This is Huatulco, Oaxaca
Soy Poblana loves Puebla, BUT Mexico is a big place full of other great places to visit too. Recently I visited Huatulco which is in the state of Oaxaca. Huatulco is a beach town consisting of nine beautiful bays, located on the pacific coast. It is also home to a vibrant town centre that has many bars, restaurants and shops. Huatulco is a welcome change to the obvious choice of Cancún, and a much cheaper one too. Though Cancún has much to offer and is worth the visit, Huatulco is far more mexican, more authentic and offers a beach resort which has not been americanised. And of course it is in the great state of Oaxaca, which has so much character and charm. Huatulco remains a well kept secretly internationally with only 20% of its tourism coming from oversees. Its high seasons are in the months of June/ July and over the Christmas/ New Year period.
There is lots to do in Huatulco, the most popular being visiting the bays. There are daily boat trips offered my numerous companies that take you around all the bays leaving from Bahía de Santa Cruz. One of these bays is Bahía Cacaluta (protected by the national park in which it is located) which is only accessible by boat and was the filming location of the beach in ‘Y tu mamá también‘. The bay is about 1 km long and has been untouched by tourism. These boat trips allow you to get off and swim in a couple of the bays, and also grab lunch. Alternatively (or additionally) you can access the bays by foot or taxi if you want to spend longer at individual ones. Bahía Chahué is the most easily accessible beach and in walking distance from many of the hotels. It is home to a couple of beach clubs, and a bar/restaurant which has two swimming pools available to the public.
Aside from the magnificent bays, which offer great snorkelling opportunities (I recommend La playa Entrega which is accesible by Taxi), boat trips, speed boats and banana boats, there are also other activities available such as white water rafting, horseback riding, or relaxing at a local spa. This is a lively town by night, with the town centre (La Crucecita) located away from the beaches, offering its own unique atmosphere and a great night out. There are also night clubs and bars by the beaches such as La Papaya.
The prices in Huatulco are very reasonable for a beach resort, you should except to be paying around 20/25 pesos for a beer (the cost of a beer is always my measure of whether I am getting ripped off or not). However if you want to drink/eat right on the beach, the prices increase dramatically. For this reason I recommend eating out in La Crucecita, and if you want to drink on the beach (who doesn’t?) then bring a cooler full to the brim with ice cold cervezas. One beach-side restaurant which offers good prices is ‘Ve el Mar‘ located in the bay of Santa Cruz. Like many restaurants in Huatulco they offer excellent fish and seafood dishes. Within La Crucecita, along with restaurants and bars, there is also a market called ‘El Mercado 3 Mayo’ which is a great place to grab breakfast or lunch for great prices.
Sunshine is expected for about 330 days of the year in Huatulco with an average temperature of 28°C.
Where to stay in Huatulco? It really depends on your budget, keeping in mind that you can get a lot more from your money if you are coming from abroad, you can get high standard hotels for cheaper than you would expect. Also there are cheaper options too. I recommend using hotel/travel websites using the budget you have, keeping in mind whether a swimming pool is important to your trip as not all hotels offer them. Many hotels also offer beach clubs (if they are not located on a beach) which often also have a swimming pool.
How to get to Huatulco? Huatulco has an international airport which receives flights from the USA and also Mexico City (2 hour flight) and Oaxaca (the state capital). You can get there by car which takes about 8.5 hours (from Puebla) or by bus which takes about 12 hours (from Puebla). The bus is a very good option if you don’t have a car, with the cheapest return fair costing only 1000 pesos. The bus leaves (from CAPU) in the evening so you arrive in the morning in Huatulco. Mexico offers different levels of buses, with added things included for the more you pay (for example movies / larger seats / wifi). Though the basic buses are very comfortable and an inexpensive way to get around Mexico. ADO is the bus line which goes to Oaxaca and Huatulco.
Anything else? Puerto Escondido, only an hour or two away from Huatulco, is a bohemian beach town which is also worth the visit and worth tagging on to your trip if you can.
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