A Guide To Huatulco, Mexico

Discover the enchanting coastal haven of Oaxaca, Mexico, where hidden beaches beckon and majestic waterfalls cascade, inviting you to indulge in the serene beauty of this coastal paradise
The pristine beaches of Huatulco are a sight to behold
The pristine beaches of Huatulco are a sight to behold

Huatulco, a breathtaking coastal paradise in southern Mexico's Oaxaca region, entices visitors with its stunning beaches, serene resorts, vibrant turquoise waters, and awe-inspiring waterfalls. Experience the area's allure by exploring coffee plantations, observing whales, and witnessing the enchanting hatching of baby turtles. Huatulco has gained international acclaim for its dedication to sustainable tourism, evident through its prestigious Green Globe Certification. You can revel in the tranquillity of supporting eco-friendly practices by choosing to visit. Divided into four distinct districts&mdashTangolunda, Santa Cruz, La Crucecita, and Chahue&mdashHuatulco offers charm and appeal to all. It is an idyllic destination for family vacations and romantic getaways, striking a perfect balance between adventure and relaxation.

Things To Do

Explore the Beaches and Bays

In Huatulco, with 36 beaches and nine bays, you'll never run out of sandy havens to discover. While Bahia Santa Cruz (Playa Principal) is the most popular beach, take the chance to visit the other beaches of Playa Tangolunda, Playa la Entrega, Playa Maguey and Playa Organo to experience a different vibe. Don't neglect the bays either, and visit Bahia Cacaluta.

Mus Bath Massage at Playa La Bocana

Head to Playa la Bocana for a unique and rejuvenating experience &ndash a mud bath massage. This mud bath massage will leave you feeling like a kid again as you get covered from head to toe in warm, nutrient-rich mud and bask in the sun. As the mud dries, it helps exfoliate and cleanse your skin.

See Marine Life at Huatulco National Park

The Huatulco National Park is a vast 29,000-acre (116 km²) area where land meets water. The convergence of the three ecosystems here &ndash tropical forest, dry forest and water &ndash makes it a unique environment to experience. There are many activities to enjoy on land in the National Park, such as bird watching, hiking, biking and horseback riding, but the best experience lies underwater. The waters off Huatulco National Park are abundant with fish, turtles and coral, and the area is famous for its whales that visit in the winter months. Snorkelling or boat tours in Huatulco National Park are must-do activities.

Visit Authentic La Crucecita

La Crucecita in Huatulco is a must-visit if you're looking for an authentic cultural experience. This charming small town is home to many locals and offers a break from the crowds. Strolling through the town square will let you appreciate the towering church with its iconic little cross perched atop a hill. As you wander, enjoy some of the best street food in the area.

Visit the Ruins

Inside Copalita Eco-Archaeological Park, you'll find some incredible ruins, one of only two ruin sites in Mexico located on the coast, the other being the ruins at Tulum. Visit in the morning or late afternoon for a cooler visit and hike the trails, take in stunning views of the cliffs and river and learn about the history of this incredible site. To add more to your day trip, visit the adjacent Bocana del Rio Copalita Archaeological Zone. This site boasts two temples and ancient ball courts.

Swim in the Cascada Magicas Waterfalls

Copalitilla Waterfalls Park (Cascadas Magicas de Copalitilla) is a park full of breathtaking waterfalls, the highest being 65 feet tall (20 m). It's located in the small pueblo of San Miguel del Puerto, Oaxaca, about an hour's drive from Huatulco. There are also freshwater jungle pools where you can take a refreshing dip, so don't forget your bathing suit.

Where To Stay

Huatulco offers a range of wonderful accommodations for travellers seeking a tropical getaway. Whether looking for a luxurious beachfront resort or a cosy boutique hotel, Huatulco has something for everyone. The area of Tangolunda is known for its upscale resorts with stunning views and world-class amenities. If you prefer a more laid-back atmosphere, the Santa Cruz and La Crucecita neighbourhoods offer charming hotels and guesthouses with easy access to local markets and restaurants. For a tranquil escape, the secluded bays of Conejos and Chahué boast intimate resorts nestled amidst nature. No matter where you choose to stay, Huatulco promises an unforgettable vacation experience.

Best Time To Visit

The perfect time to visit Huatulco is from November through March. During these months, you'll enjoy amazing weather with no rain, low humidity and little to no mosquitoes. At this time, you can enjoy the beauty of Huatulco, but you'll also save some money on your accommodation. If you want to avoid crowds as much as possible, it is recommended to avoid travelling during the Christmas holidays, New Year's and Semana Santa (Holy Week). For the best of both worlds, consider travelling during one of the shoulder seasons in either October or April. During these months, you can enjoy great weather and fewer crowds and still get the best value for your money.

Getting There

There are multiple ways to reach Huatulco, depending on your starting point. If you're coming from Mexico City, you can fly directly to Huatulco's Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (HUX) in about 1.5 hours or take a 12-hour bus ride. The cost of the bus is similar to an internal flight. From Oaxaca, you have options like private transportation (7 hours), a flight from Oaxaca City to HUX (35 minutes), or the ADO bus (9 hours). From Puerto Escondido, it's a two-hour drive or up to three hours by bus with connections. Each option offers unique views of the scenic surroundings.

Cover photo credit Shutterstock

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