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Long a haven of surfers, Puerto Escondido has now widened its appeal to become a popular beach resort and eco-tourism centre.
The town is famous for its beautiful beaches which have escaped the masses of tourist who throng other Mexican seaside destinations. The two main beaches are Playa Principal and Playa Marineros. However, the more remote beaches of Playa Manzanillo or Puerto Angelito, accessible by boat from the main beaches, are. Another beach popular with tourists is Playa Zicatela, which is famed for its surf though not suitable for swimming because of the strong breakers and currents. If wiping out is not your idea of fun, you can always try scuba diving with one of the many diving companies operating here.
Nature lovers should come during the summer to see the rare Ridley turtles laying their eggs on Escobilla or Barra de la Cruz beaches. To discover more about the turtles, visit the Turtle Museum which provides a wealth of turtle trivia in the nearby town of Mazunte Beach. Other natural wonders include the Manialtepec Lagoon, a mangrove lake packed with birds and marine life. There is also the even more beautiful Chacahua Lagoon National Park with its gleaming sands, bright flowers and colourful birdlife. You can also see Nopala, a Chatino mountain village and its neighbouring coffee plantation.
To drive to Puerto Escondido, take Highway 175 from Oaxaca which takes you to Puerto in about five hours. You can also drive from Acapulco, along Highway 200, which takes about six hours. Puerto Escondido has a domestic airport about four kilometres north of town. Most people fly into Oaxaca before connecting to Puerto, as it has an international airport with direct service from the US and other parts of Mexico and the Caribbean. Buses offer frequent and daily service to Puerto from Acapulco, Oaxaca and the southern cities of Huatulco and Pochulta. You can also take the bus to and from destinations farther afield, such as Mexico City and Salina Cruz.