West of Puerto Angel is the beautiful beach of Mazunte, about a 20-minute drive from the Viewpoint condo and 1km from playa San Agustinillo. “Mazunte” is derived from a Nahuatl phrase, “maxotetia” meaning “please deposit eggs here” and is famous for the sea turtles that come to lay their eggs on the beach. Before the mid-20th century, Mazunte had no population, but saw much change when the market for sea turtle meat and eggs developed. By the 1970’s Mazunte became the centre of sea turtle hunting in Mexico. Concern over the declining number of sea turtles eventually led to an absolute ban on turtle meat and eggs in Mexico, which resulted in a decrease in income for families in the village.
To replace it, ecotourism focused on the conservation of turtles and natural cosmetics developed. Today the main attractions in Mazunte are the Mexican National Turtle Center and the Cosméticos Naturales de Mazunte.
The Mexican National Turtle Center studies turtle behavior, diet, and monitor the quality of water in the tanks to gain insight into the problem of the protection of the species. This exciting initiative helps to conserve turtle protection, conduct scientific and technological research for turtle management, promote the ecological tourism concept in the region, and support the community growth and development in the region. The museum has guided tours for a moderate admission fee.
The Cosméticos Naturales de Mazunte is a community enterprise that dedicates it’s work to making 100% environmentally friendly quality products. Sponsored over a decade ago by The Body Shop the cooperative produces shampoo, conditioner, bath gels, soap, mosquito repellent, lip balm and other great items.
Mazunte Beach is essentially divided into 3 parts: Playa principal, Rinconcito and Mermejita. Playa Principal is a long stretch of beach with local palapas, a great place to have a beach lunch. “Rinconcito” is as its name means, a little corner. This is where the beach ends at the rocky cliffs on the long outcropping that goes out to Punta Cometa. The Rinconcito Beach is also a great place to swim, where you can actually get in deeper water right away to float instead of jumping waves.