Zipolite – Clothing Optional

The beauty of travelling for a more than a couple of months is the luxury of time. The ability to settle in the one town for more than just 24hours; to explore the furthest reaches and to live like a local.

With a total of five days in Puerto Escondido, I was able to spoil myself with (what was meant to be) a day trip to one of the surrounding beach towns that I had read so much about. Considering logistics (which ended up being a fail anyway), I chose the cheeky Zipolite, famous for its hippy lifestyle and nude beach culture.

Too worried about my lack of Spanish to catch one of the local collectivos – a cheap as chips transport, resembling a ute in which people pile into until there are limbs literally hanging off the back – I hopped on a bus from the main bus stop that was making its way to San Agustinillo, where I was meant to get off one stop before the terminal and catch the collectivo. But things don’t often go as planned when there’s a language barrier (thanks but no thanks local gentleman) and I ended up at the terminal.

A $25 taxi ride later (which could have gotten me there and back to Zipolite about 4 times) and I rolled in to the charming main street of town. Littered with basic restaurants, cute handicraft stores and your occasional homestay here and there, I was instantly in love. THIS is what I’d been hoping for when I arrived to Puerto Escondido.

Main Street Zipolite

After filling my belly with pasta (it had come to that point in my Mexican food journey), I waddled down to squishy white sand. And don’t be fooled if someone tells you its 70s free-love vibe is gone, it’s very much still a nudist beach. Now I ain’t no prude, but public nudity is not something I would personally practice, even within such an open environment. So I settled for a little tops off time as a compromise 😀

It was during this ‘free the nips’ that impulsive Taryn welcomed herself into my life. You see, I’m a planner. I love knowing where I’m going, how I’m getting there and what I’m going to do when I get there. But for the first time in my travel life, I let caution to the wind – a trend that continued on during the trip – and decided I would stay here the night. I wanted to be that free spirited, beach bum, lounging in a hammock, with cocktail in hand as the sun went down.

It didn’t matter that I only had with my a towel, sunscreen, a book and a change of underwear. And it didn’t matter that I had to walk almost to the next town to withdraw extra funds to support this flash of madness. It was time to finally live in the now.

This is mind, I went and scored myself a little private room – read concrete box – at one of the beach front hostels. And I couldn’t have been happier. For the first time on my trip I felt liberated, like the stress of the last couple of years no longer mattered and I was the master of my own destiny.

I spent the rest of the afternoon upping my melanin production, sipping on pina coladas while watching nudists tango on the beach to a mariachi band, and assisting in the release of 50 baby turtles back into the ocean.

The Nudist Tango

Come night time, Zipolite truly shines. The one main street gets closed off and a market spreads its way down the strip, featuring everything from hand crafted local jewellery, food and a pet pig or two. The vibe is electric and engaging and the locals so so friendly. If only I’d known earlier! Next time!

The next day, I regretfully packed my things – which mind you only consisted of bathers, towel and sunscreen – and found the CORRECT collectivo back to PE.

To note: If you have time, also dip your toes in at Mazunte – I could only wistfully gaze on from atop the collectivo – but it looks just divine!

Unfortunately I can’t remember a single thing I ate or where I stayed but that’s the joy of Zipolite, none of it matters when you’re living free and easy.


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