When we found out that we would be spending a year in Mexico, Puerto Escondido was the first place I added to our "must visit" list. I think I found this spot the Ian Armstrong way, a random google image search of "best spots in Mexico." Here's what I knew before we booked our trip:
1. Escondido = secret
2. The town isn't accessible by a major highway or cuota (yet - that will change in a year or so once the highway from Oaxaca is finished)
3. It looked empty and beautiful
Instead of driving, or taking the 9 hour bus ride, we booked a flight on Toucan Air for a four day vacation in P.E. Toucan Air consists of one 10-passenger plane and one pilot (no co-pilot, so hopefully he starts the day with lots of caffeine) that travels for just 25 minutes over the giant mountains to the beach. Spencer really wanted to sit by the window and take pictures, but that wasn't possible - I need the window on small (really most) flights. Otherwise, who is going to constantly look out and scope the place a pilot can make an emergency landing, or that we might be able to survive by jumping out if the plane catches on fire, while listening to Taylor Swift and hoping there are no bumps. That's my job.
We survived! And then this was waiting for us. Escondido, indeed-o. Ha! The end of May is not a popular time to visit, it's already starting to get super hot and we were on the verge of rainy season. But oh my, does visiting places in the off season have it's benefits. What we'd heard could be obscenely crowded beaches in the winter, were absolutely empty. Large tracks of land on the beach and the roads above the coast were completely undeveloped. I imagine this will not be the case for much longer, especially once the super-highway is finished. Knowing this makes the time spent on the Oaxacan coast even more special, it's tough to know that in 10 years, this area will most likely look very different. So go now!
I'm saving details on most of our activities for the Puerto Escondido Guide, but must mention the coolest experience I've had this year. Sea turtles are endangered on the coast of Oaxaca, for various reasons (human and environmental). At the Campamento Tortuguero Palmarito, Alfonso has been riding his ATV up and down the beach to collect eggs and allow them to hatch in safety. Once the baby sea turtles are 45 days old, they are set free into the ocean for the first time. We put 100 turtles in a basket, brought them out to the beach, and placed each one in the sand. There was no confusion, each little animal turned immediately towards the waves and scuttled quickly away. To the sea, and the big waves, and whatever else was out there waiting. Dangerous or not, they ran off to figure it out for themselves.