Zicatela Beach: One of the Best Playas in Oaxaca, Mexico

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If you love adventure, waves, sand, sun, and sunsets, and you don’t care how far you can go to a destination like this, I will tell you about Zicatela Beach.

This paradise is located in Oaxaca, famous for its traditions, delicious gastronomy, and above all, its beautiful beaches that are still mostly unspoiled.

Getting to Zicatela Beach, Oaxaca

Playa Zicatela is about 5 minutes from downtown Puerto Escondido.

If you’re in Huatulco, the drive is about an hour and a half (90 km). Read the full guide to Puerto Escondido!

Here are the different ways to get to Zicatela:

By Air

Fly to Puerto Escondido Airport (PXM): Several airlines operate flights to Puerto Escondido from major airports such as Mexico City, Oaxaca City, and others.

You can take a taxi from the airport or arrange transportation to Zicatela Beach.

By Road

Bus: Several coach companies in Mexico offer services to every corner of the country.

Public Transport Service

Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Puerto Escondido and can take you directly to Zicatela Beach. Make sure to negotiate the fare before starting your journey.

Local Buses: Some local buses or “colectivos” run within Puerto Escondido, and some might pass by or near Zicatela Beach. Ask locals or at the bus terminal for the appropriate bus routes.

Get Some Wheels

Car Rental: If you prefer the flexibility of having your own transportation, you can rent a car at the airport or in Puerto Escondido and drive to Zicatela Beach. Get the best car rental deals on the web!

Make sure to check if your accommodation provides parking facilities.

Other Considerations

Navigation: It’s a good idea to have maps or GPS navigation to help you find your way, especially if you’re driving.

Accommodation: Ensure you have a place to stay before your arrival, especially during peak tourist seasons.

Language: While Spanish is predominantly spoken, you can get by with basic Spanish or English in tourist areas.

Once you’re in Puerto Escondido, Zicatela Beach is one of the main attractions and shouldn’t be hard to find, as it’s a popular destination for surfers and beachgoers alike.

5 Top things to do in Zicatela Beach, Oaxaca

zicatela oaxaca
The Palapitas Bar in Playa Zicatela

There are many exciting activities and places to explore in this beautiful Playa.

As a tourist in Playa Zicatela, there are many things to do. From water sports such as surfing and snorkeling to relaxing cruise tours to see the marine life.

In addition, participating in turtle releases or visiting the Manialtepec Lagoon adds a special touch to the experience.

For those looking for a bit of culture, Oaxaca’s gastronomy and local markets are not to be missed.

Tasting the local food and exploring the handicraft stalls offers an authentic glimpse of life in this region. Also, don’t forget to enjoy the nightlife.

The bars and restaurants along the beach offer entertainment and live music.

1. Boat trip to see Dolphins, Stingrays and Turtles

zicatela beach playa

The first item on this list of things to do in Zicatela Beach is a boat trip!

These recreational tours allow you to see the main beaches and observe marine life.

On board, tourists can see olive ridley turtles, dolphins, and, with a little luck, whales (season Dec-Mar).

The boats are equipped with life jackets, GPS, and marine band radios, ensuring the safety of all passengers. Don’t miss out, book your tour here.

The tours offer an excellent way to enjoy the sea.

They also provide a unique perspective of the coast of Oaxaca. Each trip is an opportunity to see marine species in their natural habitat.

The thrill of spotting a pod of dolphins or a majestic whale is indescribable.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best moments you can experience at Zicatela Beach.

2. Turtle Release in Zicatela Beach

Turtle release is a rewarding and educational experience. It is a popular activity on the coast of Oaxaca.

Watching sea turtle hatchlings make their way into the ocean is a moving event. Many people are inspired to participate in this activity.

There are several camps along the coast where turtle releases take place. Some offer tours that include round-trip transfers.

This activity is not only exciting, but it is also a way to contribute to marine life conservation.

Participants learn about the life cycle of turtles and the importance of protecting their habitat.

If you’ve never done it and want to try something new, don’t miss this unique experience, this is the best place!

3. A tour of the Bioluminescent Lakes

zicatela beach

For nature lovers, a visit to the bioluminescent lakes is a must. The Manialtepec Lagoon is one of these magical places.

Surrounded by mangroves, the lagoon is home to a variety of migratory birds and vegetation.

At night, the water glows with a bluish light thanks to bioluminescent organisms.

This nighttime experience is simply spectacular. Visitors can swim in the lagoon and watch the water light up around them. Secure your spot here.

It is also an excellent place for bird-watching. The biodiversity of the Manialtepec Lagoon is impressive.

This place offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and adventure.

4. Surf Lessons, of course

zicatela beach surfing

Playa Zicatela is known for its perfect waves for surfing. Considered one of the three best beaches in the world for this sport, it is a favorite destination for surfers of all levels.

Surf lessons are available for beginners and experts. The local instructors are very experienced and know Zicatela’s waves well.

The waves here can reach six meters, offering an exciting challenge.

Instructors will help you improve your skills and enjoy surfing safely. In addition, surfing at this beach is an experience that is not easily forgotten.

The feeling of riding a wave at Playa Zicatela is incredible. There is no doubt that surfing is an essential activity when it comes to what to do in and around Puerto Escondido.

5. Scuba Diving in Playa Zicatela

playa zicatela diving

Scuba diving is another exciting activity in Playa Zicatela.

Dive sites such as Carrizalillo, La Falla, Trichera de Cocos, and El Faro offer breathtaking underwater scenery.

Divers can explore coral reefs, and see colorful fish, mother-of-pearl, lobsters, and manta rays.

Diving in these waters is an unforgettable experience. Each dive reveals a new underwater wonder.

The coral reefs are especially fascinating, with their shapes and colors.

In addition, the diving at Playa Zicatela is suitable for all levels. Whether you are an experienced diver or a beginner, there is something for everyone.

Zicatela and Puerto Escondido

carrizalillo beach
Playa Carrizalillo near Zicatela

Puerto Escondido is a destination full of natural and cultural wonders.

Not only is Playa Zicatela an amazing beach, but there are also other sites you should not miss while in Puerto Escondido.

Another must-see is Playa Carrizalillo. This beach is ideal for swimming and relaxing. It is also an excellent place for snorkeling due to its calm and crystalline waters.

Also, if you are wondering what to visit if you go to Puerto Escondido, don’t forget to explore the varied gastronomic offerings of Oaxaca.

What to eat in Playa Zicatela?

Try the moles, tlayudas, tamales and chapulines. You can also enjoy fresh fish and seafood prepared in a variety of ways.

The food in this region is a true celebration of Oaxacan culture. Each dish tells a story and offers an explosion of flavors.

Gastronomy is undoubtedly an essential part of the Playa Zicatela experience.

Hotels in Zicatela Beach

hotelito swiss zacatela puerto escondido
mexico travel and leisure
I stayed at the Hotelito Swiss – Adults Only. A few blocks from Playa Zicatela. (about 90 USD a night)

To make the most of your stay, many hotels in Zicatela (Puerto Escondido) offer comfort and excellent services.

From luxurious resorts to cozy cottages, there are options for all tastes and budgets.

Hotels in Zicatela are well located, making it easy to access the beach and the main activities.

You may want to read: Puerto Escondido’s Finest Hotels: The Ultimate Guide

Staying in a good hotel significantly enhances the travel experience. Most hotels offer ocean views, swimming pools, and spa services.

Also, many organize activities and excursions for their guests.

Finding the perfect place to stay is part of fully enjoying Playa Zicatela. Do your research and choose the accommodation that best suits your needs and expectations.

Zicatela Beach, Oaxaca: Final thoughts

As you’ve learned today, Playa Zicatela is a vibrant destination full of exciting activities.

Whether you like surfing, snorkeling, or just enjoying nature, there is always something to do.

Participating in the turtle release and visiting the Manialtepec Lagoon are experiences you won’t forget.

In addition, the Oaxacan food and the hotels in Puerto Escondido will ensure a memorable stay.

From marine life watching tours to water sports and exploring the local culture, this place has it all.

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