Río Grande (pop. 15,000), five miles (eight km) east (Puerto Escondido  side) of the Lagunas de Chacahua –Zapotalito  access road, is a transportation, supply, and service point for the region. Right on the highway are abarroterías (groceries), pharmacies and doctors, and Ladatel card-operated street telephones.
In town, the downscale Hotel Río (Av. Puebla, tel. 954/582-6033, $15 s, $20 d with fans, $25 d with fan and a/c) is the two-story building off the highway’s north side, at the west end of town. It offers two floors of 22 plain but clean rooms, encircling a spacious parking courtyard. All have private baths, but tepid (not hot) water.
On the highway corner, across the street, the homey, family-run Restaurant Río Grande (8 a.m.–9 p.m. daily) provides hearty meals, especially a daily four-course (soup, rice, entrée, and dessert) comida corrida for about $4.
On the east edge of town, the once-inviting but now somewhat-neglected Hotel Paraíso Río Grande (Carretera 200, tel. 954/582-6196, $15 s, $20 d, $25 t with fan, $20 s, 25 d, $30 t with a/c) offers a big swimming pool (if it’s in working order) and a kiddie pool in a spreading grassy patio, plus large brick-and-tile rooms with either fans or air-conditioning. The 20 rooms (check for mildew) come with fan and TV; $5 more for air-conditioning. The hotel’s soaring, classically vaulted ceilings and elegant brick arches flow from the expertise of its friendly and articulate architect builder. His life project has been to first build, and now extend, the hotel, using unreinforced brick and concrete only, not unlike ancient Roman buildings, but with the addition of innovative new designs.