Should you travel to Puerto Escondido, Mexico?
My girlfriend and I were looking to get away from the cold Canadian winter in January 2018 and heard about Puerto Escondido. I really wanted to go somewhere that I could surf so this place sounded ideal; surfing, warm, and cheap. We booked a 5 star AirBnB by the beach in La Punta for $54CAD a night which we were excited about. We didn't know a whole lot about the safety in Mexico but we knew you had to be careful especially as I was bringing my professional camera gear down.
Visual Vibes: Puerto Escondido, Mexico
// TERRITORIAL SURFING IN PUERTO ESCONDIDO
Our second day there I paddled out to the left hand break at La Punta excited to get some waves. I lined up with everyone else and 15 minutes in made my way closer to the inside of the break. I have surfed all around the world (NZ, Australia, US, UK) and know how surf edict works. All of a sudden a Puerto surf instructor started yelling at me “out of the way” he launched a longboard and his student on it directly at my face while yelling. I tried to keep him calm telling him to relax as I moved away from them (he was actually in the wrong not me) and he flipped the board and started trying to stab the fins into my side. As he was hitting me with the board he was telling me how I better "do what he says” in broken spanglish. I surf to relax certainly not to fight so I was pretty disappointed with this first experience. I then later tried Carrazillo Beach (20mins away) hoping for nicer results. The EXACT same thing happened within 20 minutes. My experience surfing in Puerto Escondido, I am sad to say, was terrible and I don't think I will be back because of this.
I asked other tourists who came to surf and they all said the same thing, if you don’t get a lesson and are a white male they will verbally and physically get you off the wave. I also read a story about a stabbing in town and the person was identified as a Puerto surf instructor. I have 0 interest in fighting + surfing so was pretty discouraged by this. Maybe I just had a streak of bad luck but I certainly thought this was worth writing about as I wouldn't want anyone having the same issue.
// MUST DO WILDLIFE TOURS
Surprisingly to us there were a number of amazing wildlife tours to do in Puerto Escondido. I wouldn't typically do tours when traveling but these were all different and more organic.
1. OMARS FISHING TOURS
This is a must do in Puerto Escondido. For 300 Pesos a head they took us out for 3 hours and we saw and swam with hundreds of dolphins! Near the end a massive blue whale breached 4 times near our boat. I would HIGHLY recommend this tour it was so stunning. You can find Omar HERE
2. BABY TURTLE
This is ANOTHER must do in Puerto Escondido. Once the baby turtles hatch they are collected so that they can be released to make their run towards the ocean when they have the best chances for survival. In this case, they hatch sometime before noon, but if they tried to make it to the ocean then the vast majority would die from heat, birds or other predators. Look up Gina and Baby Turtles Puerto Escondido and she will take you for 600 pesos a person.