7 Best Things to do in Huatulco: Located in the state of Oaxaca on Mexico’s southwest coast, Huatulco is a tourist development that is fast becoming one of the country’s best vacation destinations. Off the beaten trail and far from the country’s most popular resort cities like Cancun and Cabo, Huatulco remains one of Mexico’s best kept secrets. Despite its relatively remote location, Huatulco is still easily accessible to travelers, with frequent direct flights from Mexico City that only take about an hour.
Huatulco’s main attractions are centered around its nine bays and 36 beaches, which each offer a wealth of activities to partake in. Off the beaches, Huatulco is known for its ecological parks, beautiful forests, coffee plantations, festivals, and more. Here are the top 7 best things to do in Huatulco.
7. Coffee Plantation Tours
One of the best things to do in Huatulco is tours of its expensive coffee plantations. Prior to becoming a tourist destination, Huatulco’s main industry was coffee. Today, coffee remains a major cornerstone of the region’s economy, with many historic coffee plantations still in operation. Some of the most famous coffee plantations in Huatulco include Ocean Spray Mountain Coffee Plantation, Finca Monte Carlos, and Finca El Pacífico, each of which offer tours of their grounds.
A typical tour of a Huatulco coffee plantation will take you through the beautiful groves of coffee plants, which are surrounded by waterfalls and ravines, and are home to a variety of fauna, including different species of butterflies, birds, and lizards.
The tours will allow you to pick coffee beans yourself, see how they are harvested and processed, and you will sample some of the finished product and enjoy a meal of traditional Oaxacan cuisine.
The waters off Huatulco make for excellent fishing. Unlike other coastal regions in Mexico, Huatulco has not been subject to overfishing, and its waters still teem with marlin, tuna, sailfish, mahi mahi, shark, and more.
The main tourist marinas in Huatulco have plenty of charter fishing companies that will take you out in a motorboat manned by an experienced captain who knows the best fishing spots. Depending on the season, your captain will take you to a different location, and the fish you catch will range from yellowfin tuna in the winter to sailfish and marlin in the summer.
It is also common to see whales, sea turtles, and dolphins in the waters off Huatulco, and may fishing boats will keep snorkeling gear on board in case you are interested in exploring a reef as you pass by.
5. Experience the Zona de Aventura Extreme
For the extreme sports enthusiast, there is no better place to get that adrenaline rush than at the Zona de Aventura Extreme in Huatulco. Zona de Aventura Extreme is the place to go for everything from whitewater rafting to mountain climbing and rappelling, to ziplining through the jungle. Regardless of what you are interested in, the Zona de Aventura Extreme has something for you. And with experience, bilingual tour guides, you are always in good hands and your safety is the number one priority. Zona de Aventura Extreme is the perfect place for family fun on your Huatulco vacation.
4. Scuba Diving
With excellent dive sites for beginners and experienced divers, Huatulco offers some of the best and most diverse diving along the Pacific coast. Huatulco’s nine sheltered bays provide dive sites teeming with marine life and offering stunning underwater scenery. In total, Huatulco offers over 100 dive sites, ranging from shallow, calm sites to deep, open-water ones.
The marine scenery around Huatulco features volcanic rock, canyons, sandy bottoms, and coral reefs. Different dive sites in Huatulco are home to various marine creatures, including moray eels, fish, eagle rays, manta rays, sharks, lobsters, shrimp, dolphins, and turtles. With so many dive sites, even the most popular sites in Huatulco rarely get crowded, so divers are able to go whenever they want, unlike other places where you need to get up at the crack of dawn to beat the crowds.
3. Charter a Yacht
One of the best ways to experience Huatulco is by yacht. Chartering a yacht allows you to choose your adventure and tour Huatulco’s bays your way. Depending on what you are interested in, you can focus on fishing, snorkeling, swimming, or just yachting from bay to bay enjoying the scenery. You can also choose the time of day you want to charter the yacht. Take a yacht out in the morning and spend the whole day on the ocean, or wait until evening and go on a sunset cruise. There are plenty of companies that offer chartered yachts up and down Huatulco’s main tourist marinas.
If you plan to spend a couple hours or more on the water, most companies will provide meals, although you may need to specifically request a meal when booking your yacht with other companies. The meals typically include great authentic Mexican food, such as fresh fish tacos, tortilla chips and guacamole, fajitas, and Mexican beer.
2. Explore Huatulco National Park
Covering nearly 12,000 acres of forest, mangroves, coral reefs, scrubland, and wetland, Huatulco National Park is a beautiful and scenic area that is perfect for hiking, backpacking, cycling, and ATV tours. The park is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, including hummingbirds, pelicans, deer, armadillo, iguanas, snakes, and salamanders. Off the coast, visitors commonly see whales, dolphins, and sea turtles.
A tour of Huatulco National Park will take you past waterfalls and babbling brooks, through thick forests, to stunning cliff sides and hills. The park even has archeological sites, including Zapotec and Mazatec temples, tombs, and ball courts, that make the trek through the jungle well worth it.
1. Explore Huatulco’s Beaches
Huatulco has some of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in all of Mexico. The best beaches in Huatulco range from sheltered swimming beaches surrounded by bars and restaurants, to wild, hidden beaches accessible only by boat. No trip to Huatulco is complete without exploring at least a couple of the beaches. To really enjoy everything Huatulco has to offer, visitors should plan to visit a range of the city’s beaches–try the snorkeling and swimming beaches like Playa La Entrega and Santa Cruz Bay, the secluded surfing beach Playa La Bocana, the calm scenic beach only accessible by boat, Bahia de Cacaluta, and more.
Whether you’re interested in relaxing, swimming, strolling, or engaging in watersports, Huatulco has a beach for you.