Puerto Escondido, Mexico

Photo: Grupo Habita

Are you ready to fall in love with Mexico again? You’re no stranger to our neighbor to the south. You’ve explored the beaches (Tulum, Cabo San Lucas, Zihuatanejo), the islands (Isla Mujeres), the cities (Guadalajara, San Miguel de Allende), and even a wine region (Valle de Guadalupe) over the years. But lately, your adventures have taken you farther away. Now you’re in desperate need of a quick getaway, though. That’s where Puerto Escondido comes in.

Puerto Escondido sits south of Oaxaca in between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains. If you’ve never heard of the fishing village, it’s not a surprise. The village didn’t even exist, save for a handful of boats shipping coffee, prior to the 1930s. Surfers discovered its virgin, white-sand beaches in the 1960s, after a highway from Acapulco, nearly 250 miles up the coast, was built. Despite a major surfing competition on Playa Zicatela each winter, Puerto Escondido has remained under the radar.

You start to appreciate its remoteness as soon as you land at Puerto Escondido’s little airport. During the ride to your hotel, you pass grazing horses, slow-moving oxen, and papaya farms instead of high-rise hotels. There are green mountains on one side, the rough Pacific on the other, and lots of cacti in between. An artist community is one of the hotel’s few neighbors. Unless you count the olive ridley sea turtles that use the beaches to nest from July through January.

Photo: Grupo Habita

As for the hotel, it’s perfect. At Hotel Escondido, there’s no doubt that you’re in Mexico. Sandy paths lead to individual cabanas that have been constructed out of wood and palm leaves with thatched roofs. They have tropical wood floors painted with colorful geometric patterns. Orange accessories pop against the simple wood furniture. The walls slide open to reveal tall cacti and the mountains on one side. A chill-out zone—featuring sun loungers, a hammock, and a salt-water plunge pool—is on the other.

And that’s just your cabana. The rest of the design hotel is just as relaxing. You can alternate between the hot and cold plunge pools at the spa. There’s a 50-meter infinity pool, overlooking the sand and the ocean, that offers both sunrise and sunset views. The Beach Club serves marlin tostadas from an open grill at lunch. Three-course dinners feature more local seafood and the house mezcal in the open-air restaurant. While evenings are reserved for bonfires on the beach and dancing in the underground, soundproof bar. Even a firm non-dancer like yourself will start swaying your hips after the combination of sunshine, salty breezes, and margaritas all day. Love is in the air.

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