I wont stop traveling until i’ve seen the sun set from every coast.Unknown
November 6-23 2017
We traveled down to the Oaxacan Coast in Southern Mexico after spending time in Oaxaca City. We opted to fly in a small Cessna Caravan 10 seat airplane as opposed to taking what is affectionately known as the ‘puke bus’ due to the winding mountainous roads inbetween.
Our first stop was the famous surfing town, Puerto Escondido. The town has a few different beaches and they are all unique. Playa Carrizalillo was our favourite beach. To get to it, you have to walk down a dirt road and then walk down about one hundred steps. When you get to the bottom, it’s a little bit of paradise. It’s a small beach but there are a bunch of restaurant so you can claim a table or a couple of lounge chairs and spend the day drinking coconuts and eating great food.
Playa Zicatela is the big beach in Puerto Escondido and is where all of the surfing happens. It’s a wide and long beach and the waves are great since the water is much more open. We stayed just a couple of blocks from the two mile long beach and were fascinated by the enormous waves, known as the ‘Mexican Pipeline’. We went for a swim a few times but it’s best to stay close to the shore. The beach is very wide and while we were there it wasn’t very crowded, which made for a very laid back atmosphere.
We rented a motorbike for a few days during our stay to get around, takeing a drive out of town and into the lush Oaxacan countryside. One of our stops was at Laguna Manialtepec, where we went kayaking on the enormous lake, venturing into the mangroves that lined the shore and watching the many birds that call the area home.
One day we decided to head to the small village of La Punta, which is located at the far southern end of Playa Zicatela. A completely different town, vibe, and wave then Puerto Escondido. We enjoyed eating at one of the many restaurants and afterwards took in the beautiful sunset.
Leaving Puerto Escondido, we headed further down the coast to the town of Mazunte, which took a little over an hour by colectivo and then a chicken bus for the last couple of miles.
While others flock to the likes of Cancun and Cabo, those looking for an authentic Mexican beach getaway will find it in Mazunte. The waves are as strong as the sun, the roads are mostly unpaved and there’s a real sense of community here even if most people are just passing through. Oaxaca’s shoreline seems to be littered with tropical beaches and inspiring coastal scenery ideal for the artist, writer, musician or hippie.
Our AirBnb which was a part of a small hotel was located just steps from the beach, with an amazing view from our balcony where we would spend many evenings chilling in hamocks.
When we arrived the town was very quiet, but the weekend while we were there an International Jazz festival was taking place, so the town quickly filled up for the festivites before emptying again at the end of our stay. We really enjoyed the music and watching the town transform before and after.
One day we headed to a lookout point known as Punta Cometa. We walked a couple of miles through some jungle and then out onto a peninsula where we took in the sunset.
It was such an amazing sight that we ended up doing it again, but this time heading to a beach further down below, known as Playa Mermejita, a long beach with groups doing yoga and some rocks which we climbed on to enjoy the views.
In Mazunte and just a couple of blocks from our apartment was the National Turtle Center of Mexico, here we were able to check out the many different species of turtles that call Mexico home. I never thought I’d enjoy looking at turtles so much, but it was really cool and we ended up spending quite a bit of time taking it all in.
Lastly, we decided to head out of Mazunte and go a few miles down the road to another beach town, known as Zipolite. Zipolite translates into ‘Death Beach’ in the local indigenous language, and while we were able to swim in the water along with a lot of other people, it was apparant why. Rip currents were strong if you ventured into the wrong area, while giant waves broke right in front of you. Before heading to this part of Mexico I had debated about which town to stay in, Mazunte or Zipolite, and while Zipolite was a bit bigger and probably had more variety, I think we made the right choice as the beach in Mazunte was far better for swimming, with the Jazz Festival being the icing on the cake.
After a little over two weeks it was time to continue on, leaving Mazunte we headed to the nearby commercial center of San Pedro Potchutla to being a 10 hour bus ride to the state of Chiapas where we would be staying in San Cristobal de las Casas, away from the warm beaches, high in the pine forest mountains of Mexico.