Six waves that will keep you enamored until the end of your days

| posted on October 15, 2012

Photo: Glaser

In the age when the oceans belonged to explorers and conquistadors, a pirate named Andrés Drake made his way down the Mexican coastline attacking ships, hunting for riches, and generally acting like a real asshole. In very characteristic fashion, the band of scallywags kidnapped a beautiful young woman from the village of Santa María Huatulco and held her captive as they continued on their dubious voyage. As the creaking hull sliced through tropical waters, the girl’s fate looked dire.

But then Drake pulled into an uninhabited bay to lay in wait, hoping that a Spanish galleon might cross the horizon so they may give chase. It was in this pristine bay that the crew got sloppy—or sloppier than usual, that is. Ale was swilled and eyelids grew heavy, and suddenly the young beauty was gone. She had snuck out on the deck while her captors were stilled in their stupor, and she dove over the railing into the warm swells without making so much as a splash.

The arrival of sobriety coincided with a wave of panic through ranks of the crew. Drake ordered his men to take the skiffs ashore and scour the beach for the most beautiful hostage he had ever taken—and he had taken many. They searched tirelessly across the beach and into the jungle, and all for nothing. The woman was nowhere to be found, and for the rest of their days, the crew would call her La Escondida—the hidden one.

To Andrés and his gang, the Mexican coastline was a fine place to plunder, and plunder they did. But every time their travels brought them near Bahia de la Escondida, the obsessive captain ordered his men to search the beach and the jungle just beyond it for the lost beauty. She stayed hidden.

About 400 years later, people are still drawn to the same stretch of beach, now called Puerto Escondido. Although heavy tubes drill surfers into the sand time and time again, something continues to call us back into the maelstrom. —Todd Prodanovich

  • Mange mongland

    I live in Hossegor and you really can’t compare it to desert point or cloudbreak! Seriously! It looks like the picture once every other year. It’s crap more often than not

  • Whamo

    “Freedom has a 1,000 charms to show, that slaves, however contented, never know.” — Mickey Dora —

    I have a lot of respect for Jim Banks and the hotel night manager at Mundaca. Not many people pursue their dreams like these two did.

  • gannysesh

    Does Banks have some family cash keeping him going? Or does he take jobs that give him just enough to get by? or what?

  • Meatball

    Hello to all,,,some of us from S.Fla. in 1978 flew into Acapoco,,then took 14hr. bus ride south to get to Puerto,,,the lack of people,the offshore winds in the mornings,the sound of the police band music in the line up & those XLg. Barrels rides !!!! Just spectacular views,times & memories for all of us !!!!!

  • Eric

    Putting ‘Rifles’ on that list is asinine….Great wave, but hundreds of better waves that people try and score, and return to year after year. There are 50 waves in Indo alone to hit before that one.

  • http://any mark connolly


  • Freddy

    @Eric if you scored this wave you would know why its on the list. One 12 day boat trip to the ments ain’t going to do it. I have been to the playground area of the ments 10 times for months at a time and have scored riffles one time. It went off for 10 straight days best waves I have ever seen and surfed. Its 600+yard backdoor barrel every wave. Surfed it other trips but not proper. If you go to this area thinking your going to score riffles think again. It is a VERY fickle wave and any signs of it being good you can assure the resorts are on it dumping on average 20-40 guys in the line-up. But dont worry there are several other world class waves very close by.