Snorkeling in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Snorkeling in Puerto Escondido, Mexico featured photo

With a variety of fun things to do in Puerto Escondido, it’s no wonder why this once-sleepy fishing village has become more and more popular among surfers and tourists around the world. This small resort town has pristine beaches ideal for not only swimming and surfing but also for snorkeling. There are also some really cool hotels – check out our list of the best luxury hotels in Puerto Escondido.

In this article, we’ll show you what snorkeling in Puerto Escondido is like. But first,

What Is Snorkeling, Anyway?

The thing about snorkeling is that you either know a lot about it or can’t tell its difference from diving. To get started, let’s define snorkeling. 

It is swimming along the surface of or through a body of water with the use of a mask or goggles and a breathing tube called a snorkel. 

The goggles allow you to have a clear vision, while the snorkel lets you breathe underwater. They usually go with a swim fin to help you move with more control and less effort. These three help you swim for long periods without getting tired. Thus, letting you witness the vibrant marine life and its different textures, colors, and aquatic creatures.

How Is It Different From Scuba Diving?

Snorkeling allows you to enjoy and swim at the water’s surface while diving lets you descend deeper. With that said, snorkeling is simpler with a much lower cost and less equipment. It does not require any special training. Almost anyone can do it. 

Diving, on the other hand, gives you a closer underwater experience but with increased equipment, costs, and safety certifications. The good news is you don’t need to be a scuba diver to observe coral reefs and encounter big schools of fish, stingrays, and sea turtles.

Coral Reefs in Puerto Escondido Mexico

Puerto Escondido offers both snorkeling and diving activities.

Interacting With Sea Turtles and Snorkeling in Puerto Escondido

Sea Turtle in Puerto Escondido Mexico

Puerto Escondido’s temperate seas, reefs of volcanic rock, and abundant marine life make this area of ​​Oaxaca a perfect place for snorkeling. Aside from different tropical fish, one creature that you can easily see when snorkeling here are sea turtles. They are abundant in the area and occasionally come to the surface to breathe. Other aquatic creatures you may see include manta rays, swordfish, and pufferfish. 

Here’s a list of the best beaches in Puerto Escondido for snorkeling.

1. Puerto Angelito Beach (Playa Puerto Angelito)

Puerto Angelito Beach Aerial photoPuerto Angelito Seashore

Playa Puerto Angelito is one of the best snorkel beaches in Puerto Escondido and is often packed as a result. Surrounded by rocks and calm waters, this beach ensures vibrant marine life. In fact, there is a little cove near the shore with plenty of fish and a fairly healthy coral reef. 

Since it is one of the most popular and busiest beaches in town, we recommend you visit Puerto Angelito on weekdays. Take note also that it gets especially crowded around late May, so it might be a good idea to avoid booking your trip around this time. 

2. Manzanillo Beach (Playa Manzanillo)

Manzanillo Beach seashore photoManzanillo Beach Coast Aerial photo

Next on our list is the crescent-shaped Playa Manzanillo, a beach with white sands and clear calm waters. Located only 5 minutes away from the heart of town, this beach shares the bay with the tiny fishing port of Puerto Angelito. The bays in this area are small, making them one of the safest beaches for swimming. In fact, it’s a favorite beach destination among local families.

Aside from its swimmable beach that’s suitable for families with young kids, Manzanillo Beach also has some impressive diving and snorkeling spots. It’s possible to rent equipment on the beach so you can snorkel among schools of bright-hued fish.

3. Carrizalillo Beach (Playa Carrizalillo)

Carrizalillo Beach Coast Aerial photoCarrizalillo Beach seashore

With its gentle waves, turquoise waters, and sheltered shores, it’s no wonder why Carrizalillo Beach is always on the list of the prettiest beaches in Mexico. 

If you’re looking for a beach you can snorkel from shore, this beach is the place to be. You’ll have to walk down around 160 steps to get to the beach, though. But it will be all worth it when you reach its clear shallow waters and witness its amazing coral reefs that boast a rich variety of fish.

Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico beach photo

4. Coral Beach (Playa Coral)

Situated next to Bacocho Beach down a hill, Playa Coral is one of the more tranquil beaches of Puerto Escondido. You must enter Playa Bacocho, walk a bit, and cross a rocky path to access this hidden beach. Although this quiet getaway is quite popular among locals and those in the know (now including you), it is mostly still off the tourist radar even during peak season. This hidden beach has dreamy white sands, clear waters, and lofty palm trees. Since there are fewer waves on this beach, Playa Coral is an ideal spot to go snorkeling.

Coral Beach Coast Aerial photoCoral Beach Aerial photo

Other Notable Snorkeling Beaches Near Puerto Escondido

5. Bahia San Agustin

Bahia San Agustin Beach Coast Aerial photo

Another great surfing spot about an hour and a half from Puerto Escondido is San Augustin. This long sandy beach is popular with Mexicans on weekends but mostly quiet at other times. There is still no resort-type development in the area, so you can expect fewer crowds. However, there is so much aquatic life below the waves, including a huge healthy coral reef you can swim to from the beach.

6. Santa María Huatulco

Santa María Huatulco Aerial view

The town of Santa María Huatulco in Oaxaca is known for its ruins and its superb snorkeling spots. It is considered by some to be the best snorkeling area on this stretch of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Huatulco, which is about two and half hours from Puerto Escondido, has better visibility and more underwater formations, making your snorkeling experience much more interesting.


Surfing in Puerto Escondido is undeniably fun and exciting, but we need to be mindful not to damage and disturb its fascinating ecosystems. To help maintain its beauty, use eco-friendly sunscreen. Most sunscreens contain chemicals such as oxybenzone and octinoxate that can harm coral reefs. Also, practice staying at a healthy distance when observing the animals to avoid invading them in their natural habitat.