Mexico’s hippie beach town Mazunte is one of those destinations that feels like a hidden paradise. This tucked away coastal town in Oaxaca is home to Mexico’s Turtle conservation centre and the best spot in Oaxaca for turquoise sea and golden sandy beaches. In this Mazunte travel guide, I’ll let you in on the best beaches, yoga retreats and sushi cafe in Mazunte.
Mazunte felt like such a secret place. There is only a small cluster of people living there and it’s an 8-hour, stomach-wrenching minibus ride from Oaxaca City – which means not so many travellers make it over there. Even the most strong-stomached travellers take motion sickness tablets before taking the journey along the winding roads down to Mazunte.
But once you arrive in Mazunte, the rough journey immediately melts away into a distant memory and all you have is the bright blue ocean for miles. We got off of the van in San Agustinillo, the beach village just a 10-minute walk from Mazunte. We checked into our friendly posada that we’d booked on Airbnb and dropped our backpacks in the room, before immediately running down onto the sand and jumping into the sea.
The Best of Mazunte
Mazunte’s beaches – Most travellers come to Mazunte for an authentic Mexican beach town experience. In truth, many Mexican families holiday at the beach in San Agustinillo, whereas you’ll find hippie travellers in Mazunte, and older generations and queer travellers in nearby Zipolite. I’ve got to say that I loved the vibe in Mazunte most. Think hot days swimming in the sea and drinking freshly blended juice.
Punta Cometa – Tipped to be the best place to watch the sunset in Mazunte is Punta Cometa. There’s a sign-posted, rocky path that can be followed up the hill.
Turtle Conservation Centre – The National Turtle Centre of Mexico in Mazunte was unfortunately closed on the days when we were in town. However, our friends made it and said the experience was amazing. In 1990, the government banned sea turtle hunting here. Now the area focuses on eco-tourism. You can visit the centre to learn about the local turtle population in Oaxaca.
Yoga – Yoga is big in Mazunte. Walking back one evening from Mazunte to our posada in San Agustinillo, dozens of people wearing yoga pants and looking serene silently came out of one of the gates along the road. At first, we thought it was some kind of odd cult because everyone was so silent, but we later realised they were participating a silent yoga and meditation weekend at Hridaya Yoga Center. Yoga classes also happen at the Solstice Yoga Center and donation based classes at Rancho Cerro Largo.
Where to Eat in Mazunte, Oaxaca
Mazunte had the best healthy vegetarian food in Mexico. I was in love with the food at Mazunte. In Mexico, it can be rare to find vegetarian food that isn’t all corn and cheese, but at Mazunte you can. Unfortunately, there are few road names in Mazunte and limited online coverage of the restaurants there, but I’ve done my best to describe where they are.
Cafe Sahuaro – the best sushi in Mexico
I still dream about this vegetarian sushi. The sushi at Cafe Sahuaro is some of the best I’ve ever eaten, and if you get the chance then make sure you stop by and eat some. The cafe is located on the main path down to the beach in Mazunte. Fresh out of the sea, we walked pas and as soon as we saw the sushi menu we knew we had to eat there. We ordered a deconstructured sushi bowl and a roll of vegetarian sushi inside and devoured it all at a table outside in the garden. Inside you can also buy organic goods like natural peanut butter (I of course grabbed a jar).
Google Map: Road down to the beach in Mazunte
Lost Aguacates – buzzing falafel bar on the balcony
This is the place where it really gets going for food in Mazunte. Open whenever they feel like it (usually later in the evening), Lost Aquacates is run by some laid-back, hazy guys who love cooking up fresh falafel and cactus burgers while downing a few chelas (beers). Pull up a cushion on the balcony and go with it. We were fans of the food here, though we have to admit it was salty (make sure you get a beer too). The ‘restaurant’ is on the corner opposite the supermarket. Look up as it’s on the second floor and you’ll see a thatched roof with a sign dangling up there.
Cocina Económica La Guera – economical vegetarian food
On the main road running parallel to the beach in Mazunte there are a handful of more economical restaurants. A lot of them are fish restaurants, but we found a cheap cocina cooking up vegetarian food. Cocina Económica La Guera is only a tiny place, but the lady running it is super friendly. Expect a menu of fried potato cakes (like potato hash) with salad and vegetarian tacos with potato.
La Mora Cafe – good coffee, great breakfast
La Mora Cafe was our go-to for breakfast and coffee. The coffee here is the best you’ll find in Mazunte, and the breakfast was always fresh and filling. The cafe is owned by an Italian guy (probably why the coffee is so good). There’s a terrace at the back, so you can have breakfast with a beach view. Lots of surfer dudes stop here for green juice and everyone is tucking into scrumptious eggs and tortillas. They also rent the rooms above for medium lets. The cafe isn’t hard to find as it’s one of the few places on the main road through San Agustinillo.
Travel Between Mazunte, San Agustinillo and Zipolite
Pasajeros are the cheapest way to get around the row of beaches towns here. Pasajeros are pickup trucks with coloured tents that cover the back (to prevent everyone getting completely sun burned!) The run along the main road that goes parallel to all of the beaches in the area. You’ll see them passing by serveral times per day, usually only around 20-30 minutes apart. Simply jump on the back and pay the driver when you get off. The cost is around $7 to $15 pesos per person, depending on how far you’re going.
Where to Stay in Mazunte
There are loads of great looking posadas and cabanas in Mazunte and neighbouring San Agustinillo. We went for a budget posada in San Agustinillo called Posada Paloma. It was a friendly, laid-back vibe with a mix of short-term backpackers and longer-term renters. They have decent wifi, but the wifi goes down in Mazunte frequently so the connection is never reliable. If it’s your first time booking on Airbnb, get £30 off with this link.
How to Get from Oaxaca City to Mazunte
The best way to travel from Oaxaca City to Mazunte beach is by van. Though big bus companies like ADO do run buses to Mazunte, these tend to take much longer due to the narrow, winding roads. Vans are a faster, though other travellers online have said they felt they were ‘too fast,’ we thought that our journey was safe and fine by van.
You can take a van from Oaxaca to Pochutla. There are multiple van operators leaving at regular times each day. We took a van from Armenta y López 621, corner La Noria in Oaxaca. From Pochutla, you can usually connect to a second van which drives down to Mazunte. The other option is to take a collectivo (shared taxi) from Pochutla to Mazunte. Pochutla is about 20-25 minutes drive from Mazunte.
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