Mazunte

This village, housing a population of less than 1,000 (about 800 according to the latest data available) is one of the most beautiful and unspoilt places we can find in Mexico’s Pacific Coast. It’s located in Oaxaca, approximately 22 kms. south of San Pedro Pochutla and 10 kms. from Puerto Angel. There are two versions regarding the origin of the name of the village: The first is related to the sea turtle spawning, since Mazunte means “please lay the eggs here." The second version relates the village’s name to the Mizontle, a large crab species that used to be very common in the area. Anyway, highlights of this place are its beautiful warm-water beaches, although waves tend to be quite big and precautions should be taken by beginners (in the holiday season lifeguards are always available). The main or most popular beaches are: Punta Cometa, Playa Escobilla, Playa Mermejita and Playa Familiar. Besides swimming, another activity that you shouldn’t miss is admiring the sunsets and sunrises. The way their colors change provides a wonderful view, both at sea and in the sky. Regarding the animal life, it’s possible to see stingrays, dolphins, whales, many kinds of fish and, in certain times of the year, sea turtles, all in the open sea. Punta Cometa becomes very crowded with migratory birds during their traveling season. It is also possible to go climbing, but it’s a little risky. Having recently become a target of national and international tourism, the area has increased the number of recreational activities available, without turning too commercial-focused or making it a venue of big hotels, thus it is a good advice to ride on a boat or rent a bicycle. Scuba-diving, snorkeling and touring the mangroves are also available and will provide a pleasant experience, as well. Anyone who is into eco-tourism will feel at home in this place: you can spend the night and rent a cabin, a room or a camping space. A downside of this destination is that it isn’t easy to contact the hotels and lodging facilities, as they usually don’t have websites, but doing some research, you might be able to contact them by phone. The Mazunte Village is on Facebook, where you can find several pictures. The Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga (Mexican Turtle Center) is located here. It was created as a source of local jobs, since the main source of income was hunting and the sale of both turtles and their eggs. It was founded in 1991 and currently houses a museum and the turtle hatchery. It hosts both itinerant and permanent exhibitions where you can observe several species of turtles. The species that are characteristic of the place are: the Hawksbill Turtle, the Brown Turtle, the Olive Ridley Turtle and the Leatherback Turtle. The Museum is open from Wednesdays through Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:30 pm and on Sundays from 10:00am to 2:00 pm. Admission to the center is $20 mexican pesos per person. There is also a botanical garden you can visit. As it’s expected, on Spring Break the place is packed and fares are higher, so it’s better to choose other dates for your stay. The Village’s celebrations are in January, where fishing and bikini contests among other events, are held. To get to Mazunte, you should take federal highway 175 to Puerto Escondido and turn left at the town of San Antonio. From there it’s a 10 mile drive to the village. Article produced by the Editorial Team of "Explorando Mexico". Copyright Explorando México, All rights reserved. Photo: Christian González Verón