ecotour puerto escondidoAn ecotour or a fishing trip? It's your choice in the waters off Puerto Escondido.

Ecotours, fishing: dolphins, sailfish, turtles and more

A visit to Puerto Escondido isn’t complete without a fishing trip or an ecotour aboard one of the local launches. There is no shortage of qualified and informed fisherman and/or guides to take you where the fish are biting, or the dolphins playing. Just wander down to Playa Principal or Puerto Angelito and book your tour.

Fishing offshore you can go for sailfish, marlin, tuna or dorado. Closer to shore are found roosterfish, amberjack, king mackerel, grouper and others. And when you return to the beach, your guide can probably arrange to have your catch cooked in a local restaurant.

As for ecological tours, dolphins are among the most popular species among visitors. In fact, its popularity has exploded in recent years. There are four types of dolphins in local waters: spotted, spinner, common and bottlenose. In late December and January there are thousands of spinner dolphins in the ocean off Puerto Escondido.

Dolphin-watchers can expect to see anywhere from 10 to more than a thousand during a tour of three or four hours. Depending on the species, they could be jumping, tail walking, riding the bow wake, or playing in the stern wake. Visitors are encouraged to bring swimming gear so they can jump in the warm water and swim among the wild dolphins.

As well as dolphins visitors are often treated to the sight of whales, and between November and March there are many humpbacks to be seen. There are also pilot whales and orcas.

And there’s more: sea turtles, flying fish, many sea birds and mobula rays.

Guides are regulated by a cooperative, and their rates are relatively inexpensive. The lanchas, or launches, are about 20 feet long and can accommodate four people quite comfortably.

At least two fishing tournaments are held every year, one for sailfish in November and another for tuna in February.

In the 2012 version of the International Sailfish Tournament, the largest sailfish weighed in at 40.4 kg; biggest marlin was 88 kg and the largest dorado, 16 kg.

Media credit: Héctor Amézquita