When it comes to planning a surf trip in June, nothing quite compares to the heaving beach break known as the Mexican Pipeline of Puerto Escondido.
Playa Zicatela is the beach that is home to this incredible wave, which can handle anything from chest-high waves to the monstrous barrels you see roll through at the WSL’s Big Wave event. The ability for a beach break to handle 30ft peaks is owed to the submarine trench lying offshore. Here, big swells pour in and hit the steep shelf quickly, jacking up and producing the waves that make the place famous.
What many people don’t realize though is that it’s not all massive A-frame peaks that will deliver the worst beatings of your life. At the southern end of the long white sands of Playa Zicatela, you’ll find La Punta, a super fun left-hand point break that can run for up to 200 meters, and while it can still handle some size, it doesn’t pitch top to bottom with the ferocity of Mexi Pipe. You can also drive just two hours south and sample the famous right-hander at Barra de la Cruz.
The big appeal for Puerto Escondido as a surf destination is its consistency. It’s a place you can count on never going flat and rarely dropping below chest high. It will be offshore every morning from first light until about 11 am, blowing onshore for part of the day before turning offshore again late afternoon. While many people would think daytime onshore winds are a bad thing, it’s a relief for those surfing here. It’s hot during the day, giving you the perfect time to relax in your hammock, recharge your body, and take in what the area has to offer.
Puerto Escondido, nestled up above the Pacific is a vibrant and colorful seaside town that has escaped big commercial development and retains the chilled out Mexican lifestyle. While the town of Puerto Escondido itself sits above the Pacific, the main strip along the beach at Zicatela is where most people chill out. The local restaurants serve everything from delicious smoothie bowls, fruit salads, and hearty huevos rancheros for breakfast to mouth-watering local dishes such as carne asada tostadas for the post-surf feed in the night time. With competition fierce, you can always get a delicious meal for next to nothing. Many places do dinner time deals where you can a good-sized main course and a beer for around £5, and the higher price point places specializing in the area’s abundant seafood will set you back £10-15, including a few drinks.
Being surrounded by nature, there’s plenty to do during the midday onshore, you can go inland on numerous treks, wildlife watching tours, deep sea fishing trips and snorkelling, or even visit a traditional Mexican rodeo, where you’ll be amazed at how gracefully the locals can ride a bull after sinking an ungodly amount of cervezas.
There are a couple of options when it comes to getting to Puerto Escondido and both include flying to Mexico City International Airport. Once there, your best options are a comfy but long bus ride or jumping on a much more efficient connecting flight into Puerto Escondido’s airport which is just a 10-minute drive to the waves.
Best places to surf and stay in Puerto: