Updated: Feb 6, 2021
The drive from Puerto Escondido to Zipolite is only 1 and ½ hours. Easy Breezy. It was a narrow winding road but not as bad as we expected. We found a great campground 2 blocks from the beach called Los Angeles Hotel Rancho los Mangos. They have a nice 4 story hotel, some bungalows, RV and tent camping. It’s on a mango and coconut plantation with a great swimming pool and restaurant. It was gated and secure but so far I haven’t felt unsafe during our travels.
As soon as we got the trailer set up, we got on our bikes to explore a bit. Zipolite is a hippie community with two main streets before the beach. It’s small and friendly. They have one small store with some basic groceries. Lots of small hotels on the beach and places to buy souvenirs.
Larry and I have visited this beach the last two times we were down here in Huatulco but just for the day. When we were looking for campgrounds in Huatulco and discovered there were none, this became the best option if we were wanting to be close. I thought living on a Nudie beach would make a great story. It’s a very comfortable place with lots of creative energy. There are artisans living here and making beautiful jewelry, clothing and artwork along with musicians and performers.
I enjoyed taking some pictures of the graffiti on the alley walls, some with powerful images or sayings. Zipolite allows the people here to be “who they are'' and express themselves the way they are comfortable. One of these ways is public nudity. I just wanted to experience everything here and we needed to stay more than a day or two. It ended up being 6 weeks.
This could be a long story but I will stick to some highlights even though we had highlights everyday it seems. Lol... We loved the campground and explored it several times a week. It is on 5 acres so we could walk around to see the birds, lizards and flowers. We watched the mangos grow to almost picking stage but left a few weeks shy….so unfortunately I only got a few free mangos. We did find a handful of coconuts and Larry would cut them open with his ‘new’ machete for me to drink the juice. I loved that. They had starfruit everywhere and we acquired a taste for them. They made great juice. We also found some of my new favorite fruit-Chica. We were able to get a dozen ripe ones while we were there. The grounds were beautiful and we could have easily been happy staying right there but we walked to the beach every day, at least for a little bit.
The beach was about 1 mile long. Some mornings, I would do my jog up and down if the sand was flat. We spent many afternoons laying on the beach, watching people come and go. Not all folks were nude. Some days we were and some days we weren’t. There were naked bodies of all sizes and shapes. It was a fabulously comfortable place to be yourself, whoever you are. It seems like there were a fair amount of gay folks enjoying their freedom as well as families with kids. Everything was ok but not creepy. I always felt safe and saw nothing offensive. One of our highlights was to be able to watch the sunrise in the morning while we were nude in the ocean and return again in the evening to watch it set while we stood in the water. I’m not sure if you could do this all year because of how the sun rotates in the sky. We just lucked out while we were there.
We were only going to stay for a month until another camper told us about the International Nudist Festival that is in February. We figured we needed to stay for that for sure!! When do you get the opportunity to hang out with 4000 other nudists?? Lol... Larry even played volleyball during the festival!!
We met some friendly campers on the first day we arrived. Mike and Leslie were from Wisconsin and spent 6 months at Zipolite every year. They have a permanent trailer at Rancho de Mangos. They have even landscaped their area with a deck around the trailer. Leslie is a retired cop and Mike used to manage an RV Park in Wisconsin. They gave us some good ideas for things to do in the area. We usually met them in the late afternoon at the pool. During the time we were here, I swam almost every day. I tried to get a mile done but some days other guests got in my way and shortened my swim. I even saw a woman doing her own aqua aerobics a few times.
We went to the small village of Mazunte to do a sunset hike on the second night we were here. It was super tricky finding the place because the directions were sketchy. The road was so narrow that if another car came in the opposite direction, one of us would pull to the side as best we could. We finally found a place to park but never found the trail to hike to the top of the hill for the sunset. We walked around the beach and hung out on the rocks as the sunset. It was nice and I think we avoided all the mosquitoes that we would have encountered on the trail through the jungle. While we were at Zipolite, we found out they had quite a problem with mosquitos that carry Dengue. Luckily, neither Larry and I got sick. We did talk with one camper who ended up in the hospital for several days.
One of our favorite places close by is Hautulco. We spent several days there exploring. We went on this hike/walk called Camino a La Entegra. It was a long hot loop that passed by Playa Violin Beach. We hiked down to find several dead turtles that the vultures were tearing apart.
We had lunch at the Lighthouse at El Faro with a view of Bahia de Chahue. Below us, there was a large blowhole but it’s best seen from the water. The hike was only 4 miles but the heat made it seem longer. After, we went to one of our favorite beaches south of Huatulco called Copalita. It is where the Copalita river enters the ocean. Larry and I visit here each time we come to watch the sea birds. It is where we had our second unofficial date! Lol... Our first unofficial date was to the Eco park near Copalita back in December 2017. When we got to Copalita, we sadly discovered that we had forgotten to bring swimwear, towels and sandals. So we stopped by Chedraui (grocery store) to buy some flip flops. We were determined to still enjoy the beach for a while. It would be a 1 and ½ hour drive back to Zipolite to get our stuff and we weren’t doing that. We walked up and down the beach and explored the Rio Copalita. After, we stopped for a beer and chips at one of the 2 little beachside restaurants.
On another visit to Huatulco, we stopped to see our friend Karla who works at the Binniguenda Hotel doing entertainment. It was nice to see her smiling familiar face but she works so much this was the only short and sweet visit we had during our time here. One of my favorite places to go for food is Guns and Beers.
It’s a great place for a beer and some tasty pub food. They have a nice pool you can use with a minimum food purchase. We stopped here a few times and always enjoyed ourselves... plus I just love to say, “Guns and Beers.!!”
While we were here we definitely had to spend some time with Larry’s good friend Pedro (Peter) and his family. Peter is a beach vendor and sells tablecloths. Ever since Larry has been coming to Hautulco, about 10 years, he meets up with this family. Peter’s wife is Lucy and they have 3 lovely daughters, Marilyn, Samantha and Leslie. Samantha is a new mother so they are grandparents of darling little Juliette. Marilyn is living in the states as all the children are US citizens. We met at this beautiful beach called Bahia Conejo. We had a great lunch with lobster and oysters. Larry doesn’t usually eat oysters but after a few beers decided to have some.
After the beach, we drove them home to their rented one-bedroom apartment. Peter and Larry had a few shots of Mezcal. Things began to get interesting. Sam and Leslie asked to come back to Zipolite and spend the night in the trailer, oh, and of course bring the baby. Larry said he was fine if I was fine. This was the beginning of a very long 24 hour period. The girls were fine and the baby was an angel but that’s a lot of energy and we missed our alone time. Lol...
We got to the trailer and after the girls inspected every inch, we had to find food for everyone. We ate at a nice place right on the main street. It even had pasta so everyone was happy. Just after Larry finished his meal, he tossed me his wallet and said he had to go. Me and the girls finished up and walked the 2 blocks back to the large wooden gate to the resort. I was hoping that it wasn’t locked already. Larry usually climbs up and over to open the gate for me. Luckily it was still unlocked. When we found Larry later, he explained he had an unexplained immediate stomach flu… and now he was better.
The next morning we walked a bit on the beach but the girls weren’t too interested so we spent the day at the pool. I brought down my ice cream floaty and goggles. The pool even had a slide. When we weren’t in the water, the girls went crazy using my phone to take pictures and send them to themselves. We had a great time with them but were glad to deliver them safely back home by dinner time.
One of Larry’s good friends, Tico has 2 fishing boats. We usually go out with him at least once while we are down here. He takes us out to see whales, dolphins and turtles. We were very lucky to see them all day while we were out. We had invited Leslie and Mike from our campground but they had plans already so it was just Larry, me, Tico and his boat hand Nau. We did some fishing and Larry was the big winner of the day.
He caught a sailfish! It took him almost an hour to get him on the board. We took a few pictures and set him free. Tico always does catch and release. I didn’t catch anything but still enjoyed being out on the water. We brought some snacks and Tico always has more than enough beer on board. We went to a few special spots to do some snorkeling. Nau is a great swimmer and will dive down and bring up sea creatures for us. He brought up a huge lobster, a sea cucumber, sea anime and starfish. I was super excited when he came up with a yellow puffer fish!!
We didn’t have an underwater camera so I’ll just have to keep pictures in my memories. We toured around the nine bays of Huatulco. It was the most perfect day on the ocean and we had a blast just like always. I would highly recommend Tico and his friendly knowledgeable crew.
We spent the day at Puerto Angel, a beach town a few kilometers from Zipolite. We parked by the beach and walked/hiked around the hilly town. We hiked up to some amazing views and down some dirt roads to discover some hidden beaches.
We found an amazing house right on the water that had been abandoned for some time. Every time we come across one of these gems, I wonder…..if Larry and I could buy and fix it up. We are always looking for the perfect place to rebuild or build a place in the future. We hung out at this house for a bit and then hiked back up the hill. We chased lizards and watched birds until it was time to go back to the beach for the afternoon. We found a nice restaurant to spend the rest of the afternoon and we changed into our swimming suits. We rented some snorkels and went out exploring near some large rocks. It was hazy water so we didn’t see much. Too bad. Time for lunch and beer! This is a small fishing village and very beautiful. We planned on returning on another day but that never happened on this trip.
We did a walk/hike nearly every morning around Zipolite. There were lots of dirt roads across highway 175. Larry found a great place to see parrots just across from our resort. We went up there a few times but I was never able to get any good pictures of the birds…..too far up in the trees and they wouldn’t land for any length of time. I was happy just seeing and hearing them and getting some exercise. Laying around on the beach all day does get boring…really it does. I need to have some other activity for part of the day. On our walks, we snooped around all the other resorts and hotels. Sometimes we would stop for a snack or beer but other times, we only just snooped around. Lol
We were hoping that some of Larry’s family would come to Huatulco while we were there. We kept looking to find a place for his brother Darryl to stay close to us. We did a lot of looking but the plane fares never came down enough for anyone to visit. Both Larry and I were disappointed, but we still had a blast here. We just wished we could have shared it with them too. We even waited to schedule our bird watching trip, waiting for Darryl.
One morning at 6 am, too early for me, Larry brought a cute, skinny, dirty cat into the trailer to surprise me. Wow!! He said not to feed it but I was already opening up a can of tuna before he finished his sentence. She loved it and stayed a while for a few pets and some pictures.
She loved it and stayed a while for a few pets and some pictures. She was very friendly for being a wild Mexican cat but left after her meal. The next morning, she showed up again. More tuna of course! Later that day, she was hanging out under our trailer when we got back from the beach.
Each day, she stayed longer and I was beginning to think we had a cat. Larry said she was dirty and not to let her sleep inside the trailer…..Ya right! She slept inside the very first week. We got a cat! Yeah!
The first year I came to Huatulco to meet Larry for a week vacation, we went out bird watching with a guide by the name of Cornelio. We called him for another bird watching adventure. This time we traveled up into the mountains around a coffee plantation for a full day of bird watching. The beautiful mountain top village was called Pluma Hidalgo in the Sierra Madres. We saw or heard 31 different types of birds. They were high up in trees and were near impossible to photograph…at least for me! We had a marvelous day walking around the coffee plantation and we were served lunch when we were finished. On the way down the mountain, we stopped at the village to do some sightseeing. We went to the church and then walked around some shops. We visited the wonderful home of Elia Martinez. She will guide you through her lovely garden of flowers and plants from all over the world! I took so many pictures here. It was amazing. We gave her some pesos for her time. On the way back to Zipolite, we found a nice restaurant that had casitas to rent. We took a tour of the property before our lunch was ready. We always love going with Cornelio birdwatching. He does a great job finding the most amazing birds!
One day we headed out to Huatulco and never made it there! We found a road on the way with a sign to Playa Zapotengo. We decided to see what was down this road. It took way longer than I expected to get to the beach as we winded down some pretty sketchy narrow dirt roads. We saw a taxi driver ahead of us so we felt like we were headed in the right direction. We eventually made it to a super small village with 2 restaurants and lots of palapas on the beach. It was close to 1 pm and it was mostly deserted except for the locals. It was an amazing beach and we explored it for hours. There was a river or lagoon that dumped into the ocean.
There were many fishing boats lined up in the lagoon but since the river was low, they were sitting onshore. We walked across a shallow place in the river to get to the other side. Some locals were wading in the waters and we met a man that was washing his large iguana! On the other side, we hiked up to an abandoned lighthouse. Larry tried to climb to the top but it was impossible, even for Larry. As I always do, I dreamed of buying some land here and building a house on the hill. It seemed to truly be the most perfect place…at least on this day!
The beach was empty except for 2 men fishing off the rocks. Up the beach to the north, we saw some amazing rock formations that I could see images of faces in them. Spectacular! We had some beers and lunch before heading back late in the afternoon. I love these magical discoveries and having no real plans!
On the days we stayed at the resort, we stalked iguanas! On my luckiest day ever, I chased one around the grassy area close to the pool. My iguana friend ended up jumping into a water feature near the bungalows and tried to “hide” in the water. I guess he thought I couldn’t see him. They can hold their breath for a long time….so I waited and waited. I figured that when he was almost ready to come up, he’d be low on oxygen and not aggressive. I reached down in the water and firmly grabbed him behind his neck…so he wouldn’t bite me when I took him up. I supported his body when I brought him up. Success!!! I was super excited as Larry had caught 2 at the last place we were in Puerto Escondido. My first iguana!! We were going to keep him for the day and let him go later but he had different plans. The box that we kept him in didn’t do the trick. As soon as I opened it, he leaped out and was long gone!
We liked to walk up and down the beach each night before the sunset. One night we got lucky and near the south end of the beach, by Sal’s restaurant and some folks were playing volleyball. Volleyball is one of Larry’s favorite sports so he joined in for many games as the sun was setting. I was his personal photographer! On the way back down the beach, I found 100 pesos and I took us out for dinner. It’s funny because I always tell people I look for hundred dollar bills…this time it was 100 pesos which is about $5. It really almost covered dinner and 2 beers!
Larry sleeps a lot less than I do so this means he is usually up before the sun. One morning he told me of this crazy bird that he saw that had a long tail with 2 little feathers at the tip. He looked it up in our bird book and concluded he saw a Motmot. It’s a spectacular bird and I was jealous I didn’t see it. I actually didn’t believe him because he didn’t take a picture so there was no proof. But the very next day, I set my alarm to get up at 5:30 am to try my chances of seeing it. Well, nothing for me. I slept in the next day and the dumb bird came back. Larry got some dark blurry pictures on his phone and it sort of looked like the Motmot. Again, I was up early for another turn and this was my lucky day! We not only saw one of these beautiful Russet-crowned Motmots but he brought a girlfriend too!! I was able to get a few good pictures with my camera. Yeah me!
Apparently, while we were staying in Zipolite, there was a murder on the street right by our grocery store in broad daylight. We weren’t in the area, but Mike and Leslie from the resort told us about it. Leslie the retired cop. We had walked by this area a lot. It seems that this is the place to purchase drugs as we have been approached several times. It never seemed scary so I never worried. I guess someone came by and shot a drug dealer on this particular day. Did this make me scared? Nope! As always, we are aware of where we are and what we are doing. If it feels weird, we just leave. So far we have had no problems. The next day, they had a huge wake with the young man’s body being carried down the street. We did not attend any of this.
We did tons of other fun, crazy and adventurous things but I’ll finish with the grand finale, The International Nudist Festival 1/31 - 2/3. Originally we were only going to stay a month at the Nudie beach. I wanted to cross that off my bucket list. When we found out about the nudie fest, we knew we needed to stay. 4000 of our new best friends were coming for festivities and we wanted to meet them. Lol. Mike and Leslie said it wasn’t going to be that big.
They described the opening parade down the main street…one of 4 streets that make up the beachfront area. I was able to download the festival app so we could plan to attend the many activities throughout the weekend. It appeared to be well organized until we went to naked volleyball.
They also had sunrise and sunset nude yoga. Naked beginner surf lessons. Meditation. Body painting…this cost extra. This place really came alive with bodies. The hotels on the beachfront all filled up. The campsites right on the beach were full. People slept on the beach on blankets and towels. We had tons more dogs running around on the beach.
They brought in a new colorful Zipolite sign with big letters. It was set up across from a huge stage. They had live music every night. The air was electric. There was this really good vibe….that’s all I can say.
We had a few thousand folks on the mile-long beach. Our neighbors Mike and Leslie walk the beach twice a day but they said they usually stay on the resort during this time. I guess they feel like for them, once was enough. We wanted our turn though.
The festival app said the parade would be at 5 pm on Friday. We decided we would do a hike up in the hills and end up on the main street for dinner around 4:45. We were hoping to get a good seat to watch the parade go by. They were having a local high school marching band besides anyone that wanted to march.
At the Shambala hotel, they were doing the body painting all afternoon to get nudists ready to show off the artwork. Our little plan worked and we were nearly center stage before it started. We got our beers and ordered dinner….and waited and waited. I took random pictures of the crowd as the streets were filling up. It did not start on time! Lol...
Our little plan worked and we were nearly center stage before it started. We got our beers and ordered dinner….and waited and waited. I took random pictures of the crowd as the streets were filling up. It did not start on time! Lol
At 5:45 pm the marching band walked down the main street with their instruments in cases and in hand. They hadn’t even started to assemble. It would be 30 more minutes of waiting. “Una mas cerveza!” It finally began with the sound of brass instruments a block away. Yeah! I enjoyed the painted people with art resembling wild cats or the world or any other creation they can think of.
Naked Beach volleyball was on the agenda for 11 am Friday. Well, much like the parade……didn’t happen until almost 1 pm. So we had to miss our naked beginner surfing lessons!! Lol. Larry was dying to play volleyball so we hung out until it finally got organized. We watched the first game and the second game. We watched them walk out to take turns. They didn’t have any real teams, just everyone that wanted to play could. I played a game earlier in the week and knew how bad I was so I did not repeat it here. When Larry got on the court, I noticed lots of professional photographers with big long lenses taking pictures. I have not taken many pics up until this time out of courtesy. I figure today's a great day for photos! I mainly focused on Larry in action but wanted to get the whole group too. There was one guy on Larry’s team that followed him on the court. He ended up being in many of the shots. As Larry was congratulating the other team after their win, this naked teammate came up to me and started talking. At first, I thought Larry would be upset. He asked if I had any pics of him and gave me his phone number to send them to him……just as Larry came up to my side. I quickly introduced Larry as my fiancé. It was all cool. I sent him the pics. I’m sure he loved them because he was trying really hard when he was playing. (See my many, many; probably too many pics below) Instagram chrisknightathlete
Sunday was more volleyball, naked yoga, meditation, surf lessons and shows on the beach like juggling and acrobatics. Again, we would walk the 2 blocks to the beach at the times these events were supposed to happen and wouldn’t see anyone there the first or second time we tried. Eventually, Larry got some volleyball time. We also had lunch with an interesting couple from Arkansas that we had met earlier in the week at Sal’s on the beach. This couple, Ted and Sue, come every year to Zipolite and stay at this really cool hotel called the Hotel Buda Mar. We had to walk Sue down the beach one night…too much booze. We got invited up to see their penthouse suite with a deck overlooking the beach…..it was only 2 stories. I was happy to see them both back safely but that was all I wanted to see….lol
Sunday night had a loosely organized candlelight picture that was to be taken on the cool rocks in front of the Shambala hotel. We tried to stay until they had everything ready but this event lost my attention span after 30 minutes. I found a shot of the Zipolite Nudist Fest 2019 on the Facebook page…unfortunately we were not in it. Maybe next year! I would give Nudie Fest a thumbs up from a newbie nudie!!!
They had a few events on Monday but we had planned on leaving by 10 am to our next destination or at least halfway to Oaxaca city, the capital of Oaxaca state. At our resort, Larry and I were both very impressed by the attentiveness of the resort ground manager. We watched him arrive at 6:30 am and leave around 7 pm.
His name is Cicilio. He would deliver us our 5 gallons of drinking water shortly after us placing our empty container on the corner of our campsite. We watched him manage projects all over the 5-acre resort. His wife would bring his dinner at about 5 pm and they would sit and eat by the pool. He never seemed to have a day off. He always said “Hola” but spoke no English. I practiced some Spanish to try and say something to him but I always chickened out. I made him a card and translated what I wanted to say to him. Larry and I agreed that giving him a $200 US tip would be suitable for the 6 weeks that we were there.