Zipolite Beach.

A Visit to Zipolite

By Su Morales. Photos: Ernesto J. Torres

I LOVE GOING TO THE BEACH ON THE OAXACA COAST: THE sun, the feel of the sand under my feet, the climate, but when my husband suggested a trip to Zipolite, I had some reservations. Let’s say I had the same prejudice as many Mexicans do about going to a nude beach. Imagine, naked people everywhere! Outrageous! Nonetheless, I thought it over and decided I should go for the experience.

Once we arrived, I began to realize that nudism was much more than just taking off your clothes in front of other people; it’s a life style. Zipolite is not just about nudity; it’s also about a slower, more “natural” way of life, free of everything including technology. Internet and cell phone connections are intermittent, depending on the weather. If it’s cloudy, forget about getting a signal. But this detail is nothing compared to the beauty of the place and the warmth of its people. Even so, it’s a good idea to bring enough cash with you for your stay since the two ATM’s are as unreliable as the phone service and seem to be affected by the weather.

Zipolite beach and hotels.

Zipolite has been an international destination since the solar eclipse of 1970 which attracted people from all over Mexico and the world beyond to this beach. It’s a kind of global village where everybody knows each other and many languages are spoken. You can find food from many places – everything from fish tacos to haute cuisine. The same goes for lodging. There are 4-star hotels and simple cabins and hostels.

Zipolite bathers.

The beach includes coves formed by the rocks, which include the famous Playa del Amor on the east side of the main beach and a smaller cove on the west side in front of the hotel El Alquimista. There are many beachside restaurants.

Zipolite nudes.
Photo by Barbara Joan Schaffer

As for the nudity, around half the people we saw opted for bathing suits. The cool thing was that people of all ages, body-types and nationalities felt comfortable in their skin soaking up the sun. Although nudity is only permitted on the beach, some hotels allow it in their installations. You should ask what your hotel’s policy is.

It’s worth mentioning that Zipolite is the only legally sanctioned nudist beach in Mexico. Zipolite offers other attractions besides the beach. You can hike, ride a bicycle, and at night enjoy a stroll down the Adoquín, the town’s main street, which is all lit up and features a crafts market and restaurants. There’s a small, open-air, cinema and a circus that performs on the beach.

Zipolite shops.
Zipolite is around an hour’s drive from Puerto Escondido. Take the Coastal Highway east toward Huatulco, and turn right at the San Antonio junction where the OXXO is. Then continue to Mazunte and keep on going. You can also take a Pochutla bus and get off at San Antonio and get a taxi or colectivo from there.

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