The best place to appreciate Puerto Escondido is not from the cluttered adoquín, but from one of the shady restaurants (such as Los Crotos or Junto del Mar), that front Playa Principal. It’s here that Mexican families love to frolic on Sunday and holidays and sun-starved winter vacationers doze in their chairs and hammocks beneath the palms.
The sheltered west side is very popular with local people who arrive afternoons with nets and haul in small troves of silvery fish. The water is great for wading and swimming, clear enough for casual snorkeling, but generally too calm for anything else in the cove.
However, a few hundred yards east around the bay the waves are generally fine for bodysurfing and boogie boarding, with a minimum of undertow. Although it’s not a particularly windy location, sailboarders do occasionally bring their own equipment and practice their art here.
Fishing is fine off the rocks or by small boat, easily launched from the beach. Shells, generally scarce on Playa Principal, are more common on less-crowded Playa Zicatela.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition