The andador (concrete walkway), which circles the lighthouse point, provides a pleasant, breezy afternoon (or sunset) diversion. From the west chain, follow the street, Marina Nacional, that heads toward the beach. Immediately on your left, stairs head down onto the beach cove, where, on the rocks that shelter the cove, at the Capitania del Puerto building, the andador heads left along the rocks. It continues, above the spectacularly splashing surf, for about half a mile. Return by the same route, or loop back through side streets to Pérez Gasga.
For a longer walk, you can stroll as far out of town along Playa Zicatela as you want, in outings ranging from an hour to a whole day. Avoid the heat of midday, and bring along a sun hat, shirt, drinks, and snacks (and perhaps sunglasses) if you plan on walking more than a mile past the last restaurant down the beach. Your rewards will be the acrobatics of surfers challenging the waves, swarms of shorebirds, and occasional finds of driftwood and shells. After about three miles you will reach a cliff and a sea arch, which you can scamper through at low tide to the beach on the other side, Playa Barra de Colotepec.
Playa Barra de Colotepec’s surf is as thunderous as Zicatela’s and the beach even more pristine, being a nesting site for sea turtles. The beach continues for another mile to the jungle-fringed lagoon of the Río Colotepec where, during the dry winter season, a host of birds and wildlife, both common and rare, paddle and preen in the clear, fresh water.
You could break this eight-mile round-trip into a pair of more leisurely options: Hike A could cover Zicatela only. On Hike B you could explore Playa Barra de Colotepec and the Laguna de Colotepec by driving, taxiing, or busing straight to La Barra, the beach village just west of the Río Colotepec. Access is via the signed side road just before (west of) the Río Colotepec bridge.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Oaxaca, 5th edition