We visited the Gulf coast and the Pacific coast resorts of Mexico looking to buy the perfect ocean-front house, and we found it at the end of our year-long search in the state of Oaxaca, 15 minutes south east of Puerto Escondido and in the southwest corner of Mexico. On Google Maps: 15.788433, -96.947237; 15º 46' 52.1 N, 96º 55' 45.6 W
As we drove into the access road from the Carretera Costera (PanAmerican highway) we saw the entrance framed with huge red and white bougainvillea bushes, the road itself was planted with cacti, parota trees and diverse palm species, and 30 meters before reaching the Costa Cumaná gate we drove through a lovely tropical lagoon, la Laguna Encantada (the Enchanted Lagoon), that was densely vegetated, populated with hidden cackling chachalacas and iguanas. As we drove to look at our future house we immediately knew we had encountered our vacation paradise and our dream house facing the open ocean 100 meters away! Every moment that we spend at our house, La Libélula (Lee-béh-loo-lah//Dragonfly), we count our blessings!
We wanted to live part-time in year-round sun and warmth in intimate proximity to the ocean. The temperature at La Libélula ranges from 75 to 85 degrees most of the year and in the summer there are daily short-lived tropical rains. We had heard about the natural wonders of the Puerto Escondido from two reliable sources. Ed’s brother was an international surfer, always looking for the best waves. He had frequented Puerto to surf at Zicatela beach whose surf is called the Mexican Pipeline and is in the top 10 surfing spots in the world for expert surfers. Patricia's daughter is an ecologist working and living in Queretaro’s Sierra Gorda Biosphere Reserve, and she informed us that the entire Puerto Escondido zone was deemed an ecological preserve for turtles, birds, alligators, and the black iguana.
The house was built by a Mexico City couple who dedicated an entire year traveling back and forth to La Libélula as it was being built and lavishly paid attention to the smallest details in design, e.g., tall ornamental walls with hand-made and decorated multi-colored tiles grace the entrance and one side of the lap pool; the floor in front of the master bed has an inlay of tropical leaves made with colored stones, the master bed faces the ocean directly.
Why Oaxaca instead of Puerto Vallarta or other coastal resort areas of Mexico? Oaxaca is a very traditional Mexican state, away from the urban centers of Mexico. It has fought for and has been able to preserve its "usos y costumbres" (practices and customs). Thus Puerto Escondido has maintained at its center a thriving open air traditional Mexican mercado (market), something you cannot find anywhere along the coast of the Puerto Vallarta region in the state of Jalisco, for example. Nothing can compare to walking into a covered one-block sized building with separate rows of fresh vegetable and fruit shops, of freshly caught fish, of free-roaming chicken shops, butcheries, flower stands, shops of typical Oaxacan dresses, pants, and huipiles for children and adults, a section of stands of fresh juices and blended fruit drinks, and small boutique restaurants of local dishes. Amazing!
Keywords: One story, 1 master BR, 3BR each with 1 queen and 1 single beds, ceiling fans, lap swimming pool, palapa roof over beachfront living and dining rooms, study with A/C, wi-fi, TV, tropical and desert gardens, full time housekeeping and ground keeping services.