A Local’s Guide to Zipolite, Mexico

Last Updated on August 20, 2023

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Written by Danielle from Like Riding a Bicycle

On the south Pacific coast of Mexico exists a town that is stuck in a time warp: Zipolite.

While the buildings may have changed, and road may have become paved, this town is unlike anywhere else you’ve ever been.

Every single person you meet in Zipolite, Mexico, is incredibly open-minded, though it isn’t filled with your regular new-age hippie types.

No, instead in Zipolite you will find people from all walks of life, though you’ll rarely talk about where each other is from or what you do for work.

This is a place of total acceptance. As long as you are fine with what others do, they are absolutely okay with anything you please.

Why is it such an open place? Zipolite, Mexico is a clothing optional beach. In fact, the Zipolite nude beach is the only legal nude beach in all of the vast expanse that is Mexico.

This type of place just attracts the right type of people – the people unafraid to bear their bodies for all to see.

The people who have confidence enough in themselves to recognize that every single body type is beautiful.

The people who don’t care what you do for a living, but instead who you are as a person. And that is why Zipolite, Mexico, is absolutely magical!

🧳 MUST-HAVE: Before you head out on your trip, make sure you have travel insurance. My #1 recommendation is SafetyWing!

That’s why I have put together this comprehensive Zipolite guide to show you the magic of this place and why you need to visit!

How to get to Zipolite, Mexico

Zipolite Mexico is located along the southern coast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca.

And when you see the stunning views from Zipolite over the Pacific Ocean, like me, you’ll probably wonder how to get to Zipolite!

Getting to Zipolite is fairly easy, even if not the most straightforward.

The most common route is via the fellow Oaxacan cities of either Puerto Escondido or Huatulco as these are the nearest cities with international airports.

Puerto Escondido is about 40 miles away, while Huatulco is 30 miles away, and it takes more or less the same time to get to Zipolite from each.

Once you have arrived in either Puerto Escondido or Huatulco, you can then rent a car, take a taxi/hire a private driver, or get the bus onwards to Zipolite.

If you are travelling further afield, such as Mexico City to Zipolite, you have a few options:

  1. Fly into Puerto Escondido or Huatulco, then travel onto Zipolite
  2. Get a bus to Puerto Escondido or Huatulco, then travel onto Zipolite
  3. Rent a car or hire a driver to take you directly to Zipolite

📦 PACKING TIP: Don’t leave home without a solar powered battery pack so you can keep your devices connected at all times.

Don't miss any of these zipolite beaches, smiling person floating in the turquoise waters of an outdoor pool with wooden tables and chairs visible behind

Where to Stay in Zipolite, Mexico

Hands down, my favourite place to stay in Zipolite is the very first place that I discovered: Café Maya.

Almost all accommodation in Zipolite is located right on the beach – yes, that wonderfully infamous Zipolite nude beach that attracts both foreigners and Mexicans alike.

Café Maya is my favourite, as it is a quaint little spot with only four rooms for rent (book quickly, as they fill up fast, especially in the high season!).

It also has a café, as the name would suggest, which rests on the beach. I camp here, though there isn’t much room for it, and it may be a bit of an exception that I’m allowed to.

I work from this magical place, my desk a table atop the sand, overlooking the waves. Sometimes I get lazy, and spend my time in one of the wonderful hammocks.

At times I do it to relax, and at times I just don’t want to sit at my “desk”, and prop by computer up on me as I swing from my hammock. I really can’t think of a better office.

There are some other cool places to stay in Zipolite too, one being the Nude Hotel. Although most places in Zipolite are on the beach, very few allow you to be naked in the bars, restaurants, or hotels.

Nude Hotel is a whole different ball game. You cannot be nude in the restaurant, but other than that, anything goes.

They have a lovely pool as well, and you’re permitted to use their facilities as long as you buy a drink or a meal.

So you may opt to stay in luxury at Nude Hotel, or just visit to go for a skinny dip in the pool. Either way, it’s definitely awesome.

🛌🏼 Click to check out the best accommodation in Zipolite

Find out how to get to zipolite, close up shot of a plate of delicious sushi with a bottle of soy sauce nearby sitting on a wooden table in an outdoor dining area in front of the beach
You can get a range of cuisine in Zipolite, Mexico!

What to Eat in Zipolite, Mexico

There are a ton of great places to eat in Zipolite, ranging from street food at the night markets during the high season, to luxury steak meals.

I personally tend to go for the mid-range and stick to Café Maya (can you tell how much I love this place?).

While they have many traditional Mexican meals like enchiladas and chilaquiles, they also have things like stir fries and sushi.

Oh yeah, I said it. You can have sushi while on the beach in Zipolite, Mexico, looking at the ocean, in a hammock. Don’t think I haven’t done it many times over.

🎒MUST HAVE: Whether you’re going to a tropical location or going camping, take this small portable hammock with you. You won’t regret it!

Get involved in a zipolite party this summer, close up shot of two smiling people in sunglasses sitting in hammocks on the beach at sunset

Things to Do in Zipolite, Mexico

Zipolite Mexico, isn’t really a place of doing per se. You don’t really have to worry about what to do in Zipolite as this is where you go to relax, and watch the waves roll by.

Hanging out along the various sections of the Zipolite beaches is pretty much the only thing you’ll want to do while you’re here.

The sunsets are majestic, taking on a different appearance every single night, so you won’t want to miss those.

During the high season there are night markets that have vendors that are both local and from around the world, selling handicrafts.

It’s mostly beautiful handmade jewelry, but you can find other things as well. Days here are spent lazing in hammocks, though at night you may want to head to the bars to party a bit.

The Zipolite nightlife is just as chill as the day. But if you are looking for a Zipolite party, you won’t have to go too far to find one.

The ChiZme Café + BAR and Club Demetria are both popular Zipolite nightlife hangouts.

Personally, I love the quiet of the night in my hammock! Of course, some of you may want a little more to do.

There is rafting that one can do nearby, and tons of great thing you can do in and around Puerto Escondido (an hour away) like visiting a lagoon with bioluminescence.

In all, Zipolite has something for everyone. And no, you don’t have to strip down to enjoy the magic of this place.

You need only be accepting of others, and okay with their nudity.

No one will ever try to pressure you, and the beauty of Zipolite lies not in the nudity: it is the genuineness of the people that makes Zipolite so special.

💡PACKING TIP: Make sure you bring a good snorkel, water shoes and a fast-drying towel for all of the beach-going you’re about to do!

Selfie of blonde woman with blue eyes and tattoos on her left arm wearing a bathing suit and sitting in a hammock on the beach

Danie is a crazy nomad who has been wandering the earth for five years straight. She first stumbled upon Zipolite three years ago, and has now visited five times. This time she’s spending several months, contemplating switching from the life of a nomad to the life of an expat, and you know exactly where she’ll be staying!  Follow her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Where is Zipolite Mexico?

Zipolite is located along the southern coast of the state of Oaxaca in Southern Mexico. It is situated between the larger cities of Puerto Escondido and Huatulco.

✅ What is Zipolite known for?

Zipolite is known for having the first – and only – legal nude beach in the entirety of Mexico.

✅ Can you swim at Zipolite?

Yes, swimming at Playa Zipolite is not a problem – even in the nude. You can also easily rent surfing and snorkelling gear.

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