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The Best Hammock on the Oaxacan Coast

Updated: Aug 17, 2018

There is an ocean-facing hammock outside room 3 of La Luciernega in Zipolite, Oaxaca. I found it by accident.

I had spent three days in January, 2018 camped on the beach 30 minutes south, in Mazunte, during which I had: fallen in love with two Spaniards; lost my computer to a night thief; formed an impromptu ukulele band; and eaten my weight in fresh coconut meat. By day five, soured by the computer loss and buzzing from the rest, I was both ready for somewhere new and not quite wanting to leave.

I packed up and hopped in the back of a passing truck for the ride up the coast to Zipolite, the nudie beach rival to Mazunte’s so-called yoga haven. I stayed a nightone block off the beach but felt claustrophobic in the heat and missed the breeze of beachside sleeping, so the next day I walked along the shore asking for rooms. This brought me to La Luciernega.

The room is up the stairs of the courtyard, one of five, the door of each held closed by a small rusty padlock. 100 pesos a night buys a square bed, a mosquito net, a plastic table and chair, and the outdoor hammock. It was in that hammock that I found my breeze and fell asleep to waves crashing heavy, to distant voices.

In Zipolite, despite the fury of the ocean, and it is furious there, the energy is pleasant, calm; an upbeat sort of lazy. It felt strange not to nap, read all morning, and consider a walk down the beach the afternoon’s main activity.

Zipolite taught me to breathe more deeply, a lesson often lost in the smog and bustle of Los Angeles, where I live now. The feeling of the breeze from the hammock comes back to me from time to time, though, reminding me to take pause, and maybe a nap.

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