Travel & Expat Lifestyle Magazine

Beach Towns in Mexico: Puerto Escondido and Sayulita


Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido is located in the state of Oaxaca, on the Pacific coast. It was founded in the 1920s as a port town to ship the coffee grown in the region, and today is home to about 50,000. Though a tourist destination, many locals and expats call it home. It is a wonderful place to be for people who enjoy swimming, boating, warm weather and a relaxed lifestyle.

The city is situated on hills that eventually go downhill to the beaches. It has the feel of several small towns that were built up around the individual beaches. Many people who live there keep a supply of live chickens, so it is common to walk around through the winding residential streets and find chickens crowing and running up fences.

One beach is Zicatela, which has a long stretch of water that is accessible to surfers,  but dangerous for swimmers. Puerto Angelito is a beach that is further from the center of the city, but has more of a local scene going on in the uphill residential part. The beach itself is small and accessible to people who walk down dozens of stairs, and the scenery itself is very relaxing.

For people who love to walk on the beach, there is the Andador Escenico beach walk, which takes up about a mile. People have to walk up and down many different rocks and short hills to enjoy this trail, which has excellent ocean views, and spots where you can lean and watch crabs crawl around on rocks. It is really hot and humid in Puerto Escondito, even during the winter time.



Sayulita is a small fishing village in Nayarit, also on the Pacific coast, with a population around 4,000. Many people come here for surfing, and other expats have houses around the town to enjoy the lifestyle. There are also a good deal of northerners from the US and Canada that come here to escape the snow and ice.

The beach itself has yellow sand, palm trees and comfortable water, where baby tortoises sometimes wash up ashore. It is a wonderful place for people to relax on the sand without ever getting up, as lots of vendors walk around the beach selling pastries, tamales, grilled seafood and jewelery. Sayulita is a smaller town where people can walk anywhere, and is full of many restaurants, taco stands, shops and cafes. There are produce markets and convienience stores, and also open-air markets on the weekends where they sell tons of bootleg movies, make-up and other interesting items. The houses are mainly located up in the hills, within the trees, where people can go from them to the beach on foot.

Lots of stray dogs roam the streets and sand of Nayarit, and the beach itself is dog-friendly. Sometimes people can witness horses running across the beach without any people mounting them. One problem of Sayulita is when it gets really busy, all of the ATMs in town run out of cash, so people have to go outside the town to obtain it.


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