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Seventy-four kilometers (46 miles) southeast of Puerto Escondido and 50km (31 miles) northwest of the Bays of Huatulco lies the tiny fishing port of Puerto Angel (Pwer-toh Ahn-hehl). With its beautiful beaches, unpaved streets, and budget hotels, Puerto Angel is popular with international backpackers and those seeking an inexpensive, and restful vacation. Repeated hurricane damage and the 1999 earthquake took its toll on the village, driving the best accommodations out of business, but the town continues to attract visitors. Its small bay and several inlets offer peaceful swimming and good snorkeling. The village's way of life is slow and simple: Fishermen leave very early in the morning and return with their catch before noon. Taxis make up most of the traffic, and the bus from Pochutla passes every half-hour or so. If you're of a mind to spend a night or two, La Casa del Encuentro (zoylayhelmut@yahoo.com), has six simple, well-kept rooms tucked into a lush garden with a small pool across the road from the ocean. To find it, head for the lighthouse, and continue a short distance beyond; look for the sign over a gate on the left.

Warning: Important Travel Note -- Although car and bus hijackings along Hwy. 200 north to Acapulco have greatly decreased (thanks to improved security measures and police patrols), you're still wise to travel this road only during the day. There are numerous military checkpoints, and the road at points is dirt-only and pothole ridden.