Sometimes you have to get away. Find a secluded cove with a nice beach. Lay in a hammock with amazing views and recharge your batteries. A comfortable spot to rest, a few good restaurants, and a handful of small markets – but no all-inclusive resorts, mega-marts, or overwhelming tourist crowds.
Mazunte is one of the best beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico. It’s a small beach town full of laid-back vibes on the Pacific coast, and it’s Mexico’s next hot spot. The waves are calm, the water is comfortable, and the atmosphere is extremely relaxed.
There are plenty of things to do in Mazunte, as well as good restaurants and comfortable places to stay (either in Mazunte or in one of the nearby towns). Make the trek down to recharge in no time.
Things to Do in Mazunte
Relax on the Beach
Mazunte’s main attraction is, of course, the beach. The main stretch is named Playa Rinconcito. A large cliffside (La Punta Cometa) and a rocky shoreline converge onto a small cove with gentle waves. Perfect for a nice dip or to spend some time on the sand enjoying a great view.
Watch the Sunset on La Punta Cometa
La Punta Cometa has hands-down the best views in this entire area. In fact, it’s one of the best views in all of Oaxaca and the Pacific coast of Mexico. A trip to Mazunte is not complete without at least one trip here. Easily accessible from the center of Mazunte – up the hill on the only street heading west (Camino Mermejita)
then to the left at the obvious gates. You can’t miss it.
After a 15-20 minute hike thought a forest and a small grassland area, you’ll find yourself at a wonderful lookout point high above the water. Waves crash into the coves far below. Rock outcroppings wrap around the entire point. And the visibility is incredible. Nearly 360 degrees, as far as the eye can see. Doesn’t get much better than this for watching the sunset (also worth noting that La Punta blocks the view of the sun setting from Mazunte’s beaches, so it’s the only spot to actually see the sun set over the water).
There is a nice secluded beach on the western side of the point (turn right when you reach the grassy area), but the waves were quite powerful when we went. Those seeking a true adrenaline rush can climb down into one of the coves on the eastern side for a swim in a tide pool, or hike along the ridge-line to the far end of the point.
Visit the Mexican Turtle Center
Sea turtles are essential to Mazunte’s reputation. A large turtle center (Centro Mexicana de la Tortuga) opened in 1994. While it isn’t the largest aquarium around, the $30 peso entrance fee is worth checking out all of the sea and fresh-water turtles here. And it helps support their conservation efforts. The area’s relationship with sea turtles was originally one of overfishing and exploitation, so it’s great to see their commitment to the restoration of these amazing animals.
Our Favorite Restaurants in Mazunte
Mazunte is known for being one of the best beaches in Oaxaca, but it also has plenty of restaurant options. Posada del Arquitecto is the spot to see and be seen in all of Mazunte – a beachfront restaurant with lots of seating perched above the sand and onsite cabanas (starting around $700 pesos per night). Due to its well-known and respected reputation, there is a continuous crowd here, in an otherwise sleepy area. We found it to be slightly overpriced.
Instead, we preferred going across the street to the La Pizzeria for a great thin-crust made in a wood-fire oven, accompanied with a decent bottle of wine for about $400 pesos ($20 USD) total. The large bench-style tables made it easy to start up a conversation with our neighbors. Worst aspect: like a lot of hot places in Mexico, even the red wine was chilled. Oh, the humanity!
As we dropped into town, we first stopped at Las Bugambilias, located near the corner of the main road (175) and Rinconcito. Here we discovered a delicious Mexican vegetarian meal for around $50 pesos ($2.50 USD) each; we ended up going back a few times. This corner area also has some holistic shops, mini-marts, and a few other restaurants. This entire building isn’t on the 2014 Google street images; a lot of construction has occurred in the last four years. We suggest heading to Mazunte as soon as you can to see it before it gets too big!
Where to Stay in Mazunte
Head out toward the beach to find accommodations – lots of small hotels and hostels are spread throughout. After checking out three hotel options, we went back to the first we saw: Hospedaje El Rinconcito. A basic hotel with air conditioning for $500 pesos per night, a bit away from the beach directly behind La Baguette (a delicious bakery perfect for a breakfast bite) and a smoothie shop. It had wifi, but don’t expect fast speeds; we got around 2 Mbps.
We were very impressed with the views from Cabanas Mirarmar, perched on the hillside above the beach. But we weren’t so thrilled about the window looking directly into the shower and the lack of mosquito netting in the area. As always, we recommend thoroughly checking out the place you’re staying before committing.
Posada del Arquitecto had a lot of great cabanas with excellent views. There was only one left when we arrived, however; it had no view, was fairly dark and dingy, so we skipped it.
Mazunte Jazz Festival and Crowds
Our first evening in this town came with a great surprise: the free annual jazz festival (Festival Internacional de Jazz de Mazunte) was about to kick off. In 2018, it was from November 16th to the 18th. We were only planning on staying a few days, leaving on the 15th. But once we heard about this, Kristina and I looked at each other with a smile and decided to extend our stay. Little did we know that we’d still miss a good chunk of the festival… Check out our post on the Zipolite and San Agustinillo for the whole story.
Mazunte’s Jazz Festival is usually held in mid to late November and consists of three full evenings with about 25 different acts. Los Amigos Invisibles were one of Kristina’s favorites which we were looking forward to see. The stage is surprisingly large: about 6 feet (2 m) high with a full set of lights built overhead and two Jumbotron-style screens flanking it. Lined with beer and snack stations on one side and porta-potties on the other, this festival was more familiar than I anticipated. And just outside the gates, the town sets up many food and souvenir vendors. Bonus: Reentry is allowed to this free event, but bringing in alcohol is not.
The only downside about Mazunte’s Jazz Festival is the crowds that come with it. The word is starting to spread about Mazunte in general; having one of the best beaches in Oaxaca will do that to a place. It’s by no means an untouched nor undeveloped area. (Head to Puerto Suelo if you want an untouched beach paradise.) But the jazz festival is their busiest weekend of the year, according to the locals. Make sure to arrive early or make reservations if you want to find a good place to stay.
How to Get to Mazunte from Huatulco or Puerto Escondido
Mazunte is basically smack dab in the middle of two larger cities: Huatulco is about an hour southeast and Puerto Escondido is about an hour northwest. Major airports are in both of those cities, so it’s a breeze to get to one of the best beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico.
With a rental car, it’s a nice straight drive and not much of a hassle. Highway 200 runs along the coastline from either city to the Mazunte area. Mazunte is on highway 175, which loops around and intersects 200 on the seaward side twice. It’s best to use the western entrance, otherwise you’ll be in for a bit of a sightseeing tour on a windy and hilly road past Puerto Angel, Zipolite, and San Agustinillo. To get from Huatulco to Mazunte, go northwest on highway 200, pass the first 175 entrance, and turn left at the second 175 entrance (Tonameca intersection with an Oxxo). To get from Puerto Escondido to Mazunte, go southeast on highway 200, turn right onto highway 175 at the same Tonameco intersection.
Getting to Mazunte from Huatulco or Puerto Escondido using public transportation is slightly more complicated. Neither area has direct public transportation to Mazunte. But it’s actually quite straight forward once you know the basics.
How to get from Huatulco to Mazunte on public transportation: take a colectivo ($40 pesos) or ADO bus ($60-80) from Huatulco to Pochutla. Then hop on one of the shared trucks (pasajeros) for about $20 pesos, or higher a private taxi for around $120 pesos – these will go straight to Mazunte, San Agustinillo, Zipolite, and Puerto Angel. Easily reversed to get back as well: pasajero to Pochutla, then colectivo to Huatulco.
How to get from Puerto Escondido to Mazunte on public transportation: Take a colectivo ($40-50 pesos) or an ADO bus ($42 pesos) from Puerto Escondido to Pochutla. But asked to get dropped off at Tonameca, which is located at the crossing of highways 200 & 175. Then you can grab a private taxi for $80 pesos, or jump in a pasajero (shared truck) going to the beach towns ($15 pesos to Mazunte).
How to get around Mazunte, San Agustinillo, Zipolite, and Puerto Angel without a car: Getting around within Mazunte and the surrounding areas is easy: plenty of pasajeros run up and down the street during most daylight hours. They start in Pochutla, pass through Mazunte, Zipolite, San Agustinillo, and even Puerto Angel – then turn around and head back – for $20 pesos or less. The only reason why you need a car in the area is to get around before/after daylight hours or to visit other areas of Oaxaca.
Check Out One of the Best Beaches in Oaxaca, Mexico: The Idealistic Cove of Mazunte
The Pacific coast of Oaxaca is stunning. Nothing wrong with taking some time in the Puerto Escondido area if you want to check our the biggest waves around. And if you want a large all-inclusive resort, go to Huatulco.
But to recharge in a more relaxed environment, make your way to Mazunte to get in some solid yoga and meditation in a beautiful cove. If those vibes sound a little off-putting, Mazunte is right next to the wonderful beaches of San Agustinillo and Zipolite, which cater to slightly different crowds and both have surfing.
What do you think Mexico’s next hot spot is? We’d love to know in the comments below!