Puerto Escondido (English: "Hidden Port") is a small port and tourist center in the municipality of San Pedro Mixtepec Distrito 22 in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. Prior to the 1930s, no real town existed. The bay had been used as a port intermittently to ship coffee, but there was no permanent settlement due to the lack of potable water. The name Puerto Escondido had roots in the legend of a woman who escaped her captors and hid here. The Nahuatl word for this area was Zicatela, meaning “place of large thorns." Today, it refers to the area’s most famous beach.
Puerto Escondido is one of the most important tourist attractions on the Oaxacan coast. It caters to a more downscale and eclectic clientele than neighboring Huatulco, mostly surfers, backpackers and Mexican families. The main attractions are the beaches, from Zicatela Beach, which hosts major surfing competitions, to beaches with gentle waves. West from the town is a large lagoon area popular for fishing and bird watching