Playa Carrizallilo is a small secluded beach in the northern outskirts of Puerto Escondido.
it´s a small hideaway that is real nice if you like a more quiet surf and a few beach bars to hang out at with snacks and drinks.
I personally really like this beach even if you need to walk down a few steps in order to get there.
Playa Zicatela is the surfers beach.
It´s also a very long beach with lot´s of space if you like to be alone and sun tan.
It´s wider and longer than the other beaches around Puerto Escondido and many people love it because of that.
I personally prefer the smaller and more curvy beaches, but that is just me mabye.
Bahia Principal is the "city beach" of Puerto Escondido.
This is where you have most of the social life, the restaurants and the football games.
Some people might say it´s a little cramped, but i think it´s the nicest beach in Puerto Escondido cause i like when there is life on the beach and there certainly is there.
It´s also the beach where most of the locals hang out.
take a cab ($3) to the other beaches...manzanillo is the one that pops into mind. it´s an oasis of clear water and you can lounge on the chairs and order drinks pretty cheaply. it gets crowded but you don´t feel like there are tons of gringo tourists. from here, there are boats that will take you out to fish or see wildlife. (see my off the beaten path tip).
You pay about $50 pesos (about $5 USD) and will be taken out on a boat far out into the water to see sea turtles. This experience was fun, although not at all what I was expecting. Once they spot a sea turtle, they will dive into the water and catch it. You then have the option to either jump out of the boat with them to see the turtle, or stay in the boat in watch. In our case, they also brought the poor thing into the boat with us and we had our pictures taken with it. Don't worry, they do let them go afterwards. :) The whole trip lasted about 30 minutes in total.
Very nice small beach - but a bit crowded during the day. I came here during the Samana Santa (spring break) and there were quite a few people which didn't make it as nice. I'm sure its more empty at different times of the year though. If you come early in the day say at 8am, its especially wonderful as its almost empty. The water is so clear and the waves were just right. You can sit wherever you want and order drinks/food like at any other beach.
Be careful if you decide to try surfing here, especially if you've never done it before - this is a a very small lagoon type beach with rocks on the sides, and one of the guys traveling with me got injured because the wave current here sent him crashing into the rocks. (This was largely due to the fact that he was new to surfing and was un-supervised though.) So just be careful!
You can cruise through the laguna spotting the various birdlife, and for an hour or so, even for non-bird watchers it can be interesting. But then you hit the beach for the sunset you'll never forget.
An organised tour is the only way to see the lagoon: there are 2 options - daytime (every day except Wednesdays) and the twice weekly sunset trip. If you are into bird watching, then the daytime is the one for you. If you want to see the lagoon as dusk settles in and then on to the beach (inaccessible except through the lagoon) for glorious sunsets - take this one.
You are collected from your hotel, and the trip is three hours (approx) - two spent in motorised boat going through the mangrove channels and open flood plains. You arrive at the beach with time to spare to walk along sands that seem to go on forever and watch the most stunning sunset. Speedy return to the jetty before the mossies come out to play and car or mini van (dependent on numbers) back to PE.
The beaches in PE themselves are not that exciting with the exception of Zicatela and its incredible surfing opportunities (and thus providing pretty dangerous rip tides - I saw one man swept out 300 metres in seconds - luckily the lifeguards are VERY alert on this beach as are many of the surfers themselves).
As a working beach for local fishing, the Playa Municipal is dirty and crowded although the stretch between this and Zicatela (Playa Marinero) is the most tourist frequented part. The smaller bays immediately to the west of 'downtown PE' are the most picturesque and safest for swimming but can be a bit of a drag to get to if you are staying in the eastern part.
Playa Zicatela, the surfer's beach, faces west, so you can go and watch the sunset. Half an hour or so before sunset, the surfers start arriving, so you can watch their antics as well.
The sound the larger waves make as they advance toward the beach is quite interesting. It sounds like air is being sucked in, a kind of "whooosh" sound. Cool.
Note: Don't leave your stuff too close to the water line or it will be swept away when a larger-than-average wave hits! :-)
To the west of Playa Principal are two small bays: Plaza Manzanillo, a short walk away, and even tinier Playa Carrizalillo, a few kms further, or a short boat ride from Playa Manzanillo, or taxi ride from town.
These are good swimming beaches with minimum surf. My favourite is Playa Carrizalillo, with its green waters and absence of fishing boats. I was a little shocked to see two large buses full of Mexican tourists arriving at Playa Manzanillo around 10:30 am the first morning I went there! So my advice is to go early in the morning, or to stay on the eastern side of the beach, beyond the boulders, if you want quiet.
In the evenings, the middle section of Avenida Perez Gasga, fronting the beach (also referred to as "The Adokin") becomes a pedestrian mall. Stroll down from one end to the other and back, checking out the handicraft stalls, restaurants, and other people!
Somewhere is the perfect place for a relaxed dinner or maybe a cocktail. Lots of places offer 2-for-1 drinks in the late afternoon/early evening.
The main beach in Puerto Escondido runs parallel to the flat section of Perez Gasga where most shops, tourist restaurants and many hotels are located.
The bay is pretty sheltered and calm enough for swimming (for the whole family) but I found it a little too busy for my taste. The worse is the fact that so many boats are anchored near the shore, giving it a "closed-in" feel.
There are a few restaurants that open up directly onto the beach from where you can eat while watching the action.
Young guys will also come up to you offering boat tours to other beaches, turtles, etc, but I didn't take any. They seemed a little overpriced (I was asked 200 pesos - $20 for one hour once!) but I'm sure you could bargain. My guidebook says that if you do go, make sure the boat has a roof (so you don't get sunburned I guess).
The biggest activity is Surfing, if you surf, go for it big time, if you don't just sit on the beach and watch in amazement