Home >> Oaxaca >> Puerto Escondido >> Puerto Escondido Trip Report 2006

Puerto Escondido Trip Report 2006

an article on a November 2006 visit to Puerto Escondido by Tom Penick
Map of Puerto Escondido
Main Index
Puerto Escondido
Best of Puerto Escondido
Food of the Gods
Moles of Oaxaca
Food Vocabulary
Feria de Hongos
Visitors' Comments
Map of Oaxaca
What's New?

On our visit in 2005, we were encouraged to visit again during the Fiestas de Noviembre this year. In the months before this visit, I called upon the folks in the Visitors' Comments to help me compile a list of the Best of Puerto Escondido. So one of the things we tried to do on this trip was to visit some of the many restaurants recommended by the participants.
Tuesday, November 21 we depart San Antonio, Texas, on a Mexicana flight to Puerto Escondido with a stop in Mexico City. Alas, Mexicana has followed the lead of other airlines and abandoned any attempt at providing what could be called a meal for its passengers. While most people have historically criticized the food that airlines have served, I have always enjoyed it, especially the Mexicana ones. The little compartments with various tidbits designed to appeal to the largest audience possible reminded me of a Japanese bento box. Now you just get a bag or a cardboard box with a cold sandwich and not much else. I do like the lime peanuts though.
Our bags were checked through to Puerto Escondido, so we didn't have to collect them for customs in Mexico City. We transferred to Mexicana's Click Airline and continued to Puerto Escondido in an airplane that had more legroom than the first. At the Puerto Escondido airport we were met by the Information Goddess and taken to our first hotel, the Barlovento. The Barlovento is tucked back into a quiet neighborhood near the lighthouse.

View from our room at the Barlovento
We headed out for dinner at Los Crotos [menu 235kB], which was mentioned as a runner up for both best restaurant and best romantic restaurant. We had ceviche, milanesa, and pulpo enamorado (octopus in coconut milk). All were good.

Pulpo at Los Crotos
Wednesday, November 22: We had an early breakfast at the Barlovento Restaurant, which has an open-air dining room overlooking the pool and grounds. We had huevos Oaxaqueños (fluffy omelet in red sauce with Oaxacan cheese), huevos divorciados (2 eggs over-easy, one in red sauce and the other in green), and huevos Mexicanos (scrambled eggs with chopped chilis, onions, tomatoes and beans). We spent the morning exploring downtown Puerto Escondido.

View from the restaurant at the Barlovento

page 1

page 2

For lunch, we took a taxi to the market and ate at nearby La Margaritas [menu 242kB], recipient of best Mexican restaurant title. Margaritas is located back from the busy street in a quiet courtyard. Hand-made tortillas are freshly cooked on a comal adjacent to the dining area. One of us sampled 3 different types of empañas while the other two had the comida corrida. The three of us had a great lunch for about US$14 total.

Making tortillas at Margaritas
We did some shopping at the market and continued to explore and photograph downtown.

Chayote at the market
We ate dinner with Gina at Las Tugas on the Rinconada. Las Tugas has the honor of being Puerto Escondido's best restaurant. The large menu consists of several pages and here is one of them [menu 148kB]. We had pork pot roast, Hawaiian tuna with wasabi sauce, Portugese fish (a stew with shrimp, fish, tomato, and onion), and a fruit plate. Appetizers were chips with salmon creme dip and chicken foie gras.

Roast pork at Las Tugas
Thursday, November 23 (Thanksgiving): We got up early and took a walk along the public walkway that runs along the rocky seashore between Playa Principal and the Eglantina Condos. We had breakfast at the Hotel Barlovento. After breakfast we took a taxi to Playa Carrizalillo and spent most of the day there. We enjoyed ceviche and cocos frios on the beach. Did some snorkeling and saw a few fish and some coral out around the rocks on the northwest end. Saw some more fish on the southeast end but the water was more turbid there and you have to be careful around the rocks that are only slightly below the surface. In the evening we attended a large Thanksgiving dinner with the local expats.

page 2

page 3

Made in the shade at Playa Carrizalillo
Friday, November 24: We ate breakfast at Cafecito on the Rinconada. I had a cinnamon for their bakery which was excellent. We liked the coffee too. We went out to La Huerta de Don Juan in Barra de Navidad where I had announced we would be in case anyone wanted to come out and meet. About 15 people showed up and we visited and ate under the palapa next to the Río Colotepec.

Party at La Huerta de Don Juan
Friday afternoon we watched skydivers land on Playa Zicatela. Then we went over to Sabor a Mar and had a great dinner.

Skydivers landing at Zicatela
After dinner, we walked over to the stage on Zicatela to watch traditional dancers from Pinotepa Nacional.

Traditional dancing on Playa Zicatela

page 3

page 4

Saturday, November 25: We got up early and tried to each breakfast at Tabuchin but it wasn't open--too early. We ate at the Hotel Sante Fé instead. Then we went on Gina's Walking Tour where we ate another breakfast at Super Café. Gina introduced us to tostaditos de coroso at the mercado. It is a sweet tortilla made with a small variety of coconut. Very tasty.

Visit to a shop for herbal remedies on Gina's Walking Tour
We had lunch at La Juguileña on 8a. This is one of the best Mexican food restaurants in town. Victor, our taxi driver, said there is another restaurant by the same name in the centro. He was the same driver that took us to Barra de Navidad the day before. In the evening we ate at La Galera restaurant located at the Arco Iris, which is recognized as Puerto's best value restaurant. Here is part of their large menu (266k). La Galera is on top of the hotel and looks out over Zicatela. I think it is also one of Puerto's more romantic restaurants. We enjoyed brocheta de camarones, caracol, and the house specialty, chiles nogales stuffed with beef in a honey creme sauce. All was delicious and priced reasonably so that together with the ambiance and view make this a good value indeed.

Traditional dance presentation on Playa Zicatela
In the evening we attended the native dances on a stage set up on Zicatela beach. The dancers were a group from Guerrero and we took photos. I must remember to bring earplugs to amplified events in Mexico. We bought some coffee at one of the booths set up nearby and sampled tamal, made with beans and pumpkin seed--very good.

Chiles Nogales at the Arco Iris

page 4

page 5

Sunday, November 26: In the morning we had a breakfast of sopes at La Puesta del Sol on Laguna Manialtepec. La Puesta del Sol is a small family restaurant and campground run by Gil and Elvira and their son, Ulises. We were treated to a short boat tour of Laguna Manialtepec, with water like glass and teeming with aquatic birds.

Seafood platter with sopes and a lot more at La Puesta del Sol

Laguna Manialtepec
After that we took the Puerto Tour of the Notorious where we saw the homes of Froggy, Slav, and other Visitors' Comments notables.

This illegally tall structure, seen on Puerto's Tour of the Notorious, is blocking Slav's view and may be one of the reasons he is so cranky.
We ate lunch at La Langosta on the west end of Playa Principal where we watched the finale of the fishing tournament. The first place prize was a pickup truck and cars were given for 2nd and 3rd place.

Fishing tournament finals

page 5

page 6

Sunday evening we had dinner at the Hotel Santa Fé. The Sante Fé is located on Playa Zicatela and is one of Puerto's finest hotels. The restaurant is the palapa structure structure at left and has a great view of Playa Zicatela with sunsets over the ocean. It has the distinction of being Puerto's most romantic restaurant. We had sopa de cilantro, guacamole, sopa azteca, papas fritas, and ceviche with pastel chocolate for dessert.

Hotel Santa Fé with Tabachin in upper background
After dinner we went over to the municipal plaza to see more tradicional dances. There are numerous events in the Fiestas de Noviembre which last through most of November and into December. The three main locations for events are Playa Zicatela, Playa Principal, and the municipal plaza west of Playa Principal.

Dance of the Pineapple
Monday, November 27: Monday morning we had an 8:30 breakfast with owner, Paul Cleaver, at El Tabachin, a hotel/restaurant behind the Hotel Sante Fé noted for its breakfasts. In additional to regular breakfasts, the Tabuchin offers some vegetarian versions, some rather elaborate. For example Desayuno 11 is juice, fruit, vegetables with tofu and almonds, broccoli, chinese peas, asparragus, jicama, soy sprouts, onions, sweet peppers, carrots, etc. and coffee or tea. We went for a more basic breakfast with bacon, papas fritas, huevos rancheros in the Tabuchin style (with a tortilla lid). I especially liked the bacon, which was thick, crisp, and not very fatty. Some of the food served hear comes from their own farm and they even make their own brown sugar. We were impressed with the renovation work being done on the hotel with some very decorative tile work.

Tilework decorated with river pearls at the Tabachin
We spent most of the day at the twin beaches of Puerto Angelito and Playa Manzanillo. Once again, the ceviche served on the beach along with the cocos frios really hit the spot. We snorkeled in the rocky area between the two beaches and took some underwater photos. The snorkeling was good; I saw numerous reef fish including one large school of hundreds, and sea cucumbers and even a lobster.

Puffer fish at Playa Manzanillo
Tuesday, November 38: This morning we had breakfast at Arcis on Playa Marinero. We packed up our stuff and headed for home. We had a good time in Puerto Escondido and met a lot of good people. We brought back more than a thousand photos and I am still working on getting them on the web. A good time was had by all.

This page has been visited times since January 4, 2007.

| Top of page | Main index | Search | What's new |
The Pacific Coast of Mexico www.tomzap.com Tom Penick:   tom@tomzap.com