Zipolite Mazunte San Augustinillo questions Late march, right b4 holy week
Replies: 6 - Last Post: Jan 21, 2012 7:16 AM Last Post By: mclarjh
Jan 19, 2012 8:46 PM
I am a 31 year old solo female traveller, planning my first trip to Mexico in March of this year, and I have spent the past couple of days reading up on thorn tree, but I have a couple of questions that I didn't seem to find answered on here already, so I thought I'd ask.
1. I gather that holy week is a very busy time of year, and it's advised to have arrangements for lodging in advance, so I was wondering if that meant that the week leading up to holy week is going to be very busy, or that I will be OK winging it to find accommodations?? I will be taking the bus down to the coast from Oaxaca on the 25th of March, and leaving for DF on the 29th (I have my hotel reservations already made for DF) Palm Sunday is the 1st of April, and that makes me unsure if I should plan out my time on the beach or just go with the flow...
2. Unfortunately I have some serious time constraints, and I want to get the beach choice right the first time, so I don't waste a lot of time moving around... I am trying to choose between Manzute, Zipolite and San Augustinillo , and I am not sure which would be the best fit for me.. I have spent a lot of time in Ko Phangan, Thailand, but I am not a rowdy partier these days, I just like the international backpacker scene, and relaxed hippie vibe. I hope to find some basic bungalow-like place to stay, where I might have an outlet to charge a phone, and a sense of security about my belongings (within reason) when I walk out the door for the day to explore. I am most concerned with being able to swim at the beach I am staying at, and also the possibility to meet some fellow travellers, and share some sunsets and cervezas.... Any thoughts? I am worried that zipolite may be too much like Had Rin in Ko Phangan, and that is NOT the scene I am looking for at all.. if you know ko phangan and could offer your opinion, I would appreciate it! I am looking for something similar to Ban Tai, Had Yao, or Sanctuary beaches, like had yuan or something like that...
3. Last question: I am not sure whether or not it is easiest to fly back to DF from Hualtuco or Puerto Escondido? Is either one significantly better/ less hassle? It seems that huatulco is significantly cheaper ($50 usd less) than PE, and I wasn't sure what to do...
Any advice is welcomed, and thanks for taking the time to read my post!!
Jan 19, 2012 10:14 PM
1I always go at xmas & New years, but I understand that it is jammed more during easter than at Christmas, and it's a younger crowd, so more partying. But Zipolite is always the best area to stay, you can visit Mazunte if you want easily, and San Augustnillo is in-between. Zipo has more choices to stay, to eat, and to drink. It also has Shambala at one end of the beach. From the peacfullness of Shambala to the nude beach below and a wide array of people in between you will find enough pools of water to swim that are safe, friendly people everywhere, really! But none of the beaches are good to swim in very far out. Red Flags most of the days, with yellow caution flags up occasionally. But they have great lifeguards on duty with lots of safety tools to help. They stay busy. Mainly you need to stay inside the breakers, and watch for the riptides. Puerto & Huatulco are 45 min and 50 min away, easy to get to each. I always seem to fly out of Hualtuco just because the flights are cheaper for me. Puerto is too big these days, Hualtuco is brand new out in the country, small and easy.
Zipolite faces straight south, in the morning you see the sunrise to the left, and in the evening you see the sun set to the right. Zipo is the most beautiful place to be. Mazunte has sunrises but no sunset, and San Augustinillo has only sunsets no sunrises.
Zipolite has been my favorite place in the world since 1978.
PS. Sorry I do not know of these places in Thailand, but I have met many travelers in Zipo that have been there and say this is the best!
Jan 20, 2012 12:18 PM
21. Easter week is very busy in Mexico at the seaside, but I wonder if Zipolite would be an exception. The reason is that Mexicans flock to the beaches then, but Zipolite attracts mostly foreign tourists, so you might be alright just showing up.
2. Puerto Escondido offers more swimming friendly beaches than Zipolite or Mazunte (and not sure about San Agustinillo).
3. There was a thread about transportation from the Huatulco airport a few weeks ago, check it. Puerto Escondido can be reached by frequent second class buses operating along the highway; take a colectivo or camioneta to reach the highway from Zipolite (although that still leaves the several km leg to the airport immediately northwest of town; either take a taxi, or another colectivo and walk the last 500 m).
By the way, I have been to Thailand (but not the places you mention) and Zipolite, Mazunte, and Puerto Escondido.
Jan 20, 2012 4:05 PM
3San Augustinillo does have some nice swimming on most days.
Zipolite, and the whole coast will be very busy for the Holy week, but if you get there before the first weekend you will have no problem finding a room. It is pretty quiet anytime but the 3 holiday weeks each year. Very few places even take reservations down there, so all you have to do is get there first, which it sounds like you're gonna do anyway.
Jan 20, 2012 7:16 PM
4I can say from experience that all those beaches will be crowded for Semana Santa. Its pretty fun, actually, but very different from the usual scene on that stretch of coast. Its been a few years since I've been down there, but the couple years that I was there during that time, it was just holy week itself that was packed, not the week before, and it didnt even get full-on crazy until the later half of the week. If you're leaving 3 days before it starts, it won't be an issue for you at all. You may want to have your ticket out in hand in advance, just to be sure.
Getting the beach right isnt too hard. All of them are great. I've been out of the loop a few years, and things down there are changing. But in general, San Agustinillo is the least developed, Zipo the most. However, nothing down there is very developed. Palm thatch and hammock sloth are the order of the day. Zipo isnt 'rowdy', so don't worry about that. Unless things have drastically changed, Zipo has one or two tiny discos playing mostly salsa and reggae, that's about as crazy as it gets. Most of the beach is dead-quiet at night. You'd want either Zipo or Mazunte for the social aspect.
Safer swimming, Mazunte is the best bet. Though I prefer to stare at the monster surf on the other two. Zipo and San Agustinillo, you can get in the water (I do), but you had better be seriously careful. People still die there, even with the lifeguards. I had one very scary experience in the waves on San Agustinillo. Ask the Zipolite lifeguards to point out the bad currents and safer swimming spots.
Each beach has its fans. Anyway, they are all so close to each other that you can walk from Mazunte to Zipolite in an hour or two (do this, its a fun hike). Or hop in a pickup. So you really can't go too wrong wherever you end up.
Incidentally, regarding the sun and sky, Zipo does have the dual sunrise/sunset, but only in the winter months. I cant remember if they're still visible from the beach in late March. Probably. And Mazunte has the best sunset spot of all, Punta Cometa, a short hike over the rocks. Spectacular. Though it is rivaled by Shambhala's meditation point, on the cliffs at the west end of Zipolite.
Jan 20, 2012 8:12 PM
5Thanks for your responses!!
I think Zipolite and Mazunte might be the best fit for me... It's reassuring to know that I can easily hop between the beaches and experience them all. I am going to have my return flight to MEX booked in advance, so that shouldn't be an issue for me! Getting really excited for this trip- I wish it was time to leave! If anyone has any other tips or wisdom they would like to pass on, I am grateful in advance.
Jan 21, 2012 7:16 AM
6Have a look at the well-regarded http://www.tomzap.com website for general (if somewhat dated) background information and great aerial photos of the places you plan to visit.
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