“What did you do in Mazunte?”
This is a difficult question for anybody who has spent time in Mazunte to answer.
You don’t really do anything in Mazunte, its rather a way of life.
Mazunte is a small beach town on the coast of Oaxaca. It spans about four blocks in total, but after speaking with the locals, they can tell you how much the town has grown.
Mazunte is one of Mexico’s Pueblos Magicos and was chosen for their turtle reserve and wildlife. The locals are mostly the mexicanos who live and work there alongside a hippie culture that run the town’s tienditas naturales (natural stores), yoga studios and juice bars.
One of my favorite parts of the town was its genuine hippie atmosphere. Both the locals and the visitors have a strong pull towards healthy habits. Restaurants are made up of vegan and vegetarian options, there are more juice bars than taco stands and preserving the environment is a top priority.
Although I spent a week in Mazunte, I don’t have a large list of recommendations or activities. The Mazunte way of life appealed to me greatly and I spend the large majority of my time hanging on the beach and reading a good book.
Nearly all the accommodation in Mazunte is not found online, so strap on your savvy backpacker brain and start chatting with the locals to get a recommendation on where to stay.
There are also no hostels in Mazunte but that doesn’t mean you are limited in options. There are many cabañas and posadas (guesthouses), however, most people seem to opt for camping on the beach or sleeping in a hammock.I stayed at Posada Arcitecto, which is located on Mazunte Beach. It is right in the heart of Mazunte and has vegan helado and a wonderful cafeteria that overlooks the ocean. Although they do not take online reservations, if you walk up around check in (11 AM) you’ll be able to reserve a spot.
You can choose between staying in el dormitorio for $70 MXN, las estrellas (which are hanging beds that overlook the ocean) for $100 MXN or una cabana privada for ~$650 MXN.
When I checked in, the woman working reception told me todo está abierto (everything is open). I didn’t realize just how literally she meant what she said! Everything in the posada was outside. The beds, the showers, the toilets. Nothing had a roof or any type of real walls. You would think this would make for an unsafe or uncomfortable environment, however, everything in the posada also overlooked the ocean. The beds, the showers, the toilets. Every turn you made you could watch the waves crashing against the shore and listen to the lull of the water.
If you enjoy practicing yoga, the posada even offers daily yoga classes. Imagine waking up in the morning to the sun rise and the sound of the water, then rolling out of bed over to yoga to practice while listening to the birds chirpings and waves crashing along the shore.
As I write this I am still puzzled how I was able to get myself to leave. I stayed in Mazunte for a week, which for some people would be considered “slow travel.” Although I am understanding of the backpacker’s time budget and wanting to fit in as much as possible, Mazunte is the perfect place for a reset and taking the time to do absolutely nothing.
Food and Dining
All the following restaurants and cafes are located on Calle de Rinconcito, which is just off the 175.
Cafeteria and Helado at Posada Arcitecto: I’m sure you get the picture by now, Posada Arcitecto is fabulous
Estrella Fugaz: great for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I did not have a single disappointing meal here. Mid-range prices, meals typically cost between $100-$200 MXN
KAPRICHO: I would highly recommend their ceviche
La Pizza (Blue Surfboard): supposedly the best pizza in all of Mexico, however, they were closed during my stay
La Baguette: offers both sweet and savory pastries. Their vegan brownie is a must!
Jugo: juice bar directly next to La Baguette. Fresh squeezed juice right in front of you!
Café Organico: to be honest, I ate here four times during my stay. Great bowls, sushi and fish tacos. They serve blistered jalapenos in soy sauce which is a dream for anyone who enjoys spice.
Mazunte Beach is one of the few beaches you can swim at. The waves can be quite dangerous so be sure to check for a red flag. Many of the beaches in Mazunte/Zipolite have lifeguards for this reason.
The Mazunte Turtle Sanctuary brings in a lot of tourists. You can take a tour of their grounds and hold the turtles!
Watch the sunset at Punta Cometa or Punta Negra.
Take the boat tour! For $200 MXN you can go out on a small boat tour of the coast. They only allow two small boats out a day so you can see plenty of wildlife. On my boat tour, we saw five turtles and swam with thousands of dolphins! We even saw a baby whale! Our tour guide told us that when the water is cooler, they have been able to see orcas. Well worth the money!
Read a book, listen to some good music and chill out.
Embrace the Mazunte culture. Sometimes it can be difficult to wrap your brain around the idea of doing absolutely nothing but I find it more and more apparent how hard our bodies are working every day.
Give yourself a much needed rest and head to Mazunte.