The following is from a traveller review posted January 2008. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserRe...

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The “cinque terre” of Oaxaca’s coast between Huatulco airport (50km south) and Puerto Escondido airport (75km north) is a relatively unexplored area. The five towns from east to west are Puerto Angel (the largest of the five and perhaps the least vacation-like by comparison), Zipolite (2008 pop approx 1000) another 8 km to the west and a throwback in time. A walk along the Zipolite 2km beach is a walk into the late 1960’s.There are plenty of pony tails, pot (be very careful), some nudes (most of whom should stay covered) and plenty of 30-50 peso/night hammocks to rent.

The pretty, yet risky, beach is an Aussie type with plenty of rip-tides and necessary elevated lifeguard shacks. It is lined full length with accommodations and restaurants. You’ll find multi hammocks with communal toilets/showers to rooms with private toilet/shower. Food covers the whole range from corn-chips and beer at the corner store to pizza, burgers, sushi or fresh seafood on the beach. There is cell phone coverage and there are a couple of internet cafés.

Next west about 5km (40/50 peso taxi) is San Agustinillo (pop approx 400), with its superb beach, great restaurants and fishing pangas, then a 10 minute walk to Mazunte (pop approx 650) and finally a 40/50peso taxi to tiny Playa Ventanilla and its crocodile lagoon to tour. Mazunte is a lovely swimable beach lined with inexpensive restaurants and a few places to rent a hammock or room. The town is larger and spreads inland a bit more than San Agustinillo as the topography is a little flatter.

Like Zipolite, you’ll find internet cafes, ice, food, and accommodations although at a slower pace, especially after dark. Playa Ventanilla is not more than a nice but strong beach with limited services other than lagoon tours. Transport by colectivo (back of a pick-up truck) is quick and cheaper than a taxi. You can have your taxi give you a colectivo rate as well, meaning the driver adds passengers to your ride. These five towns are separated by headlands that cut off a continuous beach walk. (If surf conditions are OK you can get west between Mazunte and San Agustinillo and east of San Agustinillo by beach).

The coast here is hundreds of miles of sandy beaches and many lagoons punctuated by headland separations. This area lies east-west rather than north-south so the sun’s there earlier but you won’t see the sun set into the sea. The topography is mountainous so often the beaches are far from main coastal highway 200 if there isn’t a natural flat town site near the beach. There are many rivers draining the interior between Huatulco and Puerto Escondido and they all have riverside communities although most are a distance upstream from the beach. These five towns are the main exceptions in the area. (calling Playa Ventanilla “a town” is being generous). 

Cell phone coverage was restricted to Puerto Angel, Zipolite and the main service centre town of Pochutla. Recently a tower to service San Agustinillo and Mazunte was added. Hills might block some coverage. Pochutla is 30 minutes away from San Agustinillo, the centre town, by taxi for 100 pesos. It is a hot and crowded but interesting non-tourist business town of approx 15,000 and has everything from full groceries, ice chests to meat etc. It has a hospital and its two or three ATM’s are the only ones between the 2 ATM's at the Huatulco airport, 1 that usually works at Puerto Angel and those at Puerto Escondido.

The closest airport is Huatulco airport located halfway between the Huatulco resort and golf centre and Pochutla. The airport has fixed taxi rates and San Agustinillo fits between the Mazunte posted 1100 pesos and Zipolite’s 900. That means $US100 (2008) and compares to 300 pesos from the taxi stand (sitio) just outside the airport gate 100 feet (30 metres) from the terminal. The drive to San Agustinillo is an hour whether it is by way of Zipolite and the bouncy but more interesting secondary road or doubling back via Mazunte on the smoother highway 200.

The  “cinque terre” of Oaxaca’s coast  is a wonderful place to explore and a huge welcome contrast to the routine of an all inclusive resort.