Zipolite, Mexico is located in the state of Oaxaca. Situated on the Pacific Coast a few km west of Puerto Angel, and 25 km south of Mazunte, Zipolite is known as a backpacker’s paradise. Back in the 1970’s Zipolite became popular with the hippies and has since become renowned for its crazy parties, public nudity, wild atmosphere and rampant drug use.
Although Zipolite has been growing slowly it’s still not a developed tourist destination and you will not find modern amenities such as air-conditioning and televisions. The big draw is the beautiful crescent shaped beach and the laidback vibe. Young backpackers and bohemian types generally travel Zipolite, getting the most for their pesos by staying in dirt cheap accommodations that line the beach and eating and drinking at their restaurants.
And a word of warring about drug use; although drugs, such as marijuana, are very common, and often used openly, there are plain-clothes police officers who walk the beach and will fine or even arrest you. They’re easy enough to spot (they’re the ones wearing pants) but we still advise you use discretion if you plan to partake.
How to get to Zipolite
Getting to Zipolite is not exactly easy. Usually the first stop is Mexico City where you can catch a bus to Oaxaca. From there you can catch another bus to Puerto Escondido where you can get a taxi to Zipolite.
Things to do in
The beach at Zipolite is both beautiful and isolated, and the cabañas that line the beach server up cheap cervezas and food. Playa Zipolite is also home to an officially sanctioned nude beach, however naturalist and the semi-clothed co-mingle on the beach effortlessly. Nudity at Playa Zipolite is common but not necessarily predominant –it is just part of the anything goes mentality that you find at Zipolite.
The water at Zipolite is very dangerous and swimming is not advised. The riptide there is extremely strong and has claimed the lives of many visitors. It is advised that you to not go out over your knees when in the water at Zipolite unless you have a surf board or fins.
There is decent surfing at Zipolite beach. You can find both left and right breaks and the occasional barrel. Few people actually surf at Zipolite so there are no crowds and no line-ups. Again, be very aware of the dangerous undertow and strong rips at Zipolite.
There are a few decent daytrips you can take if you want a break from Zipolite.
Puerto Escondido – Small beach town with a federal beach. Mostly Mexican tourist go to this beach which can be a nice break from all the Gringos at Zipolite.
Mazunte – Small beach town about 25 km south of Zipolite know for its ecotourism and sea turtles.
Zipolite Hotels are almost all budget and most do not take reservations, have a phone or a website – so in some ways it kind of like going back in time, which of course is part of the appeal of Zipolite.
Cabanas Zipolite - $4.00 US for a small, private cabana
Gloria Shambhala Zipolite – sits on the hill that overlooks the beach and has a few different accommodation options ranging from $6.00 to $25.00 per night
San Cristobal Hotel – one of the better accommodation options in Zipolite. $12.00 to $20.00 per night.