The Most Popular Nudist Beach In Mexico Is A Laidback, Golden Sand Paradise

Picture a perfectly private beach at sunset, rimmed by elegant cliff faces, a pair of hippies strolling hand in hand across the golden sand, naked as the day they were born. Welcome to Zipolite, the only legal nude beach in all of Mexico. A sleepy fishing village on the Pacific Coast in the state of Oaxaca, Zipolite — Zipo for short — is sometimes referred to as Mexico's hippie beach. Many of the small hotels and resorts here offer yoga classes, meditation, and poolside nudity, and one even has a sweat lodge.


As a catholic country, Mexico isn't generally known as a mecca for nudists. There are only a handful of places you can sunbathe nude in Mexico, most of them at clothing-optional resorts. By no means will all of the beachgoers will be nude here, so no pressure, but if you do feel like going au natural in Zipolite and are unsure of the proper etiquette, we have some guidance for your first time at a nude beach.

Zipolite's hippie history and LGBTQ+ future

Zipolite's hippie town origin story is ravishingly romantic: In 1970, a pretty, young Californian named Gloria rolled into town, married a local fisherman, and eventually opened Gloria's Shambala, the first hippie restaurant, meditation retreat, and hotel, with thatch-roofed cabanas and dormitories climbing the jungle-covered hillside, and beach views for days. Gloria, now a widow, is still queen of Zipo, and you just might persuade her to pull out old photo albums and share a view into the town's past you can only get in person. If you time your visit to take in the New Year, Gloria has been hosting a consciousness-raising party for the past 25 years, where guests meditate and visit the beach in white robes, their heads garlanded with fresh flowers.


Zipo is also increasingly known by word-of-mouth as a burgeoning LGBTQ+ vacation destination. The locals have been more than welcoming and even elected a gay member to the town council in 2022, the same year the New York Times declared Zipolite "an oasis for the queer community." Casa Nudista, a hotel that caters to gay men, has a legendary Saturday pool party open to all — and nudity at this fete is mandatory, but the vibe is billed as #heterofriendly.  And here's a tip for solo female travelers hesitant to disrobe on a public beach: Hotel Nude offers day passes for its private beach and beachfront pool.

Planning a trip to Zipolite

When you're ready to zip on down to Zipo, the airport in Bahias de Huatulco isan hour away by taxi. Once there, everything is walkable — and do walk on the beach, just don't swim. Despite its popularity with surfers, Zipolite is one of the most dangerous spots to swim in the world; Zipolite means "beach of the dead" in Zapotec, in recognition of the treacherous currents that can suck overconfident tourists right out to sea. But the newer hotels have pools, like the popular El Alquimista, with beachfront cabanas, a pool, a spa, and a restaurant under a soaring palapa roof.


Las Delicias is the top-rated restaurant in town, a Tripadvisor Readers' Choice, known for its breakfast — drinking French press coffee while lounging in a hammock? You'll want to stay all morning, maybe rent another hammock on the beach for the afternoon, then stroll through the nightly hippie market for some trinkets and handicrafts on your way to Playa del Amor, a smaller beach on the east end of town accessed by a set of rocky stairs, to catch a spectacular sunset. 

With days like these, Zipolite might just turn you into a card-carrying nudist, so if you'd like to keep erasing those tan lines, check out some of the other great all-inclusive nude beach resorts, three of which are in Mexico, or find one in your own back yard on our list of the best nude beaches in the U.S.