Trying to decide upon the best destination for your next vacation? Then allow us to recommend the incredible Huatulco, Mexico!
If you’re looking for stunning scenery and plenty of things to do during your vacation, then there really is no need to look elsewhere, as Huatulco has it all.
It doesn’t matter what type of vacation you’re looking for, as Huatulco has something for everyone.
Anyone who has been lucky enough to visit before will testify just how incredible this place is, and whether you decided to remain within your resort and just explore the local area, or make your way further afield is entirely up to you, but this is definitely going to make for the perfect vacation if you’re a fan of the sea, sand, and seafood!
It might surprise you to find out that Huatulco isn’t actually a town, but is a region of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca, which is on the southwest coast of Mexico and includes some notable communities such as Santa Maria Huatulco, La Crucecita, and Santa Cruz.
One of the things that Huatulco is most well known for is its incredible beaches, and if you’re a beach lover, then there are plenty of beaches for you to choose from too, with nine bays being located in the region, and more than 30 different beaches too, which is great for the avid surfers looking to get away sometime soon, or even if you just enjoy soaking up the sun’s rays on a beautiful beach!
There’s a lot more to Huatulco than beaches though, so depending on what sort of vacation you’re looking for, we’re sure that you’ll be able to discover something for you in this incredible region, and there’s no need to worry about safety either, since Huatulco has a smaller population, and is less popular than other holiday destinations in Mexico, it definitely makes for a more relaxed visit!
So, if you’re looking to learn more about what there is to do in the amazing region of Huatulco, Mexico, then keep reading on, and you’ll discover a vacation destination that you’ll want to keep visiting over and over again!
Where Is Huatulco, Mexico?
If you’re unfamiliar with the geography of Mexico, you might be wondering exactly where Huatulco is, as it’s definitely not a vacation destination that you hear many people talk about after visiting Mexico, so where exactly is this hidden treasure?
As mentioned before, Huatulco isn’t actually a town or city, instead it’s a small region that can be found in the state of Oaxaca on the west coast of Mexico, although it’s quite a distance away from Oaxaca City, 230 KM to be exact!
And the 12-hour drive down south to Huatulco actually takes the same amount of time that it would take you to drive to Guatemala, which is why so many people tend to visit the easier to reach vacation spots in Mexico (see also ‘Travel Comparison: Mexico Vs Costa Rica‘).
However, being so far south has its advantages, one of which being the amount of sun Huatuclo receives, as it averages 330 days of sun all year round, and being such a long distance away means that fewer tourists visit Huatulco, so you won’t have to worry about competing for the best sunbathing spot on the beach!
Things You Can Do In Huatulco, Mexico
One thing is for certain when you visit Huatulco, you’re definitely not going to have enough time to do everything you want to on a week-long vacation.
In fact, if you want to truly explore this beautiful part of the country to its fullest, then we’d recommend trying to stay for at least two weeks!
However, if you can’t stay for that long, then don’t panic, you’ll just have to make sure that you plan what you want to do in Huatulco well in order to try and see and do as much as possible during your stay.
So, let’s take a look at some of the best things that you can do during your stay in Huatulco, Mexico!
1. Exploring The Downtown (La Crucecita)
Although it’s not a massive area, you should definitely make some time in your schedule to explore the quaint and pleasant downtown area of Huatulco, and despite it’s seemingly small size, there is still a wide variety of restaurants and shops for you to discover, and there’s definitely something for everyone here.
Even just admiring the architecture is a great way to spend a sunny morning in Huatulco, and there’s nothing better than a nice relaxing walk in the sun, especially with beautiful sights like the church, which can be found right in the city square.
It’s also a good idea to become familiar with this area as if you plan on embarking on any supervised tours, this is generally where they tend to depart from, so it’s good to know where you need to be!
2. Coffee Plantation Tour (Pluma Hidalgo)
If you’re a coffee lover who finds themselves on vacation in Huatulco, then a visit to the family-owned coffee plantation in Pluma Hidalgo should be right at the top of your list of things to do during your vacation.
There are a load of different tours and excursions that you can book, and even if you don’t book them before you arrive in Huatulco, there’s a good chance that your hotel will be able to provide you with the companies that run tours, so you can book one for yourself.
This tour of the coffee plantation is extremely educational and provides an in-depth look at how the coffee beans are grown, harvested, roasted, packaged, and ready for shipping.
It’s always nice to involve yourself with the local population as much as possible during your vacation, and maybe you can use some of the Spanish you’d been practicing before your vacation!
3. Bay Boat Tour
One of the most popular excursions for those on vacation is to take the boat tour, which will take you around some of the gorgeous bays and beaches that Huatulco has to offer, plus, the tour companies will often fill these trips with tons of activities too, such as snorkeling, so if you’re a big fan of exploring the coastline on your holidays, this is definitely something you should consider doing.
Some tour companies will also provide you with food and drink during your time on the tour, but it’s worth checking this first to make sure, otherwise, it’ll be a long day without anything to eat.
But, for the most part, you can just bring some strong sunscreen, a towel, and a hat, and you can embark on your adventure!
4. Try The Amazing Food
If you’ve had the opportunity to visit Mexico in the past, then you’ll already have an idea about how good the food is there.
However, a vacation to Huatulco is a great excuse to sample some of the delicious seafood cooking that happens on Mexico’s coastline.
The state of Oaxaca is known for its incredible seafood dishes, so you’d be missing out if you didn’t try at least one of the dishes during your stay here.
Most restaurants you visit will have a seafood section to their menu, and you should be granted a number of different choices to pick from, but we’d definitely recommend the Ceviche (Fresh fish and vegetables that have been marinated in lime juices) if you’re stuck for what to try!
5. Copalita Ruins
When on vacation in a culturally rich location like Huatulco, you should always try to learn some of the history behind these incredible places, and one of the best ways you can do that whilst in Huatulco is to pay a visit to the Copalita Ruins.
Known locally as the Zone Arqueológica Bocana del Rio Copalita, these ruins are actually an archeological site, and the ruins are said to date as far back as 500 BC.
Although the site is small, there’s still lots to see and do here, plus the scenery that surrounds the ruins is equally as gorgeous, which makes this place even more magical.
Plus it’s only a 15 km drive from Huatulco and costs only $5 each for entry, so it’s definitely good value for money!
6. Snorkeling Off The Coast
The beauty of Huatulco isn’t just above the surface, and if you’re a strong enough swimmer, then you’ll be able to pay a visit to some of the most beautiful parts of Huatulco, which are underwater!
Snorkeling is one of the best ways to get a look at this wealth of underwater beauty, and the warmth of the sea will mean that it will be hours before you even consider leaving the deep blue.
Getting access to the proper equipment is easy too, as most resorts or hotels will allow you to borrow the gear you need, or if you have a diving certification, there are even a few diving centers so that you can really go deep down into the ocean.
If the place you’re staying doesn’t offer any gear then don’t worry, as plenty of boat tours will offer snorkeling as an activity during their tours!
7. Cooking Classes
If you fancy your cooking skills, then taking a native cooking class during your stay in Huatulco is definitely a great way of embedding yourself into the local culture.
Most cooking classes will provide you with the opportunity to recreate some of the most common and delicious menu items from around Oaxaca, including items such as handmade tortillas, Oaxacan black mole with chicken and rice, as well as Mezcal margaritas too.
These cooking classes might be a little pricey if you have a large group looking to take part, since they tend to be priced between $80 to $100 per person, but you are provided with transportation, as well as a manual for the recipes too!
If you’re looking for something truly special to take away from your time in Huatulco, then a new set of recipes for you to try is definitely it, and it’ll remind you of your vacation until your next visit.
8. Visit The Sea Turtles
If you’ve never had the chance to see a baby sea turtle before, then you’re definitely not ready for just how adorable they are, which is why you should definitely take the opportunity to visit them during your stay in Huatulco.
Not only does the Turtle Center, located in Mazunte, allow you to see these adorable creatures, but if you visit at the right time of year then you can even release them too!
They tend to be released during the fall, so if you’re wondering when you should plan your visit to Huatulco, and you want to release some sea turtles, then this is when to visit!
9. Visit A Jungle Waterfall
Exploring the natural side of Mexico is always a joy, and an excursion to this incredible waterfall, known as the Cascadas Mágicas de Copalitilla, which can be found deep in the dense green forest of Sierre Madre del Sur, which is the mountain range that is closest to Huatulco.
A number of different companies will offer to take you here, as it requires a 4X4 to be reached safely, as well as a short hike.
Once you arrive, however, you will soon discover the beautiful waterfall, as well as a number of incredible pools hidden away amongst the forest, which you can even swim in too!
If you like your vacations to be packed with adrenaline-filled activities, then you’re going to be seriously impressed when you find out about all of the incredible watersports activities you can get up to during your visit to Huatulco.
Even those who usually tend to avoid dipping themselves into the sea can be enticed in thanks to the crystal clear and comfortably warm waters.
If you’ve never had the chance to try out some of the water activities on offer in Huatulco then I definitely recommend doing so, and you can always start with paddleboarding, or there’s kayaking, snorkeling, or even diving too!
11. Mezcal Sampling
Whether you’ve visited Mexico before or not, then chances are you’ve tried one of its most famous exports – tequila.
Well, if you enjoy tequila, and consider yourself something of a connoisseur, then you should definitely add sampling some Mezcal on your list of things to do during your vacation.
Both of these drinks are made from agave, but they have a completely different taste from one another, which might be a relief to those who hate tequila!
Since Oaxaca is the home of Mezcal (70% of Mexico’s Mezcal is produced here), you should definitely make sure you try some during your visit, and there are even some places that will offer a tasting and sampling class if that’s your thing.
As we said before, it’s always nice to explore the natural world whilst on your vacation, but have you ever considered doing it via a zipline?
This 2 km long zipline can be found at the Hagia Sophia Eco Park, and there are a bunch of different heights to choose from too, which range from 50 meters all the way up to 100 meters, which is definitely reserved for the adrenaline junkies out there.
These ziplines take you over gorgeous rivers and the stunning botanical gardens which can also be found at the park, which you can also explore on foot if the zipline isn’t your thing!
13. Buy Oaxacan Textiles
If you’re someone who always ends up returning from vacation with much more in their suitcase than they initially left with, then a visit to Huatulco is definitely going to be putting a strain on the zips of your luggage bags, as they’ll be bursting with some of the incredible and unique Oaxacan textiles that you can purchase here!
A lot of the textile artisans you’ll find around Huatulco will still use the same methods that were used hundreds of years ago, and the textiles always feature large amounts of color and patterns.
So, whether you’re looking for tapestries, rugs, or even clothing, checking out some of the incredible textiles on offer in Huatulco is definitely going to be worth it, just make sure you have enough room in your suitcase to take them home!
14. Resort Day Pass
If you decided to stay outside of a resort during your stay to Huatulco, this doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the incredible features of the all-inclusive resorts, as many of the resorts here in Huatulco will sell day passes, allowing you to take advantage of the facilities they have on offer!
These tend to cost around $50 per day on average, but you get access to all of the pools and beaches in the resort, as well as unlimited food and drinks too, so it’s definitely a great way to spend a day in the sun.
15. Road Trip
It’s not always recommended in some countries, but in a region as safe as Huatulco, one of the best ways to experience the local area is to simply take a small road trip and see where you end up!
Whether you decide to rent a car for yourself or hire a driver for the day, the possibilities are endless, and there is plenty to see and do in the areas surrounding Huatulco, including Puerto Escondido, which is north of Huatulco via the highway, with quaint small towns such as San Agustin and Zipolite making for excellent stops along the way.
So, put your best music on, grab some delicious snacks, and see where you end up!
With over 30 different beaches across 9 unique bays in Huatulco, not exploring at least a couple of the incredible beaches that Huatulco would be a big mistake during your vacation.
What’s so great about these beaches is that a majority of them are super easy to access, with most being just a short car journey away, and you can always make use of the taxi services to go to and from these beaches if don’t want to worry about having to drive back after a day at the beach!
In the next segment, we’ll take a look at some of the best beaches that you should visit during your vacation to Huatulco! (for more beaches, check out ‘Visiting Akumal Beach: A Complete Guide‘)
16. Visit Playa Maguey
Located relatively nearby to La Crucecita, this bay is an excellent choice for those who are looking to swim and snorkel in the warm waters, plus there’s a whole load of beach restaurants to choose from too, so you won’t have to worry about bringing loads of snacks to the beach with you!
It’s a common stop with most boat tours, so you might struggle for space during the afternoon, so we’d definitely recommend paying a visit in the morning if you prefer a more relaxed vibe.
17. Explore Playa Entrega
Another fantastic beach to visit during your vacation is Entrega, which is another bay that is popular with tourists thanks to its stunning scenery and gorgeous sand.
Another great thing about this beach is that the water is particularly calm in this bay, which is great for those who are usually slightly hesitant to make their way into the sea.
Similarly to Maguey, there are also a number of beach restaurants in the nearby vicinity of the beach, which means you can easily spend all day here without having to leave!
18. Playa Santa Cruz
Arguably the most popular beach of them all, Santa Cruz is just within walking distance from La Crucecita, but although it will be slightly busier than some of the other beaches, the amount of bars, restaurants, equipment rental stores, and tour companies around here means that there’s plenty to see and do here, so while not everyone will be crowded together trying to sunbathe on the beach, but it’s perhaps best avoided if you don’t like crowds.
If you’re looking for a unique beach to visit, then it’s definitely safe to say that Zipolite might appeal, with its origins stemming from the 1970s hippie culture, this is Mexico’s one and only nude beach, and there are even entirely nude resorts and hotels which can be found across the beachfront.
This is enough to scare many tourists away, but the reality is that only a small portion of the entire beach is clothing optional, and the scenery is gorgeous, so it’s still worth a visit.
The town of Zipolite itself is considered to be extremely trendy, so this will definitely appeal to those looking for somewhere completely unique to visit during the day!
20. La Bocana
On the theme of unique offerings, La Bocana also has something different for those paying a visit to the gorgeous beach here – mud baths!
Again, this isn’t something that will appeal to everyone, but for just $10, you can enjoy a relaxing mud bath before running into the ocean to wash it all off. The mud is said to be super good for your skin, and it can also lead to some amusing vacation photos too!
21. Puerto Escondido
Since Puerto Escondido is quite the journey north from Huatulco, with the drive taking roughly 2.5 hours on the highway, many people use this as an opportunity for an overnight trip, but whilst the journey might seem slightly strenuous considering you’re on vacation, the relaxed setting of this beach town is definitely rewarding!
If you’re looking to surf during your time in Mexico, this is definitely the town to visit, not only is it popular with avid surfers, but there are also plenty of places to hire your own surfboard here, and if you’ve never surfed before, then you can also pay to have some lessons too.
For those who like to keep their feet firmly on the ground rather than on a surfboard though, you can easily spend the day relaxing on the beach and watching the pros do their thing on the waves!
Is Huatulco Safe For Tourists?
As you can see then, there are a load of different things that you can do during your vacation to Huatulco, however, many people often have concerns about the prospect of visiting Mexico due to the perception of the country being associated with crime and drug-related issues.
The reality is that this isn’t the case, and in a quiet region of the country like Huatulco, you’re definitely not going to find any of the issues that might plague the larger cities in the country, which means it’s definitely a safe place to visit for everyone.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should abandon common sense, and should be as wary as you would be during any vacation.
So ensure that all of your belongings are kept close by, watch how much alcohol you’re drinking, and stick to only using legitimate taxi and tour companies to avoid being potentially scammed!
How To Get To Huatulco
Although it’s quite far south in Mexico, accessing Huatulco isn’t overly difficult. For those who are visiting Huatulco itself, you can fly directly to the local airport, which is extremely convenient for international visitors.
From there, you can easily make use of private transportation to get you to your hotel, but we’d definitely recommend booking this in advance, as the queues for taxis at the airport can be quite long if multiple flights arrive in a short period of time.
But, if you’re already in Mexico, then you’ll need to take either a car or a bus to reach this dreamy vacation spot!
Thankfully, the bus transport system in Mexico is both efficient and affordable, and you should have no issues getting the bus to Huatulco thanks to its bus links with some of the other major cities such as Oaxaca, Puerto Escondido, as well as San Cristobal de Las Casas too.
Alternatively, you can rent a car during your time in Mexico, driving here is completely safe as long as you make yourself familiar with the local road laws, and you’re usually able to pick up your rental car from somewhere around the airport too, which means you can head straight to your hotel once you arrive!
To summarize then, it’s hopefully clear that there is a lot that you can get up to during your visit to Huatulco.
Whether you want to try and go for the more relaxed and chilled-out beach vacation vibe, or you’re looking for an adrenaline-filled, action-packed, exploration vacation, then both are possible in this stunning region of Mexico, which means that it’s definitely worth exploring the possibility of visiting this region for your next vacation.
So, for a vacation that will provide you with memorable experiences and plenty of fun, then make sure your next vacation is to Huatulco, Mexico!
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