Puerto Escondido  pumps up with a series of fiestas during the low-season (but excellent for vacationing) month of November. Scheduled Fiestas de Noviembre events invariably include surfing and usually sportfishing, cooking, and beauty contests, and notably, the dance festival, Fiesta Costeño, when a flock of troupes—from Pochutla , Pinotepa Nacional , Jamiltepec , Tehuántepec, and more—perform regional folk dances.
Visitors who hanker for the old-fashioned color of a traditional fiesta should be sure to arrive in Puerto Escondido  by December 8, when seemingly the whole town takes part in the fiesta of the Virgen de Soledad. Besides being the patron saint of the state of Oaxaca, the Virgen de Soledad is also protectress of fishermen. To honor her, around 3 p.m. the whole town accompanies the Virgin by boat out to the bay’s far reach, and then returns with her to the church plaza for dancing, fireworks, and bullfights.
If you can’t be in Puerto Escondido  in time to honor the Virgin in December, perhaps you may be able enjoy either Puerto Escondido’s Carnaval or take a day trip a couple of hours west of Puerto Escondido to enjoy the more traditionally colorful native Carnaval fiestas at one of the small towns around Pinotepa Nacional , with parades, fireworks, and masked traditional dances, on the weekend before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent.
For more nightlife suggestions, see friendly Gina Machorro (tel. 954/582-0276, 954/582-1186, ginainpuerto [at] yahoo [dot] com), who staffs the Pérez Gasga information booth.