The 2008 It List

by Ondine Cohane

Puerto Escondido and the Oaxacan Coast

It's a traveler's truism: Where surfers go, other tourists eventually follow. Wave-riders sniff out the best beaches before the mainstream discovers them, and board culture has the effect of turning sleepy towns into enclaves of board-short-wearing hipdom. Witness Sayulita, near Puerto Vallarta, and Troncones, a stone's throw from Zihuatanejo. The next frontier? Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel, and the beaches south of Huatulco. The future of this unmanicured stretch of nirvana is much more secure now that FONATUR (the Mexican agency responsible for the development of Cancún, Cabo, and Acapulco) seems to have run out of steam in its attempt to make it the country's next big thing. For now, the beaches are home to fishing villages, quiet lagoons, and coconut plantations—if you need a visual reference, the idyllic beach ending of Y Tu Mamá También was shot here. Check into the Santa Fe hotel in Puerto Escondido and take day-trips to Playa Manzanillo, Playa Carrizalillo, and Zipolite (one of the most beautiful beaches around); consider adding a sojourn inland to the city of Oaxaca, one of the country's colonial gems. For expert surfers, Playa Zicatela is one of the best pipelines in the world. Further south, nine small bays are a quick jump from the more built-up resorts of Huatulco. If you're looking for upscale digs with, say, an on-site pool and restaurant, check into the Camino Real Zaashila on nearby Tangolunda Bay.

Hotel Santa Fe
Tel: 52 954 58 201 70

Camino Real Zaashila
Tel: 800 722 6466

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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