Huatulco, Mexico: A Hidden Gem That’s Definitely Worth Visiting

Linda and I travel quite a bit during the low tourist season in Mexico — which begins around the last week in August and extends until mid November. During this period of time, we can find lower prices on airfare, hotels and even tours.

One other benefit of traveling during the low season is that, in most cases, we don’t have to deal with the crowds and lines you will typically see at the same places during the high season.

This year we decided to end our travel season with a trip to Huatulco. Actually, it was Linda’s idea and when she first mentioned it, my initial response was, “Where is that?”

Just in case any of you were wondering the same thing, here’s a map:

Huatulco is located on the west coast of Mexico in the state of Oaxaca. The population is only about 50,000 and tourism is the principal industry there.

I have to say, Huatulco is one of the cleanest cities/towns that we have ever visited in Mexico. Everyone seemed to make a concerted effort to pick up trash and to keep the city looking great.

Beaches and Bays

One of the things that makes this area special is that it has nine bays and 36 beaches. Due to the irregular coastline, you can get a very different beach experience depending where you go.

For example, if you want to surf, you can head to one of the local beaches where the waves come roaring in one after another. Once you’re done, you can drive a few minutes down the road — or catch a taxi for about $45 pesos — to a beach where the water is calm and you can sip a beer while you stand waist-deep in it.

Even the color of the sand would vary from beach to beach. Take a look at a few pics we took:

La Entrega

El Violín

Playa Chahue

Bahia Conejos

And, no — we didn’t make it to all 36 beaches, but we did visit a lot of them.

Mountains

If you want to take a break from the beaches and enjoy some cooler temperatures, all you have to do is head inland and you’ll soon find yourself in the mountains. While you’re there, you might as well take a tour of one of the local coffee plantations.

Visiting a coffee plantation in Pluma Hidalgo

The Weather

We arrived at the beginning of the dry season and only a few days after a tropical storm had passed through the area. The weather was sunny and beautiful every day for the almost two weeks we were there.

This type of weather is typical during the dry season which runs from November until March.

Getting There

Huatulco has its own international airport and there are numerous direct seasonal flights to destinations in the U.S. and Canada. The week we were there, the first flight of the season from Canada arrived.

Another way to see Huatulco is on a cruise. An average of 4-5 cruise ships visit the area each month.

Our Guide

When we announced that we were going to Huatulco, two of our readers contacted us to recommend the same local guide, Oscar Velasquez Ramirez.  We decided to give him a try and he was outstanding.

He was knowledgeable, entertaining and very flexible when it came to changing the tour to meet our needs. We liked him so much that, with his permission, we decided to include his contact information in this post:

Óscar Valásquez Ramirez
Oscar Tours Huatulco
Website: http://oscartourshuatulco.com/
Whatsapp: +52 958-107-5579
Toll free number for the U.S. and Canada only:  1-855-830-0053

By the way, he speaks Spanish, English and French.

Let’s Wrap This Up

Although I am a Caribbean guy through and through, I really enjoyed our trip to Huatulco and I have no doubts that we’ll be returning there someday.

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About the Author

Q-Roo Paul
Paul Kurtzweil (Q-Roo Paul) was a deputy sheriff in Florida for 25 years before retiring at the rank of lieutenant in 2015. He and his wife moved to Mexico looking to maximize their retirement income. They later started a blog called Two Expats Mexico (qroo.us) to share their experiences, as well as information about the logistical and legal aspects of retiring south of the border.

24 Comments on "Huatulco, Mexico: A Hidden Gem That’s Definitely Worth Visiting"

  1. Very nice article and timely for me. I will be relocating my homebase from Oaxaca to Huatulco in Mid December. I have gained much from your articles – a and have enjoyed your common approach that strikes to useful tips.

  2. Huatulco really is great, even in Hgh Season. There is an abundance of accommodations. When we lived in Puerto Escondido, we flew in and out of that airport to avoid the smaller, older planes that flew into the P. E. Airport. You can get great flights direct from the US and not have to go through Mexico City. We also loved the abundance of fresh delicious Sea Food! Never seemed crowded whenever we were visiting,which we also loved .

  3. I loved Huatulco. Spent 15 days there back in July of 2015. It was their “lush season” and everything was beautiful and green. Stayed at Secrets Huatulco but I went somewhere almost every day. Coffee plantations up in the Sierra Madres is not to be missed. Santa Maria is a lovely little town w a beautiful old Church. Lots of places to stop in and sample “Mezcal” lol. Ate some grasshoppers too lol. Many different types of Mole’ sauces were fun to sample. The State of Oaxaca boasts many different variations on Mole’

  4. Boburbiggestfan | November 24, 2018 at 9:38 am | Reply

    Thanx to to you , I arrived in Chetumal at 040 to volunteer with Workaway. I have a two visa so I’ll be here a while. This looks like a beautiful town, maybe not too many tourists! Your blog gave me the courage to retire and see Mexico. Much as gracias

    • Enjoy your adventure and feel free to send me an email letting me know how it goes. I’m not too familiar with Workaway, so you’ve peaked my curiosity. 🙂

  5. I am retired and live in Puerto Escondido. Very different then Huatulco. Come for a visit. Still very old Mexico.

  6. Paul,

    Did you get any sense of the cost of living in Huatulco versus the Mayan Riviera? I know it’s a little hard when touring, but even a comparison of menu prices would give a little insight. With the major industry being tourism, do they stick with peso pricing, or are prices in dollars as they are at many places here?

  7. Raymond Warchol | November 24, 2018 at 10:59 am | Reply

    Yes, I agree with your observation and writings of Huatulco. La Crucecita (sp) is a little like Playa del Carmen was 25 years ago. Huatulco is our 2nd favorite location in Mexico. Of course Playa del Carmen has been #1 for 25 years and holding strong. We normally travel to Huatulco for two weeks Chistmas into January. Have stayed at most all the resorts on the bay, but Secrets holds #1 for us even though we find ourselves out in the town eating every night or at mama celias by the cruise ship port. Restaurants as you noted are less expensive then similar Playa ones. Thanks to your writings on this blog, this year instead of traveling to playa for day of the dead celebration, we chose Playa del Carmen for our Christmas New Years trip. Your writings made us miss playa del carmen. My wife refers to 5th Ave as “South Beach(miami) on Steroids”.

  8. Thank you for visiting our home area of Hualtuco. Been here for 3 years and enjoy it very much. The weather is great except for 2 months of rain that can get heavy. This year we are here for 9 months. Arrived Sept 1st and leaving sometime in May 2019 to visit family up north.
    Would love to find out which US locations have direct flights to Hualtuco and not have to stop in Mexico City. Any info you might have will help. Keep up the great information that you provide and we promote you often on our You Tube Channel: Retire in Mexico Now .

  9. Canadians love this area. We really enjoyed the snorkelling and scuba diving. Dining and dancing on the beach. Love the people.

  10. I went there many years ago. Now I would like to take a look at Cozimal to compare it to Nuevo Vallerta where we currently live. We want to be in a tennis/golf community.; Any ideas??

    Joan

    • There is a beautiful area Called “Playa Car” in “Playa del Carmen” It is gated has a golf course and the complex I’m selling my Condo at has a tennis court .Paseo Del Sol.

  11. Marc Mittelstead | November 24, 2018 at 6:48 pm | Reply

    I visited for a few hours via cruise ship.
    Suggest spring cruise vs fall as we dodged hurricanes.
    I opted to fish catching a dozen small black tuna and swimming in a green lagoon .
    I could see living there.

  12. Been there a few times

  13. Cavanaugh O’Leary | November 24, 2018 at 8:41 pm | Reply

    We live half a year in Colorado and half a year at our home in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. Heard about Huatulco 30 years ago from my ex-brother-in-law. Sounds beautiful and still like Mexico. Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Los Cabos are so touristy. We were visiting Cuidad Oaxaca a few years ago and heard about Huatulco again. You have rekindled my interest in going there.

  14. Thank you for sharing! It is so beautiful so I will gladly place Huatulco on my to-do list. I’m excited.

  15. My husband and I first visited Huatulco 25 years ago and returned many times. It still holds a special place in my heart even though we now live in Puerto Vallarta. It was hard to decide between these two places for retirement but in the end Vallarta won out for many reasons. We are planning a return trip there soon!

  16. alice hesselrode | November 26, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Reply

    Great. I saved this one. I am currently spending time in Yucatan and then Q Roo but will likely investigate what it would cost to fly there. I love the coasts of Mexico. So thankful for your posts.

  17. So glad you finally made it to OUR paradise. We are living here full time after traveling and living all over Mexico for about 30 years. Our cost of living is much lower than most other places….especially if you live here year round. Not cheaper for all those all inclusive people that come here for short terms, but certainly for the smallish Expat community that lives here. We love it here. Too bad we missed meeting you. Also, glad you headed to Oaxaca City, a very charming old colonial city. So different than the Oaxacan beach communities.

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