Huatulco (wah-tool-ko) is located in the southeastern region of the state of Oaxaca. Oaxaca (wah-ha-ka) seeps in Indigenous culture and pride; over 350,000 Zapotec and 240,000 Mexitec peoples call this area home, and over sixteen other Indigenous groups are officially registered within the locality. At least half of the population of Oaxaca still speaks Indigenous languages, and they each have distinct foods, rituals, dress, and customs.
The Huatulco area gives a beautiful glimpse into this rich heritage, while also providing beach vibes and access to a nature-lovers utopia. The area is not as popular as other beach regions in México such as Cancún, the Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, and Cabo, but this adds to its appeal. There are not many tourists who frequent the area, but it has become a popular retirement destination for Canadians. It is a really nice area with great hotels in Huatulco
REASONS WHY HUATULCO IS MÉXICO’S BEST KEPT SECRET:
1. The Bays
- Santa Cruz Bay. It’s one of the most popular areas of Huatulco, and we were near grocery stores, shopping, cafes and great beaches.
- Chahué Bay Chahué Bay is filled with beautiful beaches and the marina is located in this area. Crucecita, the main square where many shops and restaurants are, is near Chahué Bay and it’s a fun area to hang out.
- Riscalillo Bay Only accessible by boat, Riscalillo Bay is home to a beach of the same name great for snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing and swimming.
- Cacaluta Bay Made famous by the film, “Y Tu Mamá También,” the beaches of Cacaluta Bay are gorgeous. These beaches are very secluded as they are hard to reach, but it’s worth the trip if you can make it.
- Conejos Bay Conejos Bay is another secluded area that boasts four beautiful beaches. It’s perfect for swimming, snorkeling, diving and fishing.
- Chachacual Bay With two beautiful beaches, Chachcual and La India, Chachacual Bay is another option to beat the crowds. The bay is only accessible by boat offering a private and tranquil experience.
- Organo and Maguey Bays While Organo and Maguey are separate and unique bays, they are right next to each other. Maguey is the easiest to get to as it can be accessed via boat or road.
- San Augstín Bay Its beaches are perfect for diving and there are numerous restaurants to choose from
- Tangolunda Bay If you’re looking for golf courses, best Hotels in Huatulco and ex-pats, then Tangolunda Bay may be the place for you. But if you’re also looking for more beautiful beaches, this is also a great location as it boasts five of them.
2. The Seafood
Because Huatulco is a coastal city, fresh seafood is widely available. From daily catches of a wide variety of fish to shrimp, lobster, oysters—and everything in between—Huatulco has it all.
Restaurants all over the city are filled with seafood specialties. Many of the restaurants in Huatulco are locally-owned; they are not owned by foreigners or large companies.
You will also find many women at the beaches in Huatulco selling their own seafood delights—support these small businesses as well. According to a UN Women report, economic empowerment is a fundamental force in creating gender equality. Many of the women selling seafood, pastries, and other delights on the beach are caring for children, parents, and other family members. They work hard everyday cooking, preparing meals, and walking up-and-down beaches to provide for themselves and their loved ones. These women’s entrepreneurial spirit and drive deserve recognition—remember to honor their hard work by purchasing from them.
Most items will be very inexpensive, so be sure to give them something extra—not as charity but as a tip for their service. It’s not required nor expected, but if you’re paying $3 for a plate of oysters that you’d normally pay $30 for at home, give a little extra.
3. Its Natural Environment
Besides a variety of beaches and bays, Huatulco and its surrounding area boasts a national park, nature reserves, mountains and waterfalls. It also possesses one of México’s largest ecosystems. The Bahías de Huatulco National Park is over 29,000 acres with more than 9,000 plant species; it is also home to over 700 bird varieties, 470 different reptiles, 260 fauna species and more than 100 sea species. One could spend all day searching for iguanas, geckos, snakes, salamanders, hawks, dolphins, whales, white-tailed dears and more.
Magic Falls and Llano Grande are popular waterfalls in the area. For those who love hiking, swimming in crystal waters and venturing through mountains, this is a great way to spend the afternoon. There is even a coffee plantation near the Magic Falls.
Hagia Sofia is a large argo-ecological reserve located right outside Huatulco. The reserve uses sustainable practices such as composting, organic farming and alternative energy sources. Their mission is to train future generations in these same disciplines to preserve the integrity of their land. It would be easy to get lost in the magic of Hagia Sofia swimming near the waterfall, eating organic food and searching for butterflies. For avid hikers, there are plenty of trails that lead to peaceful rivers, a wide variety of flowers and vegetation, plus beautiful mountain views.
Just about a two hour trip outside of Huatulco leads you into the lush Sierra Madre Mountains. Someone looking for peace and tranquility will find exactly that here. There are a number of guest houses in the area overlooking rivers, greenery and, of course, the mountains.
Huatulco, México is the perfect place for the eco-friendly and environmentally-conscious traveler.
Hotels in Huatulco
Family Hotels in Huatulco we recommend you: Park Royal Beach Huatulco offers you the best view of Tangolunda Bay from the top of a beautiful hill. It is 20 km from the airport and is located next to the only golf course in the area. Among the resort’s gardens and its spacious rooms you will find the ideal place to disconnect.
It has 133 spacious rooms ready for your rest, from which you will have a unique view, either of nature or the sea. All offer air conditioning, bathroom amenities, safe, Wi-Fi, and cable TV.
Park Royal Beach Huatulco pampers its guests with two restaurants, two snacks and four bars. The restaurants offer Italian food and international buffets with theme nights that will be quite an experience. If during the day you want lighter food you can go to the snacks and enjoy some nachos or crudités. You can find your favorite drinks in any of our four bars, whether they are national, international or tropical cocktails.
Some of the reasons we love it!
– Magnificent location just 20 minutes from the Huatulco International Airport and 5 minutes from the Santa Cruz pier.
– 35 minutes from beautiful waterfalls, lagoons, a lush tropical jungle and the traditional town of Santa María Huatulco.
– Large rooms with 64 m2 and private terrace, from where you can appreciate incredible views of the tropical jungle and Tangolunda Bay.
– 2 pools, one of them located on the 7th floor, is the highest and with the best view of Huatulco.
– Wide gastronomic variety: Oaxacan, Mexican, Italian specialties and international cuisine.
– Dinner – show.
– Fabulous outdoor wine bar on the terrace of the 7th floor (exclusively for adults).
– Daytime and evening entertainment activities.
– The flora of the resort makes it a natural aviary, in which more than 15 types of birds can be observed.
– Free WIFI.
Best things to do in Huatulco
Covering almost 12,000 hectares, the National Park hosts three of Huatulco’s nine bays in a landscape of deciduous forest, mangroves, savannah, wetlands, thorn scrub, floodplains and coral reefs in the water.
This mosaic of ecosystems has incredible biodiversity, with more than 700 plant species, 130 mammal varieties, almost 300 bird species and 87 types of amphibian and reptile.
In the ocean are numerous marine and intertidal invertebrates as well as over 120 reef and demersal fish.
A half-day excursion into the Sierra Madre del Sur, the Cascadas Mágicas is a set of beautiful waterfalls on a tributary of the Río Copalita.
The falls are ensconced in dense, remote jungle, you’ll travel in a 4×4 along a twisting mountain road.
After paying entrance and hiking through lush jungle you’ll forget all that effort, as you’re confronted by banks of dreamy cascades and emerald pools.
Boat Trips & Diving
There’s no doubt that if you want to get the best out of Huatulco you need to take to the water, doing a boat trip, or diving. You can do this on a private charter or by opting for a group tour on a larger vessel. The theme of your trip will depend on your taste.
You may be up for snorkelling, bird-watching, whale-watching (December to March), or keen on finding the most deserted beach possible to feel like a castaway for a few hours.
Quiet and intimate is the best way to experience the unspoiled beauty of the national park.
You can pick up facts about this ecosystem from an experienced guide, who will point out rays and sea turtles and drop you off at reefs.
A holiday in Huatulco will take a lot of planning because it will be a challenge to pack in all the activities available.
In the resort are adventure sports companies ready to whisk you off on ATV tours, whitewater rafting, snorkling, canyoning, rock climbing, mountain biking, horseback riding, guided hikes in the national park and zip-lining over gorges.
If a comfortable round of golf is more your speed, Las Parotas is an 18-hole course named for the giant elephant-ear trees (parotas) that frame its fairways.