Punta Cometa, Oaxaca: Sunset in Mazunte

Silhouetted against the setting sun, about 20 people sit in a line along the edge of the cliff to watch the sunset at Punta Cometa.

Sunset in Mazunte is elevated by the sacred hills of Punta Cometa. The three ridges that extend into the Pacific Ocean are the most southern point along the Oaxaca coast. In the winter, it’s a place where you can see whales navigating the seas below and birds migrating overhead. 

Each evening, residents and visitors wander to Punta Cometa in Mazunte for views of the setting sun. But it’s not just a place to visit for sunset. If you’re like me, you’ll find yourself making the trek to Punta Cometa, Oaxaca more than once.

About 30 people gather on the top of the cliff at Punta Cometa to watch the sunset while waves roll into the sandy cove below.

Hiking Punta Cometa

I discovered that a morning hike with the rising sun is just as fulfilling. It’s also a bit more tranquil with almost no other people. Bring your bathing suit for a morning swim at Playa Punta Cometa if the ocean allows. It’s a small beach located between the principal and middle paths.

My best advice for sunset at Punta Cometa? Don’t get lost in solely watching the ocean and the setting sun. Look around you! The moon is rising. Clear blue waves are carving the rocks. And frigate birds are gliding through the sky just above your head.

Allow yourself to fully take in the serenity of the ethereal ridges of Punta Cometa. Then point your attention back to the sea, the setting sun, and the layers of waves rhythmically flowing in and out over the beach. It’s like a form of meditation, assuming you can block out the crowd of 30 of your closet strangers nearby.

People gather on a rocky hill at Punta Cometa with the moon rising behind them.

History of Punta Cometa, Oaxaca

Also called Cerro Sagrado, or Sacred Hill, Punta Cometa has a long history as a healing site. In pre-Hispanic times it was used as a ceremonial center. And local rumor states that the Aztecs buried treasure here.

With 180-degree views of the ocean, it was also a strategic site for the Aztecs who built a small stone wall. A portion of the wall, called Corral Piedra, remains.

Look around! The moon is rising. Clear blue waves are carving the rocks. And frigate birds are gliding through the sky just above your head.

How to Get to Punta Cometa, Mazunte

To hike to Punta Cometa, walk down the main street of Rinconcito to Camino Mermejita. This road leads up the hill and eventually to Mermejita Beach. After about five minutes, you’ll see a cemetery on the left and then a road with a group of signs, including one for Punta Cometa.

Follow the trail until you arrive at the entrance. Here you will find a paved circular area with some seating. There is also a park worker in the evenings that keeps count of the people arriving, answers questions, and makes sure people are being safe. 

A wooden sign marks the entrance to Reserva Eco Arqueologica Punta Cometa

One evening, I saw one man in a group get stopped because of the beer in his hand. He did allow him to guzzle it before continuing on his way (because viva Mexico!). But please note, this is not the place to drink alcohol. The cliffs are steep, the sea is forceful, and the place is magical. Your full attention is required.

Watching the Sunset at Punta Cometa

Next, you’ll need to decide which path to take to Punta Cometa. The truth is, all three paths deliver interesting views with different characteristics. I encourage you to arrive early enough to hike all of the trails before the sun sets. Once you arrive at the viewpoints, you will discover that all the paths connect via various trails.

The principal route on the left leads to the point positioned furthest into the ocean. Along the way, the paths are the widest and in some points steepest with several beautiful vistas of Rinconcito Bay behind you. 

Several people hike along the pathway to Punta Cometa in Mazunte Oaxaca. On the left, cliffs that drop into the ocean.

This vantage point allows you to see every ridge of Punta Cometa between you and the setting sun. And its position makes the ocean below feels all-encompassing as the waves crash towards you, into the rocks. It’s also the most crowded viewpoint at Punta Cometa.

The middle path, Pescador, opens up to rolling green hills that seem to crest and swell with the waves. The viewpoint is a rounded green hill that is positioned towards the sun and descends to the rocks below.

And the shortest path, located on the right, leads to the point located closest to the sunset. From this point, the sun streams over the black volcanic sands of Mermejita Beach as the waves flow over the shoreline in layers.

A view from the cliff, two people walk along the water line as the sun streams across the black sand beach during sunset in Mazunte.

What time should I go to Punta Cometa?

You should start the hike to Punta Cometa at least an hour before sunset but I recommend giving yourself even more time. Some of the best light filters through the clouds, across Mermejita beach, and vibrantly lights the hillside long before the sun touches the horizon. 

Plus, a gorgeous sunset isn’t guaranteed, especially in the rainy season of June – October. For those times, it’s nice to have the extra time to take pictures of the other beautiful elements.

From afar, two people stand on the hill in front of the ocean and sunset at Punta Cometa, Oaxaca.

Punta Cometa from Puerto Escondido

To get to Punta Cometa from Puerto Escondido, take a colectivo towards Pochutla and get off at San Antonio. Then wait for another camioneta (pickup truck) to Mazunte. The trip will take about two hours using public transport or an hour and a half if you have a car.

I would consider making a day of it, arriving in the morning to explore Mazunte and the beaches. If you’re using public transportation you will need to arrange for a different return trip or stay the night. I highly recommend Cabanas Balamjuyuc for a budget stay with amazing ocean views.

Punta Cometa from Huatulco

To get to Punta Cometa from Huatulco, you’ll first need to get to Pochutla. There are vans that run regularly when full for 50 pesos. The location is here, in the north area of La Crucecita. 

From there, ask for the colectivos to Mazunte or walk towards the bright yellow sign for Elektra. At the next corner, you’ll see people waiting for the camionetas in front of Hotel Alebrijes. The cost is about 20 pesos.

Have you watched the sunset from Punta Cometa, Oaxaca? I think it’s a must-do when visiting Mazunte. Let me know your experience in the comments.

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