If you’re looking for a beach town in Mexico that has genuine local charm and culture, great seafood, a variety of beaches, dolphins, baby turtles, great fishing, surfing, and a distinct lack of mega resorts and tourist kitsch, Puerto Escondido may be the place you’re after.
Actually, scratch that. It’s definitely the place you’re after.
Located in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca, the town of Puerto Escondido isn’t big — it has a population of about 45,000 residents — but it’s spread out, with several beaches stretched along its coastline. Its name means Hidden Port, and while nowadays the port may not feel so distinctly hidden, its tiny beach coves certainly do. The largest beach is at Zicatela, the main surfing spot and home to the famous Mexican Pipeline, while a host of smaller and more sheltered ones lie closer to the main town.