How to get thereBy air from Oaxaca and Mexico City (1 hour); by bus from Oaxaca 10-18 hours, from Acapulco 7.5 hours; by car from Oaxaca approximately 265km/165mi along the MEX 131 (numerous bends) via Miahuatlan and Pochutla, or about 310km/193mi on the MEX 175 and MEX 200 (better roads), from Acapulco about 420km/261mi on the MEX 200.The fishing port of Puerto Escondido lies in a sheltered bay in the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by hills with luxuriant vegetation. Magnificent long beaches extend on both sides of the town. In places the surf is very high. Until recently Puerto Escondido was recommended to holiday-makers looking for a quiet life by the sea away from tourists. However, the building of a new airport has made this seaside resort considerably more popular.
The resort mainly comprises small restaurants and bars along the main street Pérez Gazga. The long beaches and the lagoons lying in small bays (Puerto Angelito, Carizalillo, Manzanillo Bacocho) are rich in waterfowl. Some stretches of the coast are particularly suitable for swimming despite the heavy surf. The undertow at other points makes them dangerous. Its breakers have established Puerto Escondido as a popular venue for surfing (competitions at Playa Zicatela).
San Pedro Tututepec
75km/47mi west along the MEX 200 a road turns off to San Pedro Tututepec, 10km/6mi further on. In this Chatino Indian mountain village a number of pre-Columbian sculptures (atlases, snakes, jaguars) can be viewed behind the church.
Lagunas de Chacahua
Continue along the MEX 200 for a few more2mi past San Pedro Tututepec to a left-hand turning to Lagunas de Chacahua National Park, which comprises three lagoons and several islands with numerous birds and amphibians.
Puerto Angel (population 9000), an attractive fishing port with two beautiful beaches (Puerto Angel and Pantéon), lies 84km/52mi from Puerto Escondido. Playa Zipolite, 10km/6mi west, is popular with young campers. Puerto Angel and its surroundings have only been discovered by tourists during the last decade.
Huatulco's nine picturesque bays extend 40km/25mi east of Puerto Angel over more than 30km/19mi.The Mexican government and private investors have recently created a 20,000 ha (49,420 acre) tourist centre around Santa María Huatulco, modelled on the one at Cancún. The little town of La Crucecita (with beach) offers cheap accommodation. Santa Maria Huatulco, 12km/7.5mi inland, has an international airport.This project has not been without its disputes after the building land was obtained using some questionable methods. In May 1984, for example, the community of Santa María Huatulco was granted 51,000 ha (126,021 acres) of land by decree of the president; the next day 21,000 ha (51,891 acres) were immediately expropriated for the tourism project. Some landowners only received very little by way of compensation.
Manialtepec meaning, "the place of spring-fed waters", is noted for its mangrove lined lagoon with a wide range of bird life. Boat trips are offerred to visitors for a close-up look at species like Tiger Herons, Roseate Spoonbills, and White-Fronted Parrots. Fishermen on dug-out canoes are seen working the lagoon. Tours usually stop for a walk on the ocean beach.