Puerto Escondido

Puerto Escondido

Oaxaca, Mexico
Travel article

Official Rating

User Rating

Difficulty 8

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Break frequency 8

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288 days a year

Powerful Wave

Wave Direction

Swell Direction

2.5m - 3.0m Swell

Wind Direction

Tide

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recommended board

general information

Puerto Escondido is not your average beach-break, otherwise known as the Mexican Pipeline, this wave is serious. Located in the Oaxaca region on Mexico’s Pacific Coastline, Puerto Escondido is widely regarded as the heaviest beach-break in the world, and can hold massive waves, up to 15 foot (eight times overhead). 

The reason this freak of nature surf location exists is simple, there is no continental shelf, therefore nothing slowing or reducing the energy of the swell before it reaches the coast.

You can get to Puerto Escondido by air, road, or a combination of both. There’s ample accommodation, and a host of good places to eat. As with most locations in Mexico, westerners will definitely get value for money.

Puerto Escondido is a party town, but if you’re there to surf it’s best to control yourself with the cheap booze, and get up for the early surf. The line up does get crowded, but not until late in the morning as people drag themselves out of bed, the winds are also better early. The locals can get a bit fiery in the water, but if you keep a low profile you should be fine.

It’s also a good idea to keep a low profile in town, if you’re looking for trouble in Puerto Escondido, you will find it very quickly. The local police look for any reason to give you a so called ‘fine’, or put you in jail for the night. 

Puerto Escondido is a consistent wave (the beach is actually called Zicatela, Puerto Escondido is the town), but when it’s big it’s for experienced surfers only. For the most part the waves will break on the same sand banks all day, but watch out for clean-up sets, on a 3 foot day (head high), 8 foot (three times overhead) waves will come out of nowhere. 

When it’s big there’s no such thing as a relaxed take-off at Puerto Escondido, you need to get to your feet quickly, and get moving. Once you’re in the barrel, coming out is not always an option, as the waves will often closeout suddenly or simply break too fast. In dealing with one of these extremely violent wipe-outs, you’re likely to have sand blasted through every orifice in your body due to the extremely shallow bottom.

There are life guides patrolling the beach at Puerto Escondido and they are very good at their job. They spend much of there time rescuing people who get swept off the beach. People have died under these circumstances.  

Broken boards are common, but the board repairers are good- they get lots of practice. There are a lot of second hand boards for sale at reasonable prices.

Visiting Puerto Escondido isn’t just about the wave, you may well get the biggest, roundest, heaviest wave of your life. But what makes this place special is the fact it’s Mexico, a wild country with an exciting culture. Puerto Escondido truly is the full package for any travelling surfer. 

BT

Wave length

<50m

Share with

21-49

Best months

March - October

Equipment

Body Board, Short board, gun

Wave type

Powerful

Access

Standard Paddle

Hazards

Locals

5 Day Forecast

5 day forecast not available.

Air - Sea - Swell - Wind

  • Board shorts
  • Board shorts
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  • Board shorts

NW

0M / F6

E

0M / F4

E

0M / F5

NW

0M / F3

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