Beaches of Oaxaca
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  Posted March 26th, 2014 by Zdenko  in Travel | No comments yet.

Traveling Mexico

Source: Own Mexico portal

Spoiled by Oaxaca Coast
You will be spoiled with an abundance of things to do and see along the Oaxaca coast. There are so many beaches to explore, each with it’s own personality and charm. From Huatulco to Puerto Escondido, be amazed at the fascinating eco-tourism, beautiful landscape, delicious and fresh seafood, and warm Mexican culture the Oaxaca coast has to offer. Let’s take a tour…

puerto-angel-beaches-mapBeaches of Oxaca

Playa Panteon & Playa Principal
A 5-10 minute walk from the Viewpoint condo is beach of Playa Principal, the closest beach to Viewpoint and the hub of all fishing activities in the area.  The wharf is busiest in the mornings, where local fisherman bring in tuna, red snapper, sailfish, lobster and octopus. The beachfront is lined with chairs and umbrellas in front of restaurants serving this delicious fare, prepared just as you like it.  Watch the boats come in while you enjoy a cold cerveza and fresh seafood…this is the Puerto Angel experience. 

Playa-Panteon1In front of hotel Cordelias – Playa Panteon

The old concrete pier located at Playa Principal was built in the 1960′s for the purpose of shipping coffee and wood.  However, the new land roads linking Salina Cruz to Oaxaca, placed this port city on the back burner and the pier now stands as a monument, a place for children to play and place for tourists and locals to take leisurely strolls in the sunshine.

To get to Playa Principal, head into the town of Puerto Angel where you will find both the pier and the beach.

DSC_2656Small town of Puerto Angel and playa Principal

DSC_2658Playa Principal

Walk along the seawall from Playa Principal on the west side where you will arrive at Playa Panteon. This beautiful beach is surrounded by steep hills and is protected from the ocean currents of the Pacific.  The calm aquamarine waters make Playa Panteon one of the most popular beaches along the Oaxaca coast and ideal for water activities with the family such as swimming, snorkeling, kayaking and paddleboarding.  Small panga boats can also be rented here for a fun day of whale & dolphin watching, snorkel tours, fishing and beach tours.  During these tours you will be amazed at the diversity of marine flora and fauna, including three of Mexico’s seven species of marine turtles, the hawksbill turtle, prieta turtle and olive ridley turtle.

DSC_2651Playa Panteon and hotel Cordelias on the beach

We regularly take daytrips to unwind and enjoy Playa Panteon’s relaxing atmosphere. One of our favorite things to do is set up in front of our favorite restaurant, Cordelia’s, and make a day of paddle boarding, swimming and a game of bocce ball on the beach. The picture to the right is of Erin taking a new & curious friend from Mexico City for a paddleboard ride!

Viewpoint at Puerto Angel MexicoArial view of Puerto Angel and Viewpoint condominiums

To get to Playa Panteon from the Viewpoint condo, simply follow the road through town passing the main beach, head back up the hill and be on the lookout for the Playa Panteon sign. Or you can enter by the seawall from Playa Principal.

6 kilometres (4 miles) west of Puerto Angel is Playa Zipolite (see-poh-LEE-tay), a beach community best known for its amazing waves and ‘hippie’ culture.  Zipolite is a nearly pristine beach about forty meters wide and 2km long, with medium grain gold colored sand and blue-green water. This beach was featured in the Mexican blockbuster movie Y tu mamá también.” and has become very popular with foreign tourists and backpackers.  Zipolite is also popular for it’s nudity, mostly on the west end, so be warned that you may get an eyeful if you go!  Zipolite stretches from a small isolate cove called Playa del Amor on the east side to the new age Shambala retreat on the west end which is partially sheltered by rocks.  The beach is lined by swaying palms, rustic cabanas, hotels, restaurants and hammocks.

Because of the underwater currents residing offshore it is best to use caution when swimming.  A volunteer lifeguard team and flag system have been created to indicate where and when it is safest to swim.  Only the strongest swimmers and most skilled surfers and body boarders head out into deeper waters. Most stay shallow or simply enjoy the mesmerizing waves of Zipolite.

Zipolite-BeachPlaya in Zipolite

Walk along the main paved street (Aldoquin as the locals call it) where you can shop for authentic Mexican trinkets and clothing, or enjoy one of the many great restaurants offering standard Mexican to international cuisine, authentic Italian and vegetarian choices. Many of the local restaurants are owned by expatriate Italians and serve pasta dishes as well as pizza.  Enjoy tasty meals all for 1/4 to 1/2 the price you would pay back home – you can’t beat that! Although there are many beachside restaurants to choose from, we have a few favorites that we’d like to share with you.

El AquimistaEl Alquimista Restaurant

El Alquimista restaurant is located on the west end of the beach and offers delicious wood fired pizzas, tasty tuna medallions, thirst quenching mango margaritas and the famous Mixta Grill for 2 people – a delicious fare of grilled chicken, ribs, steak and sausage. It is sure to tantalize your tastebuds! El Alquimista provides great food and a relaxing atmosphere…all for half the price you would pay at home. We like to spend the entire day at El Alquimista, taking advantage of theirrelaxing spa and partaking in a yoga class in their newly built studio.

Another mealtime favorite is La Providencia, located on the second street perpendicular to the main entrance of Zipolite.  This amazing restaurant offers one of the best contemporary Mexico cuisine in the area.  Paco and Javier never cease to amaze us with their hospitality, amazing service and tasty fare. Specialties include delicious coconut shrimp in mango sauce, fresh tuna, beef medallions & stuffed chillies – Buen Provecho! 

Break the fast at ‘A Nice Place on the Beach’, owned by Greg, a fellow Canadian and lover of the area. This place is a great spot to visit in the morning and enjoy the famous ‘Canadian Breakfast’ while watching the massive Zipolite surf roll in. After breakfast relax in a hammock or walk the shoreline of this famous beach. This little gem is located off main street Zipolite.  Check out their Facebook page here.

We searched high & low for our favorite pizza place…and finally found it at Posada Mexico.  Located on the main street in Zipolite, Posada Mexico has a great relaxing and romantic vibe.  The Italian chefs do justice to their country’s cuisine with their delicious thin crust brick-oven pizza that will revive your tastebuds.  Enjoy 2-for-1 cocktails and great food while listening to the waves roll in.  Enjoy!

Relax on the beach, check out the shops at the Aldoquin, enjoy a spa day or participate in a yoga class at one of the 2 local studios.  Zipolite provides something for everyone and is as relaxing as it gets along the Oaxacan coastline.  On occasion, Zipolite has some nightlife; Barracuda bar, Livelula, and Babel Cafe all have live music from time to time where you can. Musical genres include, blues, jazz, funk, reggae as well as DJ’s liven up the relaxing vibe and allow travelers to let loose and dance the night away.  Zipolite will also get bands trickle in from the Puerto Escondido Music Festival.  One fan favorite is the Dave Rotundo band from Toronto – they will definitely get your feet tapping and hands clapping! Here’s a video of the band performing one of their originals.  Enjoy!

San Agustinillo
About a 15-minute drive west of Viewpoint down the Oaxaca coast is Playa San Agustinillo.  This 1300 meter long beach is divided into 3 sections by rocky jut-outs that reach into the ocean.  The far west end of the beach is called Playa Rinconcillo, a well-sheltered area that is great for swimming.  This area is where most of the fishermen offer boat and sportfishing tours.  The easternmost section is called Playa Aragon which has strong waves and undertow.  From June to December it is possible to see Olive Ridley turtles laying their eggs on the beaches of San Agustinillo. 

san-agustinillo-46629Playa San Agustinillo

All along the shoreline you can find great little rustic establishments with ecologic and European flair as many Italians and French own here.

Lindo restaurant on san agustinillo beach3Mexico Lindo Restaurant 

A great place to set up for a relaxing beach day is Mexico Lindo restaurant, located on the far west end of San Agustinillo.  You can rent boogieboards and surfboards here and even take some surf lessons.  Sip on cold cervezas and relax under a palapa or take a siesta in a restaurant hammock.  Here you can enjoy pizza, fresh seafood and other regional favorites, including the delicious shrimp tacos – a must try.

El Pelicano is another great Oceanside restaurant in San Agustinillo, serving amazing fresh seafood and authentic Mexican fare.  The chili rellenos are a must try with some of the best sangria in Mexico.  Listen to the waves roll in while you enjoy the delicious food here.

la-termitaEnjoy wood-fire oven baked pizza at La Termita.

If you are in the mood for great pizza, look no further than La Termita, owned by an Italian-Argentinian.  Located on the main road in San Agustinillo, this place can’t be beat for amazing wood oven pizza and calzone.  Enjoy your meal on the beach or in the restaurant while you watch the chef whip up your favorite slice of pie – yum!

If you are in the mood for some adventure, check out Ola Verde Expediciones, a company specializing in rafting, kayaking, coffee plantation tours and other custom trips. 

Whether it’s relaxing under a palapa on the beach, boogie boarding in the waves or enjoying some delicious authentic Mexico or Itailan cuisine, you can find it all at Playa San Agustinillo.

Playa Estacahuite
About a mile East of Viewpoint is the sleepy beach of Playa Estacahuite (ay-stah-kah-WEE-tay).  This tight cove shelters you from the currents of the Pacific Ocean and has great little coral nooks making it great for snorkeling and swimming.  The 300 foot beach has basic amenities in the form of a pair of palapa restaurants perched picturesquely above the beaches that provide food and drinks.

Playa Estacahuite2Playa Estacahuite – Huatulco – at Viewpoint Condo

To get there from the Viewpoint condo, take highway 175 toward Pochutla, look for the sign that says Casa Bichu and head to the end of the road.  You can get there by taxi or on foot via the dirt road that forks right off the highway.

La Boquilla
Nestled into the rugged cliffs and tropical vegetation is Playa La Boquilla, a beautiful protected bay with green-blue waters & golden sand.  This small beach is approximately 120 meters long and 20 meters (66 feet) wide.  Because it is protected in a cove La Boquilla is ideal for snorkeling and swimming.

Located at this beach is Bahia de la Luna, a quaint little restaurant that serves authentic Mexican fare, delicious fresh seafood and thirst quenching margaritas.  Relax on the beach and soak up the sun or sip cervezas & margaritas under thatched palapas and coco palms.  Bahia de la Luna specializes in freshly prepared seafood and regional dishes; this is a dining experience you will remember. An evening dinner involves a choice of 2 appetizers and 2 entrees, followed by choice of homemade ice cream and flavored mezcal. For reservations, contact 958-589-5020 or info@bahiadelaluna.com. You may drop in for lunch, however they do require 24 hrs notice for dinner.

Playa la Boquilla, location of Bahía de la Luna right-hand side of beachPlaya la Boquilla, location of Bahía de la Luna right-hand side of beach

You can get to La Boquilla by foot, boat and car.  If you choose to drive down be aware that the road can be quite rough.  To get there, head East on the main road in Puerto Angel and travel only 6 kms where you will see a sign for Bahia de la Luna. La Boquilla is the perfect spot along the Oaxaca coast to spend the day.

DSC_2830The beautiful beach of Mazunte

Mazunte
West of Puerto Angel is the beautiful beach of Mazunte, about a 20-minute drive from the Viewpoint condo and 1km from playa San Agustinillo. “Mazunte” is derived from a Nahuatl phrase, “maxotetia” meaning “please deposit eggs here” and is famous for the sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach. Before the mid-20th century, Mazunte had no population, but saw much change when the market for sea turtle meat and eggs developed. By the 1970’s Mazunte became the centre of sea turtle hunting in Mexico. Concern over the declining number of sea turtles eventually led to an absolute ban on turtle meat and eggs in Mexico, which resulted in a decrease in income source for families in the village. To replace it, ecotourism focused on the conservation of turtles and natural cosmetics developed. Today the main attractions in Mazunte are the Mexican National Turtle Center and the Cosméticos Naturales de Mazunte.

DSC_2869

The Mexican National Turtle Center studies turtle behavior, diet, and monitor the quality of water in the tanks to gain insight into the problem of the protection of the species. This exciting initiative helps to conserve turtle protection, conduct scientific and technological research for turtle management, promote the ecological tourism concept in the region, and support the community growth and development in the region.  The museum has guided tours for a moderate admission fee (around $5 per person.) The Cosméticos Naturales de Mazunte is a community enterprise that dedicates it’s work to making 100% environmentally friendly quality products. Sponsored over a decade ago by The Body Shop the cooperative produces shampoo, conditioner, bath gels, soap, mosquito repellent, lip balm and other great items.

Playa Ventanilla
Located 2 miles west of Mazunte and 20 minutes from the Viewpoint development is the small remote seaside village of Playa Ventanilla.  To get there take Highway 175 from Viewpoint, turn at the Playa Ventanilla sign and drive 2 miles west towards the beach.
Ventanilla means `little window` and derives from the small opening in the high rocky peak at the east end of the beach. The fine white sand and clear waters extend all the way down to Puerto Escondido.   This playa is a great spot for a relaxing day at the beach or to take in the interesting and fun eco-tours offered.

Playa ventanilla3Playa Ventanilla, arial view

Ecotourism
Ecotourism at Playa Ventanilla was developed in the 1990’s when the Ecosolar group began work to help the area after then ban on sea turtles and crocodile trade eliminated people’s livelihoods.  This group, along with 10 local families began offering tours in the lagoon and beach areas, inviting biologists and biology students to study the area. 
The local cooperative, Servicios Ecoturisticos de La Ventanilla, operates the tours 7 days a week for $4 CDN.  They also participate in projects to protect the ecosystem. The money from these tours supports these projects.  To take a tour you will go to the circular building to the left of the road as you approach the beach.  There is an alternative cooperative that offers 30 minute tours, however this tour does not include the mangrove island (museum, rescued animals, tree nursery) or the conservation projects.

Lagoon Tours
The tour is an hour and a half and takes you to an island in the lagoon where cold drinks and food are served.  There is also a restaurant in the village with a view of the beach called Restaurant Maiz Azul (Blue Corn).  Here they specialize in local recipes, including Oaxaca style tamales, turkey in mole sauce and chiles rellenos. They also sell their own fresh-ground peanut butter.

During your lagoon tour you will see crocodiles, birds, iguanas, white tailed deer, pigmy skunk, tropical anteater, raccoon, fresh-water turtles, armadillo, the jaguarundi and possum.  Further down the beach is a much bigger lagoon. Locals are willing to guide you there for a small fee. There is also a horseback riding tour of the lagoons.  
The lagoon is cut off from the sea by the beach much of the year and is full of mangroves as well as a wide variety of wildlife. The two principle mangrove types here are the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa). Tannins from the roots of the red mangrove turn the lagoon’s water reddish in the shallows and black in deeper areas. In the mornings, the lagoon fills with the sounds of the many birds that can be found here, including woodpeckers, kingfishers, ducks, storks cormorants, herons and others.

Turtle Preservation
During certain times of the year, sea turtles come to lay their eggs on this beautiful beach. Once the eggs are laid and the turtles return to sea, the community volunteers to protect the eggs, gathering them and reburying them in a safe spot. This spot is monitored daily by the volunteers. After about 3 months the baby turtles hatch and are safely released back into the ocean. At sunset during times when the sea turtles lay their eggs, visitors can accompany volunteers as they collect eggs and can participate in the release of baby turtles. They will ask you for a donation to release the turtles by hand. This donation helps support conservation efforts.
The local families of Ventanilla help to preserve the turtles by collecting eggs and placing them in a protected area until they hatch. The hatchlings are usually released at sunset. If you ask the tour guides they will tell you when the hatchlings will be released and you can participate in this exciting journey.

La Mina
5 minutes East of the Viewpoint condo and Playa Estacahuite is the quiet and secluded beach of La Mina.  

Playa-La-MinaArial view of Playa La Mina

La Mina is perfect for an enjoyable day with family & friends where you will relax on the fine-grained white sandy beach and soak up the sun.  The waters are calm in this small bay making it perfect for swimming and snorkeling. It is recommend to pack a lunch and refreshments for a day at La Mina as there is no tourist infrastructure.  
Another great option to visit La Mina is to take a boat tour from Playa Panteon where you can arrive to the beach from the water.  For the thrill seekers, there is a great rock formation as you arrive to the beach where you can take a jump into the warm aquamarine waters.
Enjoy another beautiful day in paradise at La Mina – just another great beach along the Oaxaca coast. 

La-Mina3Private living at Playa La Mina

Punta Cometa
With Playa Mazunte to the East and Playa Mermejita to the west, Punta Cometa is one of the most prominent peninsulas in the South Pacific.  Also named the Sacred Hill, Punta Cometa is Mexico’s most southwestern point in Mexico, a spectacular place where you can see the sun rise and set on the ocean year round from this magnificent view.

Punta-Cometa

The beach of Mazunte stretches out for 1 kilometre with a secluded cove on the west end. The main beach and the cove on the west end have small hotels, cabanas & restaurants. There are two other secluded beaches in the area, Playa Mermejita on Punta Cometa and Playa Escobilla just west of the main beaches. Punta Cometa is a recommended place to visit. This peninsula extends into the Pacific Ocean and is the southernmost point of the state of Oaxaca. It is also the southern most peninsula on the Pacific side of the North American continent. You can watch the sunrise and set all year round from this beach.

The Community Nature Reserve in Punta Cometa is a National Park and important site for migrating birds and marine species.  Visitors of Punta Cometa can watch the migration of whales from December through March.  
During pre-Hispanic times there was a military group of Aztecs who constructed a small stone wall at Punta Cometa.  The remains of this wall are called the ‘Corral de Piedra’ or stone corral.  During the colonial period, this area was a stronghold for both Spanish forces and pirates who used the strategic location of Punta Cometa as a place to watch the seas with it’s 180 degree visibility. Local history also tells a story of a treasure hidden by the Aztecs somewhere in Punta Cometa. 
Punta Cometa is considered by many to be a magical and healing spot in the area.  Many travelers visit and pay tribute to this enchanting and special place in search for sacred wisdom.

small-beach-at-punta-cometaSmall beach at Punta Cometa. 

Trail-at-Punta-CometaTrail at Punta Cometa

Beach West Punta CometaPunta Cometa – View of the West

Bahia San Agustin
Bahia San Agustin is a must visit during your stay along the Oaxaca coast.  This stunning out-of-the-way beach is considered the most beautiful of all the 9 bays of Huatulco. 

Bahia-San-AgustinBahia San Agustin

Whether you arrive by land or sea, Bahia San Agustin will leave you with a feeling of pure bliss and relaxation.  Protected by rocky islands and cliffs, Bahia San Agustin is ecologically and naturally beautiful.  Divers and snorkelers will have many reefs to explore one it’s two beaches; St. Augustine Island and Cacalutilla.  St. Augustine Beach is located in the far southwest of the area and is one of the most beautiful beaches in the bay St. Augustine.  The beach is 1500 meters long and boasts  fine, white sand. The warm, clear waters give off shares of green and blue and have beautiful coral reef to explore.  St. Augustine beach is ideal for any type of water sports, especially snorkeling.  You can rent snorkel equipment and boats on the beach and enjoy the many palapa style restaurants offering authentic Mexican fare, fresh seafood and cold cervezas. Cacalutilla Beach is located north of the St. Augustine Beach and is approximately 200 meters long. Offering the same white fine sand and calm aquamarine waters as it’s neighboring beach, Cacalutilla is perfect for swimming, snorkeling and soaking up the sun.  Book a 9-bay boat tour from Huatulco or take a drive and enjoy a full day at Bahia San Agustin.  Make Bahia San Agustin a visit during your stay – you won’t be disappointed.

AGUSTINILLObeachAgustinillo beach

Playa del Amor
If you are seeking seclusion and a private getaway, Playa del Amor AKA ‘Lover’s Beach’ is the perfect spot. Set away from tourists and vendors, this beaches is surrounded by high cliffs making it the perfect place to get away for a romantic, relaxing day.

Playa-del-amor-oaxaca-IIPlaya del Amor

Soak up the sun on Playa del Amor’s white sandy beaches. Swim, dive and snorkel in it’s turquoise, warm waters.
There are tour operators with panga boats for taking snorkeling, fishing and whale watching tours from this beach.
Lover’s Beach is located on the East end of Playa Zipolite, only a 10 minute drive from the Viewpoint condo. Take the road to Zipolite and look for the ‘Playa del Amor’ sign.

Playa-del-amor-oaxacaPlaya del Amor
 
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlaya Marinero

Playa Marinero is located between Playa Principal and Playa Zicatela in the surfing community of Puerto Escondido.

This 200-meter long beach is the perfect spot for swimming and beginner surfers.  During the day take in a surf lesson, enjoy a swim or simply relax on the beach while you listen to the waves roll in.  Enjoy a cerveza and authentic Mexican cuisine from a beachside restaurant. 

Playa Marinero is one of the best beaches to watch the sunset from after another relaxing day in Puerto Escondido.  After sunset stroll over to the Split Coconut restaurant, where you can enjoy tantalizing barbecue and cold drinks.  Evenings at the Split Coconut often offer live music where you can dance the night away.

Playa Marinero is the perfect beach to spend an afternoon and evening on.  There is much to do and see and much relaxing to do as well.  Visit Playa Marinero during your trip to Puerto Escondido and enjoy another day in paradise.

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Source: Own Mexico

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