Travel Blog 22: Oaxaca’s Pacific Coast: Zipolite

From this journey’s beginning, Oaxaca coast was always the destination. I didn’t have a specific town, but I knew the coast of Oaxaca was where I wanted to be. On February 7th, my 136th day of this voyage, I reached Zipolite!!

Highway 200 is the major inland road that runs along the Pacific Coast. It has many off-shoots to see various towns on the actual beach. Perhaps the most famous side-road detour is the loop to Puerto Angel, Zipolite, San Augustinillo, and Mazunte. All four of these villages have uniquely different vibes. Puerto Ángel is a fishing town, populated mainly by locals. Zipolite is the nude beach community. San Augustinillo is a quieter, calmer crowd. Mazunte is the most touristy with travelers walking the streets and beaches.

My options were the fisherman locals in Puerto Angel, retired wealthy folks in San Augustinillo, “too cool” travelers in Mazunte, and people feeling free in Zipolite. Out of all four, I felt the most comfortable in Zipolite. The nudity is strange to adapt to at first, but quickly becomes very natural. Men and women, old and young, walk the beach with nothing but a beer in their hand. Everyone had a smile on their face, waving at others as they walked. Zipolite is possibly the least judgmental place I’ve come across. The community “sin ropas” (without clothes) has a long two kilometers beach and a secret hidden beach that require rock stairs. At the top of the rock steps sits a bar with an overlook offering the best view of both beaches and the sunset resting over the Pacific.

Zipolite provides any visitor whatever they want. Beach hotels have direct access to the soft sand and perfect water temperature. Further up the beach has restaurants with candlelight dinners beside the waves. Continuing along the beach sits bars with lights and dj’s for a dance party. Tucked behind is an inland community with outdoor restaurants, street performers playing music, and people from all over the world. The best part of Zipolite is the freedom for a road traveler like myself to park in a dirt lot directly on the beach for free.

I can promise there is no more free feeling than waking up to the sound of waves to brew a coffee in the back of Blaze, walk naked into the sea, and take a stroll with nothing more than a drink. Zipolite is the sort of town I could trust leaving my car unattended with the keys in it. There is no true way to describe it. You just have to see for yourself.

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