Bahias de Huatulco is what they call this area of rugged, forested rocky cliffs and coastal bays dotted with acacia trees and lined with yellow and white sand beaches. In Spanish “bahias” are bays. Huatulco has nine bays to surf, sail, snorkel, sailboard, scuba dive, fish, kayak, and sometimes just enjoy from shore because of the quick-breaking waves and treacherous undertow. The most remote of Huatulco’s nine bays are reachable from your money-saving vacation rental only on horseback or via SUV and primitive dirt footpath like in the days before the global real estate boom expanded tourism and development worldwide.
Santa Cruz de Huatulco (Huatulco) is the city on the Bay of Santa Cruz (Bahia de Santa Cruz) where the hotels are clustered and fishing and tour boats dock. The smart money is conserved at Huatulco’s vacation rental villas, houses, apartments, and condos by grilling your own tuna, red snapper, pompano, snook, and other local catches. Shop ‘til you drop and find gifts for the family and children at the nearby craft workshops and stores. Tee off at Tangolunda Golf Course, 18 holes laid out in a 6,851-yard long undulating strip ending at Tangolunda beach.
A short jaunt north of Huatulco and the fishing boats is the sleepy little town of Crucecita. Enjoy the pleasant restaurants, taco vendors, and zocalo (central plaza) where locals spend evenings sitting on benches and strolling. The zocalo church, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, is renowned for its huge, blue-framed ceiling fresco of the Virgin of Guadalupe.
From Huatulco it is easy to get to the partially developed beaches and Bays of Chahue, Tangolunda, Maguey, and San Augustin. Bahia Chahue, a mile east of Huatulco and Crucecita, is a wide blue bay with a yellow sand beach and a marina jetty. Bahia Tangolunda has beach clubs and restaurants, but the waves break too quickly to ride. Farther east, Bahia Conejos has three steep beaches and houses sprouting in place of sand dunes. Continue east to Rio Copalita Wildlife Sanctuary for bird watching, hiking, kayaking, and rafting. West of Huatulco is the forested, rocky Bahia El Organo, which can be surf fished amidst the driftwood. Bahia El Maguey has relatively calm waters and tidepools.
A money-saving Huatulco vacation rental is the perfect day trip base for the whole family to explore the foothills of the towering Sierra Madre del Sur mountain range. Rent a car or book an informative tour of the foothill coffee farms around Pluma Hildago, stopping for waterfalls, bird and butterfly watching, Oaxacan breads, markets, and the Holy Cross of Huatulco at Santa Maria de Huatulco.