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Bahías de Huatulco is located on the gorgeous coast of Oaxaca in Mexico. This region is beautiful and bursting with activity, and the bays of Huatulco encompass over thirty tropical beaches. The entire community is, in essence, a beach, so you will never be far from the sparkling sea and the warm, shimmering sand. There are a couple of outstanding restaurants in the vicinity, and the shopping here is limited but still enjoyable. The Museo de Artesanías Oxaqueñas is an extraordinary museum where you can watch artistic geniuses at work. Huatulco's popularity is increasing, but some tourists remain hesitant to visit because of the unfinished appearance of the area. It is not nearly as built up as Cancún or Mazatlán, but there is a certain allure that is unique to Huatulco. In fact, many seasoned travelers prefer the rustic look of Huatulco to the other more commercialized areas of Mexico.
The bays can be toured by boat, and while viewing the spectacular sunset, you may want to engage in some fishing, followed by dinner consisting of your fresh catch. If you would rather enjoy a meal at one of the local establishments, some excellent choices exist. The crystal clear waters of Huatulco are perfect for swimming, and a wide array of water sports is at your disposal. The coast of Oaxaca is largely uninhabited, and there are trails all around the bays of Huatulco that are ideal for exploration.
Depending on the last port you visited, more than likely you'll probably arrive inHuatulco in mid-morning. Even then, the approach to Huatulco sneaks up on you. The shoreline is really beautiful...some bays are placid, but Santa Cruz bay is quite rocky on its sides, while there is a very pleasant beach and a small marina sharing space with the Cruise Ship Pier.
Huatulco doesn’t offer much in the way of historical landmarks—most of the buildings date back to the mid 1980s. Its real attractions are lovely bays, golden-sand beaches and jungle terrain. But if you’re not in a rush to get to the beach, you could easily spend a few hours exploring the villages that make up the resort area. Santa Cruz, where cruise-ship passengers are delivered, is the original fishing village. You can stroll around its shady plaza and visit the Mercado de Artesanias for silver and leather goods. The busy marina is the departure point for small boat trips to nearby bays and beaches. The town beach, while not the prettiest in the area, is a small but pleasant place to park your towel. Palapas—those thatched huts where vendors sell fresh seafood and drinks—line the shore.
Docking & Local Transportation
Cruise ships arrive at the Dock at Santa Cruz and the walkway off the ship is about 2-3 blocks long.  A new full-service pier is under construction to handle the increasing influx of cruise ships to this scenic coastal region.Huatulco is a boutique port for ships making Panama Canal cruises to and from Caribbean and Pacific Coast ports. Cruise ships begin to arrive in mid-September and continue making port through early March. Between three and six scheduled cruise ships stop there every month.
As a general rule, cruise ship passengers will spend about 8 hours in Huatulco.In 2015, Huatulco is slated to host 45,600 passengers sailing on 26 ships, down 3% and 10%, respectively, from 2014. From the Pier, the beach is on the left side, and the marina is on the right side. Just behind the beach you'll find a number of restaurant/bars and a small retail center, with shops selling souvenirs, tours, wines and liquors and other services. Santa Cruz Bay is just south of the village of La Crucecita. Only a mile away from the Pier, La Crucecita is worth a visit, if only to shop for the famous OaxacanAlebrijes figures (see picture, right). Alebrijes are brightly-colored folk art sculptures of fantastical animal-like creatures, originally created by the artist Pedro Linares. The main luxury hotel district is located on Tangolunda bay, a short $50 pesos taxi ride from Santa Cruz bay. The master plan for Huatulco calls for greenbelt space to be left between building projects, and areas for future development are being carefully selected to minimize environmental impact. Distinguishing itself from Cancun, hotels and other buildings in the area cannot exceed a height of six stories.
The taxi's are cheap, so if you decide to walk to La Crucecita, keep in mind that it could very easily be 100 + Degrees F!. Taxis (958/587-0712) are available while in Huatulco at affordable rate. Yet, your best bet is to rent a car. Several outfitters can provide you with a reliable automobile, including Advantage Rent-a-Car de Mexico (958/581-0491) and Budget Rent a Car (958/587-0135).
Things To See and Do
Enjoy the wide variety of attractions in Huatulco, an exciting place nestled amidst the enigmatic jungle. Indulge in the wonderful sightseeing available as you experience the sensation of being in direct contact with nature and the environment. Take time to get involved in the alternative, ecological touristic opportunities available. Enjoy, from a simple walk and bird watching, to mountain bike tours and horse back rides, traverse the jungle, not forgetting to take a refreshing swim at any of the beaches.
The Huatulco Bays:
Since there are nine different bays in Huatulco, the area offers a variety of beach experiences. Most have blue-green water and the sand ranges from golden to white. Some of the beaches, notably Santa Cruz, la Entrega and El Arrocito have very gentle waves. Most of the development is centered around a few of the bays. Tangolunda is the largest of Huatulco's bays, and is where most of Huatulco's large resorts are located.Santa Cruz has a cruise ship port, marina and shops and restaurants. Some of the beaches are completely pristine and only accessible by boat.
This is the most amazing tour by far. You will admire the best Huatulco has to offer. Take time to contemplate the unsurpassed beauty of our beaches and bays, the underwater parks and the rock formations that give us the Bufadero, the Stone Face and the Organo Bay. You will get the chance to swim, snorkel and enjoy diving on the coral reef, plus music, games and seafood.
Tangolunda Bay
Tangolunda Bay in HuatulcoA name of zapotec origin, meaning "beautiful woman"; one of the most beautiful bays, where well known hotel properties, residential and expanding commercial areas are located, and where many recreational sports or gastronomic experiences can be enjoyed. Tangolunda is also home to one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in the country, with its spectacular views of the bay and the sea.
Santa Cruz Bay
Home to the origins and traditions of Huatulco, where the lovely beaches of La Entrega, Yerbabuena and Santa Cruz are located. A town that offers commercial areas, arts and crafts markets, shopping zones, discotheques, typical restaurants, and dive shops. This bay is home to the marina for fishing, pleasure boats and yachts, the cruise ships also dock here.
The fascinating coast of Huatulco is a combination of beaches, cliffs, islands and coral reefs, all joined together to offer diving fans a great variety of locations. For the beginner, the coral reefs at La Entrega Beach in Santa Cruz Bay, as well as the coral tables of the Cacaluta and Montosa inlets, are excellent starting points where it is very common to find large schools of colorful fish.
Chahue Bay
Meaning a "Place of fertile grounds", this is a bay of breathtaking blue waters with three beaches. The valley of Chahue is also the location of La Crucecita, a traditionally hospitable village, with its quaint main plaza and band stand, a church, arts and crafts shops, boutiques and restaurants.
Maguey Bay
This bay offers to the visitor its gentle, calm waves and soothing environment, ideal for the whole family to enjoy water sports, snorkeling and jet skis. In the "palapa" style restaurants, fresh, traditional, fish and seafood delicacies are a staple.
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, Tangolunda Bay is home to one of the best golf courses along the Mexican Pacific. You'll be able to enjoy a game of 18 holes, par 72 of championship quality. The 13th hole is the most spectacular with an incomparable view of Tangolunda Bay.
The Museo de Artesanías Oaxaqueñas, located at Calle Flamboyan 216 (958/587-1513), is actually a store featuring arts, crafts, household items and more, all made by past and present citizens of Bahías de Huatulco. One of the most fascinating aspects of this particular spot is that many of the artisans are on hand creating new pieces of art as you watch. They are incredibly skilled, and to think, you are actually watching history being made!
La Crucecita
La Crucecita is a small town located just a few minutes drive inland from Santa Cruz bay. La Crucecita was built as a support community to the tourist area, and many of the tourism workers have their homes here. Although it is a new town, it has the feel of an authentic small Mexican town. There is an abundance of shops and restaurants in La Crucecita, and it's a good place to do some shopping, have a meal, or an evening stroll. The church in La Crucecita, La Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, has a 65 foot tall image of the Virgin of Guadalupe painted in its dome.
Touring Santa Cruz Bay is an extremely engaging adventure for anyone who has an interest in boating or the ocean. You can arrange for a glass bottom boat cruise around the bay, and water skiing is great fun as well. Fishing trips can also be organized, and Bahías de Huatulco has some extraordinary fishing locations. There is a pleasant plaza in the Santa Cruz pier area, lined with small cafes and cappuccino bars. Tipsy's Beach Club arranges a great majority of the local outdoor excursions, and you can play volleyball here, as well.
Outdoor Sports
Many tourists adore the fishing in Huatulco, as the surrounding waters are filled with tuna, dorado, and sailfish. Sociedad Cooperativa Tangolunda is located in the marina in Santa Cruz Bay (958/587-0081) and has all the resources to arrange great fishing outings.
River Rafting
Besides the exciting experience of going down the river through the rapids, you will travel through the lush beauty of the surroundings on the two rivers of this region. You may choose from a variety of descents by kayak, raft or canoe. This is one of the more intense tours because it combines excitement, water and adrenalin all set to an overwhelming panoramic view.
Extreme Sports
Challenge yourself to the extreme sports you are most passionate about, surrounded by Huatulco's exuberant nature: the extraordinary river descent where the vegetation combines itself with the emotion of navigating the rapids and living the adventure of a lifetime; or rappelling in Punta Celeste among other activities.
Deep Sea Fishing
These waters are excellent for fishing; in abundance are sailfish and tuna. We'll provide the know-how and your reward will be this size of your catch!
Eating Out
A visit to Huatulco will offer an excellent opportunity to sample Oaxacan cuisine, as well as Mexican seafood specialties. There are numerous beachfront palapas where you can enjoy fresh seafood. Some favorite restaurants include El Sabor de Oaxaca and TerraCotta in La Crucecita, and L'Echalote in Bahia Chahue.

Restaurant Doña Celia in Bahía Santa Cruz (958/587-128) is an all out seafood extravaganza. You can choose from just about anything you could want, as the menu is enormous. The portions are huge, and all the entrees are delicious. The tables in the main dining room face the sea in Santa Cruz Bay, creating a lovely ambiance to match the delectable cuisine. Doña Celia is the owner of this grand facility, and all the locals know the restaurant by the name given above, even though the official title is Avalos. Don Porfirio, in Bahía Tangolunda (958/581-0001), serves some truly outstanding meals. The food is Mexican, but with an international flare found only at Don Porfirio. The tequila sautéed shish kabob with beans and rice is a glorious dish, and the fajitas are remarkable, served with ample helpings of rice, beans, guacamole, and tortillas. It is a delight to speak with the vivacious waiters, and the outdoor covered patio is quite pleasant, especially at night. The bar in Tipsy's Beach Club is a very popular hangout and a great place to grab a Corona and lime.
If you are fascinated with fun souvenirs, beach attire and locally crafted pottery, you should go to La Crucecita. This is a huge market place that supplies to both the tourists and the locals. One specific shop that is very much recommended is the El Museo de las Artesanias. In this store, you can find lots of Oaxacan crafts. The store specializes in embroidered textiles, leather goods and masks.
Another ideal location to shop is the Santa Cruz Market. In this store, you can find a good selection of silver jewelry, Mexican goods, countless souvenirs and clothing. The Mercado de Artesanias will surely keep your schedule hectic and busy for browsing the locally made accessories, attire and baskets.
One of the best places to shop near the Huatulco Port is La Crucecita. This expansive marketplace features a wide array of Mexican goods, including pottery, beach supplies and textiles. While you are there, make sure you check out Museo de las Artesanias, where you will find plenty of high quality Oaxacan crafts. Another good shopping area near the Huatulco Port is the Santa Cruz Crafts Market, which offers a variety of silver jewelry, clothing and other authentic Mexican items. Some of the souvenirs to look for include embroidered clothing and barro negro pottery made from the dark clay around the area.
Paradise Boutique can be found at Calle Gardenia (958/587-0268) and sells all kinds of items, including apparel and pottery. The silver jewelry is quite popular, and there is a wide selection of Mexican crafts and beachwear. The Mercado Municipal, on Calle Guanacaste, is a group of stores that offers about everything imaginable. Souvenirs, leather items, exotic fruits, and paraphernalia are only the beginning in this budget shopper's paradise.
Another thing ...keep in mind that all prices are increased when the cruise ship comes in. When you are in Santa Cruz and La Crucecita. some of the tourist shops quickly changes the prices. Like for example..t-shirt were 3 for $15.00....was changed to $ 15.00 each!. Shop owner will spot and point your cruise ship that was still about a mile away. Happy shopping  and good luck.

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