Driving from Puerto Escondido to Oaxaca: 150 Miles in 12 Hours


Puerto Escondido, home of the Mexican Pipeline, surfing culture and food poisoning. Yeah, the bugs laid me low for about a week, but the rest of the trip was excellent, if hot and rainy.

Puerto is hip, laid back, a mix of poverty and elegance, yet a real Mexican town that gets tourists and surfers from the world over.

I’ve been several times. This trip was with two friends, their 1988 Toyota 4Runner, their dog, my cat and a lot of luggage. The car (above) has been modified some (transmission oil cooler for mountain driving, new shocks, suspension mods, tires), and it ran well, though the 3.0-liter V6 is underpowered, at least for this kind of trekking.

Going south, for two-thirds of the way it’s pretty much a straight shot until you hit the Sierra Madre del Sur—enormous green mountains, some rising over 10,000 feet. Then you’re in a series of constant curves, climbs, switchbacks and descents, amid some truly beautiful scenery, mountain villages and changing weather.

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