After leaving Mazunte in the heat of midday we arrived by colectivo ute within 30 minutes to Zipolite, another small coastal town renown for it’s great beach, which also happens to be one of the most well known nude beaches in Mexico. Never fear, you can keep reading because you won’t find any mention of us going starkers or any photos of naked people on the beach (I hope). Zipolite if possible felt smaller than Mazunte with one main road which loops around in a semicircle to rejoin with the main road.
We set of to locate the places we had found online which looked promising for our accommodation. Along our walk through town we found heaps of dirt cheap places to stay but they all looked a bit rough so we kept walking. Our goal was a place Tom had looked at online which was off the beach in a jungle setting. After arriving and getting no answer from the bell we hung around for a while investigating a huge stick insect on the gate. It was probably 30cm long! While we were amusing ourselves with this (I promise we only touched it once each so we weren’t being horrible to the wildlife) the owner showed up. Perfect timing. He showed us to an individual cabaña with a small outdoor kitchen and while we were thinking about it he let us leave our bags so we could investigate other places. So nice! It was great being able to explore without our packs but he must have known we would return and accept the place because it was a great price.
Without our packs there was one main hotel we wanted to look at. It was way above our price range at 600 peso per night but we wanted a look nonetheless in case we returned in the future. It was as pretty as it looked in the photos and very hard to walk away but we were happy with our cabaña we had decided on. Booking for a week we settled in before quickly throwing on swimwear and sunscreen and heading to the beach. As I mentioned earlier Zipolite is a nudist beach but after arriving it was very obvious that a majority of people were still in swimsuits as were we. Although that’s not to say that we didn’t see people walking the beach or swimming nude, they were just in the minority.
The waves were quite large as seemed to be the norm down this stretch of the coast and with red flags out we weren’t able to swim very deep, much to Tom’s disgust. The exception to this was the locals who were out in the huge breakers with body-boards and flippers daringly picking up the waves and zooming around. We splashed around for a while before deciding to walk the length of the beach while we dried out before dinner. At the very end of the bay we found a 2×1 sign and on a whim decided to stop in and have not only a beer but also a cocktail. We are easily swayed by cheap alcohol and what better setting than on a beach watching the sunset.
With a slightly light-headed feel we continued to the restaurant which we had been given three separate recommendations for during the day; all without us asking. The restaurant speciality was fish and we ordered two of their house recommended dishes; fish with mushroom sauce and a stuffed fish with cheese and ham. When the orders arrived the plates were huge we should have ordered one to share. But it had been a long time since breakfast so we gave them a good go with Tom finishing mine off. Although the fish was slightly overcooked the meals were delicious. We almost rolled back to our cabaña that night. Having a kitchen we only ate at a restaurant two other nights of the week and this was because we discovered that produce was a little expensive so didn’t buy as much as we would usually.
That night we discovered the plethora of mosquitoes which seemed to like the environment we were staying in. There were so many that I discovered a cloud of them in our room and I could feel them bashing against my skin as I walked though in the dim light. Gross! Having anti-bug smoke coils from our stay in Oaxaca we set a few alight in our room to ward them off. Luckily we also had a good net over the bed. Have I mentioned how much I dislike mosquitoes? And how much they seem to love me? Every day we were here I would get more and more bites no matter how much bug spray I used. Waking up while on the coast, I got used to thinking “Oh there’s a new itchy spot”. Also another norm was the nightly ritual of hunting around inside the mosquito net for the one or two which somehow got in until they could be found and squashed.
Our first morning I ventured out of our room to find an overwhelming amount of ants taking over our little patio. I’m not a huge insect person so there was a little bit of squealing as I encouraged Tom to somehow get rid of them. Tom on the other hand seems to be fascinated by ants/most bugs and much to my frustration often stops to investigate them. Sure enough instead of removing them from anywhere near me Tom settled down and watched. We soon discovered that we had an all out ant war happening on our doorstep. At the start I had found small black ants and large brown ants and it seems like the more numerous smaller ones were chasing the larger ones (who were just there to eat some termites) and any they caught were ripped to bits and carried off for breakfast. Poor big ants. Another type, these one large black ones, joined the fray and began hunting the the small ants, harrying them as the smaller ones retreated with their kills. Finally after the warring ants had gone the usual tiny brown ones reappeared to clean up any leftovers. So within 15 minutes my patio had gone from being overrun by ants, to having a crazy ant war, to being empty once again. I was just happy they had gone.
Our days here were pretty laid back and lazy with beach time each day, the exception being the day when we were both sunburnt. The weather had improved a lot and we were getting stunning blue skies each day. The waves stayed a little on the large side but most days the flag was yellow so we could swim properly. Day by day our tans grew darker. I’ve never been this brown (or dark golden for me as that’s as dark as I go) before in memory. I’m still showing signs of it now after travelling inland for over two weeks.
Only finding small tienda style shops in town that had limited selections of fruit and veges we ventured off to Puerto Angel to hopefully find a market. Puerto Angel is a slightly larger local town about 15 minutes away so it was easy to grab a colectivo and make our way there. The market turned out to be a bit rubbish and the produce was still more than we had been paying in other locations. This is probably due to the remote locations we were in. We also popped into a small supermarket and stocked up on some other bits and pieces, mainly yoghurt, pasta, tortillas and an all important bottle of rum.
After being approached on the beach by a guy selling snorkelling tours we decided to book for the next day as it was a reasonable price. I had never been snorkelling before and was looking forward to it.
Awake and breakfasted nice and early we headed off on our tour. It would leave from Puerto Angel where we had previously paid a short visit in search of fruit and vege. We took off in the boat into some large rolling swells to search for some marine life. We got our first sightings of sea turtles in the wild here but they were quite shy creatures and ducked below the surface before I could get any photos.
After the turtles spottings the boat was turned back towards land and the bays where we would be able to do some snorkelling. The rolling of the waves was starting to make me feel queasy so I was happy to jump out and start checking out the reefs. Turns out floating is really easy when you have a snorkel and mask on so I bobbed around checking out some beautiful fish near the boat. I think my all time favourite fish I saw was a stunning deep blue fish with iridescent bluish green spots which would shine and flicker in the sunlight filtering through the water. Tom took off on a mission as he tends to and got a decent fright as an eagle ray about a half metre wide soared past him from over a shoulder.
My motion sickness started up again after about 45 minutes of floating around in the swells and got to the point where I swum back to the boat and ended up being properly sick. Goodbye breakfast. So it turns out that I can add sea sickness to my car, bus and occasional plane sickness. I hated being ‘that person’ on a tour while I rested my head on the side of the boat. Once we had reached the next bay I swum into the shore and lay in the sand to escape the rocking of the boat. Feeling yuck I passed on jumping off a rock into the water but Tom had two goes and I queasily took photos from the boat. I made it through the rest of the day and back to our cabaña where I felt sorry for myself for the rest of the evening.
The rest of our week in Zipolite continued in a similar way but with a rest day thrown in to give our sunburnt skin some respite. The waves stayed a little on the rough side but that didn’t stop Tom from enjoying them. I stayed further away from the dumping waves not wanting to get wiped out and churned up with the potential of loosing my bikini (wouldn’t be the first time). But that’s not to say that I escaped all of them.
Using up our all leftover food in creative ways (all leftovers can be turned into a scrambled egg dish) we ate twice more in town. One night was delicious pizzas, yes plural because we ordered two and ate both and man were they good! Finally on the last morning we packed up slowly and after saying our thank-yous and goodbyes we headed off to find a bus further down the coast.
Although we enjoyed our stay in Zipolite we weren’t sad to leave the expensive produce or numerous mosquitoes behind.