As the first stop on my trip I couldn’t have picked a better place to start! I have been staying in the La Punta area of Puerto Escondido which is the next beach down the coast from the famous Playa Zicatela. The weather has been great and we only had a bit of rain yesterday but I was out in the water surfing at the time so it didn’t matter because I was already wet!
I’ve now spent only 3 days in Mexico and I’m loving it! I was out exploring early my first day in town to see what La Punta town has to offer. My mornings usually started with a fruit smoothie and my favourite is a mix of papaya and banana. After my smoothie I went straight into the water to go surfing for a few hours.
I haven’t been to many places as relaxed as La Punta. There are people from all over here just hanging out and surfing. Alot of the visitors here are from other parts of Mexico, Spain and Argentina. For the most part there isn’t much else to do as far as surf, eat and sleep. If you want to party you don’t have to go far to Zicatela or Puerto Escondido to get in on all kinds of options. I wanted to start this trip off surfing, eating and hanging out on the beach. This has been the perfect place for it!
La Punta town is simply a strip of hostels, hotels, restaurants and board shops that line the beach. You won’t find a bank or any grocery stores in La Punta or in Zicatela, so for anything other than the basics you need to go to the main town of Puerto Escondido.
La Punta town
The beach here is pristine and not crowded at all. It only has a few stands and you can always find your own little spot on the beach.
The beach at La Punta has a few stands here and there, my favourite being the one over by the lifeguard tower because it has a board rack and the people are friendly. Most people go there for the coconuts that they chop for you on the spot. I was lucky enough to try a snack the guy running the place was making for him and the boys. They cut out the coconut meat and sliced it thin before placing it back in the shell. It was topped with Valentina hot sauce, lime and salt. It tasted amazing as you had the sweet and smooth taste of the coconut with the spice of the hot sauce blended with the tang from the lime with salt! So far in Mexico I have found the people very welcoming and proud to show others their culture.
Lots of waves!
In the 3 full days since I arrived I have surfed 4 times already and seen a good mix of wave heights. The wave is a point break that peels left off of a large rock wall. There are some big rocks underwater but it’s pretty obvious where they are and if you aren’t sure check it out at low tide. When the waves pick up the locals hang out a behind the rocks so they can catch it early and ride out a few sections.
Any time you have a point break it means a lot of people in the same spot as the wave peels off of the wall. I’d say the one drawback to surfing this break is the amount of lessons going on at the peak of the wave. You have a few groups of 6 or more people doing a lesson and being pushed onto any possible wave, usually in front of another surfer. I’ve seen a bunch of collisions in the water each day I was out and had a few close calls myself. Waves got up to about shoulder high at one point when a storm had rolled through offshore.
One of the swell reports from the last few days doesn’t show a lot of swell but it translates to a lot here because of the distance the swell travels, the great angle to the Southwest and how the seafloor goes from being very deep to shallow in a short distance. Even though this is the less talked about wave compared to Playa Zicatela/Mexican Pipeline. Waves got up to about shoulder high at one point when a storm had rolled through offshore and have been consistently waist high for a few days now with a long period of 16 seconds.
My favourite place to eat was this little stand called “WillyII” and the food was fast, hot and really tasty. I usually ordered the shrimp and fish tacos! They served up 3 tortillas stuffed with a good mix of fish and shrimp that was stewed in a light and zesty tomato sauce. This was accompanied with a mix of rice and yucca and salad. The in house salsa was very good. This costed 50 Pesos/$4 and the smoothies here were 20 Pesos/$1.50.
I also found a place one night that had more amazing tacos. It was a little family run convenience store that didn’t have a name, just a “For Sale” sign on it. The guy at the stand selling the coconuts on the beach told me to go there and they were just packing up when I arrived but they served me anyways because of who sent me.
Today they had chicken tacos and that sounded good to me! I think that was because they were also sitting down eating some chicken. They were eating the wings and feet in a light tomato sauce that it had likely been stewed in. They quickly got to work on my tacos starting with chopping up a chicken leg and heating up some oil to warm the tortillas. The tortillas were also home made and for 25 Pesos/$1.50 I got 6 tacos. These were double wrapped chicken tacos and also had some freshly chopped cilantro inside of them. This was served with marinated tomatoes and onion to put inside. Lime has also been served with every meal so far in Mexico. Once again, the salsa was a house blend and very hot and flavourful.
All in all I had a great few days in this little spot here in Mexico. I’d definitely come back. I liked staying in La Punta but others who wanted to mix in more of a nightlife and wanted a less rustic stay would be better off down the coast a bit at Puerto Escondido and in between is Playa Zicatela which offers both budget and some fancier accommodation. For what I was looking for I definitely found it and so far this trip is going smooth as expected.