Surf the waves, then sip mezcal in this away-from-it-all Oaxaca beach town, where bohemian places to stay and hip hostels line the sand.
The Oaxaca beach town of Puerto Escondido lines up along Mexico’s Pacific coast, with thatched bars along its main Principal Beach, the Mexican Pipeline surf break rolling off busier Zicatela Beach and smaller waves off La Punta Beach. Whether you’re looking to surf immense barrels, sip on smoky mezcal cocktails, witness baby turtles hatching or swim in the bioluminescent sea, there’s something for all tastes in this easy-going oceanfront town. We’ve rounded up the best hotels in Puerto Escondido to help you plan your stay – all bookable with Culture Trip.
Selina Puerto Escondido is a laid-back hostel-style hotspot, catering to all travelers – whether you’re looking for a dorm, a private room or a thatched teepee. Wake up with a yoga class on the deck before fueling up with a breakfast of açaí bowls, smoothies or eggs. Surfing the impressive waves at Zicatela Beach is also on the cards and for novice surfers, you can head out with the Selina Surf Club’s instructor. Selina also serves up smoky mezcal cocktails, wildlife watching (think dolphins and baby turtles) and live DJ nights, making for a packed Puerto Escondido stay.
Hotel Santa Fe sits right on the ocean, neatly between Zicatela and Marinero beaches. The pretty-in-pink building shelters a lush oasis with verdant gardens and two pools – one for adults only, the other for family use. The sizable rooms are decorated with traditional Mexican rugs and rustic wooden furniture for a rural hacienda feel while sitting right on the beach. Kayak in the bioluminescent Manialtepec lagoon or take a tour of a mezcal factory in Puerto Escondido’s center to sample the local Oaxacan tipple.
Villas Carrizalillo comprises 12 lavish villas that overlook spectacular Carrizalillo Bay, each one a different size. All are designed with privacy in mind and nods to the local environment, making sure that the sea breeze and views take center stage, as well as looped hammocks (in rooms, on balconies) for all-out lazing. There’s an exclusive staircase leading down to the beach, giving you privileged access to the white sand and azure waters below.
Shavanna Hotel Boutique is a peaceful space in the center of Puerto Escondido town. The rooms are bright, airy and contemporary in their design, surrounding a turquoise pool. Take a seat at Terrazza Molli where you can gorge on all the gourmet goodness on offer, whether it’s French toast with red berries and butter frosting for breakfast, or succulent pork ribs with a vibrant tomato and chili sauce for dinner.
Making an art out of relaxation is the Villa Mozart y Macondo, just a short stroll from Carrizalillo Bay. The secret garden-like set of palms and cacti brings a swathe of the jungle to the Oaxacan seafront. There are hammocks and vivid paintings dotted around this laid-back hideaway, a constant invitation to wind down. Quaint cafe Cafecito Tololote is on hand to serve you fresh fruits, tropical juices, omelettes and burritos.
With its blue and white décor, Quinta Lili Boutique House Hotel could have you questioning whether you’re in Santorini – although the traditional palapa roof is entirely Mexican. Either way, you’ll be at an exquisite beach destination overlooking a spectacular bay (that of Carrizalillo). There are only five rooms so you’re guaranteed privacy and peace, each featuring mosaic-tiled bathrooms and some adjoining the hotel’s Jacuzzi and pool.
If you’re looking for the sociable vibe of a hostel, but the lavish comforts of a boutique hotel, head to Villa Bonobo. It’s just a short walk from the buzzing Punta Zicatela, where you can surf the swell or soak up the sunsets. The sunshine-yellow rooms are a beautiful place to wake up to the sounds and sights of the ocean – there are only six of them so you won’t be disturbed by crowds. The petite rooftop bar is a sweet spot for looking out over the ocean while sipping on a zesty margarita.
Casamar Suites Hotel is just across from Zicatela Beach, surrounded by flourishing palm trees and lush gardens with hammocks hung all around. The comfy rooms feature hand-loomed cotton textiles and hand-crafted tiles showcasing the best of Mexican craft. Free yoga classes and coffee on tap are simple ways to spend the day, as well as strolls along the beach and dips in the ocean.
Hotel Escondido is a stylish Grupo Habita address, from the lauded Mexican hotel brand behind Mexico City’s Condesa DF, Puebla’s La Purificadora and Chicago’s The Robey. Here, the oceanfront residence features chic beach shack-style cabanas, dressed up with wooden floors and wicker loungers. The pool sits sunken into the sand, right on the shore, so you can hop between sea and non-salt water. The hotel’s spa also hides in two laid-back cabanas, with massages, a cold plunge pool and a steam room on hand.
Casa de Olas is an artistic and easy-going boutique hotel in the heart of La Punta Zicatela, a relaxed beachfront area of Puerto Escondido. Rooms are adorned with dreamcatchers, retro wooden surfboards and splashes of color. Get stuck into a good read in the third-floor library lounge where you can linger in an oversized hammock or head to the two-tiered swimming pool complete with a cascading waterfall. For a more active day, head out to surf or knock a ball about at the tennis academy. Not to be missed is the panoramic rooftop bar, which spies the Pacific Coast and hosts salsa-dancing classes, socials and movie nights.