Puerto Escondido, one of the best beach breaks in the world, is a vicious, huge and spectacular barrel that breaks almost straight onto the shore with Hawaiian-style power. Frequent tropical storms and hurricanes pass by this coast in the summer time (April-Oct) and thanks to a deep-water trench just offshore, the strong swells they produce hit the shore with little loss in size or power. These swells hit the sandbars at Zicatela Beach in such a way that the waves jack up in size, which is emphasised by a backwash. Magazine photos of this place are misleading - the waves close out often and the paddle-out can be severe. Usually the rights break best. The wave is fickle, and will often be blown out by 11am. When this occurs, the best bet is to head up to the mellower, but busy lefts of La Punta, which will be offshore. It's easier to take a bus rather than endure the long, hot walk. Late afternoons should see the wind drop away and Puerto Escondido should clean up.