Best things to do in Huatulco, Mexico, a southern beach destination

Mexico's southern beach destination, located on the Pacific coast, in the state of Oaxaca, about 900 km south of Mexico City and 200 km south of Oaxaca City, is located in Huatulco Bays.

Best things to do in Huatulco, Mexico, a southern beach destination
Huatulco, Mexico, the State of Oaxaca. Photos: CONANP

Huatulco Bays is a beach destination in southern Mexico, located on the Pacific coast, in the State of Oaxaca, about 900 km south of Mexico City and 200 km south of Oaxaca City. It is a center integrally planned by Fonatur, different from other beach destinations thanks to its 9 bays known as San Agustin, Chachacual, Cacaluta, Maguey, El Organo, Santa Cruz, Chahue, Tangolunda, and Conejos; in addition to its 36 beautiful beaches, mostly virgin and accessible only by sea.

More than 60% of the tourist development is decreed as a natural reserve, among which we can mention the Huatulco National Park. With great respect to the architecture of the place and its natural environment, within the Bahias de Huatulco development, a high-level urban infrastructure is incorporated; adhering to strict obedience to the norms of quality and ecology in international standards.

The development has a hotel infrastructure of more than 2,500 rooms, ranging from inns to grand tourism hotels, offering from the European plan to the all-inclusive plan. In Huatulco, environmental protection and sustainable development is the main mission of all its inhabitants. And it is thanks to this joint effort that Huatulco -since 2005-, has been the first tourist destination in the American Continent to achieve year after year the International Earth Check Certification, which endorses it as a Sustainable Tourism Destination.

Huatulco Cacaluta Bay
Huatulco Cacaluta Bay

In Huatulco, there is an absolute certainty that not a drop of sewage goes to the sea, thanks to its recycling in the treatment plants, and then use that water for irrigation of parks, gardens, and golf courses. There are alternative programs of garbage separation, awareness, and lectures for children and adults, as well as beach cleaning campaigns and much more. In Huatulco, the fun has no limits, and below are some of the different activities that can be developed in this tourist destination.

Adventure: River rafting and kayaking, rappelling, zip-lining, horseback riding, mountain biking, and ATV tours.

Experiences: Tours of the Copalita Eco-Archaeological Park, which is the only archaeological site in the Mexican Pacific that is open to the public; as well as the Huatulco National Park, where you can see various species of birds of the region.

Tours: Visit the various coffee farms and waterfalls, as well as the various indigenous communities, to learn about their lifestyles, medicinal plants, traditional recipes, flora and fauna of the region, as well as the mud bath. Visit the Mexican Turtle Center in Mazunte and enjoy its folkloric events and much more.

Sports: Tennis, hiking, and golf competitions at the national and international level are just some of the sports activities that continuously take place in majestic facilities such as the Tangolunda Golf Course.

Water activities: Scuba diving, snorkeling, sport fishing, jet skiing, banana boats, kayaking, and windsurfing, are the water activities that are constantly practiced along every bay of the beaches near Huatulco.

Huatulco water activities
Huatulco water activities

In Huatulco, the handicrafts, folklore, festivities, and celebrations; in addition to the succulent gastronomy of a State with a cultural richness like Oaxaca, are only some samples of the wide millenary patrimony of the culture and history of this magical southern town.

Huatulco National Park

Huatulco National Park is a paradise framed by the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sur gently sliding under the waters of the sea; nine bays with lowland jungle vegetation, portions of mangrove, a temporary wetland, and beautiful beaches; in front of the dunes coral reefs and rocks offer their underwater caprices.

Reef fish from San Agustin Bay in Huatulco National Park
Reef fish from San Agustin Bay in Huatulco National Park (Prionurus punctatus)

How to get to Huatulco?

Huatulco has an International Airport. Nearest city with airport and commercial flights is Bahias de Huatulco, Santa Maria Huatulco, Oaxaca. Once in Huatulco go to Santa Cruz and from there to Sector E, and through a dirt road enter through Cruz del Monte to Huatulco National Park.  The entrance to the National Park must be done by watercraft, located in the Santa Cruz dock (boat, ferry, etc.). The closest town to the National Park and its services is Bahias de Huatulco, Santa Cruz, La Crucecita. It is approx. 20 min. from the park.

Services outside and within the National Park area

Banking services (ATMs), temporary deposits for solid waste, electricity supply coverage, parking lots, passenger ground transportation, mobile network coverage, medical and hospital services, access to drinking water, and jetties. Inside the park, there is a Conanp operating camp. In the town of Bahías de Huatulco, there are service providers, who provide aquatic and land transportation, guide service, adventure/nature operator, and diving/snorkeling operator. It is recommended to use authorized services that have the corresponding permits and authorizations.

Huatulco National Park
Huatulco National Park

Activities and things to do in Huatulco

Boat rides, boat tours, interpretive hiking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Observe natural phenomena such as humpback whale migration from October to April, bird migration from September to March, and the presence of sea turtles on the beach from June to November. Natural attractions include islands, reefs, beaches; bays, lakes, and/or lagoons; rivers and/or streams; protected species, and lowland jungle. Visit Bocana del Rio Copalita Archaeological Zone. Do not miss the Mexican Turtle Center, the Magical town of Mazunte, and the indigenous goods market.

Huatulco, Mexico map
Huatulco, Mexico on the map. Image: Fonatur

Traveler's tips

Do not use sunscreen if snorkeling.
Do not handle species or step on the coral.
Do not take shells with you.
For your safety use nautical and terrestrial service providers that have the authorizations and permits.