Oaxaca Once Again – Concepción La Bamba, Tehuanatepec

We’ve covered a lot of ground since our last post on Mescal in Oaxaca and have quite a bit to catch up on. After our first rather unsuccessful visit to Oaxaca we decided to keep on moving into Chiapas. We’ve spent the last month in Chiapas and went far as the river bordering Guatemala before turning back to begin the return leg of our journey. The upcoming series of postings will cover all of the magical places and millions of topes (speedbumps) in between, including the Mayan ruins of Palenque, Yaxchilán, Bonampak and Toniná, the indigenous villages of San Juan Chamula and Zinacantan, spectacular waterfalls, and colonial architecture and cobblestone streets of San Cristobal de las Casas. We’re now technically on our way home, but I know many more adventures are in store for us before we reach the border.

We’ve given Oaxaca another chance and this time we found what we’ve been looking for at Concepción La Bamba, about 40 minutes from Salina Cruz. We didn’t hire a guide to get here. We could have found it by the blue sign on the highway. When we got here three nights ago we didn’t find any banditos, any thieves, or any other extortionists. La Bamba is a spot that catches smaller swell and there have been fun waves every day at these two man-made breaks.

Our daily visitors on the beach consist of fishermen, oyster divers, families from Salina Cruz, and Mexican, Dutch, American and Scottish campers and surfers.  The community of Concepción La Bamba is incredibly welcoming and friendly. We’ve made friends with two brothers, Luciano and Leonardo, who constructed the palapa that we are renting. Sesame stalks provide the necessary shade from brutal mid-day sun. They’ve brought us fresh water, shared limes and papayas from their trees, cleaned fish for our dinner and even invited us to their home for a fresh-water bath! Life really doesn’t get much better out on the beach. We hang out nearly every day, exchanging English and Spanish vocabulary and learning about each others’ cultures and countries.

The only mordidas we have gotten have been from the chaquistes (sand flies or no-see-ums) and tabanos. The tabanos, a medium-sized biting fly, have been particularly bad this part of the surf season. The locals say it is because all of the animals come down from the mountains near the beach right now and they bring with them all of the biting insects. John has gotten into a zen-state with these tabanos, and is able to anticipate their flight patterns. He proudly catches about six a day with his fingers and then takes a sadistic pleasure in drowning them in the water or pulling off their wings. We thought at first we might seek shelter in the water, but no, the tabanos are out in the line up too. During one of his battles with the local airforce while surfing, John ended up swallowing the opponent by accident!



  1. January 31, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    excellent ! place ! surf alone!!

  2. March 9, 2015 at 12:38 pm

    Hi there
    I am currently in mexic po and was hoping to get some fun uncrowded waves..would you recommend la bamba for a solo female? Is the accomodation pricey?
    Thanks heaps 🙂

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