Zipolite Beach: A Complete Travel Guide 10/2017
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The first time that I visited Zipolite beach on the Oaxaca coast of Mexico, it changed my life. I decided I would sell my house, quit my sales job, and move to Mexico, so that I could travel more. I now live in San Miguel de Allende, no longer own much of anything, and, yes, I travel more.
This time when I went to Zipolite, I came to the conclusion that I have to move somewhere where there is a beach. I realized I belong in the ocean. So, after my upcoming travels in May and June, I will be deciding on the next place that I will move to.
I am happiest when I am swimming in ocean waves
Walking along ocean’s edge, my toes in the sand
What is it about Zipolite?
What gives it the magic that it has?
Is it that you can see both the sun rise and the sun set from the same beach?
Is it the call of the great-tailed grackle
who stole its seven songs
from the turtle of the sea?
Or is it that the people who visit seem so in tune with Mother Earth?
Does the ocean speak louder to those who are listening?
I am not sure what causes my enchantment of Zipolite
But one thing is certain
Zipolite is pure magic
Zipolite Beach: A Complete Travel Guide
Is Zipolite The Right Beach For You?
Zipolite attracts many people from all over the world. You will find many yoga gurus, backpackers, surfers, beach bums, hippies, and people from all walks of life.
Zipolite is not a place with 5-star beach resorts, so if you prefer staying at all-inclusive resorts, then Zipolite won’t be for you. (I prefer Zipolite because of that.) Zipolite beach also has a clothing-optional beach policy, so if that offends you, then Zipolite probably isn’t for you.
You should also know that Zipolite’s waves are rough, so you won’t be able to get in the ocean if you aren’t a good swimmer. I swim in Zipolite’s waves just fine, but if you have children, it’s probably not the best place for them.
How To Get There
You can fly into either the Puerto Escondido or Huatulco airports to reach Zipolite. I flew into Huatulco. You will need to take an hour-long taxi ride from the airport to reach Zipolite. The taxi stand at the airport reads 800 pesos. However, you can walk outside the airport and negotiate a taxi ride for 450 pesos. Alternatively, you can email the taxi driver I used, Jorge Lopez at [email protected]. He will pick you up at the airport (you will still wind up walking outside the airport) and take you to Zipolite from Huatulco for 450 pesos. You can also call him at 958-587-5443.
Where To Stay In Zipolite
I stayed at two places on Zipolite Beach. El Alquimista and Heven. I adored them both. They are both different, and to get the full experience of Zipolite (from above and below), I would recommend them both.
For an experience of having a cabana right on the beach, you can’t beat El Alquimista. I loved hearing the roaring ocean waves each night as I slept. El Alquimista has the best food in all of Zipolite in their restaurant and the fastest internet. (Though, that’s not saying much. It’s slow everywhere!) They offer yoga classes, and they have a rooftop swimming pool. Call rather than reserving online for the best room rates.
Heven is just that. Complete bliss that leaves you definitely feeling like you are in heaven! The views are stunning, and I loved being able to watch the sun rise and set each night from Heven. The infinity pool has one of the best views I’ve ever seen. And, breakfast is included in the room rate! (I don’t know of any other place in Zipolite that includes breakfast.)
What made Heven even more special is just about all the furniture is hand-crafted in Mexico. The decor was stunning, and each room is different. There is no hot water in most of the rooms, but the weather is so warm, the water isn’t freezing, so it’s not a big deal.
Victor and Andrea were such lovely hosts. They made me feel very welcome and always made sure that I had everything I needed.
What made Heven feel even more like a home away from home were the adorable cats and dogs that they have rescued. They watched the sun rise each morning with me, and I miss them everyday.
I don’t think there’s any place in the world like Heven, so don’t miss this gem when you go to Zipolite. Note: Heven is adults only. Children under age 18 are not permitted.
Where To Eat In Zipolite
Zipolite Beach has wonderful restaurants with delicious food. I loved eating so much fresh seafood that was affordably priced. Here were my favorite places to eat in Zipolite.
1. El Alquimista
El Alquimista is my favorite restaurant in Zipolite. I ate breakfast and lunch here almost every day. I enjoyed the range of offerings they had for breakfast from Mexican specialties to baguette and croissant sandwiches. The fresh juices and coffee were also very good.
I spent each day on the comfy mattresses that El Alquimista has on the beach, so I loved that I could enjoy lunch without even getting up. El Alquimista offers wonderful ceviche and salads. They have a brick oven as well, so don’t miss the pizza! They also offer the most romantic setting on the beach with candlelit tables and candles set in all the surrounding rocks.
I was also very impressed with the breakfast at Orale Cafe. I had Quiche, but Orale also offers french toast, Huevos Rancheros, omelets, bacon, and a few lunch dishes, too. I thought they had some of the best coffee in Zipolite, and their lattes were only 20 pesos. They also had good wifi. Orale is set in a beautiful garden, and I enjoyed the atmosphere.
Sal y Pimienta
Sal y Pimentia was my favorite place to have dinner. (They offer lunch, too, but I was always too lazy to leave my beach mat.) It’s right on the beach, closer to the opposite end of El Alquimista. They had the best fish and seafood of anywhere that I ate, and the prices were unbelievable! I had grilled mahi-mahi with garlic that came with fries, salad, and rice, and a beer and water, and the total price came to $6 USD. They also had shrimp and octopus on the menu. At night, they set candles on the table which makes for a fun setting with your feet in the sand.
La Providencia is a well-known spot for gourmet dinners in Zipolite. I had an appetizer of tostones with fish, and mahi mahi which was prepared Asian style. It was delicious, but I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t seated right next to the living room where people are allowed to smoke. You must make reservations at La Providencia.
My favorite part was the vendors who came around and offered food right on the beach. Don’t miss the coconuts (and don’t pay more than 25 pesos for one-me, being the sucker I am-paid 40 pesos for one the first day), the homemade coconut or guanabana ice cream which is more like Italian ice, the mescal man, and the crispy fish tacos. So good!
The best ice cream, by far, was at Tutifruti on the Main Road. An Italian woman owns the gelato shop, and her gelato was glorious. I had avocado mixed with Fior di Latte, but she had several flavors to choose from. She also had Italian desserts and kombucha for sale.
Make sure to stop one afternoon at the magic juice shop just off the Main Road. The woman at this shop makes a very healthy juice with a ton of green vegetables, fruits, and moringa. It will definitely give you enough energy to make it to your next nap on the beach!
Best Fish Tacos
I ate fish tacos every day, and my favorite in Zipolite were at El Alquimista, but for the absolute best fish tacos, take a taxi for 50 pesos to San Agustinillo, and order the fish tacos at La Ola. It’s right on the beach, and their fish tacos were everything a fish taco should be. San Agustinillo has a beach that’s great for swimming, though, overall, I prefer the liveliness of Zipolite.
Fish Tacos To Avoid
I absolutely detested the fish tacos at the Colectivo Calavera Social Club. It looked like such a cute place with a walk-up window, and they specialized in fish and shrimp tacos, so my expectations were high. The fish was soggy, thin, and it seemed like it had been microwaved rather than freshly fried. I also wasn’t a fan of the batter they used.
The Overpriced Restaurant
Fish & Love
I was disappointed with the prices at Fish & Love. It’s the kind of restaurant, which I really like, where you pick out your fish, and they grill it. The only thing is, there are no prices. I picked out a very small red snapper, so small, that even the owner said it was small, and suggested I get some shrimp on the side, so I also ordered three shrimp, and a beer. My bill came to 300 pesos. The food was good, but not that good, considering that I had a three-course meal with wine for that price at La Providencia.
What To Do In Zipolite
The best thing about Zipolite is it’s a great place to come and do absolutely nothing. Each time I’ve been, I have left feeling so relaxed and rested, and like I’ve had a real vacation. But, there are snorkeling trips, excursions to a waterfall, and a few other activities to keep you occupied.
You can see both the sun rise and the sun set from Shambala’s Meditation Hill, so I recommend a hike to the top one morning or afternoon.
There are many yoga classes offered, and the bulletin boards in town will tell you of other activities. Take a stroll down the main street at night, as many vendors appear with things for sale such as handmade jewelry. I even found a bottle of home-made cranberry infused mescal, which was delicious.
I hope that Zipolite beach captures your heart just as much as it did mine.
Resource: This Way to Paradise