Mazunte

Mazunte is a small beach village on the Pacific Coast in Oaxaca.

The main beach with Punta Cometa in the background

Understand

Mazunte is a quiet town located next to a small but wonderful beach. Mazunte is a common stop on the Pacific Coast Backpacker Trail. The town remains fairly typical and only has a small collection of hostels, hotels and restaurants to service tourists. Most accommodation in town is quite basic, however there are a couple of luxury places available in the hills. There are a number of restaurants near the beach serving good quality (albeit expensive) food. Mazunte has a number of small but worthy attractions including the the National Mexican Turtle Centre and Natural Cosmetics Centre. The main beach is not known for surfing however skim boarding and snorkelling are common activities on the beach.

Get in

Colectivo are the cheapest way into Mazunte from the main bus station

By plane

There are regular flights to Huatulco or Puerto Escondido airpots. From either airport, you can get a bus, taxi or colectivo to Mazunte.

By bus or van

There are regular buses to Pochutla (the closest interstate bus station near Mazunte, about 15-30 mins away) from Oaxaca City and Mexico City.

From Oaxaca City, you can get a bus to Pochutla (8 hours approximately) or a van (6.5 hours, M$170). From Mexico City, there are two bus options that leave from Tasqueña station. The first option is to take a bus to Oaxaca City and then swap to a second bus that goes to Pochutla. This option takes about about 10 hours in total. The second option is a direct route via the coast that goes through the Guerrero state (passing by Acapulco) and makes a stop in Puerto Escondido, and finally arrives in Pochutlato Pochutla. This option takes about 14 hours and is operated by Estrella Blanca buses. Once you make it to Pochutla, there are a number of options to make the trip to Mazunte from Pochutla including special taxi (~M$60), colectivo (trucks with blue tarp roofing over back, M$15 pp) of bus (camioneta, M$10pp).

If you are coming from Puerto Escondido, you can take a bus directly to Mazunte for 40 pesos. The bus goes from the front of the Super Che supermarket, not at the bus station, although there is a more expensive bus there. Ask the driver to drop you off at Las Cruces de San Antonio. From here you can take taxi or colectivo ).

By colectivo

Colectivos are avaliable to Mazunte from Puerto Escondido (40 minutes) and from Huatulco (1 hour).

Get around

The main street

Mazunte is a very small, rustic village and very easy to navigate. Everything is easily reachable by foot. The main road is Paseo del Mazunte, bordered by a few restaurants, the church and the soccer field. It has four sideroads that all head to the beach. The most western sideroad, Calle del Rinconcito, leads to Playa El Rinconcito. It has a sideroad, Camino a Mermejita, a dirtroad that winds up the hill to private homes, a few hill top palapas, a cemetery, Punta Cometa and the neighboring beach, Playa Mermejita.

See

Sea turtle swimming in aquarium tank at the National Turtle Center
The tip of Punta Cometa

Do

Buy

Cosmeticos Naturales de Mazunte operates a small storefront on the main road, just North of the first dirt road. They sell shampoo, conditioner, soaps, lotions, and natural bug repellent made from citronella oil.

Eat

Beach front palapas all have similar menus with similar prices. A good bet is to head to the one with the most people taking in the slow pace of life in Mazunte. Particularly recommended are the tlayudas, typical Oaxacan fare that cost M$25-M$50 and are big enough for two people. Also, try an agua fresca M$5-M$10, you may have to wait a while but the combination of watermelon, lemon, and water on a hot day is well worth it. Tacos are in abundance and price M$20-M$30 at most restaurants and less from vendors passing on the beach.

A typical Palapa Restaurant

If it is just too hard to get off the beach, there are plenty of vendors that come along with homemade tamales and deep fried tacos. If you have a sensitive stomach practice caution in your choices. The boho residents also sell homemade bread and cookies and these treats are highly recommended.

If you are looking to do some cooking, there is a big vegetable shop at the edge of town on the main road just after the turtle conservation center.

Drink

Night life is quite calm. There's some restaurants spread through town and a few places at Playa El Rinconcito sometimes have live music. It's the only part of town that can be a bit noisy some nights. There's a single club named Coco Bamboo with offers different games and musical genres. No cover charge.

Estrella Fugaz and Siddhartha, both at Playa El Rinconcito, have an espresso machine for good coffee drinks, liquados, beers, liquors, juices and sometimes live music.

Sleep

Monthly Rentals

It is quite common to rent rooms or entire houses on a monthly basis with prices often between M$1,000-M$2,000 per month. Condition of the place, access to shower, toilet and kitchen vary greatly. Do mind that during the high season (around Chrismas and New Year's) most are reluctant to rent on a monthly basis. More than a few people reported being kicked out just before the high season as the landlord expects to make more money during the high season. As paper contracts are not common, ensure your agreement is as clear as possible on every detail and don't assume locals being kind when making the agreement to keep being nice when they believe they can make more money during the high season.

Budget

The best bet on a small budget is to find a place to drop your luggage and wander the small village looking for a place that suits your fancy. Rooms are cheap and there are deals to be had, as most places sharply lower their rates in the off season (mid January to October). Most residents have rooms and palapas set aside for travelers, although they are very, very basic. On the plus side, you are free to share the households wood cookfire and will probably return home with many interesting stories. Another option is to accept a hammock or bed at one of the alternative community spots - there are a few mostly backed around a lagoon of sorts in the middle of the beach.

Mid-range

Splurge

Stay safe

Viewing down from the cliff to the rock pool

The sea off the Mazunte coast is notoriously dangerous, and great care should be taken when swimming. There is a lifeguard station but it's not always manned. Undercurrents can pull unsuspecting swimmers out to sea even when the surface of the water appears calm. Drownings are not uncommon.

Mazunte is known to be safer and more calm than neighboring Zipolite but walking at night on the dark beach might still be a bad idea as muggings and rapes have happened in the past.

Connect

There are at least two internet cafés in Mazunte. Some restaurants and posadas have wifi. Connection speed is < 1MB so it can get quite slow when congested.

Cope

There is an ATM in one shop on the main road of Mazunte. If it doesn't deliver, use the ATM in Puerto Angel or an ATM or bank office in Pochutla. Cash is king. Hardly any place accepts credit cards.

Go next

If heading south, you can go to either San Augustinillo, a small village with a nice beach only five minutes walk away or Zipolite, a town famous for its nudist beach and heavy surf. If heading north, be sure to stop at Puerto Escondido, the surfing mecca of Mexico.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Wednesday, October 28, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.