An easy 45-minute flight from Oaxaca City in a puddle jumper, we arrived on la costa de Oaxaca, transported to a new reality. Reminiscent of Haight-Ashbury—peace/love/marijuana/barefoot hippies, spiritual awakenings, and oh yes… nudity.
The four beach burgs that dot the 150 mile stretch of coast between the Huatulco and Puerto Escondido (each with small airports) comprise gritty streets, small rustic to exclusive accommodations, mariscos y cerveza, big surf, fabulous walking beaches, and expat locals that look like they have been here way too long.
Who am I to judge the good life of others?
Hot and humid is the climate each day—so the lack of hot showers is a non-issue. AC—ha… fans are abundant, along with mosquito nets and sheets only.
Cubrebocas (masks) are almost nonexistent, a complete reversal from la Ciudad de Oaxaca where everyone masks up. We continue to mask up around others and take precautions.
The following is a brief description of beach towns and playas to orient you on your coastal adventure:
Oaxaca – Puerto Escondido
The largest of the beach towns bookending the most popular beaches along the Oaxacan coast, Puerto Escondido is a port and a resort destination known for several delightful beaches and buzzing nightlife. Playa Zicatela, known for its surf pipelines and 3.5K of golden sand, is popular with surfers and beach walkers. If swimming and snorkeling are what you are looking for, head to Playa Carrizalillo, although the 170 steps down to la playa may be a deterrent for some.
Oaxaca – Manzunte
Seekers of enlightenment and spiritual awakening flock to Mazunte, the home to the Hridaya Meditation Retreat, yoga classes, vegetarian restaurants, Reiki training, tiendas with organic produce and natural products, massage venues, and a more bohemian lifestyle. Home to a turtle sanctuary, playa Mazunte is walkable and offers small open-air restaurants and bars and a large party scene.
Oaxaca – San Agustinillo
Ideal for beach walking, playa San Agustinillo is more relaxed with a quieter vibe.
Surfers congregate on the main beach to catch the incoming waves. It borders on the north with a small cove, playa Bebe. This stretch is swimmable and offers decent snorkeling when the waters are calm.
To the south, playa Aragon has powerful waves and undertow and can be accessed during low tide for privacy and more great walking. Need a break from the sun? Stop by the local beach bar with the green beach chairs for a cerveza and ceviche. Located on the hill between Mazunte and San Agustinillo are two quite different, but nice accommodations, Posada Arigalan and Posada Olivio.
A great location to access playa Mazunte and playa San Agutinillo.
Oaxaca – Zipolite
If you prefer to sunbathe, stroll and swim sans suit, playa Zipolite is the place. No swimwear is required here.
Zipolite offers one main street, stocked with small restaurants, hotels, and tiendas.
Don Franco restaurant delivers some of the best Italian food in the area. This small beach burg is a bit of a throwback to the hippie days of the 1970s.
Oaxaca – Puerto Angel
In this authentic local fishing village, you can find amazing shrimp tacos near the main dock and a small, sheltered beach, good for swimming across the bay.
A quiet burg, Puerto Angel offers a glimpse into traditional Mexican life in this small port town. The best snorkeling is located 2K from town at Playa Estacahuite. It’s off the beaten path, a quiet and beautiful bay with small palapas serving great ceviche and cold beer.
Oaxaca – Huatulco
The most developed of the towns, Huatulco, is not sitting directly at the water but offers more of a resort experience with a variety of restaurants and marinas. Many beaches are nearby, but a vehicle will be necessary to reach most of them. There is a small airport where you can catch flights to Oaxaca and to larger cities in Mexico, and even a twice-a-week flight to Dallas.
Which of these Oaxaca coastal locations would you like to explore? Visit or stay? Let us know how we can help to make your dream a reality.
by: Gwen Hyatt