A little about Playa Zipolite, The Beach of the Dead . . .

Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. A little bit about my favorite little get-away on this small world of ours.

Zipolite, a sweaty 30-minute walk west from Puerto Angel, brings you to Playa Zipolite and another world. The feeling here is 1970's - Led Zep, Marley, and scruffy gringos.

A long, long time ago, Zipolite beach was usually visited by the Zapotecans...who made it a magical place. They came to visit Zipolite to meditate, or just to rest.

Recently, this beach has begun to receive day-trippers from Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, giving it a more TOURISTY feel than before.

Most people come here for the novelty of the nude beach, yoga, turtles, seafood, surf, meditation, vegetarians, discos, party, to get burnt by the sun, or to see how long they can stretch their skinny budget.

I post WWW Oaxaca, Mexico, Zipolite and areas nearby information. Also general budget, backpacker, surfer, off the beaten path, Mexico and beyond, information.

REMEMBER: Everyone is welcome at Zipolite.



Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Trip report: Oaxacan coast (Zipolite, Mazunte, Huatulco) Lonely Planet Get off at the big four way intersection in Pochutla and ask the driver where to stand for colectivos heading to Zipolite/Mazunte. The whole trip to ...

Trip report: Oaxacan coast (Zipolite, Mazunte, Huatulco)
Get off at the big four way intersection in Pochutla and ask the driver where to stand for colectivos heading to Zipolite/Mazunte. The whole trip to ...

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In April I spent a week in Zipolte and had an excellent time. It came about a week after Holy Week (Semana Santa), which surprisingly meant the "peak" prices were still in effect at most places, although toward the end of my trip, the prices started going back down.
Flew from Mexico City to Huatulco airport. As all the online advice recommends, it's worth it to grab a taxi outside of the airport. Instead of 500-600 pesos, you can get a colectivo taxi for about 30. Walk down the driveway, turn right, and go about 100 meters to a big tree with shade, which seemed to be a popular waiting area. Colectivos were coming by every 10-15 minutes. These will take you to Pochutla. Get off at the big four way intersection in Pochutla and ask the driver where to stand for colectivos heading to Zipolite/Mazunte. The whole trip to Zipolite should take about an hour and cost about 30-40 pesos total. You may be packed in the car like sardines, but it's worth the savings, in my opinion! Speaking of transportation, colectivos and camionetas (trucks with seating in the back) were plentiful during my week there, regardless of where I was going between Pochutla, Puerto Angel, Zipolite, and Mazunte. Just stand on the side of the main road and flag them down. I never waited more than 15 minutes.
There's a large variety of accommodation options in Zipolite. The cheapest is renting a hammock or pitching a tent. A couple places have dorms, I believe for about 100 pesos. Your own room or bungalow can go from about 300 (shared bathroom) to 500-600 (private bathroom) and more if you really want to splurge. I stayed at the Posada Mexico for 350, with shared bathroom, for a couple of nights, and La Loma Linda for about 650, with my own bathroom. Both I highly recommend. Posada Mexico is on the beach, whereas La Loma Linda is up on a hill, but has incredible views. It just depends on what you want. Many places have wifi, and the cell service was pretty good.
For food and drink, the options are awesome. Many places have a happy hour drink special where you get two drinks (or one big one) for 50-60 pesos. Most places the happy hour is actually all day :) Otherwise, beers are usually 20-25. A simple but filling basic meal (such as tacos, tlyuda, torta) is 50-70. If you want to step up a bit, plan for around 100. Some of the really nice places around town hover around 150-200.
I highly recommend the boat trip with the Azul Profundo company, based in Puerto Angel. I arranged it with my hotel in Zipolite the night before, and they picked me up the next morning. The whole thing was 250 pesos. They say the trip duration could be 4-6 hours, depending on what you see (they try to do their best to ensure you see a nice variety of creatures). We apparently got lucky and saw sea turtles, two types of dolphins, various birds, and more within about two hours, so it ended up being a shorter trip, but we were all very happy with it! Tip: bring sunscreen and a bag to store your stuff in; you end up going in and out of the water quite a bit, and the boat doesn't have much built-in storage, so you'll want a place to quickly store your sunglasses and camera while you jump in the water to swim with the dolphins for a bit! And the boat is very exposed, so sunscreen is essential.
Lastly, the age-old question: Zipolite or Mazunte? I'm happy with choosing Zipolite this trip, but both places seemed great. This was my second time to Zipolite, so I had a built-in bias for it anyway, but Mazunte seemed cool too. I did an afternoon trip there to visit the local handmade cosmetics store and the turtle center (both are must-sees, by the way). In total, I only spent a few hours there, so I don't feel qualified to provide a detailed Mazunte/Zipolite comparison.
In terms of money, I had about a 1,200 pesos/day budget (including basic souvenirs), which I stuck to fairly easily. There IS an ATM in Zipolite, as well as Mazunte. The Zipolite one has a steep 100 peso fee. I didn't use the Mazunte one, so not sure about its fee.
In summary, I had a fantastic time, spent mostly lounging around and sampling the food and drink, with a couple of afternoon excursions thrown in just to mix it up. Very relaxing and peaceful, which is just what I wanted!
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Thanks for that report. Could you tell us how many tourists were there? Did they appear mostly foreign or domestic? How were the water conditions? And did you take any steps to ensure your security there?
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In terms of tourists, I knew it was going to be considered high season when I got there so I did book my first three nights ahead of time just to be safe. My last few nights I arranged on the spot without a problem. Overall, the town was moderately full, it seemed like. A good level. It was about one third domestic, two thirds foreign.
Water conditions seemed typical (i.e., dangerous). I waded in a few times to my waist, and I saw some people surfing, but this isn't really a place to have a nice swim. Strong undertow.
Security-wise, I didn't feel unsafe, and I was by myself most of the whole time. Most accommodations include a security box or locker in your room so you can store any valuables and documents.

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