This vibrant town on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca has nine beautiful bays that draw travelers to their scenic shores. And while the sandy beaches, warm waters and secluded inlets are all worth a visit, three days in Huatulco leaves plenty of time for getting away from the water and exploring the history, culture and landscape, too.
Day 1: Go Back In Time
Start the day with a relaxing float along Rio Copalita. This scenic trip between the river and La Bocana is a perfect way to take in the natural beauty of the region. The slow float offers impressive views of crested hilltops and thick forests, as well as access to diverse species of indigenous birds.
Afterward, head to the nearby Copalita Ruins, just outside La Crucecita. Remnants of pyramids, ball courts and homes dot the lush landscape of this well-forested site, which also includes a massive stone believed to have been used in sacrifices. The ruins date back some 2,000 years, and while decaying structures are the main attraction, travelers will also find hiking trails and wooded paths worth exploring.
Day 2: Local Life
Spend a morning combing through the shops of La Crucecita, a quiet town just inland from Santa Cruz with tasty restaurants and a distinctly authentic Mexican air. Pick up traditional Oaxacan items, like Mescal and handmade pottery at La Probadita before heading to the Church of the Virgin Guadalupe. Locals and travelers alike gather to admire the 65-foot mural of Virgin Guadalupe that’s painted on the dome of this historic landmark.
From La Crucecita, head out on a tour of Finca la Gloria. This family-owned coffee plantation is home to a butterfly sanctuary and hundreds of acres of farmland. Travelers can tour the working facility in the heart of a Mexican jungle and learn about the process of turning fresh berries into a cup of coffee. During harvest season, visitors can watch as laborers transform crops into drinkable brews and sample the finished product straight from the roaster.
Day 3: Snorkeling in Playa La India
No visit to Huatulco is complete without a trip to at least one of the town’s famous bays. Chachacual may be the most secluded, but travelers agree it’s also one of the most beautiful. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the morning relaxing on Chachacual’s sandy stretch of shore before venturing into the crystal clear waters of Playa La India for an epic snorkeling excursion. This tiny beach on the eastern end of Chachacual is known for its schools of tropical fish and warm waters. But be aware—strong currents can make returning to shore a truly tiring endeavor.