Huatulco may not have the prestige of Cabos or Cancún, but its beaches are worth a visit. Can’t decide between Puerto Escondido or Huatulco? Keep reading this article.
Huatulco is a port city in the state of Oaxaca. Also, it is located on the Pacific coast, southwest of Mexico. Despite its little fame among tourists, it has 9 bays, 36 sandy beaches, 35 kilometers of coastline, and 330 days of sunshine a year. So, it is a near-perfect year-round destination for people who enjoy swimming, relaxing, and being outdoors in pristine surroundings.
Information about Huatulco
The National Trust Fund for the Development of Tourism of Mexico (Fonatur) discovered this area in the mid-1980s. He relocated the Zapotecs to nearby Santa María Huatulco and began developing infrastructure to attract tourists and grow the local economy.
Have you debated between Puerto Escondido or Huatulco? In terms of Mexican resort towns, Huatulco is a rarity. It has no structures older than 25 years. Compared to other (overdeveloped) tourist areas in Mexico, Huatulco has around 20,000 inhabitants.
1. Wonderful bays and beaches of Huatulco
Known as “Bahías de Huatulco”, these places in Huatulco are perfect for relaxing and enjoying the turquoise waters. Also, it has nine bays where you can swim, sail, dive, snorkel, surf, whale watch, and participate in other water sports.
In fact, Bahía Cacaluta was the scene of the movie “Y tu mamá también” by Alfonso Cuarón.
2. Emphasis on ecology
The water treatment plants in Huatulco were among the first in Mexico to recycle wastewater. So, its well-paved road provides easy access to the nearby international airport.
70% of Huatulco has been set aside for conservation. It is the only tourist area certified by EarthCheck in Mexico and the only one in the world at the “master level”. Also, its lush jungle and mountains are full of orchids and it has no industrial zone.
3. Nature trails and hiking opportunities
Huatulco has hiking trails, horseback riding, motorized ATV rides, bird watching, photography, and rafting opportunities in the area. In 2010, the Copalita Eco-Archaeological Park inaugurated its ruins with 200 acres. More than two thousand years ago, this site was home to Copalitlán. Then, you can take a guided park tour along the Copalita River for around $200 MXN per person.
Ancient temples, ball courts, and civic plazas can be seen along the carved dirt paths. Birds and wildlife (iguanas and armadillos) live in the protected area. It is best to visit during the dry season, from November to May, there is less chance of mud.
4. Microclimates of Huatulco
Oaxaca is the most biodiverse state in Mexico. Therefore, it is the only place one can travel from the coral reef to the forest in just over an hour.
In addition to its impressive waterfalls, it has “Pluma Hidalgo”, a coffee-producing center.
Huatulco is an ideal region for cultivation and production since it has:
- High altitude
- Proximity to the sea breeze
- A shade of tall trees
- Acid soil
- Pure water
- Bright sun
- Tradition from generation to generation
5. A foodie’s dream
Huatulco has a variety of specialties, including quesillo, tamales wrapped in banana leaves, gravajo (dried meat), tlayudas (a kind of pizza covered with beans), and grasshoppers with salt and lemon.
Due to the abundance of all-inclusive resorts and hotels in this city, dining options are limited. In addition to international menus, these restaurants offer regional cuisine.
“El Sabor de Oaxaca“, located in La Crucecita, is an excellent option to savor authentic Oaxacan cuisine.
6. The artistic traditions in Huatulco
Huatulco’s food, art, and culture are influenced by 16 different ethnic groups in Oaxaca. The downtown shops are filled with colorful alebrijes and handicrafts. Then, the first ones were made in Oaxaca, and now they are sold all over the world. These whimsical animal figures are supposed to bring good luck.
In this area, many colorful cotton items are woven and sewn by hand: bedspreads, blouses, summer dresses, scarves, and men’s shirts called guayaberas. A textile store in La Cruecita, Telares Oaxaqueños, uses pedal looms.
7. Huatulco Hotels
A variety of hotels are available in the beachfront areas of Tangalunga and Conejos. They have about 150 options, from the cheapest to the most exclusive. You can also fish and sail, in addition to having an 18-hole golf course.
The luxurious Barceló Huatulco is the first hotel in Huatulco since 1988. It has beautiful ocean views from all rooms, all-inclusive resorts, suites, and spas. In 2013, the resort was awarded an AAA Four Diamond award. In addition, it has an Explorer’s Club for children.
8. Places worthy of a spa
In Huatulco, you can find one of the most beautiful spas in Mexico, with contemporary structures, with impressive views of the sea.
They have available:
- A traditional steam house (temazcal)
- Steam shower
- treatment rooms
- Yoga classes
Conejos Bay is visible from a hydrotherapy circuit. The spa facilities at Barceló can be used by clients who are not staying for $65 dollars per day.
Local women bathe visitors in mud, which has healing properties and leaves the skin silky smooth. The Zapotec Mud Baths are a cooperative that offers a more authentic and less expensive spa experience.
9. Safety in Huatulco
It is common for travelers to worry about their safety due to terrorism and organized crime. However, in the State Department’s travel advisories in Oaxaca doesn’t include Huatulco.
Recommendation: Llano Grande Waterfalls in Huatulco
You travel for an hour by car from Huatulco to the Llano Grande Waterfalls. For hikers and swimmers, this would be a great day trip. You can explore caves and tunnels, as well as about 30 waterfalls. There is also camping and hiking available.
What is Huatulco about?
When deciding between Puerto Escondido or Huatulco, you must consider several factors.
Huatulco can be hot and muddy at certain times of the year, although it is gorgeous most of the year. It is located in an area prone to earthquakes, but they are usually small or moderate.
In November Huatulco is just about perfect for a winter getaway with natural beauty. So, prices are lower, mosquitoes are inactive, hotel occupancy is low, and vegetation is lush.
While here is quieter, Puerto Escondido is a tourist phenomenon for young people who want to surf and explore the nightlife.
Have you decided between Puerto Escondido or Huatulco? Without a doubt, both are wonders in Oaxaca worth exploring. Keep reading: