108. Puerto Escondido, Mexico - The Almost Perfect Campsite

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October 22, 2007

We should have known by this point in our road trip that there is no such thing as a perfect campsite in Mexico.

By day, the recently re-opened Trailer Park Palmas de Cortes (not to be confused with its dumpy sister above the highway, Cabanas de Cortes) was one of the best spots of the entire trip.

In one direction, it is 25 metres from Playa Principal - the main beach.

In the other, it is 25 metres from Perez Gasga, the main restaurant/shopping street, and an Italian Coffee Co., the most prominent of coffee shop chains in Mexico).

It is also situated in a shady palm grove and has modern bathroom facilities. All for $8 a night.

But not too long after the sun set at the late hour (compared to Central America) of 7:15, the thumping music from a nightclub - also 25 metres away, it turns out - started to thump.

And when the thumping continued until 5:30 am, we were left with little choice but to move on after one sleepless night to the decidedly more quiet La Alejandria campsite, 15 kilometres west of town.

Bisected by Highway 200, Puerto Escondido has a reputation for great surfing, with Playa Zicatela considered to be one of the best surf spots in the world.

No doubt because of its appeal to surfers, Puerto Escondido was also the first place we had been to in Mexico since Sayulita (back in April) where gringo beach culture - mainly couples, mainly wearing smallish bathing suits, mainly sun tanning - and Mexican beach culture - mainly large, extended families, mainly covered up in shorts and t-shirts, mainly picnicking - were more or less equally represented on the beach.

Key Facts & Figures:

-Trailer Park Palmas de Cortes: $8/night
-La Alejandria campsite: $10/night