Things to do in Huatulco, Oaxaca

Things to do in  Huatulco

Mexico’s best-kept secret

One of Mexico’s most exciting coastal ecotourism destinations is a great choice for those seeking adventure in between beach relaxation.

Top 15 attractions in Huatulco

Huatulco National Park (Parque Nacional Huatulco)

Tracts of untouched forest, coral reefs, and mangroves characterize the UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve Huatulco National Park (Parque Nacional Huatulco). Unlike other stretches of the Oaxacan coastline, Huatulco National Park is a meticulously preserved hotspot for rare creatures, virgin beaches, and hiking trails.More

Cascadas de Llano Grande (Llano Grande Waterfalls)

Nestled in the Sierra Madre de Oaxaca, the Cascadas de Llano Grande (Llano Grande Waterfall) is an ideal spot for hiking, swimming, and rappelling. Its shallow pools and multiple cascading waterfalls give ample opportunity for all kinds of water activities: Climb a tree, leap off the rocks, or swing from a rope into the pristine waters below.More

Maguey Bay (Bahía Maguey)

Maguey Bay (Bahía Maguey) is an easily accessible bay with a popular beach of the same name. A handful of busy seafood shacks line the beach, and visitors can sip cold beers on patio chairs, or splash around in the bay’s calm, clear waters. You’ll find lots of amenities here, too, as Maguey tends to be one of Huatulco’s busier bays.More

Chachacual Bay

Chachacual Bay (Bahía Chachacual) is just half a mile (one kilometer) long, but its world-class snorkeling, impressive birdlife, and serene setting continue to attract travelers to its sunny shores. This tiny bay in Huatulco is best reached by boat and still relatively untouched, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a bit more privacy.More

Cacaluta Bay (Bahia de Cacaluta)

Cacaluta Bay is the largest and least accessible of the Huatulco bays. This heart-shaped Oaxacan inlet, which served as a stunning backdrop to the blockbuster Mexican film Y Tu Mamá También, has good snorkeling just a short swim from shore. Its serene setting offers a nice alternative to the noise and excitement of Santa Cruz Bay.More

La Crucecita

La Crucecita sits just inland from Santa Cruz Bay on the coast of Oaxaca. Originally built as the service town for the Huatulco resort area, today La Crucecita has an authentic atmosphere draws that visitors from the beaches to its lively streets. Highlights include a traditional market, a historic church, specialty shops, and restaurants.More

Santa Cruz Bay (Bahía Santa Cruz)

Home to Huatulco’s harbor, Santa Cruz Bay (Bahía Santa Cruz) is located just minutes from La Crucecita and offers shops, restaurants, hotels, and easily accessible beaches. It’s the jumping-off point for boat tours of Huatulco’s bays, or for hiring small fishing boats to visit some of the coast's more remote spots.More

Playa La Entrega (La Entrega Bay)

The southernmost beach in the Santa Cruz area, Playa La Entrega—or La Entrega Bay—offers over 600 feet (182 meters) of sandy shoreline; beautiful coral reefs; and clear, calm waters ideal for swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. Highlights include a variety of tropical fish, on-site seafood stalls, and proximity to the scenic Huatulco Bay Lighthouse lookout.More

Copalita Ecological Park and Ruins (Parque Eco Arqueológico Copalita)

Still relatively unknown to tourists, the Copalita Ecological Park and Ruins (Parque Eco Arqueológico Copalita) sit on the shores of the Pacific Ocean in the Huatulco resort area. Remnants of pyramids, temples, a ball court, and a pre-Hispanic lighthouse dot the lush landscape of the archaeological park, which also includes a massive stone believed to have once been used in sacrifices.More

San Agustin Bay (Bahía San Agustín)

Home to fewer than 100 people—mostly fishermen—San Agustin Bay (Bahía San Agustín) has no electricity or running water. The bay itself is known for its prime snorkeling opportunities. Visitors head into the ocean straight from the shore and are immediately surrounded by schools of tropical fish, coral plates, crabs, snails, bivalves, and sea urchins.More

Tule Tree (Arbol del Tule)

Estimated to be around 2,000 years old with a 177-foot (54-meter) circumference, the gnarled Tule Tree (Árbol del Tule) is one of the world’s oldest and widest trees that was once thought to be multiple trees merged together; however, it's actually a single Montezuma cypress specimen. Visitors can admire its girth both up close and from a distance, as well as explore the pretty church courtyard it calls home.More

Órgano Bay (Bahía Órgano)

Órgano Bay (Bahía Órgano) is an isolated stretch of beach just south of Santa Cruz in Mexico. Recommended for travelers who want to get away from it all, it’s an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving with calm, clear blue-green water and several interesting rock formations. Organo Bay is very near Maguey Bay, but not as popular or easy to access.More


Steeped in history and mysticism, the ancient burial site of Mitla—which translates as the “Place of the Dead”—dates back to 900 BC. Notable for its mix of Zapotec and Mixtec architecture, adorned with elaborate mosaics and ornate stonework, it’s one of Oaxaca’s most important archaeological sites.More

Zipolite Beach (Playa Zipolite)

Let it all hang out on Zipolite Beach (Playa Zipolite), the only legal nudist beach in Mexico. Popular among LGBTQ+ travelers, hippie spiritualists, and adventurous backpackers, Zipolite Beach is characterized by clean sands, swaying palms, and rough seas better suited to surfing than swimming.More

Mexican Turtle Center (Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga)

Opened in response to the dwindling turtle population in Mexico, the Mexican Turtle Center (Centro Mexicano de la Tortuga) is a 10-acre (4-hectare) attraction located in Mazunte, Oaxaca. Here, you’ll find a variety of sea and freshwater turtles across over a dozen aquariums, including hawksbills, leatherbacks, and green turtles, all of which you can learn about on a guided tour of the center.More
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All about Huatulco


People Also Ask

What is Huatulco known for?

The region of Huatulco, in the Mexican state of Oaxaca on the Pacific Coast, is home to more than 35 beaches and bays. The town of Santa Maria de Huatulco is a beach town renowned for wildlife-rich waters and Huatulco National Park, where you can spot whales from December–March.

How many days do you need in Huatulco?

Three days in Huatulco gives you time to enjoy the region’s natural attractions. Spend one day snorkeling in the pristine bays of Huatulco National Park. Then, travel to Lake Manialtepec to swim among bioluminescent plankton. Finally, enjoy local delicacies such as chapulines (deep-fried grasshoppers) at the local market.

Can you see whales in Huatulco?

Whales migrate to the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean from December through March. Alongside dolphins and several species of turtle, you can spot whales in Huatulco during this period. Humpback and blue whales are the most common species to see, with orcas and grey whales more rarely sighted.

Is Huatulco better than Cancun?

It depends on your interests. Huatulco offers a laid-back vibe, while Cancun is more developed and nightlife-centric. Huatulco retains a more rustic, beachside charm and offers a glimpse into a more authentic side of Mexico. Also, the waves of the Pacific Ocean are considered better for surfing than the Caribbean.

Is Huatulco safe for tourists?

Yes, Huatulco is a safe place for tourists, as long as you take usual precautions, such as taking taxis after dark. Avoid walking on the beach at night and keep a close eye on your belongings if you’ve left them on the beach to swim in the Pacific Ocean.

Is Huatulco worth visiting?

Yes, Huatulco is worth visiting for its natural beauty and wildlife. Huatulco has nine bays and beaches, so crowds are more dispersed than in other parts of the coast. These sheltered bays are much calmer than other parts of the Oaxacan coast, which makes them ideal for swimming and snorkeling.

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