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San Agustinillo + Mazunte Oaxaca Travel Guide: What to Do, Where to Eat + Where to Stay

The Oaxaca coast is still pretty unknown to tourists, so you can escape the crowds here and be treated to some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico. My new favorite part of the coast are the adjacent towns of San Agustinillo and Mazunte, Oaxaca. They are so close you can walk between them in 10 minutes, and there are several beautiful beaches to enjoy, lots of good restaurants, beautiful hotels, and a peaceful beach vibe that is hard to find in touristy places.

san agustinillo mazunte oaxaca travel guide
san agustinillo beach mazunte oaxaca guide

Read on below to find out:

  • What to do here: turtles, boat tours, the best place for sunset, day trips to boho Zipolite beach…
  • San Agustinillo + Mazunte restaurants – octopus tostadas, pizza as good as in Italy (really)…
  • And where to stay (and if you should choose Mazunte or San Agustinillo).


What to Do: San Agustinillo + Mazunte Oaxaca Travel Guide

Boat Tour to See Dolphins, Turtles & Whales (During Whale Season):
What to Do: San Agustinillo + Mazunte Oaxaca Travel Guide

san agustinillo mazunte oaxaca boat tour

We took a morning boat tour to see the sea life and it far exceeded my expectations.

We were told we would see lots of turtles (what the area is most known for) and most likely dolphins. We saw plenty of both which was amazing in itself.

san agustinillo mazunte oaxaca boat turtle tour

But we were super lucky to see a giant whale as well. It was the right season for it, but I could also tell our guide was great at spotting where they would be. We were able to motor alongside it (from a respectful distance but still close enough that it was very awe inspiring) for some time. I have never seen a whale in the wild and it was a pretty magical experience. It’s hard to explain how giant and beautiful they are.

boat tour whale watching san agustinillo mazunte oaxaca

Our guide was wonderful and was recommended to us by Zazil Retreat’s wonderful owner. There are lots of guides who offer this tour – you can find them down at the beach where the boats are.

Explore the Many Beaches of San Agustinillo + Mazunte, Oaxaca:
What to do in San Agustinillo + Mazunte, Oaxaca

San Agustinillo Beaches:

san agustinillo beach travel oaxaca


As far as I know, the San Agustinillo beaches don’t have different names, but there is a series of 3 loops or wide coves that connect. It’s nice to walk along the coves, explore where the rock formations meet, and see how the scenery and perspective changes a bit.

san agustinillo beach mazunte oaxaca travel guide
san agustinillo travel guide mazunte oaxaca

Because of these different loose coves and rock formations, there are different types of wave breaks all over the beaches. So you can have really calm swims in certain places or can do body surfing if you prefer bigger waves. This worked well for J and I since I prefer the calmest water and he loves waves.

Mazunte: Playa Mazunte & Playa Rinconcito

mazunte oaxaca beach travel guide

This is the main beach in town, take any of the roads in town towards the beach and you will run into it. I prefer to lounge in the area on the southwest side near the rocks and cliff. There are a few restaurants and amenities here if you want to rent a chair or grab a cold beer.

Mazunte: Playa Cometa in Punta Cometa Park

punta cometa beach mazunte oaxaca hike
playa cometa punta cometa hike mazunte oaxaca

This little beach feels like your own deserted island. You can get here by taking the Punta Cometa hike from town (see below) and then veering towards the west.

It’s usually empty or just has a handful of beachgoers. It is not recommended to swim here – the current is very strong and there are no lifeguards. But it’s a beautiful peaceful place and there are amazing views of it from the ridge as you arrive or on the opposite cliff if you climb up.

Mazunte: Playa Mermejita

This beach is beautiful and only a 10 minute walk from the center of Mazunte, Oaxaca. It’s very peaceful, with fewer people than on the town beach. It also has a dangerous riptide, so it’s not recommended for swimming.

Day trip to Zipolite Beach:
What to do in San Agustinillo + Mazunte, Oaxaca

zipolite beach sunset san agustinillo mazunte oaxaca guide

Zipolite is another town only a 10 minute drive from San Agustinillo or 15 minutes from Mazunte, Oaxaca.

Zipolite beach has its own specific vibe. It’s known for being a nudist beach, but also has a fun bohemian laid-back vibe.

You can catch any pasajero that passes by to reach Zipolite beach. Pasajeros are the trucks with canvas colored roofs that serve as mini-buses. Wave one down and hop in the back. Ring the bell when you are ready to jump off.

The town is cute and colorful, and I happened to find the best artisan products I’ve found on the coast here. There is a little shop without a sign, where the family makes the products out back. Lots of colorful woven hats, purses, wallets, etc..

zipolite beach where to buy artisan products

Zipolite beach is giant and beautiful. It’s a cove but a big one. The water is very shallow a long way out, so it’s good for wading. The waves can be intense in some places and during certain tides. Pay attention to where other people are swimming at Zipolite beach or ask the lifeguards where it is safe.

zipolite beach sunset mazunte travel guide
zipolite beach san agustinillo travel guide

We spent the afternoon on the beach chairs at Hotel Nude during our day trip to Zipolite beach. They have beach chairs out front and didn’t require a minimum spend. The service was great and the chairs were cute and comfy. We had some refreshing beers and the guacamole was good.

El Alquimista looked like a well designed hotel and restaurant on Zipolite beach, but they were full. Would definitely like to check them out next time.

el alquimista zipolite beach oaxaca

Hotel Noga looks like another beautiful option at Zipolite beach if you are looking to stay overnight.

Hike Punta Cometa & Sunset at Punta Cometa:
What to do in San Agustinillo + Mazunte, Oaxaca

punta cometa hike mazunte oaxaca san agustinillo

This is may be my favorite thing to do in San Agustinillo and Mazunte, Oaxaca. This park is a cliffy point that extends out into the ocean – it’s actually the southernmost point of Oaxaca.

It’s super easy to reach Punta Cometa from San Agustinillo or Mazunte, Oaxaca. From Mazunte beach, you can walk to the southwest corner and you’ll find a set up of steps in the cliff at the end of the beach. If you take these up, you will climb up to the dirt path, make a left here and you’ll find the park.

Or from Mazunte, Oaxaca town, walk down Camino Mermejita, and then turn left at the dirt path just passed Casa Huijazoo. You can see the path to Punta Cometa on Google Maps as a dotted line.

Once you walk down this path for a few minutes, the forest will clear and you’ll be walking on a path with the ocean crashing below.

mazunte oaxaca hiking punta cometa

The path makes goes out to the end of the point, and you can loop down to Playa Cometa and then back. Or if you have more time, you can continue the path that goes from the other side of Playa Cometa, up over the next cliff. We haven’t had a chance to do that part yet, but hopefully will next time.

san agustinillo mazunte oaxaca punta cometa
punta cometa oaxaca mazunte hike

Punta Cometa is also the best place to watch sunset in San Agustinillo or Mazunte, Oaxaca. Crowds gather here at the point to take it in – and it’s really a gorgeous experience.

mazunte oaxaca sunset punta cometa travel guide
mazunte oaxaca hiking punta cometa

Things to remember about Punta Cometa, Mazunte, Oaxaca:
There are no amenities – bring plenty of water, a hat, sunblock, and a snack or lunch if you plan to be out for awhile.
This isn’t a difficult hike, but I would advise wearing at least sport sandals or shoes.
The water at Playa Cometa has dangerous riptides, I wouldn’t advise swimming.
This is the BEST place for sunset. Enjoy it with most of the rest of the town.

Visit the Turtle Conservation Center:
What to do in San Agustinillo + Mazunte, Oaxaca

Mazunte, Oaxaca is famous for the huge number of sea turtles here. But it wasn’t always a happy story – Mazunte became a town because there was a market for turtle meat and eggs, and by the 1970’s Mazunte was famous for their turtle hunting in Mexico. Once this became banned in the country, this center was developed to protect the turtles, replenish their numbers, and educate the public.

You can see lots of turtles here in different shapes and sizes and you can learn about how the center is researching ways to better protect the area turtles.

If you prefer a guided tour – try this option for the turtle center + Ventanilla mangroves:

San Agustinillo + Mazunte Restaurants:
San Agustinillo + Mazunte Oaxaca Travel Guide

San Agustinillo Restaurants:

La Ola

La Ola is one of my favorite restaurants in San Agustinillo, so much so that we visited twice (which I almost never do!).

They have some comfy beach chairs in front that you can lounge on, or plenty of space in the restaurant.

The food is tasty and fresh. We had the octopus and shrimp tostadas and they were great. The nopales (cactus) salad was also good. Their micheladas are festive and refreshing.

This is my favorite place to hang out on San Agustinillo beach.

La Termita

La Termita is my other favorite restaurant in San Agustinillo. It’s an Italian restaurant with great pizza and a great romantic atmosphere. We sat at a little table on the beach at night with our feet in the sand and a bottle of wine with our pizza. It was super lovely.

Zazil Retreat

We had the immense pleasure of having a beautiful dinner at Zazil Retreat during our stay. If you are staying at Zazil, I highly recommend asking about a dinner one night. They may only have a chef on staff during high season, but when they do, the food is outstanding. We had a multi-course meal where all the food was delicious, artfully displayed, and the flavors were complex.

Mazunte Restaurants:

La Pizzeria

La Pizzeria was probably the biggest surprise and maybe my favorite restaurant in the area, definitely my favorite of the Mazunte restaurants. I had read some good reviews and people saying the pizza was as good as in Italy, but I was skeptical. Well I can confirm, it is in fact as good as any pizza I’ve had in Italy (we spent 2 months there last summer).

The owner is Italian and he mans the big traditional oven. The space is rustic but comfy with big communal seating. The staff was wonderful. And as I said, the pizza was incredible. We would have gone back if we had time. There are several Mazunte restaurants for pizza, but this is the best!

Taqueria El Mazunte

Taqueria El Mazunte is a good spot for traditional Oaxacan food. They have lots of taco options, tlayudas, guacamole and more. One of the best Mazunte restaurants to stop in at night to fill up on some tacos.

Posada del Arquitecto

This is a bar that is located inside a big hostel. The bar area is near the beach and a great place to hang out and have some beers or mezcal. One of the best Mazunte restaurants for nightlife.

Beach Treats

Having some snacks on the beach is a great way to curb your hunger during the afternoon. You’ll see lots of vendors passing by, especially during lunch time. We saw more of this on Mazunte beach than on San Agustinillo.

I got some fried taquitos from a women and they were tasty and hit the spot – fish, chicken and potato filled, respectively.

taquitos on the mazunte oaxaca beach

We also ordered chicken tacos delivered to our beach chairs from one of the Mazunte restaurants right next to the beach. I didn’t catch the name, but if you ask around I’m sure someone will point you in the right direction.

You’ll see lots of men passing with ice cream (coconut, yum), fresh coconuts to chop up and drink, freshly baked bread, and more. Don’t be afraid to ask “Que tiene?” (what do you have?)

Where to Stay: San Agustinillo + Mazunte Oaxaca Travel Guide

San Agustinillo vs. Mazunte, Oaxaca?

Both towns are right next to each other, but have pretty different vibes.

Mazunte, Oaxaca is a little bigger, with more amenities, and a town church and yearly festival. It also has a few more tourists, and tends to attract a younger crowd with hippy leanings. If you are looking for nightlife, this is a better bet, as many of the restaurants in San Agustinillo close by 10pm. If you are looking for a quieter part of Mazunte, consider staying down near Playa Mermejita.

San Agustinillo, Oaxaca is very quiet and small. It’s basically just the main road that runs up along the beach – with hotels and restaurants on either side. Then there are a few small dirt roads that wind up the mountain. Here you can find quieter hotels, and often amazing ocean views, and cool comfortable breezes.

The type of traveler seems to range quite a bit in San Agustinillo from young travelers, to young families, and older generations. I would say that the 30s and 40s crowd is the biggest traveler segment. This felt like the right traveler vibe for us as late 30 somethings, and we met lots of other interesting creatives from around the world here.

Both have beautiful beaches to explore, dramatic rock formations and cliffs, and great food. And the towns are only 10 minutes walking distance from each other, so it’s quite easy to enjoy both towns from wherever you stay.

Zazil Retreat – San Agustinillo Hotel

san agustinillo hotel travel guide mazunte oaxaca

I will heartily recommend Zazil Retreat for anyone looking for a special and beautiful place to stay in San Agustinillo. The hotel is high up on the hill, so it has an absolutely spectacular panoramic view of the ocean below. It does take a little effort to climb up the steep hill, but only takes about 10 minutes and the views and surrounding nature make it worth it. Or if you have a car, it’s an easy drive up.

san agustinillo hotel boutique zazil retreat oaxaca

The owners are spectacular, some of the warmest hosts I’ve ever had. The included breakfast is delicious, the staff is wonderful, and the suites are absolutely beautiful.

These San Agustinillo suites are made from local thatched roofs, but with very high dramatic roofs and are beautifully done. All suites have their own private balcony with amazing ocean view and several hammocks. The bed is super comfy and huge. We couldn’t have asked for more during our 5 night stay.

If you are on a tighter budget, check out the map below for lots more options in San Agustinillo or Mazunte, Oaxaca

Booking.com

Or if you prefer your own apartment in San Agustinillo or Mazunte, Oaxaca, check Airbnb. And click here to get $40 off your first booking!

mazunte oaxaca travel guide san agustinillo

Those are my best recommendations for my new favorite spot on the Oaxaca coastline – San Agustinillo & Mazunte, Oaxaca.

If you’re thinking of heading to Puerto Escondido, check out my full guide of where to stay, what to eat, and things to do in Puerto Escondido. And stay tuned for more Oaxaca coast blogs!

If you are also heading to Oaxaca city: I have tons of posts about what to eat, what to do, where to stay, etc. Check out my full list of Oaxaca posts here.

What to Pack for San Agustinillo + Mazunte, Oaxaca:

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3 Responses

  1. […] few people know about. My new favorite part of the coast is the tiny, relaxing, off-the-beaten path town of San Agustinillo. Last trip we settled ourselves into Zazil Retreat, a beautiful San Agustinillo hotel that was the […]

  2. […] to get around. Our last trip, we spent a few days in Puerto Escondido, followed by a few more in Mazunte. I scrapped together details from lots of forums and blogs to figure out how to get from Puerto […]

  3. […] out my full guide of Mazunte and San Agustinillo for all the things to do (including some info about Zipolite), what to eat, and where to […]

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