When an area boasts nine different bays just as Mexico's Huatulco does, it makes it a natural cruise ship destination and indeed that's just what Huatulco is. A popular resort, it now boasts a new port but the emphasis here is on ecological attractions not man-made ones and the area boasts an impressive 22 miles of beaches.
Huatulco began to develop as a busy port soon after after the Spanish Conquest, serving as both a strategic vantage point and distribution centre for supplies. Its naval prominence made it a key target for the likes of Francis Drake in the 16th century and indeed, these conflicts are the most significant in its history. Following these days of naval confrontation it became known as a key coffee-growing area and remained largely un-visited until it was hand-picked by the Mexican government in the mid-1980s to be developed into tourist area.
With bays come beaches and it's fair to say that you'll enjoy an overwhelming choice of sandy retreats during your visit. There are numerous resorts within the Huatulco area and a number of cruise lines offer you the use of some of them in which to relax or engage in water sports. It's also possible to appreciate the beauty of the bays from another perspective during your visit, by way of a boat tour to take in some of the most pleasing sights.
For an authentic Mexican town experience a little further inland, be sure to head to Crucecita, which is the perfect place for a stroll to soak up the atmosphere. There are plenty of restaurants and souvenir shops too and the town square is where most of the action takes place. If you feel like getting back to nature while in port, then a trip to Copalita Ecological Park and Ruins could be just the thing. The star attraction is the park, which is alive with an abundance of wildlife. It's possible to see Flamingos, armadillos, iguanas, snakes and pelicans during your visit, so it's advisable to have the camera ready. There are also some interesting ancient Zapotec ruins to explore and an interesting museum which displays some of the most interesting archaeological finds. The Magic Falls are another recommended destination for nature-lovers, offering beautiful cascades and some of the clearest waters you're likely to find on the island. If you're searching for the place to indulge in that secluded paradise island swim, this is it.
Shopping in in Huatulco
The aforementioned Crucecita is a great place to go if you want to pick up a classic Mexican souvenir or two, as there are a good deal of shops aimed specifically at visitors. Hand-crafted jewellery is popular here, as are hand-embroidered dresses.
Eating out in Huatulco
Naturally, there's a good choice of Mexican restaurants in Huatulco, so if you're a fan of South American cuisine, you'll certainly find a venue to suit. With the port being such a tourist draw however, there's a huge choice of restaurants aimed at visitors from all over the world, so you'll have no trouble finding International, Italian, French and Asian establishments either.