A bit of history: it is said that under Spanish rule pirates ransacked Huatulco, but that they didn’t succeed in stealing its beauty. The Pacific Ocean laps the shores of Huatulco's 36 stunning beaches, spread across nine bays boasting warm waters and golden sands to explore. This area was a successful commercial port and favorite haunt of pirates and Elizabethan navigators such as Sir Francis Drake in 1578 and Sir Thomas Cavendish in 1587. In January 1832, during the War of Independence, the Mexican Picaluga brothers betrayed the revolutionary insurgent Vicente Guerrero on the coast of Huatulco and handed him over to a firing squad - the beach where this is said to have taken place is known as “La Entrega” (“the handover”).
Located on the coast of the state of Oaxaca at the edge of the Sierra Madre mountains, Huatulco spans 20 miles of Mexico’s Pacific coastline, between the Coyula and Copalita rivers. Huatulco is just 140 miles from the city of Oaxaca – though you'll have to cross a winding mountain range to get there. In the 1980s, the government tourism development agency (Fonatur) began planning the area's main resort, and in 1988 the Bahias de Huatulco (bays of Huatulco) National Park was declared a protected reserve with a world-class tourism infrastructure of luxury hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, discos, and golf courses and a small urban zone called La Crucecita.
Be sure to take a trip around Huatulco's nine bays on a motorboat partially covered by an awning, an affordable excursion easily arranged by local operators. This three-hour trip provides an excellent tour of the stunning surroundings, hidden beaches, flora and fauna, inspiration of the magical stories that will transport you back in time to a mythical and adventurous era.
Today you'll find Huatulco is still one of Mexico’s most relaxed destinations. The centerpiece of Huatulco’s charm is a series of nine bays, encompassing 30 beaches and numerous inlets and coves, each with its own unique setting and ecology. All are noted for their dream-like beaches of golden sand and crystal clear water, yet the bays remain delightfully unspoiled, sometimes accessible only by boat.
Huatulco’s selection for resort development was helped along by its proximity to the state’s capital, the magical City of Oaxaca. Only 40 minutes by scheduled commercial flight, the city is one of the most endearing and unforgettable in Mexico. Its ancient archaeological sites, vibrant and colorful markets, rich colonial architecture and fascinating native cultures make a perfect match for Huatulco’s coastal attractions. Huatulco is also the perfect gateway for exploring the villages of Puerto Escondido and Puerto Angel, two of the state’s more rustic coastal gems.
Huatulco's Archeological Treasures. The ancient navigation route along the Pacific coast left an astounding archaeological legacy close to the bays of Huatulco. Explore them at your leisure. Huatulco is packed with ancient Indian history. In Pre-Hispanic times, it was first inhabited by the coastal Tututepec tribe. Zapotec, Mixtec and Aztec merchants established an important trade route through the region, and slowly, the town of Santa Maria Huatulco began to grow. Coastal navigation was controlled from the town, which remains the only site in which a navigation aid has been found.
© Mexico Tourism Board