Huatulco: Mexican Paradise
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Huatulco is known for its nine bays that include 36 distinct beaches, each beautiful with tropical foliage. This is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy the serenity in a warm, inviting climate that averages 82 degrees year round. They claim it never gets below 57 but it can get hot and humid in the summertime.
Sustainable CommunityHuatulco has been certified as the First Sustainable Community in the Americas and the third in the world. The area was developed by Fonatur during the 80s and when you compare it with other tourist areas around the globe you will appreciate the results of the careful planning involved. Rather than finding one long beach lined with high rise hotels you will find the many individual beaches with one or two hotels with large green spaces between and none of the buildings more than six stories high.
Scuba, fishing, and more outdoor adventuresIf you're a scuba diver you'll be happy to learn that there are more than a dozen dive sites with coral reefs in the immediate area. There is a wide variety of colorful marine life to be found here. And just so you'll know they take the diving seriously here, there is a decompression chamber in the local Navy hospital. If you're not a diver, don't worry, there are plenty of good snorkeling opportunities as well.
If you'd rather catch and release or catch and eat your fish the water surrounding Huatulco is excellent for deep sea fishing. As a matter of fact you'll be amazed at the fish being caught from small boats just 30 yards off shore. I saw one of them bring in about a half-dozen two to three feet long tuna while I was eating at a great little beachfront cafe.
For other outdoor adventurers you can find rafting and kayaking in class III and IV rapids, zip lining, rappelling, rock climbing and terrific hiking possibilities. And, horse riding, of course.
You can take a tour of the bays by boat and you can rent a motorcycle if you want to tour the surrounding countryside. One of my favorites was the Turtles and Crocodiles tour at Mazunte and the Ventanilla Lagoon. Along the beach you can see protected areas where the sea turtles come ashore to lay their eggs. A canoe ride through the lagoon will get you as close as you want to get to crocodiles in the wild. You'll probably see some other critters as well, like ducks, iguanas, birds and maybe even a raccoon.
Strolling through the grounds at your favorite hotel you will likely come upon a large, colorful and quite beautiful iguana. Approach it slowly and it may not run away. Get the sun to your back, zoom in tight and take home a great photo reminder of this fine specimen.
Nudist BeachI have to confess that I missed the Zipolite Beach even though it is known worldwide in a certain community. If you go I strongly recommend taking a little extra sunscreen. You may need it -- this beach has a section that is reportedly unique in the entire Mexican Pacific Coast. It has a special nudist section.
If you decide to enjoy the nude beach I would highly recommend taking along long trousers for the next adventure. Wander over to the Bay of Conejos and the Copalita River where you can find horses to ride. They'll take care of you regardless of your ability. This doesn't have to be a slow-poke trail ride. Just imagine the thrill and excitement of galloping along the edge of the surf. And, if it's summertime and hot, just slip out of the saddle and into the surf. Or, take a dip in the fresh water of the Copalita River.
If you venture further from the waterfront you can find waterfalls and coffee plantations in the nearby Sierra Madres.
Oaxaca CraftsAnd don't forget the crafts for which the state of Oaxaca is so famous. There is a folk art market close to Santa Cruz Bay where you can find the renowned black Oaxacan pottery, silver, beautiful weavings and "alebrijes" the colorful, hand carved figures made from the copal tree. Oaxacan alebrijes are brightly-colored folk art sculptures of fantastical animal-like creatures, originally created by the artist Pedro Linares.
visit the Museo de Artesanias Oaxaquenas you can watch weavers, carvers and potters at work.
Before you leave this Mexican paradise be sure to spend at least one evening at a folklorico show. You'll love the lively music, beautiful women and handsome men.
I've only scratched the surface of all the things you can do in Huatulco. Visit and discover the rest for yourself. And, one last word. You won't even have to worry about jet lag - Huatulco is in the Central Time Zone!
Read more about Offbeat Travel in Mexico.
For general information about Huatulco visit Huatulco.Magazzine.com
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Robert Painter is an adventure travel writer currently residing in Southern Utah. When not traveling around the globe his time is spent hiking and exploring the wonderful and beautiful red rock surroundings of his new home.
Unless otherwise indicated, all photos by the author