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Playa Ventanilla

by Erin May

Playa Ventanilla windowLocated 2 miles west of Mazunte  is the small remote seaside village of Playa Ventanilla.  Ventanilla means ‘little window’ and derives from the small opening in the high rocky peak at the east end of the beach. The fine sand and clear waters extend all the way down to Puerto Escondido. This playa is a great spot for a relaxing day at the beach or to take in the interesting and fun eco-tours offered.

La Ventanilla Sign _ Playa Ventanilla

Ecotourism at Playa Ventanilla was developed in the 1990’s when the Ecosolar group began work to help the area after the ban on sea turtles and crocodile trade eliminated people’s livelihoods. This group, along with 10 local families began offering tours in the lagoon and beach areas, inviting biologists and biology students to study the area. 

The local cooperative, Servicios Ecoturisticos de La Ventanilla, operates the tours 7 days a week. They also participate in projects to protect the ecosystem. The money from these tours supports these projects. We recommend the tours with the Ecotourism Coop. You will spot the guide easily in the red tshirts.

The lagoon tour is about an hour long and takes you through the lagunas and mangrove vegetation. You’ll see an amazing variety of wildlife including crocodiles, iguanas and water birds.  There are restaurants in the village.  Here they specialize in local recipes, including Oaxaca style tamales, turkey in mole sauce and chiles rellenos. They also sell their own fresh-ground peanut butter.

The lagoon is cut off from the sea by the beach much of the year but opens around the summer equinox. The two principle mangrove types here are the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) and the white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa). Tannins from the roots of the red mangrove turn the lagoon’s water reddish in the shallows and black in deeper areas. In the mornings, the lagoon fills with the sounds of the many birds that can be found here, including woodpeckers, kingfishers, ducks, storks, cormorants, herons and others.

During certain times of the year, sea turtles come to lay their eggs on this beautiful beach. Once the eggs are laid and the turtles return to sea, the community volunteers to protect the eggs, gathering them and reburying them in a safe spot. This spot is monitored daily by the volunteers. After about 3 months the baby turtles hatch and are safely released back into the ocean. At sunset during times when the sea turtles lay their eggs, visitors can accompany volunteers as they collect eggs and can participate in the release of baby turtles. They will ask you for a donation to release the turtles by hand. This donation helps support conservation efforts.

The local families of Ventanilla help to preserve the turtles by collecting eggs and placing them in a protected area until they hatch. The hatchlings are usually released at sunset. If you ask the tour guides they will tell you when the hatchlings will be released and you can participate in this exciting journey.     


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Eco Tourism in Oaxaca | Own MexicoOwn Mexico May 19, 2013 - 1:57 pm

[…] conserve the environment and improve the welfare of the local people. And this is exactly what La Ventanilla, a small village on a beach and lagoon, is accomplishing. Best known for their Eco Tourism centre, […]

erinmay May 19, 2013 - 2:24 pm

Thank you!

Beaches of the Oaxaca Coast | Own Mexico December 28, 2013 - 6:21 pm

[…] Playa Ventanilla […]


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