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 source 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 (around $5 per person.) 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.
The beach of Mazunte stretches out for 1 kilometre with a secluded cove on the west end. The main beach and the cove on the west end have small hotels, cabanas & restaurants. There are two other secluded beaches in the area, Playa Mermejita on Punta Cometa and Playa Escobilla just west of the main beaches. Punta Cometa is a recommended place to visit. This peninsula extends into the Pacific Ocean and is the southernmost point of the state of Oaxaca. It is also the southern most peninsula on the Pacific side of the North American continent. You can watch the sunrise and set all year round from this beach.