Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico
The ‘Hidden Port’ has blossomed into one of the most enjoyable spots on the whole of Mexico’s Pacific Coast. Still very much a fishing and market town, Puerto Escondido is famed above all for the legendary surf break known as the Mexican Pipeline. Along with its surf scene, Puerto has several calm beaches good for swimming, tanning and snorkeling. Offshore you can go diving, sportfishing or looking for turtles, dolphins and even whales. There’s a great café and restaurant scene, a spot of good nightlife and live music, and plenty of attractive and well-priced accommodations. Within easy day-trip reach are the coastal lagoons of Manialtepec and Chacahua, teeming with birdlife. Best of all is that development here has remained low-key and on a human scale. Puerto’s new smattering of imported sophistication has not dented the laid-back charm of the Mexican fishing port and beach town that it has always been. Leave it off your itinerary at your peril!