We are Kevin and Kenia Collins, founders of Culture Pursuits. We challenge clients to step out of their travel comfort zone and try unique, immersive experiences to really learn about a country and its people.
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Every year, my husband, Kevin and I, celebrate my birthday at some beach destination. Generally, we go to places in the Carribbean, like Cancun, Mexico or Jamaica, or the Dominican Republic. These are easy places to get away quickly to since we are based in Philadelphia, PA. But this time, we wanted to try a few off the beaten path beaches in Mexico.
I read an article highlighting some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico and Puerto Escondido was #1 on the list. We were really lured in by the description of the many beaches and the idea of seeing some really great surfing (neither Kevin nor I surf, but we don’t mind watching!). I immediately went onto Trip Advisor and booked this lovely house that sleeps 10. We planned on inviting some friends to join us for the birthday celebration.
Getting to Puerto Escondido from Philadelphia wasn’t easy!
Puerto Escondido is on the Pacific Ocean side of Mexico, close to Guatemala, and we couldn’t fly directly from Philadelphia.
TIP: Always research flight information and costs BEFORE you book trips. In the end, we had to fly from Philadelphia to Houston to Mexico City to Puerto Escondido and the round trip per person ended up costing a whopping $1,500 per person and 12 hours of travel time! If we had known the cost before booking the house, we might have selected another destination. AND, because of the steep airfare, none of our friends and family elected to come with us 🙁
Check out this fun YouTube video of our travel day! (It’s our first ever travel vlog, but have created lots since then.)
If you’d like to see more videos from our weekend in Puerto, head on over to our Life Established YouTube channel!
Every beach in Puerto Escondido is absolutely beautiful!
What we really like about Puerto Escondido is the wide variety of beaches that are all relatively close to each other – close enough that we were able to beach hop to a few of the more popular ones all in one day. And, each beach offered something differerent!
Playa Zicatela. This beach is known for its big waves and many surfers go here to ride the “Mexican Pipeline“. We had fun watching them, but did not go into the water ourselves. In fact, we really wouldn’t recommend swimming at this beach unless you are a VERY CONFIDENT swimmer. This beach also offered the best “scene”, with plenty of restaurants and bars right on the beach or on El Morro, the main street leading to the beach.
Playa Carrazilillo. Arguably the prettiest beach in all of Mexico! While not so easily accessible (you have to walk down and up over 150 steps to get to and from it), it is truly an off the beaten path beach and well worth the effort to see the view while descending . The beach itself is also nice with calmer waters than Play Zicatela. It does have quite a few waves though, and many beginner surfers come here rather than tackle the bigger waves at Zicatela. Also, good for body waving – just floating on your back and taking it all in! There are two big restaurants here with both table and lounge seating. Come early! The lounge chairs fill up fast!
Playa Puerto Agelito. The most quaint beach in Puerto Escondido! Every morning boats leave for day trips on the ocean. We took the dolphin watching tour offered by Eco Adventures Puerto Escondido and had a very lovely time. The also offer a great baby sea turtle release experience that we would highly recommend. This beach has very calm waters – perfect for little children– and we saw lots of Mexican families here. Just as you enter the beach area, there are quite a few stalls that sell kiddie beach toys and floatation devices. We did not stay long because seating was very limited.
Playa Manazillo. The most swimmable of the four that we visited. The waves were not too big here. The sand, however, was more loose than the other beaches and it was very difficult to simply stand and ride the waves (if that’s what you like to do). You always feel like the sand is being swept from under your feet. Also, seating here was very limited. We went early and didn’t have a problem finding lounge chairs (free at every beach as long as you buy something to eat). This beach is right next to Playa Puerto Angelito. There is a walking path that you can use to to travel between the two.
A few great spots to eat!
Smoked Fish Taco. A bit off the beaten path, but walkable from Playa Carrazalillo. They specialize in seafood tacos. We had both the smoked fish tacos and the shrimp tacos and really enjoyed both. A small family establisment and everyone was VERY NICE.
In our opinion, Puerto Escondido was well worth the time to travel from the East Coast, U.S. It is truly one of Mexico’s hidden gems. Next time, we’ll plan to stay longer, epecially given the expensive airplane fare.
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We treat travel as learning experiences, and believe in immersive travel that promotes self-discovery and personal growth.
Culture Pursuits are unique travel experiences for people who want to stretch their travel muscles by exploring new and different destinations, but feel more comfortable leaving the planning to experts and traveling with a personal tour guide.
We plan all of the details of your trip, including trasportation, accommodations, and activities. We'll think of all the things, big and small, that really make your trip special.
You get to explore all that a destination has to offer through immersive experiences that transform and enlighten!
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