Sunday, January 30, 2011

Zipolite – A Trip Back in Time

After leaving the Huatulco area, we stopped for a couple of nights in the small coastal town of Puerto Angel (pronounced Poo-er-TO An-HEL).  It’s a beautiful anchorage with several dozen pangas either moored or beached at any given time.  The draw for us to this anchorage was actually a day trip to the town of Mazunte (pronounced Ma-ZOON-teh) which is known for its turtle sanctuary. 

Spot our dinghy amidst the fishing boats...

Here’s a tip to all travelers:  check your guidebook for hours of operation before setting out to visit an attraction.  The Centro Mexicana de la Tortuga (the Mexican Turtle Center) was closed on Tuesdays.  Sorry to miss that one, we got roped into doing a gringo tourist visit to La Ventanillo, an ‘ecotour’ into the mangroves to see crocodiles, birds, turtles and iguanas.  Our guide spoke not a word of English, so his explanations were less than basic for us.  We've been on much richer ecotours in Mexico.  Our favorite part was the caged monkey who took a liking to Michael.

Mazunte also has a natural cosmetics workshop where they make and sell – you guessed it – natural cosmetics.  We managed to buy a few things there too.

Feeling like the stop may have been a bit of a waste, we decided to go to the next town, Zipolite (pronounced Zip-oh-LEE-teh), which we heard had a great beach.  It turns out that the 'great' used when describing the beach at Zipolite has nothing to do with the swimming or the water.  In fact, one cannot swim at Zipolite, as it is always a double red flag day (that’s the first time we’ve ever seen TWO red flags up).  The draw, it turns out, to this beach is that it hosts nude sunbathing.  Picture the family of four shlepping our backpacks and our kids along the sand in the scorching heat to find a restaurant – on a nude beach.  A scene right out of a movie. 

Regardless, we had a lovely afternoon at a beach restaurant eating one of the best meals we’ve had yet in Mexico at a restaurant/hotel called El Alquemiste, watching the crashing surf and hanging out in the hammocks and couches afterward, before meandering through the unpaved single lane streets running through this jungle town.  We met few English speaking tourists.  Most were from elsewhere - and had dreadlocks.  Everything seemed to move in extreme slow motion.  The day was not a total waste after all.

Siesta Time

It's the unexpected that makes travel so exciting.

La Ventanilla beach walk

Michael is helping get this fishing boat into the water at low tide in Puerto Angel

Written while en route from Puerto Angel to somewhere north
 Posted while at Marina Ixtapa


  1. Danielle and Harrison, if you guys had a choice of where you'd rather visit, Zipolite or Mazunte for the Mexican Turtle Center, where would you choose, and why?

  2. So good to hear your updates, that's what I get to do today! Good to hear about Acapulco, I wasn't looking forward to stopping there, and the snorkeling-I have been one time in the past 3 months:( We are in Barra for an undetermined time then off again. Love you guys, Vicki