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Overnight in Huatulco

I will be spending a month in Puerto Escondido but we are flying into and departing from Huatulco.

I have a friend arriving at the Huatulco airport late at night on February 11. And my husband is leaving the next morning from Huatulco airport. We are thinking of staying overnight in Huatulco the night of the 11th. That way we can easily meet my friend, stay overnight in Huatulco and send my husband off the next day.

Can anybody recommend a decent hotel that is not outrageously expensive in Huatulco. Let's say between $50 and $100 US?

Thank you for responding.

December 2000

You should be able to pick from any in La Crucecita and most in Santa Cruz. The Flamboyant is nice. Right on the square in La Crucecita--a good place to wind down. -Tom


Buceo Sotavento

I just wanted everyone to know about Hector Lara's Diving operation, Buceo Sotavento, in Huatulco, Mexico. I was there in Oct. of 2000. I dove three different dives with them. They treated me like a queen. I had so much fun and I learned a lot! I would recommend them to anyone who likes to dive. They were honest and fun loving people. Girogio Rollo was my Dive Master.

Kathy Ellsbury

December 2000

What's a "Costa Club Huatulco"?

We are leaving for Huatulco on January 1st, and are going to be staying at "Costa Club Huatulco" on Santa Cruz bay in front of the marina. I could not find anything on this hotel on your site. Has the Hotel possibly been renamed recently (within the last year or so) It is supposed to be a 3 star (moderate) hotel. Any information you have would be appreciated. Thanks.


December 2000

¿Conoces Estas Personas?

Hola amigo, tengo una pregunta para ti. Soy Meaghan, y tengo dieciocho anos...vivo en Michigan. viaje en huatulco a la gala en el Febrero pasado y conoci muchos amigos que trabajaron alli. Conoces si ellos trabajan a la gala ahora. Aqui son los nombres:

Didier Lopez

Gracias, Meaghan

December 2000

I'll give your greetings to the Good Kid Didier and to Tomas. They are still working in water sports, so I see them every day. Scott and the rest of your friends are gone. -Carlos, charlie_diver@hotmail.com

Taxi Service

Is there taxi service from the Huatulco airport to the Gala Resort? If so, what is the rate. We will be in Huatulco the week of Jan. 9th.

Linda McHugh

December 2000

Yes, there is taxi service. I don't know exactly what the taxi bandidos are charging now, but it's about 3 times what the return trip costs. -Tom

If you bought a package to stay at the Gala, I'm almost sure that the transportation airport-Gala-airport is included. Signature and Apple use buses or Suburbans to transport their customers to the hotels in Huatulco. Check it with your travel operator. Airport taxis are a monopoly and if you want a taxi for you alone, it can cost up to three times more than the trip back. If you want to take a "collective" taxi, is cheaper. The trip from the town to the airport costs $60.00 pesos (7 bucks more or less). -Carlos, charlie_diver@hotmail.com

Renting Bicycles, etc.

Hi Tom. Thanks for this great website. I just surfed on to it. We are going to Huatulco Jan 2-9, 2001...never been there and don't know much about it. A professor at the College I work for recommended we go & to stay at the Maeva (now the Gala). Your website has been very helpful to us. We can't wait to go. Last time I was in Mexico (Cancun) it was 90 degrees when we flew home but was -60 degrees wind chill when we landed in Chicago--150 degrees difference!

We are really looking forward to our trip but feel very unfamiliar with Huatulco. Other than what we've read here, if anyone has any other tidbits and tips for us, please write. I see here someone talked about renting bicycles. That's sounds great. Any ideas where would be the best place to rent them? We are staying at the Gala.

We'll write again after we return and let you know about our trip. Keep up the good work, Tom!

Donna & Ron

December 2000

There are two or three places where you can rent bicycles. You can even take an amazing mountain bike tour thru the jungle. For this tour contact with Erasto Rojas erastorojas@hotmail.com or phone (9) 58 00 and (9)58 16 95. His business name is Aventuras Huatulco and is located in the Hotel Conejo, half block away from the main square. He also offer rock climbing, cannoning, bird watching (he knows a lot about birds) and coffee plantation tours. Another option is ECO Aventuras located right in front of the Barcelo. The owner's name is Edgar Pedraza and he also rent bikes. -Carlos, charlie_diver@hotmail.com

Spa Services

Hello, My husband and I are going to be in Huatulco in Jan. and are wondering if anywhere in Huatulco they offer spa services, such as massage, facials, pedicures etc. We are staying at the Gala and they offer some but I can't find any info on an actual health spa or anything of that nature. We can't wait, we have heard such great things about the whole area.

December 2000

I'm also very interested in knowing if there are any health spas in Huatulco - especially spas with steam rooms. I was in Huatulco with my family at the Gala (Royal Maeva then) in 1998. We had such a fantastic time. We are going back January 8 with two other families! Its great to hear that the Gala is still a great place to be.

Carlos if you are reading this, my husband the diver wants to know if its better to contact you before we arrive or just pop over once we get there?

Merry Christmas. -Cordelia Abankwa-Harris, cabankwaharris@yahoo.com

There is not a full SPA here in Huatulco. There is a new beauty shop (I'm not sure about the name of the business dedicated to make women to look beautiful) inside the BARCELO and they offer hair cutting, manicure, and facials. It's open to the public. There is another similar business in LA CRUCESITA's main square. The owner's name is Meche and her business "ESTETICA CRONOS" is located in the PLAZA OAXACA mall. Her phone number is 58 702 93. She offers massages also.

About steam rooms, the only one is located at the Hotel Marina. This steam room is very interesting, because it uses the same system to produce steam that the ancient Aztecas used 600 years ago. This room is named TEMAZCAL. The TEMAZCAL was a privilege of aztecas emperors and their courts. Notable can use it too, but not priests, because Azteca priests never took showers or baths. It is a very small closed room (you can't stand up), and the steam is produced throwing water over hot rocks. The water is mixed with aromatic and medicinal plants. I've never been inside, but it must be very hot. About your husband the diver, the best way to contact me is calling by phone upon you arrival. I need to say something important. I don't work for Gala but I assist them when they need my help. When Gala's instructor is on vacations I take care of the dive trips, or if he has many divers, I take care of part of the group. I don't teach SCUBA in the GALA. I teach in the BARCELO property. I work for Action Sports Marina, located INSIDE the BARCELO. I write INSIDE with capital letters, because there is another dive shop IN FRONT of the Barcelo and many times, divers looking for our services go there by mistake or because unfair travel agencies, front desk clerks, "trawlers" and taxi drivers send the divers there telling that I work there. This happens very often even after interchanging a lot of emails between the interested diver and me, believe it or not. So, if someone decide to use my services (there are three or four more scuba operators in Huatulco) thanks in advance and the phone numbers to contact me are (9) 58 702 42 (home) and (9) 58 100 55 extension 842. And of course, answering your question, is better if he get in touch with me in advance.

And another important note. GALA offers one tank dive included in its packages. That means that you can dive once a day for free, but only CERTIFIED divers can take advantage of this activity. And I recommend him to take this advantage.If after knowing this your husband wants to dive more than one tank, just jump to the next ramp and I'm there, 20 steps away. If not, come to say hello anyway. -Carlos, charlie_diver@hotmail.com

Good, No Bugs.

I just got back on December 15th /2000 from the Gala resort [photo 39K] in Huatulco...I had the best time. The weather was 32°C degrees every day I couldn't have asked for better weather. The people working there are all very nice and do their very best to ensure you a good time. I was a little bit nervous about going to Hualtulco after reading about scorpions, mosquitoes, etc..

The truth is I didn't see one mosquito nor did I come anywhere near a Scorpion. The food was awesome I am personally a fitness nut and was concerned about healthy choices but it was never an issue. The a la carte Italian rest was my fav.. They had the best pina Colada's in the whole resort. The food was great there especially the antipasta bar....

I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to workout down there but luckily I took advantage of a fairly well equipped gym right on the resort. I really had the time of my life and would definitely return in the future..

If anybody has any questions please e-mail me.

Natalie Bean

December 2000

About Teenagers

What exactly does "All Inclusive" mean? Are all the drinks free? How do the bartenders know if you're 18+ or not? Is there a lot for a teenager to do at the Barcelo?


December 2000

Entrega Busy

We just returned from a couple of weeks in Huatulco, and I have to say that your website was an invaluable resource in deciding where to go. The thing I didn't really get until we actually got there was that the beaches are pretty spread out and quite varied in accessibility. Except for the fancy resorts there really are no hotels right on the beach: you either have to take a taxi, a water taxi or trek to get to the various beaches. The ones accessible by taxi are generally more full of people; La Entrega, for example, was a zoo while we were there -- crowded with families, teens, boat tours. The snorkeling was good, but at too high a price in terms of beach chaos. If you want an isolated beach you need to negotiate for a water taxi to take you out somewhere and pick you up a couple of hours later. Most of them have coolers you can borrow, so fill them up with beer and soda and sandwiches so you can prolong your stay on a private spot. The water taxi guys know all the good spots for snorkeling, so trust their advice.

We stayed in a private home with a pool, which was just great. Casa Costena is on this website and certainly reasonable for what you get. It was huge and clean and pretty luxurious -- great for a family or a couple of couples. We also stayed a couple of nights at the Castillo Huatulco, one of the snazzier hotels in Santa Cruz. It runs a shuttle to a private beach club on Playa Chahue, which includes a restaurant and bar, pool, kiddie stuff and hammocks. It was pretty nice, although the hotel itself is a little beat up around the edges. Then again, it was only $40 a night (off season).

I loved it down there, although for me the impending development takes away from its appeal. Go now while it offers plenty of tourist amenities but hasn't yet lost its realness and charm.

Ruth Schechter

December 2000

Arrocito Beach

Does anyone know if Arrocito Beach is still open to the public, or has it been converted into a private hotel beach club?


December 2000

I read the question about El Arrocito, next to Tangolunda Bay. Josie asked if this beach is still public and the answer is yes. There are no plans for a close future regarding this beach beautiful beach. There is a parking lot where you can leave your car and descend the concrete stairs until the beach.

The beach that is harder to reach now is El Tejoncito. Somebody bought the lot in front of this beach and they put a wall, blocking the access. Actually, this is against the Federal Laws in matter of beaches, because all the beaches in Mexico are federal property, and all those whose properties have limits with them, must leave a free access for the public. So, if somebody don't allow you the free access to ANY beach, can receive a huge fine if the offended promotes a legal suit.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Thanks, Mario

Hello: My fiancee and I just returned from a totally wonderful week in Huatulco. December 7 thru December 14, 2000. It was the most relaxing time we have ever spent. We rented a condo from Phil Minch at the Zaashila, beautiful view, beautiful people, especially Mario Cobos, we cannot recommend him highly enough. We missed out connection in Mexico City due to bad weather in Chicago by about 25 minutes and then had to wait 8 hours for the last flight out. I got word through Mexicana to Mario we would not be in Huatulco till 11:45 PM, and he still was there to greet us. We have never met a more warm, wonderful, and sincere man as he.

We met a newlywed couple on our second day there and became very good friends and took two tours with them and Mario. The bay tours and the trip to the coffee plantation and cascades were just beautiful. I would suggest anyone go to La Crucecita for most dinners, many good and reasonable places to eat. Huatulco was so uncrowded it was fantastic. Anyone reading this should do themselves a favor and find Mario Cobos for anything you need while in Huatulco. I have his phone number. He speaks fluent English and Spanish and you could not possibly meet a finer person. We will go back to Huatulco!!!!! It was wonderful.

Jeff Liptak
Broadview Heights, Ohio

December 2000

Things to Do

We will be traveling to Huatulco the week of Jan 23rd. Would like to know which day trips were fun and who to contact, I thought someone had mentioned a catamaran trip, I can't remember who they contacted was hoping you might still have that. Would like to take some sort of a Day snorkeling swimming trip. Also would like to find out about who rents 4-wheelers. Also if anyone can recommend restaurants.

James Parisi

December 2000

You can't walk across the beach without getting all sorts of boat trip and 4-wheeler proposals. For restaurants, there are plenty of recommendations right here in the Visitors' Comments. I think everyone agrees on the Sabor de Oaxaca in La Crucecita for a taste of the Oaxacan cuisine. -Tom

Where is Dave Garcia?

I was trying to find an email address for Dave Garcia in Huatulco, I would appreciate it if you could help me out. He told me he would be on your site but I can't find him.


December 2000

Dave is with Ventures Huatulco. http://www.tomzap.com/venture2.html. You can email him at ventures@huatulco.net.mx. Having trouble finding something? Remember you can search this site now. -Tom

Small Hotel with Breakfast Near Beach

We are a Canadian Travel Agency. My client would like to spend 7 days in Huatulco from January 18th. I am looking for a small hotel, next to the beach, breakfast included, a single room. Are the rates net or commissionable? Does the client have to guarantee 1 or more nights? By credit card?

For the same client I need as well a small B&B in Oaxaca from January 25th to February 2nd.

Many thanks.


December 2000

Condo at the Camino Real Zaashila

A short note to let you know that my parents and I very much enjoyed our stay in [Phil Minch's] apartment. It is well fitted out with no complaints whatsoever. You might nevertheless in the future consider a four-burner stove which you have space for and which would permit you and others some more time to cook the lovely fish one catches! I also was pleased to see the small but adequate book collection (including Atwood - a Canadian - and The Shipping News also with a Canadian theme).

We heard from Mario the day of our departure. This was not a problem as we managed on our own as I speak Spanish and am used to some fairly tough negotiation (fair but firm). It also meant good opportunities to interface with the people as well as with my parents.

In terms of activities we would highly recommended the deep sea fishing as well as snorkeling/diving. You should mention more strongly the recommendation to visit Entrega Bay as I loved that as well as the local flavour (there were mostly local tourists there which made for a better atmosphere). One can return to the hotel by boat cheaper than by taxi (20 versus 50 pesos) We also enjoyed Sta Maria Huatulco which was the closest thing in the area to local living. Chez Binni was very good though with a poor wine list (high prices with no good vintages) as well as the restaurant on the beach. Val del Mar (Sta Cruz) was pleasant but somewhat off-handed in service with prices which were equal to Canada. Taxis were odd as even when the hotel called one which was not air-conned we were charged the hotel rate (I ended up going down and hailing the official ones myself). Taxi service from the airport is now 600 pesos return (350 to the hotel and 250 pesos for the return portion - same price from the hotel using its car).

Other than that we ventured little and relaxed by the ocean, swam a lot and enjoyed the balconies.

You have an excellent property which I will recommend to others (including many friends in Mexico City) though I will warn that the service of the Camino Real does not consistently meet the standard of the accommodation (perhaps it was simply low season and everyone was on slow mode).

Many thanks again with kindest regards,

Orest Nowosad

December 2000

Bayside Residential Condominium

We purchased a unit at the Bayside Residential Condominium in Santa Cruz, which began construction about a year ago and will be completed in January 2001. We have never been to Huatulco and after a year of working with Liz and Juan from Ideal Properties Real Estate and this site, we feel we made a good decision to invest in this area. We had booked our flight out of Detroit Michigan through Apple Vacations for January 2001, but they have canceled because they cannot fill enough seats. We are Canadians living in Windsor Ontario, Canada which is about 4 hours from Toronto, Ontario. We could fly from there but don't like the long drive there and back. I have listed a few questions and hope yourself or your readers could help.

1) Can anyone recommend the best way to fly into Huatulco from Detroit Michigan or within a few hours of Detroit?

2) We will need to completely furnish are condo and would like to know where we could purchase everything at reasonable prices.

3) I would like to here from anyone else that has purchased a unit at the Bayside Residential in Santa Cruz, Huatulco.

Once we have taken possession and have it completely furnished we will be looking to rent out our unit, so anyone interested can e-mail me for more details.

Ron Lussier

December 2000

How is the Gala Menu?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Huatulco in January 2001. We are torn between the Gala and the Camino Real. We love Mexican Cuisine and are not certain if the Gala will meet our expectations. However, we are told that because Huatulco is not very built up, the Gala is our best option. Can you tell us any specifics about the Gala menu? We do not have interest in Italian food in Mexico.

We stayed @ the Camino in Ixtapa in the early 90's and loved it. Our last inclusive was @ Sandals in Negril in 1990. At the time, we thought it was good.

Thanks for your help,
Lisa Oakley

December 2000

I have not eaten at the Gala or the Camino Real. It is my impression that at the resort hotels you can expect international cuisine with a Mexican influence. If you want to experience the regional food, you will probably have to go out and find it. A good place to start is Sabor de Oaxaca, a restaurant in La Crucecita that specializes in Oaxacan dishes. To drink, I suggesting trying some of the aguas--often not on the menu but available almost everywhere, these are drinks made from fresh fruit, water and sugar. I like the agua de sandía (watermelon); better get a pitcher full (una jarra). Also, there is the street food. Many guide books say to avoid this, but if it's sizzling on the grill and other patrons are surviving then it's well worth the risk. You can fill up on the little tacos and things for less than what you'd leave for a tip at the hotel and they're very tasty. If there's a language barrier, just point and wave your hands till you get food. -Tom

Used Clothing or Other Needs

Last year we traveled to Puerta Plata in the Dominican Republic. We went on a jeep safari that took us through several villages and one of the Canadian couples that had been there before pulled out a suitcase full of good used clothing and started to distribute it to the kids. They were very appreciative. I wondered if anyone who lives there or does excursions could let us know if there are any needs there for good used clothing or other items. We are going to Huatulco with another couple on Jan 8-15, 2001 and would like to pack an extra suitcase. Any comments would be appreciated. Great site.

Rick Raymond
December 2000

I'm sure one of the readers can help you out. Sounds like a great thing to do, plus you can use the empty suitcase to bring back the stuff you buy in the markets. -Tom

There are many poor kids (and adults of course) who would appreciate any donation. There are two or three communities close to Huatulco were you could give your donations. There is also an association named Nuevo Amanecer (New Sunrise) which is dedicated to assist and give special education to handicapped kids. Many of them are very poor and if you want, I can help introducing you with the director. She is a very nice person with a big heart, and I'm sure she will distribute the goods on the best possible way. If I could assist you, just let me know.


I'm talking with Fernando Dorantes, owner of Bahías Plus, a well known and established travel agency, and he is offering, if you want, to provide one of his Suburban to transport you from your hotel to the Nuevo Amanecer office.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Gala Resort is #1

My fiance and her daughter just returned home from one of the best vacations we have ever taken staying at the Gala Resort in Huatulco. Everything about the resort is true...the buffet meals were excellent as well as the Italian Restaurant. The staff was extremely friendly.. seemed like they were always saying hello or stopping by for a chat but were never intrusive. They have very nice pools and the adult section was quiet but occasionally some parents would bring their kids to the section much to our dismay. The rooms are very clean, the pools and Jacuzzis are relaxing and the evening entertainment was a hoot.

The beaches were extremely beautiful and there are peddlers either selling excursions or goods. A firm no and they will not bother you or be pushy. There is someone always at security not letting any of the peddlers into the resort complex. There is not much to do in the Huatulco area at night so we stayed in the resort. there is also a disco but we never went...I think the days sun wore us out.

My fiance's 15 year old daughter was able to get her scuba diving certification by Carlos Ramos whose shop was next door near the Barcelo Hotel. She got individual instruction by Charlie and the price was very reasonable. Charlie is very helpful if you have any questions about the Huatulco area or if you need a qualified diver. Charlie is the person to go see. He will take you to amazing dive spots in the Huatulco bays with great pictures for you to take home of your dive.

Oh yes...we did return home with insect bites on our legs and arms. Not sure what type of insect caused the bites but they do itch like crazy. However, it is not stopping us from planning our 2nd trip to Huatulco sometime in 2001.

Bill, Emily and Jessica
Buffalo Grove, Illinois

December 2000

Huatulco, Fall 2000

Beautiful people and beautiful scenery. We stayed at El Camino Real Zaashila [photo 66K] in late October, just after the rainy season and just before the tourist season...fantastic. Not a crowded beach, cabana, or restaurant! Staff made our stay outstanding. Go out to La Crucecita for as many meals as possible. Many good local restaurants...ask advice from staff for suggestions on where locals go. Arrange for a 2 or 3 hour cruise out of Santa Cruz and go at 9 in the morning...by the time your cruise ends, the weather is very warm and you will want to be IN the water, not on it. Shop and dine out in the evening. Have fun bargaining for your souvenirs...try Rudy's Shop in La Crucecita even if it is just for the fun of meeting Rudy.

Bob Ritenour

December 2000

What's new at the Barcelo?

We are heading down your way to stay at the Barcelo for the third time. Just wanted to send out a feeler to find out if there are any surprises waiting for us. The last two years of vacations have made Huatulco our favorite spot to relax and enjoy. We are a party of three families and cannot wait to get down there!


December 2000

Exchange rates for Canadian vs. US dollars

We will be arriving in Huatulco in two weeks and yes we are Canadians and yes our exchange rate against the US dollar is horrible!

#1 Could anyone help me and tell me the recent exchange for a Canadian dollar to peso for both cash and Travelers Check and is it easy to exchange Canadian dollars at the bank and which Bank is best?

#2 The recent exchange for the US dollar to peso for both cash and Travelers Check. (I look at the exchange rate on the web every day but sometimes that is very different then what you actually get at a Bank in Mexico.

#3 What is the difference between the Banks and the money exchange houses (casa de cambio)? - I know you do not usually get a good exchange at the hotels it would only be for convenience. If we do not have to buy US dollars we won't because we pay $1.55 can = $1.00 us and we will be in Huatulco for almost one month so anything will help. This is my second posting on your site and I am very grateful for it and thank-you to all that has helped me out so far, I was the one Walking the Bays eight years ago in Huatulco with my Husband Lloyd. Hopefully our 11-month-old son will prevent us from doing anything that stupid this year. I do speak Spanish and French so if anyone wants to reply in Spanish or French that will be appreciated as well.

Linda Bourdage
Bragg Creek, Alberta

November 29th, 2000

The bank gives the best rate--should be very close to the official rate that you get on the net. Casa de cambio will not be quite as good but is usually not enough difference to worry about. I don't know if they have Canadian in Huatulco though. Hotels as you say are typically terrible.

What about ATM cards? If you have an ATM card, that is positively the best way. You get the best rate and you don't have to stand in line or figure out what the banks' hours are. Your bank may charge you for using the card on the machine--check with your bank, but that is the only charge. It's a per use charge, so just take out as much as you can at a time. For us it's about a dollar, so if you take out $200, that's a 0.5% charge. I haven't heard from Canadians about this, so I would be very interested. -Tom

Barcelo Huatulco

We are planning a trip to Huatulco in January with our four year old son. We would like to have some comments on the Barcelo Huatulco (formerly the Sheraton). Are there interesting side trips? What other activities besides being at the beach? How is the quality of the hotel itself?

Thanks for your replies.


November 2000

Huatulco Tips

We just got back from Huatulco 11/17/00, your website was a great help to us.

Just like to add some of the treasures that we found.

Carlos Rodriguez Portillo (Private Guide) speaks perfect English and some French. We had our best day with him! He took use to the Coffee Plantation. We got to swim in four crystal clear waterfalls in the Sierra Madre Mountains and in a underground cavern with a waterfall coming through it. With being the off season the tours did not get enough people so we had to get a private guide. HE WAS THE BEST! Always went a head and checked out if it was safe since the Hurricane last month changed some of the terrain. Ask him about the stalled farm truck in the mountains and that tough Wisconsin woman. Tel. 044 958 92114 or at the Cooperative Tango Unda.

Some dining ideas:

Hotel Flamboyant in the Square in La Crucecita, say hi to Maria... we had breakfast there a lot.

Ve El Mar in Santa Cruz for Seafood and Clean bathrooms!

Quinta Real for drinks and a view of the bay... don't waste your money eating there it was just ok. Beautiful !

A must for its White Sauce alone is El Giardino (Chef for the POPE). The bathrooms were spotless.

Other pointers to first timers:

- You need a Passport to cash any kind of Traveler's Check at any bank. Papers and ID will not get you very far. Your Hotel will cash it but at a much poorer rate.

- The Apple Vacation side tours are the exact same tour that you can arrange on your own only a little more costly.

- Excellent service at the Camino Real Zaashilla...Juan at the Swimming Pool makes the best Margaritas!

- About the pool situation at least 5 men are cleaning 3 times daily and what happened before was just a fluke.

- We did not know about the full Moon and the Waves (Science 101) and had 12-15 waves and could not swim behind our Hotel. So we swam at Maguay($25 US roundtrip taxi) or at Santa Cruz ($3 US).

- The flowers were gorgeous.

- Also prescription drugs at the Farmacias Del Dr. Simi... half the price of US.

- Last but not least get to the Bakery just off the Square, 20 cents for a pastry that is out of this world.


November 2000

Did you get to try the homemade ice cream there at the bakery? They use a lot of local fruits; the helado de mamey is to die for! -John M. Williams, sharkbait69@yahoo.com

Thanks for Your Website

I will be traveling to Club Med on November 23 and Tom I must say thanks for this website. I discovered it a couple of months ago by accident. After surfing your site I feel like I have been to Huatulco already. The money that I will spend at the Huatulco rent a bike should be shared with you. I came across the name a couple of times on your site and feel like they are folks that I can trust (because they are Canadian as well helps too.) I will also be going to Santa Cruz for a tour of the bays. Huatulco sounds perfect for me as I have fun doing nothing while collecting vacation pay. I will be sure to give some comments when i return to help those traveling to Huatulco in the future. Thanks.


November 2000

Finca Monte Carlo

About 4 years ago, my husband and I stayed at Finca Monte Carlo with Alvarro & Martina Scherenberg, and their 3 children. I have never forgotten the wonderful time we had with them. Alvarro even took us up to Finca El Faro, which left an indelible impression on my mind. Do you know if they still run the Finca? I have been wondering about them ever since the hurricane hit Huatulco a few years ago. An American named Ken Carver ran an ecotour business called D.A.D Adventure tours. Is he still in Huatulco? Does he have an e-mail address? We're planning a trip to Oaxaca in February, and I would like to contact Alvarro and Martina if they are still in the area. Thanks so much!

Linda Cartwright, Hood River, Oregon
November 2000

Hay Marina?

Que tal? Me gustaria saber si hay marinas en Huatulco y se hay una rampa donde bajar una embarcacion de 24 pies,

Ademas sobre la renta de un departamento en Huatulco para los dias de 22 a 2 de Enero 2001.


November 2000

Si, hay una marina nueva y tambien la marina en Santa Cruz. Sobre un departamento, no sé. Pero pondré su email en los Comentarios de Visitantes. -Tom

Just Back from the Gala

Hi, We just returned from the Gala in Huatulco. For the lady that asked about it. it is a wonderful place, very clean, & kid friendly. They have a Galaxy Kids Club there. We don't have little ones, but, they seemed to keep them entertained, so, mom & dad could have some fun. The staff there is very friendly & so accommodating. The rooms are very clean, as is the whole place. We've been to Mexico 7 times & twice to Huatulco.. There are excursions you can do. We went thru Apple Vacations & they have a sheet of excursions.

The food, we found to be pretty good. Didn't care for the Italian Rest. tho'. Nice pools, & adults only pools (where we spent our time). Beautiful, beautiful beach. Peddlers are there, but, they're not persistent. There is a disco there, but, we never went. Also, entertainment every night. Huatulco is very laid back & not much if any nite life around. We ate out a couple of nites, Casa Del Mar & Mission Fa Sol. Both were excellent. We did hear that the restaurant at the Quinta Real is suppose to be very nice, with good food & service. The Quinta is kinda new. Sorry we didn't go to it. The weather was perfect & the drinks flow from 11:ooam. We like the Sandals(Dunes River) & (negril), but, I would classify the Gala a real close second. We will definitely go back, the people are very friendly & it's safe. If anyone has any questions, feel free to email me.

November 2000

Any Construction?

Tom, Great web site! It was extremely helpful in helping us decide where to go for our vacation and where to stay. My wife and I are planning to stay at the Gala in Jan 2001. We have been to Mexico a couple of times before. We stayed at the Sierra in Manzanillo-loved it and the crown Paradise in Cancun-hated it. While at the Crown Paradise there was major construction going on that no one bothered to tell us about prior to us getting there. Work started about 6:30am. As you can imagine this is no good when you are nursing a hangover from one to many margaritas. Is there currently any construction work going on at the Gala or surrounding area? Also, is there any noise from airplanes passing overhead? Finally, what is the best floor to stay on for an ocean view? Keep up the great job! I'll let you know how the trip went.

Kevin and Leigh

November 2000

I can answer the question about the airplanes. The airstrip runs parallel to the beach a mile or so inland and a few miles out of town, and when the planes fly the downwind leg parallel to the runway, they do so out over the water so that they are flying around the hotels and not over them. The airport only has a few daily operations anyway. -Tom

As of last week, there was no construction at the Gala. It was nice & quiet at nighte, but, we stayed on the quiet side --rooms #200. Originally we were on the first floor overlooking a courtyard not far from pools, but, we asked to be switched, & it worked out fine. -Masterjager@aol.com

American Express in Huatulco?

I need to know if you can tell me if there is an American Express office anywhere near our Zaashilla Hotel in Huatulco. It gave us great rates of exchange last time in Mexico because we had Amer Express Travelers Checks. We would like to know before we arrive if there is an office somewhere near our hotel or at least in the city. Do you have info on this? Your web site is the best!! Thanks for helping.


November 2000

There is an American Express representative office in Huatulco. This is located on the same street I live. American Express travel and service is run by BAHIAS PLUS, a well recognized travel agency. The owners are Fernando Dorantes and his wife Mirella (they live in the same building I do). They have offices in the GALA as well as in the Meigas Binninguenda. The phone number of the main office (in La Crucecita downtown) is (958)) 7 02 16. The closest office to Zaashila is located in the Gala, but if you are not guest of Gala, is almost impossible to get in it. So, I recommend to take the trip to the downtown (the cab rate is only 20 pesos and is ten minutes away from Zaashila) and go the main office.

Something else. Traveler cheques are welcome in most of the hotels, restaurants, travel agencies, etc. All the banks change them, and I strongly recommend to change travelers (visa, MasterCard or amex) outside of the hotels. Banks have much better exchange rates than hotels (sometimes up to 1 peso difference).

As always, I hope you find this information helpful.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

How is the Gala?

My husband and I are planning a vacation to the Gala Resort in January 2001 with our two daughters, ages 51/2 and 31/2. How is this destination for families, and more specifically this resort? Danny and I have travelled quite a bit in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta, Yelapa, Cozumel) and this will be our first trip to this area. Are there any day trips to Oaxaca? Your website has been very helpful so far! Thanks!

Toronto, Canada

November 2000

Telephone calls to the States from Huatulco

Hello Tom: I will be honeymooning in Huatulco, 12/7/00 to 12/13/00. I have an 800 toll free telephone number to my home. How do I call from Huatulco, how do I or can I make this call from a phone booth. Do any of your visitors that read this know the answer? I would like to hear if anyone knows or can make any suggestions on how to call back to he States without getting killed in connection charges..

November 2000

Dear Marla, It takes an unusual US 800 number to be accessed in Mexico. Call your carrier to make sure, but I think you're gonna have problems with this. You might email Charlie at the dive shop and let him try to call you before you go. Your best bet is probably going to be to call your service provider and ask their advice. If you get a glib "don't worry abput it/ It'll work fine." from the first Customer Service Rep, ask to speak to his supervisor. -John M. Williams, sharkbait69@yahoo.com

How About Playa del Carmen?

Hi Tom, Love your website, and know it's about Huatulco (been there, loved it), but my husband and I would like to try Playa del Carmen in February, and are hoping that someone out there might have some info on any of the "Palace" resorts, preferably the Aventura, had heard it's on the lagoon, not the ocean. Would like to find out if that's true. We definitely want to see the ocean. We'd appreciate any information anyone might have.

M. Charpentier

November 2000

Hola, amiga! Just a suggestion: I sold vacations on the Riviera Maya/Tulum Corridor and had way too many Palace customers end up in a big crowd in the Moon Palace lobby while their concierge explains that the reservations the clients had cannot be honored as the resorts are oversold. Particularly a problem for Friday and Saturday arrivals. Free advice is worth every penny you pay for it, but I STRONGLY suggest the Omni Puerto Aventuras. They only have thirty hotel rooms nestled amongst condos belonging to yachties. Both All Inclusive and Continental Breakfast Only plans are available. Most importantly, I never had a complaint from anyone I booked there. Unless you and your significant other are heavy drinkers, I suggest the MAP and recommend you eat at all the area restaurants. Plan to grab the ferry to Cozumel from Playa del Carmen and spend a day on the island. The less you pay for in advance the less you'll regret blowing off when island time sets in! -John M. Williams, sharkbait69@yahoo.com

¿Dónde Pasar un Noche en Oaxaca?

Voy camino de Huatulco, via Oaxaca, donde me gustaria me recomendaras un hotel pintoresco para pasar una o dos noches y por que via terrestre (Compañia de buses?) puedo llegar Huatulco (Barcelo).

Muchas Gracias por la abundante informacion.

Alejandro Libkind
Bariloche Argentina

November 2000

Walking the Bays

Hi Tom, I love your web site, good info stuff. We drove to Huatulco 7 & 8 years ago from Calgary, Alberta, Canada, we drove along the east coast, Yucatan, over to the west coast and then over to the Baja by ferry from Mazatlan. We are returning to (the place we liked the best out of the whole coast of Mexico) HUATULCO this winter for 3 1/2 weeks (Dec 15- Jan 9, 2001) and staying at the Zaashila. This year bringing our 11 month old son, my sister and her husband, we are flying in - hopefully prevent us from being totally bald by the time we arrive. From your web site I get the feeling that Huatulco is still as peaceful as I remember except for a few more Hotels and Restaurants which is nice when you're there for a month, food is my favorite pass time along with diving and exploring.

I have a little exploring story, 7 years ago in Huatulco my husband and I were at one of the bays (can't remember which one but it is one that we drove to). I had a great idea that we should walk to the next bay though the jungle, it looked so close. I had asked a man on the beach how long he thought it would take to walk to the next Bay, being too polite to say he did not know he told us 20 min. Do not do this, after one hour we ended up at a little cabin and the man of the house was able to help us get back on track. With not enough daylight to go back to the bay we had left we went forward and ended up on the next bay 2 hours later and had to swim in the ocean and flagged down a boat to take us back to the previous bay to our truck. It was not altogether a bad experience and one that could have been avoided if I had only thought before acting. My husband, Lloyd, even got a tooth filling done at the dentist while we were in La Crucecita 1993 and it is still in and holding, $10.00 US bucks.

Anyway does anyone know of any companies that organizes flight and hotel from Huatulco to Oaxaca, leave one day in the morning and came back the next in the evening and the approximate cost??? Tom, I hope you still have energy and time to keep this web site going because it has helped me out a lot.

I will write my comments on today's Huatulco when I get back in January, 2001.

Thank-you very much.

Linda Bourdage
Bragg Creek, Alberta

November 2000

Hi Linda, I have been going to Puerto Escondido for the past 4 years and I went to Huatulco one past Christmas. The bays are taken over by local Mexicans that come to spend their holidays - wait to visit the various bays until New Year is over and the locals are gone, otherwise it's wall to wall people in the water! There's one bay great for snorkeling and corals, well it's not possible to see anything in the water due to the pollution and the sheer numbers......

Have you been to Puerto? This is a really nice little town that has a few nice beaches too and one great surfing beach, also very popular with Mexicans. Also there's a new Pacific Turtle aquarium that has been built after Pochutla (as you are coming from Huatulco)I believe, you may enjoy visiting and seeing the new hatchlings. There is also a group of women that produce beauty products for Body Shop and they are wonderful, just before the turtle museum.

There are travel agencies that can book you for a day-trip to Oaxaca without problem, small airplanes. [Technically, this would be an overnight trip. I think the little airplane only crosses the mountains in the morning. Or at least that's the only time you would WANT to do it due to afternoon turbulence. -Tom] Huatulco and environs have really expanded, you'll find it changed with more services and handicraft stores and a marina, etc...

All the best,


Dive Huatulco

I have just returned from a trip to Huatulco where I had an opportunity to dive with Charlie. I thought that you should know that I found your site very helpful when searching for dive information about the Huatulco area. The article "The Underwater World of Bahías de Huatulco" written by Charlie was a great dive orientation . . . it was even more fun to read after diving at these locations! Prior to leaving on our vacation in Huatulco, I had several questions that were promptly answered by email. This saved me a great deal of time once I had arrived and I was able to contact your dive centre on my first day to set up a schedule of dives for the week. We did six dives in total and it was everything that Charlie said it would be. Among the many brightly coloured fish (too numerous to describe), we saw yellow, brown and blue puffer fish, lots of manta ray and a few green moray eels who stood guard at their den with gaping mouths. We found lobster by looking for their bright black and white tendrils and were surprised by a couple of local "fishermen" who were free diving to almost 30 feet. Also seen where stingray, spotted and zebra moray and much, much more.

One of the more interesting dives was the shipwreck of the Caterpillars. Although much of the wreck has been scattered around through the years, the boiler is resting on it's side at about 85 feet. We were able to swim through it easily and see the sponges and corals that decorate the inside. The chain and anchors where also easy to spot.

Charlie and his boat man, Paco, [photo] were always right on time and made sure that all of the dives were both safe and enjoyable.

Gordon Brow
Vancouver, Canada

October 2000

Used to be There

Hola Tom! Wow, I guess I haven't visited your site in a long time. I'm really impressed will everyone's comments of Huatulco and the Gala Resort. 4 years ago, I was the Signature Vacation Rep in Huatulco (Canadian Tour Operator), I use to handle the Gala (Royal Maeva), Sheraton and the Castillo Hotel in Santa Cruz. I, myself lived at the Gala for 6 months, and had the time of my life, even though this meant working 6 days a week. I have made a lot of friends in Huatulco. While I was reading the articles, I was hoping to find an old lost friend, unfortunately except for Carlos Ramon name no one else was familiar. If anyone out there reads this e-mail and recognizes me, please send me a e-mail.

In the meantime, I hope I can be of any help, if someone needs any information, please feel free to send me your questions. I have also spent 3 months at the Gala Resort in Playa Del Carmen. Very nice site, the beach is incredible, lost of activities and tours to take.

Tom, are you in contact with the entertainment staff at Gala, if so, please say hello to Anai, Hector, Beto, Julian, not quite sure who else is still around. Please say "bonjour" to my friend at La Crema(owner) and Cathy (Paraiso Huatulco).

Christine Prud'homme

October 2000

Hi Chris. I remember you of course. I'm not sure if you too, but I've been working with Orlando since 1996 at the Sheraton, and before that time I worked diving on the Zaashila, when it was Omni. My partner there used to be Luis Sanchez (do you remember him, the short, bearded guy who brought a blond girl from Guadalajara to work with us and she finally was hired by Maeva as Maevamiga? I know the "old" staff of Maeva (Archi, Leonardo, Victor Fraile) but many of them are gone.

Beto is still here, as well as Julian. Hector is gone. Jorge Martinez (the oldman diver) is still working, but Roberto Castillo (the divemaster) has moved to Cozumel.

Is nice to receive greetings from known persons, and be sure I'll give your message to Beto (he is still working for Gala and I see him every single day, but this weekend he went to Oaxaca city).

Saludos and keep in touch.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
October 2000

Vacación Huatulco

Hola Tom. Estoy regresando de unas estupendas vacaciones en Huatulco, fui con mi esposa, mi hija de 5 años y mi madre y todos quedamos encantados con ese hermoso lugar. Viajamos por Magnicharters y todos los servicios fueron excelentes así como todas las personas por las que fuimos atendidos, nos hospedamos en el Hotel Castillo [fotos 35K] y lo encontramos muy cómodo y al personal muy amable.

Como no sabíamos como sacar el máximo provecho a estas vacaciones en Huatulco, optamos por tomar tres "tours" que nos ofrecieron, el primero por bote recorriendo las bahías y los otros dos por carretera, todos fueron divertidos e interesantes, los guías que nos acompañaron de primera, en fin que quedamos muy satisfechos con todo. Por ultimo quiero agradecer a todas las personas que habitan Huatulco por ser tan amables con nosotros.

Ruben Valdez y familia.
Mex. D.F.

28 octubre, 2000

Looking for Recommendations

Hey Tom, really appreciate your web site and the information it provides. My wife and I, and six of our friends are planning a trip to Huatulco during the last week of Jan 2000. We currently have reservations at the Magnihotel and are wondering if you or anyone who has been there recently can give us an idea of what we can expect. I have been to Cancún once in the past and am excited to go somewhere where we can truly experience the Mexican culture.

I would also appreciate it if someone could recommend a good boat and captain for deep sea fishing. I would also like to know where to go to schedule a good ATV jungle tour. How about renting mopeds or motorcycles for touring the countryside is it safe? What about a guide?

Any recommendations on tours or excursions, or the Magnihotel would be greatly appreciated.

Kevin Timmerman
Michigan, USA

October 2000

Driving to Huatulco

Tom; Just found your site and happy to find something better than all the ads! We hope to drive to the coast this winter, and spend about 3 weeks there. Can you tell us about the border, car insurance, we only have birth certificates and dr. licenses. Also, does anyone know of some safe places to park a mini-RV? What about camping? Once we find an inexpensive hotel we may book a week or two. Is there some safe areas to snorkel? How green is the water in January? Thanks for responding!

Susan Brisk

October 2000

Insurance is easy to get. I like to use Sanborn's because they give you a custom travel guide. Do that at the border town on the U.S. side. It is okay to drive in the Mexican border town without it, but you will need it to go much further. You pay for just the days you are there.

You need to have the title for your car. If you don't own it (say the bank still owns it, for example) you still need a copy of the title and a letter of permission from the legal owner. You have to post a bond to insure that you will not sell the car in Mexico. Best way is to have a credit card, not a debit card. That way you don't have to actually give them a large sum of money. This is done in the Mexican border town. Don't try to leave town without taking care of it or you will be turned back 15 miles out of town.

You will get your visas at the border, Mexican side. You need an official birth certificate with an embossed seal on it, not just a photocopy. A passport will work instead.

I have camped alongside the road without any problem other than curious people pearing in during the middle of the night. I understand it is not recommended.

There are many places to snorkel. Entrega beach is one. -Tom

Extreme Sports

The extreme sports championship was very nice. I spent three incredible days, and I had chance to know new places around Huatulco. I was also introduced to rock climbing and rappelling. I did my first lessons on Piedra the Moros. I'm preparing a document with photos and the chronicle of the competition. It was great!

And talking about Piedra de Moros, time ago you asked me about what kind of rock was this. Finally, one of the experts on mountainism, who is also geographer and geologist, told me exactly what family of rocks belongs this one. Piedra de Moros is a ignea intrusiva (igneous intrusion). This guy told me that this rock belongs to the granodeoritas (granodioritic-a granular intrusive quartzose igneous rock intermediate between granite and quartz-containing diorite with plagioclase predominant over orthoclase) family or group.

He explained me that this kind of rock was formed on the bottom of the sea. A bubble (a huge bubble) of lava came out from the ground and due to the difference of temperature between the lava and the surrounding water, it crystallized almost immediately, forming an almost perfect sphere. When the ocean moved back and this part of the ocean floor surfaced, the rock was decolorized by the action of the sunlight, giving to it its clear color. He said that this kind of rock is not the best to climb, because it "peels" when it breaks, and thick layers of rock may roll down.

I hope to develop the pictures and finish my story about the competitions to send it to you. The exploration team found a canyon on Copalitilla river, that according to the opinion of one of the Costa Rica's team members, "this was the most beautiful canyoning I've ever done in my whole life". This girl has participated in the Eco Challenge and taking her words, "this is the most incredible river in north, central and south America", talking about rafting and canyoning.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
October 2000

Wedding Consultant?

I need the name of a wedding consultant that can handle making arrangements to get married in Huatulco. Can you help me with a name and phone/fax number.

Kathy Lynn Kinzel, Travel Consultant
October 2000


I am a lover of these beautiful shores of the Pacific Coast in Oaxaca; I am from Mexico City and when I have a chance I travel to them, finding new and exciting features every time I come; I am also a biology teacher and I have organized field trips with my students three times, the most recent last week.

Now back in Mexico City, with all these beautiful memories on mind: full moon in Arrocito Beach and stars and mild sand in Chahué, I must thank you for the excellent page you have displayed in the Web, the tips, info, maps and so are extremely well organized, the pictures are pretty good (well, there is nothing like being there). Thank you for the time, for sharing your knowledge and making all the people who visit your pages to be in love of Huatulco and the beautiful beaches of the unique Pacific Coast of Oaxaca.

Francisco Luis Aviña Cervantes

October 2000

Just Got Back

Hi Tom, Back from the trip. These are my comments. We stay at the Gala Resort. It is a great place, actually it was "the" place in Huatulco. Food was not so great but acceptable, room and service very good, service at restaurant very good, entertainment was also very good, drinks were a little weak, bar and disco very good as well. We played volleyball all day (pool or beach), they guys in charge of the games and shows were great. Shows at night were very good specially "Broadway Night" and "International Night" (The imitation of Juan Gabriel-mexican singer- was great).

We ate at Don Porfirio one night, the food was very good (try jumbo shrimps and/or lobster) and margaritas. The town is very small and safe and besides visiting the church or shopping for t-shirts or other souvenirs there is not much to do.

The only down side was when we book a trip to the seven bays in a catamaran but we end up going in a small boat named "Zorro". A couple of people got sick on the boat and we end up taking a cab back to the hotel from one of the stops en the afternoon. We use Apple Vacations and we were not happy about that (not worthy unless you are sure you are getting what they offer). Personally if you are happy in the hotel stay there.

Angelo and Nancy

October 2000

Deseo Trabajar en éste País

Estimado Sr. Tom: Me es muy grato el haber podido comunicarme con usted y el que me hubiera respondido a mi humilde petición.

Entré en su Página WEB y observé sus paisajes al cuál me sorprendió que en la vida real existieran. Contestando a su ofrecimiento me gustó todos los lugares, pero me sentiría halagado si me designan ir a Oaxaca, ya que es un lugar interesante donde aprender y si hay posibilidad alguna, de hacer carrera. Por otra parte, estaría muy conforme en el Area que usted me designe, ya que aunque tenga bastante experiencia en el Servicio Gastronómico/Hotelero, desearía comenzar desde abajo como lo han hecho por tradición todas aquellas personas que entregan su vida por el Servicio a los Huéspedes.

Esto no significa que no tenga ambiciones, ya que desearía llegar a delegar a un grupo de jóvenes, en las Areas de Front Desk, Housekeeping, o el Area de Pisos, para poder así implantar mis conocimientos y enseñarles lo Importante que son Nuestros Huéspedes para Nosotros, por que en la realidad " Cuesta más afianzar a un nuevo Cliente que mantenerlos Satisfechos ".

Ésto no son palabras que quedan lindas en un e-mail, es una realidad a la cuál estoy dispuesto a entregar mi espíritu hacia éste objetivo, que es el SERVICIO HOSPITALARIO. Si se da la posibilidad de empleo desearía que me escriba y me mande los requisitos y/o documentos a presentar, ya que en mi poder tengo mi Certificado Analítico, DNI., CI. y Pasaportes actualizados.

Si desea otro documento le agradecería que me lo dijera. Con respecto al Viaje yo me ocupo de mis Pasajes y/o Tramitación a realizar desde Argentina. Le estoy agradecido por dicha oportunidad y espero muy ansioso su contestación a ésta humilde petición por parte mía.

Sin otro particular y esperando una resolución favorable y estando a su entera disposición, lo saludo muy atte.

Lisandro Atuel Reynoso
CI. 13.993.538

October 2000

Looking for Condo or Villa

Bonjour My name is Michel can you help me to found a condo or villa for the month of January At Santa cruz Merci Michel In French if possible (my English is not very good).


October 2000

Hi, Michael. My name is Lorenzo Ostergren. I have a real estate business in Huatulco. We can help you offering different options in Santa Cruz. Please let me know what kind of unit you need (how many bed rooms, what dates etc).

Lorenzo Ostergren
Saa-Iba Real Estate
Telf-Fax. (9)587-1742

Extreme Sports Competition in Huatulco

To those visitors coming before October 12:

Don't miss the Reto Huatulco (Huatulco Challenge).

This is an extreme sports competition. It will be three days long. There are 20 teams ( a crew of four each), many of them coming from USA, Canada, Finland, Costa Rica, Venezuela and Mexico. Some of them have participated on the Discovery Channel ECO-CHALLENGE as well as some other international competitions. The staff to make possible this championship have reached 250 participants.

The route is really challenging. It will include ocean kayaking, trekking, mountain biking, rock climbing (in Piedra de Moros), cannoning, rafting, rappel (on Cascadas de Copalitilla) and of course, a good handle of navigation and orientation skills.

The prize for the winner team is $15,000.00 US. The event will be covered by the Mexican TV as well as by some foreign stations as FOX.

I've beeen asked to participate as judge. I accepted of course, so I will have chance to run the route and to take photographs of the amazing surroundings of Huatulco. I will send them to you of course.

The competition will start October 12 at 8 AM in Chahuue Bay, with a kayak tour until Cacacaluta, where the teams will begin a race to reach PIEDRA DE MOROS, to climb the rock and... well, I can't give you more details, because the path is secret, but I'll send you a detailed description of the race and my experience after its completion.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
October 2000

Hypodermic Syringes in Pool

Hi there, first off thanks for creating such a great resource for people to see the beautiful state of Oaxaca. I have been visiting
Puerto Escondido since 1989 and it has to be one of my favourite places to be. This is just to share an experience my wife and I had the first time I took her to Huatulco. It was our honeymoon and I wanted us to have a couple of special days at a deluxe resort so I chose what was once the Sheraton but I believe it has changed hands now. Our first day was nice and fairly uneventful except for the extended bathroom time due to a couple of days exploring Mexico City prior to arriving in Huatulco. The second day was nice, lolling about the pool listening to some apparent American soldiers of fortune recount their tales of the jungles in Guatamala.

I couldn't listen any more so I swam away from the pool bar promptly swimming headfirst into an empty hypodermic syringe. I told my wife this about an hour later and we swam over to where I had left it she decided we should tell the bartenders. Swimming back to them, I swam into the other half of the syringe. The bartenders all gathered round and unrolled a napkin in which they placed the syringe bits with the other three! That had been found that day!!. No closing the pool, nobody looking for more. They eventually got some kid to swim around with a mask and look for more. (if anyone has seen the pool there its like looking for a needle in a haystack, its so big). Needless to say we weren't too happy about the situation and swimming was now out of the question except in the ocean. The managers were accommodating and gave us the two nights for free.

We then checked out caught a taxi out front (300 pesos) to Puerto Escondido, and rolled up to what was then the brand new Olas Altas hotel right next to Cafecito and across the street from the main surf break. We have been back there since and enjoyed the people running the place very much they are nice people although very limited English is spoken there it shouldn't be a problem. I would encourage anyone wanting to visit a truly special part of Mexico to make Puerto Escondido a stop on their tour you may never want to leave. Thanks again for creating such a fantastic resource. We'll be back again this winter so see you all there!

Joe Embra

October 2000

Turtles Trying to Check Out of Club Med?

Hi, I just visited Club Med Cancun and they were taking care of a nest which hatched many many baby turtles that they put in a little pool and then let go. The sad thing is that a guard said that there had been as many as 20 nests but the employees in charge of making the beach look pretty been using their machines to pack the sand over and over and over and the turtles could never come out.

Please send this email to someone who can do something.

Gaby Teigeiro

October 2000

What About Tipping in All-Inclusives?

Great job on your web site with lots of information and pictures too! Glad I found it and we will be back to check it out again. Booked our 1st. Huatulco vacation last month for 2 weeks in March of 2001. Our friends stayed at the Barcelo Huatulco Resort when it was the Sheraton in 1997. They loved it. Have heard nothing but good reports about the area of Huatulco and it resorts. We had a hard time choosing which resort, but finally decided to try the Barcelo. We have not stayed at an all-inclusive resort before so I am not sure about their tipping practices. We always did the "Pay as you go" and tipped accordingly. Can you suggest what is expect and when?

Bob & Dot

October 2000

Many all inclusives are supposed to have a no tipping policy but we tip immediately for exceptional service and we also tend to tip as a final thank you, those who have given continuous good service all through our stay on the last day. Some of those folks just work too hard not to get extra recognition - ie. A million Thanks AND a tip.

Your travel agent should be able to tell you about the hotel's policies but regardless I think extra consideration should be given to those who go the extra mile. Any comments? -Tony Harris, caharris@home.com

We Did It!

Dear Tom, We do not expect you to remember us, since you probably correspond with millions of people a day, but we are a couple from Santa Barbara California, who lived in the mountains with solar power only (maybe that will ring a bell) and asked you for info regarding moving to the Oaxacan coast. You recommended checking the Chacalapa area, etc. Anyway, we are writing you today to let you know we did it! We bought property in the San Agustinillo area and have built a small posada, which is almost done now, we really appreciate all the information you provided us and eventually would like to have a link to your page if possible. Anyway, our place is across the street from the ocean in a palm grove, the rooms have kitchens, purified water, hot water and fans, we are planning to open this November and are anxious to have our first guests, if anyone asks for info on a place that is a step up from a palapa or hammock send them our e-mail address! And if you should ever consider to visit this way come as our guest of honor! - Thanks for all you have done for folks like us and we leave you with our best wishes.

Jeff and Ana

October 2000

How About the Magnihotel?

Hello everyone, on January 4, 2001, we are going to Huatulco Magnihotel. It's an extraordinary gift from my parents. Going on this trip will be myself (of course), my husband and my two boys (ages 5 and 10), my brother and his wife and boys (ages 7 and 9) and, of course, my dear parents. I've been, with my husband, to Ixtapa and Cancun. I look forward to discover another mexican paradise. I've noticed from various site info that the Magnihotel has changed ownership several times. Your latest comments deal with people's stay at the Crown Pacific. Has anyone stayed at the hotel under its current ownership? If so, what has changed? I would really appreciate receiving feedback from families that went to this destination resort with young kids. As an example, which floor is recommended that would give us easier access to the children's pool at which would also gives us an beautiful view of the ocean? Any tips to make our stay a dream come true would be welcomed. My parents are impatiently waiting for this moment to happen. By the way, where is the best place to exchange our US dollars into pesos in Huatulco?

Merci for you time,

Lyne Renaud
Quebec, Canada

October 2000

Looking for a Place Near the Beach

Hi Tom. Great site! Your work is much appreciated.

Your site has been very helpful to us so far. As a matter of fact, that's why we have picked Huatulco for our next holidays. My husband and I plan on traveling to Huatulco in January 2001. We are planning on staying at the Gala for 1 week, then staying somewhere else in Huatulco for a week.

One other couple may be traveling with us, and we would like to rent a condo/villa near the beach. Can anyone recommend someplace? Or even a nice hotel with a little kitchen unit. Moderate pricing, although we would be willing to pay a bit more to ensure that it is clean and comfortable. We don't need a pool, and we prefer to be on the beach. Also, if anyone can recommend a place where we have the option of a cook, that would be great!

Vancouver Island, Canada

October 2000

Best of Huatulco

Click on the link above to read this illustrated article by Dan Merriman (280kb pdf format).


It is very nice, and I agree with you in most of the facts. Do you know? I worked in Zaashila from '92 to '96 as scuba instructor in water sports concession, and complimentary I worked on the front desk for five months. I know Mr. Marcelo very well and I agree with you: He is a very kind and helpful person. Evodio is also my friend. And of course I know Mrs. Williams since the time she taught English at the Sheraton (she host every year an event during the child's day on April 30 that we dedicate to handicapped kids. The snorkelers take the kids snorkeling or over boards with clear windows to allow them to see underwater in the ocean, I show them the scuba gear and I follow them underwater greeting and catching some puffer fish to show them underwater. After the in water party, all we go to La Langosta Gorda to have a nice and emotive party with all this handicaped kids in which we have lunch, drinks, piñatas and clowns.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
October 2000

Bust or Robbery?

One day, while at Playa Organo, me, my girl, and another friend were enjoying the day, had our hammocks strung, sun-tanning our butts, drinking a few wine coolers and minding our own business, when, all-of-a-sudden we were surrounded by about 5 or 6 guys on horseback who wanted to know if we had any 'mota'. Well, we did. After producing some (apparently) official cards identifying themselves as policia (local), they informed us of the illegality, and wanted 500 pesos apiece to avoid further problems. We didn't have much money with us, and between the three of us we produced 375 pesos, which they accepted. I had a few traveler's checks in my bag, and of course they didn't want those :-), or my digital camcorder, or anything else. The 375 pesos was enough. It was an enlightening experience, to say the least. I'm not really sure if they were the cops for real, or what. Ever hear of any other experiences at Playa Organo, similar to ours? Interestingly, after handing over the pesos, they gave us back our 'mota', which I tried to refuse (explaining that it was 'mal', and that I really didn't "need" it, after all), but the main guy (who was packing a pistol on his side) said "aqui, no problema, en hotel mucho problemo". The whole thing seemed kind of fishy to me, but I'm not sure.

Name Withheld
September 2000

Sounds like these guys were just thieves to me. Their method evidently kept you from reporting the incident. Whether any of them were actually police, who knows? But it would explain where they got the idea. Anyone else have a similar experience? -Tom

Tom, About the guy that was at Organo beach getting robbed, there are no police on horses in Huatulco, they could have been iguana hunters. Part time resident since 1988, Lynn Halonen, lynnhalonen@hotmail.com

Driving to Oaxaca

Tom, Your site is addicting. Again, g-r-e-a-t job!

My girl and I are heading down again, driving this time. Our plan is to cross at Nuevo Laredo, autopista to DF, then to Puebla and on to Oaxaca City -- and finally (ahhhhh) back to Huatulco, PE, etc. for a few months. But --- we are open and taking each day as it comes --- and could cross anywhere from Arizona to Texas if we change our minds.

Any suggestions? Anybody out there have recent (summer/fall 2000) road reports? We'd love to hear of some recent road experiences...

I don't need info on the Oaxaca - Pochutla drive, did it a several times last winter, and besides, things could change overnight with *that* road.

BTW, I'm driving a late model 4X4 pickup with a topper and have a little room left in the back --- and would be willing to haul a box or two down for a helluva lot less than DHL would charge --- (like a case or two of Corona :-) if anybody needs something in the next 2 or 3 weeks. We plan on being there by the first week (or so) of October, 2000.

Thanks in advance. Hasta luego!

Michael Young

September 2000

If you're up for some high adventure and like archeological sites, I have a suggestion. About midway through the state of Queretaro on highway 120, there is a spur that cuts off and goes to San Joaquín. It's even paved all the way. When you turn off the highway you will be in a desert, but not for long. The road goes up continuously for several miles and shortly you will be in a cloud forest. When you get to San Joaquín the highway terminates into the main street which proceeds to go up a long, steep incline which levels off rather abruptly at the top where you will veer to the left to avoid going off the other side. The road becomes dirt and you continue out of town for a mile or two until it dead-ends at a gate. These are the ruins called Las Ranas (frogs) that are perched on a point at the end of a ridge at about 12,000'. They are not well known and you may have to hunt around for someone to unlock the gate and take your fee. There are many structures and about half of them are restored, the other half covered with jungle growth. There are no carvings at this site. We spent four hours there, alone. (The gate-keeper got bored and left.) -Tom

How About the Magnihotel

What a great website!! My partner and I were at the Crown Plaza in November 1995. We loved it. We are thinking of returning but see it is now a Magnihotel..... [photos 79K] Only regent holidays is using it and we wonder if there are any thoughts on how it will be in January 2001.

Kathy Jago and Bob Mcdonnell
Orillia, On. Canada

September 2000

Treasure hunting (metal detecting) in Huatulco

I'm planning another trip to The Gala resorts in Huatulco in Feb 2001 (3rd time) and have been trying to locate some information on treasure hunting in Mexico (laws etc.) I'm interested in beach hunting with my metal detector and was wondering if you know or can guide me to any laws that may inhibit or stop me from doing so... I haven't been able to find any data on this subject so far and understand that any archeological finds would belong to the state but was wondering if you can assist me in this quest. The Gala is the best...



September 2000

Hi Tony. I can see that you (as most of thee people who comes to this place) are hooked with our town.

There is no problem if you bring your metal detector. There are not laws prohibiting the use of these (or any other device) to search for lost artifacts. But, if you find any archaeological thing, it belongs to the government and, accordingly with the law, you can't keep it.

I'll tell you a true story which happened many years ago (at least 20).

In Veracruz (a coastal city located on the Gulf of Mexico), a local fishermen who used to skin dive to collect octopus, found on the bottom of the sea some gold bars. During the colonial stage of Mexico, when it was under Spanish control, Veracruz was (and is until today) the most important port. Many galleons and merchant ships used to take the way to Spain and Cuba from here. There are many coral reefs in Veracruz, as well as sand bars. Veracruz is hit very often by strong winds called nortes (norths). They appear without warning, suddenly, and they may reach up to 140 kms. (75 knots or 87 mph). On those days, many Spanish ships wrecked along with their gold, silver; emeralds and other valuable cargo. The reefs, sand bars and nortes took care of them.

So after this guy found the gold bars (called "tejos"), he went to see a jewelry owner. This last guy, bought the gold and ask the fishermen to bring all the bars he could find because he will buy all them. He paid the gold very cheap. The fishermen never looked for octopus again, and he could recover almost 800 gold bars (each bar weights more or less one pound) and he sold all them. He bought a new house, a new truck, and his relatives were surprised seeing the economical improvement of the fishermen.

But... one day, one of his "compadres" (Godfather of his son) ask him what was he doing to become rich (drug commerce was not popular on these days to suspect about this). The compadre knew that the fishermen was going to dive in the ocean every day, but the octopus commerce have never been very profitable. The fishermen didn't tell nothing. But one day, the compadre followed him, he saw when it got in water and then he followed him until the jewelry. Finally the compadre discovered the origin of the richness of his friend and he ask for money. As the fishermen refused to give part of his profits to his compadre, this last went to the police and...

Well, the end of the story is: the fishermen and the gold buyer finished in jail; the government could recover some of the original pieces (dated around 1750) because the rest were melted and sold as ear rings, bracelets, etc. and the fishermen lost all what he could buy.

About you, good luck in your search; if you find a ring, watch, coins, or a coca cola can, you can keep it; but if you find a gold "tejo", it belongs to the government but please, don't tell nothing to your "compadres".

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
August 2000

Biking on the Coast of Oaxaca

Hi Tom, I am planning to fly to Huatulco (January) with a friend; we decided to bring our bikes. We want to bike from the airport to Huatulco, P.A., P.E., Zipolite...for 10 days. Afterwards, the girl-friends would join us in a all inclusive for a week in Huatulco.

I'm a Frenchman from Montreal, but I also speak English and Spanish. Do you think it is possible to ride a bike around that area...how are the roads...and the traffic... Thank you in advance, you have created a great site.

September 2000

It is possible--there have been bike races there. But you will need to be very cautious. The roads (highways) are paved, 2-lane, NO SHOULDERS. Traffic is light to moderate and many motorists, especially bus drivers, drive as fast as possible. -Tom

Huatulco Honeymoon

We just returned from our honeymoon on Monday after spending 8 wonderful days in Huatulco. There's no way to describe the wonderful time that we had. We didn't want to come home! Huatulco is breathtakingly beautiful and we only hope that it stays that way. We really enjoyed the 7 Bahías & ATV tours and we have great pictures to prove it!

The Gala Resort is exceptional. We really enjoyed spending time at the pool with all of the staff members (No more Tequila volleyball!) We really do recommend staying on the Gala [photo 39K]. The food and service was great. It's a wonderful place to spend your honeymoon.

The local restaurants were also fabulous...we must have gained 10 pounds from all the lobster and shrimp stuffed pineapples we had!

We've made a pack that we would travel to Huatulco every 5 years.....so see you all in August 2005!

Wishing we were in Huatulco,
Hector & Yannina Pineda
North Hollywood, CA

September 2000

SCUBA Certified

Tom, its been good to discover your website. We recently went to Huatulco and it was a great experience. I always say I hate to come back from a vacation but this time I really didn't want to come back. A highlight of our trip was the scuba diving which for me was a first. I obtained my certification with Charlie at the Barcelo, (a real pro and a heck of a nice guy and now a good friend). In concurrence with the other reviews, the Gala crew with minor exceptions was excellent. Certainly a place to go back to. We'll stay tuned.

George A Ponce. M.D., FACC
Riverside California.

September 2000

More Pepper

Tom, Keep up your great donated labor on this site. Your insights and guest comments offer so much to the traveler. June of 97 I found your page and made plans to make the trip. I stayed at the then, Royal Maeva. You also provided me some "Adult Night Life" insights that proved to be some very exciting times in a rather laid back area.

I put several pages devoted to Huatulco on my web page. go.to/texaspepper. Thanks again Tom. For a guy that does not get out much (smile re:your reply to ruben) you do good.

David AKA; Texas Pepper

August 2000

De Años Pasados

Que tal Tom! Hace años que viví en Huatulco, y por supuesto cuando vi tu sitio me dio la melancolía! Que buenos recuerdos de mis tiempos en Maeva! Solo para mandarles un saludo y felicitarte por el sitio. Me divertí mucho leyendo todos los comentarios, hasta me encontré por ahí con un de la "Terrible" Terrie!! Pero me pareció extraño el comentario acerca de que a tu sitio le falta info! Ahora me dedico a hacer sitios de Internet y la verdad, el tuyo lo encuentro super navegable y muy completo! Felicidades... Un abrazo a toda la banda que quede por allá, pero especialmente al buen Charlie (había perdido tu dirección!) y por su conducto a mi super master Jorge de Maeva.

Verónica Flórez
Rel. Públicas en Maeva de 1994 a 1998

August 2000


The whales (humpback whales and killer whales-Orcas) pass in front of Huatulco, heading from east to west. They appear by mid January and continue until late April. Please don't think that Huatulco is a whale's sanctuary: they just pass in front traveling to the north. I normally spot them six to eight times a year, and consider that I spent many hours on the ocean (I'm a scuba diving instructor). So, finding whales is matter of luck. January is a good month to come anyway. The weather is not hot (I would say it's temperate), the ocean is a little bit cold (65 F) and is common to find plankton booms, so the ocean becomes greenish (something that is not good to SCUBA diving because the visibility is reduced). Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
August 2000

Glucosamine in Mexican Pharmacies?

I am the owner of Life Priority Health and Nutrition. I want to find out about the availability of glucosamine in pharmacies in Mexico. Can you provide me any info? Is it available, what brand, what price? Thanks for helping me.

Greg Pryor

August 2000

Weather, Diving, Internet Café's

The weather is very hot. No rains on one month. The ocean warm (84 F) and very clear. Great dives.

There are three new cafe internet services in Huatulco. One is located inside PLAZA CONEJO (half block away from the main park) and the other two are located in LA FUENTE ( a mini super market near the gas station). They charge 30 pesos for hour. The nicest is still CHOCOLATTE, but this is the most expensive.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
August 2000


Hi Tom, Is parasailing available in Tangolunda Bay in Huatulco? Thanks for the info.


August 2000

According to my friend, Carlos, the answer is no. The last parasailing in Huatulco was 3 years ago. -Tom

Lookin' for some Folks

Wow...haven't been on the site for awhile...great work! I worked at Maeva for 3 years and I am trying to locate Jackie Colon who used to work for a tour company, an American one....If you happen to see Luis from Apple Vacations he would probably know her address or number....tell him Terrie "la terrible" says hola....y gracias.

Also if you see Jorge Martinez (gala dive master) tell him hello...also Valentin.


August 2000

The Gala

Read this if you are thinking about staying at the Gala Resort (Formerly the Royal Maeva) in Huatulco, Mexico!!! I just have to say: the Gala resort in Huatulco....is the best resort I have ever been to! I posted these comments on this board last year.....but I thought that I would post them again, so they would be more visible on the top of the ' visitors comments ' board. I stayed at the Gala resort in Huatulco in March of 1999, and had the best vacation of my lifetime! My whole family really enjoyed our trip, and we all wish that our one, short week, could have lasted longer!!!!!! Please read these comments if you would like to know about the Gala, and email me if you would like any more information.... I'd be glad to help. Hopefully I will be returning to the Gala sometime soon...probably during the summer months...I CAN'T WAIT TO GO BACK!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND STAYING THERE---The Resort was sooooo.... beautiful; a perfect paradise; kept exceptionally clean, the food was great, the service fabulous, and the activities kept my two younger sisters busy all day! And never could I express how wonderful, kind and genuinely friendly the people were that worked there. I met so many amazing people---I have to say, the nicest people that I have met in my entire life. Never did you see them without a sincere smile on their face, eager to help you, eager to make you smile, and eager to get you involved.


Activities were constant throughout the whole day, usually around the main pool, but usually not too disturbing if you just wished to relax---which I did a lot of! If you wanted there was an "adults only" section with lawn chairs to sprawl out on, which over looked the beach, which was as frequently as necessary patrolled by waitresses who took our drink orders. It was always quiet and peaceful---unless of course you were disturbed by the infamous...(Hector and Freddie)...uh...I mean "Batman an Robin!"

Some activities they had at the pool side were, water aerobics, water volleyball, movie trivia and cocktail classes (there were much more--too many to list!), snorkeling and scuba diving lessons happened in the secondary pool, with a snorkeling trip every day; scuba diving if you had a certificate. There were tennis courts, ping-pong tables, pool tables, and a mini club to leave your kids under 12 for the day; my youngest sister really enjoyed it, because her day was filled with fun! My 12-year old sister met many friends, went kayaking, boogie-boarded and played in the pool and on the beach, and never complained that there was nothing to do. The only thing we ALL complained about, was that the DAYS IN MEXICO SHOULD BE LONGER THAN 24 HOURS!


I felt that the team and the activities at water sports on the beach were the best at the Gala. The people who worked there were attentive and could answer all of our questions; and there were many activities to choose from. You could rent sea-doos; sign out kayaks that could hold up to two people, sign-up for snorkeling or scuba diving trips or lessons, and take lessons in sailing, and wind surfing. The instructors were wonderful...typical of the crew at the Gala.


The nightly shows at 9:30 were fabulous---which all of the Gala's crew engaged in. Each night had a different theme; Latin night, Disney night, Mexican night are a few that come to mind. They also had a guest night, which got everyone involved...and was not annoying----it was FUN! My whole family participated and we all had a great time!

The Bambola Bar was a great place to go after the show had finished, where you could order your choice of drinks, play pool and spend time with friends, reflecting on the fabulous day. (By the way, the average daily temperature was about 30 degrees Celsius, with a gentle breeze----and stayed like that the whole time that I was there...WITHOUT ONE CLOUD IN THE SKY!)

The Boom-Boom Disco was also a great way to spend your night. It opened around 11:00 and closed at about 2:00am. The music was great, ranging from Spanish Dance music, the Gypsy Kings, to the Village People---and Y.M.C.A. I had such a good time, dancing with family, friends I met there, and my new found friends, the fabulous crew at the Gala!

All and all I recommend this resort to everyone! Everyone is sure to have a WONDERFUL time; and the only thing my whole family can complain about is.............A WEEK WAS WAY TOO SHORT!

Please say hi to everyone for me, and send out extra hola's' to Ivan, Antonio, and Lassaro, who all made my week even more amazing.

I hope to be returning soon.... PLEASE EMAIL ME IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS....OR COMMENTS...I'd love to help you decide on the perfect vacation.


Lauren Herz
Toronto, Canada

August 2000

Illness at the Maeva

My family spent two spring vacations (1997,1998) at the resort (when it was know as the Royal Maeva). I would say that both trip stays were among our best ever, except for one problem. In 1998, MANY were getting sick....I lucked out, but to give you an idea how widespread it was, at one point, I noticed at the nightly show that other than myself, there were virtually no Caucasian men there. Other members of my family and friends were all in serious discomfort for days at a time. And to make matters worse, we came to find out that the sickness was localized, none of the other hotels were having troubles. We are contemplating going back next spring, but I've got to get some feedback on this issue. Is this an ongoing problem at this resort?

Garry Gassel

August 2000

I've been living here for eleven years. I work in a dive operation next door to Gala (formerly Sheraton) and I'm in close contact with Maeva's staff all the time. I barely can remember a situation like this that happened two or three years ago. It was a sort of generalized Montezuma revenge epidemic. You're right, something like this happened, but I haven't heard or known something similar again. Only isolated cases of tourist getting sick, as is common when the people changes the kind of food and the spices and condiments used to prepare it, or the quality and content of the water is different is different than that used at home.

I think, truthfully, you should not worry about the occurrence of these isolated events. Gala (by the way, is exactly the same as in years passed when it was operated by Maeva) has a very good quality of meals (at least the twenty fellow workers on water sports eat every single day there and nobody have got sick).

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Luggage storage in Huatulco or Puerto Angel

Thanks for your wonderful website Tom. I had big plans to visit Melaque last year based on the information in your site but ended up getting a very cheap flight to Cancun. My wife, our three kids and myself had a wonderful two weeks in the Yucatan inspired in part by your website.

Now I am preparing to return to Mexico later this year. I am planning to spend a week on the Oaxaca coast after climbing Orizaba and do not look forward to lugging around my climbing gear. My plans to sleep in a hammock on Zipolite would be out of the question. Do you know of a safe place to store things in Huatulco or Puerto Angel? Thanks.

Evan Dorward

August 2000

Guillermo Ugate

Tom, Enjoyed your website re: La Crucecita. My girl and I spent three months in Huatulco last fall and are getting ready to return soon.

I'm trying to get Guillermo Ugate's email address. He gave it to me last year (we rented his apartment in Santa Cruz) but I don't have his business card with me. By chance do you have the address? If so, would you please forward it to me?

Also, do you know how the construction at Hotel Las Palmas is going?

K. Michael Young

August 2000

Guillermo's email address is sabordeoaxaca@huatulco.net.mx. I haven't heard about the construction at Hotel Las Palmas. -Tom

Las Palmas Update

The hotel Las Palmas is growing. The "old" building is open to the public, and Memo (Guillermo Ugarte) is constructing another building next door to his hotel. The property is still under construction, and it will be ready soon.

an Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

An Elaboration

Thanks Tom. I re-visited your web site, and much to my surprise I saw my question posted on the *comments* page. I'd like to elaborate a little, especially after reading the rest of the comments there.

First, I'm certainly no expert on Huatulco, but after spending three months there last fall, there *are* a few things I've learned. One is, that NO, there is no Budweiser in Huatulco :-) That I'm certain of, as my girlfriend is a Bud Light drinker and we looked everywhere. She finally settled on Modelo or Tecate and learned to like it. Me? I love the Corona, not the stuff they ship up here to the states, which definitely has a different taste. And, hey --- if you're gonna be there awhile, as we were, we learned to buy beer by the case from the Corona distributor and save a few bucks.

Here's a few recommendations for food and drink:

El Sabor de Oaxaca, for good Oaxacan fare. It's located at the Hotel Las Palmas, just around the corner from the Los Portales and the Iguana Bar. BTW, we ate at Los Portales regularly --- great tacos, guacamole, etc. and all at very reasonable prices. The Iguana Bar (right next door) serves up the coldest beer in town, and it's a great place to watch people stroll by, and right across the street from the zocalo.

Maria Sabina's (next to the ice-cream shop) is another of our favorites. Good grilled fish, pork ribs, etc... and you can sit outside and watch the zocalo (obviously one of our favorite pastimes in La Crucecita).

La Crema --- good for late-night thirst quenching, and the rock-n-roll is tops for Huatulco. The pizzas from the wood-fired oven are a plus, too.

Cafe Huatulco, in the middle of the zocalo in Santa Cruz, serves up great coffee, espresso, and frappucino. Their cakes and stuff are excellent. It's a very pleasant place to spend a quiet morning. But if you get one of the little tables that they put out, be SURE to move it from under the trees, or your cup may get ruined by the many birds.

I noticed one visitor's comments at your website regarding Budget car rental --- I had NO problems with them overcharging my Visa card, and in fact got quite a good deal for car rental (by the week). We were there Oct, Nov, Dec, and maybe the prices go up after Xmas (high season).

Anyway, thanks again for your info on Guillermo Ugate, who was very helpful to us. Regarding the construction at Hotel Las Palmas -- he is expanding the hotel, right next door (away from the zocalo) and as of last November he told us he expected to have it completed within a year (but you know how things go in Mexico). Although the construction doesn't start up until 8am, it still was a little annoying during our last week in Huatulco, after we moved out of the apartment. But, the rooms are spotlessly clean, well-arranged (but small) and have a great location, plus very reasonably priced.

All in all, (and I've done a lot of traveling in my day), Huatulco is one of the few places that I know I'll visit again and again. It's a great place to hang out, have fun, and use for a base for further explorations of Oaxaca.

Michael Young

Barcelo Questions

We are hoping to spend our 7th February vacation in Huatulco. We have always stayed at the Sheraton, now Barcelo resort. Can you tell us what the new management has done to "our" hotel? We don't want to go all-inclusive, is this going to be possible?

Kathy Ehlers

August 2000

Hi Kathy. If you have come 7 times to Huatulco, probably I met you here, because I've been in water sports for five years at the Sheraton.

I have good news for you. You won't see many changes: animation team has some more guys and girls, food and meals have improved, there are some more amenities at night, and the hotel sells all inclusive as well as non- all inclusive rooms. Most of the staff is the same, Jesus (the life guard) is gone, but you'll find many familiar faces.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Circus Training at the Club Med

Carlos and Tom-- Thank you for the information regarding Club Med in Huatulco. We are really looking forward to our family trip. Any other useful information about things to do, what not to miss, or things we should avoid would be greatly appreciated. The kids are really excited about the circus training. Can you give me more details on what type of activities are available for kids (ages 6 - 8)? Also, what kind of weather can we expect in late November? I saw mention of a rainy season in other comments, but don't know if that includes November. Thanks for your help. Maybe we'll see you there, Carlos!

Jean Weiss

August 2000

There is a Miniclub with a huge staff (miniclub team is the largest on the village). There are many activities for kids on the beach, pool, workshops, land sports and games.

Depending on the age of the kids, they may learn to fly on the trapeze (every day at 11.00 and 4.00). There are also juggling, swinging trapeze, trampoline (tumbling?). They may participate on the flying trapeze show (normally 12 years or older), on the circus show and of course, on the mini club show. On these last two, they are customized and make up accordingly with the numbers they'll perform.

And we take a lot of photos of course.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Tourguide Lynn Halonen

A couple of years ago, a group of six women traveled to Huatulco. I was somewhat apprehensive going to Mexico speaking no Spanish with a group of women with a wide variety of likes and dislikes.

Lynn Halonen served as our tour guide. It was a wonderful experience, and we were all anxious to return. Lynn has the uncanny ability to sense when someone is feeling left out or slighted in any way. She quickly turns her attention to that person, soothes the situation, and everyone is happy. She never loses sight of the fact that it's your vacation, offers a wide variety of options, and let's you decide just what you want to do.

The highlight was the day Lynn arranged for us to experience the Bays of Huatulco by boat. We stopped at totally secluded beaches that were breath taking. Having cruised the Caribbean numerous times, I have found no beaches more beautiful. While snorkeling, the boat driver dove down and brought up an octopus. We were all in awe. On the way to St. Augustine, several of the women fished. The fish that were caught were prepared for us at a restaurant on the beach. It was truly delicious and unbelievably inexpensive. You might say, downright cheap.

We often opted to break up into smaller groups. One of the women was particularly interested in the culture. Lynn was able to show her things most tourists would never experience. One day she took a group to the black sand beaches and a quaint restaurant serving crawfish. Upon their return, everyone said it was a great day. I'm sorry I opted to stay at the hotel and lounge on the beach.

Not speaking the language, I found that you miss so much. Lynn easily acted as our interpreter and taught me a few basic words, which was no easy task.

She took us to a restaurant in La Crucecita a few blocks off the square. The owner's husband is a fisherman. She did not offer a printed menu, but a tray of the day's fresh catch from which to select. Since we had several people in our party, we ordered one of each so we could sample all of the delicacies. They were all so good, it was impossible to pick a favorite.

Of course, no vacation is complete without some shopping. Knowing the area so well, Lynn was able to direct each of us to the best places to buy what we were looking for ranging from jewelry to t-shirts and local specialty items. We reluctantly returned home, but we were all still friends and each one of us had a memorable vacation.

I've returned twice. Both times we arranged to have Lynn meet us. She took us on a bus trip to Puerto Escondido, where we stayed for a couple of days. Along the way, she told us about the area and points of interest. One of the women wanted to go kayaking, which Lynn arranged for her.

My husband was very leery of traveling in Mexico, but after seeing my pictures and hearing my commentary, he reluctantly agreed to go with me on my last trip. Lynn arranged for us to be picked up at our hotel and taken to the marina in Santa Cruz for the must do tour of the bays. My husband caught a nice fish along the way, which was prepared for us in St. Augustine, half barbecue style, have traditional. He loved it. He liked the restaurant with the fresh-catch selections so well, he can't wait to go back. The food had to be fantastic. When he saw the choices, I could see him thinking, I don't think so. We had octopus, shrimp, and red snapper - all delicious, but the red snapper was his favorite. Once he got a taste, he was sold on the place. Lynn made a list of restaurants to try, right down to specific entrées, and we were never disappointed.

Lynn has put me completely at ease trekking to Santa Cruz or La Crucecita on my own, even without knowing the language. My husband definitely wants to vacation there again, and he is not an easy person to please. The only thing holding us back is waiting for the airlines to resume direct flights from Minneapolis.

I highly recommend Lynn Halonen, (651) 487-5066, (651) 488-7116 (fax), lynnhalonen@hotmal.com, to make your vacation a truly memorable experience.

Betty Hannemann
July 2000

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