After a week in Mexico City I was itching to get back to sea level. Merce and I headed to the Oaxacan coast for Semana Santa (Easter Weekend). The coast of Guerrara has always been the main route for drug trafficking to the US, but in recent months as drug related violence escalated, traveling this route by night was not a safe option. Keeping this in mind, we decided to fly rather than take the night bus.
Normally packed twice a year during Christmas and also Easter, we found the coast surprisingly quiet. The Oaxacan teacher strike blocked the coastal highway near Aculpulco, as well as the route from Oaxaca to the coast. This led to some 8 hour delays on the highways and likely kept some travellers at bay.
Flying into Huatulco, we caught a bus heading towards to Pochutla, got off at the large intersection (crucero) and caught a collectivo to Zipolite. The 1.5 hour trip cost us 90 pesos ($8 CDN) and saved us about 300 pesos from the cost of a taxi direct from the airport.
Just southwest of Huatulco are a number of beautiful beaches all within 30 minutes of one another: Puerto Angel, Zipolite, San Augustillo, Mazunte and Puerto Escondido. While passing most afternoons just lazing at the beach, I still managed to see a few things during the week:
- Visited Peurto Escondido for a day to see the Mexican Pipeline. Of the nearby beach, it is the most built up with hotels and restaurants, and a few good hostels. Unfortunately, for the biggest waves in Mexico, the surf was rather low that week, but there was a gorgeous sunset to compensate for it.
- Walked from Zipolite to Mazunte one morning, stopping to swim at a stunning virgin beach just outside of San Augustinillo. From the beach, you can watch pelicans hunting for their lunch and also spot the most southern tip of Mexico.
- Relaxed for several days at Zipolite. This is a clothing optional beach, which makes for some interesting scenery (they had a nudist congress going on).
- We stayed at the Shambala House, a very basic, slightly hippy guesthouse with a million dollar view of the beach and great food. It was the perfect place for Merce and I. Located high up on the cliff, we had a view of the entire beach. We awakened each morning in our beds to see the sun rising up over the Pacific - and at night, we watched the moon reflecting off the ocean and fell asleep listening to the sound of waves crashing in.
- We slept in a dorm room for six, but it was more of a balcony with beds perched at the edge. Each bed had an amazing view of the beach - one you’d expect to see in Condo Naste but for less than $14 CDN a night (and that is the high season price!). Also from the hostel, you can visit a meditation hill that offers an amazing view of the sunset.
After a few great days of relaxing at the beach, hiding in the shade but somehow still working on my tan - I headed to Oaxaca, famous for food, culture and mezcal. I had intended to only stay a few days in Oaxaca, but I’m now on my third week!
Here are some pics from the Oaxacan Coast. I visited only a few, but there are so many small beaches around Huatulco, that one could easily spent a month (or two or three) here.