackers and Budget Travelers

La Punta Beach in Puerto Escondido

Want the surf atmosphere of Playa Zicatela without the relentless waves that only professional surfers can handle? Playa La Punta is the place to be. Located at the south end of Zicatela Beach, La Punta is a remote stretch of beach that is the perfect image of barefoot chic. Popular among backpackers and surfers with custom boards, this laid-back beach offers newbie-safe surfing conditions, budget accommodation, and vegetarian-friendly and vegan restaurants.

The sand here is compact enough for beachgoers to jog on. Other than that, you could also witness and take part in other fun activities like boogie boarding and full moon parties.

3. Playa Carrizalillo (Carrizalillo Beach): Most Idyllic Puerto Escondido Beach

Playa Carrizalillo in Puerto Escondido

Situated at the foot of a cliff, Playa Carrizalillo takes a bit of effort to get to. You’ll have to climb down 167 steps to reach what is considered by numerous tourists the prettiest beach in Puerto Escondido. It may be a bit of a struggle, but once you reach it, you’ll be met with a wide picturesque beach with soft golden sands, shallow blue waters ideal for swimming, and gentle waves perfect for beginner and intermediate surfers.

Another thing we like about this scenic beach is its tranquil environment. Because it’s quite a challenge to get to, its sheltered shores see fewer crowds. You get to enjoy its secluded cove amid lush greenery in peace. Carrizalillo Beach also has nice coral reefs that are ideal for snorkeling.

After swimming or snorkeling, you can head to Rinconada Street above the beach to enjoy the best upscale restaurants in Puerto Escondido. 

4. Playa Bacocho (Bacocho Beach): The Longest Puerto Escondido Beach

Playa Bacocho Coastal Aerial shot

Playa Bacocho is a secluded windswept beach at the edge of town. It boasts turquoise waters, beautiful rock formations, and the longest stretch of beach in Puerto Escondido. Known to be the party beach, this 25-kilometer stretch of glistening golden coastline is lined with upscale beach clubs. Because the beach in this area is not the most ideal for swimming due to its strong waves and currents, most of the clubs have swimming pools.

Playa Bacocho is also known for its turtle releasing activity open to everyone every 5:00 PM. With a minimal fee, you’ll get to release a baby turtle in a coconut shell onto the beach. After releasing a turtle and watching the sunset, head over to Villa Sol Beach Club. It offers an open-air movie night on Wednesdays. 

5. Playa Coral: Best Secluded Beach

Playa Coral in Puerto Escondido

Peacefully tucked away from the clamor of tourists, Coral Beach is one of the most untouched beaches in Puerto Escondido. Also known as the “hidden beach”, Playa Coral is only popular among locals and those in the know. 

It’s a quiet small bay with sugary soft sand and lush tropical greenery that is not so easy to access. It’s situated next to Bacocho Beach on a steep hill. Because of the quite dangerous drop-off and undertow that can get a bit too strong at times, swimmers are advised to take extra caution. This beach also sees fewer waves breaking, making it ideal for snorkeling. 

Be careful when taking pictures, though. It’s a nude beach; you’ve been warned. Also, take note that there are no beach bars and restaurants in this area. We advise you to bring water and some snacks.

6. Playa Principal

Playa Principal in Puerto Escondido

The appropriately named Playa Principal is the main beach right in the center of Puerto Escondido. This bustling beach, which is especially popular with locals and fishermen, offers sandy shores and calm waters perfect for swimming. The beach is narrow, so the water is just a few steps away. It isn’t the cleanest in town, but you can still enjoy its lively pedestrian zone of souvenir shops, beach bars, and restaurants called “El Adoquin”.

Principal Beach also has the most Mexican atmosphere. Considered by many to be the most traditional beach in Puerto Escondido, this playa is also where the annual “Blessing of the Fishes” boat procession takes place every December.

7. Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo

Playa Puerto Angelito (Puerto Angelito Beach) and Playa Manzanillo (Manzanillo Beach) are two separate small beaches that are so close to each other and form a crescent-shaped bay. If you visit one, might as well visit the other! Both have calm waters that are suitable for snorkeling and swimming. Aside from that, they also boast abundant marine life and great visibility underwater — the perfect conditions for snorkeling. (Want to learn more about snorkeling? Check out this Puerto Escondido snorkeling guide). 

Puerto Angelito Beach Aerial photoManzanillo Beach Coast Aerial photo

Playa Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo are both pretty off the tourist radar. You’ll see local families enjoying a picnic here more than foreign tourists.