The long, straight stretch of golden sand at Zicatela Beach (Playa Zicatela) is the setting for Puerto Escondido’s most lively neighborhood. Nicknamed the “Mexican Pipeline” because of its powerful waves, the world-famous beach break here attracts surfers from all corners of the globe. Observe the wave riders in action and mingle with them back on dry land in the buzzing bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
Stroll along the 2-mile (4-kilometer) beach and feel the soft sand between your toes. Pause to marvel at the big, rolling waves barreling into shore. The glistening blue water may look inviting but swimming isn’t advisable due to strong currents.
The main surfing season is from April to November, when you can experience near-perfect waves however, professional and non-professional surfers descend upon the beach throughout the year. Rent boards and wetsuits from the surf shops on the beach and join them out in the water. If you’re a beginner, head for La Punta at the southern end of the bay to practice on smaller waves.
Zicatela Beach hosts several annual surf competitions, including one that is part of the town’s annual Fiestas de Noviembre (November Festivals), which celebrates various folk traditions and water sports. Besides surfing, the festival has live music and dance performances, fishing tournaments and a Miss Bikini contest.
Enjoy the infectious atmosphere at the waterfront bars and restaurants on the main street of El Morro. Dine on plates of fresh, delectable seafood while taking in ocean views. Lie back in a hammock, sip on a margarita and watch beautiful sunsets. After dark, dance the night away with the bohemian crowds.
Zicatela Beach is only a 20-minute walk from El Adoquín in Puerto Escondido’s town center. Parking is available on the beach road. If arriving by car, come early as spaces fill up fast.
A range of guesthouses, hotels and self-catering apartments provide accommodation for those that want to sleep a few steps from the beach.