I was stalking Instagram traveler’s photos, as I normally do, and ran across a photo from Mazunte, Oaxaca, Mexico. It looked like a fantastic place, so I began researching. In my research, I stumbled across Huatulco, a town near Mazunte. After much anticipation, planning, weather checking, more planning, and booking, the day arrived that we would be heading to Huatulco. My flight left bright and early at 6:20am. Of course, I could hardly sleep a wink the day before. I woke up around 3:30am and began getting ready. First thing on the agenda: Check the weather forecast. Forecast showed rain the whole time we were scheduled to be there. I sent up a big prayer that the rain hold off enough for us to get the true Huatulco experience. I finish my last minute packing, and I’m ready by 4:04 for our 6:20 flight. I am SUCH the time-manager when it comes to my trips. I HATE to feel rushed. I’d rather sit at the airport all day than scramble to make a flight. HOWEVER, everyone doesn’t share my desire for timeliness.. My friend poked around forever and a day, getting ready. OMG. So around 4:35, Finally we headed off to the airport. Our flight on Aeromexico was pretty seamless. One thing I appreciate about Aeromexico is the free food and drinks on board.
The Huatulco airport is a delight for the eyes! It is made of little huts. The roof of the airport looks to be made of bamboo. Pretty awesome actually. There was a pretty colorful plane outside. Not sure of the history behind it. We opted not to take an authorized taxi, as they are 2 times the cost of the regular cabs outside of the airport. When we arrived, we had to walk out of the airport and down the street to the taxi stand. We had our driver drop us off at Super Che grocery store first, where we got some pesos and I picked up a couple of local items that I was not familiar with. I got this Sangria drink that is alcohol free, called Casera. Oooh wee, it was tasty! As it should be, it is 67% azucar (thanks to duolingo, I know that means sugar). It was interesting that the pastries just sit out in the open, and you can come grab them with tongs.
After picking up some things to snack on, we headed to our condo at Sueno del Mar. I found Casa Bella in Sueno Del Mar on VRBO. It is a gorgeous, fantastic, HUGE 2 bedroom condo near Chahue beach. The pictures do it absolutely no justice. We wasted no time at the condo though, we headed out to Chahue beach which is about a 5 minute walk around the corner. We stopped in at Hotel La Isla Huatulco beach club. They charged an entry fee of 200 pesos (about 13-14 USD). The entry fee goes towards any food or drink purchases. We ate and had some drinks, then claimed one of the beach beds. Electerio “Terio” (our fabulous waiter) brought us some pillows, and we laid around for a second, then off to the beach. A lot of Chahue is really choppy and rough water, but we walked down the beach a bit (recommendation of our awesome condo owner) to some calmer waters and had a quick dip, before heading back to our “beds.” I noticed Terio bringing someone a bloody mary looking drink, and I asked him to bring me one (virgin, of course). It was a Clamato. He said it had clam juice in it, but it just tasted like V-8 to me. Not good, not excellent. I’d drink it again if I was thirsty.
After resting, we decided to head out for some dinner. We were planning to go to one place, but our taxi driver Estevan (Steve for short) recommended another place, and we went with that. Let me note that most of the taxi drivers speak ZERO English, so we were very fortunate to have found Steve who speaks fluent English. He gave us his number, and told us we could call him any time. After dinner, we strolled down to the city area. The businesses were like vultures. Of course we are the only black people in site, so we stick out like a sore thumb. We ran across a businessman named Rafael and chatted with him for a moment, then we headed back “home.” The first day in Huatulco was A-MAZING!
The next day I awoke to the sound of birds chirping. I couldn’t help but think that it was divine intervention that the TV in my room was only showing two channels. Had I slept with the TV on, like a typically do, I would not have been able to hear the melodic chirps of the birds in the morning. I gazed at the palm trees and watched the sky turn from night to day from the comforts of my bed. Oh, how GOOD God is!
Being here really shines a light on how it is to be in a foreign country. Many of the other places I’ve visited were pretty touristy, so even though English wasn’t the native language, most people communicated in English. Here a lot of the signs are in Spanish, all of the community speaks only Spanish. Very eye-opening and humbling experience.
We did a tour of the 7 bays of Huatulco. Our guide Isidoro met us at the hotel at 9:30, and we took off for Santa Cruz Marina. We purchased a couple of hats from a lady outside the marina, then went in to board our personal panga. A man hopped aboard to snap a few photos for us, then we set sail. The boat was roomy (had seating for 7-8) and had a nice covering to keep the sun off. The bays were absolutely beautiful!!! On the way, there is a rock formation in the shape of a man’s face. Spectacular! After floating by each of the 7 bays, we stopped at San Agustin to eat and enjoy the beach. After eating, at the recommendation of a man on the beach, we headed to the end of the bay and up a hill to get some good photos. The heat was SCORCHING walking up the hill. I think I burnt my feet a bit, but the views were great. My photos do it no
justice. We headed back to grab our things, and by this time Isidoro was hungry, so he had a bite to eat, and we people watched on the beach. There was an opportunity to snorkel, but I passed. I would definitely recommend the private tour option versus the huge catamarans. It cost us $2000 pesos.
Once we re-boarded the panga, Isidoro took us out to fish a bit (and by fishing, he hooked up the hook to the back of the boat as we sailed. I had NO idea that is how fishing works these days.) We caught a small mackerel, then released it back to the sea. We saw some turtles and a dolphin, and stopped to look at the blow hole. OMG, God outdid himself with the creation of nature! As the waves crashed on the rocks, the blow hole blew like a horn. Again, spectacular! We made it back to the marina, picked up our pictures, and ran into businessman Rafael again! We chatted with him for a moment, then Isidoro dropped us back off at the condo where we napped until dinner.
We decided to venture out to the restaurant we planned on dining at the night before. We called Steve, and he arrived in HIS OWN VEHICLE! It was his day off, and he honored his commitment of “call me anytime.” I was truly impressed! Steve dropped us off at the restaurant, and we enjoyed our dinner. We walked down to the taxi stand when we were done, and who do we see, but Rafael! We promised him we would check out his store the next day.
nature-botanical garden area (blog to come soon). We really enjoyed ourselves, and spent the full day out there. When we were done, we came back to the condo and enjoyed the pool for a few (and by enjoyed, I mean took some pictures by it, then went to take a nap). We finished out the evening with dinner and souvenir shopping. We made good on our promise to Rafael, and stopped by his store. We purchased a beautiful Carlos and Alfred moon pendant. I also picked up an alebrije, which is a traditional Oaxacan wood sculpture. I bought some mescal for mi amigas to sample, and a shirt for my son.
Reflecting back over the trip, I think this has got to be one of the best trips I have been on. I have never been so truly immersed in a culture. I’ve never been anywhere were people TRULY have NO idea what I’m saying, and I have to use a series of screen shots, awkward hand gestures and head nods to communicate my point. The Oaxacans were SO patient with us. Never once did they seem frustrated. They were even intrigued, and made me feel like a bit of a celebrity when I made use of m minimal knowledge of Spanish (limited to Hola, Buenos Dias, Gracias, and a few food names). Never have a been so confused and afraid by the suggested traffic lanes and optional speed limits. I loved being able to walk into a restaurant and sit wherever I wanted, as there were never any crowds. I loved soaking in the sites as we ate in open-air restaurants. There was also such a relaxed vibe that you don’t find in the States. I was hurrying my friend who was taking forever to change at the falls (perhaps he sensed the impending drama.. hehe.. blog coming soon), and Armando tells me “Hurry up is for Houston, we don’t use that here!”
If you are looking for the Cancun-touristy feel, this may not be the place for you. However, if you are looking to relax and enjoy the Mexican culture, by all means, get to booking! I read that 80% of Huatulco’s tourism is domestic, and I definitely found that to be the case. We saw a lot of Mexican families on the beach. We were told that not many Americans come there at all, mainly Canadians. I can’t wait to return! And to think, I almost changed my mind about going, because there was rain on the forecast. We didn’t see not one drop!
Stay Tuned for my blog on Hagia Sofia, and the Foods of Huatulco!