When we arrived in Mazunte we were a little disorganised, we didn’t have a great idea of where we wanted to stay and I hadn’t loaded Google maps of the area very well on my phone. We managed to find a cheapish but nice hotel right on the beach. But being the start of the school summer holidays in Mexico we were told that on the following Monday the price would increase. So we booked until Sunday night which gave us three nights to get to know Mazunte.
It was here that we were told about the unreliable satellite internet which had annoyed us in Puerto Escondido and sure enough after putting the wifi password into our devices we had no connection. It’s a bit sad but we do rely on our Internet access; it’s how we keep in touch with our family and friends as well as finding out things to do and researching new places. We hoped the clouds would go away in the morning so we had internet and could go for a swim.
Off we went to check out the town. Mazunte is quite tiny with one main paved road and some small sandy roads which connect this to the beach. This town has a very different feeling than Puerto Escondido with it’s surf culture. Here it was much more laid back with a slightly alternative, maybe even hippyish, vibe and frequented by young travellers.
Veering off the sandy road to the beach we followed signs to the point at the end of the beach to overlook the area. Although overcast it was still very humid and we both quickly became a bit sticky from the uphill walk. At this point we still weren’t completely acclimatised to the coastal temperatures. At the top of the hill we walked through some trees stopping to investigate the giant ant (?) mounds and the pretty butterflies which were being attracted to the fallen fermenting nanches (a small yellow fruit we have seen everywhere in Mexico). Popping out of the trees we had a great view back down over the beach towards our hotel and continued on to the end of the point. The waves were large but that didn’t seem to faze the fishermen perched on the rocks above where the water would get them. Walking back through the trees back towards the road and town we kept hearing rustling sounds in the bushes around us, creepy. The source we soon discovered was bright red crabs scurrying to hide as we walked by. With their colour I don’t know how we didn’t notice them sooner.
We found dinner that night on the main road in a cheap comedor and tried tlayudas for the first time. These were pretty tasty and I’m not sure how we hadn’t already tried them. They are traditionally Oaxacan and are basically giant crispy tortillas (similar to quesadillas but bigger and crunchier) filled with your choice of meat and usually cabbage or lettuce as well as frijoles, cheese and sometimes avocado and tomato.
That night after arranging our mosquito net around the bed we feel asleep to the sound of the waves on the beach close by. The next morning I woke up and pre-emptively put on my bikini before looking outside at another cloudy day. Pretty disappointing seeing that we were at the beach. So we went to find breakfast before deciding to visit the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, the turtle sanctuary and museum here. It’s a cool place to visit and appeared to be midway through a good looking upgrade. This didn’t get in the way at all and we spent about an hour and a half checking out the turtles. Mexico has eight species of sea turtle and in the past these have sadly been hunted. Actually Mazunte used to be one of the main towns which lived off this trade. Luckily it is now illegal and the army is involved in protecting the nesting sites so no poachers can access the turtles when they are vulnerable on the shore. We saw lots of varieties of turtle which neither of us had seen before and heaps of cute babies looking clumsy swimming around their tanks with oversized flippers. Our favourite was the snapping turtle which looked scary and like it would happily remove a finger for you.
Exiting the museo onto the main street Tom decided he would get a massage after seeing a sign and being tempted. At 200 peso it’s not a bad price for an hour and a half relaxation. I headed up the street further to check out a locally made skincare shop and was very tempted by their chocolate lip balm but knew that in this heat it would probably turn into an oily puddle in my bag. Heading back to chill out at the hotel and wait for Tom I picked up a wee bag of Panditas, mmm gummy bears. So I happily read and ate those while overlooking the beach.
The afternoon was still cloudy but we decided that we were on the beach so we should go in the water. The waves were quite fierce and we got churned around in them for an hour before giving up. Tom had a great time as he usually does in the water but I dislike the salt water getting in my eyes and sinuses and dislike even more the rough surf trying to remove my bikini. Luckily there weren’t many people on the beach to witness this. We didn’t stay out to long and headed in to shiver our way through a cold shower before playing some more cards. Tom is currently dominating the 500 leader board so I think I need to play more ruthlessly (or cheat somehow…).
That night we enjoyed small but cheap platillos with fresh fish, rice and beans. This was of course served with tortillas; because food tastes better when wrapped in a delicious fresh corn tortilla with salsa right?!
On our last day we woke to see better weather, hooray! So we had a beach day. The waves were still quite vigorous but we enjoyed ourselves and had a swim both in the morning as well as the afternoon. Hamburgers for dinner topped off a nice day, and they were really good hamburgers!
We felt happy with the length of time we had spent in Mazunte and not wanting to pay the summer rate at the hotel we packed up and headed to the bus stop to get a camioneta (remember: seats on the back of a ute) to Zipolite. Again this would only be a short distance, a half hour bouncy ride to more great beaches.