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Good Memories but Something is Missing

Hi Tom, thanks for the memories your web site has brought back! My wife and I spent two glorious weeks in PE in 1991. Your web site brought back many great moments, the only thing that seems to be missing in all my searching is any mention of the Hotel Margeos, a small family run hotel & restaurant that we stayed at located at the east end of Av Perez Gasa. The family that operated this establishment (especially Edith) made you feel right at home. Could you please let us know whether the Margeos still exists or is it just a good memory? The last address we have is Hotel y Restaurant Margeos Av Perez Gasa S/N Esq Carretera Costera PV, Oaxaca, Mexico Ph# 91 958 2077.

Stewart McCartney

December 2000

Gina says the Margeos has changed names and has a new owner. -Tom


Hi, just to say that there is a new plane flying from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido called Aerotaxi with good prices and very nice service.

Carol France

December 2000

Robbed in '81; Safer Now?

Your site is the best for info. Was in PE in '81 and was a fanatic runner and biker, as I still am. When reaching the cliffs at the far end of the bay very early one morning, I took off my daypack and my running shorts and went for a swim. While floating on my back I saw three teenagers coming down the cliff. I swam to shore as fast as I could and one of the boys and myself reached the daypack at the same time. All three of them drew guns. Needless to say, I backed off. In my pack (stupidly) was my camera, some money, passport, etc. They took everything, including my shorts, shoes and towel. I was pissed to say the least and even traced their footprints up the cliff for a while until the cacti got unbearable on the plateau. I scrambled back down the cliff. I was a little embarrassed as I bobbed in waste-deep water until I saw the first tourists who were willing to loan me a towel. The police had a good laugh. I have never been back to PE since then.

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.

Phil Polizatto

December 2000

Will Our Cell Phone Work In Puerto Escondido?

I've just recently discovered your web site and am enjoying reading it. My husband and I are coming to Puerto Escondido March 9-16 in 2001, staying at a friend's condo - I don't even know where it is at this point. We have been to Mexico 7 or 8 times, but this will be our first visit to Puerto Escondido.

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.

Jennifer Baynton

December 2000

Biking Oaxaca

Once again I am returning to my beloved Puerto Escondido and, as always, will be seeking adventurous road cycists who like long day rides or more ambitious 2 or 3 day tours. I've been riding a bike around coastal Oaxaca for 20 years and have several favorite rides that I can show you. I'll be in Puerto from 2/8 til 2/25. My local phone at the Bungalows Marinero is 20180 or e-mail me before I leave the frozen North 2/7.

Micky Bloom

December 2000

Return to the Frozen North

Just returned home from Mexico, snow and -20 wind chills here. How rude!

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.


December 2000

Darlene and Gene

Hi Tom. This is Darlene and Gene from carrizalillo beach in Puerto Escondido.... We still have had contacts concerning our rooms and the lots that are for sale in the carrizalillo beach area....so we want to let everyone know that our email has changed to:

Darlene and Gene

December 2000

Looking for Riders from Mexico City

I'm leaving from Mexico City to PE on the December 22nd, and I was wondering if you could post in your site an invitation to share gasoline expenses. I'm planning to drive to Acapulco and from there to PE, so I can pickup people at Acapulco as well.


December 2000

Last Minute Accommodations

My Best Friend and her boyfriend are coming to stay for a few weeks, arriving this weekend, they haven't booked anywhere yet, and as she's pregnant, I'm anxious to find her a nice place to stay in PE ! Can you suggest any places that might still have reservations near the beach that aren't too expensive?

Thanks for your help!

Charlotte Phillips UK
December 2000

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

Need Internet Access

Went to PE as a family last Xmas / New Year and loved it. I would like to visit again in the first two weeks of January 01, but I work on line and will need daily access to e-mail. Can I sign up for an account for Internet access in PE and access via my laptop and a hotel phone? For what I need, Internet cafe/web based e-mail is not practical, and I know from last year that long distance calls out cost the earth...

Richard Turner

December 2000

I don't think that is possible. Let me know if I am wrong. -Tom


2-Bedroom Accommodations

Hola!! Coming into PE Jan 10, 2001 and need two bedroom accommodations, until late February within ten minutes walk of the playa. Pool and security important.Please contact Juan at johnnymyboy@hotmail.com

Thanks Tom....I have enjoyed the info on your site here and looking very forward to spending time in PE!

John R Cogar

December 2000

Highway 131

Hey Tom. You have probably been asked this tons of times but I can't seem to find the answer anywhere. Is the new road between Escondido and Oaxaca open yet and (either way) how long is the bus ride? Thanks for your help.

Janet Amesse

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", ginainpuerto@yahoo.com

E mail Addresses

Love your site Tom. Can anyone out there send me E mail addresses for ANY hotels in P.E. I would particularly like to have it for the Arco Iris. Thanks.

Bob Miller

December 2000

PE with Children

My husband and I are interested in staying in a safe, beautiful, luxurious REAl Mexican hotel with our two children--ages 11 and 8. We want a place that is very kid friendly, not a bar-scene, non television sort of interesting place. Any recommendations would be very much appreciated. Thanks.


December 2000

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.

To Deborah,

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

Spanish Language School?

I read your Puerto-website and have the same ever asked question whether there are options in Puerto Escondido to attend language courses? I would love to spend some time there improving my surf and to learn Spanish. Could you please provide answer to: jnyenhui@smail.uni-koeln.de

Thanx a lot, Jens

November 2000

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", ginainpuerto@yahoo.com

Badly Needs Company and a Place to Crash :)

Hello from Mexico City , I'm heading to Puerto Escondido on the 20th of December and staying till the 6th of January ... After placing a few phone calls to various hotels listed in the dough guide I was horrified and shocked to discover that everything is full, I came a long way till here, and im going reservation or no reservation. If someone can help me out on this one.


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 ;)

Elaid Nabil
tel at Mex city 5514 8331

November 2000

Looking for a Place

Tom could you provide a little help. I was in puerto last year and loved it so much that I want to return again for 3-4 weeks I'm looking for two bedroom accommodations for a couple weeks going in mid Feb to mid March, like to stay in the Carrmarillo? beach area I'm single and Canadian, thanks. Brian

November 2000

Looking for Rocky and Eric

About ten years ago I was lucky enough to spend about 2 months in Puerto. During this time I stayed with two Americans Rocky and Eric. Eric's young son Jarrod was also there. At this time they were in the process of building a refuge called El Refugio about 10 minutes walk along the main beach towards the point.

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.

Daniel Williamson

November 2000

Looking for a Ride

Looking for transportation from acapulco to escondido for 8 men plus baggage mid jan even if by private bus or van we will need round trip. Thank you.

November 2000


What a beautiful site on Puerto Escondido. Some friends from Mexico recommended visiting the area... I feel like I've been there already by visiting you site!

I'm wondering if the town is gay-friendly-e.g. any gay night spots etc. many thanks.


November 2000

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, sharkbait69@yahoo.com

Returning After 27 Years

First of all I would like to thank Tom for the interesting website that helps us very much to plan a trip to Huatulco and Puerto Escondido on New Year. Just telling you that I have been 27 years ago as a "mochillero" to Puerto Escondido then small and dusty, but still quiet and kind of far out. Now I would like to know if the road from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido is still in bad shape and how many hours one has to calculate with a private car? Another question would be as Puerto Escondido seems to be sold out around X-mas and New Year, if somebody knows a nice place for the week after the first of January? Thanks.

Peter Richter

November 2000

Cell Phones

Can anyone tell me if they have found a cellular services that would work from Puerto Escondido back to the states ? We are thinking about moving permanently to PE. Anyone with suggestions. How is the humidity in the summer or anytime. Is it like Florida humidity. Also can anyone tell me what we need to renew our F3 visas. We had planned on moving down to Ajijic but that fell thru. Our visas will need to be renewed in March of 2001 when we are in PE. I was told I need to open a bank acct in PE is there a certain amount needed and what else do we need ?

Phyllis G

November 2000

Looking for a Place

Hello! I am looking for a place to live in Puerto Escondido for myself and 11 year old daughter. A 2 bedroom apartment would be nice. Does anyone have any suggestions? Or perhaps, another place along the coast. We are not looking for luxury. I lived in Mexico City last winter. We are from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Deanna Selinger

November 2000

Hurricane Passes Puerto Escondido

Dear Tom & Friends of Puerto Escondido:

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"

November 2000

Looking for Everardo

Tom, I am looking for a friend who was a "launchero" when I was in PE some 17 years ago. His name is Everardo and his family has several boats and a comedor, adjacent to Las Palmas Hotel, that was run by his mother and sister Lucia. His sister-in-law had a tourist shop on the main strip her nickname was tete. My name is Teresa Farley, I lived in PE for a while when I was 17. I rented a house from his family and loved my time there. I would just like to say hello, and ask how things are? I would sure like to know how he and his family are doing and catch up.

Teresa Farley

November 2000

Sola de Vega

Hi Tom. Fantastic web sight. Thanks for the information. What do you know about Sola de Vega? I'm going for a visit November the 14, 2000.

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.

Meyer Stansberry

November 2000

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! Micky Bloom

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.

Vicki Cole
Chairperson of the Emergency Response Team of the International Friends of Pto. Escondido

October 2000

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

Festival Updates

Dear Tom: The fishing tournament will cost $6500 pesos for registration plus $6000 pesos for the boat. The extra pay is for the fishing office for fishing rod may be $600 pesos, so total $13,100 pesos. The prizes are two litle pickup trucks, one car, and fourth place one motorcycle. Marlin and Dorado motorcycles too. Hope to see you dawn here this Fiestas of November.

More and more we are getting the reservations for this winter 2000, and 2001 ......

Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"

October 2000

How to Catch the Bus in Acapulco?

Thanks for maintaining your cool Puerto Escondido site. I was last there in about 1974. I hear things have changed!

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?

Allen Sonafrank

October 2000

Looking for a Place to Rent

My name is Wesley James and I am currently living in Sydney, Australia.

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.

Wesley James

October 2000

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, sharkbait69@yahoo.com

Importing Food

Ok I am looking for any info on importing foods to Puerto Escondido.Even if they are coming from Mexico city or Acapulco even Texas. For example cheese's (cheddar, goats cheese, provolone or Italian style condiments; olives, sun dried tomatoes, even pickles!

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!


October 2000

Hypodermic Syringes in Pool

Hi there, first off thanks for creating such a great resource for people to see the beautiful state of Oaxaca. I have been visiting Puerto Escondido since 1989 and it has to be one of my favourite places to be. This is just to share an experience my wife and I had the first time I took her to Huatulco. It was our honeymoon and I wanted us to have a couple of special days at a deluxe resort so I chose what was once the Sheraton but I believe it has changed hands now. Our first day was nice and fairly uneventful except for the extended bathroom time due to a couple of days exploring Mexico City prior to arriving in Huatulco. The second day was nice, lolling about the pool listening to some apparent American soldiers of fortune recount their tales of the jungles in Guatamala.

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!

Joe Embra

October 2000

We Did It!

Dear Tom, We do not expect you to remember us, since you probably correspond with millions of people a day, but we are a couple from Santa Barbara California, who lived in the mountains with solar power only (maybe that will ring a bell) and asked you for info regarding moving to the Oaxacan coast. You recommended checking the Chacalapa area, etc. Anyway, we are writing you today to let you know we did it! We bought property in the San Agustinillo area and have built a small posada, which is almost done now, we really appreciate all the information you provided us and eventually would like to have a link to your page if possible. Anyway, our place is across the street from the ocean in a palm grove, the rooms have kitchens, purified water, hot water and fans, we are planning to open this November and are anxious to have our first guests, if anyone asks for info on a place that is a step up from a palapa or hammock send them our e-mail address! And if you should ever consider to visit this way come as our guest of honor! - Thanks for all you have done for folks like us and we leave you with our best wishes.

Jeff and Ana

October 2000

Still Looking for Elihu

I am still looking for Elihu Estevane. He plays the guitar with his dad Pepe around town in bars. His dad lives in Puerto, drives beat up green VW bus. Mike McAuliffe
mca656@mediaone.net October 2000

Language School?

We will be in Puerto Escondido for the month of February and need accommodation for 2 people - with cooking facilities. It does not have to be right on the beach but a pool and gardens would be nice. Is it possible to find anything like this for about $800 a month in either Puerto Escondido or Puerto Angel?

Also, is there any type of language school in Puerto Escondido?

robert sutton
October 2000

Looking for an Inexpensive Apartment

I am looking for some accommodation to stay in PE. I am looking for an apartment of some sort for three months beginning around the 5th of October. My budget is around $200-300/month.

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!

Leo Smuga

September 2000

Looking for a Place to Rent

My name is Jon Hassett and I am currently living in Melbourne, Australia.

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.

Jon Hassett

September 2000

Driving to Oaxaca

Tom, Your site is addicting. Again, g-r-e-a-t job!

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!

Michael Young

September 2000

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

Immigration Service Available in Puerto Escondido

I have a great information we are having immigration in Puerto Escondido. If any people come with there private plane no problem! VIVA MEXICO.

Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"

September 2000

Apartment for Rent?

Tom, I visited P.E. 10 years ago and loved it. I would like to go this Jan-Feb 2001, for about 7 weeks. Do you know how I could go about finding an apartment or the like, with kitchen etc, rather than using a hotel room the whole time? Thanks . . .


September 2000

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

Zicatela Photo

Tom, A shot of pangas off Zicatela on my website; www.calandscapephotography.com/ca397.html. Enjoy!

California Landscape Photography, Riverside, CA

September 2000

September Events

Big Independence Day celebration September 15, 2000. Beginning on the 11th is a painting expo and two musical groups. Monday, traditional Spanish, very romantic and Tuesday the Sinfonica Primavera. A surfing tournament is scheduled for September 18-24, 2000. Plenty of lodging available in September.

Gina Machorro Espinosa, "The Information Goddess"

September 2000

Looking for a Place to Rent

We are arriving on Nov 29 2000, looking for place to rent one bedroom with fan, cooking unit, near water. We are from Canada. We have a friend that knows a German lady that owns a hotel. Her name is Minny. Would like to close to her. Can you help us?

kim Gord

September 2000

Place to Stay

Dear Tom, I visited you website and plan on going to Puerto Escondido in December. I will be meeting about 10 people there, and we are looking for a good, cheap place to stay. I've stayed in Acuario in the past. It was above the surf shop? Anyway, my mother is coming and she wants to stay there again, but the rest are younger, poorer well-seasoned travelers. Any suggestions? Is Puerto good for Christmas and the New Year? Thanks for any suggestions.

Ryan Miner

August 2000

Hotel Casa Blanca

Do you know if they have a web page, fax number or e-mail address. I have written but have no response. Thanks for any reply.

Phil Muzik

August 2000

Phone number is (9)582-0168. -Tom

Where to Go?

My wife and I, plus two other couples are trying to decide where in Mexico we want to vacation this coming spring. We have been to Playa del Carmen (loved it), Mazatlán (loved it almost as much), and Cabo San Lucas (decent). We are trying to decide if Manzanillo is worth going to. I just discovered your website with info about Oaxaca and the likes, and are impressed. We are also considering Zihuatanejo/Ixtapa. We enjoy good food, great beaches, staying in a nice clean casa on the beach, and the local scene (smaller villages, sight seeing, etc.) as opposed to the all,inclusive ordeal. Can you (or anyone) offer any insight into Zihuatanejo versus Manzanillo versus Puerto Escondido?

August 2000

Looking for Philipe

I am looking for a man named Philipe. He is French Canadian and ran a little bar on the beach. He is such a peace-loving guy but I heard he was ran out of zipolite by some nasty locals.

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.

August 2000

Use of a U.S. Cell Service in Mexico

Has any one been successful in using an ATT cell service in PE? I have roaming for US Canada and Mexico and can successfully make and receive calls on my phone in D. F. but usually when I am in PE and try to make a long distance call I get a message that I have to enter a code and it cannot receive calls. ATT say it should work. Is there any US cell service that consistently works in PE by that I mean you can make long distance calls and someone can call you on your number in the US and it will ring in Mexico. All thoughts or suggestions gratefully received and appreciated.


August 2000

Apartment for Rent

Tom, I got here (Puerto Escondido) and found a nice house that I rented for a year. I have an extra 1 bedroom fully furnished apartment that I would like to rent by the day/week or month for now. Internet access/phone and DirecTV. Ocean View of course. For info and pictures. please email me.

JD Crews

August 2000

Another New Library

Int'l Friends of Puerto Escondido has started a library on the Rinconada next to the Pawn Shop. All donations are appreciated from visiting foreigners. Looking for enjoyment reading (beach books), already have well over 1,000 books that can be checked out of the library (after joining...50 pesos).The money will go the the IFOPE library fund, so we may expand and help serve the community. Point of contact is Gene and Darlene 582-2646.

Gene Butler y Darlene Rivera

August 2000

Property Taxes Reduced?

Hi Tom, When we left Pto in Feb. this year there was still some question as to whether the large property tax increases in Bacocho and Rinconada would remain. Rumor had it, at that time, that they may be reduced. Can you please advise what you know.

Any new or important info about Pto. or good link to where info may be found also appreciated.


August 2000

Flight to Oaxaca City

Thanks for putting up such a great site. I am getting ready to make my first trip to P.E. and want to make a side trip to Oaxaca this September. Since I want to make the trip by air, can anyone tell me if I need to think about purchasing in advance? Do those flights fill far in advance? Please email me if you have any info. Thanks!

July 2000

Bringing Computer Equipment into Mexico

Hi, I have looked everywhere but always come back to your site for the info on Mexico. However, I cant find the info I need so I will ask. I am moving to Puerto Escondido soon on a tourist visa at first. i want/need to take my home computer equipment with me to stay in touch with my office in the US (laptop, printer, fax, scanner, etc). What permits do I need? What "fees" will be charged? Where can I get this taken care of before I leave, I will be flying? The Consulate only has recordings (I can't get to a human). Any info is appreciated.

JD Crews

July 2000

Building a House

We've enjoyed reading the e-mail on this site. My wife and I are presently going through the process of acquiring property and building a house. The location of this endeavor is at Rancho La Parota on the beach near tomatal, just off Camino 200 approximately 16 km south of Puerto Escondido. We would never consider this project unless we had the expertise of the developers and the architect. The developers of the Rancho La Parota, Simms and Bill have been friends of ours for numerous years. Antonio Aragón, whom we've known for over a year, is our architect and builder. Plans are complete, price is negotiated so construction should begin as soon as permits and title are acquired. If other readers show interest in this ongoing project, we will report the progress on this web site. Alice and Charlie

June 2000

Books for the Library

For the past 3 years I have been to Puerto for Pez Vella and will be there again this year I have family there that is the reason I first visited but I have grown to love the people the culture and the country the few rotten apples cannot spoil the beauty of the people or the area and from what I have seen they are few and far. I will send some books to the library and would like to know if they get them if not I would bring some in November. Will send by end of June. Can't wait to return.

June 2000

Buying a Home in Mexico

My wife and I have the first house completed on the new Fracc. Carrizalillo. Since we have moved in, we have had many inquiries about how to purchase the lots and go thru the Notario Publica process. So, we thought we would let the readers of Tom's page know that we are available for advice and questions about that process. If you are planning a trip, or would just like to correspond, feel free to contact us via e-mail or phone.

Gene Butler y Darlene Rivera

011-52 (9) 582-2646
June 2000

Wants to Lease a House

Hi, I love your site. I am moving back to Puerto to invest after a 20 year absence. Can you give me any info on who to contact to find a house for lease by the year?

JD Crews

June 2000

More Photographs

Tom, You kindly posted my website URL in April, of my Puerto Escondido photos of my visit in late March. I have just returned from another visit to Zicatela and have posted some 30 odd photos of people and surfers once again on my Website. They may be viewed at http://www.calandscapephotography.com/AAsurfing/surfing1.html John Pelafigue
Photographer, Riverside, CA

June 2000

Looking for Best Airfare to Puerto Escondido

From LAX. Any info will help. Mexicana wants $590.00 (Seems high).

May 2000

Language Schools in Puerto Escondido

Does anyone know of any good Spanish language schools in PE? There are many in places like Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara but I really would love to study in PE for a month or two. If any has any info could you please e-mail me. Thanks.

May 2000

Looking for Sean Pogue   FOUND

We are looking for my brother, Sean Pogue. I know he was working in a small hotel in Zipolite around August of 1999. In January he went to Xela, Guatemala and took some language classes. His last correspondence to my father was dated February 11th and he said he wanted to head back to Zipolite and work for a few weeks before returning home on the 18th of April. He called my mother on April 4th and said his flight was booked for the 18th and that he would not have a lot of Internet access until then. He was back in Zipolite working in the small hotel on the beach. He mentioned that this one had a bar made out of driftwood. He said he was cooking food for the staff and cleaning. No one has heard from him since. He mentioned Puerto Escondido as another possibility.

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.


May 2000

Someone saw this post and contacted Sean, who emailed his sister. Thanks. - Tom

Getting to Puerto Escondido

If you are going to Puerto Escondido from México city by car the best way to go is via Acapulco by the autopista del sol, then in Acapulco take to punta diamante or airport, then a few meters from the toll booth take the federal road 200 to the south to Pinotepa Nacional, the road is good, and there are a lot of gas stations. Then after 4:30 hours from Acapulco you will arrive to Puerto Escondido.

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.

Gonzalez Urrutia

May 2000

Surfing Questions

Hey this isn't a comment, but more of a question I would like you to post. I am heading to PE with a group in July for a couple of days because I've heard of all of the great surf there and I finally have the chance to go and check it out. What I would like to know is any information about the surf beaches, names, wave styles which beaches have rights and which have lefts, speed, average height around July, water temp., and are there breaks for surfers of varied levels and what are the names and locations.

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:

Jeremy Paul
San Antonio, Tx.

May 2000

From Scotland

I took a friend on holiday to Mexico almost a year ago. We traveled around until we reached a port called Puerto Escondido. I fell in love with the place, I am still pining after it. I have since now came home to Scotland, got a new job which allows me to "surf". I just wanted to share with everyone that it is a magical place, with beautiful people and a sensual vibe. I hope to go back one day.


May 2000

Surfing 2000 Puerto Escondido

I still have no information! Can somebody help with the dates for the August 2000 surfing competition.

Susana Nuñez

April 2000

Too Gaudy

I am still savoring the wonderful time I had in Oaxaca in March. We flew to Oaxaca, had a wonderful time based out of Los Golandranos and then flew to Puerto Escondido. When we arrived at the Oaxaca airport, we checked on flights out. We had wanted to spend two days in our whirlwind 8-day Oaxaca visit in Oaxaca and then go to PE and then Puerto Angel. There was no availability two days later we were told, so we booked a flight for the next night. Mucho dinero. Our advice: book ahead before you leave home. When we returned the next day, we were told that the little plane was overheated and that we would have to leave our bags and they would deliver them the next day. We had originally thought we would stay at Hotel Paraiso Escondido. However, a man from Chiapas we met in Oaxaca told us that Hotel Casa Blanca was great. So we changed our plans, and told the airline to deliver our bags there.

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.

New York

April 2000

Triathlon in November

Tom: Another good news, we are going to have a triathlon in Puerto the 19 of November 2000. The best way of getting more info will be with the next address: info@oaxaca.gob.mx my office in Oaxaca have the last contact with the organizer Francisco Carreño We are having a great Easter weekend.

Gina Machorro Espinosa

April 2000

Rooms for Rent

My wife and I have the first house completed on the RV Park/Trailer park in Carrizalillo. We have two small rooms to rent downstairs and would love to share this paradise with visitors.

Contact....582-2646...Apartado Postal #156, Pto Escondiso, Oaxaca, Mexico C.P. 71982 or e-mail....

Gene Butler y Darlene Rivera

April 2000

Renting Surfboards

Dear Tom: I have more information about renting surfboards. There are three places:
  1. Central Surf.
  2. Las Olas (for sale)
  3. Ernesto, a formal surfer, who also repairs them.
On another subject, we are going to have an August tournament by the 27,28,and 29 the prizes are $$$$$ 15,000 pesos first place, second 10,000 pesos & last 5,000. also by September we will have another tournament I keep in touch . Please if you need any info my e mail is:

Gina Machorro Espinosa
ginainpuerto @yahoo.com

April 2000

Filming the Surf

Hi Tom-just checked out your page for the first time-nice work. I'm a 24 year old Canadian who has been living in Puerto since 95. I have been filming the surf for about the past year and a half-My footage since October 99 is digital. If anybody is interested in surf videos, personal vacation videos or just general Puerto footage they can contact me at xrasta@hotmail.com. In Puerto I can be found on Zicatela beach in the mornings (filming) or in the Cafecito restaurant at 8 at night, showing the video of the day. VIVA MEXICO

Sara Remirez

April 2000

Want to Rent A Jeep

Ola' party people, this is adam praleikas coming at you and this is the third time that I've submitted am e-mail on tom's website! My last two e-mails produced alot of web-surfer response! in fact, i even gave some traveler -advice to a first time visitor of puerto that grew up only 20 minutes away from where I now live, who now lives in Chicago! Small world! Anyhow, unfortunately i did not make it to puerto this November! As a result, I'm in the later stages of puerto withdrawal! however, I did start making plans for a visit to puerto this year! hysterical!

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!

April 2000


Have just returned from a week at Zicatela. I am a professional landscape photographer and have added a section to my website to the experience. It may be viewed at http://home.earthlink.net/~blucenturion/1/oaxaca.html Many thanks,


April 2000

How About Hotel Rincon Del Pacifico

My wife and I plan to stop in PE in late July 2000. Someone suggested the Hotel Rincon Del Pacifico as an economical, clean, safe place to stay for a week. Does it have kitchens and does it take Visa/MC? Any suggestions?

Paul D'Angelo

April 2000

Omar and Dolphins

A quick thank you for all the info on your site re PE. I used so much of the info and I also appreciate all the visitors' comments as I learned so much from them. We've been to Manzanillo, Zihuatanejo and of course loved those locations but we had such a good time in PE and our plans are to go back next year.

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

April 2000


Am trying to answer Kenner5email dated 4/7...but he did not give complete email address. he got my email thru your page so if you can reach him please tell me to try again and I will be happy to answer his questions re Puerto.


April 2000

Updates From Michael Malone

Tom, Puerto Escondido remains an enigma and a paradise in 2,000 - and very much worth a visit by intrepid travelers. If you don't have a sense of adventure, then find another beach... Puerto is not for everyone. We have just returned from another 4 mo. stay in Puerto, our 20th year! driving there from Canada.... Here are some notes as of April 2,000:

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....

Michael Malone

April 2000

Want to Rent House

I am looking for a furnished house or apartment to rent for the month of June along one of the beaches close to Puerto Escondido. I need something with two bedrooms and that has an ocean view. We would like to have A/C, TV, and a kitchen. Please respond with any advice. This will be my first time to Puerto Escondido; I speak Spanish.


April 2000

Banco Bital

I am trying to find the complete address for the Banco Bital in Puerto Escondido. If anyone can help, please e-mail me. Thanks.


March 2000

Hotel El Aleman

Hi, I am trying to obtain information about a small hotel in Puerto Escondido named "El Aleman." I have not been able to find any information on the Internet. Any help you can provide is most appreciated.


March 2000

Looking for Nate

Hello Tom, The 1998 trip I made to Puerto still brings tears to my eyes. It was the trip of a lifetime. Since that time I have lost contact with Nate Hudzinski from Fairbanks and/or Manley Hot Springs, Alaska. We shared an Earthquake together, if ya know what I mean.

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.

Rachel Viehauser
Brainerd, MN

March 2000

Can't Wait to Go

I am leaving in two weeks and I can't wait to go...I have never been there before and I have only heard nice things about this place...so I guess the question I have for you is do you have any last minute recommendations for restaurants, bars, and especially day trips am going for two weeks and I plan to surf, eat, drink beer, and take naps...but would love to do a cool day trip....also what about snorkel? Are there some good calm places to snorkel?

March 2000

English Teacher in Puerto

I've been living in Puerto since 1992.There's so many nice things to say about my life there but the most important would be that I consider myself blessed for having this ocean, the best waves for surfing (I'm one of the few women that surf 'em everyday) you can also find friendly people who have made all these years a wonderful life!! Of course you can not think about living here for years and not have a business of your own. See, if you are young like me and want a job the payments are not great, you can live your present but it's really hard to save money to buy a car (for example). I am an English teacher in an elementary school and sometimes I have to go to the States to save money to keep on staying in paradise, but I just can't imagine now living somewhere else.


March 2000

Houston to Huatulco

Me and my friend are from Houston, Tx., and we're planning a trip for Puerto Escondido in early June in 2000. We have been wondering what surf packages are good and if Huatulco has International flights. If you know of any good discount stuff we could get to help out with are trip we would appreciate it.

Ryan Cummings kkubicek@ev1.net
March 2000

Looking for Elihu

I am looking for a friend he may be living in pe his name is Elihu Estevane or his dad Pepe Estevane. My name is Mike Mcauliffe; please email me with any info.

Mike McAuliffe

March 2000

How are Things in Puerto Escondido?

Dear Tom, we are a couple from Indiana and have been going to puerto for 10 years, but have not been able to go for last 2 years because of family illness. Would love to hear from someone who has been there to see how much anything thing has changed. we stayed at the San Juan Hotel and would like to know if it is ok. Also would like to know how our friends at Dick Tracey's Travels are? Please let us know how our beloved Puerto Escondido is.

Bob & Connie Schlag

March 2000

Saw a Red-billed Tropicbird

Hi Tom. Do you know if Michael Malone has an e-mail address?

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
March 2000

Bank for Sale?

Hello I am an American who has made a couple of investments in Puerto and enjoy vacationing there also I was wondering if the old bank building was available to be purchased and who might I need to contact for information your help will be greatly appreciated.

March 2000

Real Estate Question

What is the rule about buying a property and renting it out to others, e.g. a small office building? Thanks.

Marcus & Alison Cain

February 2000

Fishing for Roosterfish?

I am an avid fisherman. I like to fish for Roosterfish from the shore. Do you know what area beaches are productive and what months are recommended?


February 2000

Send Email Tim & Maxine

Hey Tom, I just stumbled upon your site. It is great that someone is finally giving up some information on PE. I was down there 4 years ago. I surfed and hung at the Crow's Nest. I have two friends that have been going to PE for over 10 years now. Tim and Maxine O'Brien. They are a real mismatch by looking at them. He is the all American boy, blond hair fare skin, and she dark hair dark skin Australian. I was just looking at your site and saw that there were 5 internet cafes in town. I knew in the past it was a pain in the butt to contact them down there sending faxes here and there. Now, I know that they are just PLAIN LAZY for not sending any email. Any chances of setting up a Surf Cam for Escondido? Thanks.

February 2000

No More MLT

Hello Tom. As always, I enjoy checking in regularly to keep up on the happenings in Puerto. This year, the regular flights through MLT to Huatulco from Minneapolis have been cancelled. This is a real drag because the flights were non-stop and flew weekly at around $250 round trip. Can anyone tell me of any other similar deals from Mpls/St.Paul or even Chicago or Milwaukee? I love getting e-mail regarding anything to do with Puerto, and welcome all advice regarding travel to one of my favorite places on earth, Puerto Escondido. Peace.

Brian Drake, Minneapolis, MN

February 2000

Trying to Contact . . .

I'm a Canadian girl who recently visited Puerto and made some good friends while I was there. However we have failed to properly correspond with each other. I was wondering if you could perhaps track them down, not very difficult because they practically live on the beach, and give them a message from me. The people in question that I desperately would like to get in touch with are Miguel, he's a surfer who works at the Mexpipe store down Zicatela. I had no time to get his address. I would also like to find Andres Valdespino, he's a surfer who lives on Zicatela, he's from Baja and has blue/green eyes. And last but not least Carlos, who works at the Massaje Zapoteca on zicatela. If you come across these three men, could you give them my e-mail address or if they do not know how to e-mail, then please contact me. (Andres already has my address but not my e-mail):

If you could be of assistance I would be most grateful. I will be returning to Puerto Escondido in May.

Kelly Uman

February 2000

Adventure #2

Tom, When people ask how I find all the unique hideaways in Mexico that I travel to so frequently I must confess that the majority of the info comes from your pages and direct them to your site.

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.


February 2000

How Much to Oaxaca?

Does anyone know what the rates are this year? This will be our 3rd visit to Puerto and we have not yet visited Oaxaca. It's definitely on our to do list for this winter. Thanks.

Terri Foxman

January 2000

E-mail de un Lugar de Surf

Hola Tom, Un saludo desde Costa Rica. Necesito obtener el e-mail de algún lugar de surf en Puerto Escondido, para enviar los detalles del próximo torneo de surf internacional que celebraremos en Costa Rica en el mes de junio próximo, el año pasado tuvimos excelentes surfeadores mexicanos como Raúl Noyola que ganó el 5to puesto y que nos gustaría que puedan venir este año también. Gracias,

Julio B.

January 2000

Who's Flying Oaxaca-Puerto Escondido?

Could you please tell me how many carriers fly from Oaxaca city to P.E. and what their names are? Also, about how much should we expect to pay for a round trip?

January 2000

When is the Big Market Open?

Hi Tom,,, I'm leaving for PE in a few days. I think I heard that the big market in PE is going on Saturday only. Or,,,,,,,,,,, is it a few other days besides.??? Just when is the best day ???? I'm trying to plan on going to the market on the best day.

January 2000

Looking for Doug and Martia

Doug and Martia, Left without getting your email address, telephone etc. Really want to hear from you again. Had a wonderful time hanging with you guys in PTO.

Miss you both,

January 2000

The Margarita Gang

Just back from an incredible 8-day stay in Puerto Escondido. Flew from Newark, by way of Mexico City, into Oaxaca where I was met by my margarita-toting friends. We drove straight up to Monte Albán to experience the Zapotec ruins, built in 1200 BC...incredible. A great and dramatic start to a great vacation.

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

January 2000

Missing Person: Ann Ford   FOUND

We last heard from my stepdaughter, Ann Ford, before Thanksgiving 1999. She was calling from Puerto Escondido and had been there a couple months. She was traveling with her boyfriend, Will Simplot. They were driving a late model black Dodge pickup truck with a camper. It has Idaho license plates. They had a dog with them. When we last heard from them, the dog had gotten lost and they were looking for it.

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.

Dave Leppert
Boise, Idaho

January 2000

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.

Dave Leppert

January 2000

Looking for Suggestions

Our family hopes to visit the area in February/March of this year. We will be traveling with two young children ages 5 & 8. The Hotel Santa Fe has been recommended in Puerto Escondido. We hope to explore the Huatulco, Puerto Escondido and Oaxaca City areas. Any recommendations on places to stay, sites of interest, restaurants and suggested means of traveling to and from these areas would be appreciated.

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

January 2000

Hotel Flor de Maria and Aero Vega

I am planning a return trip to Oaxaca in April 2000 and need some information if you can provide it. Do you have phone/fax/email contacts for Hotel Flor de Maria in P.E. and for AeroVega Air in either Oaxaca or P.E.?

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!


January 2000

Help Don Jose

Don Jose is my 92-year old grandfather; he is living in Puerto Escondido since the 70s. He lives on Avenida Oaxaca, and he brought the first image of La Virgen de Guadalupe, so it is easy to find his house. Perhaps he is old and is still working to support his expenses, even the meals and clothing, and that's because he likes this way so is very proud of it. Anyway he needs a device to speak that is something like a microphone that makes some kind of vibration, because he had a larynx surgery many years ago. He lost the device in December so he is not able to speak without this. We look for it in Mexico but couldn't get information, we know that some hospital in California gives this device for free, but we don't know how to contact the place. Can somebody help please? I will appreciate any help or information.

Aladino Sandoval

January 2000

Private Pilot Seeks Basic Accommodations Near Airport

I'm a 57-year-old private pilot, and in part due to ill health brought on by the Denver, Colorado winters I plan to move to the Oaxacan coast from about October 1, 2000 to about April 1, 2001. I fell in love with the area in late March and early April of 1998, when I stopped there on my way back from Panama, flying a small, two-place airplane. I spent a couple of days in Huatulco, and I loved it! (I had previously visited the capital of Oaxaca.)

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.)

Bill Yribia

January 1999

How Much to Rent a Surfboard?

I would like to know how much does it cost for rent a surfboard?

Thanks a lot.


December 1999

Rental Services and Geology Questions

Planning first time visit in early January, and welcome recommendations or comments on:

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.

Thank you.
NSS 26805.

December 1999

New Years

Tom, your site is fantastic, thank you so much for your wonderful work. I'm returning to Puerto to spend 10 days around Christmas/New years. 3 Years has gone by since I visited PE and I've longing to return almost every day. I wondering about the Highway from Oaxaca to PE. Is it driveable? I heard that the Acapulco highway (200) is Ok. Some work is done improving it near PE.

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.

Adrian Mckennah
presently in Stockholm, Sweden (but not for long)

December 1999

Moving to Puerto Escondido

I will be moving to Puerto Escondido soon and want to enter the border either at Laredo, Texas or Brownsville. I am looking for a moving company to unload my furniture at the US border and deliver to PE. Also looking for a driver or same company to transport one car to PE. I have tried the internet and other resources and have not been able to locate. Do you have any info or can you direct me to someone for help... any help will be much appreciated.

December 1999

Jewelry Online?

Tom, I recently returned from a trip to Oaxaca and Puerto Escondido and want to say thanks for all the helpful tips on your site. I have recommended your site to many people who are thinking of vacationing in Mexico.

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.


December 1999

La Costa Chica de Oaxaca

Dear Tom, In response to questions about la Costa Chica I can add a little info based on limited experience. I am lucky enough to have friends there that take me with them to their favorite beaches; El Corralero and Cerro Hermoso. They live in San Andres Huaxpaltepec, about halfway between Pinotepa Nacional and Jamiltepec; maybe an hour or so from Puerto Escondido. I know that Jamiltepec is considered part of la costa chica and that this area extends to and includes the coast of the state of Guerrero.

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,

Bill Wells

November 1999

Looking for a Place to Stay

Looking for tips from the net community regarding budget accommodations WITH KITCHEN for LONG TERM WINTER STAY in the Pto Angel/Pto Escondido areas. Need to be close to shopping, net connection.. Thanks.

David Martin

December 1999

Bicycling in Southern Oaxaca

Hello all: I am a frequent and faithful visitor to Puerto Escondido, having visited virtually every February since 1977. I am also an avid road cyclist (my landlord in Puerto stores my bike), and find a bicycle an indispensible part of my life both at home and in Mexico. I am always delighted when I return to find a new stretch of pavement in the region: in recent years the cutoff from the coastal highway which leads thru Mazunte and San Agustinillo to Puerto Angel; the road along the river to Santa Maria Colotopec and the road towards Oaxaca (Oax 131). [Map]

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:

I can't wait to get back to my beloved Mexico and am looking forward to responses to my queries. I will be in Puerto this year (2000) from 2/9-2/29 and my local phone is 20180. Please call, write or e-mail.

Micky Bloom
2234 Roosevelt Ave.
Berkeley Ca 94703

November 1999

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.

Roeland Denooij
Montreal, Canada

November 1999

Thanks for the Advice!

Hello Tom and everybody that reads this very informative sight. Many thanks to everybody who e-mailed me with advice regarding my "How Safe is Puerto Escondido?" question.

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!


November 1999

More Internet

There must be 5 Internet Cafe things here with a new one almost weekly. PARADOX398@aol.com
November 1999

Goddess Comes Through

Tom: Gina Machorro, the Information Goddess at the Tourist Booth on the Ave. Perez Gazga in Puerto Escondido, is about as good at her job as a person can get. She is friendly, knowledgeable, and goes out of her way to help. She is particularly helpful about precautions to take re: safety in the P.E. area. I realize this subject has been beaten to death (yeah, I know) on your web site but on our recent visit we had no problems and heard of none.

(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.

November 1999

Banos De Temescal

Hi, I saw your web page on Puerto Escondido and was wondering if you know of a place there called Banos De Temescal? It's a bit up the hill from the beach. I'm looking for contact info on Patricia and Alejandro who run this establishment. Thanks.

John Barimo, M.S.

November 1999

Questions About Chacahua

Hello Mr. Penick, I am doing some research into the Oaxacan coast and perhaps you can help me. A research associate who is working for me found your name and email address while looking for information on the Costa Chica and, more specifically, Chacahua. I am a writer, author of a book to come out via Random House in the spring called I Am A Bullet. This is a nonfiction examination of the effects of cultural acceleration in a handful of carefully-chosen communities. I have been a pop culture journalist for years, working for Spin and Raygun magazines, also Wired, Playboy, Rolling Stone, and other magazines.

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?


November 1999

Looking for a Lost Friend

Hi. I lost a French friend who opened a hotel in Puerto Escondido his name is Hubert Serval and Bernadette. They just built a new hotel. Please email me if you can give me any information.

Stefan Manceau
November 1999

Questions about Puerto Escondido Airport

Plan to visit Puerto Escondido December "99 or January 2000. I will travel by general aviation aircraft and will appreciate any information on airport services. I am most interested in availability of 100 octane fuel and aircraft security.

Donald A Estell

October 1999

Puerto Escondido on a Budget

I can bring U$S 600 for staying 15 days (of course, apart from the tickets). Do you think is it possible not to starve with that sum of money? Thanks again and again.

alrog@movi.com.ar, lrbcas@infovia.com.ar

Please put "PARA ANALIA" in the subject of your reply.
October 1999

Requesting Travel Tips

Hi Tom, Your site was a great find! Thanks so much for having this forum available.

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
Denver, Colorado

October 1999

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

How safe is Puerto Escondido?

I keep reading all these reports of crime in Puerto Escondido and to be honest the readers comments page hardly paints a good picture for travelers visiting the place for the first time.

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.

Keith Young

October 1999

Earthquake Damage?

Hello Tom, I have been checking in daily hoping for updates on the damage [see earthquake reports] in Puerto, specifically Flor de Maria and Hotel El Tabachin. It would be great to hear from anyone who may know something about our favorite places and our friends there. Also Hotel Santa Fe and Arco Iris. Our thoughts are with all the people of Puerto Escondido.

Brian Drake
Minneapolis, MN

October 1999

Se Vende el Hotel Jardin Real

Hola Tom. Yo sé que usted conoce muchas personas interesadas en las costas de México y en especial en Oaxaca, estoy vendiendo el Hotel de mi familia que por más de 10 años han manejado y ahora lo desean vender, debido a que mi hermano se cambia de ciudad y no hay quien atienda el hotel, bueno si hay pero con las experiencias anteriores, si no es el dueño el que lo atiende, no funciona, y por tal motivo se necesita vender le muestro unas fotos y si sabe de alguien que le interese por favor contacteme.

Norma Patricia Costilla V.

October 1999

Know Those Surfer Guys?

We are four European girls who visited Puerto Escondido recently. We were stunned by the beauty and calmness of this little town, felt like all of a sudden we had landed in paradise and absolutely fell in love with that place. Well, of course, the place was not the only thing we fell in love with. We met some native surfers from Puerto Escondido and spent our whole time with them. Now, my friends are ready to go to the next travel agency and book a 3 month vacation there, but I thought since it is a tourist place, and since this excellent web page does exist, I might as well ask the girls and women who read this if any of them had met the same guys as we have and if by accident they've spoken of love to them, too. We're waiting for comments anxiously, greetings to all the fans of paradise,


October 1999

Beware Those Surfer Guys

Dear Ana. Loathe as I am to burst anyone's bubbles, but every resort town in Mexico has its share of lotharios of every age group ready to temporarily fulfill your dreams as long as you are ready to open your hearts and pocketbooks to them. If they are like most of my beachfront friends, they are telling you what you most want to hear, unfortunately laughing behind your backs, and most assuredly ready to disappear when you cash your last travelers' check. But even if 100% sincere, I advise you to reflect on what you would be getting out of a long-term relationship. Men who expect to be the domineering macho master of their wives; have mistresses on the side; and hope that the wives never learn of the institution of the "Sancho", or back door man. With all of this in mind, if you and your girlfriends want to go spend three months living the fantasy (and supporting these guys and their lifestyles), I should think all parties involved would have a gloriously fun time. But keep your eyes open.

John M Williams

December 1999

Driving From Oaxaco to the Coast

Does anyone have any recent information about what it is like to drive from Oaxaco to either Huatulco or Puerto Escondido? We are planning to visit at the end of December. Thank you. Jan Tynan
(email address was not valid)

September 1999

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

American in Puerto Escondido

Nice thread on one of my favorite destinations :)

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!

Jeremy Jones

September 1999

Close Encounters

Dear Tom, It is good that you have this available for travelers and possible investors.

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 [5] 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.

Pamela Darling

September 1999

Flights from Virginia

We live in Virginia and are trying to get to Puerto Escondido to see my mom at Christmas. We are having a hard time finding any good flights. Have you heard of any great charter flights leaving from around here?


September 1999

Traveling Alone

Hi Tom, thanks for the great web site!

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?


September 1999

Buscando a Gustavo Ariel Cruz, "Pilu"

Le escribo desde Argentina, por supuesto Ud. no me conoce. Mi nombre es Sergio Balda y el motivo de la presente es pedirle un favor, si está dentro de sus posibilidades. El tema es así: buscamos a una persona de nuestro país que está vacacionando en Puerto Escondido, de la cual la madre no tiene noticias desde hace un mes. Recurrimos a Ud. porque fue la suya y solo una más, las direcciones de correo electrónico que encontramos de su localidad.

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:


Si 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.-
Telefónica 54-223-486-3088.-
Telefónica (fax)54-223-486-3091.-

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:

Sergio Balda.
September 1999

August '99 trip to Puerto Escondido

Dear Tom, My husband and I just returned from Puerto Escondido and what a great time we had. I just wanted to thank you so much for your website. We used many of your recommendations for dining and accommodations. We found Puerto to be just as described by your website and by the comments from previous visitors.

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

Angi Runyon
September 1999

More About "Bitter"

I have visited and enjoyed Puerto Escondido and would like to comment about the post from the "bitter ex-pat". Puerto's problems are not unique to Puerto and are prevalent in many of the third world communities that ex-pats try on for size.

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.

Kristin Kallsen
Mpls., MN

September 1999

Real Estate Deals

Hola, Tom, from sunny Puerto. We're having a lovely rainy season--plenty of rain for the crops and to clean the lagoons and little damage. The problems along the Coastal Highway continue, but the worst (50 meters from the main intersection) has finally been fixed.

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.

Sheila Clarke

September 1999

Looking for a Bungalow on Zicatela

Tom, In December this year my boyfriend and I are traveling to P.E for about 2 weeks over the New Year Period. We are keeping track of the great comments on this page, and can't wait to leave.

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.

Romi Drake
September 1999

re: "Bitter in Puerto Escondido"

Wow, Tom, whoever "Bitter" is needs to get over it. I've been going to Puerto for over 20 years. Don't know who he's met, maybe some other bitter expatriates. The friends I've made over the years have never let me down. Its a surfing world, Bitter. Pick your friends or move on! Go visit another shore. Who did you meet in Escondido anyway? There's a hardware shop up near the market where the owner has a "true soul". Sounds like we run in different circles or at least have different expectations.

Dean Reiman

September 1999

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