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Puerto Escondido - for Surfing, Hiking, Learning, and Living Well

Nov 15, 2007
Puerto Escondio, in Oaxaca, Mexico, sits on one of the most famous surfing beaches in Mexico. This was once a small fishing village even before the Spanish conquest, but it is now home to over 20,000 people. Thousands more visit each year to catch the gigantic waves off Zicatela Beach. Others come for the hiking, surfing, snorkeling, fishing, and learning opportunities - and for the friendly, laid-back atmosphere.

This beautiful town on the Pacific Ocean was occupied long before the Spanish conquest, but it became a prominent port at the beginning of the last century, and became a major tourist attraction and hippie getaway after Federal Highway 200 was built along the coast.

You can reach the city by plane, or drive there from Acapulco, which is 400 km to the northwest along the coast, or from Oaxaco, the state capital, which is 324 km north of Puerto Escondio. A flight will take approximately 45 minutes from Mexico City.

One of the nicest aspects of this town, in addition to the views of the sea and the attractive colonial homes, is the availability of a rich variety of housing and hotels. If you plan to visit the city to see if it's the perfect place for your retirement, you can stay in a 4-star hotel or rent a rustic cabin, depending on your taste or budget.

The local restaurants serve the traditional Mexican cuisine, but if you want a taste of Europe or North America, you'll be able to find a restaurant that caters to your needs.

You will be able to see the famous beaches as you walk along the steets in town. Zicatela beach is known throughout the world in surfing communities, because the waves are truly huge. If you don't surf yourself, you'll still enjoy watching world-class surfers challenging the waves.

For a calmer, more tranquil experience, visit Main Beach, where you can swim, fish or dive. If you are just learning to surf, this would be the place to get your feet wet before you attempt to tackle the giant waves on Zicatela beach.

For a bit of peace and seclusion, you can visit Playa Bacocho, which runs for almost 30 miles and is often completely deserted. The beach is sandy, and the waves are mild. Or visit Playa Carrizalillo, a perfect spot for swimming or snorkeling because the water is warm and calm.

If you visit the area long enough, you can find several other beaches in the area, where you can go boating, learn to surf or snorkel, or just hang out on the sand. International fishing tournaments are held in the area in February and November, and the waters are known for excellent fishing for sailfish, marlin and tuna. Dolphins and whales also visit the water off Puerto Escondio, and the black coral reefs are home to a variety of smaller, colorful fish.

There are many smaller towns in the area, and anyone interested in traditional Spanish architecture and churches will want to bring a camera. Marketplaces in each village sell the local handicrafts.

If you're thinking of retiring anywhere in Mexico, you'll want to know the language. Many Spanish language schools have been set up in Mexico for business travelors, tourists and potential residents. There is a Spanish language school is in Puerto Escondio, that offers much more than just spanish lessons.

If you stay at the Maress Spanish School a while you can learn about the local culture, take some painting or sculpture lessons, learn to cook some Mexican dishes, and even take salsa dancing lessons. Many people combine a few months of classes with a stay in the home of a local family, and totally immerse themselves in the culture of Puerto Escondio. If you decide to do this, contact the school - they will help you make arrangements for your stay.
About the Author
Thinking about buying a house in Mexico for a second home or retirement? Find local real estate experts to help you find the perfect Mexican home, and to help you make your purchase safely and legally. Visit http://www.find-real-estate-in-mexico.com
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