Mexico: The Mainland

The Beach

Aug 31, 2001
Outside Magazine

Puerto Ángel
In a snug little bay on the southern coast of Oaxaca, half-way between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, this humble fishing village of 8,000 has long been a destination for backpackers en route to and from San Cristóbal, the Yucatán, and Guatemala. At Playa Zipolite, a mile north of town, you'll find the only quasi-sanctioned nude beach in Mexico, Playa Nudista (also called Playa de los Muertos, or Dead Men's Beach, for its ferocious undertow). The beach is ideal for a lazy stroll, vigorous bodysurfing, hammock-induced alpha-wave lounging, and a meal of red snapper fried in garlic at Zipolite's.
Stay right on the beach at one of the no-name hammock-cabaña places (about $5 per day), or head back over the hill to Posada de Cañón de Vata (doubles, about $35; Box 74, Pochutla, Oaxaca 70900), a hideaway tucked inside a dense, semitropical forest of teak, mahogany, ebony, and mango. There's no phone or street address, but Puerto Ángel is so small you can find it easily—it's about 100 yards from Playa del Panteón (Graveyard Beach), the town's main beach.

For a break from town, take the half-mile cab ride south to Club Playa Estacahuite, a small palapa bar/restaurant perched on a rocky point that looks south toward the bays of Huatulco. There's great snorkeling just off the exposed coast here: swim around with sea tortoises, barracuda, and moray eels.

Filed To: Water Activities

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