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Journals from Instituto Cultural Oaxaca - Oaxaca, Mexico

2014-04-07 Adventures at the Beach

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Beach Sunset -- San Agustinillo

        For spring break we were able to travel outside of the main city. Oaxaca City is located in about the center of the State of Oaxaca. Depending on what part of the coast and what manner of transportation, the amount of time it takes to get to the coast varies. A few of us decided to travel to Mazunte for our spring break, which is a small town on the coast. We traveled in a van for five or six hours on a very curvy road to reach Pochutla. From there we took a taxi to our hotel. The first hotel we stayed at was beautiful. It was located on a hill, with the different buildings located on varying parts of the hill. It was a bit of a walk to the beach, but we had a nice view of the ocean from the hotel. We spent two nights there, and then the following two nights in a hotel in San Agustinillo, which had an easier walk to the beach.

       Our adventures included exploring the two towns, swimming in the ocean, making a trip to Huatulco, and going snorkeling. Both Mazunte and San Agustinillo were very small towns. There were not many activities going on and they did not have a large number of people around. Mazunte has a turtle museum, which we visited. They had turtles in tanks, kind of like at an aquarium, as well as turtles outside in containers and in different environments. They had a wide variety of different turtles there, such as turtles we would find at pet stores in the United States, as well as sea turtles and turtles with varying different characteristics. There is also a cosmetic product factory located in Mazunte that we visited. There they make a variety of cosmetic products, such as lip balm, skin products, and hair products from natural ingredients. Besides these two places, there were a few little stores and a few restaurants.

       Swimming in the ocean was one of my favorite parts about going to the coast. I come from Oregon, so swimming in the ocean without being cold just does not happen, even in the summer. This was the first time I had ever swum in an ocean without becoming numb from the cold temperature, and I loved it. The water was a comfortable temperature and the waves were fun to be in.

       The trip to Huatulco was short, but we did get to explore a bit. Huatulco is one of the beaches that are slightly more touristy. When we arrived, we noticed that there were more people there than in Mazunte and San Agustinillo and larger in size. We walked along the streets, enjoyed lunch, and looked at a few shops. Next, we took a taxi ride to see the beach. Our taxi drivers first took us up to a lookout point that gave us an incredible view of the coastline, and then down to one of the beaches. However, we did not stay at that beach long because we decided that we wanted to go snorkeling at another beach.

       Our snorkeling adventure was probably my favorite part of our entire spring break beach trip. During it we went to a beach called San Agustin de Flores where there was a fairly large reef. After renting the necessary equipment (a life jacket, snorkel, and goggles) we went out towards the reef with a tour guide. The experience was incredible! We saw stingrays, starfish, and many other types of fish. Some of them we even got to swim alongside of. We have since returned to Oaxaca City and have continued classes for the semester. It was nice to have a break from our daily routines and visit a region of Oaxaca that we had not been to before. We have more adventures coming so until next time, adios!

                                                                            -Shelby Reece

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