Get Lost: Surf Oaxaca

Dec 3, 2009
Outside Magazine
Villas Carrizalillo

   Photo: Courtesy of Villas Carrizalillo

Cougar Camp

After crashing and burning its way through the reality-TV world, "cougar" mania has caught on in the travel industry. December 4–7, Singles Travel Company leads what it calls "the world's first International Cougar Cruise," hosting about 200 younger men and older women on a jaunt from San Diego to Ensenada, Mexico (from $160; The ship is 855 feet long, so the walks of shame will be good exercise.

Though it's no longer a secret, Puerto Escondido, located on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca, still delivers exactly what you need on a Mexican vacation: relaxation and solitude. (Even now, there's only one daily flight from Mexico City.) Escondido is best known among surfers for Mexpipe, a bone-crushing break on Playa Zicatela, right off the central area. For mortals, there's the bodysurfing-friendly Playa Principal, to the north, plus no end of lagoons for swimming and snorkeling. When I was here last fall, locals directed me to their favorite hideout, Playa Carrizalillo, a palm-fringed beach that's great for swimming and mellow longboarding (board rentals, $3.50 per hour; lessons, $20 for two hours; both available at the beach—ask for Ramón). Stay at Villas Carrizalillo (doubles from $150;, situated on the cliffs above.