What to Do & Where to Stay in Mazunte & Zipolite – Mexico’s hippie, nudist, yoga hotspot
The Oaxaca Coast is home to some of the best, most unique and interesting beaches in Mexico; Puerto Escondido – the best place to surf in Mexico, Mazunte – a ‘pueblo magico’ and a yoga hotspot, and Zipolite – home to Mexico’s only official LGBTQ+ friendly nudist beach, and not forgetting the beautiful bays and resorts around Huatulco.
Mazunte and Zipolite are two magical, unique, laidback Oaxaca beach towns that are becoming known as Mexico’s best yoga hotspot and hippie hangout that offers a more authentic, affordable and unique experience to the touristy beaches around Cancun.
I fell in love and spent the most time in Mazunte and Zipolite, so in this post I’m going to focus on what to do and where to stay in Mazunte and Zipolite. Whether you’re coming for the surf or yoga scene, to enjoy sunbathing au naturel, or just to experience some of Mexico’s less touristy beaches, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Mazunte and Zipolite.
Mazunte and Zipolite may be small Oaxaca beach towns, but it still pays to do some research into where to stay in Mazunte and Zipolite. There are some stunning boutique beach resorts and a good range of budget hotels in Mazunte and Zipolite, but as they are only small towns there isn’t a huge amount of accommodation here yet so it’s worth booking in advance to ensure you have the best experience possible once you arrive.
I fell in love with the laidback lifestyle and friendly community in Mazunte and Zipolite and ended up staying much longer than expected. I hope that you’ll love it as much as I did.
To help you here’s my tips for what to do and where to stay in Mazunte and Zipolite – my favourite Oaxaca beach towns. (I’ve also included some tips for Puerto Escondido as this is the easiest place to fly into to explore the Oaxaca Coast and is also well worth a visit – especially if you’re into surfing).
The Best Beaches in Oaxaca: Puerto Escondido, Mazunte and Zipolite
Oaxaca is one of Mexico’s most loved, colourful and enchanting regions due to it’s vibrant festivals, unique cuisine, indigenous culture and spectacular landscapes. The coast here is home to some of the most laidback beaches in Mexico as well as great surf, sealife spotting opportunities and yoga retreats.
Mazunte and Zipolite are tiny beach towns on the Pacific (West) Coast in the magical state of Oaxaca that offer a more laid back, more authentic and more affordable alternative to the popular beaches on the Yucatan Peninsular.
Even though the towns are small there’s plenty of yoga, meditation, alternative therapies and healing experiences on offer and a community of like minded people to connect with. Zipolite is also Mexico’s only nudist beach and very LGBTQ friendly.
The laid back vibes and friendly communities here (and the prospect of that long, winding, bus ride) make it hard to leave – you might fall in love and get stuck here for a while like I did!
Puerto Escondido – The best place to surf in Mexico
I started my exploration of the Oaxaca Coast in Puerto Escondido, one of the best places to surf in Mexico due to the consistently massive waves on Zicatela Beach created by what’s known as The Mexican Pipeline.
The waves here are pretty intimidating for swimmers or novice surfers so it’s a good idea to join one of the surf camps in Puerto Escondido if you want to work your way up to riding them.
There’s a hip, bohemian, tropical island vibe, especially around the La Punta area, and plenty of cafes and bars. See more tips on Puerto Escondido here.
Where to Stay in Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido may be a small surf town but it’s quite spread out. There are 3 main areas to stay in Puerto Escondido – Playa Carrizalillo has the best beach and is close to the main town, Zicatela is best for surfers and nightlife but I liked the laidback island vibes of La Punta best.
There’s many amazing hotels and places to stay in Puerto Escondido (click here for the full article) but here are my top 3 favourites:
Puerto Escondido is one of the best surf spots in Mexico so stay at a surf camp and learn the ride the waves and speak Spanish. Oasis is my favourite surf camp in Puerto Escondido with friendly and fun instructors and fully equipped apartments near Playa Carrizalillo complete with swimming pool. Click here to check prices.
This is a great value option in the heart of La Punta just steps from the beach. The comfortable rooms here are unbeatable value with rustic chic design and private balconies overlooking the tropical greenery. I love the swings and colourful tropical flowers in the cafe and cocktail bar downstairs. Click here to check prices.
The Zicatela branch of Selina, the popular coliving hostel chain, is just steps from the beach. With tropical gardens around a shady swimming pool, a range of funky accommodation, cafe and bar with a buzzing social scene it’s the best place to stay in Puerto Escondido for digital nomads and anyone who wants a fun, chic stay. Click here to check prices.
Mazunte – The yoga hotspot of Mexico
Mazunte is a sleepy pueblo mágico (magical town) of low key, thatched and adobe buildings surrounded by two beaches on either side of a magical wave lashed headland called La Cometa. Trekking over there to watch the sunset is kind of a pilgrimage or spiritual ritual and one of the best things to do in Mazunte.
There’s a special energy on the peninsular and I wasn’t surprised to hear that La Cometa has been a sacred space since pre-Hispanic times. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the sunset point and bring a torch for the way back (More on that here)
There are a couple of yoga hotspots in Mexico now, but for laid back hippie hangout vibes with a huge variety of other offerings like ecstatic dance, cacao ceremonies, kirtan, tantra, temazcal, massage, reiki, breathwork and mediation workshops then Mazunte is definitely the place to go.
Hridaya Yoga is the most famous yoga retreat in Mazunte, they offer many yoga retreats as well as popular 3 or 10 day silent mediation retreats but there’s plenty of activities to drop in to and try across the town if you just want to dabble instead of joining a retreat.
Casa Om is also a great place for drop in classes with a variety of different styles and practices each day and also offers accommodation and a residential package. Uma Yoga offers an intimate 4 day chakra journey yoga and mediation retreat in the jungle. You can find more yoga retreats in Oaxaca and read real reviews on bookyogaretreats.com.
You can also find out what’s going on in Mazunte and Zipolite on the Conscious Community Facebook group. If you’ve been to places like Goa and Koh Phangan you might even see a few familiar faces here!
Mazunte is home to Mexico’s Turtle Conservation Centre (however it’s currently closed due to Covid) but you can also take a boat trip to spot dolphins, whales and tortoises. It’s also a great place to learn Spanish in super relaxed surroundings at Instituto Iguana.
Vegans and vegetarians are spoiled for choose in Mazunte as this tiny town has probably the best healthy, vegetarian food scene in Mexico. One of my favourite hangouts is Terraza del Arquitecto with it’s healthy smoothie bowls, delicious cocktails and stunning sea views.
The sushi and pizza restaurants next door are also excellent and there’s an great bakery and smoothie bar in the middle of the main street. Almost opposite from that is El Armadillo which serves amazing vegan food and I also liked Luz del Sol, a vegetarian restaurant slightly out of town on the way to Hridaya. There’s not much nightlife in Mazunte though.
Where to Stay in Mazunte
There are some beautiful boutique resorts and budget hotels and hostels in Mazunte to choose from, but there isn’t a huge amount of accommodation in Mazunte so it’s a good idea to choose where to stay in Mazunte in advance to book it to avoid disappointment as Mazunte grows in popularity.
Most of Mazunte’s accommodation can be found near the 2 beaches – Playa Rinconcito and Playa Mermejita, or along Calle Rinconcito, the main street. There’s also budget accommodation found on the sandy tracks near Casa Om and Institutio Iguana.
You can walk from one end of Mazunte to the other in about 30 minutes, but in the hot midday Mexican sun it can feel like quite a slog, especially if you’re getting late for a yoga class, so choose your accommodation near to the yoga school, language school or beach to make you trip easier.
Here’s my pick of the best places to stay in Mazunte:
This beautiful 5 star eco boutique resort is perched in a stunning location on the cliffs between Mazunte beach and San Agustinillon. With incredible views from the plush rooms, swimming pool and restaurant and plenty of activities on site it’s the perfect place to stay to get away from it all. It’s only a 5 minute walk to the beach. Click here to check prices. If Zoa is fully booked for your dates check out Cocolia Hotel
The only luxury beach resort in Mazunte with plush beach facing rooms with private patios boasting wonderful views over the beach and the swimming pool and walking distance to all the action on Mazunte’s main street. Click here to check prices
The best budget hotel in Mazunte right on Rinconcito beach. Rooms are simple yet comfortable but the highlight is the large sea facing balconies complete with hammocks and friendly hosts. Click here to check prices
One of the best luxury yoga retreats in Mazunte, held at the beautiful and eco friendly Hotel El Copal. Practice yoga, relax with a massage and enjoy the infinity pool with views overlooking the jungle and quiet Mermejita beach. Click here to check prices.
If you’re looking for a budget friendly stay close to everything in Mazunte with all the amenities of home including fully equipped kitchenettes, air conditioning and wifi check out the comfortable fully equipped bungalows at Casa Mazunte. Some bungalows can sleep 6 people making it a good choice for a gorup of friends of families. Click here to check prices
A super conveniently located option on the main street with a nice swimming pool and restaurant, comfortable rustic chic rooms with AC and private balconies complete with hammocks. It’s location is literally right in the middle of everything. Click here to check prices
Another popular choice is Hotel Pochote Mazunte although the location on the main road can make it a bit noisy.
Zipolite – Mexico’s only nudist beach
Just down the road from Mazunte is Zipolite – Mexico’s only official nudist beach! Zipolite is fun, open minded and very LGBTQ friendly.
Like Mazunte, Zipolite is blissfully rustic and low key and you can walk around the whole place in less than 1 hour, but it’s also a bit more lively for nightlife with 2 for 1 sunset cocktail offers in the beach palapas, a small artisan market along the main street in the evening, and some low key parties in the beach shacks happening most nights. I even bumped into some psytrance DJ’s I knew from Goa playing in Zipolite.
Even though Zipolite is Mexico’s only nudist beach, it’s not obligatory to be naked in Zipolite. I’d say probably only 1/4 of people were nude and the beach is also popular with backpackers, hippies and Mexican couples and families.
There are a handful of hotels where it’s mandatory to be nude, but most places do require you to at least cover up with a sarong when off the beach.
Zipolite is a super relaxed and friendly place where the best thing to do is to eat fish tacos, drink mojitos, make new friends and simply relax! There’s a lovely long stretch of sand with crashing azure waters (beware of the strong current) and low key development.
I didn’t take as many photos of the beach as I’d have liked because it felt rude to take photos when people were naked.
Playa Amor, a hidden cove and nude beach reached over a headland at the southern end of Zipolite beach, has a basic shack bar and is a popular hangout for nudists and the LGBTQ community.
There’s also an art house cinema in the town which also hosts events and a few places offering yoga, ecstatic dance and alternative healing activities without having to go to Mazunte. Check out La Loma Linda, Camp Zipolite and El Alquimista.
You won’t have to wonder far for some tasty food in Zipolite. One of my favourite beachside restaurants was Sal y Pimienta for great value massive burgers and fish tacos right on the beach.
The beach front restaurant at the lovely Pousada Mexico where I stayed also served great Mexican and Italian food. I loved the breakfasts at Le Castelet and I also ate alot in Entropia.
For something different, Mao Mau serves great Thai, sushi and Asian food and the beautiful Restaurante El Alquimista would be my top recommendation for a romantic dinner.
Where to Stay in Zipolite
Zipolite is also a small town with most accommodation in Zipolite being located around the main street, Roca Blanca, or around the area near Playa Amor. There’s also some beautiful boutique resorts tucked away around Palay Camaron at the North end of Zipolite Beach.
I found the hotels in Zipolite to be little cheaper than Mazunte and there was better nightlife. Whether you choose to stay in Mazunte or Zipolite it’s quick, easy and cheap to get between the two so you can have the best of both worlds.
Here’s my pick of the best places to stay in Zipolite:
This famous adults only hotel is a beautiful beach front property with stylishly rustic yet super comfortable rooms with AC and balconies to soak up the amazing ocean views. There’s a small swimming pool, a great beach bar and restaurant and plenty of quirky, Instagrammable features. It’s not obligatory to be naked though and actually I never saw anyone naked there! Click here to check prices.
A gorgeous collection of arty, rustic chic huts in a tropical garden paradise right on the beach. Rooms are great value and the staff are lovely. There’s also a restaurant right on the beach serving good Mexican and Italian cuisine. If Posada Mexico is full, Hotel Estrella De Mar and Hotel Buda Mar are also good beach front choices. Click here to check prices.
For the full Zipolite nude experience, Casa Nudista is a super conveniently and centrally located budget and LGBT friendly nudist hotel with both private rooms and dormitories. This is one of the only Zipolite hotels that is 100% nudist where nudism is obligatory! There’s also a swimming pool, nudist events and live music nights. Click here to check prices.
Beautiful adults only suites with incredible views over the Playa Camaron from the infinity pool, yoga shala and hot tubs. Clothing is optional apart from in the lobby and restaurant areas. Click here to check prices.
A beautiful boutique hotel with a spa, daily yoga classes and an adults only swimming pool. The stylish rooms have terraces, some with a sea view, and it’s also home to one of the best restaurants in Zipolite. It’s close to Hotel Noga which is another good choice tucked away in the jungle and mangroves. Click here to check prices.
For those on a budget, there are also some basic beach huts on Zipolite beach but you can’t book these online. I enquired about the price but can’t remember now how much they were – but they were more expensive than Hostal Teresa, the cheapest Zipolite hotel you can book online, and had less facilities, but then you do wake up right on the beach! You can also pitch a tent under the shade there for a small fee.
The cheapest hotel with AC is Hotel Zipolite, which also has a swimming pool and a super central location right on the beach and in the middle of the main street.
If you want to explore even more beaches there’s also San Agustinillo – the smallest and most peaceful beach, in between Mazunte and Zipolite, and the small fishing village of Puerto Angel. There’s also many beautiful bays and beaches around Huatulco with more upmarket 5 star and all inclusive resorts.
Practical Travel Tips: How to Get to Mazunte and Zipolite
Falling in love with the Oaxaca beaches is easy, but getting there can be a bit tricky.
Puerto Escondido has an airport so makes a good entry point but traveling from Oaxaca City is a bit of a mission and traveling to Mazunte and Zipolite is a bit of an adventure which is probably one of the reasons why this coast hasn’t been totally overun with tourists.
Don’t worry though, I’ll let you know how to get to this slice of paradise.
How to get to Puerto Escondido
Puerto Escondido Airport (PXM) makes a great gateway to the Oaxaca Coast. There are direct budget flights from Mexico City that take about 1 hour, much quicker than a 19 hour bus ride! You can connect in Mexico City from an international flight to reach Puerto Escondido quickly and easily. Check Skyscanner to find the best deals.
There are also flights to Guadalajara. Huatulco Airport (HUX) is 100 km away and has direct flights to Canada. There’s also 30 minute scenic flights from Oaxaca City to Puerto Escondido but these are more expensive and get booked up way in advance. See prices, availability and book here.
How to get to Puerto Escondido from Oaxaca City
If you’re already in Oaxaca you can take a bus from Oaxaca City to either Puerto Escondido or Pochutla.
If you suffer from motion sickness I recommend the less windy but longer route with the more comfortable and more expensive ADO or OCC bus which takes about 11 hours. It’s a popular route so you should book your bus online in advance.
Another option is to take a mini bus from Oaxaca to Pochutla (which is closer to Mazunte and Zipolite) and only takes 7 hours. It’s the most direct but also the most windy route although I did it and really didn’t find it too bad, but then I don’t normally suffer from motion sickness. From Pochutla you can take a local bus, taxi or transfer to Puerto Escondido which will take 1 – 2 hours.
How to get to Mazunte and Zipolite from Puerto Escondido
Mazunte and Zipolite are only about 1 hour from Puerto Escondido although getting there can be a little difficult.
From Puerto Escondido, I took the Transportes Delfines bus that leaves from across the road from the Chedraui supermarket heading to Pochutla and Huatulco. I had to get off at Crucero de San Antonio and took the collectivo to Mazunte and Zipolite. It took about 1 and a half hours and cost 50 MXN for the bus and 20 MXN for the collectivo.
The easiest and most convenient way to get to Mazunte from Puerto Escondido is to book a transfer that will take you from your hotel in Puerto Escondido straight to your hotel in Mazunte.
Or why not make a day out of it with a transport and tour bundle from GuateGo that will pick you up from your hotel in Puerto Escondido and visit the Ventalina ecological zone, Mexican turtle Centre, Mazunte, Zipolite and Puerto Angel before dropping you at your hotel in Zipolite. See more details here and book your trip.
Mazunte and Zipolite are only 15 minutes apart and collectivos run between them, stopping at San Agustinillo for 10 MXN so it’s easy to get between the two and you could even choose to stay in one town and visit the other on a day trip.
How to get to Mazunte and Zipolite from Oaxaca
There are a couple of options for getting to Mazunte and Zipolite from Oaxaca City and vice versa. The quickest and most expensive is to take a 30 minute scenic small plane flight to Puerto Escondido and then a 1 hour taxi from there. The flight offers fantastic views but is expensive and gets booked up way in advance. Check prices and availability here.
Most people take the bus. You have two options – If you suffer from motion sickness opt for the longer, less windy route with the more comfortable and more expensive ADO bus to Puerto Escondido and then take a taxi, transfer or local bus from there to Mazunte and Zipolite. The bus travels overnight and takes about 11 hours. It’s a popular route so you should book your bus online in advance.
If you’re OK with windy roads then head to Potchula and hop on one of the mini buses which takes the most direct but also most windy route. It’s the cheapest and quickest option at only 7 hours and I didn’t find it that bad, but then I don’t normally get travel sick.
If you’re heading from Mazunte or Zipolite to Oaxaca City then you can make life easier by booking this combined transfer and bus ticket which will pick up you in Zipolite and take you to Pochutla and get you on the Lineas Unidas minibus to Oaxaca. You can book it here.
You could also break up the journey after about 3 hours stop off at San Jose del Pacifico for great mountain views, hikes and magic mushrooms! If you want to book the transfer and bus to San Jose click here.
How to get from Mazunte to Zipolite
Mazunte and Zipolite are just 3.5 miles apart and a 20 minute taxi or collectivos/pasajeros (shared pick up trucks with benches and a kind of tent covering) run between them for about 10 MXN so you can easily explore both of them. You could also rent a bike to explore the area.
Visiting Mazunte and Zipolite during Covid (2021)
Mexico is literally the only country to be open consistently throughout the pandemic to travellers of all nationalities without any testing, quarantine or vaccination requirements.
Another thing to note, as many people have asked me about this, is that while everyone in Mexico’s cities are wearing masks everywhere all the time, even outside, and every building requires temperature checks and santisiation to enter, on the Oaxaca Coast everyone seems very chill and you can almost forget about Covid apart from some of the restaurant staff wearing masks.
Read more about my experience backpacking solo around Mexico during the pandemic , the route I took from Mexico City, along the Oaxaca Coast, to Oaxaca and my tips for traveling Mexico during the pandemic.
No where’s perfect so I feel it’s only fair to list the downsides too.
Although the beaches are beautiful be really careful swimming in the ocean on the Oaxaca Coast as the sea can be pretty rough with strong currents.
In hot season it was quite unbearable without AC, and I’m used to the tropical heat. The rains weren’t as bad as they are in Goa though.
Digital nomads beware – the Oaxaca coast doesn’t have great internet. The wifi in many hotels and cafes was pretty weak and would drop out alot and often there was no service on my local sim card.
Also, there’s not a huge amount of accommodation to choose from in the small towns of Mazunte and Zipolite so it’s a good idea to book in advance. Sometimes I felt it was a little pricey for what it was but maybe I’m just too used to South Asia prices….Overall, I found Zipolite to be a little cheaper than Mazunte.
Have you been to Mazunte and Zipolite? Any more travel tips you’d like to share? Leave them in the comments below 🙂