The municipality of Santa María Huatulco, largely unknown in our latitudes, is located on the Pacific Ocean in southwest Mexico. Huatulco mainly attracts eco-tourists. The small town is also a cruise destination. More than 30 times a year, cruise ships stop at Muelle Cruceros in the Santa Cruz Huatulco district.
MS Rotterdam at the pier of Huatulco
Huatulco - originally a hunters' settlement
Ethnologists speculate that Huatulco emerged from hunting settlements a good 3.500 years ago. At that time the place name meant that the surrounding forest and its individual trees should be shown respect.
When the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés took possession of all of Mexico for Spain's crown in 1519, respect waned. For the indigenous population the land grab mostly ended fatally; the superior weapon technology of the Spaniards and the smallpox that followed them claimed countless victims among the natives.
Because of its strategically exposed location, Huatulco quickly gained importance at the beginning of the Spanish colonization. Spanish caravels have been calling regularly at the "Bahía Santa Cruz" since 1537 to pick up the treasures captured inland. By the way: Mexico only gained independence from Spain at the beginning of the 19th century.
Huatulco - a development area since 1980
For a long time, Huatulco's inhabitants lived almost exclusively from fishing and coffee growing. A change occurred when the Mexican state declared the region to be a touristic development area in 1980. Huatulco was to become a second Cancun without repeating the mistakes previously made in Cancun. Instead of haphazard development, sustainable tourism should be promoted in Huatulco.
The prerequisites for this were given. The region has 35 fine sandy beaches over a total length of 36 kilometers. In only four of the nine bays of Huatulco, tourist resorts with exclusive hotel facilities were allowed to be built. There were strict requirements for the construction of the hotels. In addition, efficient traffic routes and an international airport were built. The vacation region is used 80 percent by Mexicans.
The nine bays are among the most important ecosystems in Mexico. Litter doesn't end up in the sea like it does in other places, and wastewater is treated in three sewage treatment plants before it is discharged into the sea.
As a result of the development measures, the population grew significantly. 7.000 people live permanently in the Santa Cruz Huatulco district on the Pacific alone. The number of all residents in the region is likely to exceed 50.000.
What to do in Huatulco
Huatulco is focused on ecotourism: nature lovers and water sports enthusiasts expect a wide range of offers. The beaches of Tangolunda, Chahué and Santa Cruz deserve special mention. But golfers, riders and deep-sea anglers also get their money's worth in Huatulco.
Huatulco for crusaders
Cruise ships dock in Santa Cruz Huatulco. Behind the pier that extends far into the bay of Santa Cruz is the small town with a boat harbor, hotels, restaurants and bars. Depending on the length of time, visitors take boat tours or trips to the national park.
Beach life with the cruise ship MS RotterdamIf you like, relax on one of the beaches. Under Huatulco sightseeing let's introduce some of the possible activities.
Update February 2024