Features editor Wendy Jacob jets off to a surfer’s paradise.
Tulum tends to steal the thunder when it comes to boho Mexican surfer towns, but lesser known Puerto Escondido in Oaxaca state is emerging as a secret gem. Blessed with epic waves, this hot spot draws international surfers, but not the crochet-bikini clad masses. Here’s a taste of how to bring this area’s colorful vibe home — no passport required.
Terracotta tiles are everywhere, from the floors to the roofs, and terracotta pots are classic accents on Mexican patios, especially when oversized and brimming with colorful blooms, like sun-loving pink geraniums.
Restaurante Espadín overlooks Playa Carrizalillo, one of the prettiest beaches in Puerto Escondido.
You can’t blame this restaurant’s resident cat for wanting to rub up against this curlicued gate. Artisanal wrought iron fencing enhances air flow on hot days, and affords a glimpse of a inviting walkway from the main street.
Puerto Escondido’s pounding surf is what draws pro surfers from around the world to its famous Playa Zicatela for competitions, but a zen infinity pool at
Vivo Resorts overlooking the Pacific rip curls shows water’s softer side.
In La Punta, a surfboard-shaped sign nods to the nearby beach. Considered one of the top 10 surfing destinations in the world, Puerto Escondido’s restaurants are equipped with swings, hammocks or floor pillow seating, to enhance the laid-back vibe.
In the spa area of Vivo Resorts, an iconic Mexican palapa structure is made with open sides and a woven palm leaf roof to shade guests and allow warm air to escape. Getting a relaxing al fresco treatment surrounded by palms enhances the feeling of wellness.
Conserving water is important no matter what part of the globe you’re in, and Mexican gardens take advantage of xeriscaping (which doesn’t rely on irrigation). Cacti and succulents thrive in Puerto Escondido: mimic the look with potted versions that can be overwintered in northern climates.
Vines soften up hard garden structures and mimic the lush flowers of Mexico. Prolific yellow flowers bloom on a Trumpet vine (Campsis radicans) trained to climb the supports of this prettified pergola — don’t be fooled by its exotic look, this North American vine is cold-, heat- and drought-tolerant.