More than 20 years ago, the resort area known today as Huatulco (hwa-toolkoe) consisted of 34,000 hectares of largely uninhabited forest reserve and nine pristine bays of soft brown sand, whose shores were gently kissed by the sparkling, clear blue waters of the Mexican Pacific. The sole inhabitants were situated in a humble fishing village known as Santa Cruz Huatulco made up of small, pastel colored adobe huts on the same site that once held an ancient Zapotec settlement and, in the 16th century, was Mexico’s most important Pacific port.
Today, despite the fact that many luxury resorts have been developed along these magnificent bays, little has changed; and such is the appeal of Huatulco. Recognizing the ecological importance of this entire region, it has been designated a national wildlife preserve, and all development has been planned and carried out with the preservation of the territory in the forefront. In fact, several of the bays remain wholly undeveloped today and can only be accessed by boat.
The town of Santa Cruz Huatulco remains the main marina from which excursions for boat tours embark. Several beachfront hotels, restaurants, cafes and colorful artisan shops have sprouted along its coast, but it maintains much of its authentic look and feel. Tangolunda Bay is considered to be the most beautiful and inviting of its eight lovely sisters, and has therefore attracted the more luxurious resorts. Made up of five superb beaches, each more pleasing than the last, it is replete with every conceivable water sport.
There is also an 18-hole golf course. Both the town of Santa Cruz and the quaint and colorful little village of La Crucecita are within easy access of Tangolunda. In addition to the many water sports offered through the various resorts, there are daily Bay cruises available to explore some of the more isolated and still undeveloped bays; there are a number of horseback riding or hiking excursions, there are a variety of levels of difficulty of rafting, from novice to white-knuckle, offered; rock climbing is an option for the more adventuresome and, of course, there are an assortment of organized coach tours to nearby sites.