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Zipolite, Oaxaca


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Zipolite, Oaxaca

A lot of travel writers allude to Zipolite as being the quintessential hippie or backpacker haven. And with many dirt-cheap cabanas available, even in the high season, it is that. But this kilometer and a half long beach actually attracts a much wider variety of people than that — surfers in search of good waves, gay bourgeois Mexicans looking for a safe vacation haven, and a lot of garden-variety alternative lifestyle families looking for an alternative to the beach resorts, just to name a few. All of which seem to be mingling happily among themselves.


Hotels


West Side




Shambala, Cabañas and Dorms ($-$$), Restaurant $-$$

  • Far west end of beach
8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Daily,

Ensconced on the hill above the far west end of the playa, this place just may have the best views in town, especially in the late afternoon as the sun, descending, casts an orange-yellow light upon the beach. Changing daily, the menu, in keeping with the New Age vibe of the place, serves up simple, healthy meals. Breakfast are usually eggs, fresh tropical fruits and jugos, french toast, and a healthy soup. The excellent coffee, brewed rich and dark, is served in healthy sized mugs, reason enough to visit. No alcoholic beverages are served.

San Cristóbal, Hotel ($$), Restaurant ($$-$$$)

  • West end of the Adoquín
8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily

On the west side of town, the restaurant and hotel front the beach and the adoquín, the town center. Breakfasts are large, mostly Oaxaca classics, with some traveler favorites thrown in, such as hot cakes and french toast. For comida or dinner, the kitchen dishes up mostly coastal Oaxacan seafood favorites, such as octopus, shrimp, and whole or filleted red snapper (huachinango). along with a few traveler favorites, such as sandwiches and hamburgers. The coffee is passable. On the downside, the owners, because of their religious beliefs, do not serve beer or other alcoholic beverages. An exception is made, however, for wine -- go figure -- which is served by the glass only.

As for the hotel, it is a basic two-story, concrete structure. All the rooms have ceiling fans and bathrooms, although some do not come with showers. Communal showers are available, of course. There are no electrical sockets in the rooms and the wifi if spotty in the rooms. It is strong, however, in the restaurant. Except for the two weeks around Christmas and New Years, rooms for singles or doubles MX200-250, especially without showers. During Christmass, expect to pay between $350-500.

East Side



Restaurants




Shambala, Cabanas and Dorms ($-$$), Restaurant $-$$

  • Far west end of beach
8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Daily,

Ensconced on the hill above the far west end of the playa, this place just may have the best views in town, especially in the late afternoon as the sun, descending, casts an orange-yellow light upon the beach. Changing daily, the menu, in keeping with the New Age vibe of the place, serves up simple, healthy meals. Breakfast are usually eggs, fresh tropical fruits and jugos, french toast, and a healthy soup. The excellent coffee, brewed rich and dark, is served in healthy sized mugs, reason enough to visit. No alcoholic beverages are served.

San Cristóbal, Hotel ($$), Restaurant ($$-$$$)

  • West end of the Adoquín
8 a.m. - 10 p.m. Daily

On the west side of town, the restaurant and hotel front the beach and the adoquín, the town center. Breakfasts are large, mostly Oaxaca classics, with some traveler favorites thrown in, such as hot cakes and french toast. For comida or dinner, the kitchen dishes up mostly coastal Oaxacan seafood favorites, such as octopus, shrimp, and whole or filleted red snapper (huachinango). along with a few traveler favorites, such as sandwiches and hamburgers. The coffee is passable. On the downside, the owners, because of their religious beliefs, do not serve beer or other alcoholic beverages. An exception is made, however, for wine -- go figure -- which is served by the glass only.

As for the hotel, it is a basic two-story, concrete structure. All the rooms have ceiling fans and bathrooms, although some do not come with showers. Communal showers are available, of course. There are no electrical sockets in the rooms and the wifi if spotty in the rooms. It is strong, however, in the restaurant. Except for the two weeks around Christmas and New Years, rooms for singles or doubles MX200-250, especially without showers. During Christmass, expect to pay between $350-500.

Nightlife


At the end day as the sun sets on the craggy outcroppings on the far west end of the beach, it baths, however briefly, the ocean and the coastline in a bright orange and red light, otherworldly. And with the sun gone, the worst of the day's heat breaks and the air cools slightly, and the cobblestone street cutting through the middle of town, known as the Adoquín, is cordoned off, becoming it a pedestrian promenade, plastic chairs and tables soon spilling out from beneath the restaurants and cafes into the street, locals and visitors alike migrating there for the ice cold cervezas, pizzas, and generous portions of fresh seafood, and with crowds come the buskers and their music.


Camping/RVs


There are two private campgrounds in Zipolite with hookups for RVs. Most budget hotels and cabañas, however, and especially the ones on the east end, welcome campers, letting them pitch tents, sleep in vans, and use the bathrooms and showers for a small fee.


Listings




Azul Profundo, Snorkel/Dive Tours, Internet Cafe, Public Toilets, Bus Tickets

  • East end of Adoquín

In addition to running snorkel and dive tours, this place offers internet access, public toilets (MX$3), and tickets to OCC first class buses out of Pochutla, a nice convenience.

Aborrotes 3 Hermanos, General Store

  • Midway on Adoquín

Best general purpose store in Zipolite for basic foodstuffs, toiletries, and such.


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