Although there are a few resorts in Mexico that cater to nudists, there is only one Playa Zipolite. A whole beach dedicated to feeling the sun on your face (and other parts!)
Playa Zipolite is one of a few beach towns on the souther coast of Oaxaca that are close to one another. Playa Zipolite kind of runs along the same rustic hippie as Mazunte vibe except that it is a well known nudist beach.
All the beaches of southern Oaxaca are stunning, sandy golden colored wide pieces of paradise with wild ocean waves. The main reason most people come to these beaches is to relax and do absolutely nothing. On Playa Zipolite you can do nothing at all and if you want, wear absolutely no clothing at all since clothing is optional.
Not the whole beach is nude though. You can rest assured that the main beach by the Hotel Nude Zipolite is the nudist area. You can wear as many or as few clothes as you want!
Where to Stay in Playa Zipolite
Hotel Descalzo – a boutique hotel that is right on the beach with beach bar and pool. A little higher priced but attractive with a rustic design and well kept up hotel. Prime location. This is a great hotel for families with kids as the cabanas are a comfortable option when bringing your family.
El Alquimista Yoga Spa – Beautiful hotel, very connected to nature and ideal for couples with an amazing sunset view.
Casa Flor De Mar – for a more medium range but still lovely hotel, check out Casa Flor De Mar. It is just a five minute walk away from the beach and located in dense, gorgeous grenery. Highly recommended.
If you decide to stay somewhere even cheaper stay in town at the Hotel Zipolite. It’s close to the beach and although not overly fancy, is good lodging with air conditioning and wifi. Rooms go for under $50 dollars per night.
The nudist part of the beach is just by the Hotel Nude which is the best place to stay if you want to take it all off.
If you want to pay as little as possible you can walk along the beach and looking for bungalows or cabanas. You can find some pretty rustic ones for around $10-20 per night. Bare in mind, you will basically be sleeping on the beach as there won’t be many amenities. Although for some, that can be pretty charming as well, depending on your style.
Remember though, although this is a gorgeous beach it’s not a great swimming beach. It is very rough and has claimed lives due to drowning. There is a very dangerous undertow so exercise caution when going in the ocean.
What to do in Playa Zipolite
There’s not really a lot to do in this little beach town. People basically come here just to relax by the beach and do nothing. That being said once you get tired of laying around on the beach there are some hikes and a limited number of tours you can take.
The Turtle Centre or Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga (Mexican Sea Turtle Center) is just down the road in Mazunte and is a safe harbor for many different species of sea turtles. It is an educational facility that showcases the many different kinds of turtles as well as the protection efforts of these frail species that were once hunted for food. The Centro is very educational and worth a look for sure. Make sure you check beforehand if the centre is open because it does have limited opening hours.
Also you may be able to see the turtles laying their eggs in the sand around June. There are also various tours on Playa Rinconcito whereby you can help the small baby sea turtles get set free into the ocean. If you choose your visit at the right time you may be able to be a part of this amazing cycle.
Be a Hippie and Enjoy the Vibe
There is nothing formal about Zipolite. This is a shorts and flip flops kind of place. All the restaurants and businesses are very relaxed. Dogs may wander in and out of your restaurant and street art is very prevalent. Chickens are kept in yards in residential areas. The feeling of the place is rustic, relaxed and laid back. There is no rush and if you ever want to feel the “manana” vibe, Zipolite is the place to go.
Check out a local Festival
If you time your visit to Zipolite properly you may be able to attend a festival. Of course this makes Zipolite and the surrounding area very busy and kind of defeats the purpose of relaxation but the festivals can be a lot of fun.
Probably the largest and most well known is the International Jazz Festival which takes place in the neighboring town of Mazunte around November. This pacific coast festival is so popular that it features many international and award winning musicians so if you are a fan of jazz, I would recommend hitting this one up.
If you are going to Zipolite specifically for the purpose of being nude than you won’t want to miss the Zipolite Nudist Festival or the Festival Nudista which is a 3 day event. This features lots of yoga, hiking, surfing and volleyball and guess what? You can do it all while naked as jaybird since Zipolite is a legal nude beach and clothing is definitely optional!
If you always wanted to “run away and join the circus” you won’t want to miss the Circus Festival or Festival of Circus Performing Arts. This festival usually takes place in March in Zipolite and Oaxaca City and features circus performances, circus information and workshops.
Hike up to Watch the Sunset at Punta Cometa
If you’re getting tired of sitting on the beach and would like to enjoy a hike, a most popular one is to hike up to the point of Punta Cometa in Mazunte. Mazunte and Zipolite are almost 4 miles apart and Playa San Agustinillo is the sister beach to Zipolite Beach. Punta Cometa is the high hill that separates them and is a popular hike to watch the sun go down.
There are many hiking trails that can get you up to Punta Cometa but when in doubt, ask the local for the best way to get to the point for the sunset views. Don’t forget to take bug spray and a flashlight because there are no lights going back down after the sun sets!
Restaurants in Zipolite
There are many good restaurants in Zipolite and you will have your choice depending on what you want to eat and how much you want to spend. But remember Zipolite’s seafood is one of the top attractions so don’t forget to have at least a little of the amazing seafood if you are a fan. Below are just a few of the highly recommended restaurants.
Gula Gula – If you want to be right on the beach first thing in the morning this place is for you. Hearty breakfasts including vegentarian options. Try the San Mateo sandwch at lunch or the Miranda smoothie.
El Alquimista – this lunch and dinner restaurant is right on the beach and located in the hotel of the same name. Highly rated for seafood. Try the tuna tacos with a hoisin like sauce, fresh and delicious. Great relaxing vibe but a little more expensive.
Posada Mexico – A little Italian joint close to the beach with pretty good pizza. Sometimes have a live band and a really hippie vibe! Good ravioli too. They also serve breakfast.
How to Get to Zipolite from the Airports
The charm of these little beach towns is partly due to the fact that they aren’t easy to get to. If you specifically want to go to Zipolite or Mazunte which are just a few miles from each other you will have to fly into Huatulco International Airport. The options for getting to Zipolite are pretty much the same if you fly into Puerto Escondido International Airport.
It is a similar to way to get to Zipolite from both of these towns. Of course, just like everything there are cheap and less comfortable ways to get there and more expensive and convenient ways to travel.
If you are coming from Mexico City, take one of the domestic budget airlines like Interjet or Viva Aerobus to Huatulco Airport. The one way cost is usually under $100 US so it is highly economical.
From the Huatulco International Airport you can take a taxi directly to Zipolite which is probably the most expensive way at approximately $50 US. This is actually the most comfortable and easiest way to get there. The ride from the airport is around 45 minutes.
Alternatively for a very cheap option, walk to the road and flag down a pasajero. This is a truck with benches in the back. If you have luggage this is really not a great option because the truck will be packed and there isn’t a lot of room. There are also a lot of stops so it will take a long time but if you have light luggage and want to travel for under $10 US than you may consider this option.
If you are going into Huatulco you can take the bus from the ADO bus station to Pochutla. Pochutla is another little town that is the connecting point to Zipolite. If you want to spread out your trip you can have lunch there before continuing on your journey. Once you’ve arrived in Pochutla, another pasajero or shared van can take you to Zipolite. You should be able to negotiate the ride to around $5 to 10 US. This is only a good option though if you are spending time in Huatulco because Huatulcoo is the opposite way from Mazunte so you will be backtracking a bit.
Probably the medium most economical option is to walk out onto the highway from the Huatulco Airport and flag down a taxi to take you to Pochutla. From Pochutla you can take shared van to Mazunte.
Bear in mind that the taxis at the airport are expensive and just by walking out to the road you can probably reduce the price around 50%. That being said, it is very hot and if you have lots of luggage this may not be the most comfortable way to travel.
Personally I find it fairly economical just to pay the taxi to Zipolite. But always make sure you negotiate the price before you get going or you could be in for a big bill when you reach your destination.
I have been able to negotiate a taxi from Huatulco to Mazunte for around $30 US one way but my husband is Mexican and knew the taxi driver so be prepared to pay higher than that unless you have a special circumstance.
The Best Time to Visit Zipolite
If you specifically want to attend the Jazz Festival or another festival you’ll obviously come at that time. Otherwise, Zipolite is the blessed kind of place that has sun all year. There is literally no time you can’t enjoy the beach with temperatures between 75 and 92 fahrenheit (32 C).
December to April is the higher season with more visitors and May is an especially humid and hot month. June through to November does have a rainy season with maybe 5 days monthly of rain. Rain here can be torrential so when it rains it rains very hard. But after that, the sun comes out hot again and you can be back on the beach!
There’s virtually no rain from December through April. The months of June through October see between 5-10 days of rain each, so it’s slightly wetter then.
Is Zipolite Safe or too Dangerous?
There is no indication that Zipolite is any more dangerous than any other parts of Mexico. Naturally use caution and don’t leave valuables out in plain view as there has been instances of theft. Use the same amount of caution that you would normally use when travelling to other parts of Mexico. If you are not looking to become involved in drugs or unsavory activities and take normal precautions for your own safety you shouldn’t have any trouble in Zipolite.
How to Get to Mazunte from Zipolite
If you want to check out the closest beach town from Zipolite which is Mazunte your best bet is a colectivo or camioneta. These are basically just trucks with benches in the back that will run in between the beach towns. They are probably around $1-2 US each or about 40-50 pesos. Just flag one down and you’re off to your next adventure. If you’re not sure where to catch it just ask a local.
So there you have it. Make sure to check out this interesting beach town and if you’re interested in learning about Zipolite’s sister town, Mazunte read about it here.