Day trip to untouched Mexico: Roca Blanca Beach, Oaxaca

One of the most beautiful beaches on the  coast of Oaxaca, Roca Blanca beach is one of the best day trips around Puerto Escondido. On my first road trip to Mexico, a journey undertaken in a Dodge Sportsman camper van around 1988, I  was armed with a sarong, some battered cooking utensils and a secondhand copy of “The People’s Guide to Mexico” a compendium of stories big on adventure but skimpy on practical travel information. Although it lacked logistics, it did a fantastic job of inspiring a love for Mexico’s natural beauty.

Why Roca Blanca Beach is a Top Day Trip from Puerto Escondido

Many of the wild beaches I discovered on my first trip to Mexico — such as Mismaloya and Tenacatita — have since disappeared, swallowed up by development. But if you’re looking for Mexico untouched by mass tourism, Roca Blanca beach offers a taste of  “Wild Mexico” a spirit captured so beautifully in that hippie handbook. And it’s easy to get to on a day trip from Puerto Escondido.

Roca Blanca Beach in Oaxaca

Untouched by mass tourism – Roca Blanca  Oaxaca

This graceful beach northwest of Puerto Escondido is known as “Roca Blanca” or “White Rock” due to the quantity of bird guano on its offshore boulders but that shouldn’t stop you from appreciating its many pleasures.  And you’ll find plenty of seclusion – assuming you don’t run into a movie star or two. Although I haven’t been lucky enough to bump into Gael García Bernal, it’s not that far-fetched to imagine you might bump into a celebrity here. Roca Blanca was one of the filming locations (and renamed Boca del Cielo) in the 2001 drama Y Tu Mamá También.

Almond tree at Roca Blanca beach, Oaxaca

Almond tree at peaceful Roca Blanca beach, Oaxaca

This desolate stretch of coastline dotted with rustic restaurants still draws celebrities such as  Diego Luna, camera crews filming Corona beer commercials, chef Rick Bayless ( see the episode of Mexico One Plate at a Time from Season 9) and documentaries such as Campo Abierto. Celebrated Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco even has a hilltop home that’s been featured in many international architecture magazines.

Things to Do at Roca Blanca Beach

Take a long walk on Roca Blanca Beach

Take a long walk on Roca Blanca Beach

But the main attraction of Roca Blanca is doing nothing — it’s an ideal spot to go surf fishing, take a long walk, chat with the locals or just laze away the day in a hammock. Located 35 kilometres from Puerto Escondido past Manialtepec Lagoon ( the rare bioluminescent lagoon where you can go Swimming with the Stars surrounded by glow in the dark plankton), it’s a peaceful pocket of natural beauty untouched by development for now.

Fishing at Roca Blanca

Fishing at Roca Blanca

How to Get to Roca Blanca Beach

Unlike taking a day trip to Barra de Navidad  (read about it in the post Swamp Love ) the beach at Roca Blanca takes a  little bit more work to get to. The easiest way to get to Roca Blanca is to imagine you’re back in high school and mooch a ride from a friend with a car. But if you’re in Puerto Escondido in the low season when few people are around, or you can’t find a friend, it’s still possible to get to Roca Blanca by public transit.

Take a microbus from the terminal Transportes de Pasajeros Unidos de Rio Grande (corner of 1a Poniente and the Costera Highway). You’ll be sharing the microbus with others so try to get a seat near the front so you can watch for the signs and avoid motion sickness. Get off 40 minutes later on Highway 200 at KM 102 at Cacalote. There is also a sign posted “Roca Blanca” so you can’t miss it. Fare was 30 pesos per person the last time I took it but take pesos in small denominations in case the fare has increased.  Pay when you disembark.

Once at Cacalote, you’ll hop in one of the taxis parked at the roadside concession stands. If there are no taxis, just wait as they may be on their way back from the beach. Your taxi fare should cost no more than 25 – 30 pesos ($2 USD) to the beach. If you’re feeling energetic you could make the very long walk (30-45 minutes) down to the beach. Stay right when you come to the fork in the road.

Best Restaurants at Roca Blanca Beach

Swimming at Roca Blanca

Join the kids swimming in shallow waters at Roca Blanca

When you arrive at Roca Blanca your top hang-out choice is Roca Blanca Restaurant & Bar, the first palapa restaurant at the entrance to the main beach. It’s my favourite spot (and not just because its the place with the highest likelihood of seeing Gael Garcia Bernal).  Owned by Pro fisherman José Galán and his wife Zoila Lourdes Garibo Bustamente, you’ll enjoy a lively atmosphere (check out the wall of celebrity photos), the freshest fish and the cleanest washrooms.

Fish a la plancha at Roca Blanca Puerto Escondido

Fish a la plancha at Roca Blanca Puerto Escondido

When it’s time to call it a day, ask Zoila to call you a taxi for your return back to the highway where you can flag down any of the passing microbuses marked “Puerto Escondido.” If you decide to stay the night at Roca Blanca beach, simple and rustic rooms are available for 300 pesos (2 people).

Travel Planner

Email at Roca Blanca Restaurant is antoniagalan06@hotmail.com
954 559-8979 or 954 114-1510

Hotel Escondido, the stylish (and pricey) beach bungalows by Grupo Habita, are located relatively near Roca Blanca beach if you want to stay for a night or two.

Disclosure: A Taste for Travel participates in affiliate advertising programs. By providing handy links to our affiliates, we may earn a commission. All opinions are our own and we only link to companies and products that we trust and believe in. Read more on our Disclosure Page. Thank you for supporting our website!

And that’s not the end of things to do in Puerto Escondido! Read our Essential Puerto Escondido Travel Guide for more information on hotels, beaches, things to do, day trips and more in Puerto Escondido. Or go directly to these posts:

9 Tips for a Perfect Romantic Getaway in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca

Beginner’s Guide to Puerto Escondido Beaches

8 Weird Foods to Try in Puerto Escondido

Ultimate Guide to Vacation Rentals in Puerto Escondido

Don’t have a copy of The People’s Guide to Mexico? Get a copy here:

Michele Peterson
Michele Peterson
Dividing her time between Toronto, Mexico and Guatemala, Michele Peterson is an award-winning writer, blogger, editor and publisher who specializes in travel, cuisine and luxury lifestyles.
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Showing 20 comments
  • Karen Warren
    Reply

    It’s good to know that you can find secluded places like this (unless the film crews are there of course!)Makes it worth the effort to get there.

  • Anita @ No Particular Place To Go
    Reply

    I’ve always loved reading travel stories and books and I’ve daydreamed my way through the adventures in “The People’s Guide to Mexico” too. It’s lovely to see an unspoiled beach without the condos and hotel complexes and Roca Blanca beach looks like an amazing place to walk and enjoy paradise in in all its untouched beauty.

  • galletero
    Reply

    Don’t trust anything you read that has the name Farkem attached to it, the guy is a blowhard!

    • Michele Peterson
      Reply

      Thanks! I think he just shared my post on Tomzap.. which is much appreciated. I’m betting a few people on Tomzap have lots of tales and many more tips about Roca Blanca.

  • Donna Janke
    Reply

    Roca Blanca beach looks great. How nice to find such a beautiful secluded “unbusy” beach. Love the idea of doing nothing there.

  • Paula McInerney
    Reply

    It is good that you were inspired by a book that was short on guidelines but obviously big on passion. This is what it should be about. I bet there are some great stories about Roca Blanca like this one.

  • tomaso
    Reply

    Speaking of celebrities , I am wondering if Dolores del Rio might still be around. Sounds like a lovely place.

  • esperanza
    Reply

    What a relief it must be to get away from the crowds and noise of over-crowded beaches. Thanks for the useful tips re bus travel, dining and overnight stays.

  • Culture Tripper
    Reply

    Love your photos and all the cultural references–that fish a la plancha at Roca Blanca Puerto Escondido definitely looks worth the trip!

  • A Cook Not Mad (Nat)
    Reply

    Roca Blanca beach looks like the perfect place to relax after a long day of work.

  • Sherel Purcell (class of '81)
    Reply

    Fun read with great photos..call me sometime

  • Kay Dougherty
    Reply

    I’ve been to Mexico many times but never to that area – it looks lovely and fairly unspoiled. I’m afraid the fish may have died screaming though!

  • Irene S. Levine
    Reply

    Roca Blanca looks idyllic and you’ve convinced me that Puerto Escondido is a perfect launching pad for exploring the region. That fish looks so fresh and delicious!

  • The GypsyNesters
    Reply

    There are so many gems in Mexico, thanks to you we have another to put on our list. Can hardly wait to get back down there ourselves and continue exploring.

  • Doreen Pendgracs
    Reply

    Mexico never ceases to amaze me. So many different experiences, yet a very strong underlying personality. I’ve not yet been to Roca Blanca, but definitely do hope to get up that way sometime soon.

  • Suzanne Fluhr
    Reply

    Roca Blanca, Tomzap, Farkem—-all new to me and all intriguing.

  • Sand In My Suitcase
    Reply

    It’s hard to find unspoiled beaches like the one you’ve written about here. Roca Blanca looks quite delightful – and the that fish lunch looks delish :-).

  • Wandering Carol
    Reply

    I don’t explore Mexico enough, though I did make it to the Riviera Maya finally this year. Mostly I explore it through your blog, so thanks.

  • Roos Plorm
    Reply

    Amazing article about Roca Blanca! Strange thing is that all the restaurants are now next to Jose and Lulu? Do you have any idea how comes? Would love to hear from you! I didn’t quiet understand it in my poor English!

    • Michele Peterson
      Reply

      Thanks for stopping by! Yes, there are a string of restaurants there and although there are sometime temporary eateries near the shallow beach area, at least report they were removed.

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