Gina says the Margeos has changed names and has a new owner. -Tom
I ask in all earnestness, because I am tempted to give that area of Mexico another try. I find Baja Sur laid back and fairly safe and of course Puerto Vallarta is an island of civilization. I just want some peace and quiet and sun and tropical fruit, where the people are tolerant and friendly, and it's generally safe for everyone, even if you're running a few miles down the beach. What happened in '81 was a long time ago and I trust things have changed for the better. But maybe not. I think you are one who could answer that for me.
So my main question is: Of all the places you are covering in your web site, which, if any areas, provide the most enjoyable (or least paranoid) environment for a gay man. And which areas are the safest for lone runners and bicyclists? Thanks in advance for your help. Hope it comes soon as I am freaking in this cold, damp Seattle climate and have to get out! If Mexico hasn't changed, I'll go back to South India or Thailand.
Can you tell me, do you know if my cell phone will work between Vancouver, B.C. and Puerto Escondido. I just want to be able to keep it with me, since we are leaving our 4 year old son and my newly created business in Vancouver, and just want both caretakers to be able to reach us if absolutely necessary. This is my only concern about coming to Puerto Escondido, and although people say "you can't relax on holiday if you have your cell phone", I WILL be able to relax if I know that both my caretakers can reach me with some degree of reliability.
Thanks in advance for your reply.
Stayed at the Arcoiris, would have enjoyed air-conditioning. Have to tell you though for 35 to 45$ more, just wasn't that important. Happy hour was 5:30 to 7:30 best we found. Nice pool and restaurant was good to.
Art & Harrys is going strong. Pat and Jeff served up some great food, one of the best ribeyes I have eaten, rack of ribs to. The meat is flown in every week from Nebraska, quite a treat after a week or two eating pastor.
More another time if your interested, we did Mexico city, Zihuatanejo, Ixtapa and Oaxaca. Thanks for your Web site it helped a lot.
Darlene and Gene
Thanks for your help!
Charlotte Phillips UK
Hotels get booked up months in advance of the Christmas/New Years and Easter seasons. You will probably have to ask at many hotels and hope to find a cancellation. -Tom
I don't think that is possible. Let me know if I am wrong. -Tom
Thanks Tom....I have enjoyed the info on your site here and looking very forward to spending time in PE!
John R Cogar
The Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca, Hwy 131 is not good. The road takes 6 to 7 hours to drive. Highway 175 is better with a roller coaster ride; please drive in the morning. The bus takes highway 175 from Oaxaca to Miahuatlán to Pochutla. From Pochutla to Puerto Escondido you must take a second class bus. The alternative route takes highway 190 to Salina Cruz (first class), then Pochutla, then Puerto Escondido. This route takes longer (12 hours), although they tell you at the bus station that they make it in 8 hours. - Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess", firstname.lastname@example.org
Deborah, I think this email address is bad. Please email me again. -Tom
Hi Tom. I tried to e-mail Deborah but the mail came back as undeliverable. Is there some way you could get this info to her either through the Comments section or maybe you have a better e-mail address for her.
My husband and I were in Oaxaca City and PE in Spring 1998 and stayed at the Santa Fe. There are no "luxury" hotels in PE which is why it is so beautiful and quaint. You can see some photos of the Santa Fe on our website:
All of the nightlife is either in the town at the bars where the young people go to have fun or at the bars at Zicatela Beach where the surfers hang out. The Santa Fe is very quiet. It had almost no bar trade while we were there - only people having meals and drinking. It has 2 beautiful pools and exquisite surroundings. It is almost like an enclave on its own with fantastic views of the waves at Zicatela from the patios and from the restaurant. Not much for kids to do there except swim in the pools although the beach is a short walk across the street (Zicatela) and a little up the road (several hundred yards) to Marinaro Beach where you can swim. There is TV but we only were able to get one station - and not very well - in Spanish. The bathrooms are huge with beautiful tiled floors, walls and counters. They have ceiling fans and air conditioning. They also have a trading/lending paperback library in case you need some reading material. They don't have any lobby but rather just a counter under a shelter where you check in. No signs or neon - you'd never even know it was there! It is VERY laid back. The room rate in May, two years ago was around $45 - $50 for a room with a queen size bed and a porch overlooking one of the pools and the waves at Zicatela.
It's about an easy mile walk to town on the beach. We walked in the morning and took a taxi in the evening. There is not much for children to do except enjoy the atmosphere, play on the beach or at the pool, explore the mercado (go and return by taxi) in the town on the hill and shop or watch the fishermen. There was a man with a horse on the beach in front of the hotel that I am sure would sell rides on the beach. There was also usually an impromptu soccer game each afternoon with the local youngsters that we would watch and enjoy from the terrace.
We mostly walked into town for breakfast every morning, strolled around until it got sizzling, walked back to the hotel and hit the pool until time to change for dinner. In the evening we mostly just sat and listened to the huge waves break on Zicatela and went to bed early. We did visit the town itself - not the tourist area - which is on the hill above the beach. There are all kinds of shops and grocery stores and taquerías there as well as an open air market. You can also take eco bus tours to other areas and beaches. And, if you surf, there is no better place.
We would definitely go back to both Oaxaca City and PE. It is really still an unspoiled area but it quickly catching on.
Hope you enjoy your trip! - Liz.Goodwin@ametek.com
Thanx a lot, Jens
Yes, we have for first time a Spanish school, Colegio Benjamin Blum, Calle Guelatao Esquina Tlacochahuaya, Fracc. Bacocho, Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca, Mexico, 71980. The teacher, Yolanda Park de Herrera (yolandaparK56@hotmail.com), has the primary school in Bacocho. Please contact me for information. Gracias. - Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess", email@example.com
I'm 25, male, Moroccan, link to my photo album http://photos.yahoo.com/elaidn , I speak 5 languages, I'm interested in sharing a cabana or a room, my budget for the rent is 150/200 pesos a night, I don't snore, I wash my teeths after each meal, and got all my vaccines. And I surf ;)
tel at Mex city 5514 8331
At this point in time it was the very beginnings of the building stage but now ten years later I should imagine it would be a well known landmark in the area. If any one knows how to contact Rocky or Eric could they please email the below address with details. Or if you know Rocky or Eric let them know Daniel from Australia is looking to get in contact with them. At the time ten years ago Ben from the states and Brent from N.Z were there too.
Many thanks from down under land.
I'm wondering if the town is gay-friendly-e.g. any gay night spots etc. many thanks.
Dear Aidan. I'm a little too out of touch to speak to the current bars in the area. The area has always had a higher degree of tolerance than most of Mexico. In Tom's opening page a reference is made to a recently released film on the Zapotecs and mentions their tolerance for and appreciation of alternative lifestyles. You might try contacting the filmmakers for information as there is some implication that they have some interest in your question. -John M. Williams, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hurricane Rosa has passed, no problem in Puerto we have a beutiful sunny day. The authorities were very good this time about the information. See you all here in Puerto Escondido.
Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"
Any information on where to stay and best way to get there is much appreciated. I will be traveling by car from Mexico City to the City of Oaxaca. But not sure of road conditions past Oaxaca. Any insight? Thanks.
In reply to Meyer Stansberry's request for lodging info in Sola de Vega, I have been planning to ride my bike from Puerto to Oaxaca using the Sola de Vega route (Hwy 131), and I would also like to learn about spending the night in this town. I have been riding day trips up the road from Puerto as far as the first major summit at about San Juan Lachao (about 60 miles), then turning around and descending back to the coast. The road (just paved a few years ago) has suffered mightily from the elements in the last three years. On my last trip up there (Feb. 2000), it was heavily pot-holed in places and there were several slides in the hairpin turns, leaving one narrow lane around blind curves. This was great for me on a bike because there was very little vehicular traffic (not so great for cars and trucks). In the past some major damage has been fixed relatively quickly, hence current info might be more relevant.
I will be in Puerto once again this coming February, and I am always in search of hardy cyclists who might want to join me on day trips or longer ventures. A nice overnight trip by bike would be to San Jose del Pacífico. Is there anybody out there who likes road riding in a warm climate? Come on down!
Need Help Getting Stretcher Back   IT'S BACK NOW, THANKS.
Tom - Am writing this on behalf of the Pto. Escondido Red Cross and the Emergency Response Team of the International Friends of Pto. Escondido. Last spring we had an incident involving a surfer who had to be medically evacuated from Pto. because of a surfing accident. Because of the severity of his injuries he was transported back to the States on a stretcher belonging to the local Red Cross chapter. The stretcher is now is San Antonio, Texas airport at the Nayak Millionaire office, 1403 Northern Blvd. San Antonio, Tx. 78216. Phone: 210-824-7511.
What we are asking is if there is anyone driving this way, could they please pick up the stretcher and bring it back to Puerto? The local Red Cross is operating with minimal equipment as it is and they really need to get this stretcher back. All the permissions and paperwork are available in the office and ready to go. If you could please bring this stretcher back (dimensions are approximately 6 feet by 2 feet), please contact toll-free Raymond Barrera at 1-800-247-8326 to arrange pickup. For more information, contact me at IFOPE@hotmail.com. The community of Puerto Escondido would greatly appreciate this help!! Thanking you in advance.
Chairperson of the Emergency Response Team of the International Friends of Pto. Escondido
Thanks to your website, we received the Red Cross stretcher last Friday in Pto. Escondido. A travel agent in San Antonio saw the notice on your website and forwarded it to the manager of sales at Mexicana Airlines in San Antonio. They quickly put it on their airlines and sent it on down. Again, thanks to Mexicana and your site!! -Vicki Cole
More and more we are getting the reservations for this winter 2000, and 2001 ......
Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"
I'll be flying into Acapulco Saturday 10/28/00 about 4:00 p.m., travelling very light, and would like to catch a bus as fast as possible that evening to Puerto Escondido.
>From the travel books, I figure I can take a collectivo from the Acapulco airport to the Estrella Blanca bus station on Av. Ejido to catch the bus. That's a trip back and forth across Acapulco, though.
Do you happen to know of a reasonable place to catch a bus for Puerto Escondido without going through the city? And how to get there from the Acapulco airport?
I am visiting Mexico for the first half of next year and I am after information regarding the renting of accommodation on a monthly basis in areas surrounding Puerto Escondido and Zipolite. My budget will be up to US$200 per month.
Dear Wes, Ever since your email first appeared regarding a 200usd monthly rental budget, I've been waiting for someone else to write with the bad news. Since noone has, I guess I'll have to break it to you. That accommodation budget might have sufficed a decade or two ago, but not now. At best, it might get you a shared bath room in a palapa on Zipolite, but even the Casas de Huespedes are going to be more than that in Puerto Angel, forget Huatulco. I hope that budget was room only and not food too, or you'd best be looking for a hammock to rent under a palapa roof. Inflation...-John M. Williams, email@example.com
Basically I need info on getting these items to Puerto on a full time basis and what the costs would be!
Any info would be great!
I couldn't listen any more so I swam away from the pool bar promptly swimming headfirst into an empty hypodermic syringe. I told my wife this about an hour later and we swam over to where I had left it she decided we should tell the bartenders. Swimming back to them, I swam into the other half of the syringe. The bartenders all gathered round and unrolled a napkin in which they placed the syringe bits with the other three! That had been found that day!!. No closing the pool, nobody looking for more. They eventually got some kid to swim around with a mask and look for more. (if anyone has seen the pool there its like looking for a needle in a haystack, its so big). Needless to say we weren't too happy about the situation and swimming was now out of the question except in the ocean. The managers were accommodating and gave us the two nights for free.
We then checked out caught a taxi out front (300 pesos) to Puerto Escondido, and rolled up to what was then the brand new Olas Altas hotel right next to Cafecito and across the street from the main surf break. We have been back there since and enjoyed the people running the place very much they are nice people although very limited English is spoken there it shouldn't be a problem. I would encourage anyone wanting to visit a truly special part of Mexico to make Puerto Escondido a stop on their tour you may never want to leave. Thanks again for creating such a fantastic resource. We'll be back again this winter so see you all there!
Jeff and Ana
Also, is there any type of language school in Puerto Escondido?
firstname.lastname@example.org October 2000
I also have a friend coming to visit me around Christmas time who will be looking for a hotel also in PE. Must have swimming pool and bar!
I am visiting Mexico for the first half of next year and I am after information regarding the renting of accommodation on a monthly basis in areas surrounding Puerto Escondido and Zipolite. My budget will be up to US$200 per month.
My girl and I are heading down again, driving this time. Our plan is to cross at Nuevo Laredo, autopista to DF, then to Puebla and on to Oaxaca City -- and finally (ahhhhh) back to Huatulco, PE, etc. for a few months. But --- we are open and taking each day as it comes --- and could cross anywhere from Arizona to Texas if we change our minds.
Any suggestions? Anybody out there have recent (summer/fall 2000) road reports? We'd love to hear of some recent road experiences...
I don't need info on the Oaxaca - Pochutla drive, did it a several times last winter, and besides, things could change overnight with *that* road.
BTW, I'm driving a late model 4X4 pickup with a topper and have a little room left in the back --- and would be willing to haul a box or two down for a helluva lot less than DHL would charge --- (like a case or two of Corona :-) if anybody needs something in the next 2 or 3 weeks. We plan on being there by the first week (or so) of October, 2000.
Thanks in advance. Hasta luego!
If you're up for some high adventure and like archeological sites, I have a suggestion. About midway through the state of Queretaro on highway 120, there is a spur that cuts off and goes to San Joaquín. It's even paved all the way. When you turn off the highway you will be in a barren desert, but not for long. The road goes up continuously for several miles and shortly you will be in a cloud forest. When you get to San Joaquín the highway terminates into the main street which proceeds to go up a long, steep incline which levels off rather abruptly at the top where you will veer to the left to avoid going off the other side. The road becomes dirt and you continue out of town for a mile or two until it dead-ends at a gate. These are the ruins called Las Ranas (frogs) that are perched on a point at the end of a ridge at about 12,000'. They are not well known and you may have to hunt around for someone to unlock the gate and take your fee. There are many structures and about half of them are restored, the other half covered with jungle growth. There are no carvings at this site. We spent four hours there, alone. (The gate-keeper got bored and left.) -Tom
Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"
I'll post your question on the Visitors' Comments page. There are some condos and bungalows listed with the hotels at http://www.tomzap.com/escondio.html#hotels -Tom
California Landscape Photography, Riverside, CA
Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"
Phone number is (9)582-0168. -Tom
Last time I saw him he was visiting puerto escondido where he has a house. I was also living there but have since returned to Toronto,so i have no way of contacting him. I'd love any info,i am a little worried.
Gene Butler y Darlene Rivera
Any new or important info about Pto. or good link to where info may be found also appreciated.
Gene Butler y Darlene Rivera
011-52 (9) 582-2646
He is 33 and from Athens, Ohio. He is about 6 feet tall and dark blonde hair. His hair style changes often. He plays the banjo and is very intelligent.
Thank you for any help you can give us, our family is really starting to worry.
Someone saw this post and contacted Sean, who emailed his sister. Thanks. - Tom
By air Aerocaribe has 1 flight direct from México city everyday at 14:25 arriving to puerto at 15:15 flight MX7423 equipment QADC9 and another flight is Mexico-Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido, every day this one arrived in the morning.
Also we are driving from San Antonio, Texas so I am wondering if I should bring my board or if there is a place somewhere there that I can get a decent one. I would actually rather pick one up there especially if there is a place that sells good, but cheaper than you can find in the states boards. Please let me know any info such as names and locations of places to buy good cheap boards.
Also is there a place to rent surf boards/spunges (boogie boards) for others in my group that might want to get in the water. Also can you rent snorkel equipment, where and about how much? The final thing is we can't decide between staying at the Hotel Santa Fe or the Flor de Maria. Any info on these two hotels would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot and I really enjoyed this site, Tom!
Hablo Espanol. Please respond to my email:
Por favor responda a mi correo electronico:
San Antonio, Tx.
When we arrived in PE, we shared a cab with a man who had a house in PE and told us somewhat disparagingly that we were headed for the touristy part of town. It was night, and we were driven to the end of Perez Gasga, which was blocked off to automobile traffic. I couldn't believe how horrible it was at first sight: it was lit up, gaudy, lights strung across the street. I hated it immediately. We walked down to the Hotel Casa Blanca in the middle of Perez Gasga, didn't like it much but had no choice since that was where the airline would be delivering our bags. Perez Gasga is gaudy and commercial. We walked on the beach which was depressingly lit up with flood lights. This was hardly our idyllic beach vacation come true. Commercial, loud and gaudy. The next morning we had breakfast at a mediocre restaurant on the beach, that served us instant Nescafe (!) We went to a beach away from the main beach towards Zicatela, and had a nice couple hours lounging on the beach and playing in the waves, though I was thinking the whole time: as soon as our bags arrive I have to leave. It was horrid. I thought: Puerto Angel would be much better.
We went to the travel agency in town to see about renting a car to drive to Puerto Angel. We talked to a fellow traveler and I told him I hated PE. He assured me I would like PA, and advised us to bargain with a taxi driver to get a ride to Puerto Angel for 300 pesos. He told me I would like Posada Canon Devata in PA. (He was right on all accounts.)
We went back to Hotel Casa Blanca, our luggage arrived, and the people working there tried to get us to hire a friend of theirs to drive us for 450 pesos. We hailed a cab, got the price of 300 pesos and left PE behind. I was thrilled.
We had a wonderful time in Puerto Angel and back again in Oaxaca. I hear that there are nicer areas to stay in PE, and maybe our experience would have been better.
Gina Machorro Espinosa
Contact....582-2646...Apartado Postal #156, Pto Escondiso, Oaxaca, Mexico C.P. 71982 or e-mail....
Gene Butler y Darlene Rivera
Gina Machorro Espinosa
Now I need some advice! aside from the typical partying and craziness that I will display, (with full respect of the native culture of course (trust me I can drink the mezcal with the best of them! "gringo loco") I would also like to explore the countryside! I would like to rent a jeep 4x4 to have at it! If anyone has some inf. that could help me to achieve this end I would be greatly appreciative, or maybe in Español es apprecietivo! no se gringo loco! Anyways, hope to hear from someone soon and if not I'll see you on the other side, (of Zicatela beach of course) in November! Surfs' up baby!
Hasta luego mi gente!
One of the biggest things I worried about was the comments regarding the crime. Using common sense we felt very safe, probably more so then the other Mexican places we have stayed. We walked everywhere and people were helpful and we only took a taxi at night. We stayed at Bungalows Carrizalillo, the spot was beautiful, the view unbelievable. People that we met over the three weeks that have been going to PE for years stopped by and couldn't believe what a nice spot it was. The owner Eva was very nice, and the place is listed on your site along with her e-mail address.
Like so many other people I would like to mention how great Gina from the Tourist Booth is and you should consider it a must to stop by and she will steer you in the right direction. Also she has a Walking Tour that I highly recommend, very unique and informative and truly lets you know how the people of PE live. Friends of ours were in PE a few weeks ago and we told them about it, and they also were very impressed. We never had a bad meal the whole time we were there, and my only regret is we didn't get to eat at all the places recommended. We went to the Chilla Fair and believe me that is an experience, the fireworks are awesome and I couldn't believe the amount of people in that small town.
We also went fishing with Omar and it was great but the highlight to me was all the dolphins we saw. They swam and jumped right beside the boat and he just seemed to know were to go and how to find them. He also dived in the water brought a turtle to the side of the boat for us to see, it was incredible and the highlight of our trip.
If anyone would like info on PE or any of the other spots I've mentioned please feel free to e-mail.
Linda & Bob
HIGHWAY Conditions - Hwy.#175 Oaxaca City - Puerto Escondido via Pochutla is in fair shape after torrential rainfall of last Sept '99; the state and federal government are investing big pesos to restore the link to the coast (it's closer to Huatulco, so of course HUX gets the bigger investment.. ..) Figure approx 6 hours drive time Oaxaca.- Puerto. Many bridges and washouts are al-ready rebuilt. Hwy #131 Oaxaca. - Puerto, "direct route" is approx 7 hours by car, and often down to one lane only, but passable, and less used than the Pochutla route. It will be some time before this route is rebuilt again ... it had new pavement only 3 years ago before being slammed by hurricane Paulina in Nov '98, and the earthquake of Sept. "99. Hwy 175 via San Jose del Pacífico and Pochutla is still the more scenic and preferred of the 2 routes to the coast from Oaxaca City. Puerto Escondido - Acapulco via hwy #200 is approx. 5.5 hr drive time, and in very good shape, with all new pavement in Guerrero state, and currently being rebuilt in Oaxaca state.... yes it's an election year (July 2,000) and the poorest states are receiving lots of funding...
BIRDING - thanks for the posting/update re Red-bellied Tropicbird at Mazunte; these birds are to be expected all along the coast of Oaxaca, as are numerous other open Pacific seabirds or true seabirds. It all comes down to the number of observers (of which there are few) watching this coast. So far I've listed 275 species of birds in the area (Chacahua National Park to Puerto Escondido inc foothills). This year we added Summer Tanager, Tree Swallow, and Blue Grosbeak to the regional list. Some northern migrants I'm finding travel south down the east coast, then crossover to the west coast at the Isthmus of Tehuantepec where there are no mountain barriers, then travel back north up the west coast. Oaxaca state by the way has the largest diversity of birds of any Mexican state, due to its incredible diversity of ecosystems - from pine-oak mountains at 11,000' down to the Pacific coastal mangrove forests, tropical deciduous forests, rainforests, deserts, and cloud forests. Birding tour groups from around the world continue to visit Oaxaca regularly.
Carnaval 2,000 - Puerto successfully resurrected the Carnaval festival this year with great float entries and costumes from many town groups - students, businesses, service groups, as well as foreign and Mexican travelers all joined in the fun and festivities. There was lots of energy and creativity in the parades, town dances and live entertainment events this past February, with plans already underway to carry on the festival next year. The "Costeños" needed a good excuse to party after 2 catastrophic natural events in the past 2 years, and Carnaval seems to have provided a good answer.
Tourism - in general was down approx 30% this past year due to many influences - take your pick: - loss of Mexicana flights making it difficult to find easy connections to Puerto; Mexicana lets its subsidiary "Aero Caribe" fly in from Oaxaca City and Mexico City, but at high prices; (savvy travelers fly air only to Huatulco, then bus or taxi the 70 miles to Puerto; Aerovega continues to operate daily Puerto - Oaxaca City; a new Cancun - Oaxaca City flight will soon be available).
- misinformation re the past hurricane of'98 and earthquake of '99: 95% of services are restored and functioning well; Puerto after all is relatively new, having been constructed in the past 20 years so all the steel re-enforcement rod, necessary by code, keeps buildings upright... as well as the 3-story building height limit...wood and palapa structures were relatively unaffected (appropriate technology)... overall very few Puerto buildings were affected.
- the peso increased in value approx 15% over the past year making Mexico less of a travel bargain; conversely in Puerto many hotels lowered their prices to attract travelers; the restaurant scene remains very competitively priced with excellent and varied seafood abundant; a very wide range of accommodations are easily available once there, from $5. cabana sites to $120. 4 star hotel rooms; reservations are required only at Easter and Christmas peak seasons.
- the unfortunate murder of an American woman 2 years ago has spooked many US visitors (the US government still maintains a travel advisory for Puerto after this incident, even though the 2 bandits involved are imprisoned for the long term); the 2 local municipalities in Puerto and the hotel association have increased police vigilance on the beach and we ourselves encountered no problems enjoying the beaches there during our 4 month visit. When we first arrived in Puerto 20 years ago the population was 5,000 people; now in 2,000 it is approaching 50,000! Most long-term visitors to Puerto are quite pleased to see a slow down in mass tourism; it still retains its charm with a small town atmosphere hosting an eclectic mix of foreign travelers, students, surfers, ecotourists, sun-seekers, and snow-birds.
Roosterfish - re the inquiry... I bought a few 2 kg "gallos" from fisherman on the beach for approx 20 pesos each... they are usually fished anywhere along the coast behind the breakers; other "first-class" fish - yellow-fin tuna, salema, dorado, halibut, pompano, sailfish, snapper, needle-fish, pargo, and yellowtails were available in restaurants all winter; less expensive corbina, chivos, blanquitos, and black-fin tuna "barraletes" were also readily abundant in budget restaurants.
Here are some answers to recent inquiries (as of April 2,000):
Hotel San Juan - all is well, operating as usual.
Hotel Flor de Maria - still has good prices and Maria's famous cooking.
Aerovega (Puerto - Oaxaca) - bookings are done through Turismo Rodimar tel: 01 (958) 20734 - an 8-seater Cessna? with an experienced, professional pilot... I enjoyed this 30 minute flight twice, in Feb and March, peering out the window at the gorgeous mountain vistas all the way...a big time saver if you don't have time for the 7-hr bus trip...one way $780 pesos.
Temazcalli - the professional steam-bath, massage, and meditation center is alive and well, with owners Patti and Alejandro, and their staff, continuing to offer excellent services; tel: (958) 21023 Ave. Infraganti, approx. 3 km SE of town, above hwy 200.
For travelers seeking info when in Puerto - find Gina, the Oaxaca state tourism rep, on the "adoquin" (tourist strip) for any details on the area...she is bilingual, Spanish and English, is a wealth of information on the coast, and maintains a library of travel guides in numerous languages.
Saludos from Canada.....only 8 months until we return to Puerto....
I too, would be curious how traveler's from Minnesota are getting there now that MLT no longer services Huatulco. The crime stories had scared me away last year and this, but after a week in Cancun last year, and just returning from Las Vegas this year, I'm ready to return. It's good to hear that people are once again feeling safe and returning. The other two destinations just didn't "cut" it!
If anyone has reference to either issue, please feel free to drop an email.
Bob & Connie Schlag
We've just returned from a couple of weeks at Mario Corella's place in Mazunte. We took a boat ride out from San Agustinillo and saw a bird that does not occur on his list--a Red-billed Tropicbird. These are usually nowhere close to land, but it was right by the big guano-covered rock out in the ocean just West of Zipolite. We thought he might be interested in hearing about it. I don't know if he considers that close enough to the Puerto Escondido area to include, but he might.
By the way, the Mole web page has moved. Its new URL is http://www.ramekins.com/mole/molehome.html
Tess Ewing & Louise Rice
Marcus & Alison Cain
Brian Drake, Minneapolis, MN
If you could be of assistance I would be most grateful. I will be returning to Puerto Escondido in May.
Last Easter I was able to share the riches of Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido for 2 weeks with 7 other women, half of whom had never been to Mexico. It being a mother daughter grandmother trip the pressure was on (Me) will we be safe, etc. It was a fantastic trip. When questions arose I just directed them to your site.
This March I am headed to Melaque (Jalisco) for 3 weeks and I was wondering if anyone has been to the Hotel Royale Costa Sur in Cuastecomates recently? Spoke to them on the phone and they were extremely nice. Was wondering if this is the hotel mentioned in a post with a description of the beach at Cuastecomates stating the hotel is a dump. I must confess I have stayed in some very enjoyable dumps and with a quoted price of $15 a night for myself and 2 grandchildren I'm willing to give it a go. Any input would be welcome. Many thanks.
Miss you both,
Early the next morning the 7 of us loaded our vehicles and set off on Highway 175 for Puerto (Translate: 2 lane country way). While the total distance traveled was a mere 178 miles, it took us 6 solid hours of hard driving to wend our way through the maze of switch backs that test one's determination. The journey through the mountains (we went from 5K feet above sea level to more than 8700 feet and down again) is amazing and very beautiful. As well, it is treacherous. The road is terrible. It is severely pot-holed with lanes frequently missing due to the effects of earthquakes and erosion.
Puerto, however, is the reward earned for making the journey. The beaches are beautiful, the water, wonderful and the day-to-day pace and vibe is like a lullaby...We were as indulgent as we could be and simply could not seem to spend money, We spent a series of lazy days reading, sleeping, running, surfing, eating, drinking and napping.
Breakfasts at Cafecito, burgers at Art and Harry's and the odd dinner at Santa Fe.
We ended one millennium and began the next by a bonfire on the beach. Spectacular.
I am looking forward to getting back.
Ian E. Warburg
Ann is 22 years old, Caucasian, 5 foot 4 inches (152 cm), 110 pounds (50 kilos) and has a fairly large tattoo of a dragon on her left arm.
They were reportedly staying at the Palmas De Cortez trailer park, but I have not been able to find any listing for this. I have tried to contact the owner, Roberto Cortez, via Fax, 20209, but have not received any response. I have not been able to find a regular phone number for him.
Any information which my help us locate them directly or put us in phone contact with Roberto Cortez will be greatly appreciated.
Thanx for posting that. She (Ann Ford) finally called home today. Roberto Cortez was able to get the fax I sent to her even though she was no longer staying at his facility.
We are adventurous but want to be safe and practical with the children. What city would you suggest flying into? Someone suggested going to Acapulco and renting a car. Also we are ocean swimmers but not surfers. What area has the prettiest beaches for swimming and snorkeling?
Thanks for your comments. We are looking forward to our trip.
Del Mar, CA
Have stayed at the Flor de Maria several times in the past (last time was Dec.'97) and found it to be a nice place at the right price. Also have used AeroVega several times (between Oaxaca and P.E.) with no problems.
Any readers who have recently traveled to P.E.: Is Flor de Maria still a good place to stay? (as info, have stayed at other places in P.E. over the years, including the Paraiso and the Santa Fe, and found the Flor de Maria to be best value for location, lodging, personality and price.....hope it hasn't changed!)
Also, any updates on level of violent crime? I've never felt too threatened in P.E. because I take obvious precautions to avoid trouble, but am somewhat concerned due to reports I've read in the past year or so regarding the area and it has been a couple of years since I've been there myself. Thanks!
I would appreciate it if you could provide me with any information on the following:
1) The cost of long-term tie-downs and hangar space at Huatulco Airport or at Puerto Escondido airport. (Is there a difference in rate for airplanes of Mexican versus U.S. registry?) I'm sure there's an airport at Huatulco, because I've landed there. Not so sure about Puerto Escondido, but if you can fill me in I'd appreciate it.
2) The cost and availability of a six-month rental (say, October 15-April 15) in the Huatulco / Puerto Angel / Puerto Escondido area. I would much rather live in a Mexican neighborhood than in a turista palace. (I speak pretty good Spanish.)
I need zero luxury. I've been divorced for eight years, and I'm used to living in a sound but simple abode whose furnishings are most charitably described as unfortunate. I'm looking for really basic accommodations. About the only things I absolutely have to have are good, reliable telephone service, electricity, internet access, and some sort of toilet and shower (again, nothing fancy). After that, I would like a table, a desk, a futon (all of which I can buy, if necessary), and a kitchen with potable water, a stove, and a fridge. If all of this were within walking distance of an airport where I can hangar or tie down my airplane, I'd be happy as a clam.
3) I would like to make myself and my airplane available to any "mercy flight" or other humanitarian operation that might be active in the area. If you know of any such operations that can use the services of a small, light plane and pilot that can get in and out of relatively short, unpaved strips, please let me know. (My maximum payload, in addition to myself, is in the 150-200-pound range, depending on density and distribution.)
Thanks a lot.
1. Truly QUIET places to stay. Up to $50 for one, several weeks. Loathe loud music. Obviously prefer something a little cheaper.
2. Availability, price, and quality of bicycle rentals. Ideally wish to rent a mountain-style ten-speed with locks for several weeks for general use.
3. Ditto for kayak... or are currents too unsafe?
4. Local geology. Limestone? Caves or cenotes would truly make my day.
Also Could anyone confirm the rumour I heard from friends in Holland that Donna TalkingLeaves, a Spiritual Ceremonial Leader and her Partner Mats Aguila will partake in a Ceremonial Gathering on Zicatela beach on New Years eve. Someone mentioned a place called Temazcallis as organizers. Would appreciate some feedback.
presently in Stockholm, Sweden (but not for long)
I was at a jewelry store in Oaxaca and purchased a few things and now I wished I had gotten a few more things. Do you know if any of the stores are on-line. I know this is a long-shot, but I thought what the hell; and this store was not like the typical stores we went into to. It had very unique merchandise and the store overall was designed very well. A lot of silver (kind of bulky) with many different color stones. Let me know when you get a chance.
In Pinotepa one sees many people of black African descent and they predominate in some of the small communities on the beach. It's about a half an hour on a slow dirt road from Pinotepa to El Corralero (it's on the map) . We go to where a large lagoon connects with the ocean where there are a number of palapas (open air restaurants). One of the nicest is owned by a very friendly black family. They cook to order from the catch that individual fishermen bring in in the morning. The stove is adobe and the fuel firewood. Everything is primitive but well manicured. The one necessary modern appliance is a refrigerated cooler for beer and soda. The palapas face the ocean where the surf is obviously too rough for swimming. I don't know about surfing. One can swim on the lagoon side but I find the current a little spooky. One can also rent lanchas or boats for tours of the lagoon.
The fishing here is good. My friend Dago fishes with a net and it may take him 2 to 4 hours to fill a 5-gallon plastic bucket with three or four varieties of pan-sized fish. Dago cleans them and the restaurant owners cook them for us. A few others were catching larger fish with hook and line wrapped around pop bottles.
Maybe halfway between Pinotepa and Puerto Escondido is Cerro Hermoso. There is a small community off the highway on the shore of a large lagoon (on the map) and a beach farther down the road at the mouth of the lagoon. There is a long, straight ocean beach that the locals warn against swimming in but the lagoon is quiet and good for swimming. Palapas, black people, rustic, good place to picnic, swim, fish, etc. A bit run down compared to the Corralero but there is fresh water to rinse off the salt water. My friend Dago dug a well there as he did at his mother's house in Huaxpaltepec. The water table is only ten feet or so below ground.
While la costa of Oaxaca is one of the seven cultural regions of the state of Oaxaca represented annually in the Guelagetza celebration, the Costa Chica is part of La Mixteca. It is however culturally distinct. I'm not really well informed and I'm curious to learn more but I'm aware of a few things particular to this area. The people, according to Mexican friends, are reputed to be open, direct and fun-loving, but somewhat suspicious of outsiders. They say the women are independent, the men crude and the popular dialect vulgar. Hablan pura groseria goes the stereotype. My friend Dago says that this is true but that they are misunderstood. They talk the way they do out of custom not because they are ignorant or backward as the stereotype often assumes but because they want to. . For example, my name is Bill and the Spanish pronunciation sounds like vil, Spanish for vile. So Dago gave me the nickname vil indio or vile indian. Anyway, Dago teaches me their lingo as we go along mostly to assure me not to be offended by their gruff language. And not to go around speaking that way to people I don't know. I get the idea that they are somewhat defensive about their reputation for being backward. Possibly like the US in times past where people with a southern accent were assumed to be dumb hillbillies.
I stayed at the Hotel Pete one night in Pinotepa and talked with several friendly people; both employees and guests. Even the bellboy that came to my room about one a.m. to see if I wanted any sexual services politely excused himself when I declined. In the morning one of the waiters took me to a nearby restaurant as promised so I could try the mole de iguana with handmade tortillas and rich local coffee. Very good.
Apparently there are dangerous people in the area so its not a place for foreigners and other outsiders to explore as casually as other parts of Mexico. My friend Dago has told me that going alone to some of the places we go I would run the risk of encountering belligerent people that would give me a hard time, especially since we spend the night fishing on deserted beaches. He assures me that everything's OK as long as I'm with him or with his daughter.
Back to culture, the city of Pinotepa Nacional is usually represented in the Guelaguetza and their music and dance is notably different in that it is livelier and more familiar sounding to the North American ear. It is interspersed with humorous verses with double meanings shouted to the audience first by a male dancer and then contested by a female dancer. Together they proudly express the attitudes of the people of Pinotepa to the crowd.
I have traveled to Pinotepa by car and by bus from the town of Huajuapan de Leon about 8 hours to the north. It's a bit better road than the one from Oaxaca to Pochutla [Hwy 175] but the buses still never get out of second gear. Some of my Mexican friends are leery of driving on this highway while others say that they are overreacting. Common sense I guess. Like a Mexican man who gave me directions before I crossed the mountains driving alone on the way to Pochutla advised: Don't stop anywhere and don't give anyone a ride. That was after I gave him a ride a mile or two down the road. Oh well.
Well I could go on and on. This is by no means a definitive analysis and my interpretations, of course, are open to question, but I like the Costa Chica and will be going to visit in February. I hope I'll have the chance to visit Puerto Escondido; I've only seen it from the highway. I also would like to read about the experiences of others who have traveled in this area. Nos vemos,
I enjoy long day rides on these routes, spending the afternoon at favorite spots around Puerto Angel. I also like to ride northwest on the coastal highway to Roca Blanc and to the summit on 131 near the Juquila cutoff. I like long hard rides followed by consumption of vast quantities of food and drink. I enjoy the heat, but this does tend to temper the pace somewhat.
At any rate, I have two questions to ask the internet community:
2234 Roosevelt Ave.
Berkeley Ca 94703
Great web site. Myself and seven friends are flying into Acapulco (from Canada) on Dec. 27 at 2:30 PM. We are planning to arrive in Escondido on the 28th and will be leaving Mexico on January 5th. I have two specific questions:
i) Will we need reservations or will we be able to find something at the last minute? Our group consists of 2 couples and four singles. We are rather flexible and are looking to spend $10-15 US per night per person. we are all about 25 years old and really just want to relax in the sun but still have some adventure; no resorts please.
ii) What is the best way to get from Acapulco to Escondido? We were thinking by bus. Since we arrive in Acapulco at 2:30PM and the trip is about 8 hours we were hoping to take an over night bus, leaving at 11 or 12 PM. Is there such a thing or are should we stay overnight in Acapulco (I hope not), and catch a morning bus?
Any information from anyone would be great.
I received a variety of advice and opinion from a wide range of people. Having just returned from my month long trip to Mexico (6 days in Puerto Escondido) I can safely say that Mexico has alot to offer, whether you consider yourself an independent traveler/backpacker or plain package tourist.
Puerto Escondido, Zipolite and the rest of Mexico for that matter is a safe place to travel. Just use your common sense. I felt pretty safe in Puerto Escondido. If you are in any doubt about walking late at night along the road on Zicatela beach, take a taxi. They're very reasonable. By the way, the floodlights along the road are still not being turned on. We stayed at Rincon del Pacifico in the town. The room was right on the beach, comprised of a bedroom and a reception room/kitchenette, air-con and TV. 250 pesos. (Actually you didn't always need the air-con due to a gentle sea breeze if you keep those windows open!) In fact the two rooms at the front of the Rincon del Pacifico are the nearest rooms to the beach all along that stretch of coast. Plus you have the added bonus of checking out what the fisherman catch in the morning. (If that's your sort of thing!)
Highly recommended is also Hotel Flor de Maria which has a nice authentic Mexican feel about it plus further along is Arco Iris and Hotel Ines both excellent with a wide choice of rooms to suit a wide range of budgets.
By the way if you like Zipolite beach and Puerto Escondido - check out the beach resorts in India (Goa or Kerala). They've got a similar feel to them.
Enjoy your traveling!
(By the way, on the safety subject, does anyone know about safety/crime in Capetown, South Africa? We are planning a house exchange there and any info from anyone would be appreciated.) We had our best meals at the Santa Fe and at Carmen's Cafecito--Dan who, along with his wife, owns Carmen's is another really friendly and interesting guy. Only one meal at Junta Del Mar and it was mediocre. The Benito Juarez Market on Saturday was quite an experience, second only to the unbelievable Saturday market in Oaxaca city.
As a last word: Gina is great, a truly nice person. My wife and I went back each day, just to shoot the bull. I am writing a letter to the Secretario de Turismo in Oaxaca about her as well. Tom, thanks for the great web site!! I wish I could find such a site for all the places we visit.
Joe Stevens, M.D.
John Barimo, M.S.
My co-author and photographer Doug Aitken is a surfer and visited Chacahua purely for that purpose in the 1970s. Since he described the place to me, we've both been interested in visiting again for a new project.
Do you know where we could get some more specific information about Chacahua? Can you describe for me the roots of the people who live there? I understand they are a maroon community, possibly of freed African slaves. Is that correct? What is their origin? Have they interacted much with the local population, or created their own isolated community? Doug seems to remember it as being almost completely inaccessible, and that people in Puerto Escondido said the inhabitants of Chacahua didn't interact with them very much. What is their status today?
Donald A Estell
Please put "PARA ANALIA" in the subject of your reply.
My husband and I are planning a trip to Puerto Escondido in early November, 1999, for a couple of weeks to visit friends. We plan to fly into Acapulco and drive to P.E. After reading some of the earthquake damage reports, we are worried that the highway from Acapulco to P.E. may not be open yet. Does anyone have information concerning the road conditions as of now? Also, we are interested in learning if others have passed that way recently. We're looking for checkpoints along the way where we can find gas, food & cash. Also, should we carry travelers's checks? Will we find places that accept credit cards, i.e., VISA. Are there ATM machines along the way and where? Are there banks and businesses along the way that will cash traveler's checks? We are interested in getting the names and locations of specific towns that meet the criteria above so that we can plan appropriately.
Also, I have viewed the various P.E. sites on the web and visited some of the hotel and condo web sites, but would be very interested in hearing from others about good accommodations they have enjoyed in P.E. recently. (I am most interested in ones that have a url and air conditioning).
Janet & Lupe
The highway has only experienced earthquake damage very near Puerto Escondido, and was immediately made passable. Currently, most damage to the highway is due to flooding, which happens seasonally, and often damages the coastal highway. The highway is a lifeline for all residents along the coast and damaged areas are quickly filled in--though repairs may just as quickly be washed away. You can expect the road to be passable unless there has been a deluge the day before. You can also expect longer travel times due to poor road conditions.
Travelers checks work and may be redeemed at any bank and at larger hotels. They are not necessarily safer than cash since they don't always give you a refund if they are stolen. ATM machines are at almost every bank and are the best way to get pesos. Credit cards are accepted at larger hotels and restaurants but won't be appreciated at the smaller places--it can take weeks for them to receive the funds.
Any sizable town along the route, such as Pinotepa Nacional, will have a bank, but I would suggest taking enough cash to make the trip from Acapulco to Puerto Escondido so you don't have to worry about it. ATM machines sometimes break down and you don't want to be caught high and dry when there's only one or two in town. Puerto Escondido has many banks and ATMs. -Tom
I have travelled extensively in SE Asia /India/Turkey/Moroco/Domincan Republic . I am not naive, but I would like to hear from people who can "put me right" about the place. I want a balanced view please.
I will be visiting Mexico in November. Should I go to Puerto Escondido or should I go somewhere else.
I would also like to hear from anyone recommending places to stay. Mid-range places like Hotel Ines or others.
E-mail me please with your suggestions and thoughts.
Norma Patricia Costilla V.
John M Williams
I drove Hwy 75 last march. There were a few places where either the road was partially washed out or partially covered by a landslide, but there was always a lane open. This is typical for Hwy 75 and that is the highway I would recommend you take. Travel in the daytime only. A washed out place in the road just looks like a shadow at night. Start early in the morning so you can take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It takes about 8 hours.   -Tom
Last summer I had the opportunity to visit Puerto Escondido, and I must say it was one of the grandest experiences of my life. I am a dedicated amateur surfer, and the waves at Playa Zicatela were the very best I've seen in North America.
I got to Escondido by way of bus from Mexico City. This is an excellent way to see the wonderful state of Oaxaca, but I must warn you that it is a 12 to 14 hour ride, sometimes non-stop. The bus ticket usually cost less than $40 one way. This fare is for the highline busses that feature films and travel in groups of three for safety. Also there have been reports of bandidos in this region, and it is advised that Americans not travel alone on the busses, or at night. I am aware that an airport exists in Escondido that hosts regular flights to Mexico City. Anyone who has some knowledge of the fairs/schedule I would greatly appreciate it!
Get some grasp of Spanish before you go down there, many of the local citizenry/merchants (even some of the travel personnel!) are not bilingual. If you have some friends who are natives of Mexico I strongly suggest you take them along with you. Not only will they help you filter through the nuances of the Spanish language, they can get you out of a bind if you drunkenly piss someone off.
Food and lodging is relatively cheap. During the summer expect it to be sweltering hot, but we got away with 5 dollars per person per night in a very cool beachfront cabana. Meals never cost more than 10 dollars, unless you really, REALLY splurge.
The beaches and water are crystal clear and wonderfully clean. And the surf, ah the surf.... the very best. You can rent a surfboard for 6-8 dollars most places, be sure to look around. International competitions are held every August and November. If you plan on taking pictures make sure you take a camera and plenty of film, these things are expensive in Mexico.
I broke away from tradition and took a bus alone from Escondido to Mexico City at night and encountered 0 problems. At one point the bus driver hit a cow, but he just backed up, went around the carcass, and kept on going. I went back to sleep and woke up at our destination.
Bring some mosquito repellent. If there is a mosquito net in your room near your bed, use it. Malaria inhabits this region and the mosquitos bite from 7pm to 9am, with fiercest activity around midnight.
This is probably the best vacation spot in Mexico as far as most bang for the buck. There is a flipside to this. Never, ever walk on the beach at night. This area is replete with criminal activity during nocturnal hours. Escondido is a hidden vacation area and as such the local economy is not entirely dependent on it. As a result there is no Tourist Police force to protect the towns auxiliary income, whearas Cancún, Acapulco, Cuernavaca, all have specific police divisions designed to protect the tourists due to the heavy local economic dependence of tourism. There also seems to be a shortage of small change in Escondido, so bring as much of it as you can.
Nightlife is outstanding, with rotating drink specials from bar to bar and a large craft scene along the middle of the strip.
I recommend Escondido for the adventurous, confident individual who is not afraid to experience raw paradise. If you have any comments or questions please email me!
I was stopped by Zapatista rebels (They had Zapatista on their sombreros.) just outside Oaxaca city while they surrounded my car holding up rocks and machetes. I .was the first to arrive so they calmed down after they secured the road with big trucks etc. It happened so fast--very disorienting. I was able to take pictures  after I calmed down and they as well . They show everything (the pictures). Funny, Mark Leyes the US consular agent in Oaxaca, insists that it is very safe here in Oaxaca State but then he owns numerous rentals that he rents to us so it is pretty difficult to rent them if he tells the truth about all the crimes against foreigners here. Hope this helps someone. Personally I think Oaxaca is the perfect place to loose your life savings and your life--more later if you print this.
I've got a questions, especially to any women who have traveled solo in Puerto Escondido.
I'm planning my vacation to Mexico (I am a bilingual Mexican-American woman in her early 30's) and am wondering how safe it would be to go to PE alone. I've been to PE numerous times in the last 5 years, but always have gone with 2 to 3 additional people. Any thoughts, suggestions?
Este chico se llama Gustavo Ariel Cruz de apodo Pilu, está en vuestra ciudad con la novia y practica surf. Tal vez si está dentro de sus posibilidades podría poner una copia de este mail en algún bar de la playa o en otro sitio que frecuenten los que practican dicho deporte, o avisar a alguna radio-emisora o simplemente correr la voz. Nuestra dirección de correo electrónico es:
email@example.comSi alguien lo ubica, que por favor mande un mail o llame por teléfono a cualquiera de los siguientes números:
Pierre Bornel 54-223-486-3400.-Desde ya estamos muy agradecidos por lo que pueda hacer, en especial la madre de Pilu (Susana), que realmente está muy preocupada. Un abrazo, y a la espera de vuestra solidaridad:
We stayed at the Hotel Santa Fe primarily because it had air conditioning and a good reputation. It was very nice and the staff was very accommodating. However, we did have some "huge" cockroaches in our room in the middle of the night. And the last morning we were there we had a scorpion joining us in our room. So that was an experience! We had the most fun hanging around Playa Marinero each day trying to manage these "smaller" waves. We met Hector who served us each day under his palapas on the beach. We also met Pat Flynn at Bananas one night during happy hour. We also met Inez and her horse a couple of times on the beach.
We really enjoyed all of our meals in Puerto. Our favorite was Junto al Mar. We also liked the grilled fish at Hermann's. We took a lot of advice off of the website and we were careful at night. We took taxis from town to our hotel after dark. We knew that as tourists we could be targets of theft and other crimes but we just didn't do anything stupid.
We found that the people were very nice and friendly, even the kids and women selling handcrafts on the beach would sit down with you and chat for a while (good for my Spanish). We went into town a few times to the market and to the Taqueria la Playita which was closed when we wanted to eat there. We'll have to catch it open next time.
We did notice a large police presence on Perez Gasga especially. There were local and federal officers everywhere. The beach lights were not on even one night while we were there just to let you know.
I just wanted to take a moment to let you know how much your website and all the visitors comments helped us have a great vacation. We want to go back sometime for sure. Thanks Again
I have a second home on the island Roatan off the Caribbean coast of Honduras. People do get bitter when they are constantly warding off burglaries and hearing of senseless violence. Too many ex-pats are easily parted from their money in exchange for their dreams, too few are really adapted to the hardships that come with living in such an area.
Puerto is suffering from the bad publicity regarding the crime problems. Roatan is suffering from the bad publicity due to Hurricane Mitch. The situation is only exasperated for the majority of people who are simply struggling to survive.
People who are considering making permanent moves to such idealized tourist towns need to make sure they don't burn their bridges and don't invest more than they can afford to lose. Life as an ex-pat is much different than life as a tourist. Everybody is happy to have you as a tourist, they want to provide you services and they want you to have a good experience and return again. Once you become a resident and are more cost conscious things do change. Although you may be frugal and consider yourself to be living modestly, you are likely to have many more times what the average man could hope for. You do spend a lot of time fending off those who would like to work an angle on you, or clean out your house while you are at the grocery store.
I see quite a bit of turn-over in the ex-pat communities, and I also see that some of the hangers-on are those who can't return due to legal problems at home. The romantic desperado is one thing for story telling, and another thing as a permanent neighbor.
So, don't be too hard on the bitter ex-pat. He is trying to tell you the truth as he sees it. Try to learn from it, and if you have your doubts quiz some of the foreign local residents who don't have a stake in telling you what you would like to hear.
I have a question. May I mention great real estate deals from time to time? For example, right now there's a fire sale price on land in Carrizalillo ($20,000 for 14.66 m. x 30m) with water, elec. and paved roads. Then there's a fabulous lot adjacent to the lighthouse for $97,500. If I can pass along extra good buys, I'd like to. I know there are some of your readers who might be interested in real estate here but would prefer to work with the owner or have someone who speaks English help.
We believe that we would be much safer booking accommodation in advance as it will be busy at this time of year and millennium. We have found the many little places mentioned on your page in our guidebooks, and they look great, though as we are in Australia, we aren't quite sure how to book them.
We would greatly appreciate any recommendations on places to stay (or not to stay) and whether you would recommend booking in advance. We are looking at the middle bracket-hopefully some little bungalow at the beach. As my boyfriend will be surfing the whole time, it would be great to be near Zicatela.
Any responses would be much appreciated.