Founded some 40 years ago by FONATUR, Mexico’s tourism development agency, Huatulco (located in the state of Oaxaca) encompasses a stretch of 18 miles of Pacific coastline, located at the foot of the Sierra del Sur Mountains. Here you’ll find dozens of pristine sand beaches, spread across nine bays — four of which have been designated as ecological preserves where no development is permitted.
The area is also dotted with small villages where many of the locals preserve native traditions including basket weaving, cactus horticulture and cooking. Most cruise lines offer at least one excursion that visits these villages.
Designed to attract mass tourism, cruisers visiting Huatulco will also encounter numerous souvenir and jewelry shops, and yet crass commercialism seems to have taken a back seat here, unlike other purposely designed tourist cities like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Acapulco. Buildings in Huatulco may not be higher than four stories, so there are no tall structures to clutter the area, beaches are everywhere and the government is taking pains to preserve the indigenous flora and fauna.
Huatulco is composed of three smaller regions, as well as several outlying villages. Santa Cruz is the port area where cruise ships dock. La Crucecita is the main downtown area and Tangolunda is the hotel and resort zone.
The disabled cruiser visiting Huatulco
Where You’re Docked
Cruise ships dock at a pier in Santa Cruz Bay, right next to a beach and a small marina. As your ship pulls in you’ll be able to see the beach to the left-hand side.
There’s a fair amount to do within a short walk of the cruise pier, from the sandy Santa Cruz beach, to a slew of restaurants, bars and shops. The marina next door also offers Jet Ski rentals, plus a variety of boat tours.
Good to Know
Huatulco is a safe port with less crime than many of the larger tourist cities but as with many ports around the world, leave your expensive jewelry on the cruise ship when you visit and keep an eye on your wallet.
The official currency in Mexico is the peso. The nearest ATMs are at banks in downtown La Crucecita, which is about a 25-peso taxi drive away from the port.
The official language of Mexico is Spanish but because Huatulco is a tourist town, most shopkeepers, restaurant workers and taxi drivers speak English.
Huatulco is located in the state of Oaxaca, which is famous for barro negro pottery, or “black clay” pottery. Look for some smaller pieces to take home with you from the Museum of Oaxacan Art in La Crucecita.
There are lots of beachside restaurants on Playa Santa Cruz, most with an array of international dishes on the menu. This isn’t gourmet cuisine by any means, but if you’re just looking to grab a bite to eat without venturing far from the beach, they’ll do.
Points of Interest
- Huatulco a seven-
Huatulco Accessible Excursions
Whether your cruise ship stops in
Huatulco Accessible Guided Tour
This 4 hour accessible