Zipolite is best known for being Mexico’s first and only legal public nude beach and for retaining much of the hippie culture that made it notable in the 1970s. The origin of the name Zipolite has been lost over time.
Translated from Zapotec, Zipolite means “beach of the dead”. Some versions have that referring to dangerous underwater currents just offshore.
Locals say the Zapotecs offered the bodies of their dead to the sea and it is the consequence for why the beach was unoccupied until alternative foreigners started arriving here in 1969.
Other versions has it coming from the Nahuatl word Zipolitlan or Zipotli, meaning “bumpy place” or “place of continuous bumps or hills”.
The beach is currently popular with foreign tourists, especially backpackers, who stay in one of the many rustic cabins or camping spaces that line the beach; and it is also quite popular for its annual Nudist Fest.