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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

Where Life Is a Breeze

Puerto Escondido, Mexico

(Pronounced: PWARE-toe Es-con-DEE-thoe, MAY-hee-coh)

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Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

From Oaxaca we took a minivan south, winding through the Pacific coastal mountain range, making our way 7 hours later to the popular surfing spot Puerto Escondido.

 

After living the City life in Oaxaca, we are packed up and ready to board our minivan. We have all our clothes for the chilly weather in Oaxaca, our beach clothes for sunnier climes plus food and water for the long trip in the minivan.

 

The trip through the highlands gave us bird's eye views of ranches and small villages. In the foreground of this photo, you can see maiz growing. Maiz is used to make the corn tortillas given to us at every meal in Mexico. 

 

The driver had a local mechanic checking out the van while we stopped in this town for some food. We asked him in Spanish if everything was all right and we were assured it was.

While taking the bus in Mexico the drivers get hungry and it's normal for them to stop every few hours. Here we enjoyed some fresh made melas and quesadillas before continuing on our journey. This vendor is using the tortilla press to make fresh corn tortillas.  

She puts a ball of maiz in the center with a piece of plastic wrap on top. Then she folds the blue lid on the right, presses down, and follows with the arm on the left and applies more pressure. The result is a fresh tortilla and the entire process takes seconds. From there they are ready to go on top of the heated grill on the left.

 

Our vehicle broke down. Everybody out!

Even though we had asked previously about any problems back at the quesadilla stop, and were profusely assured everything was normal, a few hours into the trip the driver decides to pull over and disappear for 10 full minutes without explanation. He has some book in his hands and thinking it's a map, we assumed he was lost or something.

Instead, it was the owner's manual he was carrying and had made a call to his office. We were promised that another van would be along shortly to pick us up. So, we found some shade under a tree, sat down and ate our lunches.

We all kept saying that at least we were in the shade, at least we had food, at least we didn’t have an accident, at least it was daylight, at least there was a bar a stone’s throw away, at least….

Before the boys finished their beers the next van arrived and we were once again on our way.

 

It's possible that the driver wanted to spend some quality time with the cute girl he picked up along the way and made up the story about the van having trouble... but we will never know!

 

This is Puerto Escondido.

The map illustrates the local beaches in the area. On the right hand side you will see the surfer's beach Playa Zicatella (which is across from our hotel rooms) Playa Marinero (which is where we set up our daily beach chairs) and Playa Principal (where the locals go each weekend for their beach fun).

 

After arriving, unpacking, and getting familiar with our location in Puerto Escondido we found this Italian restaurant on the beach. Our traveling buddies, Dennis and Martha, joined us and we listened to the waves crashing a few feet away.  We all enjoyed our first evening in 'Puerto' as the locals call it.

 

The restaurant where we ate the night before sure looks different in the morning light! We had been up on a platform a few feet to the right.

 

Our room at Hotel Las Olas was bright and sunny and included a balcony with hammock. It was clean, with an ensuite bathroom and maid service daily. Each room has a mini fridge, cable TV, and Wifi. We paid 250 Pesos nightly. Although we had access to an air conditioner (for 50 Pesos more per night) at this time of year, it was not needed.

 

Zicatela beach is across from our hotel. This shot looks West to the town of Puerto Escondido. A well known surfer's beach, Zicatela is dangerous for normal swimming due to the strong undertow. You've been warned!

 

La Playa Principal.

The far end of the beach is loaded with fishing boats and doesn't have much surf. However on this end, the waves break nicely. Great for body surfing.

 

Puerto Escondido is built into the hill and then flattens out. Only a mile or so from our hotel it is an easy walk if you want to scout around in town. Or you can catch local buses that go up the hill for only a few Pesos.

 

Here you can see the umbrellas where we set up our daily camp at the beach. There was no charge for the loungers, table and umbrella, however the restaurants do expect you to purchase some drinks or food from them. We ate mostly at Palomino’s where the fish torta is a good value, coming with fries (35 Pesos), and the 4 fish tacos come with rice (45 Pesos).

 

Separating the two beaches is this lookout point; a prime place to watch the sun rise or set.

 

A late afternoon view of Zicatela beach from the lookout point. Although the surfers are not currently out, this is where the action is. Of course it depends on which kind of 'action' one is looking for. Up at the farthest beach point in the photo towards Huatulco is a nude beach.

 

Restaurants of all sorts line up on the beach. Here is a typical menu.

 

The Hotel Santa Fe is a well known mainstay in this area. We had a sunset dinner of huge, tasty tostadas (45 Pesos for 2) and 2 bowls of Aztec soup (35 Pesos each) with home made bread. Muy sabroso! A very relaxed atmosphere with a good view of Zicatela Beach.

 

No shortage of beach side restaurants! All selling seafood, fresh coconuts and beer.

 

Fisherman taking a break from work and swap tales.

 

Rock formations create tide pools and foamy surf. It really is beautiful here.

Akaisha waving hello with her sun visor in hand.

 

A typical fishing boat on the shore.

 

The Catch of the Day. I asked the fisherman why the fins were cut off these sharks, and was told that the fins are sold to the Chinese Restaurant for Shark Fin Soup.

 

Balmy breezes along the beach. We're all 'dressed up' for a night out.

 

Across the street from our hotel was a Pizzeria with this wood burning oven. Right on the beach! Cipriano’s Pizza is the best pizza we have had in Mexico.
 

This is easy livin'.

60 Pesos will give you a medium size salami pizza and it is really good. Their fruit salad with yogurt and granola is huge, enough for 2 people and is 40 Pesos.

 

Sunday is family day at the beach and the snow cone venders are out in force.

 

Life here at Zicatela beach is easy going and convenient. Our hotel room has a small view of the beach, a sundry store is conveniently located a few doors down, and there is 24 hour free wifi. The town is quiet and we can walk to the beach any time of day or night without worry about our safety. Restaurants with decent food are across the street and the beach where we swim and spend our days is just about ¼ mile down from where we are staying.

 

Taking a break from lazing around in our beach chairs on Playa Marinero.

 

Vendors selling fresh shrimp cocktail. Try one with a splash of the hot sauce. Delicious!

 

And don't forget the fruit! All you have to do is hang out under your umbrella and let the vendors come to you. Fresh papaya, mango and melon, with a squeeze of local lime. I'm lovin' it!

 

Akaisha relaxing after a hard day at the beach.

 

 

A final dinner with friends.

 

The Last Supper.

Our traveling buddies, Dennis and Martha, and new friend, Doug, toasting La Dolce Vida.

We arranged with the Pizzeria to purchase fish and prepare a special dinner for us - a grilled fish dinner with huge baked potatoes and a generous salad. Cost was 70 Pesos per person plus drinks.

We received more food and it was better tasting than any of us anticipated. The moist, tender fish had garlic on top and the salad came with a mild but tasty dressing. We ended up taking a good bit of food home with us to our mini kitchens in our rooms.

 

The sunsets are forever changing and is an easy, relaxing way to enjoy the evenings.

Puerto Escondido, Mexico is a great place to chill, surf, swim or simply work on your tan. And don't forget about the food!

Traveling south down the Pacific coast of Mexico is a must adventure for any traveler. Our style is to go slow and if we like a place, we stay longer, ‘getting local’ as soon as possible. This means we scout out where the neighbors shop, the restaurants they frequent and we make friends along the way with store owners, the maids, and anyone who lives in town. These people know where the best prices and value can be found – it’s certainly not where the tourists shop.

The Adventurer's Guide to the Pacific Coast of Mexico details our route, the places we stayed, prices we paid along this adventure and history and culture of these locations. We also give you names of hotels in each area, the transportation available, useful information and the pros and cons of each place as we viewed it. To learn more, Click here

 

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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their popular website RetireEarlyLifestyle.com, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible.

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