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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 4th 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.

 

Billy and Akaisha with their packs in Oaxaca, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha with their packs

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.

Milpa on the road to Puerto Escondido, Mexico

End of the season maiz

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. 

Woman making tortillas out on the street, Oaxaca State, Mexico

Woman making tortillas out on the street

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.

mini van broke down on the road, Oaxaca state, Mexico

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!

Street map of Puerto Escondido, Mexico

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).

Waiting for our meal to arrive, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Waiting with friends for our meal to arrive

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.

Beach shade and chairs, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Beach shade and chairs

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.

Hotel Las Olas, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Upstairs room with hammock

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.

(Today, that price is 800Pesos for an air conditioned room)

Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Playa Principal

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!

Playa Principal from Los Morros

 

 

 

 

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.

The city of Puerto Escondido, Mexico

The city of Puerto Escondido

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.

Before the 1930s there was no city here due to lack of potable water. Look at it now!

View of Playa Principal from El Morro, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

View of beach from El Morro

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).

 

El Morro lookout, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

El Morro lookout

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

Zicatela beach from El Morro, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Zicatela beach from El Morro

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.

Restaurant menu at Zicatela Beach, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Beach menu

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

Calle del Morro, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Calle del Morro

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.

 

 

 

 

Many beach restaurants in Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Many beach restaurants

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

Fishermen sitting on their boats

Fisherman taking a break from work and swap tales.

Rocks piled between beaches, Puerto Escondido,  Mexico

These rocks separate the two beaches

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

Akaisha waving hello with her sun visor in hand.

typical fishing boat on shore, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

A classic shot

A typical fishing boat on the shore.

Crate of sharks from fishermen's catch, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Sharks fill in the crate

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.

Billy and Akaisha on the beach, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Akaisha and Billy

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

Pizza oven on Zicatela Beach, Puerto Escondido,  Mexico

Pizza oven

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.

Pepperoni pizza, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Pepperoni pizza

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.

Snow cone vendor, Playa Principal, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Snow cone vendor

Sunday is family day at the beach and the snow cone venders are out in force. Different fruit syrups in the jars to place over shaved ice.

 

 

 

 

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.

Billy and Akaisha on the beach, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Billy and Akaisha on the beach

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

Fresh seafood cocktails, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Fresh shrimp cocktails

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

Beach vendor with tropical fruit, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Tropical fruit for sale

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 in hammock, Hotel Las Olas, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Akaisha in a hammock

Akaisha relaxing after a hard day at the beach.

Dinner on the beach, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Akaisha and Billy on the beach

A final dinner with friends.

Dinner on the beach with friends, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

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.

Sunset on the beach, Playa Principall, Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Sunset on the beach

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

For more stories, videos and photos of Puerto Escondido, CLICK HERE

For more stories and photos of Oaxaca, CLICK HERE

For more stories and photos of Mexico, CLICK HERE

VIDEOS, VIDEOS, VIDEOS! See Mexico for yourself! Beaches, Bars, Babes, Great Food, Live Music

About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning 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 available on their website bookstore or on Amazon.com.

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