5 Days of Nature, Wellness & Relaxation on the Oaxaca Coast

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  • Mexico

  • Oaxaca

  • Beaches

  • International Travel

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Relaxation

  • Coastal

rocks next to beach and body of water during daytime
Fora’s Take

Welcome to Mexico’s Pacific Coast, specifically Oaxaca and its chill beach towns of Puerto Escondido, Mazunte and Zipolite. You'll fall in love with the inherent kindness of this area. At the community’s roots is a thriving indigenous culture and a social hub for creatives from all over the world. This area offers an authentic, traditional and purposefully slow lifestyle. Add to that unique cuisine, ecotourism and mezcal! Oaxaca is truly the wave you want to catch.

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Where to stay

Zoa Hotel

Set between the laid-back beach towns of Mazunte and San Agustanillo, this bohemian hotel is set on a cliff overlooking the Pacific.

Hotel Escondido

Designer destination for a peaceful escape, close to Mexico’s surf mecca Puerto Escondido.

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Day 1: Arrive to Puerto Escondido

palm trees next to the ocean during daytime

The first thing you need to do is relax. Breathe in the salty air and know that you are now in one of the world’s most magical places. Puerto Escondido is the best place to start your trip. It is known for its fantastic surfing, and for its world-class architecture, cuisine and eco and art tourism.

The art of the village extends to the Hotel Escondido, a Grupo Habita property located on an isolated stretch of land touching the Sierra Madre del Sur and the Pacific (and just 30 minutes from Puerto Escondido International Airport). You will be welcomed to this exclusive hideaway with your own private palapa and pool, including a private terrace perfect for a massage and just steps from the beach.

Start at Hotel Escondido’s restaurant to meet some of the other guests and grab a healthy bite. Offering food from the region, this is a solid place to try local Mexican dishes prepared by traditional methods. Spend the rest of the day either exploring nature or chilling by the water before heading back to the restaurant for a coursed meal. If you are looking for something to do at night, walk down this cactus-lined, dirt trail lit by lanterns leading you to the mezcaleria (which also offers a small-plate menu) or stay on-site for the beach club and underground bar.

To end this idyllic evening, wander back down to the beach where you might just find the waves glowing blue from bioplankten luminescence (this is best seen during a new moon).

Day 2: Visit Casa Wabi

turtle on sandy beach with ocean in background during sunset

After you have had your fresh fruit and coffee for the morning, walk over to Casa Wabi. Founded by Mexican artist Bosco Sodi, this world-renowned museum, hotel and art residency promotes the exchange of ideas between artists and the local communities at Oaxaca, Mexico City and Tokyo.

The foundation merges with the Oaxacan coast, generating a space conducive to interaction, where long-term residents and members of the local communities come together. You will also get to visit the Botanical Garden and a pavilion housing the children’s clay program.

After this 2-3 hour experience, head to El Papelillo, an Aztec Temazcal (a traditional Mexican sweat lodge) for some physical and mental stillness. For the rest of the day you can either explore your surroundings, hike the nearby cliffs or eat and be very chill!

This evening you can head off to a nearby baby turtle release, an ecological activity the entire region is known for.

For dinner, take a quick stroll to Kakurega Omakase for a mind-blowing sushi experience, with course after course of fresh seafood and local ingredients, along with a solid list of sakes and Japanese whiskeys. After you’ve eaten to your heart's content, head back to the mezcaleria for a nightcap.

Day 3: Travel to Mazunte

ocean and cliff during sunset

Today, head south an hour and a half to your destination for the rest of the trip: the pueblo magico Mazunte and the sleepy (but never dull) village of Zipolite.

On the way, make sure to stop by the Mercado Benito Juarez on the south side of PE for fruit-filled, freshly baked goodies. Even in the crowd of vendors, you won’t be able to miss it. Follow your nose, and look for the line.

Once in Mazunte, you’ll feel transported back in time. Grab yourself some refreshing water out of a giant coconut or enjoy an ice cream (there’s a stand on every corner) and head to your hotel to drop your shoes off. Zoa Hotel Secreto has private suites nestled quietly in cliffs, but is still walkable to the main strip of Mazunte. It's less than 10 minute drive to Zipolite. For the first day in Mazunte, hang by the pool or head directly to the beach.

Close by is Playa San Agustinillo, known for being swimmable and family-friendly. Casa Corazon is a local favorite for seafood and traditional Mexican offerings. Or, head to Playa Mazunte. Rinconcito beach will have the most people and the swimming areas are marked with safety flags. Terra del Arquitecto is a nice spot to hang out at and get some delicious tapas.

Before the sun goes down you’ll want to make the hike to Punta Cometa, Mexico's outward most point jutting out into the ocean, to catch this world-famous sunset. It's unlike anything you’ve seen before.

After putting the Sun to bed, walk down to the main strip in Mazunte for its international dinner offerings. Favorites include Tribu, Sushido, Restaurante Alessandro, Restaurante El Armadillo, Che Dieguito and Estrella Fugaz.

Day 4: Relaxing day in Mazunte and Zipolite

books and cups of coffee with the ocean in the background during daytime

Sleep in if you want. These villages take their time getting up. Being surrounded by nature and relaxing vibes, this place makes it easy to practice your personal wellness. Find a hike to catch the sunrise and meditate at Punta Cometa (equally as rewarding as the sunset). This area is a well-known yoga hot spot of Mexico. Being this close to fresh fruit, look forward to an anti-inflammatory smoothie at El Tiburon on Rinconcito Ave. Look for the cowboy ordering his smoothie from horseback. Or grab a smoothie bowl from Las Canastas on the same street.

If you’re in the mood for something baked instead, head on over to Maralto, Lodeli or Icaro Café for mouth-watering pastries, breakfast plates and chocolate con leche.

It gets hot during the day, so feel free to travel back and forth from the pool to the beaches (Zipolite has the only nude beach in the state for the naturalists in the group).

If there are eco-tourists and animal lovers among you, you will need to check out the Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga, an aquarium / turtle breeding and rehabilitation center. Whale season is from December to March. Or you could go on a small boat tour and see hundreds of dolphins swimming alongside you.

As evening approaches, grab a taxi to nearby Zipolite, a very open-minded, LGBTQ+ community unlike anywhere else in Mexico. Start with a Mezcal tasting at Gota Gorda (this is the definitive drink of Oaxaca. Try the Tobala!) and then head to the best restaurant on the Oaxacan coast: La Providencia.

The gastro-experience here combines an artful ambiance with exquisite preparation of cuisine from the region. There are plenty of places to dance afterward, but a favorite is back in Mazunte, at the open-aired La Mezcaleria in the middle of town. Just follow the music!

Day 5: Enjoy your final day on the Oaxaca Coast

ocean next to cliffs during daytime

By today, you’ve had a lot to reflect on from your experience here on the Oaxaca Coast. Head back to Zipolite (and try some other fabulous restaurants like Clan Destino, Cafe 84, Xhuba, Oregano Zipolite or Zipolite Thai). Or, go on another eco-tour, like an alligator tour, or drink piña coladas and mojitos at Saguaro.

This place is purposefully slow. You don’t have to be in a rush, and everything you need is close by. If you happen to be around at the right time, the farmer’s market on Sunday is one of the best. A favorite vendor, Ben Designs, specializes in plant-dyed textiles and clothing.

For your last evening in town, if you want to avoid the crowd of Punta Cometa, continue on past it for Playa Mermijita, with almost equally stunning views. But here, you can catch some solid surf. This is a unique part of the world, where you will no doubt feel the magic it has created through its nature and community-based development.

Need to Know

Oaxaca is a big place full of many wonderful places to visit. It contains nine of the world's 11 ecosystems, and is listed as a World UNESCO site for its mole culture (land of the seven moles). Venture north, going through Pluma Hidalgo (rainforest and coffee region), into San Jose del Pacifico (city above the clouds) and on to Oaxaca City (a whole trip on its own).

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