An aerial view of Puerto Escondido Beach

Itineraries for Your Trip to Puerto Escondido

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3 Days in Puerto Escondido for First Timers

Curated by Juniper RoseJuniper is a freelance journalist, white-water rafting guide, former newspaper reporter, and lifelong outdoor adventure seeker.

Three days in Puerto Escondido give you time to go surfing, sample the best of Oaxaca’s cuisine, see dolphins, and swim with bioluminescent plankton. Here’s how to make the most of three days in the Hidden Port. 

Day 1

Get to know Puerto Escondido’s historic streets and markets by visiting the shop-lined El Adoquinado and Benito Juarez Market, where you can discover local crafts and sample authentic cuisine. From there, make your way to Playa Zicatela to watch expert surfers tackle huge waves. While the display is sure to inspire you, don’t be enticed by the expert-only waves. Instead, book a surf lesson at one of the nearby beginner or intermediate surf breaks. 

 Wrap up your first day in Puerto Escondido at a turtle conservation camp. Educational tours typically provide round-trip transport to the secluded camp and give you the opportunity to help baby sea turtles to the water for the first time. 

Day 2

On day two, explore the surrounding jungle on an adventure tour. Itineraries typically feature hiking to waterfalls, ziplining over the treetops, and visiting small mountain villages. Along the way, a guide shares information about local culture and history that provides a new perspective of the region. 

If you prefer to skip the mountains in favor of the beach, book a day trip to the beach towns of Ventanilla, Puerto Angel, Zipolite, and Mazunte. Tours tend to include boat rides through the mangrove-lined lagoons, a visit to the National Mexican Turtle Center, and local tips from your guide. When you return to PE, head to Playa Zicatela for dinner and drinks, or spend your night bar hopping on the beachfront.

Day 3

See the coastline from a different perspective on a dolphin-watching cruise. With luck, you’ll spot up to five different wild dolphin species and learn about their different lifestyles and habitats. Then, spend your afternoon on a horseback riding adventure to the thermal pools outside of Manialtepec. Once there, you can typically enjoy free time to soak in the pools. 

On your final night in Puerto Escondido, go swimming in sparkling bioluminescent waters. The lagoons surrounding Puerto Escondido are home to bioluminescent plankton that create a natural light show below the surface After-dark boat tours enable you to see the show from above or snorkel in the vibrant water.

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