The town of Puerto Escondido was established in 1928 as a port for shipping coffee, although the area has been inhabited by indigenous populations for centuries. In the 1960’s, Highway 200 was built to connect to other coastal towns. Tourists began to discover the town and surfers found its beaches. Its importance as a port diminished as coffee shipments began going by truck instead of boat. The port does continue to support commercial fishing activity.
Today, Puerto Escondido is home to fishermen, surfers, vacationers, and an ecletic expatriot community. It is appreciated for its laid-back, authentic beach ambiance. In 2009, it was attributed the status of "City" of Puerto Escondido, reflecting its rapid growth and importance to the state of Oaxaca. Zicatela Beach is rated one of the top surfing destinations in the world.