Zipolite, Oaxaca, Mexico

Zipolite is a small beach village nestled between the brilliant blues of the Pacific Ocean and the lush green canopy of the Sierra Madras. Highway 175 and the main roads near the beach are well maintained by Mexico standards. Taking these roads west will lead you to San Agustinillo and east to Puerto Angel, all within an hour or so of walking or ten minutes by taxi or collectivo. 

Zipolite’s weather was unpredictable; storms of wind and rain, thunder and lightning, overcast days, beautiful sunny warm days and cooler nights. The temperatures and humidity stay consistent during the different times of the day.

(Jim's Version): Found this little gem, well... because it's a nude beach. It combines beach, sun and nada... What could be better? Inexpensive food and drinks you ask? Check. A killer view of the Pacific Ocean and the pounding waves beating down over the small sandy shore on unsuspecting tourists? Yep. But the sunsets will be what I take with me. Each and every one presented a spectacularly different version of the place we called home. 

August-September (31 days)
*Cost per Day  ($75.00) 

*Includes accommodations, local transportation & flex fund- (groceries/supplies, entertainment, activities, all eating and drinking out)

Click below on what interest you:

Travel & Safety
Accommodations & Transportation
Eats & Drinks
Groceries & Supplies
Photo Gallery

Travel & Safety

We flew into Oaxaca City, it's a small and easy airport to navigate. Our health questionnaires were already completed with the QR code on our phones, which allowed us to slip through that line. I was so thankful when we got to customs and they let Jim push the button for both of us. Jim always gets green and I get red! Yes it’s just a button you push and green means go, red means they make a mess out of your neatly organized backpack. One more reason I should pack more like Jim. From de-planning to a taxi took 25 minutes. The taxi ride to our AirBnB was about 35 minutes and cost 490 pesos. We stayed in Oaxaca for two days before heading south. 

We chose Eclipse 70 for transportation from Oaxaca to Zipolite. We split the seven hour ride in the “vomit van” (referred to because of the windy mountain roads) in half to spend a few days in San Jose Del Pacifico. The ride wasn't bad, just long. This little town is chilly at elevations above 8,000 feet. It was a 20 minute walk through the clouds to town. Definitely recommend Cafe Pacifico for a warm, 500 pesos tea consisting of honey and other goodies. It is magical and heats you up.

It was 680 pesos ($33) for us to go from Oaxaca to SJDP to Zipolite. When we arrived in Zipolite, we showed the driver our location on Google maps and he dropped us off there, which was pretty cool.

Tip: For both trips we purchased our tickets the day before ensuring the time and our seats on the nine passenger van. (Alisa’s idea).

We felt safe in both SJDP and Zipolite.  As always, don’t be a dumbass, but this place is almost dumbass proof.

Accommodations & Transportation

Sometimes we forego the ease of a beachfront rental and endure sore muscles for a place with a view.  We settled on Case Lluvia de Sol through AirBnB. The view did not disappoint. We were perched three stories up on the highest point of Zipolite facing west. Needless to say, the sunsets were breathtaking. The walk down and back up from the beach, not so much. After a day on the beach, dripping with sweat, we’d hop in the shower with only one knob- F (Frio). Refreshing after the hike, freezing balls any other time. 

Looking through the over sized sliding glass doors we were greeted with the first rays of a new day smiling on the vast Pacific. Over coffee, we spent mornings watching white capped waves splashing against the beach.  All this beauty was only surpassed by the picture perfect sunsets and the occasional lightning storms that lit up the sky well into the night. However, we didn’t realize how much we missed the comforts of a couch, windows and a roof especially when the storms started. 

Zipolite and the neighboring towns all have collectivos, open air pickup trucks with seating in the back, which provided the cheapest way to get around besides walking. There are also taxis everywhere and quite a few places to rent scooters. Taxis aren’t cheap and the cost goes up at night, so prepare for that. As always, ask the price to your destination before you get in and don’t be afraid to haggle. Taxi rides to neighboring places cost anywhere from 100-200 pesos and a ride to or from the house to the beach cost between 75-150 pesos. 

We walked the majority of the time. Alisa slowly overcame or at least confronted her fear of wild dogs roaming the streets. She strategically placed sticks around town like a cache of treasures she could use anytime one of the dangerous (harmless), rabid (healthy) beasts (little puppies) charged her. Pieces of a fresh baguette actually worked surprisingly well. Still a little sad they thought I was throwing rocks at them. 

Eats & Drinks

The beach was lined with beach bars showcasing their dingy plastic chairs, umbrellas with hard wood Adirondacks or lounge style chairs which were covered with sticky dirty plastic foam. All bars had some sort of happy hour and we worked our way down trying to find the cleanest, cheapest and best drinks we could. Here are the results:

  • Nice Place on the Beach - 2 X 1 cocktails for 70 pesos and 25 peso beers.  
  • Lola’s - They only have chicken wings on the weekends. Make sure you try them, they’re yummy and well worth the 60 pesos. 
  • Xhuba - Amazing coconut shrimp. Be forewarned, they are huge. The drinks were good and the atmosphere was nice, just not nice enough to justify the price. 
  • Antojitos El Dani  -has the best torta’s we tried. Ask for extra red sauce. Thirty-five pesos for a huge chicken torta. 
  • Don De Franco - has some decent Italian food, especially their meat lasagna. 
  • Zen Lounge - Dartboard! Cheap drinks! But they don’t open til 7pm. 
  • El Caracol Surfer - Cheap drinks, amazing sunsets. 
  • Géminis Pizza - They have a decent selection of pizzas and deliver through Whatsapp.
  • Los Almendros - not impressed with the tlayuda, but the beers were cheap and it's on the main street. 

Groceries & Supplies

We did our shopping at small stores, tiendas, by the beach and the one larger supermercado in the neighboring town of Puerto Angel. 

The local tiendas had fruits, veggies and basic pantry items. No need for menu planning or grocery lists, we have learned to creatively make meals with what is available. We bought most of our bread from a small bakery called Pan de Vida, which sold baguettes, cookies and croissants, but we had to get there early and it was closed on Sundays. A delicious fresh baguette was only 13 pesos.

We found an Italian market called Chipirin that had Italian appetizers, meats and cheeses, alcohol and wine. Alcohol prices were reasonable but everything else was overpriced. 

7 Regions was the largest supermercado, a five minute taxi ride or 35 minute walk from our house.  There were four small aisles filled with household paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, etc), pet and household supplies. The back wall was lined with wines, liquor and beer.  There were three small rows of canned goods, cereals, coffees, dry beans, rice, chips, cookies and three refrigerators that held yogurt, milk, drinks, hot dogs, hamburger patties and cheeses. The butcher's corner is in the back where we found butter, more cheese and a small meat case that was mainly filled with different cuts of pork.  Every time we shopped there were two armed policia. Prices were cheaper than the tiendas and they accepted credit cards, when the system worked. 

There were about three pharmacies or medico’s that carried most of the items found pharmacy's in the states along with a few popular prescription items. We found contact solution, vitamin C, OFF, sunscreen and Advil, prices were reasonable.

There were a handful of other stores we saw that sold typical tourist clothes, souvenirs and other various items.


  • Zipolite stores stopped selling alcohol at 6pm, due to restrictions from Covid. 
  • There are two ATM's in town. Both only allow 5000 pesos/day withdrawal. One ran out of cash. 
  • Items we have found useful to bring:  
    • Spices (packed in small Chapstick containers)  
    •  Ziplocks (various sizes) 
    •  2 plastic cutting boards  
    •  Knife sharpener   
    •  Clorox wipes  
    •  2 bottles of alcohol   
    •  2 small hand towels


There are things to do in Zipolite, but for us it was a place to do nothing. The sunny days consisted of a 35 minute cardio and leg workout to the beach and then the rest of the day bouncing around between laying on the sand, lounging at a beach bar or carefully cooling off in the water. (The waves are tough and on a few occasions we watched the volunteer lifeguards go in to help someone). Playa Angel and Playa Agustinillo are both nice and more suitable for swimming but prices were higher, the beach was smaller and clothes were required.

Playa del Amor is a small beach in between two hills at the east end of Playa Zipolite.  We took the 50 or so steps to the top and was greeted with a beautiful secluded small sandy beach. We got to the beach around 10:45 a.m. and had it all to ourselves.  There were two huts that at some point during the day probably opened up to sell cold drinks.  The water and waves were wonderful for floating and cooling off. However, there was little shade and at noon more people started to join us.

We had an hour and half, deep tissue couples massage at Massage Zipolite on the beach. Afterwards, we slowly walked awhile, plopped down and remained there the rest of the day, it was that good. We looked at other massage places but they wouldn't take couples, and we don’t like to take turns. The price was high compared to the other massage places, 1,200 pesos a person. 

We also enjoyed walking to Puerto Angel, Faro Lighthouse and around the rest of town just looking and exploring. Quite a few little places were closed. Some were closed because of Covid and had a reopen date for later in the month, others because everyone was passed out in the hammocks from the night before….you just never knew.

So what will we take away from our month in Zipolite? Between the dogs and chickens, the cheap food and drinks, the sunshine and the rain, we carved out a little slice of paradise that went quicker than space cake sold on the beach! Paraiso! Yes. We'll be back. 


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