So, I said after my 1st exploration in 2010 that I would not bother going back to Mexico as I had seen and done it (and got the tee shirt). However I found myself going back in April 2013, this time alone.
I had a couple of weeks of holiday to use before the end of April and I fancied going somewhere. I really had a taste of going to India, but I had been working and living in Tower Hamlets, one of the most ethnically diverse boroughs in London and had been living in Bethnal Green which I used to label ´Little India´, as every other shop was an Indian grocery store or sari shop! Coupled with the fact that none of my friends had holiday to use, I did not really fancy going alone. So, I decided to just book a flight to Mexico, no agenda or idea what I was going to do!
I let the family that I was coming over, so I stayed with an aunt and hung out with some cousins for a couple of days visiting the city, before deciding to spend most of my days on the beach in the state of Oaxaca…. Oh boy, what the greatest decision that was!
I took a flight from Mexico City to Hualtulco which is approximatly 1.5hrs flight and just over an hours drive in car/taxi from Hualtulco to Puerto Escondido (translated to ´Hidden Port’ in English) and cost under 200 GBP
I had read and heard reviews about this hot spot through friends and the Lonely Planet and it was described as a surfers paradise (not to be confused with the party beach town on the east coast of Australia!) and very chilled out with a hippy sort of atmosphere, right up my street.
The main hang out is called Zicatela and is oozing with surfers and surf.
During this time 3 years ago (April 2013), it felt fairly safe but when I returned in January 2014, it had become a bit more dangerous and was not recommended to walk around alone after dark as it had become more of a hot spot for drugs and petty crime. That said, I don´t want you worrying and thinking why would you go there – as long as you are careful, it is like anywhere else in Mexico! Despite this I still highly recommend this Pacific Coast gem.
I stayed in a super cool hostel called Mariposa (Butterfly) in Zicatela which was run by a German guy, it was pretty basic but located on the beach, it was a hidden treasure. The sunrises and sunsets were something else.
The hostel was such a great place for meeting new people, as I arrived a group of 3 aussie lads showed up, as well as a fellow English guy who turned out to live just up the road from me in London, in Dalston! We were all put in a dorm together and to put the icing on the cake, I met an amazing Dutch girl called Patty, whom I spent the rest of my days with. I even made a couple of subsequent trips to Amsterdam to see her, definitely a friend for life there.
Beach bars and restaurants are plentiful on the main drag of Puerto which makes for a sociable vibe after a day on the beach/surf.
You know how it is when you are on holiday, there are always people trying to sell you something or a tour, normally I am the first to say ´no thank you.´ Well, Patty and I were chilling on the beach one afternoon and a local guy by the name of ´Carlos´ came over and tried to offer us a boat ride the next morning to see and swim with the dolphins in the ocean. I let him say his spiel and we said that we weren’t interested, as we thought he was just some guy wanting our money and that we wouldn´t see any dolphins. However he backed himself up by saying there was a group of girls along the beach who had taken the tour that morning and were inundated with dolphins. This made us reconsider, it had been a dream of mine as a kid to swim with dolphins and here was an opportunity. So we thought, blow it, we are on holiday, let´s book it and see if he can put the money where his mouth is…….. turns out to be one of the best decisions ever!!
If you are ever on the Carrizalillo beach, and you see a guy called ´Carlos´ offering dolphin tours, take him up on it!