As Quincy’s a.m. walker, I’ve grown to cherish the serenity of the mornings at beautiful Marina Puerto Escondido over the past several months. I don’t typically think of marinas as being beautiful areas in comparison to the anchorages we spend much of our time in, however this one is an exception. Surrounded by the beautiful Sierra de la Giganta mountains that reflect so vividly on the still water below, with glimpses of the nearby islands through the windows beyond the mooring field, the mornings are just exhilarating. Aside from Quincy’s guttural yawns, most mornings are absolutely silent except for the occasional jumping fish, squawking seagull or the rare cow or burro vocalizing their frustration in the distance. Every morning, there is a black-crowned night heron who is either under the bridge, balanced on a nearby dockline, or on this particular occasion, perched on my boat getting the last of his meal before disappearing into the daylight. With his piercing red eyes, he lets me know that this is his dock, and we are but mere tolerated visitors. Thus begins the morning at Marina Puerto Escondido.
Sierra de la Giganta
The Sierra de la Giganta mountains are majestic at all hours, however there is a brief moment in the morning where they are just spectacular. As the sun rises in the east, the mountains are bathed in golden sunlight and the color scheme is just brilliant. A moment or two later the colors are still beautiful, but not quite as rich, so don’t miss it! We caught one final glimpse of the full moon before she set behind the mountain range just after sunrise.
No morning walk or run was complete without a cow crossing, turtle sighting, or a close encounter with a burro. Blame my suburbia roots for my fascination with free roaming farm animals, but I just can’t get enough of watching these guys stroll through the neighborhood, completely unconcerned with sidewalks, vehicles, or people!
Walking along the ellipse (which sits just outside the docks) and looking several feet down at the small reef ecosystem below became a routine pastime for us last year on our first visit to the marina. Beyond the wide variety of fish, we’ve seen a spotted eagle ray, a lobster, an octopus, and a large Hawksbill sea turtle who is somewhat of a regular. Many days our turtle was a no-show, but others we could look down and clearly watch him feast on the reef below for long periods of time, surrounded by fish waiting for hand-outs that might drift their way. Still other times I would’ve walked right past him if the girls didn’t point him out as he was camouflaged against the rocks. Quincy would grow impatient with our turtle meanderings, unclear as to why her walk had stopped, until he would make his presence known. He would gracefully make his way to the surface, take a breath, and disappear into the depths leaving the boat dog utterly perplexed. Being a critically endangered animal, it has been a treasure to repeatedly observe this magnificent sea turtle. Most sea turtles we encounter are very elusive and quickly swim away once they detect our presence, but this one allows us a glimpse into his world.
TRIPUI TRAILS HIKE
The Tripui Trails hikes afforded beautiful vistas from on high and some much needed exercise for the girls and me. From the top, we could see all the islands and many of the anchorages we’ve sailed to in the Loreto Bay National Marine Park. Everything looks so much closer from this vantage point! Once the weather cooled down in fall, the idea of going on a hike was much more tolerable and this turned out to be a great way to spend our mornings.
So there you have it. Spending the better part of the past 7 months in Marina Puerto Escondido was never in the plan, but we couldn’t have asked for better surroundings. From the beautiful scenery to the random “exotic” animal encounters, to the generous people who kept us smiling, we have wonderful memories to take with us on our future journeys. Thank you to the kind, professional marina staff, the warm-hearted cruisers, and hardworking yacht crew that we’ve had the pleasure to spend time with. The mornings here were truly mejor (the best). They reminded me to slow down and breathe in the beauty that surrounds me, no matter how simple it may seem. From enjoying private conversations on morning walks with my girls that may never have happened on the crowded boat, to dodging baby cows and burros on a morning run as their moms show them the ways of the cow and burro world, to watching various types of fish interact on the reef below, these are times I hold dear. Mornings in the near future could prove either turbulent or tranquil, so I cherish these peaceful moments while they last. Farwell Marina Puerto Escondido, the wind tells me it is time to head south.
All photos are by the HelmsMistress.
We’ve written several stories about the time spentt in Puerto Escondido and the surrounding areas both this summer and last, but have never given our basic evaluation of the Marina or surrounding harbor…so here it is:
Marina: Marina Puerto Escondido is a full service marina with fuel dock, haul out yard & travel lift, pump out service and bottom cleaning/mechanical service. The Marina has a store, art gallery, restaurant, boat and water toy rental fleet and even a private charter service running out of it. The inner docks are geared mostly for smaller boats while the large outer dock/breakwater is geared toward the super yacht crowd. Showers and bathrooms here are first class and very clean and the marina has a freshwater pool. Note: Wifi is available on the docks but there are occasional power outages in the summer. For boats docked on the outside of the large breakwater, fetch may be an issue during strong northers. The Marina answers channel-16 and will switch you to channel-14 to talk.
Depending on which season it is, there may be a morning radio net on channel 22 at 0800.
Ease of anchoring: Puerto Escondido is part of the surrounding National Park, thus there’s no anchoring in Puerto Escondido. Numerous mooring balls are in the harbor and there’s plenty for everyone.
Noise: Not much.
Provisioning: There’s a very well stocked store at the Marina as well as a full service restaurant on the top deck with great views. Loreto has good provisioning and propane is available just outside of town as you drive in.
Diesel and gas are available at the Puerto Escondido Marina Fuel Dock.
Cellular reception on a mooring ball: YES (spotty). The cell service in Puerto Escondido is weak whether you’re on a ball or on the dock.
Wifi in the anchorage: None, but available if you take a slip in the Marina or up around the Marina store.
Water Clarity: Clean water.
Protection: Puerto Escondido is a hurricane hole but still can get northerly wind that comes straight through the two “windows” to the north of the harbor. Otherwise there’s good protection within the harbor, which is nearly 360 degrees.
-The Marina ensures the channel into the harbor/marina is well dredged but I would not do it at night if I didn’t have to.
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Here’s links to other stories that the HelmsMistress has written about Puerto Escondido: