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Cyber Vacation

Just finished up a cyber vacation surfing your site. I spent two months at the Posada Canon Devata eight years ago writing and bumming around. I have fond memories of that dreamy little fishing village. I thought the prison article was good and quite interesting. Johnny Strike

December 2000


Last year, we had been staying at Puerto Angel for 4 days and we find Zipolite beach very nice: there were a lot of waves and we really enjoyed swimming there. Puerto angel is a nice place and has a very good restaurant: Macas. As well, we discovered the Playa de Ventanilla.

Yann Bellec

December 2000

Looking for Polo and Mari   FOUND

Hi, we are a family from Toronto, Canada. We are trying to make contact with Polo and Mari at Restaurant Los Arrecifes. We have tried contacting them through e-mail and post but have had no response. Can anyone help? Thanks.

Matteo, Juuli and Alfred

December 2000

Reservations in Puerto Angel

Excellent site.. I am trying (so far with no luck) to reserve a room at a moderately priced hotel in Puerto Angel for two persons over New Year's weekend.. Any ideas or is it so booked out that we should not bother coming down from Oaxaca? Any leads would be appreciated...

December 2000

Booking for Christmas/New Years or Easter holidays should be done about 3 months in advance. However, in the Puerto Angel area, many hotels do no have telephones and so they don't take many reservations. It will be difficult to find a room, as it will in any location in Mexico that is attractive to tourists, but not impossible. You can try in Puerto Angel and if you have no luck, then try in the communities to the west (Zipolite, Mazunte, Agustinillo, etc.) There is a new posada in Agustinillo that may have vacancies. You can email the owners, Jeff and Ana, at tierrapin@hotmail.com. -Tom

Posada Cañon Devata

Hello Tom! This is actually the first time that I write to you even though I've visited the pages on Puerto Angel and the web site more than once. I have known Mateo Lopez since 1994 and him and his life companion: Cheli are very good friends of mine.

About a week ago, they asked me as a special favor to let EVERYBODY know that the Posada Canon DeVata has been RE-OPENED ... FOR GOOD!, and Mateo is doing a wonderful job at putting it back on its feet and even better than before. He mentioned that he doesn't want to deal with the computer and fax and phone reservations but it is open and welcomes everybody that arrives at its doors. Cheli & Mateo are doing great & so is their lovely 4 months old daughter Eva Maria.

PLUS ... I personally wish to mention that Cheli is about to open THE MOST BEAUTIFUL "Cafe Galeria" at their house, just next to the Casa de huespedes Gundi Tomas. The setting is an ABSOLUTE MUST SEE! Cheli has such a green thumb and this little cafe lies in the middle of so many plants & flowers, there's no word to describe it almost, or that would pay it respect. You just have to go & see for yourself. She serves all sorts of coffees, drinks, licuados and breakfasts. The architecture is full of lovely details that makes it by far ONE OF A KIND! And plus, for those of you who like art ... you will be able to appreciate & or buy Mateo's paintings that are typically mexican and so impresive! I repeat : you must see it EVERYBODY!

Thank you Tom, in the name of Mateo & Cheli, for putting this letter on the web site, because I have notice that many people are always asking about Mateo and will most probably be thrilled to read this. I guess the efforts of such nice people to build, open and run these amazing getaways are worth these few lines of mine, full of admiration!

From someone that knows Puerto Angel almost inside out by now, and considers it home even when she's away.

Take care everybody,
Anne-Marie Beauchamp

December 2000

Gay Friendly in Puerto Angel?

Hello. I will be traveling with my girlfriend in January and we are seeking a nice relaxed atmosphere with friendly open people and nice warm beaches. I have heard lovely things about the area of
Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel and Barra etc. Also Mazunte and San Augustinillo.

We want a "getaway" experience away from crowds with nice beaches for snorkeling and swimming. Smallish village environment to walk in maybe some nice mountain areas for hiking, etc. And to eat avocados, fruit and fish! Also looking for a simple and pleasant affordable place(s) to stay while there in the area for 2 weeks. Having never been to Mexico I want to arrive and enjoy an uncomplicated enjoyable holiday.

Can you recommend anywhere in particular? What about up in Yelapa? Too touristy? I appreciate anything that you can share. Thanks so much.


December 2000

Posada Cañon Devata Update

In case you don't already know, it is now being managed by Mateo and a lovely man called Steve. I was there in October and had a wonderful time. We couldn't believe how inexpensive it was, and we ate the best food there out of all the places in Mexico that we stayed. (Both vegetarians, so a bit of a problem at times.) Hope to return one day.

Ann Dunstan

December 2000

Looking for Apartment of Condo

Tom, we are currently in Mexico and will be coming to Puerto Angel or nearby for the month of January. It looks as if you have a lot of correspondence to answer. If you know of an apartment or condo that we could rent for the month of January please let us know. Close to but not on the beach.}

Jon De West

December 2000

Two Strikes for Hotel Soraya

I agree with the posting on Hotel Soraya. We stayed there for a night last December before we got into Canon Devata. It wasn't very nice and generally gave us the creeps.

Another good place to stay is Hotel Buena Vista. I was there in November 2000. They gave me a room for 200 pesos and I upgraded to an even better one with a view for 250. Very nice restaurant as well.

I also checked out Canon Devata again. It is quite a bit more low key than last year. How could it not be, considering they have no phone or mailbox. Kali is gone, but Mateo and an American guy are running it. Some of the amenities are missing which bothered one guy there, but I liked it. It's not as new agey which is fine by me. Still very cool.

Another place I like in PA is the restaurant in the middle of the sea wall, up the stairs. Great food, great view. I don't know the name.

I love this part of the world. And thanks to Tom for providing this web site.

Bruce Conrad

November 2000

House for rent or sale

Dear Tom. I saw in your comments that many people are looking for a place to stay in Puerto Angel. I own a splendid house in Puerto Angel next to the 'PHARO' and the view is direct on the Pacific. The house has 5 bedrooms with 5 bathrooms and air conditioned. It has also a large swimming pool and 2 jaccuzi. I can rent by room with breakfast include or complete if possible. We have the cable TV from all around the world and the Phone and Fax. tel; 958 35023. The house is located near the Universidad del Mar. you take the little road on the right to the pharo and the last house on the left is Casa Bianca.


November 2000

I read the visitors comments on Puerto Angel from your site. The latest comment was from Francoise Fremordet who wanted to sale or rent the place he has in P.A. Maybe his e-mail address was wrong or something but I just couldn't send the message, it always came back with the note: error this, error that. do you have the address? me and my fellow students (6 person) are going to Oaxaca in December 30th and are desperately trying t find accommodation in P.Escondido or P.Angel, but it's very hard at that time. Do you have any tips for us? We would very thankful from anything... greetings from cold and dark Finland. -Jan, jkondo@ladybird.helsinki.fi

No No No to Hotel LaCabaña

When we first arrived in Puerto Angel, we went to Posada Cañon Devata and there were no rooms available. Hotel La Cabaña nearby, just behind the restaurants on Playa Panteón offered us a good rate and we stayed. One night. It is not at all clean. Overrun with cockroaches and the toilet leaked. The beds were terrible, the pillows worse. The workers hostile and rude. The noise (music?) from the back-end of the beach restaurants did not let up. A horror until we went to Posada Canon Devata the next day: paradise!


November 2000

Charter Fishing?

We will be in Mazunte and Puerto Angel at the end of December and are looking for opportunities for charter fishing in the area. Any recommendation? Chris Rexroat

November 2000

Hotel Soraya? Hotel Hell!

To fellow travelers to Puerto Angel: It's a terrific place to visit; stay anywhere but at Hotel Soraya! Unfortunately, we checked into Hotel Soraya in Puerto Angel for two hellish nights in the middle of an otherwise wonderful trip to the state of Oaxaca in early November (2000). In all our years of traveling domestically and internationally we have never been treated as poorly as we were at this miserable excuse for a hotel!

Frankly, we went there based on your comments on the web site (which we otherwise found to be very informative) and that this is where you said you stay when in Puerto Angel. To our mind, camping under a boat at Playa Principal would have been preferable.

We were charged $450 pesos for one of the air-conditioned rooms, which we felt a bit high, but acceptable. Of course that was before we understood that we would be charged for a bottle of water (and charged more than the tienda next door charged), that the food in the restaurant was as poisonous as it was unpalatable, or that the place was grossly mismanaged by the most hateful, surly couple we've ever encountered. The room was quite large and because we were tired and wanted to spend more time snorkeling than hanging out in the room, we decided to overlook the exposed light bulbs, the fact that there were no drinking glasses and only one towel and bar of soap for the two of us, and only one lock of marginal function on the main door, the dark hallways, and the dimly lighted steep driveway.

Almost as soon as we checked in, we noticed that the seat of the toilet was broken (actually, a rather large piece of it fell in the toilet when I lifted the lid). Because it was Saturday night, we decided that we could cope with this inconvenience, so we didn't demand another room. This was not our first mistake; our first mistake was checking in at all.

We decided to have dinner at the hotel restaurant. Puerto Angel is a fishing village so one would anticipate succulent, fresh fish. Not at Hotel Soraya! Our unrecognizable fish tasted as if it had been cooked in aging, nearly rancid oil and seasoned with some unknown, equally aged spices; the tortillas were burned; the sopa, unpalatable. What little we ate made us sick (causing the broken toilet seat to become more of an issue than we had anticipated). During dinner, the ancient owner of the facility came up to our table and, instead of welcoming us to the establishment as one might expect, demanded to know if we were staying at the hotel and when we replied that we were, he rudely informed us that we must give him our key since we were out of the room. (One would hardly think that a trip to the hotel restaurant would require detouring to the office to drop off the key, but apparently so.) He then came back a few minutes later and even more rudely demanded to know which vehicle we'd arrived in. At that point, we decided to write him off as "eccentric."

The next day, after some terrific snorkeling at Playa Estacahuite, we picked up the key and were told by a woman at the desk (who by then had the broken piece of the toilet seat) that it would be replaced the next day. She professed not to speak English and frankly our Spanish doesn't cover fixing toilet seats; we figured it was Sunday and possibly the part wasn't available.

The next morning we were leaving early (needless to say, we did not eat at the restaurant in the hotel again) and wanted to get some breakfast and decided to check out. The woman from the day before -- whose English had remarkably improved during the night and who, by the same miracle, had acquired a whole new toilet seat -- accused us of breaking the toilet seat in our room, called my sister a liar(!) when she explained that it was broken when we arrived, and demanded $100 pesos to replace the thing. (We aren't even sure how one could break a toilet seat without standing on it -- and we certainly did not stand on the toilet -- we had to put up with it being broken for two days, when she had a replacement that was not installed during our stay, and then suffer the indignity of paying more than the replacement cost of something that was obviously falling apart from age -- as was everything else in the place.) We ended up giving her the money so that we could get our passport wallets, which we had checked at the desk, and get out of that horrible place.

We are hardy travelers and we've stayed in some pretty challenging situations, but never have we had to confront such miserable accommodations coupled with such hateful, inept and surly management. There is absolutely no redeeming merit to this place (from the door that kept unlocking itself, to the sand in the bedspread, to the lizards that lived under the sink, to the poisonous food, the inadequate lighting and dangerous, exposed electrical wiring, to the blatant exploitation and verbal abuse of guests).

Please, please reconsider your recommendation of this place.

N. Donnelly & E. Ford
San Francisco, California
(email doesn't work)
November 2000

Any New About Posada Cañon de Vata?

I too mourned the closing of the Posada having spent the most wonderful times in its magical atmosphere. I had persuaded my mother to visit only to read the notice that it was currently closed.

Whilst I am pleased to see it has re-opened its doors, is there any news on when we can book and what other changes will be taking place - I think I understand Kali to be leaving??

Waiting and wondering in London,

November 2000

Returning for New Years

My girl-friend and I were in Puerto Angel for ten days over New Year's 2000 and fell in love with this little bit of paradise. Although we did not stay at Posada Cañon Devata (did not know of it ahead of time) we visited it while there. We met Kali Lopez who showed us around their Posada and we decided that was the place for us when we return. Another highlight of our stay was our fishing and snorkeling trips with Chepe Lopez.

We are planning to return to Puerto Angel for New Year's again this year accompanied by two close friends. After telling them about the incredible beauty and laid back atmosphere of the Posada, we were devastated to learn it was closed. Today, while exploring your info on the internet, I read the good news that it has reopened. However, I also read your note that they are not taking reservations at this time. We are reluctant to take a chance on availability at that time of year without a reservation or some form of contact with the Posada.

Bob Lacroix

October 2000

Dear Wes, Ever since your email first appeared regarding a 200usd monthly rental budget, I've been waiting for someone else to write with the bad news. Since noone has, I guess I'll have to break it to you. That accommodation budget might have sufficed a decade or two ago, but not now. At best, it might get you a shared bath room in a palapa on Zipolite, but even the Casas de Huespedes are going to be more than that in Puerto Angel, forget Huatulco. I hope that budget was room only and not food too, or you'd best be looking for a hammock to rent under a palapa roof. Inflation...-John M. Williams, sharkbait69@yahoo.com

Looking for a Place to Rent

My name is Wesley James and I am currently living in Sydney, Australia.

I am visiting Mexico for the first half of next year and I am after information regarding the renting of accommodation on a monthly basis in areas surrounding Puerto Escondido and Zipolite. My budget will be up to US$200 per month.

Wesley James

October 2000

Chepe - or Juan Jose de Nova Reyes?

How funny to see so much great information on Puerto Angel! I was transported back for a lovely few minutes of reminiscing!

Anyone know of what happened to Chepe - or Juan Jose de Nova Reyes? I'm an old friend who has lost touch since I returned to Scotland and got married. I think he's also married - perhaps to Kali - I just wanted to say hello and find out how he is doing.

Thanks for a great web site.

Mandy McCulloch (nee Hamilton)

October 2000

Posada Cañon Devata Reopens

Just a quick note to inform you that the Posada Cañon Devata in Puerto Angel has now reopened under the management of Mateo. It is as beautiful and relaxing as ever. Unfortunately, they are not taking reservations at this time but rooms are available on a walk-in basis. They look forward to seeing familiar and new faces. Thanks for your support.

Darshan Lopez

October 2000

The Posada Cañon Devata is not taking reservations because there is no way to contact them at this time. Please do not contact Darshan for reservations at the Posada. -Tom

We Did It!

Dear Tom, We do not expect you to remember us, since you probably correspond with millions of people a day, but we are a couple from Santa Barbara California, who lived in the mountains with solar power only (maybe that will ring a bell) and asked you for info regarding moving to the Oaxacan coast. You recommended checking the Chacalapa area, etc. Anyway, we are writing you today to let you know we did it! We bought property in the San Agustinillo area and have built a small posada, which is almost done now, we really appreciate all the information you provided us and eventually would like to have a link to your page if possible. Anyway, our place is across the street from the ocean in a palm grove, the rooms have kitchens, purified water, hot water and fans, we are planning to open this November and are anxious to have our first guests, if anyone asks for info on a place that is a step up from a palapa or hammock send them our e-mail address! And if you should ever consider to visit this way come as our guest of honor! - Thanks for all you have done for folks like us and we leave you with our best wishes.

Jeff and Ana

October 2000

Looking for a Place to Stay

We will be in Puerto Escondido for the month of February and need accommodation for 2 people - with cooking facilities. It does not have to be right on the beach but a pool and gardens would be nice. Is it possible to find anything like this for about $800 a month in either Puerto Escondido or Puerto Angel?

robert sutton
October 2000

Memories and Daydreams

Hi Tom. I am writing to say 'thank you' for your website. I have been back from my trip to Mexico for 3 months now, but I have fond memories and daydreams about the place every day. It is a truly special country. In my office here in cold England, reading the comments and descriptions of places I visited brings back some wonderful memories for me.

I hope to return to Mexico soon, and maybe take in the rest of Central America too. For now, my memories and photographs, as well as your website will have to do!

Andrew Ellis

September 2000

La Posada Cañon Devata

Hola Tom, I apologize for the delay in response, my computers plotted against me and decided to strike for what added-up to a month long saga, but finally I have one of them back and cooperating. Yes, La Posada did not open for a new season on July 1st this year, a lot of changes in the family, different needs and goals, etc. My parents are in the process of finding another future for their third child, I am sure some other incarnation will be found, it is such a special place. We have been so fortunate to share it for 22 years, and now the time for change will lead us all in our own directions. Thank you for inquiring and I hope all is very well with you.

Kali López Huffman

September 2000

Want to Rent House

Hi Tom, We are two Colorado families with 3 small children looking for a house to rent somewhere between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido, around Nov 1-8,2000.Could you please forward any information to us on who might be a good contact for rentals.

Angela Rey - PCG

September 2000

There are a couple of realtors you could contact: Saa-Iba and Ideal Properties. And there is a bungalow for rent in Puerto Angel. -Tom

Audiobook: Out of the Blue

Dear Tom: I writing to let you know that my audiobook, Out of the Blue, based on my experiences at Zipolite and Pina Palmera during my research around the time of Hurricane Paulina is now available at www.mp3.com/davidkendallgrant/. 50% of CD sales royalties on the website will go to Piña Pamera. Episode 17, the climactic hurricane scene is number three on the MP3 audiobook chart. I hope you will put a link on your site so that people can take advantage of this opportunity to be entertained and support Pina Palmera.

David Kendall Grant M.S.Ed., Ph.D.

August 2000

See David's Visitor's Comment at the time of Hurricane Paulina. -Tom

Looking for Paradiso

Hi Tom. My friends and me plan to travel in Mexico for 3 months. over christmas/new years, we planned to stay in Puerto Angel/Zipolite, and I read about a hotel called "Paradiso", it sounds very good. do you maybe have a phone or fax number from this hotel? I think it's better if we make a reservation over the holidays. it would be very nice if you can mail me this informations. Thank you very much! Sunny greetings from Switzerland.


August 2000

I don't know about that place. If it is in Zipolite then it may not have a telephone. Maybe someone else can help. -Tom

Could they be looking for the Paraiso Escondido in Puerto Escondido? -jembra@silk.net

Luggage storage in Huatulco or Puerto Angel

Thanks for your wonderful website Tom. I had big plans to visit Melaque last year based on the information in your site but ended up getting a very cheap flight to Cancun. My wife, our three kids and myself had a wonderful two weeks in the Yucatan inspired in part by your website.

Now I am preparing to return to Mexico later this year. I am planning to spend a week on the Oaxaca coast after climbing Orizaba and do not look forward to lugging around my climbing gear. My plans to sleep in a hammock on Zipolite would be out of the question. Do you know of a safe place to store things in Huatulco or Puerto Angel? Thanks.

Evan Dorward

August 2000

Want to Rent in Mazunte/Augustinillo

Have enjoyed many visits to Rancho Cerro Largo. Looking to rent on beach in Mazunte/Augustinillo for 1 month in Feb-March. Would appreciate any information. Thanks.

Michael and Kate Kelley

August 2000

Posada Cañon Devata Closed

I just checked the Web page of La Posada in Puerto Angel, and there's a notice on the home page "Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Posada is closed indefinitely." I'm so upset! This has been my refuge from the big bad world for five or six years now (4 separate trips!). One of my favorite places on the planet. Does anyone have any info on what happened, and whether they intend to ever re-open? Thanks for the good times, Mateo, Kalli, Darshan, and, um, the mother.... Daniel W. DeLuca

August 2000

Dear Tom, Why did La Posada Canon Devata close?

Tom Sheforgen

August 2000 I too would like to know why La Posada is closed down. I've been visiting there for more than 15 years, I spent three weeks there in February, 2000, and am concerned. Is Kali or Darshan sick or has some natural disaster of one kind or another beset them? I'll miss them as much as the hotel. I just hope its nothing too bad. Roger Doyle

August 2000

My friend, Carlos, in Huatulco has checked this out for us. The Devata is closed for renovations. No word on when it will reopen. -Tom

The French are Coming

Hello Tom. That was so great to find so many informations about Puerto Angel and surroundings .... from my chair in Paris as it has been raining so much here. That was a real dream. We are coming to Mexico in within ten days and are supposed to stay 2 nights and two days in Puerto Angel on the 26 and 27 of July. We are a group of 14 people, French for most of us. So your informations were so precious to me! Bests regards and sorry for my approximative English.


July 2000

Puesta del Sol Bungalow

I have a strong recommendation for a great vacation house in Puerto Angel. The Hotel Puesta del Sol (in the town) has a bungalow/house on the lighthouse peninsula, on a hill overlooking the Pacific, and about a 20-min walk to Zipolite beach. The owners, German-Mexican couple Maria and Harald Ferber, have thought of every detail in the house's amenities: fully stocked kitchen, drinking water, immaculate bathrooms, large porch with outside dining, hammock, stereo system, cable TV, laundry facilities. The house has an upstairs room with a double bed, kitchen, bathroom, and dining and living areas. Then, downstairs, there's another bedroom, with two double beds and separate bathroom. So six could live in the house quite comfortably.

All this for $400 a week. We spent a week there in May and had a difficult time coming back!

The house is in a neighborhood off the main road, so it's best to have private transportation. We managed without, by walking to the main road (10 min) and catching cabs or colectivos to either town or Zipolite. Or you can just walk the whole distance, of course.

Highly wonderful. Go to the website at http://www.puertoangel.net/

Stefan Frazier

June 2000

Not Too Gaudy

I am still savoring the wonderful time I had in Oaxaca in March. We flew to Oaxaca, had a wonderful time based out of Los Golandranos and then flew to Puerto Escondido. When we arrived at the Oaxaca airport, we checked on flights out. We had wanted to spend two days in our whirlwind 8-day Oaxaca visit in Oaxaca and then go to PE and then Puerto Angel. There was no availability two days later we were told, so we booked a flight for the next night. Mucho dinero. Our advice: book ahead before you leave home. When we returned the next day, we were told that the little plane was overheated and that we would have to leave our bags and they would deliver them the next day. We had originally thought we would stay at Hotel Paraiso Escondido. However, a man from Chiapas we met in Oaxaca told us that Hotel Casa Blanca was great. So we changed our plans, and told the airline to deliver our bags there.

When we arrived in PE, we shared a cab with a man who had a house in PE and told us somewhat disparagingly that we were headed for the touristy part of town. It was night, and we were driven to the end of Perez Gasga, which was blocked off to automobile traffic. I couldn't believe how horrible it was at first sight: it was lit up, gaudy, lights strung across the street. I hated it immediately. We walked down to the Hotel Casa Blanca in the middle of Perez Gasga, didn't like it much but had no choice since that was where the airline would be delivering our bags. Perez Gasga is gaudy and commercial. We walked on the beach which was depressingly lit up with flood lights. This was hardly our idyllic beach vacation come true. Commercial, loud and gaudy. The next morning we had breakfast at a mediocre restaurant on the beach, that served us instant Nescafe (!) We went to a beach away from the main beach towards Zicatela, and had a nice couple hours lounging on the beach and playing in the waves, though I was thinking the whole time: as soon as our bags arrive I have to leave. It was horrid. I thought: Puerto Angel would be much better.

We went to the travel agency in town to see about renting a car to drive to Puerto Angel. We talked to a fellow traveler and I told him I hated PE. He assured me I would like PA, and advised us to bargain with a taxi driver to get a ride to Puerto Angel for 300 pesos. He told me I would like Posada Canon Devata in PA. (He was right on all accounts.)

We went back to Hotel Casa Blanca, our luggage arrived, and the people working there tried to get us to hire a friend of theirs to drive us for 450 pesos. We hailed a cab, got the price of 300 pesos and left PE behind. I was thrilled.

We had a wonderful time in Puerto Angel and back again in Oaxaca. I hear that there are nicer areas to stay in PE, and maybe our experience would have been better.

New York

April 2000

Do You Know Pato & Julio Cabrera?

I'm looking after the 2 Chilean brothers who just came there to stay and live. I think they opened a bar or a restaurant in Puerto Angel or Zipolite. I'm talking about Pato & Julio Cabrera, if you know them please give em my address.

Tomaso Gobbi

April 2000

Need a Hotel

We are planning a vacation to Oaxaca beaches. Could you recommend me a hotel in San Agustinillo or in Mazunte? We would need more a hotel than the palapas we know in Mazunte. We are going 8 adults and a baby. We need private bathrooms, clean place, some confort, with the reasonable prices of the are. One of the adults is a very pregnant lady, we would like for them to be very confortable. Thank you very much, waiting to hear from you.

Mireya Escalante

April 2000

Water Too Cold

Hi there, I just got back from a trip to Puerto Angel and the surrounding area. I wanted to tell you that I used your website extensively to gather info on the Puerto Angel area before deciding to go there and was very disappointed in one bit of mis-information that has led me to write this email.

The water temperature listed on your website for Oaxaca is 80 degrees. As you must know, right now it is not even close to that. I couldn't believe how chilly it was. Not much better than California in the fall. We still had a great time on our vacation, but the water temperature was one of the single most deciding factors for us to venture down to your area instead of Hawaii, our favorite vacation spot. We were quite surprised when we got in the water. Everyone told us while we were there that it was a freak of nature, that the water had never been this cold in all the time they had been there- some for 30 years plus.

It would be great if your website reflected the true current water temperature's and had an explanation to go along with it that helped better informed a person who was planning a trip down there. Thanks for the work and beautiful layout that you have put together on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

. PS. Why don't you have pictures of your place in La Boquilla on the website?

Rahman D'Amato

April 2000

According to my source, The Weather Underground, the water temperature is now up to 85°. Of course, I don't think they've actually tried swimming in it--they do it with satellites or something. At any rate, that's the best I can do with the temperature.

The reason there are no pictures of La Boquilla is because no one has sent me any.



Hi, I was in Puerto Angel in February of 1995 for a vacation with my family. We all loved it very much. My sister went back in 1997. When I was there I met some locals (Playa Panteón) and one in particular named Humberto Jarquin Jarquin. I was just wondering if anyone knows him or what he is doing. The last I heard was that he was getting married and having a baby. We kept in touch for a little while but I have since lost his mother's address and am unaware if he even lives there anymore. I now go to college in Calgary, Canada but am planning a vacation to Angel next winter and would like to know if Humberto is still there. If anyone has met him please tell him that Jessa from Canada says "Hi!".

Jessa Morrison
Calgary, Canada

April, 2000

Phil & Dave's "Mexcellent" Adventure

My buddy Dave and I just returned from Huatulco on 3-8-00.we spent 10 days at the hotel San Augustanillo (which me and my friends call the ruins). Pretty laid back. We did see a German break his neck surfing though. Many people gathered to help and Shandor the Hungarian took him to the hospital in Pochutla. There they had oxygen but no mask to administer it--not the place to be when in need of medical attention! I hung out with our buddy Hubert in Mazunte and Pablo and Carol.

When it was time to go Hubert offered us a ride to La Crucecita to a place his friend owned for our last night. It was hotel Las Palmas and his friend and owner was a gentleman by the name Willem or Memo. Well this guy knows everybody and everything. Deluxe rooms-hot water-air cond. and even toilet seats. The restaurant rivals some of the best I've seen in Chicago for quality and service. Again Willem knows where everything is and speaks perfect English. Took Dave and I another 5 days to leave this party. This is a must for anyone looking to stay away from the ugly Americans at the large resorts. p.s. the women are still fine in Zipolite but so are the thieves.

Also beat the large Mexican school teacher arm wrestling at Shandors palapa 3 times. Thanks for the web site.


March 2000

In Response to a Question about Beaches ...

My wife and I love that whole area, and the truth is the various beaches are all so close that you can easily enjoy them all fully in a week's time. Puerto Angel has a bit more in the way of restaurants and hotel choices, but the beaches are nowhere near as nice as Mazunte or even Zipolite (though swimming is not usually recommended at Zipolite.)

If it's your first time in the area, I'd stay at each beach a few nights (the are no more than 1 to 20 miles from each other) and enjoy the variety. The best beach (there are 2) in Puerto Angel is Playa Panteón and not the Playa Principal which is steeper - therefore more turbulence - and since it's where the fishing commerce goes on it's dirtier. I'd even recommend staying at one of the hotels that are on the Playa Panteón side of the bay which is Puerto Angel. While in Puerto, don't miss a day at Playa Estacahuite just up the road towards Pochutla about 150 yards past where the town ends you'll see a dirt road drop down off to the right and there's usually a sign with the beach's name on it. Go about 500 meters and the road ends (at this point no more than a wide trail) at the sea and you turn left down some steps to the beach - we like the first little beach and the first little palapa hut restaurant... fresh fish fillets and fries and tostadas and a soft drink for about $2 US dollars.

In Zipolite you will find more of an 18 to late twenties crowd and it's got kind of a hippie/backpacker feel to it... drugs are definitely there if you are looking for that... which we aren't so we just hang out there during the day... and even then not frequently. But, Zipolite is beautiful no debate there :-)

Mazunte is our favorite... that's mostly due to the Alta Mira... we love it. It's incredibly beautiful and charming and I've never heard anyone not let out some sort of positive exclamation when they first look out from the registration area toward the sea. The last time we were there - late Oct. 1999 - it still didn't have hot water, but then we used that as leverage to get the price lower and it was such a nice temperature outside that a brisk shower felt good.... usually :-) Again if you are planning on staying at the Alta Mira during March a high season, make sure you call or contact the Hotel Buena Vista (958) 958-43104 (voice/fax) for reservations... or if that is not possible, you could always get lucky and just walk up and see if there's any space. The Buena Vista is in Puerto Angel (it's nice, but not RIGHT on the beach - their website http://www.labuenavista.com). Mazunte has little in the way of nightlife... but there are always interesting people from all over the world to talk to and the dinners at the Alta Mira are long and relaxed so there's plenty of time for conversation and exchanging travel tales.

Tim Gulick

February 2000

Fishing for Roosterfish?

I am an avid fisherman. I like to fish for Roosterfish from the shore. Do you know what area beaches are productive and what months are recommended?


February 2000

Dogs in Hotels, Renting a House

Hi! Tom! We have been looking at your site for almost 2 years. It made us discover a wonderful part of the world. After vacationing in Huatulco last year, we decided to take a 6 months trip around Mexico and to try to rent a home in or around Huatulco. This is why we have the following questions for you and your readers:

- Since we are going to travel with our dog (a black lab name Georges), can somebody who had this experience tell us if it's possible to rent hotel or motel rooms for a night with a dog?

- Does anybody know how we can find a house to rent for a period of 3 months that is cheaper than those usually announce on the internet?

Michel and Christine
Quebec, Canada

February 2000

I would like to help people connect with budget home rentals, but I don't know of any. I hear they exist, but I don't have the specifics. - Tom

Buying Property

I am looking into the possibility of purchasing a beach-front lot in the Puerto Angel area. The broker I am working wih has told me that the lots I am interested in do not belong to Fonatur, they are communal properties and can only be purchased by Mexicans. Can you tell me more about this? Can the "bank trust" be used to purchase these properties? Thank you for any help you can offer.


February 2000

Puesta del Sol

The Puesta del Sol is centrally located, clean and quiet. The owners Harald and Maria are very accessible and willing to provide information about the surrounding area. There is a lovely "palapa" where one can while away the hours swinging from a hammock. It's just a stroll to the main part of town which is surprisingly quiet, even on Saturday nights. Puerto Angel is picturesque and friendly. I strongly recommend it as an alternative to Huatulco and Puerto Escondido for those who are more interested in a laid back experience as opposed to the disco scene.


February 2000

Where to Run

Hola Amigos, I am planning a trip down to the Oaxaca region from Vancouver the end of Feb, 2000. and will probably be spending most of my time in Puerto Angel. I am currently training for the Vancouver International Marathon, even though I will be vacationing, i.e. mucho cervesas, I will have to keep up my running when I am down there, mostly 7-8 miles each day, with a couple of 18 miles during my stay.

Does anyone have any suggestions for routes around the area, without TOO much altitude gain? Also, any comments on safety for a gringo running the back roads alone? I'll only have my water bottle, and night school Spanish to defend myself with = )

February 2000

Bussing from Acapulco

Hola, I just returned from Puerto Angel and Zipolite via Acapulco and would like to pass on some information to those visiting the area: My girlfriend and our 3-year-old daughter accompanied me on this (my 5th) trip to the PA area. We arrived at the Acapulco airport on X-mas day and took the more expensive of two taxi options, a private one for about $30 US. The alternative is the collective "hotel" busses that cost $65 Pesos each person. The peso is trading for 9 per $1US on the street right now. We thought we might be able to get a bus heading east on the highway but ended up going to the Quebrada area west of the Zócalo and getting a bad $20 room as everyone was full for the holiday. There are normally a lot of nicer room choices in this area.

I then went to look for a bus. There are two terminals in Acapulco, one just north of Parque Papagayo and one N of the Zócalo on Avenida Ejido (Estrella Blanca). The Ejido station has the ONLY buses heading to Escondido or Pochutla. They leave at 3:30 AM! Buy your tickets in advance for $189 Pesos ($21). This is for an 8-9 hour 1st class "semi-directo" bus. It is an older bus with no toilet and stops at a few towns to pick up passengers but there will be no food break or bathroom break unless you ask, and then be quick. Going back west from Pochutla there are five of the same buses going to Acapulco daily and for the same price (there are other "ordinario" second class busses also; not recommended unless you are broke).

Contrary to what the map says this is not a scenic trip, a night journey is best and seemed to be safe and secure. The 1st class semi-directo leaves daily at 6AM, 10AM, 3PM, 7PM, and 10PM. The road west of Escondido is rough for about 100K. You can go to Oaxaca and other points from Pochutla and Escondido. There is a daily bus from Oaxaca to Puerto Angel that arrives and leaves at around 9-10 PM. This rough, winding but scenic route is still quite popular and I heard no bad comments about it. There were quite a few travelers in PA for the New Year and also at playas Zipolite, San Augustinillo, and Mazunte. The Mazunte turtle museum charges $P30 and is a nice tour. The laguna tour further west at playa Ventanilla is $P20 and quite pleasant; be sure to make time to walk this endless stretch of deserted beach. You can get there and back by cab at great expense ($10-15US from PA or Zipolite) but it is a long way and they will pick you up again at a designated time. Besides taxis most travelers use the pick-up truck "collectivos" which will get you from beach to beach ($P3) or beach to Pochutla ($P5) they can be quite crowded but are fun and efficient.

Zipolite is still alive and kicking. The New Year celebration was amazingly calm and well behaved. I saw fewer of the bothersome beach drunks and scarier/hairier ganga bums than in the past. The clientel seems to have gone upscale a notch but is still quite hip. There was not quite as much nudity as last year but thankfully it is still very much allowed. Rooms are becoming more plentiful from $10 and up $US. Hamaca spaces were $1.50-2.00 US per person. Tent space $4-5 US. These should be lower during the less popular times of the year. The vibes were very nice and the rumors I heard of crimes were few. Just use your head. Zipolite is still a beautiful and powerful beach that I would recommend to anyone who can let their hair down, get out of their clothes, watch the sun rise and then do nothing until its time to watch the sunset. If that sounds boring, please stay home.

We used cash machines and travelers checks in Pochutla with no problem. You can get by for $10-15 per day for food, maybe less if you cook your own. Sadly, beers are now about $1-1.25 US. Thanks for letting me post all this. Chao for now.


January 2000

Puerto Angel Parties

I hope that you had a good time at Christmas and New Year! In Puerto Angel everybody was very busy but we've had also a little time for partying. In the night of the 31st of December there was a big party in Puerto Angel. The biggest disco on wheels of Mexico Polymarch was making a fantastic show from 23:00 to 8:00 o'clock in the morning. Several truckloads of equipment of the most sophisticated lightshows and amplifiers assured a very happy crowd of people. The owners of Polymarch are originally from Puerto Angel and once in a while they remember their roots, so the whole thing was for free!

Harald Ferber
Hotel "Puesta del Sol"
Fax + Tel : (+52) 958 - 43096 puesta_del_sol@puertoangel.net

January 2000

Hwy 175 Report

Hi All. I just got back to my house in Oaxaca City on December 31st after a 4 day stay at Posada Cañon Devata and had the usual great time. The route through Pochutla (Hwy 175) is worse than last April but fine for the mountain driver. It is a bit iffy in spots but it took us only about 5 hours to do the drive from Puerto Angel (steady but not manic) and closer to 6 the other way (got caught with some fog and night in the bad section). It's easier from the coast than the other way since you're fresh for the bad section and there's less descent to the central valley than to the coast. Don't do it at night since the spots that are single lane are not easily visible and it would be easy to go over an edge. Go early for best views anyway. All in all I prefer it to the other routes and even with the deterioration I think it's the nicest - only if you don't mind serious mountain driving. Passengers sometimes need dramamine.

Dan Ellsworth

January 2000

It's A Party!

Gringo Loco of New York City invites you to the Millennium Rave/Fiesta, December 31, 1999 in Estachuites at Beto's Place. Libre!! Todo las noche!! Sound system, lights, DJ and drums under the stars. Bring candles and toys for the children as well!

Brooklyn, NY

December 1999

Looking for a Place to Stay

Looking for tips from the net community regarding budget accommodations WITH KITCHEN for LONG TERM WINTER STAY in the Pto Angel/Pto Escondido areas. Need to be close to shopping, net connection.. Thanks.

David Martin

December 1999

Bicycling in Southern Oaxaca

Hello all: I am a frequent and faithful visitor to Puerto Escondido, having visited virtually every February since 1977. I am also an avid road cyclist (my landlord in Puerto stores my bike), and find a bicycle an indispensible part of my life both at home and in Mexico. I am always delighted when I return to find a new stretch of pavement in the region: in recent years the cutoff from the coastal highway which leads thru Mazunte and San Agustinillo to Puerto Angel; the road along the river to Santa Maria Colotopec and the road towards Oaxaca (Oax 131). [

I enjoy long day rides on these routes, spending the afternoon at favorite spots around Puerto Angel. I also like to ride northwest on the coastal highway to Roca Blanc and to the summit on 131 near the Juquila cutoff. I like long hard rides followed by consumption of vast quantities of food and drink. I enjoy the heat, but this does tend to temper the pace somewhat.

At any rate, I have two questions to ask the internet community:

I can't wait to get back to my beloved Mexico and am looking forward to responses to my queries. I will be in Puerto this year (2000) from 2/9-2/29 and my local phone is 20180. Please call, write or e-mail.

Micky Bloom
2234 Roosevelt Ave.
Berkeley Ca 94703

November 1999

Best Way to Drive?

We are driving down from Seattle. Do you know the best route? We want to enter Mexico further down south than California. We would go east in the United States first and enter Mexico further south with the goal of less Mexican miles. Maybe go thru Tasco the silver town on the way down. We are considering going down the central part of Mexico on the toll roads and entering thru New Mexico. What is the best route to get there least time, miles and least topes! Anyone with experience could give us a suggestion! Thanks.


November 1999

The Rains in Mazunte

Hi, Tom. Had a note from Hubert in Mazunte. He doesn't date 'em, but it was mailed around the 4th of October. Said that they had had a good deal of heavy rain around the end of September and on into October. Mazunte was pretty much isolated with roads being washed out, etc. A visitor from Washington state was not able to get out, so had to stay for a little longer. Life can be rough. No damage or serious problems. People just stayed inside and waited for the weather to change. The greenery is indeed green now and absolutely beautiful according to the letter. A little cool - which would be a change for me as it has been quite warm on my visits.

Mail service was interrupted by the weather, so no mail was going into or coming out of Pto Angel for awhile.

Bill Brecheen

October 1999

Ayuda con Tesis de Robalo

Me dirijo a usted con el debido respeto,ya que se me presenta la necesidad de obtener información para mi tesis. Revisando internet entre a la pagina donde viene su correo y por eso le escribo.

Actualmente estoy en proceso de hacer mi tesis con robalo (Centropomus nigrescens) y le solicito de la maneramas atenta me diga si sera posible que me envie información que usted pueda tener de dicho tema, ya sea de su ciclo de vida, de su crecimiento, de todo lo que usted me pueda ayudar y claro, en caso de que no lo pueda hacer pues tambien le suplicaría me respondiera.

Le agradezco de antemano la atencin prestada al presente y su contestacion.

Erika Cabrera Neri.
Universidad del Mar
Puerto Angel, Oaxaca

Tel: (01-958) 43049
October 1999

Rincon Sabrosa, Mazunte...

I traveled to Puerto Angel this summer with a few friends. We stayed at the Rincon Sabrosa (located at the top of a long flight of stairs beyond the pier). The rooms are very reasonable and have wonderful views of the bay. The owners, Agustín and Yanel, treated us like old friends. There is also a restaurant which serves breakfast and dinner. I really enjoyed the beach at Estacahuite...great snorkeling!

We also hiked down to the beach at La Mina....beautiful! We rented a car and drove up to the waterfall near Toltepec and later up to Candelaria. The rain forest in that area is wonderful. I was impressed by the aquariums at Mazunte...much better than I expected.. Well worth the 20 pesos.

I was relieved to hear that all was well after the earthquake at the end of last month. I'm looking forward to returning soon to visit all the charming people we met on our visit to paradise.

John Mills

October 1999

The Hotel Soraya

Late on writing, but had a delightful 10 days in August stationed in Puerto Angel. Stayed at the beautiful Soraya Hotel where they just opened their kitchen for breakfast everyday and dinner as you wish. Tell them what you want, and they will prepare your prescribed feast. Best food, and everything is prepared and even washed with purified water. Owners are lovely, and location is perfect right above the beach and next to the fabulous Italian restaurant. Saw a lot of backpackers traveling through. Met a beautiful older Swedish woman who moved to Puerto Angel three years ago and lives on the cliffs beside the University. She welcomed us into her home. What an experience! Drove up through the mountains to see waterfalls and buy roasted coffee. Met a sister and brother who lived in a meager shack in the hills, thrilled to meet us outsiders as they wanted us to buy their armadillo. Gave them lunch, but did not take the creature. No rain at all, so pretty darn hot.

Best food at Italian restaurant, Hotel Soraya, and on beach at cabana just around the cliffs. Got sick in Zipolite, probably from Salsa sitting out. Worst part, I hated seeing all the hungry dogs. Call me silly, but with any scraps I would venture through the town and find the starving animals. People were wonderful. Such life, such happiness. Will venture down again, and again. Loved visiting the visitor comments as we used a lot of the information before our journey. Thank you.


October 1999

My God, don't pay for an armadillo! I have several that are digging up my yard as I type this. You can come take your pick for free.

The Hotel Soraya has special meaning for me because it is the first place I stayed when I first visited this area in the early '70s. Thank you for mentioning it. -Tom

Scuba Diving........Buceo en Puerto Angel

Puerto Angel es un lugar maravilloso para visitar, para todos los que somos amantes del buceo puedo garantizarles magnificas inmersiones: delfines, mantas, tortugas y un sin numero de especies. Ahora la playa del El Panteón ya cuenta con servicios de buceo Benthos, con instructores de mucha experiencia y pueden estar tranquilos de su seguridad.

María del Carmen Porras Pérez-Guerrero

Octubre 1999

Earthquake of 9/30/99

Hello everybody, I heard about the quake on the news this morning. Is everyone all right? I understand that the epicenter was just outside of Puerto Angel. How are they doing there? Please let me know if there is anything that I may be able to do from here.

It's incredible, isn't it, just when we think that we have it all beat, something like this comes along to put us squarely back in our place. I pray that everyone is OK. See you all soon.


October 1999

Close Encounters

Dear Tom, It is good that you have this available for travelers and possible investors.

I was stopped by Zapatista rebels (They had Zapatista on their sombreros.) just outside Oaxaca city while they surrounded my car holding up rocks and machetes. I .was the first to arrive so they calmed down after they secured the road with big trucks etc. It happened so fast--very disorienting. I was able to take pictures [5] after I calmed down and they as well . They show everything (the pictures). Funny, Mark Leyes the US consular agent in Oaxaca, insists that it is very safe here in Oaxaca State but then he owns numerous rentals that he rents to us so it is pretty difficult to rent them if he tells the truth about all the crimes against foreigners here. Hope this helps someone. Personally I think Oaxaca is the perfect place to loose your life savings and your life--more later if you print this.

Pamela Darling

September 1999

Driving From Oaxaco to the Coast

Does anyone have any recent information about what it is like to drive from Oaxaco to either Huatulco or Puerto Escondido? We are planning to visit at the end of December. Thank you.

Jan Tynan
(email address was not valid)

September 1999

I drove Hwy 75 last march. There were a few places where either the road was partially washed out or partially covered by a landslide, but there was always a lane open. This is typical for Hwy 75 and that is the highway I would recommend you take. Travel in the daytime only. A washed out place in the road just looks like a shadow at night. Start early in the morning so you can take your time and enjoy the beautiful scenery. It takes about 8 hours.   -Tom

Same Daniel?

I live in TX and have a brother named Daniel that lives in the Zipolite/Puerto Angel area. He is from Pennsylvania. So am wondering if this is the same Daniel. Let me know if we are talking about the same person. He has been living there since October of 98.

September 1999

How to Contact Gundy y Tomas?

I loved your site on Puerto Angel. A Mexican friend told me there is a good hotelito with a casa as well in Puerto Angel called Gundy y Tomas - I wonder if you've heard of it and know of how to get in touch with them?

Byron Rempel

September 1999

I don't know; can anyone else help? -Tom

Looking for Daniel

We spent three wonderful weeks in the Puerto Angel/Zipolite area last Xmas/New Years and we are going back with more people this year. Is there any way of contacting Daniel (N. American)? Daniel has a hotel on the beach at Zipolite. Please let us know.

Siobhan & Joe

September 1999

Puerto Angel a Paradise

After two weeks traveling through southeast Mexico early August we stayed for three days in Puerto Angel. Together with my wife and two children (14 and 16) we had a great time at the Playa Panteón. Swimming, snorkeling, drinking and eating in the shadow. Hotel Buena Vista was a nice clean hotel, situated against the hills, surrounded by tropical forest. The food in the restaurant of Buena Vista is good.

In this village we met only nice local people: friendly and helpful. Unfortunately the Turtle Center was closed (on Monday), so we didn't see any turtles. After this stay we had gained energy again to continue our trip to Oaxaca.

Roel de Jong

September 1999

Interes en Terreno

Tengo ínteres en adquirir un terreno en Puerto Angel o sus alrededores, soy Mexicana pero vivo en Alemania, me podrían informar un aproximado del valor en estos momentos por mi, o me podrían dar un email en donde me puedan informar...

Mil gracias,
Diana Georg

August 1999

Adventure Link

http://uts.cc.utexas.edu/~scring/contents.html I found this great piece on the gold rush but was AMAZED by the adventures in Southern Mexico ... WOW! trying to follow along his route is interesting and exhausting mentally.

August 1999

Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido by Bus

Hi Tom, Just got back from an extended trip to Oaxaca including some time on the Pacific Coast, July 13-23.

Heading from Oaxaca to Puerto Escondido we took La Estrella Roja del Sureste from the second class bus terminal, hoping to duplicate the "trip" in the Oaxacan Bus adventure. Twenty years have changed things - it was a brand spanking new red Mercedes bus with padded reclining seats. Seven hours and 70 pesos and we were in Puerto Escondido.

We stayed at Beach Hotel Ines which was an excellent deal. There were no problems encountered at Puerto Escondido by my group, although I sure heard about them from others. The beach at Zicatela was pretty empty, the whole place somewhat devoid of tourists. I don't know if at was all the bad PR Puerto Escondido had been receiving or just the fact that everyone may have been in Oaxaca at La Guelaguetza.

Next we headed over to Puerto Angel using Estrella Blanca. I found Puerto Angel to be much more exotic than Escondido, the circular bay and surrounding hills creating an impressive vista. Contrary to some of the guidebooks, the beach was spotless and the water crystal clear. We stayed at Posada Canon Devata a naturalistic tropical paradise. It is highly recommended.

While at Puerto Angel I talked to a number of the locals - all assured me that there was a conscious effort on the part of the community to keep the problems out. At no time did we ever encounter any difficulties - we even walked back from Zipolite at night, something the guide books recommend against.

At Levyis and Vicente, Playa Panteón, we arranged for a boat to take us east along the coast - some of the most spectacular scenery I've every seen anywhere.

Just wanted to point out some positive things about Oaxaca to counteract so much bad publicity.

Gene Paull
Brownsville, Texas

August 1999

No Flooding

Hola Tom. We have been getting our little piece of jungle back after two months of being closed which takes some work with getting this little canyon back together. Regarding the person's concern with flooding in the Pochutla area, there has been none. We have had quite a bit of rain at a time that is considered a bit early for the rainy season to begin, but nothing too out of the ordinary. So, there is no danger of any kind yet and hopefully none to come!

Hasta pronto,

Kali López
La familia López
La Posada Cañon de Vata

TEL/FAX (52) 958-4-30-48
July 6, 1999

How Bad was Flooding in the Mountains?

Got your e-mail address from Maria (Oaxacalive). and she said you might be able to help with information.....I have a friend of a friend who lives in Pochutla......where there may have been severe flooding...He owns a La Pluma coffee Ranch...His name is Cenobio Hernandez Jacinto....You probably do not know him...but can you tell me how bad the flooding was there...and if there were in injuries or deaths...My friend who is his girlfriend is concerned...any info would help on the flooding and other things you might know....I really thank you very much for your time and your response to my e-mail.....


June 1999

Want Budget Accommodations

My boyfriend and I are going backpacking for 3 months, beginning next week in Mexico.

Having kept track of this web site and particularly the feedback from recent visitors, we are determined to spend some time in Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido.

As we have to stretch our money (which we don't have a lot of) over quite a long period of time, we can't afford to stay in the more luxurious accommodation that is usually recommended on the internet. I am hoping you might have recommendations as to cheap accommodation - preferably clean and safe. I have found several recommendations in guide books, but would appreciate more current information as to prices and standards (including places not to stay, if applicable).

Any responses would be much appreciated. Many thanks in advance.

Jane Aitken

June 22, 1999

English Teachers

Two experienced English teachers looking for any information about teaching possibilities in the Puerto Angel vicinity. Thanks in advance.

Eric and Nina

June 1999

Twisty Road to Oaxaca

Just got back from Oaxaca and Puerto Angel. Here's some information other visitors might find useful.

The Turtle Museum in Mazunte is open. If you don't speak Spanish, be sure to read up on it before you get there, as the guided tour is in Spanish only.

There is no sign that points to Playa Estacahuite. But it's pretty easy to find the road: it's the second dirt road on the right after you pass the post office/visitor's center leaving town. (The first dirt road is just before the first guardrail.) If you get to the cross at the top of the hill, across from the sign that says "Puerto Angel" and lists the town's amenities (food, beach, etc.), you've gone too far.

We took first class buses to Puerto Angel from Oaxaca via Salina Cruz, and back to Oaxaca via the more direct route (Hwy 175, I think). I can't say these are recommended, particularly if you get even slightly motion sick, as both are extremely twisty. The fact that the buses are first class doesn't make the roads any better. If you're planning on visiting both Oaxaca City and Oaxaca coast, it might be worthwhile to fly into and out of Huatulco, where I suspect you can get competitive airfares, and book a roundtrip from Huatulco to Oaxaca (which is purportedly cheap if you book in Mexico). We didn't do this, but I think it might be worth investigating. This would also avoid a flight into Mexico City, which remains as polluted as ever, and cannot be avoided if you fly from the US to Oaxaca City.

Greg Barnes

April 1999

Puerto Angel Visit

I just returned from Puerto Angel and stayed at the Hotel Soraya and yes it is beautiful. My husband lives there and my trip cost me $665.00 from Austin. Two stops, one in Dallas and Mexico City.

Does anyone know the email or phone number of MLT Tours? Eloisa Saldana
April 1999

Mexicana Airfare Monopoly

I'm a recent convert to Oaxaca and Puerto Angel in particular. I made my first trip in January of this year and I liked it so much I returned again in March. I stayed in the El Faro area between Zipolite and Puerto Angel, which for me was perfect, because it was a relief to escape from both at times and the El Faro has a quiet neighborhood quality. March was in general was much quieter and more laid back than January. Not only had many of the tourist left but even the little drug dealers on Zipolite had deserted their usual haunts for greener pastures elsewhere.

I enjoy your readers' comments on favorite places and would like to add my own. In addition to Tres De Decembre restaurant (Great music and so clean!) and Lo Cosmico, both in Zipolite, which many people are already familiar with, I would like to suggest people try Javier's Hard Times Pizza in Puerto Angel, just up from Panteón beach. Don't let the name fool you, you'll have no "hard times" when you eat here. Javier is a master chef and the food is both excellent and inexpensive. After the first meal, I ate there almost every day. Be sure to say hello to his pet Owl sitting up in the rafters. What makes these places so enjoyable is that the owners both cook and wait tables with a personal sense of pride in their restaurant. In contrast are the numerous 'meal with a scowl and an attitude' places in Zipolite, a place that is in dire need of a waiter training school.

Unfortunately I will not soon be able to return to Oaxaca thanks to the excessively high rates Mexicana charges to get there. Meanwhile the small business owners blame the lack of tourists on the bad press of hurricane Pauline when in reality we can't afford to get there because of of Mexicana's strangle hold on the area. I encourage other readers who feel that Mexicana is bad for both tourists and the people of Puerto Angel to e-mail Mexicana at dirgenmx@mexicana.com.mx and the govenor of Oaxaca at gobenador@oaxaca.gob.mx and express your concern for what Mexicana's greed is doing to the local economy. I would appreciate if someone could send me or post the e-mail address for Mexico's tourist agency Fonatur. With restaurants empty and the streets of Puerto Angel and Huatulco almost deserted of tourist, Mexicana has a lot of questions to answer.

[Yes, airfare is a big problem for travelers to Oaxaca. From Texas, airfares to Huatulco have ranged from $99 to $460, and are currently close to the top of this range. Meanwhile, the regular fares to any other Mexican resort are about half that. Of course this has an effect on tourist traffic to Oaxaca. I don't think it is so much a monopoly situation as other airlines are not so interested in competing in a limited market. However, on my recent trip down, when Mexicana had lowered their fares, every seat was filled and some passengers had to be "bought out" due to overbooking. -Tom]

jim reinders

April 1999

Hwy 175 Update

Last week of February we traveled on Hwy 175 from Oaxaca to Pochutla. No problems at all, a few washed out places that are still being repaired. You do need to keep your wits about you, there is a 30 km stretch that has slides covering one lane. Don't drive with windows rolled up so you can hear traffic coming the other way on sharp turns. We actually made it there in 5-1/2 hours, that was hammer down with no rest stops. On the way back we took our time and made stops for pictures, food etc. We were the only gringo's that I saw travelling in either direction. I definitely recommend the drive, it was unbelievably spectacular. I took a lot of photo's with a digital camera and will post some later.

Bellows Falls, Vermont

March 1999

Father Searches for Sons

Sr. José Tanus Sucar, who lives in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, would like to contact his two sons, James Thomas Wehby and Gary Thomas Wehby, whom he hasn't seen in 35 years. At that time, they were living in Detroit, Michigan. Their mother is Sally Wehby.

If you can help us locate them, please contact me at tom@tomzap.com. Sr. Sucar or his wife, Hortencia, can be reached at 011-52-958-43009.

Tom Penick
The Pacific Coast of Oaxaca

March 1999

Anybody Know Russ?

I want to thank you for such an amazing and informative website. I browsed it in my free time for a couple of weeks before my trip to the Oaxacan coast, and upon arriving there I felt like I already knew the place. When we got off the plane in Huatulco we walked straight out of the airport and caught a bus to Pochutla, as advised in one of the Visitor's Comments. We paid 7 pesos each, a total of 28, instead of 300 for a taxi.

From Pochutla we found another bus to Puerto Angel for 2 or 3 pesos. In Puerto Angel, we stayed at the magnificent Buena Vista Hotel. Beautifully set back from the town, on a hill, this hotel had it all, without being too decadent or swanky. Beautiful rooms with balconies and great views, delicious food, hammocks to snooze in, lush gardens, 3 pet parrots, and a dog named Rambo.

We found a great restaurant in Puerto Angel that I wanted to mention to you. It's called Rincon del Mar, and is situated on the top of a small cliff overlooking the main beach of Puerto Angel (where the pier is). If you go to the western most corner of the beach, you'll find a stone staircase that leads up to this restaurant.

The fare here is, to no surprise, no different from most of the area's restaurants - fresh fish, some salads, creamy soups, and Oaxacan specialties (enfrijoladas, entomatadas...). However, the food was outstanding, and the setting is breathtaking; you watch the waves crash below as you feel the cool breeze. In addition, the margaritas were the best we had anywhere during our trip.

Another place that you may know about but I thought I would mention is a small retreat/hotel that has just been opened on Playa La Boquilla. You can get there by boat from Puerto Angel, or by foot (about 4 km). The owner is a Belgian man, and he has built a beautiful set of bungalows, and plans on having a holistic retreat there. I think the name of the place is Bahía de la Luna.

And now I have a question for you. On our plane trip back to Mexico City, we met a man named Russ who has a house between Puerto Angel and Zipolite. He rents this house out, and I would like to contact him about renting it. Unfortunately I lost his number/email, and was wondering if you might have it. He said he knew of your site and was planning on advertising his house there. So maybe you know him?

Also, if you have *any* contact information for any other people who rent houses on the Oaxacan coast, please pass those on to me. I am looking for anything in the P.Angel/Zipolite/Mazunte/Augustinillo area, but no Huatulco. Also, do you know of any properties on that seemingly desolate, long strip of beach between Mazunte and Escondido?

Thanks in advance.

Nat Rahav
New York, NY

February 1999

Hwy 175 Info Request

I'm looking for an update---Can you share? Generally, length of drive (miles & hours), safety issues, adequacy of services along the way.

Steve Young

February 1999

Looking for Patricia & Jennefer Hill   FOUND

Playa Estacahuite

Have enjoyed visitors comments for some time. I noted a few references to Estacahuite - glad others have found and enjoyed this little beach, an easy walk from Puerto Angel. We have known the family at the end of the beach the last palapa - for several years and recommend their food and hospitality. You will usually find Juaco, his mom (a good cook!) and his niece, Nells, there, selling cold drinks and meals. Nells, by the way, is celebrating her 15th birthday on 2/8/99 so if you see her...wish her a happy birthday! Juaco's leg was badly broken in a boating accident several years ago, and he now walks with a cane. His brother, Beto, has the second-to-the-last palapa. I was last there a year ago - the family had lost everything from the hurricane and their beach set-up was a temporary structure - nothing like their former palapa! Hopefully it has been rebuilt, as the family depends on the beach income. My family will be going down in February for the birthday celebration.

Mary Ann

December 1998

Driving Oaxaca to Puerto Angel via Salina Cruz

Well, spent a beautiful week(11/28 - 12/6) in Oaxaca. After some days strolling around the city and visiting Monte Albán (spectacular and fascinating), we hired a car for heading down to the coast. The tourist office recommended going by Salina Cruz as 175 was in poor condition. This road was fine, and pretty quiet. The mountains on this road are beautiful, as is the 200, which we picked up at Salina Cruz. This road is brand new up to Bahía de Huatulco and empty. Beautiful lagoons along the coastline. After Huatulco, it was very broken up all the way to Puerto Angel and slow going, but even so the whole trip only took us about eight hours, with time to stop for drinks up in the mountains.

We stayed at Hotel La Cabaña for about 250 pesos a night for two. The room was clean and comfortable but it was very hot at night and there was a mosquito who, having found his way into the room, was determined, regardless of spray, to dine out. The deck was nice to sit out on and watch the moon rising. We also ate in Cordilia's on the beach one night and (though pricey for Puerto Angel) had the most delicious red snapper a la Veracruz. Also a great rice soup.

Puerto Angel was beautiful and quiet and on one day we had the whole of La Boquilla to ourselves and the water was warm and full of fish. We were advised by a local worker fixing up La Luna to get off the beach by dark as there had been attacks on tourists recently but we were back in town by six with no problems. Best tuna ever was the house fish in the Buena Vista. Along the coast you can see where Pauline wrecked many of the trees, but other than that our virgin eyes could notice no signs of damage.

Quite a lot of military on 195 and especially 200. We were stopped once and they searched the car and baggage but were polite and friendly and we were on our way in five minutes. I could go on forever but I'd just get sad and miss it...

Thanks again for the tips, Tom.

December 1998

Oaxaca to Puerto Angel

Just got back from visiting Oaxaca and Puerto Angel and had a wonderful time. Oaxaca City was very beautiful and the people were very friendly and very welcoming. We felt very safe throughout the city and had no problems with getting around town by taxi. Everyone was very fair and we did not at all feel taken advantage of as visitors. We stayed at the wonderful Los Galindrinas hotel (sp?). The hotel was very affordable had beautiful courtyards and served a great breakfast. All the food we had in Oaxaca was great.

After having several flights canceled and rescheduled on Mexicana (operating via AeroCaribe) we flew from Oaxaca to Huatulco. Your website was very helpful in preparing for the experience at the Huatulco airport. All the transportation people in the airport were very aggressive. They wanted $50 US dollars for a taxi to Pochutla. Your website alerted us to the fact that if we leave the airport and catch a cab we can get one for a fraction of the cost. This was correct. Although, several airport cabs followed us out of the airport onto the highway and were very obnoxious. We did, however, flag down a private cab and paid a much lower price. Additionally, the bus to Pochutla stops right outside the airport on the right side. It was US $1.50.

Puerto Angel was very beautiful and very uncommercial. We stayed the Posada Cañon Devata. It was a wonderful hotel with bungalows directly in the hills. Very tropical and very beautiful. The food was also wonderful and the setting was very much like a retreat.

Weather was great. We didn't see one cloud. Although it was pretty hot, around 95 degrees, and there were mosquitoes biting. The town and beaches were very quiet. All the restaurants were trying to lure us to come in and eat. We were a little more cautious in traveling around Puerto Angel and the nearby beaches than we were in Oaxaca but didn't have any trouble.

Went to Zipolite, and Mazunte. Very beautiful uncrowded beaches. It was fun to take a Corona and hammock break in one of the palapas during the afternoon heat. The people were very happy and appreciative to get some business.

If you are looking for a quiet tropical place to get away and don't want a place with a lot of tourism I would recommend Puerto Angel. Would definitely return to Oaxaca and Puerto Angel.


December 1998

Looking For A Place To Rent

Have enjoyed browsing you web site. My wife and I are interested in renting a 2-bedroom apartment or small villa for the month of July or August somewhere in Mexico on the Coast. Please reply to:

Hank Rudin
PO 1776
Onset, MA 02558
November 1998

A Cool Drink Paves the Way

Hi, Tom. Haven't been in touch for awhile, but actually not much is happening. I'm still in touch with Hubert on a weekly basis via the postal service.... not too bad, actually. I spent two weeks down there in February and we drove south to Chiapas and the Guatamalan border. Lots of military, police, immigration, highway patrol, narcs, and just about everyone else in uniform making frequent stops along the way. Only got "held up" by one rather sleezy narcotics guy who suggested that it could take a long time to search our pickup. The car next to us had been completely stripped...seats and all...so Hubert suggested that a cool drink on a hot day might be welcomed. It was, and we were on our way with a minimum expenditure of la mordita. Not worth the hassle of going through the drill. All of the other officials were very polite and businesslike.

Bill Brecheen

September 1998

Universidad del Mar

Thanks for a great web page. I am about to sign a teaching contract with UMAR. Can anyone share their impressions of the school with me?


August 1998

Taxi to Pochutla

An adventure by Janet Miller.

Missing Person: Michael R. Barker   FOUND

Puerto Angel and Points South

Back from Oaxaca for a couple of weeks and having difficulty re-adjusting to San Jose life. What a difference.

Things are pretty good in the Puerto Angel area. Not many signs of storm damage and lots of rebuilding has been done. Mazunte is better than ever. The government provided building materials, so the locals have better homes than ever before. They've managed to keep the "flavor" of the area by building the usual one or two room structures out of concrete blocks with palm front roofs, and a couple of large homes are under construction with very modern designs with traditional features. All in all, the area looks good.

The Turtle Institute is still closed to the public. Lots of damage to the buildings and research areas. Not certain what the schedule is for official reopening.

The highway from Pto Angel to Oaxaca City is still pretty much of a mess with lots of construction, but very passable. The other road from Salina Cruz to Pto Angel IS a mess. Trucks and busses used it when the other route was closed for a couple of months, and they really beat the hell out of the pavement. Massive pot holes, etc. Also quite a bit of work being done on the road.

The military is out in force in Chiapas. We were stopped about 16 times by army, immigration, narcotics and vehicle officials, but experienced the usual courtesy in all cases. Only one guy hinted at La Mordita, so a few pesos saved us a thorough vehicle search. He was one of the narco guys. All other officials were very professional and courteous. We had planned to take a secondary highway to San Cristobal, but it was closed by the army because of the Zapatista activities - so they said - and we did not have time to back-track the other way. Sorry to have missed that city as it was one place I really wanted to visit. Perhaps next time. I guess things are really heating up there. One of the young soldiers told us that the locals were not interested in land reform but just wanted to cause trouble. Sounds like the "party line", but most of what I've read or seen on television has a Zapatista slant, so who knows? The government does not seem to be to interested in debating the various points of contention in public, so the news tends to be a bit one sided. Anyhow, good trip all around. Thought I'd give you some of the highlights.

Best regards
Bill Brecheen

March 1998

Discovering Puerto Angel

Hi, I just returned from my third trip in 7 years to the state of Oaxaca. Went to the capital for four days, Escondido 9 days and Puerto Angel 2 days. Oaxaca has visibly grown, evidenced by increased activity on the zocolo by tourists and vendors. We got out to some of the villages near the city and did some shopping and exploring that was worth the effort of figuring out the second class buses.

Puerto Escondido was bittersweet. I was glad to return but saddened by what has happened on Zicatela beach. The changes there support my theory that given something beautiful, folks will find a way to ugly it. Geez! What is in the minds of the city fathers? I will not be returning until I hear that mess of palapas and shacks across the road from the hotels is gone. Going down to Puerto Angel was a relief, even though the horror of the hurricanes is still fresh there. This was my first time there. I liked it and wished to be able to stay longer. I'd love to return. The beaches are more inviting to my taste, and I'd rather spread American dollars around to people so much in need. I do love Mexico and want to explore more of it in the future.

January 1998

Poor Road Conditions in Mountains

The road trip between Acapulco and Pinotepa Nacional appears to be unaffected by the storms. It took us an easy 4 hours. From P.N. to Oaxaca was a different story . We averaged 35 km/h for the first four hours. Every bridge was out and there were many diversions through now dry riverbeds and at least two crossings through flowing streams. Once the Sierra Madres had been summited, the roads were fine and it took us a total of 7.5 hours driving time. The trip from Oaxaca to Puerto Angel was much worse. The road was in terrible condition and we would recommend looking into the Hwy 190 route. Not only were the bridges out but large sections of the road had been washed away along precipitous parts of the journey and driving was somewhat unnerving. We got caught behind a bus which had a lot of trouble negotiating tight corners. The coast roads were all fine but I definitely would not recommend trying either route to Oaxaca at night.

Stan and Jackie
January 17, 1998

Anyone Been Bird Watching in the Mountains?

Really enjoyed your most excellent web site on coastal Oaxaca. I am a bird- watcher & photographer and am interested in the area because of its endemic birds. Do you know of any birders who have visited the Pluma Hidalgo/Rancho el Riego area? [see map]   I would like to get a list of common birds seen in this area from anyone who has been there.

James Ownby

January 1998

Reflections on Pochutla and Comments on the Web

I came across this incredible site by searching for the little known town of Pochutla where I had the pleasure (misfortune?) of spending six months in l965. I was escaping from the Vietnam War and, with my four years of high school Spanish, Mexico was the obvious choice. At that time Pochutla was a non-descript backwater at the end of the world and Puerto Angel was just a picturesque village with unbelievably cheap fresh tuna steak dinners. Bahías de Huatulco hadn't even become a figment of anyone's imagination. Nudist beach in Zipolite? You couldn't even get to Zipolite. I had five students in town that studied English with me and I earned two pesos an hour. Five pesos went for room and board and the other five I saved up for an occasional beer or a splurge on tacos. A beer cost one peso (eight cents US) and a glass of tequila cost fifty centavos. You could get completely drunk on one peso. Since I wasn't eating very well (rice and beans), one glass of tequila would knock me out. A consequence of all this was infectious hepatitis, but I will never forget the incredible experiences I had there.

When I was in Pochutla there was no prison or black coral. There was a small jail which I avoided becoming a guest of by paying the local lieutenant ten pesos (eighty cents). My crime was being in Mexico for six months on a one month tourist card. My "present" given in an envelope bought me precious extra time for me to nurse my health back to the point where I could face the 12 hour bus ride back to Oaxaca.

I would like to comment on three letters in "Readers' Commentaries". One letter was critical of the "Black Coral Prison" article. I did not find this article particularly offensive. The topic has great possibilities but the prose needs polishing. I do think it is disrespectful to local culture for an American tourist (or any tourist for that matter) to try to enter a prison dressed in a bathing suit. Which is strange behavior? The tourist in a bathing suit or the prison "comandante" waking up from a nap?

The letter from Teresa Cruz writing in Spanish about the shortage of good articles about Mexico in Spanish was relevant. Unfortunately for those who do not read English, at least ninety percent of the WWW is in English. I find the same situation in Portugal, where I live, and in Spain, a country which I love. The best articles about tourist sites are written in English. Not French, not German, sometimes in Spanish, but almost always in English. I am writing my own homepage about the north of Portugal and it will be in English. What Teresa can do--if she knows English-- and this is what I am doing for people that write in Portuguese or Spanish and want their site to be read outside their country, is to translate the websites.

Finally, the best letter of all in the Puerto Angel site is the one called "Saw too much on bus tour". This is a classic. It is one of the funniest things I have read in a long time. I copied it and used it in an advanced class in English (I have an English language school in Portugal). The students loved it. In a Catholic and conservative country like Portugal the students thought it was perfectly natural for people to sunbathe in the nude at a nudist beach in the tropics. (Obviously this is not done at the beaches in this area, although topless for women is very common) The comments about "cancerous breasts" and "nasty, little hanging penis' (sic.)-- would the plural be "peni"?--tell us more about the observer than the observed.

Why would a woman think that another woman's breasts (when naked) would necessarily be "cancerous"? It seems that nakedness equates dirtiness. And the reference to the male sex organs, which are called "nasty" and "little", leads us to believe that this American tourist must have spent quite some time observing to be so aware of such intimate details. As the Brazilians say "if you do not want to see the stars, then do not look at the sky".

Ray Vogensen

30 December 1997

Questions, Questions

I have been following your website news for nearly a year, since before we visited the Posada del Canyon Devata in March of this year. My husband and I were enchanted with this part of Mexico and loved the Posada and the people we met there. We spent time at San Agustinillo and wonder how Evelia survived. Is Byron ( the dive operator and boat tour fellow) able to manage to keep going? I am most concerned for the Posada and Mateo Lopez. Is he all right? What happened to his house in the village and his work?

Thank goodness no one was there (at the Posada) during the hurricane, but what may happen to it? I would never be able to rebuild after that without a great deal of faith and help, I'm afraid. To see all those years of careful nurturing of the trees and plants in the canyon simply disappear...well, I can't begin to understand it. But I can imagine. I send prayers to those at the school and follow their progress also. It is very difficult to leave this part of Mexico and not carry a lot of it with you, in your heart.

When I first logged on to this part of Mexico there was a website which gave what I thought was a much clearer story of the political situation in Chiapas than we get from any news service here. Mexican events manage to make one small bit on the third page of the Globe and Mail. The US news services are only slightly biased. Is there any site you can tell me about where I can find this reporting again?

In the meantime, we approach the New Year, and we are enjoying a lovely quiet snowfall here in Oakville. My thoughts and best wishes go out to all of you in Puerto Angel, with hopes for renewal of lives and homes and faith in the future.

Irene McGeary.
December 1997

Didn't like Prison Article

I am a travel agent and was looking for info on Mexico when I found your page. I thought it was perfect, describing the towns so well. I looked at the page about the prison selling black coral and was surprised that you included something like that in what was otherwise a very inviting web page about a beautiful area. I realize that prisons like that do exist and they should not be hidden from the public eye but the authors description of his and his friends behavior is far from decent. I could find nothing laughable about men packed into a pit or hanging on prison bars like animals. His description of the events made me think he considered himself in a zoo. The men he was looking at are human beings. They may be criminals but not animals.

This is merely my opinion and maybe this man is numbed by nyc life.

Tena Vincent

December 1997

Tom replies:

Thank you for your comments. My web page is much different from the typical "brochure format". Articles such as this one make it clear that readers are getting the whole story and not the glossy trifold. You are not the first to take offense at this particular article though.

I believe this was something that Mr. Malmed did in his youth and I suppose he was laughing because it was such a powerful and unusual experience. I did not detect that he was laughing at the men or passing judgment at all. He did visit the prisoners, seemed to be well received (by the prisoners at least), and bought coral, which is probably more than I would ever do for them. I appreciate his reporting the experience. I hate to think how else one might find out what a Mexican jail is like.

Tom Penick
The Pacific Coast of Oaxaca, Mexico

No Trees

Just got back yesterday. Rick was a pipsqueak of a storm. Almost no damage. Puerto Angel is still hanging in there after Pauline. Really weird though, there are no trees left. Zero ziltch. Most hotels are back in business and would really welcome visitors. Hotel Soraya lost 44 windows but they have been replaced so all is well. Hortencia is fine and looking after everything. New orange drapes for the rooms and they look great. The only hotel that took a truly bad beating was La Posada Cañon Devata. A real mess as you can probably picture. It now has an ocean view. All vegetation swept away. It appears they are still closed as there was nobody there when visited. This appears to be the only hotel not opened. Naturally their restaurant is also closed. Tai Pan restaurant was wrecked and the building was badly injured. El Milagro could not be found. I talked to a native and he took me to a spot in the sand across from Villa Florencia and said that Pauline took the whole thing away. I didn't even see the remains of a foundation so perhaps he was putting me on.

The pedestrian walkway between the two beaches is broken in many places and is closed. The other eating places are all doing well. Villa Florencia seems to get most of the sparse tourist trade. Everyone says " send tourists, we can handle them"

A few closing words about Puerto Escondido. La Gota de Vida is no longer in the pedestrian mall, it has moved to the corner of Hotel Acuario in Zicatela. Had a hell of a time finding La Posada restaurant. When I found it the La Posada is in very small letters and the word Tiberon is very large. Excellent food and it's such a nondescript looking place. Loved it. While we were eating lightning struck the hotel across the street and also the hotel Escondido up the hill. Hotel Escondido was destroyed.

We had a really great time on this vacation. Stayed at the Santa Fe, Ines and Kndel@aol.com. The last one was too far away from the action and I wouldn't do that again. If I remember anything important I will E-mail again.

Ken DeLoach

November 1997

Hurricane Rick

Hurricane Rick made landfall on the western Oaxacan coast, just west of Puerto Escondido moving east northeast on the evening of 11/9. This hurricane does not appear to have the strength that Pauline had; the satellite photo does not show that an eye has formed. However the rains from this one will likely complicate travel on the coastal highway and other roads where temporary repairs were made by filling in washed out areas with dirt. There have been isolated power outages and loss of telephone service.

Tom Penick

November 10, 1997

Hurricane Rick in Puerto Escondido

Neither Robin nor Juanita were available but I did talk with the reservations clerk at the Santa Fe. I didn't get his name but he recognized mine before checking the reservations book, so he's one of the folks we know.

"Everything is normal," he said. "We had very little damage. Everything in Escondido is normal this morning, power, telephone. It is nothing like Paulina a few weeks ago."

Brian J. Larkin
Washington, DC

November 10, 1997

First Pauline, Now Rick

Well, another hurricane passed over the Palmgrove last night. (#2 on the hurricane-scale, Pauline was #5.) Everything was already so destroyed by Pauline so this didn't do too much damage. We were told by local authorities yesterday to prepare ourselves, so all day we packed things (whatever there was left from last hurricane) in plastic bags and put it up high to avoid the flood. (Fortunately the Palmgrove did not flood again. The river ran out in the ocean.)

After packing we had a big meeting where we decided where everyone were to spend the night. All the disabled children went to Adalberto's house that since last hurricane proved itself to be a safe place. All the others decided to stay in "casa nueva" because even if we were going to be flooded again we now know that if we wait, the water-level will sink as soon as the "barra" opens. (The barra is the sand from the beach that builds up and closes the river's opening to the ocean.) Everybody is fine. Although I thought that this hurricane was scary (the noise is terrifying) others, that went through Pauline, said that this was less than half as bad. It didn't last as long either,

Carlos and Marlene lost their car in a river-bed when they tried to reach the Palmgrove last night. They escaped unharmed and we will try to save the car. It is a VW so I am sure it will survive. Many newly repaired roofs flew off again, both in the Palmgrove and everywhere else. We have no electricity as our own internal temporary installation was damaged and several electrical poles outside are close to falling down. But we do have plenty of drinking water, food and blankets since the last storm. Now I will go back to the Palmgrove to help cleaning. It looks like a garbage dump again... Love to you all and I will try to communicate as much as I can but this is keeping me buzy.

Piña Palmera
November 10, 1997

Hurricane Pauline

Dear Tom,

You may remember that I emailed you during the summer to inquire about rain in Pto Angel because I was planning a trip in Oct. Well.....

I have just returned from what will always be a memorable "vacation!" We stayed in a condo in Pto Escondido, but decided to take a day trip (for lunch!) to Pto Angel on Wed, the day of Pauline. We of course had no idea a hurricane was predicted (or was it? I still don't know). Our VW bug had a canvas roof that wouldn't shut, making the trip a bit difficult as the rain increased and we considered pulling over for shelter on the way. Thank goodness we didn't, b/c of course it only got worse. Wind & rain were quite strong when we got to the little restaurant in town where we had lunch to wait out the storm(!). Soon of course, the wind was howling, rain was spraying through windows like a hose, and eventually the sea was coming under the doors. We experienced the "eye" when darkness suddenly became light, and having seen a documentary on hurricanes, I knew that this was the real thing, and that the other side of this light could be worse. It was harrowing, and luckily we were able to get to higher ground, moving upstairs of this building, by this time feeling very vulnerable. The owner of the little restaurant/hotel was wonderful. We had a room for the night, candles, water and candy bars! The town was in incredibly bad shape - power lines down, trees down, and most roofs off homes. Many homes completely destroyed, roads blocked, mud everywhere. Local people lost so much, but were immediately working to clear roads of debris and assist each other.

We decided to try to get back to Pto Escondido, although there were conflicting reports about road access. Our VW had been submerged in water and had thick mud on the floor and in the gear shift, but characteristically, it started up when jumped (finding cables was another adventure!) The trip took over 3 hours, but w/the help of local people who moved power lines and trees out of our way, we got through.

Pto Escondido was also hit and had no power or water, so we decided to try to fly out Fri AM. We were very lucky to get a flight to Mexico City that day. Much activity at the airport...supplies of food, water, & medications had already begun.

I wanted to give you an update and thank you for your info which was quite correct. You mentioned that this was hurricane season....

Thanks again,
Julie Strudlowski

October 13, 1997

¿Porque Solo en Ingles?

Oaxaca es el lugar que mas he visitado en los ultimos ocho años y de todos ellos Huatulco es lo que me ha fascinado, mi pregunta es porque todos los comentarios y en general el contenido que podemos observar en internet respecto a estas preciosas bahías aparecen en inglés, no se dan cuenta que existimos personas comunes y corrientes que deseamos saber más de estos lugares.

Agradezco infinito su atención.

Teresa Cruz

September 1997

Long-time Visitor

I came upon your web site while trying to gather information for my sister and her boyfriend, who will be visiting the coast of Oaxaca (specifically Huatulco) in December. I must say I was totally amazed and overwhelmed to see what you have put together for world-wide viewing about Puerto Angel. You see, I discovered this wonderful place in the mid-1970's, and always thought of it as my little hideaway. At that time there wasn't even a road to Huatulco, and Huatulco, for that matter didn't exist. The bays of Huatulco were truly virgin land, so incredibly beautiful. And Puerto Angel was a place where a city dweller like me (from Los Angeles) could totally unwind, feel the utmost of tranquillity and peace of mind. I also became acquainted with many people of the town and was enchanted by them, their lifestyle and a certain kind of spirituality I always felt there. I made several trips to that area, almost yearly, between 1975 and 1987. My last trip there was just at the time that Club Med was being constructed in Huatulco. I knew then that things would never be quite the same if I were to return again. Since those days of frequent travel I have become a mother of two boys (ages 2 and 5). I dream of taking them to Puerto Angel some day, but not until they're a little older. I wonder if all the changes in that area will have diminished its charm. Judging from other visitors' comments from recent years, I still have hope that I will be able to "go home again."

You certainly have done a stupendous job on your web site and I congratulate you!

J. Silver

September 1997

Travel Companion Wanted

WANTED: Travel companion, travel together share expenses 50/50. I plan to stay in Zipolite, Puerto Angel, and/or Puerto Escondido. I want to go for one month in October, November, December 1997. I'm flexible. If we like it, and you decide you want to, we'll stay for two months.

This is the first time that I will be traveling that far into Mexico. If anyone has any info to contribute on this area it would be appreciated. I am going alone if I have to but would prefer to have a companion along.

Denton (Denny)

July 1997

Saw Too Much on Bus Tour

My husband and I, his family and 3 other families with kids and all took a 5 day bus trip that was to go from Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Acapulco. The trip was a complete disaster from beginning to end, but one of the things that made the trip absolutely horrible for me was the fact that our bus driver/tour guide seemed to think it appropriate to take us to "San Angel" [Puerto Angel?] a family beach which turned out to be a nude beach thanks to mainly visiting Europeans.

Now this may be just hunkydory in Europe, but where I'm from people have a little more respect for other people. To say the least, I was very uncomfortable especially since we did have kids with us and I didn't particularly appreciate other women bouncing their probably by now cancerous breasts in front of my husband. Not to mention the nasty "little" hanging penis' everywhere.

Now I'm all for everyone having their right to be and do their own thing, but there are designated places and I think people should respect that. I also think this is not only the tourists fault but also that of the beach security people. If they are aware that a certain beach is a family beach I think it is their responsibility to make it known to the tourists and enforce it. It's totally unfair to a common tourist like myself who is going to a beach for the first time and has to come back with a bad impression of a trip that could have been fun and memorable.

Of course I'm only sharing my own feelings, but I do know that the rest of the family was feeling just as uncomfortable as I was and the only reason we stayed was because the other bus that was with us had to stay behind due the fact that one of the passengers became ill, and that was where the bus drivers/tour guides had agreed to meet. I'm not saying nude beaches are bad. All I'm saying is that that particular beach was not intended to be one but some people took it upon themselves to impose their nudity upon everyone else disregarding their feelings completely.

Another thing that I noticed that I couldn't believe was that smoking marijuana seemed to be acceptable on and around this beach. The smell was really terrible. I'm not a native Mexican, but I do love Mexico for its beauty, its culture and its people. I'd hate to see all these beautiful tourist spots become anything less.

April 1997

Anyone know Playa San Benito?

Dear Mr. Penick: I found your information on WWW very useful. I hope you will be able to help me locating a site in Tehuantepec. I do research on starfish. A professor at the Universdad Federal (now deceased) published a research article in 1970 stating that the species in which I am interested was found at Playa San Benito, "una playa muy grande, con arena muy fina y da a mar abierto, por lo que la rompiente del oleaje y la resaca, es muy fuertte. Cuando baja la marea, quedan al descubierto varios metros de ella." Any assistance you can give would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks.

John Lawrence, Professor of Biology
University of South Florida, Tampa.

April 1997

Can anyone help out Mr. Lawrence? -Tom

Character of the Towns

The following appeared in the newsgroup rec.travel.latin-america on 4/2/97:

> > I am interested in getting information about people's
> > experience with this resort site. I am considering
> > travelling to this area (Huatulca, Peurto Escondido, etc.
> > in late may to mid-June. Any information would be
> > appreciated. Thanks, Daniel J. Dugan.

What type of trip are you looking for? Big resort? Small towns? All beach? Personally, I'm a big fan of Puerto Angel which is about an hour north of Huatulco. Small town on a bay with other beaches fronting open surf. Escondido is also nice with a long beach on open surf and other smaller coves to the north that are used for snorkeling, etc. There is little nightlife in Angel. Escondido has a fair share at certain times of the year. Huatulco is good for a day or 2, but it's so sanitized, you might as well be in San Diego. (Actually, it has less character than San Diego!) There is little to do outside the major hotels themselves.

If you're looking for the real Mexico, Oaxaca is a long bus ride or car trip (9 hrs?) over the mountains from either Angel or Escondido. Good market and close to the ruins of Monte Albán and Mitla.

Bob Entwistle

The Place Grows on You

We just came back from Puerto Angel, in early January 1997. At first we weren't sure about the town, but we stayed there 5 days and the place really grew on us.

It's definitely a quiet town, with not a lot of night life, but some beautiful beaches nearby. I suggest Playa Mazunte and Playa San Agustinillo as two great choices. You can catch a bus, cab, or independent cabbie for a few pesos to these great beaches, as well as Zipolite if you're into surfing and the nude thing. Playa Estacuite is a beautiful, but small beach that you can walk to from Puerto Angel (10 minute walk tops). There is good snorkeling here because you can walk right off the sandy beach and snorkel over rocks and coral reef immediately. This beach is in a cove, so you won't be hit with alot of waves while you're snorkeling or swimming. There are also a couple of restaurants on this beach. I don't believe there are any accommodations here. Another note: We traveled just after Christmas, and the place was fully booked! We had made a reservation at the Hotel Soraya before we left, and we got the last room. This hotel is okay, charges around 200 pesos/night for a double room, but there are definitely better hotels there. Book well in advance when traveling in high season, because you're competing with Mexican tourists as well as European tourists and the odd North American. If traveling there, check out these hotels:

We had a great time at Puerto Angel, mainly because even in high season with a hotel accommodation crisis, there still didn't seem to be alot of people on the nearby beaches. If you want to get away from people, check this place out!

Catrina Warner

January 1997

Fishing for Sailfish

Mario Bozzi has a nice trip report written about fishing for sailfish in Puerto Angel available on his webpage in both English and Italian.

Huatulco, Coffee, Turtles

Eight of our family spent 8 nights at the Royal Maeva [photo 39K] as an early Christmas present. We found this to be the "perfect" vacation. The food was fabulous and varied daily. You could eat healthy or indulge. The service was "always" excellent and friendly. Where else can you go on vacation and live like a king and have everything included?
The Tangolunda beach was perfect for swimming, warm and not too rough, and it was a great launching point for fishing, diving or just riding in the open launches. Our two boys eight and eleven years old almost cried when it was time to leave. They spent many days at the Mini Club with their "Maevamigos" and could order room service (included) and watch the Disney channel if they didn't wish to dine with the adults.
We took a tour to a coffee plantation, "El Pacifico" up in the foothills of the Sierra Madre near Candelaria. [map 121K] This was extremely interesting getting to see all of the steps in the growing and processing of coffee. We got a new insight into all of the steps involved in producing our morning coffee and into the lifestyle of this rural enterprise. Of special interest was the water driven machinery that is over one hundred years old and still working like new. The organic growing and the requirement to grow the coffee plants in the shade was also interesting. The scenery at the plantation and driving up into the foothills was spectacular. This was a tropical paradise!
I should also mention the tour of the Turtle Park at Mazunte just north of Puerto Angel. Twenty years ago all of the local restaurants served turtle stew and turtle eggs, now the turtles are a protected species. I highly recommend a visit to the turtle park. A good one day trip would be to the coffee plantation in the morning, lunch at Puerto Angel and on to Zipolite and the turtle Park in the afternoon.
We had a very enjoyable conversation with Mr. Diego Oropeza the owner of the Hotel La Cabaña on Playa Panteón in Puerto Angel. We are looking forward to coming back and staying at the Hotel La Cabaña and doing some fishing out of Puerto Angel. This would be a budget travelers dream as it is more rustic but much lower priced than the Huatulco hotels.
All in all we would like you to keep the coast of Oaxaca as a secret. Never has there been a more beautiful wintertime destination, with friendlier people and more reasonable prices! We will be back soon.


December 1996

Last Stop, Paradise

Well, here goes nothing!! Well, I'm a British globe trotter and decided to embark on yet another journey through Oaxaca in a third class, chicken and flea-ridden coach, and was throttled awake only to have the coach driver tell me it's the last stop. No I do not understand a word of Spanish, but for some reason I knew he wanted me off the bus!! So, it was 5 o'clock in the morning, and thanks to the Berkeley Guide to Mexico I realized I was walking down Playa Panteón trying to find the cheapest hotel (which I found wasn't the cheapest much to my horror) called Puesto Del Sol, where I was greeted by the owner who was not impressed by me checking in while the sun was rising!!

After a couple of hours sleep, I decided to meet the locals on the beach, and became very, very acquainted with the scuba divers, Cheyenne, Umberto, and Norton who took me out to dinner in Pochutla, and fishing every day. I hope they are reading this as I cannot thank them enough for giving me the best time of my life!! After nearly being attacked on the Playa Panteón beach whilst strolling around at 5 am, I ran back to the Puesto Del Sol and upset the owner again!! So I thought it was time to leave and head for Zipolite. Beautiful, beautiful. All I did is collect loads of shells and ogle the gorgeous tanned bodies swimming ahead of me.

After a few drinks I headed back to Playa Panteón [photo] and met up with the scuba divers (Cheyenne, Norton, and Umberto) and hung out with the locals. They invited me to a party in Zipolite, and which point I thought I better go back to the Hotel and pay the money to the owner of the hotel. Well, she decided to discharge me and basically told me to get out!! So, I gathered my belongings and yet again I was alone, until Cheyenne told me not to worry and he'd sort something out. Anyway after laughing, and splashing in the cool Zipolite water, I had my cheap British bag stolen, which probably had everything except my passport, though I was not that bothered!! I laughed and thought well, for all the ups you have in life, you always have the downs, don't you agree?

I'd definitely recommend PUERTO ANGEL for anybody who wants to forget about tourists for a while. You can always escape to San Cristobal or Mazunte if you want total peace and quiet. Apologies for those who adore commerciality, McDonalds and Holiday Inn's. Forget it, Puerto Angel is for those with a bit of scope to life.

The real beauty of the place, is quite obvious--it's pretty natural and untouched. The people are stunning; varied mixtures of Indian and Spanish resulting in real coffee brown complexions. Quite like my self as part of my heritage is Indian. Puerto Angel is one of the few places in the world which comprises such a diverse set of people, nature, and most of all hospitality, which I can thoroughly confirm. Thank you Cheyenne, Norton, and Umberto!!! Bye

Jamila Patel

November 1996

Loss of Protection of the Turtles

My wife now is teaching two groups of new students of Marine Biology at Universidad del Mar and one of the practices is to help the biologist to protect the turtles in the nights of arribada. But with the problems [guerrilla activity and the government's preoccupation with apprehending them rather than guarding the beaches in the area] this practice now is canceled. I spoke with the director of the Centro Mexicano de las Tortugas, he is very worried about the situation, and he has been talking to the newspapers and TV calling attention to the problem. I think that all turtles need protection but the principal problem in not the green turtle (by far the most abundant turtle) but the leather turtle (Dermochelys coriacea, the biggest turtle) because it is near extinction and one beach east of Huatulco (Barra de la Cruz) is the principal nesting site for this turtle. This site is also now without protection.

Arribada means that the turtles come together in two or three nights to the beach only for nesting. The numbers change but there are thousands. In fact the Escobilla beach is one of the principal nesting beaches in the World.

Gerardo Esteban Leyte Morales
Marine Biologist, Universidad del Mar

September 22, 1996

Following is a description by Sr. Leyte of his research on the area reefs:

In the last 3 years my research has been focused on the coral reefs of the Huatulco Bays. This area is the southernmost place where these communities have developed in the Mexican Pacific. Their great importance is supported by the fact of their extension, the number of species found and their conservation. In addition, these communities are located in an area of strong upwelling (Tehuantepec Gulf), the place is the frontier between the Mexican and Panamic biogeographic provinces and from Tehuantepec to the Gulf of Fonseca where there is a biogeographic barrier called the Central Pacific Faunal Gap. In the Huatulco Bays the Mexican government is developing a megaproject of tourist infrastructure that has affected some areas. However there are many places that can be protected. The three goals of the research are 1) to complete taxonomic inventories and ecological descriptions, 2) protect these coral communities from ecological damage and 3) inform local people of the value of their conservation and rational use.

Hotel Angel del Mar

Thanks for the great web pages you're maintaining; I can see how this will change travel for many of us in the future. My comments on Puerto Angel from a 20-year veteran Mexico traveler.

I and my girlfriend were in Puerto Angel during August 4-7, 1996 and stayed at the Hotel Angel del Mar and had very mixed feelings about the establishment. After reviewing information at this web site and other resources I found the hotel had a 3-star rating and thought that would probably make it the best in the area-so I called and made a reservation. The hotel sits on a steep hill above the bay which does make for a hot 10-15 min. walk up and down cobblestones to get to the beach and back, but it also has a stupendous view. We rented their only suite, a large two-room affair with a decent (firm) king-size bed and separate living room/kitchen area. It came with a functional refrigerator and a huge balcony about the size of the room. All this for N210 or $30 or so. However, according to cab drivers and other locals this hotel has seen much better days and it shows. The sheets had holes in them right to the mattress; there was no purified water available in the halls or in the rooms, the swimming pool's water looked a questionable shade of green and the only time we ate in the hotel my girlfriend's breakfast arrived a full 10-15 minutes before mine and was cold while mine, which arrived later was warm. Hmmm? I must add, however, that the staff was very pleasant and warm and at night the stars shone very bright above the small town as we sat on our immense brick balcony enjoying a cooling marine breeze and cold beer from the fridge.

The truly delightful meals we had were all at La Posada El Canon de Vata, where we were treated to vegetarian soups, pizzas, lovely salads, etc. in a very "new-age" environmentally friendly retreat in a deeply shaded canyon. Other meals at the restaurants on the beach were all very similar and featured very fresh seafood--lobster prices were also very reasonable and the lobsters were relatively large compared to Pto. Escondido and Huatulco.

We spent one day in Zipolite and noticed, as we left at night that a sign from one of the bars announced in Spanish that the night before they had been robbed by an armed gunman at 7:30pm so they were closed for the day. There does seem to be a little more crime in Zipolite so be more aware. The locals blame it on Chulangos from Mexico city and other non-native Oaxaquenos.

Other tidbits. The ride from Huatulco in Colectivo leaves from La Crucecita and costs 7 pesos to Pochutla (1-1/2 hrs.). From there you can take a cab for a couple of bucks to Pto. Angel. We had a cab take us from Angel to Pto. Escondido for US $20.

Joseph Paul Parker

August 1996

Fly or Drive to Puerto Angel?

The following appeared in the newsgroup rec.travel.latin-america:

>On Mon, 22 Jul 96 20:08:43 GMT, TedBrill@ix.netcom.com (Ted Brillhart)

>Please answer a few questions for a nervous groom. Where can I get info on air
>travel between, say, Puerto Angel and Oaxaca? Is driving a advisable, scenic,
>arduous? Would anyone suggest other similarly situated locations (ruins are
>imperative)? Does this sound like a good plan, IOW are we likely to encounter
>both romance and culture?

My wife and I celebrated our 10th anniversary a couple years ago in Oaxaca and Puerto Angel, and we've returned a number of times since. I rate it highly on both romance and culture.

I've always had the best luck arranging air travel to/from Puerto Angel on site in Oaxaca. This is because it is difficult, and expensive, to deal with most of the local Mexican carriers from the U.S., and these local carriers are who you'll be flying with. So I generally arrive in Oaxaca and visit a local travel agent (there's a good one across from Cafe Morgan) to book a flight to the Huatulco airport. Once there, one can travel by bus or colectivo (a sort of shared taxi going point-to-point for a few pesos) to Pochutla, and from there to P.A. You can also use the airport taxis, although they're quite expensive, for convenience. Once you get away from the airport (walk to the crossroads) prices for taxis drop by a factor of 5-10, and the buses and colectivos cost at most a few pesos.

If you must have your air-travel scheduled before you go, I'd recommend booking it with one of the major Mexican carriers, Mexicana or Aeromexico. They both have 800 numbers in the US and contract with the regional carriers. You'll end up paying a little more, but it may well be worth it, and you can book your passage into Oaxaca de Juarez at the same time.

I haven't driven in this region... I do drive extensively in the Northern half of Mexico, since I like taking my own vehicle. Whether it's advisable depends on a number of things. It does take some acculturation, since driving laws and customs are quite different. I doubt that you will find renting a car less expensive than traveling by other means, and it may well cost you more. If you're thinking of driving to Puerto Angel...that's a pretty rough road if you're not used to driving in Mexico. I traveled it by bus once and it took 12 hours to cover what takes 30 minutes by plane. This is because of the topography. You seem to be always going straight up, down, hard left, or hard right on this road.

Between buses, colectivos and taxis, there are few places that you can get to by driving that you can't get to by other means. You're bound to meet and interact with quite a few folks when traveling by these means, which can be quite pleasant. You will interact with just as many people when you're driving, and the pleasantness of these interactions will be directly proportional to how acculturated you are as a driver.

I'm not saying don't drive...I plan on driving to Oaxaca sometime in the next year. I'm just saying don't drive because you think it will be easier or cheaper, or because you think you'll get to see places you would otherwise miss out on. A little adventurousness and a willingness to learn the local means of transport takes care of that. After all, your average campesino has no car, and yet travels quite easily from pueblo to city to pueblo.

Have fun! and congratulations!

Russ Somers

July 1996

Robbed at Playa La Mina

Puerto Angel is a wonderful place to go and get away from the world for a while. I stay at the Soraya when there. (I have visited the other accommodations in the area) I regret to pass on that I have been robbed at playa La Mina, however it was not because I was smart or even careful. In fact I had gotten so used to the tranquillity I had let down my normal out-of-the-U.S. guard. So I lost $1100 worth of camera equip, pesos, passport, etc. (Yes, it was insured but the inconvenience is of course a major pain) Live and learn.

Anyway, I'm almost regretting the info posted about Puerto Angel on the net because, while everyone has a right to know how wonderful it is, I personally go there to get away from the tourists and enjoy the solitude of a small fishing village in Mexico. Advertising and posted info has a way of changing all of that. (personal opinion of course)

Keith Russell

July 1996

Shopping for black coral at the Pochutla Prison Prison Piece Stirs Controversy

Scuba, etc.

I spent 10 days in Puerto Angel scuba diving and gathering information for this web page. The water was very warm. Surface temperature was 86 and I didn't need a wetsuit down to 80' where it started to get a little cooler. I tend to get cold easily too. Saw a 4' nurse shark, a turtle, several morays, including the tiger- striped variety, and lots of reef fish. Visibility was about 50'. Dive sites were La Tijera, which is so named because the formations of rocks jutting out into the water resemble scissors, and La Boquilla.

This is the rainy season and it was cloudy almost the whole time but only rained briefly once.

There's still a shortage of change here. The only place that can take a 100 peso bill is the supermarket on Avenida Principal near Palo Bello.

Tom Penick
May 1995

Quick Trip

The $99 round trip direct Dallas/Huatulco offered by MLT Tours was too good to pass up, so my wife, her father and I headed down for a long weekend in Puerto Angel. This being the busy season, there were no rental cars available so we took a taxi. The Hotel Soraya [photo] was unusually full due to a busload of Mexican tourists, but they had a room for us. I talked for awhile with the owners, Sr. & Sra. Tanus.

I inquired about the recent earthquake, whose epicenter was at Puerto Angel and was felt as far away as Veracruz and Mexico City. Sra. Tanus explained that they barely felt it because the ground is so solid there. She said that earthquakes are not unusual in the area but they never do any damage because of the solid rock subterrain. A scientist periodically comes from Pinotepa to study this and will be setting up a seismograph nearby in the future.

The waves in the port were unusually large and I inquired about that also. Sra. Tanus said it was caused by the moon. The fisherman said that this was a phenomena which occurred once a year in July or August and only lasted about 5 days (the days we were there).

I asked Sra. Tanus about Internet access in the area and found her surprisingly knowledgeable about this, considering that at this time Puerto Angel only has 3 telephone lines. She said that at this time UMAR (Universidad del Mar in Puerto Angel) [photo] did not have a connection. In the city of Oaxaca they do have a connection via satellite, but only to other universities. In Mexico City and Monterrey, full Internet access exists.

I introduced my father-in-law, who was a glider pilot in WWII, to the Tanus' and found out that Sr. Tanus had been in the United States at that time and was a tail gunner in the war. He is of Lebanese descent. The name of his hotel "Soraya" means evening star in that language.

I asked about the origin of the population of Puerto Angel. They said that before the roads were built, Puerto Angel was very small. Then the pier [photo] was built for the export of coffee and people came from the surrounding area (many Zapotecan) and from abroad to work there. Perhaps this is why the area seems better known to Europeans than Americans.

The following day we visited the Turtle Museum, which is a couple of miles west of town. Admission was 10 pesos (exchange rate 3 pesos to the dollar). The museum is operated by an association for the protection of animal life. [Turtles were once plentiful here and turtle fishing was big business. Sr. Tanus was a turtle fisherman until the turtle population declined, when he turned to hotel operation.] There is a cactus garden out front and numerous turtles and fish inside plus other displays. We saw the kind of fish (blanquito) that we'd just had for lunch.

The next day we went to a nearby beach, Estacahuite, by boat and spent a few hours swimming and snorkeling and ate ceviche at the little restaurant there. The waves were not so big here. We saw moray, puffer fish, an octopus, and some of those blue iridescent fish that hang around the coral. I saw an unusual moray with tiger-like markings.

After we got back to Puerto Angel, we went down to the little restaurant below the Soraya. I'm not sure of the name. We call it Lala's because that's the name of the owner. We stuffed ourselves silly on tuna steak, red snapper, potatoes, rice, sopa con fideos, and aquacate salad.

Tom Penick

August 1994

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