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17 Best Things to Do in Mazunte Mexico in 2022

Wondering what to do in Mazunte, Oaxaca?

You’ve come to the right place to discover the 17 best things to do in Mazunte. This Oaxaca beach town and Mexico pueblo magico (magic town) might be small, but there’s plenty to do and see once you arrive.

Mazunte is the ideal place for travelers seeking nature, rest and relaxation. If you’re looking for a laid-back, bohemian town, with friendly locals, gorgeous beaches, and turtles 🐢 (we’ll get to this), look no further than Mazunte.

In this article, you’ll discover all the best Mazunte attractions and sites, but you’ll also get some info on the town itself. After the list of things to do in Mazunte, check out the Mazunte FAQ that follows.

If this is your first time traveling to Mazunte, you’ll be a pro by the time you finish reading this article. Ready to dive in? Let’s get to it!

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

1. Playa Mermejita: Best Beach in Mazunte

playa mermejita in mazunte oaxaca mexico
Playa Mermejita, the best beach in Mazunte, and what some call the most beautiful beach in Mexico on the Pacific Coast.

🏝 Understanding Mazunte Beaches

Mazunte has relatively untouched beaches, so they are all beautiful and peaceful — and you can’t go wrong with any of them! There are four beaches in Mazunte: Playa Mazunte, Playa Cometa, Playa Rinconcito and Playa Mermejita.

The beaches are divided by Punta Cometa, a hillside precipice, and the southernmost point in the state of Oaxaca. The most famous of all Mazunte beaches is Playa Mermejita, one of the best beaches in Mexico.

📍 Where is Playa Mermejita?

Playa Mermejita is the first beach found to the west of Punta Cometa. The beach is actually located in the tiny town of Mermejita, a small beach village uninhabited until recently, but everyone associates it with Mazunte.

Playa Mermejita is a virgin beach with long stretches of golden sand — and pretty much nothing else! There’s no restaurants, restrooms or services, so you’ll want to show up with everything you need for the day.

☀️ Things to do at Playa Mermejita

Playa Mermejita beach in mazunte mexico

At the west end of the beach, lookout for the rock formation known as La Ventana, which means “the window” in Spanish. On the east end, there’s Toron Rock, a great place to look for dolphins, orcas, or whales.

It is also one of the only two places in Oaxaca where you catch a glimpse of the rare leatherback turtle nests. Mazunte is one of the most popular turtle nesting grounds in all Mexico, especially nearby Playa La Escobilla.

Playa Mermejita is perfect for leisurely, long walks on the beach, playing some ball, and seeing a stunning Pacific Coast sunset. It’s not ideal for swimming, as the waves are usually huge and strong, but some people swim anyway.

In recent years, Playa Mermejita has become a nudist beach, though it’s not technically legal. The only legal nude beach in Mexico is in Zipolite, located about 20 minutes from Mazunte.

How to get to Playa Mermejita Mazunte

Getting to Mermejita Beach requires a hike, but the reward is that you might have a private beach all to yourself. You’ll want to walk to the southern end of Playa Rinconcito, then take the trail up the side of the hill.

This path will take you to a few places, including Mermejita Beach and the Punta Cometa overlook, which is the best place to watch the sunset in Mazunte. The hiking trails are clearly noted with signs, so you won’t get lost.

The hike isn’t difficult, but you’ll want sneakers or at least hiking sandals. People absolutely do this walk in flip flops, or even barefoot, but it’s a much more pleasant trek in shoes. Also, bring mosquito repellent 🦟

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

2. See the Sunrise or Sunset at Punta Cometa

man standing on a cliff with the ocean in the background (Punta Cometa in Mazunte at sunset)
Fun Fact: The rocky cape at Punta Cometa is the southernmost point in Oaxaca Mexico.

🤔 What is Punta Cometa?

Punta Cometa (AKA Cerro Sagrada, or Sacred Hill) was used in pre-Hispanic times as a ceremonial center. Today, it is a gathering place by Mazunte visitors and locals alike, and the best spot in town to see the epic Mazunte sunsets.

Punta Cometa is a point of land that juts into the Pacific Ocean. Given its unique geographic position at the southernmost point in Oaxaca state, visitors get to enjoy 180° views of the Pacific Ocean just below you.

How to get to Punta Cometa Mazunte

Punta Cometa is just a short and relatively easy hike up from Playa Rinconcito. You can access the path up from the southern end of Playa Rinconcito, where you’ll see the trail to take up the side of the hill.

You can walk to Punta Cometa all day, but it’s especially popular at sunset when you’ll get some amazing views from the clifftop. At Punta Cometa, you have 180° panoramic ocean views, and you can see all the Mazunte beaches.

Hiking the Punta Cometa Trail

rugged pathway to an oceanfront, cliffside overlook called Punta Cometa in Mazunte, Mexico
The hiking path to Punta Cometa Mazunte.

The hike to Punta Cometa can be a little challenging, but it’s only about a 15 minute walk. Once you reach the Punta Cometa viewpoint, you’ll see it was totally worth it. 🐋 Visiting in winter? You’ll likely see some whales from here.

While some people who do this hike in beach sandals or even barefoot, you’ll want to opt for sneakers or hiking sandals. The trail to Punta Cometa is completely unpaved, so footwear really does come in handy.

The trail is not lit at all. If you’re going for sunset, a flashlight or headlamp will come in handy, or just make sure your phone is fully charged so you can use the flashlight. Oh, an don’t forget the eco-friendly bug spray 🦟

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

3. Playa Rinconcito: Main Beach in Mazunte

beach town of mazunte oaxaca mexico pueblos magicos

Playa Rinconcito is the best beach in Mazunte for swimming. It has calm waters, making it the perfect place for a dip in the Pacific Ocean, even if you aren’t a strong swimmer. The beach has lifeguards, though not at all times.

🤿 Note: Even though this is the best swimming beach in Mazunte, be careful when swimming in Mazunte — anywhere. The Pacific Ocean waves can get huge, and there’s often a strong current.

This is the main beach in town, and also the most lively. It is located at the end of Calle Rinconcito, where you’ll find all the best Mazunte restaurants, bars and tour operators.

Besides beachfront restaurants right in the sand, you can also rent chairs and umbrellas here. 🏖 Prices vary, but plan for about $200 pesos ($10 USD). In the evenings, locals head here to play beach volleyball as the sun sets.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

4. Other Beaches in Mazunte: Playa Cometa & Playa Mazunte

Playa Cometa, a small beach cove in Mazunte, Mexico
Playa Cometa is a small beach cove located just next to Playa Mermejita.

Playa Cometa Beach

Located in Punta Cometa State Park, this small beach cove is accessible on the same hiking path that goes to the Punta Cometa sunset spot. It is a rustic beach with no services, so come prepared.

The waves at Playa Cometa get big, so you won’t want to swim here. However, it’s the perfect place to take in the hypnotic sounds of the Pacific Ocean. To swim, head to Playa Rinconcito, the best beach for swimming in Mazunte.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

Playa Mazunte Beach

beach in mazunte mexico called Playa Mazunte
Playa Mazunte and Playa Rinconcito, located next to one another, are the best beaches in Mazunte, as they have the most to offer visitors.

Playa Mazunte is located right next to Playa Rinconcito. It’s usually less crowded because Rinconcito has all the restaurants and is better for swimming. 🐾 Traveling with a pet? These beaches are both dog friendly.

Playa Mazunte has a hippy vibe to it, and not much in the way of services. During the high season or busy season from about November to April, some palapa cafes and restaurants open, but it’s usually just a peaceful beach.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

5. Playa Zipolite: Visit the Mexico Nude Beach

beach in Zipolite mexico at sunset

Of the four Oaxaca Riviera towns, Zipolite is the most famous (or, infamous) as it has Mexico’s only legal public nude beach. While nudity is tolerated at other beaches in Mexico, it’s only legal here in Zipolite.

Though all Zipolite beaches are nude beaches, many beach-goers in Zipolite remain clothed. If you want to bare it all without stares, head to the area known locally as Playa Desnudo (Nude Beach), outside the Naked Hotel Zipolite.

There’s Playa del Amor (Lover’s Beach), small beach cove popular with LGBTQ+ travelers. This is a lively place, both day and night, and if you’re looking for things to do in Zipolite at night, head here.

🤔 Zipolite vs Mazunte: Which is better?

If you don’t want tan lines, opt for Zipolite! All kidding aside, Mazunte looks a lot like Zipolite, and they both have similar bohemian vibes, so if you like one you’ll probably like the other.

Mazunte is a bit more zen, while Zipolite can be a bit more lively, especially within the local LGBTQ+ scene. As they are located just 20 minutes apart, you can always visit them both and see which one suits you best.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

6. Eat at the Best Restaurants in Mazunte

plate of grilled fish and veggies at Siddharta, one of the best restaurants in Mazunte Mexico
Siddharta is an eclectic Mazunte restaurant, serving everything from pasta to fresh fish.

When in doubt, one of the best things to do in Mazunte is eat! In Mazunte, you’ll definitely want to try traditional Oaxaca food, but there are plenty of other options as well.

🌮 What is Oaxaca food?

Oaxacan cuisine fuses indigenous traditions and local ingredients. This sets it apart from other regional cuisines, and for many, this is not the food you know as traditional Mexican food.

Today, Oaxaca state is known for having some of the best cuisine in Mexico. The capital city, Oaxaca de Juarez (AKA Oaxaca City), is known as the “Foodie Capital of Mexico,” and you’ll definitely have some tasty food in Mazunte as well.

Whether you’re craving traditional Oaxacan cuisine, or something a little closer to home, there are many types of restaurants in Mazunte. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the best Mazunte restaurants that you won’t want to miss.

🍽 For a complete list of places to try, head to the Top 15 Best Restaurants in Mazunte.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

La Pizzeria: Best Pizza in Mazunte

pizza going into a brick oven at La Pizzeria in Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico

La Pizzeria is a brick oven pizza joint, but it’s actually known as the best restaurant in Mazunte. It’s also budget-friendly, and you can get a whole pizza margarita and a few beers for about $200 MXN pesos ($10 USD).

The owner is Italian, and actually there’s a large Italian expat population on the Oaxaca Coast, so this pizza is way better than it should be for rural Mexico. When you visit, you’ll see him in the kitchen throwing the dough to make your pizza.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

Café Panchatantra: Best Coffee in Mazunte

latte and small cookie at Café Panchatantra in Mazunte, Mexico
Latte and handmade marzipan. (Photo: Café Pancha Tantra)

Looking for the best coffee in Mazunte? Head to Café Panchatantra, which has an award-winning barista on staff who does latte art that will blow your mind! The owners, Nina and Rob are also coffee lovers, and it shows.

Along with rich, organic coffee, they sell a variety of pastries, including sugar-free cakes and vegan desserts. If you’re looking for a quaint, cozy, and adorable coffee shop in Mazunte, don’t miss Cafe Panchatantra.

☕️ Must Try: Pluma Hidalgo Coffee

Pluma Hidalgo is considered the best coffee in Mexico. It is sustainably grown and ethically sourced from the Pluma Hidalgo Municipality, located in the Sierra Madre Mountains, not far from Mazunte.

While in town, make sure to try some pluma hidalgo Oaxaca coffee. They usually serve it at Café Panchatantra, or you can look for pluma hidalgo at Cometa Café, Icaro Café and El Gecko Mazunte.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

El Cenzontle: Best Burgers in Mazunte

burger, fries and beer at El Cenzontle, one of the best restaurants in Mazunte Mexico

The best burger in Mazunte is at El Cenzontle, located on Calle Rinconcito near Playa Rinconcito Beach. This is an equal opportunity burger joint, which caters to all diets with meat burgers, fish burgers and vegan burgers available.

They have a rotating list of farm-to-table ingredients you can add as a burger topping. You can add as many burger toppings you’d like, and you’re only limited by what the kitchen has on hand that day — so go wild.

All burgers at El Cenzontle Mazunte are served with a side of homemade fries and a cold craft beer. 🍻Side Note: When you automatically get a Mexican beer with your burger, you know you’re at a quality establishment.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

A few more restaurants in Mazunte

oaxacan food called a tlayuda, on a place with knife and fork
Make sure you try a Oaxacan tlayuda while visiting Mazunte. This is the quintessential Oaxaca street food, and you’ll find a great one at Restaurant Tadeo.

Want to check out some additional restaurants in Mazunte? For a small town, there are quite a few Mazunte restaurant options to choose from. If you need a few more suggestions, try these:

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

7. Water Massage at Corazon del Agua (Aguahara)

one woman giving another woman a Water Massage at Corazon del Agua in Mazunte Mexico (Aguahara)
An Aguahara Water Massage with JoJo is a transformative experience! (Photo: Corazón del Agua)

Wondering where to get a massage in Mazunte? You may not have heard of Augahara water massages yet, but this is something unique you can only get in a few places, including Mazunte.

Corazon del Agua Mazunte is a holistic center run by JoJo Walsh. For the last 10 years, she has dedicated her life to helping individuals with their body, mind, and soul connection, allowing them to reconnect with their inner selves.

Along with different types of services, Jojo offers these Aguahara Water Massages — an ancient Eastern water therapy. This is one of the highest-rated experiences in Mazunte, with a 5 Star rating.

A beautiful, profound, and unforgettable experience. Jo is a wonderful guide into this ancient art… Highly recommend. —Melissa M.

read more reviews

Each one-on-one session is entirely personalized for your needs. During your session, you’re continuously supported while Jojo gently moves, stretches, cradles, and massages you in the water.

As one of the spiritual epicenters in Mexico, this is exactly the type of thing that draws many to Mazunte. If you want deep relaxation, and a way to melt away your stress and tension, Aguahara is a must do in Mazunte.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

8. Eco-Tours of Laguna Ventanilla Nature Sanctuary

iguana resting in a tree at Laguna Ventanill Nature Sanctuary, mazunte mexico
🌎 If you’re looking to practice eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable tourism in Mazunte that supports the local community — this is it.

Laguna Ventanilla is a lagoon that 20 families have taken up conservation efforts to protect. They are known as the Ventanilla Ecotourism Cooperative. As Ventanilla Lagoon is accessible only by boat, you must go with a tour.

You can catch a tour in Mazunte from the guys in the red shirts, who usually hang out near the entrance to Playa Rinconcito. If you don’t see them, just ask a local — in Mazunte, everyone knows everyone else.

Laguna Ventanilla offers a chance to get out into nature and see another side of Mazunte, away from the beaches. While boating through the mangroves, be on the lookout for iguanas, spider monkeys, deer and crocodiles.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

9. Mazunte Yoga Classes at Hridaya Oaxaca

woman doing yoga on the beach in mazunte mexico

Mazunte attracts a lot of yogis, healers and spiritual folk. In town, close to the border with San Agustinillo, you’ll find Hridaya Yoga Mazunte, which has drop-in yoga and meditation classes by donation at their beautiful ashram.

🧘‍♀️ Side note: I did one of the 10 day silent meditation retreats at Hridaya, which was quite the experience.

If you want to check out some other yoga classes in Mazunte, head to Casa Om. In San Agustinillo, located one town over from Mazunte, there’s Solstice Yoga.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

10. Boat Tour to Laguna Manialtepec (Bioluminescent Lagoon)

bioluminescent lagoon in puerto escondido oaxaca mexico (laguna manialtepec)
Take a boat ride on Laguna de Manialtepec at night to see the bioluminescence in Mazunte. (Photo: Kevin Wolf via Unsplash, Bioluminescence in Mazunte)

Located one hour and 15 minutes northwest of Mazunte, you’ll find Laguna Manialtepec. This is a 3.7-mile-long (6 km) coastal lagoon near Puerto Escondido that’s popular with visitors, both by day and night.

Visiting Manialtepec Lagoon is one of the top things to do in Mazunte at night — as Laguna de Manialtepec is one of the few places in the world where you can swim in the water with bioluminescent plankton.

The plankton in the lagoon only emit light when they’re disturbed, so if you want to see them glow in the dark, get ready to jump into the water! Also, the bioluminescence is strongest in the center of the lake, so you must go by boat.

🤔 how to book Mazunte tours

This is one of the most popular and best tours in Mazunte. To book, head to the Playa Rinconcito Beach entrance at the end of Calle Rinconcito. All the tour operators hang out here, so it’s the best place to book tours in Mazunte.

📆 Best time to see bioluminescence in Mazunte

The best months to see these phosphorescent plankton are July, August, November and December⁠ — although you can see it year-round. However, if it’s raining or there’s a Full Moon, skip this tour.

To see the glow of the plankton in all its glory, you’ll need to be in complete darkness. This is why you don’t want to go during the Full Moon, as you won’t see as much if moonlight is strong.

Last but not least, if you plan on heading to Laguna Manialtepec, remember to pack a swimsuit, quick-dry towel, flashlight or headlamp, insect repellent, and some long-sleeved pants and a shirt to ward off insect bites.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

11. Playa La Escobilla: Turtle Sanctuary Beach

sea turtle laying eggs on the beach in puerto escondido, mexico (Playa La Escobilla Mexico)

Oaxaca is home to several major turtle nesting beaches, including La Escobilla, a waterfront sanctuary for sea turtles. It is also among the world’s most significant nesting grounds for the Olive Ridley turtle.

One of the most extraordinary things about this endangered turtle species is its nesting habits. During the nesting season, large groups of turtles gather together offshore and then come ashore together in vast numbers.

La Arribada (The Arrival)

This event is known as La Arribada, which means “the arrival” in Spanish. Sometimes, you’ll see it called Gran Arribada, or “great arrival,” as they come in such vast numbers.

The nesting season at La Escobilla Sanctuary runs July to January, peaking during September and October. During this time, up to 90,000 turtles come ashore over a 3-5 day period. Each will lay about 85-150 eggs.

🐢 Fun Fact: Mazunte means “let me see you spawn” in Náhuatl (Aztec language). This refers to the fact that Mazunte beaches are such popular turtle nesting sites.

La Escobilla beach is protected by military guards, and you can only visit with a guide. The guides are usually volunteers who know how to keep the turtles’ safety a priority — like making sure people don’t use flash photography.

Visitors to La Escobilla Sanctuary can also help release baby turtles into the Pacific Ocean. The best place to check and see if there are tours available is through the Mexico Turtle Center in Mazunte.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

12. Visit the Oaxaca Beaches Near Mazunte

Mazunte, Zipolite, San Agustinillio and Puerto Angel make up the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan Riviera). These beaches are located on what’s called Oaxaca Emerald Coast because of their blue-green waters.

They’re all within about 10-30 minutes of one another, so if you’re renting a car in Oaxaca, you can easily go on your own. If not, head to the main road in Mazunte, and wait for a pasajero (taxi truck) to arrive.

Pasajeros pickup trucks are the cheapest way to get around. When you see one, jump in the back and head to your next Oaxaca beach town. A pasajero will cost about $10-20 pesos per person ($0.50-$1 USD), depending where you’re going.

Playa San Agustinillo

san agustinillo beach in oaxaca mexico
Playa San Agustinillo beach in Oaxaca, one of the Riviera Oaxaqueña beaches. (Photo: Luis Gonzalez via Unsplash)

San Agustinillo is located just one town over from Mazunte. These two towns are said to have the best beaches in Oaxaca Mexico — but many say Playa San Agustinillo is the absolute best beach in Oaxaca.

Playa San Agustinillo is a long stretch of beach, which makes it perfect for long walks on the beach! Enjoy some time just strolling along the soft golden sand, admiring the gorgeous rock formation, and lush, wild foliage.

🤔 Mazunte vs San Agustinillo: Which is better?

hotel in San Agustinillo oaxaca mexico
Enjoy stunning views of the Pacific Ocean from Casa la Ola — just a short walk down some stone steps to the beach! (Photo: Casa la Ola via Facebook)

While Mazunte attracts a younger, bohemian crowd, San Agustinillo’s vibe skews older and more posh. They are located about 20 minutes from one another on foot, and five minutes by car, so you can visit both and see for yourself.

For nice accommodations, opt for these San Agustinillo hotels — Casa Bagus, Zoa Hotel, Casa Cometa and Casa la Ola. You can always walk over to Mazunte for the fun bars and restaurants, but San Agustinillo has nicer hotels.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

Playa Puerto Angel

Playa Estacahuite beach in Puerto Angel Oaxaca Mexico
Playa Estacahuite in Puerto Angel Oaxaca Mexico is one of the most secluded beaches in Mexico. (Photo: Juliana via Flickr)

Puerto Angel is a Oaxaca Riviera beach town about 20 minutes west of San Agustinillo, closer to Zipolite. Of all beaches listed thus far, Puerto Ángel is the least visited, and you might just have some beaches all to yourself.

The best beaches in Puerto Angel Oaxaca are Playa Estacahuite (AKA Bahía Estacahuite Bay), Playa Panteon and Playa Principal.

There’s also the gorgeous and relatively-untouched Playa la Tijera (Scissors Beach), which is about 20 minutes outside of town.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

13. Sunset Drinks at El Copal Mazunte

Sunset Drinks at El Copal restaurant Mazunte Mexico

El Copal is one of the more well known hotels in Mazunte because of its amazing vistas. It is the best place for sunset drinks, as it has the most epic views of Playa Mermejita Beach.

Some say the drinks and the views are better than the food, and it’s a bit more pricey than other places. If you prefer, visit one of these best Mazunte restaurants instead, and stick to just cocktails at El Copal.

If you do want to eat at El Copal Mazunte, try some of the traditional Oaxaca foods, like mole negro and tlayudas.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

14. Mexican National Turtle Center in Mazunte

turtle swimming in the sea

The Mexican National Turtle Center is a museum, aquarium, research institute and sanctuary dedicated to sea turtles preservation. They house the four sea turtle species found in Mexico, two land species, and 16 freshwater species.

The Mexican National Turtle Center is located here, and open Wednesday through Sunday, from morning until early afternoon. Admission is just $40 MXN pesos ($2 USD), and proceeds go to a good cause.

🐢 baby turtle release in Mazunte

someone holding a cup with a baby turtle in it, this is one of the best things to do in puerto escondido mexico

One of their most popular activities is the Liberación de Tortugas Marinas, which means sea turtle liberation, or sea turtle release. This is an event where you can release baby sea turtles into the Pacific Ocean for the first time.

If you want to participate as a volunteer, contact the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga via Facebook. Their Mazunte sea turtle releases aren’t held with any regularity, as it involves wild animals.

🐢 Brief history of the Mazunte Turtle museum

Mazunte was once the turtle hunting capital of Mexico, as locals considered turtle meat a delicacy. Since turtles are so prevalent in and around Mazunte, turtle hunters were able to easily supply the demand.

By the late 1980s, there weren’t many turtles left due to overhunting. In 1991, the Mexican government banned turtle hunting altogether as these animals were on the brink of extinction.

The government also opened the National Mexican Turtle Center — and located it near the main turtle slaughterhouse in Mazunte. The idea was that turtle-hunters could recoup their lost income through tourism.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

15. Go Whitewater Rafting in Mazunte

five people river rafting in huatulco mexico

There are more things to do in Mazunte than just the beach. The Sierra Madre mountain range is one of the world’s largest. It passes through Mexico in the northwest, going all the way south into Guatemala.

The Sierra Madre also has several smaller ranges, like the Sierra Madre del Sur, in the south. The Sierra del Sur is a low-lying mountain range with peaks that reach an average elevation of 7,500-feet (2286 m).

The Río Copalita River flows down from the Sierra Madre del Sur, and into the ocean at Playa la Bocana Beach. With giant boulders in the river and a fast-moving current, this is the ideal place for whitewater rafting.

If you are looking for an adrenaline rush in Mazunte, consider going whitewater rafting on the Copalita River. The Río Copalita is one of the best rivers in Mexico for whitewater rafting.

Whether you’re a beginner or an expert rafter, this river has options for different skill levels. There is a section with smaller Class II-III rapids, and a section with large Class III-IV rapids.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

16. Boat Tours in Mazunte

Mazunte is a nature lover’s paradise, especially if you love being on or in the water. If you want to explore some virgin beaches and spot some wildlife, many boat tours cater to those specific needs.

To book Mazunte boat tours, head to the Playa Rinconcito Beach entrance at the end of Calle Rinconcito. All the tour operators hang out here, so it’s the best place to book any local tours.

🐬 Mazunte Dolphin Tours

dolphin doing a flip in the air while people watch from the boat

Dolphin and turtle boat tours leave every day from Playa Mazunte Beach. You’re sure to spot large pods of dolphins (sometimes hundreds!) as well as sea turtles all around your boat.

If you’re lucky, you might be able to spot a whale or two. The best time to see whales in Mazunte is from December to March, though you may get lucky and see some in November and April.

🎣 Mazunte Fishing Tours

If you’re into sport fishing, the waters off the coast of San Agustinillo (located next to Mazunte) are ideal. Here, you can try catching fish like tuna, mahi mahi, sailfish, and marlin. There are also plenty of smaller fish to catch.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

17. Special Events and Festivals in Mazunte

One of the things to do in Mazunte is to visit the area during their festival season. If you are looking for a particular type of experience, visit the region during these special events.

Dia de los Muertos (November 1-2)

day of the dead skull in oaxaca mexico
Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is one of the best festivals in Oaxaca, and all Mexico.

Dia de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is one of the best festivals in Mexico, and one of the most important Mexican holidays. Originating in Mexico and celebrated on November 1-2, this is a celebration of death — but a festive one.

💀 In 2008, UNESCO declared Dia de Muertos an “Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity,” and added it to their list of Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

During the holiday, people across Mexico create ofrendas (altars) with food, drinks, photos, and memorabilia to honor their departed loved ones. Some are in their homes, and some are public altars in the streets.

The idea behind the ofrenda is to encourage the souls to visit their living family members during the Day of the Dead holiday. Once they arrive, it’s expected the living will hold elaborate parties in their honor.

While Day of the Dead in Mazunte is overshadowed by the large Oaxaca City Day of the Dead festivities, it’s still a fun time to visit Mazunte. You can expect ofrendas in the streets, restaurants decorated with marigold flowers, and more.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

Mazunte Jazz Festival (November)

man playing the saxophone at the Mazunte Jazz Festival, one of the best things to do in Mazunte Mexico
The Festival Internacional de Jazz Mazunte is the largest annual festival in town.

The Mazunte International Jazz Festival began in 2005 as a way to promote the local art scene. It started as a national festival, but quickly grew, and now attracts international jazz musicians — and international visitors.

The combination of nature, beaches, and jazz music make this one of the best things to do in Mazunte. If you’re a jazz lover, music lover or festival enthusiast, this event is a must, as it’s the largest annual Mazunte festival.

The festival is held every year during the third week of November. Along with jazz, the town also organizes several activities and exhibitions for visitors to enjoy.

Note: If you want to visit Mazunte during the festival, book early because all the hotels sell about 1-2 months in advance. Not sure where to stay in Mazunte? Head here to see all your Mazunte hotel options.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

La Arribada (Sea Turtle Arrival, July-January)

La Arribada (the Arrival) is an event where hundreds of turtles come to the La Escobilla Sanctuary in Mazunte Mexico to lay eggs on the beach
La Arribada is one of the coolest Mazunte events, especially for nature enthusiasts.

Oaxaca is home to four species of turtles — Leatherback turtles, green turtles, hawksbill turtles, and Olive Ridley turtles. The Olive Ridley species is known for their extraordinary nesting habits.

During nesting season, giant groups of turtles (from hundreds to thousands) gather together offshore. They then come ashore together in vast numbers in what is called La Arribada, meaning “the arrival” in Spanish. 

La Arribada takes place at Playa la Escobilla in Mazunte, which is now a protected turtle sanctuary.

“The Arrival” takes place between July and January, and peaks in September and October. During this time, thousands of Olive Ridley turtles come ashore and lay about 85-150 eggs each.

Zipolite Nudist Festival (Jan. or Feb.)

About a 20 minute drive from Mazunte is Zipolite Oaxaca. This small town is famous because it has the only legal nude beach in Mexico.

Note: Though all Zipolite beaches are nude beaches, many beach goers remain clothed. If you want to bare it all without stares, head to the area outside the aptly-named Naked Hotel Zipolite, or Playa del Amor Beach.

Zipolite is a hippie beach town, popular with surfers, beach lovers, and of course, nudists. Each year in January or February (dates vary), the town hosts the annual Zipolite Nude Festival, one of the largest nudist festivals in the world.

Nudists from all over the world come to Mazunte to participate in this festival. The festival has many different activities, including yoga classes on the beach, body painting, beach volleyball, and a night walk with neon lights.

Best Things to do in Mazunte Oaxaca

Mazunte Mexico: Travel Guide & FAQ

boat on the beach in mazunte mexico
When in doubt, one of the best Mazunte things to do is visit the beaches.

Is Mazunte a pueblo magico?

Yes — Mazunte is one of Mexico’s 135 or so pueblos magicos (magic towns). It is one of six Oaxaca pueblos magicos, and the only Mexico pueblo magico on the coast of Oaxaca.

🤔 What is a Pueblo Magico?

The Mexico Tourism Board awards the prestigious pueblo magico distinction to special towns in the country with characteristics like natural beauty, unique culture and historic folklore.

In short, they are places travelers would want to check out.

The word pueblo literally translates to “small town,” and Mazunte is just that. There are no stoplights, and one main road going through town. There are, however, rustic-chic Mazunte hotels so visitors will be comfortable.

Where is Mazunte Mexico?

Located on the Pacific Coast Mexico, Mazunte is midway between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido. Mazunte is in Oaxaca state, which is south of Mexico City, west of Chiapas state, and east of Guerrero state.

📍 mazunte Map

How do you get to Mazunte?

Wondering, Is there a Mazunte Airport? No — There’s no airport in Mazunte, but there are two airports located nearby.

To travel to Mazunte, you can fly to either Puerto Escondido International Airport (code: PXM), or Bahías de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX). They are both located about one hour from Mazunte.

From either airport, you can rent a car and drive to Mazunte. This is a safe drive, but make sure you check out this Ultimate Guide to Renting a Car in Oaxaca which also has 10 Mexico driving tips.

You can also take a taxi, which will be about $50 USD. There are inexpensive colectivos (small, shared vans), which cost only a few dollars, that you can catch outside the airports on the main road.

⚠️ Note: There is no Uber in Oaxaca state, and no Lyft in Oaxaca either.

🚗 how to get to mazunte over land

taxi pickup truck in mazunte mexico called a pasajero
A pasajero, or taxi pickup truck, which you’ll take to Mazunte. (Photo: Ted Kortan via Flickr, Things to do Mazunte Oaxaca)

Coming from Oaxaca City, Puerto Escondido or Bahías de Huatulco? You can drive your rental car to Mazutne, or opt for public transportation to Mazunte.

There’s no bus stop in Mazunte, so you’ll need to make your way to the town of San Pedro Pochutla, then take a pasajero (covered pickup truck) to Mazunte. Note: The pasajero makes a short stop in San Antonio along the way.

What’s the best time to visit Mazunte?

Weather-wise, the best months to visit Mazunte and the entire Oaxaca Coast are November to April. This is the dry season, but it’s also the busy season — so you’ll get nice weather, but also larger crowds.

Need more info? Check out this article for a deep dive, Best Time to Visit Oaxaca: Month by Month Guide.

The rainy season in Oaxaca lasts from about May to October, and the coast of Oaxaca sees a lot of rain thanks to its tropical climate. Though rare, hurricanes can hit this part of Mexico, and Hurricane Season runs June 1-November 30.

In case you’re wondering, the last Mazunte hurricane was Hurricane Agatha. It hit in June 2022, and caused a lot of damage.

☀️ Mazunte Weather

puerto escondido weather chart
Average yearly weather in Mazunte Oaxaca Mexico. (Photo: Weather and Climate, Oaxaca coast guide)

If you can, plan your Mazunte vacation for the winter months, when temperatures and humidity are mild, the mosquitoes are at bay, and you can see the whales.

If you’re visiting in summer, you can expect rain, but usually only for 1-2 hours per day in the afternoons. For some travelers, you’ll have very heavy rains, so it’s always a risk to travel to Mazunte in summer.

🦟 Oaxaca Beaches Travel Tips: Regardless of when you visit, you’ll encounter mosquitoes and other bugs on the Oaxacan Coast. Practice sustainable tourism in Mexico by using eco-friendly mosquito repellent.

Is Mazunte safe for travelers?

For the vast majority of tourists, Mazunte is quite safe to visit. As safety is a complex topic, head to Is Mexico Safe to Visit Right Now? for a deep dive.

In general though, Oaxaca is among the safest states in Mexico, and the Mexican government wants to keep it this way.

forms for travel insurance for mexico

Aside from big waves, mosquitoes, sunburns, and not drinking too much Oaxaca mezcal, you’re in little danger in Mazunte Mexico. However, no place on Earth is 100% safe, and you always want to stay aware of yourself and belongings.

In short, take the same general travel safety measures in Mazunte you would anywhere else. Also, register for the U.S. STEP Program for international travelers, and put your mind at ease with Mexico travel insurance.

⚠️ Mexico Travel Insurance for Mazunte

Just as you insure your car, home and body, you can also insure your luggage, belongings and health while traveling.

If Mazunte travel safety is on your mind, get a FREE quote below from two of the biggest names in travel insurance for Mexico.

  • World Nomads: Perfect for general travel coverage, and those who want to do adventurous activities while visiting Mazunte, like surfing.
  • Safety Wing: Perfect Mexico digital nomads who plan to be in Mazunte, Oaxaca state or Mexico for an extended period of time.

Is there Uber in Mazunte?

No — There is no Mazunte Uber service, nor Lyft in Mazunte. They do have DiDi Taxi through the DiDi Rider app, which lets you call a taxi via the app. It’s basically like using Uber or Lyft, but you will get a regular cab.

passenger calling uber in oaxaca from their cell phone

The one caveat here is that you won’t always have a cell signal to call one. A Mexico SIM card from Telcel will help, as it’s Mexico’s largest cell service provider, but still, Mazunte is lacking in the WiFi department.

🚕💨 Are Mazunte taxis safe?

For the majority of travelers, yes, taxis are perfectly safe to use in Mazunte.

I prefer to call taxis via the DiDi Rider app (when the signal permits), so I have a record of my trip and the price is already set for me. However, you can also just hail a cab on the street.

Do I need a car in Mazunte?

It depends If you’re exploring the whole Oaxaca coast, or planning for some Mazunte day trips, then get a car. However, if you’re just staying in Mazunte itself, skip the rental car and just use taxis to get around.

You’ll only want to rent a car in Mazunte if you’re visiting the nearby towns; you won’t need one in town.

🚙💨 Best Oaxaca rental car company

When renting a car in Mazunte, or anywhere in Mexico, I always recommend, and personally use, Discover Cars. They search both big-name international companies and local Mexican companies, so you get the best rates.

Find Your Rental Car

Is Mazunte expensive?

No “Expensive” is a relative term, but compared to most of the best beaches in Mexico, Mazunte is on the cheaper side. You can rent hotels in Mazunte for about $50 USD per night; Mazunte hostels will be even less.

beach in mazunte oaxaca mexico

Can you swim in Mazunte?

Yes, but use caution Playa Rinconcito Beach is considered the best beach for swimming in Mazunte, but do be careful. The waves here can get huge, and there’s often a strong undercurrent.

Some beaches, like Playa Cometa, aren’t recommended for swimming at all.

Can you surf in Mazunte?

Wondering, Is Mazunte good for surfing? Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but it really isn’t.

San Agustinillo, one town east of Mazunte, gets good waves. However, you’ll need to head to the beaches of Puerto Escondido for the best surf on the Oaxaca Coast. The drive from Puerto Escondido to Mazunte takes about one hour.

What is Mazunte known for?

Mazunte is really known for three things: beautiful beaches, yoga (and other spiritual practices) and turtles. You can enjoy the first two year-round, but the Mazunte turtle season is only from about July to January.

pathway to the ocean (punta cometa in mazunte mexico)
The pathway to Punta Cometa, one of the most popular places to visit in Mazunte.

Is Mazunte worth visiting?

Yes — As it takes at least two flights to get to Mazunte, or a flight and a bus, you might be wondering if traveling to Mazunte is worth it.

While the Oaxaca beaches aren’t as easily accessible as other Mexico beach towns, they’re some of the most beautiful. If you want more than just all inclusive resorts, Mazunte is your place.

As it’s still mostly off the main tourist radar, the golden sand beaches of Mazunte are peaceful and gorgeous. If you want to immerse yourself in local culture, do some yoga, and eat the freshest seafood of your life, Mazunte is it.

Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Mazunte

While most think it’s little more than a hippie beach town, Mazunte has so much more to offer visitors. Though small, it is one of the best beach towns in Oaxaca, and getting more popular with each passing year.

Make sure you visit soon — because this Mexico hidden gem won’t stay hidden for long. In the meantime, I hope this ultimate guide to the top things to do in Mazunte Mexico will help you plan an epic Mazunte itinerary.

Oaxaca Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy Mexico travel insurance for Oaxaca?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from World Nomads, the biggest name in travel insurance. (Read more)

💧Can you drink the water in Oaxaca?

No — You’ll want to buy a Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling to Oaxaca. (Read more)

🚙💨 Is it safe to rent a car in Oaxaca?

Yes — Renting a car in Oaxaca is one of the best ways to see the state. I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks both international companies and local Oaxacan companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

📲 Will my phone work in Oaxaca?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of any Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

🏩 What’s the best way to book places to stay in Oaxaca?

For Oaxaca hotels, Booking is the best site. If you’re considering a Oaxaca Airbnb, also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb. For the best Oaxaca hostels, use HostelWorld.

🧳 What do I pack for Oaxaca? Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

✈️ What’s the best site to buy Oaxaca flights? For finding cheap Oaxaca flights, I recommend Skyscanner.

🎫 Do I need a visa for Oaxaca?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but check here to see if you do need a Mexico travel visa. The majority of travelers will receive a 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.