Puerto escondido

I didn’t plan on going to the beach. The beacheest piece of clothing I owned was a t shirt, red and white striped and even then it was a little hot wearing that. But I met a few friends in Oaxaca who were heading that way and because I was also pretty tired of looking at buildings, I jumped on the Puerto Escondido bandwagon.

Sunset on La Punta beach

La punta beach, amongst the many beaches in Puerto Escondido, was my preferred one because it had the most relaxed vibe. The beach itself is beautiful and quite long, the waves got pretty big and probably more popular amongst surfers instead of swimmers, but it’s definitely the choice for most backpackers in terms of accommodation. There are more hostels here with very communal vibes. There are also nice places to eat at, not too expensive like on Zicatela beach. Most people walk around barefoot and gather on the beach for sunset every evening

Puerto escondido is on the coast of Oaxaca. You could either take a flight there or a sleeper bus from oaxaca. Its a 10 hour journey and you wouldn’t get much sleep because of the windy roads but i found it bearable and probably better than the day bus that’s for 6 hours but even more winding.

Playa Angel. Small and swim-friendly but not the easiest to get to by foot. Heaps on small restaurants though. Views from the cliffside hotels would be great here
Playa Carrizalillo. Probably the coziest and most swim-friendly beach amongst all of the beaches in Puerto escondido
Early morning surfers on La Punta
Sunset glow on sandy feet

8 days in Puerto Escondido felt too little! Hostel Akumal definitely made traveling solo alot easier. The crew gathers together for shared dinners, volleyball games and sunset evenings, then go out to party together at whichever bar is hosting the mega party of the night. The sunsets steal the highlights of the day because they’re so breathtaking. You start getting used to them but then leave Puerto and start missing them.

Time stops in Puerto Escondido and worries are taken away when you’re surrounded by people with good energy, fresh food to eat and the ocean’s lullabies.

Should have stayed in Ksamil

There are some places that make you regret leaving so early. Ksamil is one of mine.

30 mins South of Saranda by car, Ksamil is her younger sister with less traffic, restaurants, and hotels, but more beautiful beaches and a slightly more hippy vibe.

For 3 days, all I did was go to the beach, at Guapa loca beach club and lounge for 6 hours, intermittently tanning till it gets too warm then dipping into the refreshing ocean. Its about 5-700 lek for 2 sun beds, and prices for food are roughly the same as you would pay at a restaurant in Sarande. 4 to 10 euros for Grilled vegetables, seafood pasta, calamari or Grilled fish.

In Ksamil you can also find Butrint national park with a city that is more than 2500 years old. The city itself is pretty fascinating, and the views from it help you understand why the Romans loved it so. It would take about 3 to 4 hours to slowly roam around so pack a lunch with you. There are buses to this park from Ksamil centre, or even from right outside your accommodation so just ask. If not, hitchhiking in Albania is common too.

Read up more about the city https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/570/


Sarande, Albania

Sarande, although full of tourists in the summer, is well worth staying for a few nights if you have at least 2 weeks in Albania. The good thing about here is the availability of good food everywhere, the walkable distance to different beaches and the lovely views from the monastery and the castle. We stayed here for 3 nights and really enjoyed going to Haxhi restaurant the most for their good food and excellent service. We also met very accommodating owners at Saranda Holiday rent a car when we wanted to rent a car. From Saranda, you can visit Ksamil, Lucove beach, Borsch and the Blue Eye.