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Hunkering Down at the Beach in Oaxaca

Cacaluta beach in Oaxaca
Credit: Javarman | Bigstock

Hello to everybody at Expats in Mexico.  I just arrived with my partner in Puerto Escondido where we will be hunkering down at the beach in Oaxaca until Covid-19 is under control in Mexico.

We left a very quiet Oaxaca City where most businesses had closed and the streets were eerily empty.  The police were circulating and announcing that all should stay home and only go out for food and medicine.  We decided to head for the beach where we are very fortunate to have a beautiful beach home with our own pool.

This virus has affected the lives of so many in Mexico who live day-to-day in a cash economy that has basically ceased to exist. We tried to think of everyone we know who are involved in the cash economy to provide them with some assistance prior to sheltering in place on the coast.

I just received a message from a friend informing me that two cases of Coronavirus were just confirmed in San Jose del Pacifico, which is a beautiful town in the Sierra Sur that we pass through on the way back and forth from the coast to Oaxaca City. That town has been completely closed down. In Mexico, we are just at the beginning with the entire country observing virus protocols through the month of April, at least.

On a more upbeat note, our real estate business was great last year and 2020 is moving along very nicely in spite of the virus.  Most of our buyers are U.S. citizens wanting to retire in Oaxaca to enjoy its culture, great food, cost-of-living and wonderful temperate climate.

The city of Oaxaca offers a very rich cultural milieu, including art, architecture and music going back to 2000 BCE. Properties in our Centro Historico are preferred by most, but because values have increased so much, new arrivals are beginning to explore options in our many very charming outlying communities such as San Andres Huayapam and San Agustin Etla. In those areas, a very nice two-bedroom house with large garden can still be purchased for under US$200,000.

All along the Oaxacan coast many different types of lifestyles are available, like the laid-back, internationally-known surfing destination of Puerto Escondido with its great beaches and shopping conveniences, as well as fresh caught fish delivered to your door.  Yesterday I bought 2 pounds of beautiful dorado fish (aka mahi-mahi) for $240 pesos.  That is about US$5 per pound, fresh out of the sea!

We have a wonderful market here with fabulous produce, fresh flowers and, of course, seafood.  In addition, there is a very large Chedraui supermarket, several gyms, lots of pharmacies and much more.

For beach going, there are several small local bays nearby, such as Playa Carrizalillo and Puerto Angelito.  An hour north is Chacahua, which is one of Mexico’s most important centers of Afro-Mexican culture and a beautiful ecotourism destination ideal for bird watchers.

Going south along the coast you pass Tomatal and Agua Blanca where there is ever-increasing residential beach development, but always with an ecofriendly focus. Mazunte has a very appealing hippie vibe and great beaches.  I always enjoy hiking up to Punta Cometa where great views of Mazunte and Playa Mermejta can be enjoyed. Just a fifteen-minute walk from Mazunte is San Agustinillo, which also has great beaches.

As you continue south, Salchi and San Agustin Huatulco can be visited.  These are both pristine small bays with San Agustin Huatulco’s crystal-clear water offering great snorkeling.  Finally, you will arrive in the coastal city of Huatulco, which is more developed, but still retains an eco-friendly atmosphere.  Fortunately, development in Huatulco has been very well-managed by FONATUR, the Mexican organization responsible for tourism development.

When Mexico opens for business again, we invite you to visit the great state of Oaxaca. Meanwhile, stay safe everyone.