6 kilometres (4 miles) west of Puerto Angel is Playa Zipolite (see-poh-LEE-tay), a beach community best known for its amazing waves and ‘hippie’ culture. Zipolite is a nearly pristine beach about forty meters wide and 2km long, with medium grain gold colored sand and blue-green water. This beach was featured in the Mexican blockbuster movie “Y tu mamá también.” and has become very popular with foreign tourists and backpackers. Zipolite is also popular for it's nudity, mostly on the west end, so be warned that you may get an eyeful if you go! Zipolite stretches from a small isolate cove called Playa del Amor on the east side to the new age Shambala retreat on the west end which is partially sheltered by rocks. The beach is lined by swaying palms, rustic cabañas, hotels, restaurants and hammocks.
Because of the underwater currents residing offshore it is best to use caution when swimming. A volunteer lifeguard team and flag system have been created to indicate where and when it is safest to swim. Only the strongest swimmers and most skilled surfers and body boarders head out into deeper waters. Most stay shallow or simply enjoy the mesmerizing waves of Zipolite.
Walk along the main paved street (Aldoquin as the locals call it) where you can shop for authentic Mexican trinkets and clothing, or enjoy one of the many great restaurants offering standard Mexican to international cuisine, authentic Italian and vegetarian choices. Many of the local restaurants are owned by expatriate Italians and serve pasta dishes as well as pizza. Enjoy tasty meals all for 1/4 to 1/2 the price you would pay back home – you can't beat that! Although there are many beachside restaurants to choose from, we have a few favorites that we'd like to share with you.
El Alquimista restaurant is located on the west end of the beach and offers delicious wood fired pizzas, tasty tuna medallions, thirst quenching mango margaritas and the famous Mixta Grill for 2 people – a delicious fare of grilled chicken, ribs, steak and sausage. It is sure to tantalize your tastebuds! El Alquimista provides great food and a relaxing atmosphere… all for half the price you would pay at home. We like to spend the entire day at El Alquimista, taking advantage of their relaxing spa and partaking in a yoga class in their newly built studio.
Another mealtime favorite is La Providencia, located near the entrance to El Alquimista. This amazing restaurant offers one of the best contemporary Mexico cuisine in the area. Paco and Javier never cease to amaze us with their hospitality, amazing service and tasty fare. Specialties include delicious coconut shrimp in mango sauce, fresh tuna, beef medallions & stuffed chillies – Buen Provecho!
Relax on the beach, check out the shops at the Aldoquin, enjoy a spa day or participate in a yoga class at one of the 2 local studios. Zipolite provides something for everyone and is as relaxing as it gets along the Oaxacan coastline. On occasion, Zipolite has some nightlife; Livelula and Babel Cafe all have live music from time to time . Musical genres include, blues, jazz, funk, reggae as well as DJ's liven up the relaxing vibe and allow travelers to let loose and dance the night away. Zipolite will also get bands trickle in from the Puerto Escondido Music Festival.