Home >> Oaxaca >> Huatulco >> Visitors' Comments

Visitors' Comments on Huatulco

Comentarios de Visitantes

Main Index
Huatulco, Oaxaca
Most Recent Visitors' Comments
More Recent Visitors' Comments
Older Visitors' Comments
What's New?

Needs a Little Work

The web site needs work. First of all there is not enough information on the hotels, not enough photos. I wish that you would update the web site and add more photos prices, well detailed. Also well detailed amenities like air conditioning, how many beds on each room and so forth. Yeah you do mention some of those things, however we want more photographs; this is not to criticize you, it is merely a suggestion; we all have faults and I have a lot of them, so please don't take this personally. Thanks.

ruben castellanos

July 2000

Hey, I'm just a one-man band, don't live in Mexico, and I'm not getting paid for this so don't expect too much. Don't worry, I'm not taking it personally. I would like to have all of that information and I do provide whatever information I receive. My wife doesn't like for me to spend all of our vacations taking pictures of hotels and getting information. I do what I can. -Tom

Ruben, Have you spent any time at all on this site? There is more info here than any site I've visited. Tom has done an awesome job here giving us USEFUL information on this wonderful destination. If you need to know how many beds are in your room, ask your travel agent ! GEEEEZZZZ !!!!! -keith ross, dptech1@supdie.com

Tom: Every 2 or 3 weeks I look over the comments section just to keep in touch with Huatulco. My husband and I went in March and stayed at the Zaashila. (I e-mailed you with my comments on the trip.) I just wanted to respond to the person's e-mail critique. I used your section as a starting point to look up more information about Huatulco and the local hotels. I found it extremely helpful and learned a lot from reading other visitors' comments. Considering that this is not how you make a living, I think you do a fantastic job with the site. Keep up the good work! As far as more photos, I think that probably is all of our responsibility. Sorry I didn't include photos with my e-mail before. Take care! -S. Castro/Houston, Tex., castro@web-fs01.alief.isd.tenet.edu Hello Tom, your website is absolutely ok, very helpful and have a lot of informations - more as another websites. You do a fantastic job, believe me. Don't worry about Ruben´s comment!!! -Ilona Tsiagas, Germany, Ilona.Tsiagas@telekom.de

I've been living here with my family for eleven long years. I am very familiar with web sites about Huatulco. Believe it or not, I'm absolutely sure that Tom's website is THE BEST. You can't find more info about all the topics Tom covers on his site anywhere. And that's not all. I don't really know why Tom keeps this site working. He Doesn't have a business here! I think Tom's got bewitched with Oaxaca's Coast magic.!

Most of the tourists we receive every year, (at least many of all those I have had contact) have read and get information thanks to this website. There are many pretty, nice, full of action (with sounds, movies, JAVA applets, animations) web sites, but I haven't seen one more effective than Tom's site.

The people of Huatulco (even tough many of them don't know that) should be grateful with Tom's promotion about Huatulco. I really am. -Charlie, charlie_diver@hotmail.com

  Yo trabajo y vivo del turismo en Huatulco. He estado haciéndolo y viviendo con mi familia aqui durante once largos años. Estoy muy actualizado sobre los websites que hablan de Huatulco. Créanlo o no, estoy absolutamente seguro de que el sitio de TOM es el mejor. No podrás encontrar en ningún sitio más información acerca de tantos tópicos como los que cubre Tom en su website. Pero eso no es todo: realmente no sé porque Tom tiene este sitio. El no vive aqui y tampoco tiene ningún negocio en este lugar ! Yo creo que Tom quedó embrujado con la magia de la Costa de Oaxaca.

Muchos de los turistas con los que trato todo el año, han leído y obtenido información sobre Huatulco gracias al website de Tom. Hay muchos sitios muy bonitos, con mucha acción (con sonido, peliculas, animaciones, etc), pero no he visto uno más efectivo que el sitio de Tom.

La gente de Huatulco (aun cuando muchos de ellos no lo saben) debemos estar muy agradecidos con la promoción de Huatulco que hace Tom. Yo lo estoy. - Carlos, charlie_diver@hotmail.com

Trailer Park los Mangos

Sabemos que el Trailer Park los Mangos lo han quitado de donde estaba , agradeceriamos su ayuda para indicarnos si existe algún otro de estos lugares en Hualtulco y su dirección.

Jose Manuel Avila

July 2000

Hurricane Divers und Huatulco

Huatulco ist mit seinen wunderschönen Buchten und der noch kaum berührten Natur nicht nur ein traumhaftes Urlaubsgebiet, sondern auch für Taucher ein wiedergefundenes Paradies. Da ausserdem der zur Zeit einzige DAN-Partner in Sicherheitstauchen in Oaxaca - die Hurricane Divers - sich hier niedergelassen haben (zur Zeit gibt es 21 anerkannte DAN-Partner weltweit) und einen Spitzenservice in diesem Sport bieten, ist dies ein Grund, auf jeden Fall wieder zu kommen. Huatulco kann wirklich auf die Hurricane Divers stolz sein.

Viele Grüsse aus Deutschland.

Frank, Markus, Carola und Ilona

Ilona Tsiagas
Deutsche Telekom AG, Headquarter, Germany
July 2000

[Translation: Huatulco is, with its wonderful bays and untouched nature, not only a beautiful holiday area but also for divers a rediscovered paradise. That on top of that the only DAN Partner in Dive Safety in Oaxaca, Hurricane Divers is there and offering perfect customer service in diving, is a reason to definitely come back (right now there are only 21 DAN Partners in Dive Safety in the world!). Huatulco can be really proud of Hurricane Divers!]


Hello everyone, I just came back from my vacation at the Gala resort [photo 39K] in Huatulco. You can ask me whatever you want about the service and stuff, but I just wanna say that I absolutely fell in love at first sight for one of the girls that works there. I'm 17 years old, but I didn't get the chance to ask her her age! Now I feel really bad, and now that I'm far away (Mexico City) I regret not having asked her even her phone number.

If someone that reads this, manages to get to the Gala resort in Huatulco, please look for Lupita (if she still works there) and tell her that I need to talk to her... please give her my e-mail address: aniversario_60@yahoo.com.mx. PLEASEEE!!!!! Thanks to those who would like to help :)

I can't give you my name, but I live in Mexico, and I also wanna say that the Gala resort is the best anywhere (at least over here) and I loved every minute of my vacation, which, by the way, seemed very short! Oh well, please people, I need help!

J. E.

July 2000

Me Gustaría la Quinta Real de Huatulco

He estado en todo tipos de hoteles, pero me gustaría le echaran un ojo al Quinta Real de Huatulco, ya he estado 3 veces (tambien he estado en otros dos hoteles sobre la bahia). El servicio de primer mundo, gente sumamente sencilla y servicial en el Restaurant y el Bar, los precios de acuerdo al lugar. Les recomiendo, en Huatulco, evitar hoteles "de paquete" de charters, ya que hacen sobrecupo de las instalaciones, no hay nada mejor que tomar Mexicana en el vuelo que llega a las 11.30am y de esa manera estan instalados a 12.30 en el hotel.

Que hay para hacer en Huatulco, nada, eso es lo bueno, pero si se quieren sentir dueños de la bahia, les recomiendo renten una moto de agua (no es caro, ya que se puede negociar) y sientanse dueños de la bahia, van a tener libertad de hacertodas las piruetas que quieran. Les recomiendo que vayan, además, por cosas extrañas, casi nunca llueve sobre la Bahía. Quinta Real es la opción, pidan unos huevos estrellados escondidos de desayuno.

Sergio Rodriguez Estrada

Julio 2000

Saludos a Toda la Familia del Sr. Miguel Espinoza

Mi nombre es Alejandro Valdez Santamaria, he estado en ese lugar por más de 50 ocaciones de vacaciones, es un lugar muy bonito, me he hospedado en el hotel Crown Pacific [photos 79K] (Hoy en día Magihotel), no en todas, pero es un paradiso del pacífico. Cuiden el lugar ya que es muy limpio. Felicidades a toda la gente que vive en dicho lugar, ya que son los que hacen posible que también exista Huatulco. Saludos a el Tío Felipe Santamaria, Cheff del Magnihotel, a la familia espinoza, pronto estaré por ahí.

Se despide de ud. su sobrino.

Christian Ali Muñoz

July 1, 2000

Want to Get Married in Huatulco

Greetings! I am really glad I came across your site about Huatulco! My fiance and I are planning a trip in January 2001 for at least two weeks....or more!! One thing I'd like to ask is how to get married in Huatulco. I found many sites with info, but they are only for Cancun, Puerto Vallarta and the bigger centers. Do you know of a wedding planner there who could help us out? Even any info on arranging it ourselves. I know it can be a bit of paper work, but we would rather "get hitched" there than here! Thanks again, its a great site with good info!

Marni Johnstone

June 2000

I have been asked this question before and I really don't know the particulars. I am hoping someone who goes through the process will report on it--hin,t hint.

If you are staying at one of the resort hotels, perhaps you could find someone there who can help you. Your local Mexican Consulate might be able to answer questions about the legal aspects of the marriage. Churches will be Catholic as far as I know. The local church is in La Crucecita and is very pretty. I have photos and the mailing address for that church here: www.eden.com/~tomzap/cruce.html - Tom

No Sharks

Tom, I really liked the comments from your page, this is what changed our mind on where we spent our honeymoon. May 31 - June 6th 2000 was a great time to go; all was green. No Sharks!

The pic's I am attaching are from around the Gala [photo 39K], this is in our minds the best resort to go to. The people are great, They will do whatever it takes to make your trip the best. I could go on about it forever, and I am sure my wife and I will. We are already thinking about when we will go back. I will send more pic's. I went fishing with Valentino with my wife. He was as the comments explained (Great). And to you Valentino, I know you have your PC, & Phone line, so you to my friend our watching this page!!! The Hotel cooked the Mahi-Mahi perfect, it was one of the best lunches we had there!!

Tom, I will send more pic's as I scan them, just not enough time in the day now that we are back from paradise..... Too all of our friends in Huatulco, Rich & Christi will be back soon.

Rich & Christi

June 2000

Tropical Depression

Hey! We went to Huatulco through Apple Vacations and stayed at the Gala. I absolutely loved it! There was only one problem which no one told us about: Tropical Depression. It rained hard like everyday! So I really didn't get much sun, but it was still fun! I (& my brother) got really sick from the guacamole we had out of town, when we went on the ATV tour, which was really fun! It was very beautiful and the resort was great, the people were friendly! The people really like to get to know you, they pay really close attention!! It was fun despite the rain, and I'd love to go back. the nightly entertainment wasn't completely to die for, but what do you expect, it was really good considering these aren't like professional actors. All the people do hard work to keep you happy. I loved it, it's a great vacation to sit back and relax! I can't think of anything else, but anyone searching for help, feel free to e-mail me!


June 2000

Can Someone Take A Skateboard to Huatulco?

I have a friend that lives in Huatulco. He asked me to purchase a skateboard for him. I live in the U.S. and not only is postage astronamical, it's incredibly unreliable. If anyone is going to Huatulco in the near future, and has the space to spare, I'm willing to pay you to take it! Thanks.


June 2000

Hurricane Carlotta

Carlotta is now a hurricane. Fortunately for us (the emerald coast of Oaxaca) it formed offshore here but it is moving to Acapulco. We have rain but not wind. I suggest the people thinking to come to visit us, to keep an eye on the weather forecast: would be nice to have all them here, but this is not the best moment at all. If someone wants more info about weather conditions (I mean first hand or direct observations) please don't feel hesitate to contact me.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
June 19, 2000

Rained all night (not really intense), no flooding and the hurricane is moving away from the coast. -Carlos 6/20/00

The rain has stopped.and the sky is just a little bit overcast. The sun shows for short periods. The ocean is calm again and boats are allowed to make tours with caution and not too far away from the Santa Cruz and Tangolunda Marinas.

Fortunately, Carlotta is getting more and more far away and life is coming back to normality. -Carlos 6/21/00

It's 21:18 June 22nd and this is latest weather report. This day was wonderful. Sunny, no rain at all and the ocean is calm. Hurricane's influence is gone. So, don't worry for the weather anymore, until the next tropical phenomena. Thanks to all those folks who wrote me. Hope to meet all you here soon. Tu amigo. -Carlos 6/22/00

Rainy Season in Huatulco

Hey there Tom.. Just got back from Huatulco. I totally loved it, I stayed at the Gala [photo 39K] and the staff there was just amazing, they go out of their way to ensure that you have a good time. The weather on some days was slightly overcast, extremely warm and humid, but I still managed to burn. It normally seemed to clear up a bit around noon, I totally loved every second that I was there. They get storms east of the bay in the hills and mountains it sounded like from what I heard from the locals. I dreaded coming home to Chicago today. If you have any questions feel free to shoot them my way.


June 2000

Keep a Lid on It!

Tom, We just got back, FANTISTIC!!!! I will follow up with you after I have our pic's scanned!!! DON'T TELL ANYONE ABOUT THE PLACE, I HOPE IT STAYS THE SAME FOREVER...........

Rich & Christi Rogers
May - June 2000

Your secret is safe with me. -Tom


Hi Tom! My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Huatulco in February and are staying at the Camino Real. I know the hotel only has 3 floors but we would like to know the best floor to stay on for the ocean view. Also, is there anywhere there that sells Budweiser beer?

We have been to Cancun and to Ixtapa and have enjoyed each trip. We are really looking forward to visiting Huatulco for the first time.


June 2000

Budweiser? I dunno, you can probably get it. Mexico has some really good beers though and you might want to try them instead. My favorite is Negra Modelo. And Mexican beers tend to compliment spicy foods. -Tom

Huatulco Updates

Here the weather is rainy. The sun shows in the morning but is overcast and rainy on afternoon and night. There are a couple of tropical waves around and the rainy season started earlier this year.

Club Med is closed until mid November.

Crown Pacific is now named Magnihotel Huatulco.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
June 2000

Visitando Huatulco

Vaya que es importante que los seres humanos nos comuniquemos e internet ha abierto una gran puerta en este concepto. Cuando decidí ir a Huatulco vi casi todos los comentarios y me fueron de gran ayuda.

En mi experiencia puedo decir que saliendo de la Cd. de México en Magnicharters, son aviones relativamente grandes (boeing 737-200) comodos, y con buen servicio abordo, pero cuando usted llegue al aeropuerto de Huatulco no crea que está aterrizando de emergencia en una pista para avionetas o un aeropuerto clandestino, lo que sucede es que el aeropuerto es tan solo un par de palapas una para entradas y otra para salidas, espero volver en un par de años y ver un edificio en forma. Al salir del aeropuerto nos indican cual autobús abordar para llegar al hotel y en el camino nos ofrecen varias excursiones opcionales, uno de ellos para subir al yate que recorre las bahias (USD $26.00 p/p). Llegar al Barceló (antes Sheraton) junto con otras 20 personas para registarse requiere de una media hora por lo menos, así que preparese no se desespere y procure llevar una ropa ligera desde México. Este hotel, bastante grande por cierto, con habitaciones grandes y cómodas, casi todas con vista al mar, pocas con vista al jardín (las del primer piso), dos albercas grandes, y asoleadero en la playa, si va en todo incluido prepárse para firmar una cuenta cada vez que vaya al bar o a un restaurant, (es lo de menos), rica comida, amplio surtido, el desayuno buffet en la alberca, la cena en la playa es muy sabrosa muy variada y espectacular; ah, pero su quiere una cena de verdad a todo lujo reserve un día antes, en el restaurante italiano del hotel, y no olvide llevar algo de ropa semi formal. Alguien quiere saber como es el catamaran?

Bueno, a las 10:30 pasa un autobús al hotel, llega al embarcadero, y luego que nos subimos al "Yate fiesta Huatulco" porque ya no hay "Catamarán", se sienta en su silla, y sigue llegando mas gente, el yate está lleno y sigue subiendo mas gente, hasta el momento que vamos como "sardinas enlatadas", pero al salir del puerto nos hacen ponernos nuestros salvavidas, bastante incomodo por cierto, pero no se preocupe, se lo puede quitar cuando al salir del puerto el yate ya paso por las autoridades marítimas, es verdaderamente increible la cantidad de fotografías que le toman a uno en el yate, en un momento pensé que me habían confundido con un actor de cine, pero no así es con todos, dentro del yate hay como unos 15 fotografos, unos con camara normal, otros con camara digital otros con video, y todos con las mejores ofestas y promociones, facilmente me tomaron unas 20 a 25 fotografias en la primera hora del viaje, vale la pena este viaje?. Sí, las 9 bahías no pueden recorrerse via terrestre y no puede irde de Huatulco si conocerlo realmente. El oleaje es fuerte, llevese su partilla para el mareo, vale la pena alquilar un equipo submarino (visor), el yate desembarca en una playa donde hay restaurantes, llevese unos $ 100.00 p/p para comer una botana y tomarse dos cervezas en las dos horas que estará ahí, luego al subir nuevamente al yate preparese para una noticia vamos directamente a otra playa en donde los dejaremos otros dos horas para que coman, así que prepárese con otros $ 100.00 p/p para otra comida, pero porqué otra vez a comer y tan pronto? se pregunta uno, tal vez una sugerencia es que solo se haga una escala, la segunda se vuelve muy pesada.

Al regresar al puerto, en el yate se entretiene muy bien a la gente, hay concurso de parejas, etc, y llega uno al hotel cerca de las 6 de la tarde. Le sugiero además que otro día tome un taxi a "Las crucecitas" y también visite la "Sta Cruz", este último para comprar recuerdos como playeras, trajes de baño, etc.

Gracias por la oportunidad de escribir nuestros comentarios en esta página y si alguien tiene alguna duda o pregunta con gusto ayudaré para se se pase unas super vacaciones.

Omar Becerril B.
May 2000

Casa Costeña

Once again we vacationed in Huatulco - we had the fortune of staying at the Casa Costeña for almost 2 weeks. There were a total of 5 of us - more than adequate - in fact much more than we expected and wonderful. We got to share the Cafe de Gloria with all - visited 2 times during the vacation and as before enjoyed the ambiance of the people and place - of course - the FOOD (which my grandson thoroughly enjoyed). We enjoyed also the sailboat sunset tour of Luna Azul - highly recommended!

We also spent 3 days in Oaxaca and stayed at the Hotel Marques Del Valle across from the zócalo visited both ruins and the village of rug weavers... we can't say enough good things about this trip. Except we shall be back again...

Kathy & Bert LaTurner

May 2000

Playa Ventura?

Does anyone know about Playa Ventura? My partner and I (recently married) would like to spend some time there; it looks so nice and tucked away and quiet -- what do you think? I've read there is one guest house with few amenities, but that might be just what the doctor ordered. Is Playa Ventura a nice place to go for a couple of honeymooners who can nonetheless enjoy simple rusticity? (Having said that, a mosquito net or two might be nice too...)

Stefan Frazier

May 2000

Club Quinta Real

We just returned from our week in paradise! We thoroughly enjoyed the villa and the Hotel facilities. There are so many tours available and we didn't find out about most of them until too late. We booked a small 4 passenger boat to the bays and saw a whale and her baby!

Some of our favorite restaurants were:

Garden of the Pope-anything on the menu is great!
Cactus-Shrimp Bandito is a must!
Garden of the Pope-everything on the menu is great
La Crema-(Say hi to Argentina from Natalie)
Don Porfirios-Shrimp or lobster-YUM!
If you want information about Club Quinta Real email me and I will send you a brochure.


May 2000

Kids Going Wild at Club Med

Hi Tom! Just got back from Club Med Huatulco with my husband, 16 year old son, 20 yr old niece and another couple with teens. God was it hot! But, we had a great time. It was our second trip there and thanks to your site, we looked up Jack Hennessey in Santa Cruz for a sunset cruise.

We had a great time and Mario, the main deck hand sent us to Gitan's for dinner. We couldn't find the place at first, so Mario brought us there himself. It's on the beach, off the square and at first we were a little put off by the looks of the place. The beach wasn't too clean, but we were committed to give this a go. It turned out to be the best meal of the week! Ernesto was very anxious to accommodate us, and we all had fresh fish that we chose from a platter. We had to move further up the beach because the tide was coming in under our table! They also made the biggest and best Margaritas we had down there.

Club Med was OK this time, but since we were there the week before they closed for renovations, the food and service were not was we were used to. One word of advice to parents with teens, especially 16's and up... there's lots of drinking and partying all night long and it's very easy for the kids to hop a cab into town to by booze and beer. Be warned that if you put your kids into this environment, unless they are complete angels, expect them to join in the festivities. We think we did a good job with our kids and they were OK, but some of the kids were really wild. Till next time....

Phyllis Cavaliere

May 2000

Diving With Charlie

I wanted to thank you for turning me onto Charlie [Carlos Ramos] in Huatulco. Just got back from a week of diving with him. Charlie is a great divemaster and a lot of fun. He speaks fluent English and showed me some great dive sites! We saw 2 sea horses, many eels, and more octopus than I've seen in my entire career of diving (1000+ dives). Whales and mantas were in the area with some other divers getting close to them as well. I would recommend Charlie and his diving experiences to everyone wishing to enjoy a new realm of great diving south of the border---via Huatulco.

I also was present while Charlie was finishing with an Open Water and Advanced Course training. He's a great instructor and very conscientious (safe) diver. Hope you can share these experiences with other divers who might want to go to Huatulco and enjoy some great new diving territory. My family and I stayed at Club Med [photos]. Charlie picked me up each A.M. on the beach. Worked out great!

Sanford Kassel
Laguna Niguel, CA.

April 2000

Club Med

We just returned from a wonderful week at the Club Med [photos] (4/16-4/24) and can not recommend it highly enough. If you are active and don't go to a resort to spend more than a minimum amount of time in your room, I can't imagine a better place to spend a vacation. The Club Med staff is absolutely a great group of people, full of energy and fun to be around. The food was very good, facilities excellent and the full schedule of activities was even better than advertised. This was our first Club Med experience. We have two teens (15 and 18) and they loved every minute of the experience as much as their parents did. In fact, we had to "schedule" time to visit with the kids because we were going in so many directions.

I can't compare it to other Club Med resorts but I was very favorably impressed with this one. It was hot in Huatulco. You have to plan your activities accordingly. Tennis in the middle of the day is probably out of the question. (By the way, the tennis pros at the resort are a wonderful group of guys.) We looked up Jack Hennessey (raved about elsewhere on these pages) and set up a 4-hour sail and snorkeling trip with him. Unfortunately, his wife and baby were sick and we went out with his crew (who were great, too). Jack is very reasonable and getting out for a sail is a great way to see this area from a new perspective. We loved our trip and can't wait to return. Thanks to all at Club Med for a very memorable vacation. And thanks Tom, for providing such a useful service to gather information in advance of our trip.

Mark A. Ishkanian

April 2000

Flights to Huatulco

Hello saw your web page and loved it. I had a friend who had visited Huatulco a few years back and he just loved it. I have been wanting to go there since. I am getting married in December and would like to honeymoon there. Reading you web page has gotten me to try to find a way around high priced Mexican flights out of the U.S. I live in Cleveland, Ohio but can travel from any of the following cities: Columbus, Ohio, Pittsburgh, Akron, Ohio, Phoenix, Chicago, and Houston. If you or any of your web page readers could give me any leads on charters or good deals out of any of the above cities it would be greatly appreciated. I am looking to travel Dec. 8 or 9 to the 15th or 16th 2000, Thanks in advance for you help.


April 2000

Working at the Resorts and Real Estate

Tom: I just recently visited Huatulco staying at the Gala Resort. Had a great time and plan to return next year. While at the Gala I met some of the workers who were there on a 6-month work term. Some of these individuals were from various parts of the world, more specifically from Canada. They explained to me that they had applied through job advertisements on the internet. On my return to Canada I mentioned this to several younger people I know who may be looking for work while completing their university degrees. They too would be prepared to take 6 months or so off to work in Mexico.

I attempted to located information for them but have been unsuccessful to date. Could you help me out? If you could provide me with the email address or even a mailing address to which these young adults can write, it would be much appreciated.

On another note, while in Huatulco, I visited a real estate agency in La Crucecita regarding the possibility of buying property or a condo. The individual said he would drop off information at the hotel but never did. Looking on the internet I can only find one real estate company in the area. I'm sure there are more as this person indicated that there were condos being built in a price range from $32,000 to 185,000US. The ones listed in the only agency I can find don't start until well into the $200,000 range. I would appreciate any info you may find for me.

I enjoy reading your visitor comments section regarding Huatulco. Obviously it is a great place to vacation. I plan on coming back and if I can get some information, I may just buy.

Thanks again for your help

Don Sally

April 2000

Wild About the Gala

Read this if you are thinking about staying at the Gala Resort (Formerly the Royal Maeva) [photo 39K], 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 (formerly the Royal Maeva Resort) 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 thoroughly enjoyed it, for their 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 Maeva. 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 Maeva.


The nightly shows at 9:30 were fabulous---which all of the Maeva 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 way about 33 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, to Will Smith, the Gipsy 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 Royal Maeva!

All and all I recommend this resort to everyone! People of all ages, and families are guaranteed to have a blast... The only thing our 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

April 2000

Tennis Anyone?

Tom: My wife and I are planning to viit in early November. Does anyone have information on the tennis courts by the golf course? Condition, surface, cost, etc. Also would appreciate any information on the suites at the Marina hotel. Thanks.


April 2000

Food of the Gods Tour

Learn about a culture through a study of its food. Dinners, Oaxacan dances, Mescal tasting, chocolate factory tour (the first shipment of chocolate to Europe came from Oaxaca), archaeological tour, historic district tour, market tour, seminars and cooking classes by well-known chefs and authors - it's all part of the annual Oaxacan Food of the Gods Tour held in Oaxaca city. Now taking reservations for the October 7-14, 2000 tour. And when you return don't forget to send me your comments.

April 2000

Looking to Import Palm Leaf Product

Dear Tom, We contacted several people in Oaxaca city. And all suggested to give you a try Tom, We are searching for a product called Thatching it is a hand-woven product made from palm leafs and comes in panel of approx 4 ft x 4ft and it is used for decorating purposes as roofing material to give it a tropical look.it also comes in umbrella cover that you over an existing umbrella. If for some reason it isn't clear to you, please go to our web site http://www.maui.net/~palmleaf. We currently buy it out of California but are selling so much of it that it makes more sense to go direct to the source and buy it by the containers full we know for a fact that it is made in Mexico, and think Oaxaca. since one of our suppliers let it slip that it comes out of Mexico were they recently experienced have rains and mudslides and other disasters, which happened in Oaxaca. We hope that you can help us. Please let us know either way. Much appreciated.

Eddy Roukema

April 2000

Loved the Gala

My Husband and I just arrived back in Calgary from a week in Paradise at the "Gala Resort" in Huatulco!

We went with "Signature Vacations" and flew out on "Royal Airlines which served us Champagne and Orange Juice once onboard. They got our vacation off to a great start and showed two movies as well as a "Fraser" episode to pass the 5 hour 40 minute flight. I found them to be efficient, professional as well as friendly. A word of advice - book your seats in advance, and ask for the left side of the plane, as the aircraft circles the bay where the resorts are before it lands.

The Airport in Huatulco consists of a few buildings with thatched roofs, and is a great photo op, we had no problems getting through customs as it is basically a "Crap Shoot" as to who is stopped and who isn't.

The Signature Vacations representative was waiting outside and pointed us to the direction of our Air conditioned bus where we waited for the rest of the travelers on our flight going to the "Gala". It was hot and we were glad for the air conditioning. A quick 25 minute bus ride with an English speaking guide on board telling passengers about the area made the time go by.

We arrived at the "Gala" to find efficient (English speaking) staff waiting to check us into the resort and attach the wrist bands which we would wear for the remainder of the holiday to identify us as guests, and give us our keys and hotel information. As we walked into the lobby we were greeted by an employee carrying a tray of fresh juice for all of us to drink - a nice welcome touch I thought. We sipped it as we waited for our baggage to be unloaded.

Both my husband and I were impressed by how clean the "Gala' is kept. The staff in constantly cleaning the premises inside and out, and the employees are very impressive with their top notch service and appearance. Even the men that keep watch over the beach entrance have white uniforms and shoes on.

Each evening was a theme night, and there was plenty of variety inwhich one could eat and they keep kids in mind as well with hamburgers, hotdogs and pizza and ice cream - you could even get little boxes of cereal for those really picky eaters. (those with kids will understand why cereal is made available at dinner time).

The food was surprisingly great tasting and of high quality. And the food presentation rivals anything you would find on a cruise ship. We enjoyed two wonderful meals as well in the al a carte Italian restaurant, and the service was just as good as any French restaurant we have dined in.

We signed on for the "Seven Bay Catamaran Cruise" on the "Tequila" booked through signature vacations in the hotel which we enjoyed immensely, and did some snorkeling, but sadly jelly fish moved in and we were quickly notified by the crew as they came to our rescue in small motor boats and took us to shore.

A special thanks to the captain and crew aboard the "Tequila" Our cups runnith over with "cervesa" and we thank you for your quick reaction time in getting us to safety.

The Disco in the "Gala" was a riot, and the staff is there to make sure you have a good time. I can not for the life of me figure out where they all get their energy from, as they look after entertaining the guests with pool activities during the day, and do the evening performances.

The evening shows were not too bad, if you want top notch night shows, go to Vegas, but they tried very hard, and we had some good laughs and they get lots of audience participation.

We went into town once and took public transportation because it just happened to be going by our hotel as we were about to hail a cab - we jumped on and it literally zoomed us to town. We picked up the usual great buys on silver, as well as plastic bottles of Vanilla to take home to family. (You will never get Vanilla this cheap in Canada or the U.S.A)

On the day we were to leave we requested a late check out and they gave us another hour in our room, which made for more time on the beach!

Once back at the airport , they weren't quite ready for travelers ,so there was a bit of a wait before we could check our baggage, we took advantage of it by having a Corona and getting in a few more rays before heading back to snowy Calgary. I'm sure people will complain about this, but I say "Hey, at least you had a holiday" I know people that would kill to wait a while at an airport in order to have gone on a holiday in beautiful Huatulco!

Although we did not have our children which us this time, we are going to be sure and return next year with them, as there is something to do for every age group.

The "Gala" was without a doubt a Class Act that would be hard to beat anywhere as far as All -inclusive go, and we would not hesitate to recommend it to others.

A word of advice - outside of your hotel shopkeepers do not like peso bills to be torn anywhere, we had trouble in a few places with torn bills - when you are exchanging your money please ensure the bills have no damage to them.

Leigh Paterson and Guy Anderson
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

April 2000

A Week in Huatulco

Tom: We recently returned from a weeklong visit to Huatulco (March 12-18) and loved it! It was everything that I read about in your visitor's section and more. After a lot of research on the internet and by reading previous visitors' comments, we decided to rent a private condo at the Camino Real Zaashila. I highly recommend this hotel. The staff was very courteous and accommodating, and the grounds are beautiful. I have to admit, however, that the stairs took a little getting used to. There are no elevators. We went through Saa-iba Real Estate to get the condo. Lorenzo, Gino and Marta were great. I do not hesitate to recommend this agency. The one thing I have been telling everyone about Huatulco is how clean it is and how beautifully landscaped the surrounding roads are. Much better than Cancun, I think.

We want to go back this summer. I sure wish we could convince Funjet Vacations or another tour group to do some charters out of Houston. Our airfare was quite expensive compared to other trips to Mexico--$960 for the two of us. And, there are no direct flights-we had to purchase roundtrip tickets to Mexico City on Continental; then connect with a Mexicana flight into Huatulco. I'm spoiled on purchasing packages which include airfare and hotel!

Tom, thank you for a great resource. I found the visitors' comments very helpful in planning our vacation. I even printed several pages and took them with me-the info came in handy.

Houston, Tx.

April 2000

Iron Man

By the way we just had the half Iron man event (last weekend) preliminary to the Hawaiian competition.

Lorenzo Curt
Saa-Iba Realty

April 2000

Crown Pacific vs Gala

We just got back from Huatulco on March 17th. We had a great vacation. The weather was sunny and a minimum 80 degrees every day. We learned some Spanish. Definitely a necessity. We all drank the water with no ill effects. The people were helpful and friendly. Our hotel room at the Crown Pacific was large and clean. We got a seventh floor room. The one right in front of the kids pool. We could watch the kids in the pool from the sitting area in our room. Couldn't ask for better for a family with young children. We ended up staying at the Crown Pacific for 10 days and then we moved to the Gala for 4 days. I'm glad we did that. After this trip we've decided that staying at any all inclusive hotel for more than about a week is too long. The two weeks were great. It would have been much more difficult to leave after only one week.

Both places have their good and bad points. The Gala doesn't have nearly the "Mexican" feel that the Crown Pacific has. We much preferred the entertainment at the Crown Pacific. We really enjoyed the authentic Mexican dancing and music. Other nights there had a variety of local musicians. I got the impression that they were making changes to improve this part of the package and were trying out different things. We found the entertainment at the Gala to be more "amateurish" and we actually ended up leaving one of the shows at the Gala as we didn't feel it was suitable for our kids.

The rooms at the Crown Pacific were better. Slightly "older", much larger. Very Clean.

I had Beef fillet at the specialty restaurants at both places. The meal at the Crown Pacific Tomayo restaurant was fine, though in my opinion I think the chef needs more training. The "fillet" I had at the specialty restaurant at the Gala was definitely more like stewing beef. I was told that right after we left the Crown Pacific they closed down the Tomayo and also that they no longer have a breakfast buffet.

The kids club at the Gala is great. Shaded, all fenced off with a lock on the gate and at least two individuals taking care of the kids. The one at the Crown Pacific wasn't even operating when we got there and when it did open had very limited resources. It appears that the Crown Pacific Management didn't see much value in operating a "kids club". There was one young girl responsible for running the club. There were just too many kids, (some really bratty ones while we were there), for one individual to deal with. And although our kids fell in love with her we didn't feel comfortable leaving our young ones alone with her. We have however, made arrangements to correspond with her via e-mail.

The Beach by the Gala is much better. The surf wasn't as rough. Even at this beach we were careful and had the kids in life jackets, which we brought with us. We also made sure that we were with them whenever they went in the water.

Bottom line on the hotels. We initially felt that the 4+ star rating given to the Crown Pacific was about a star too high and that's why we decided to try the Gala. After staying at both places I think the star rating is deserved. At the Gala I talked to one fellow who'd stayed at a couple of different Club Med locations, as well as, a couple of Sandals Locations and he said that the Gala was the best. I guess no place is perfect. The Crown Pacific was more what were looking for. Unlike the "Americanized" Gala, at the Crown Pacific we felt like we were in Mexico. We all enjoyed the Funicular rides within the hotel and the rides under the coconut palms to the beach club. In addition, there were no lineups. The food was interesting. It was quiet. And despite a definite language barrier, we found the people were generally friendlier than at the Gala. Maybe they just had more time.

We went on a boat tour on a boat called the Macho. It was great. The Captain spotted some whales way off in the distance and went out of his way to give us all the opportunity to have the "Wild Kingdom" experience of watching two humpback whales, a baby and what I presume was the mother jumping out of the water. This added an additional hour to our trip. No problem. We booked the trip on the beach and paid 300 pesos for the 4 of us. We got a deal as the kids were young. This included free drinks while on board.

At the Gala I took an introductory scuba lesson in the pool, (included), where I spent about 15 minutes underwater. I'm now hooked and hope to get my scuba certification before our next voyage. We also went ocean kayaking and snorkeling a couple of times. The snorkeling was great. Heading back to the boat after one snorkeling outing I saw a ray that was approx. 4 feet in diameter. We went snorkeling in Hawaii at Hanuama Bay last year and this was almost as good.

The whole trip was wonderful.

I'm now back at work. I just finished a 4 1/2 hour lunch meeting and am now developing a headache caused by a tightening of my neck muscles. An fairly regular occurrence that I had managed to avoid about while on vacation.

When can I go back!

Thanks to your web site for helping to make this a most memorable vacation for us.

Darren Magel

March 2000


I have a few questions about the gala resort or Huatulco. We are frequent Mexico travelers -- but new to Huatulco!

Does this area of Mexico have cellular service? (I have an AT&T plan and my phone has been activated for Mexico service) -- but not every part of the country has service. Where there is service AT&T customers will incur a roaming charge of approx. $4-5 per day plus long distance of about . 50 â€" 75 per minute. But that can be a real bargain and convenience when faced with the alternatives.

Regarding the Gala Resort. Can't find a website for them in Huatulco. Their Playacar location does have a good site. But zip for Huatulco as far as I can tell. Basically, looking for a run-down on facilities, amenities, etc. So far what I've read is good.

March 2000

Yes, they do have cellular service. -Tom

Over-budget on Car Rental

Tom, I just returned from Huatulco and had a fantastic time with three of my friends. We stayed at Posada Chahue most of the time we were there and you could not meet a better group of people than this family owned and operated hotel.

While we were there we decided to rent a car and do some exploring -- we went to Zipolite, Puerto Angel, and Puerto Escondido and rented a car from Budget Rent A Car in La Crucecita. The car was fine but the ladies that have you sign the contract left out the fact that over 400% of the rental price would be charged against my credit card which reduced my balance to such an extent it literally ruined the last three days of my vacation. I charged the car on my Visa debit card where I had sufficient funds to rent the car pay the remainder of my hotel bill and buy some souvenirs in Huatulco and Mexico City on the way back -- but Budget charged $542.90 on what was a two day car rental of about $132.00 US. This took my account down to a little over $7.00. Mexico is inexpensive but you can't do much on $7.00. I would love to post this information on your site so that other travelers are informed about this information before they rent a car from Budget -- then maybe their vacation will not be destroyed by not having pertinent information disclosed to them. Your site is fantastic -- we loved all of the people in all of the places that we visited and became friends with all of the people at Posada Chahue.

Khail Mills

March 2000


Tom, Just a quick note to pass on to fellow passengers who have the misfortune of having to travel on Mexicana airlines. I have had 9 trips in the past 15 months, and they have managed to make each one an unpleasant experience. Going to Huatulco is fairly problem free, as they are early flights and the employees have not had much of a chance to screw things up. The return flights on the other hand are in the afternoon, and this is where the problems start. They have absolutely no idea what a schedule is-they either arrive late, leave early, don't leave, make unscheduled stops, overbook flights, or all of the above. This airline has single-handedly caused tourism to slow down in the whole area. They charge way too much for their flights, their attendants are rude, do not do their jobs and in general just hide out in back of the planes until they land. I just wish that some other airline in the near future gives them some competition so that they don't completely wipe out tourism in the Huatulco area. Hopefully better days are coming in the air travel industry.

March 2000

I've noticed that too. -Tom

What Kind of Rash?

I remembered reading your post about rashes on Tom's wonderful Hautulco page. In January I made my 5th trip to Hautulco and for the first time my 13 year old daughter accompanied me. On returning to Montana she developed a rash around her hair line that has persisted and spread. She has a dermatologist appointment this Friday but I thought any information you could provide may be helpful. I saw another post where Charlie Ramos refered to a skin infection he got. Thank you very much for any help.

Dan T. Merriman

March 2000

That's true, I got an infection last year. I'm going to make a description of it. It started as small red spots. Then the red spot grew to 1/8-inch diameter and after that, the spots developed a white blister, the layer of skin forming the blister was very thin, I could remove it with my nails (the itching was very uncomfortable). Once broken, a clear liquid came out. The infection affected my arm pits and the area inside the legs, as well as the groin.

At first, I thought the problem was fungus. I used Fungoral but the infection did not go away.

After that, I visited the doctor, and he took some liquid from the blisters. He sent it to a lab to cultivate it in vitro, and the lab determined that the problem was bacterial and not fungus.

So, the doctor gave me an ointment called Garamicina (the active antibiotic is Gentamicina, probably gentamicin in English) and is manufactured by Scheming-Plough labs.

With this medicine, the infection disappeared in 10 days, more or less.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Robbery at the Airport

Our two families (totaling nine) just returned both crispy and happy from a week in Huatulco. We stayed at the Barcelo and did the tourist things such as snorkeling in bays, fishing, shopping in La Crucecita, eating in fine restaurants. A couple of discoveries are worth mentioning.

We found Socorro Lopez Frias who runs the Mision Fa Sol restaurant to be a delightful lady (who speaks English very well, having lived in California) and the food and service probably the best we had. Its down the street from the Barcelo close to the La Pampa Argentina restaurant.

The Los Almendros restaurant in La Crucecita (run by Carina) was another great find. Quantities and quality were amazing. Both restaurants are worth doing and both were exceptionally clean. The Los Almendros is about four blocks off the main square, next to an interesting tablecloth/bedspread weaving shop. Be sure to check it out too.

Another highlight was a trip one morning to Santa Maria. Delightful town with a flavor all its own. Our teenagers were quite taken by the overall simplicity, the laid back lifestyle, the colorful shops, the fascinating market, and the simple schools (sitting two to an old wooden desk reminded me of forty years ago!).

The only downside of the week was a robbery at the airport as we waited for the gate to open for our return flight. A young couple was distracted by one of the thieves while another took off with their travel documents, plane tickets, wallets, cash. Fortunately Visa came to their rescue. I guess you can never let your guard down. They described one of the men as very large (6'3" or so) with a mustache and sinister looking eyes. Almost sounds like a character out of a TV series. (Only slightly less sinister were the Customs officials who demanded $40 US from my sixteen year old son because he lost his tourist card.)

All in all, a great week, definitely worth repeating.

Bernie Fandrich

March 2000

Los Chilenos les gusta el Sabor de Oaxaca

Quisiera por medio de este medio hacer un reconocimiento: durante mis vacaciones en febrero del 2000 he tenido la suerte de conocer un hermoso balneario que se llama HUATULCO, donde hay gente muy hospitalaria como son los mexicanos y además me recomendaron visitar un hermoso restaurante que es atendido por sus propios dueños, Guillermo Ugarte, este está ubicado en La Crucecita llamado el Sabor de Oaxaca donde se pueden degustar los mejores platos de la cocina oaxaqueña, con sus tlayudas, la sangría y otro platos del sabor propio de la zona, además que en caso de sentir nostalgia por el sabor de chile puedes comer unos filetes, carnes a la pimienta etc, ya que su dueño es un Chileno de primera que no olvida su tierra y esta contento en este lindo México.

Se despide un chileno que conoció este lugar junto con su mujer y espera volver muy pronto a disfrutar de esta hospitalidad y buenos sabores.

Tomás infestas y Angélica Arellano

March 2000

Say Hi to Manuel

I just returned from a wonderful week in Huatulco. I stayed at the Crown Pacific and I was sad to learn that they are changing the format as of the end of March and it will be only Mexican tourists to the Crown Pacific from now on. However, I am glad we got in while we could. We had an incredible time. The rooms were huge and the whole hotel was perfectly spotless. The meals were fabulous and the variety was incredible. The staff at the hotel were incredibly kind and tried to help me with my horrible attempts at Spanish.

There were three restaurants at the hotel - one on the 7th floor roof top with an incredible view, one a la carte restaurant with impeccable food and a third buffet at the beach club. All the rooms had ocean view and because the hotel was not especially booked they upgraded all the couples the top floor rooms with Jacuzzi tubs that looked out over the balcony. The carts and trolleys you had to take to get to the rooms made you feel like you were in secluded cabins. Words can not describe how beautiful it was and how friendly the people were.

The beaches were incredible but I found the waves a little too rough for swimming in the ocean. Snorkeling at Entrega was beautiful and we only paid 25 pesos per person for the whole day for the equipment rental. That we due to some extreme bartering down from 40 pesos but it was fun. Once again we found the people friendly and the service incredible.

I cannot say enough good things about Huatulco. It was safe, the people were very friendly and I had a wonderful time. I am sad to see the Crown Pacific change formats but if you can get into that hotel I highly recommend it and say "hi" to Manuel the bartender for me.

Rick McKenty

March 2000

Holiday at the Crown

We just returned to Kelowna BC after spending one week at the Crown Pacific Suites [photos 79K]. Our stay was from the 11th of Feb to 18th of Feb. We flew Royal Airlines from Calgary instead of Vancouver BC. Ask when you book the package with Signature tours. Many passengers from the Okanagan boarded in Vancouver having to get to the airport around 6 in the morning, in Calgary we had seats on the plane (pre-paid) and our time was around 8am. The flight was fairly long but Royal airlines kept us wined, dined, and movied. We arrived around into Huatulco 5:30pm and were met by the Signature Reps and shuffled onto awaiting buses for the different hotels. A little tiresome waiting for everyone to get their bags and clear Mexican customs.

Our teenage boys brought their skim boards from Canada and the customs officers wanted to look into the box; that was our only hold up. We boarded the bus and the drive to the hotel (Crown Pacific) was about 30 minutes. We were met in the lobby by the staff all dressed in different Arabian outfits. All the new guests were escorted into a large room to be assigned rooms. It was all done efficiently and quickly. Our bags were brought up later by the staff. We got out of our warm clothes and headed down to the beach club for dinner. So very tired we didn't eat much and headed to bed early. There is a two hour time difference between Kelowna and Huatulco, not much but enough to put you out.

Next day and for the rest of the week, we played in the ocean. Volleyball games in the pool and basketball that the boys played everyday. We went on the ATV tours, we made the deal on the beach a lot cheaper than through the hotel. We had a riot We had already Shaked and Baked (tanning salons) before we left Kelowna but we started with SPF 30 and stayed with that for the whole week. We still got a great tan, no sunburns though. Always wear a hat even in the water. Remember you can even burn in the shade as some people did. We found the food simple but good, towards the end of the week we started to get a little imaginative with the sandwiches, grilled cheese and meat. No one close to us got sick during our stay, a few rumbly tummys but that could be the drinking also.

Our teenagers had a bracelet that allowed them to drink, not a lot of problems. The only issue we had was the kids (teenagers) wanting to go night clubbing downtown with some of the staff. We were not allowing our kids to go along, and as we heard more horror stories about what was going on we were more and more sure we made the right decision.

All and all we had a great time, I know the activities around the beach club were hard to find...but just ask..... We would certainly go back to Huatulco, maybe try a different hotel just for something new but WE HAD A GREAT HOLIDAY . thanks for a great web page.

the steinhoff's

March 2000

Turned on to Huatulco

Our family recently returned from a one-week vacation in Huatulco, and all concluded it was our best family vacation ever! We stayed at the Zaashila, and found it beautiful and very relaxing. The whole area was very attractive & clean, and the people very friendly. We did the boat tour of the bays (small boat with Mario & Raul), coffee plantation tour, rented mopeds for a day and cruised all over - and loved it all. Enjoyed restaurants in La Crucecita, but enjoyed even more meals on the beach (Don Ramos at Playa Maguey (great shrimp dishes) & Ve el Mar near the Santa Cruz pier (nice candlelight dinner right on the beach!). Thanks, Tom, for this site that turned us on to Huatulco!! Hope to make it back soon.

The Palmers

March 2000

Heard of this Project?

Hello Tom, I have been working with Ideal Real Estate to buy a condo in Santa Cruz, it is not built yet (Residential Bayside). I have learned that the project manager will be Bernardo Sada (local Engineer). I was hoping that you might be able to tell me if you have heard about this project. This area sounds like it lives up to it name (Paradise). I have enjoyed reading all the e-mails and your comments.

Ron Lussier

March 2000


Don Porfirio

Tom, your site as others have said was invaluable to the enjoyment at the Bays of Huatulco. A great relaxing place, very tranquil and extremely hot. But the pool and ocean were cool and all in our party had a fabulous time. We stayed at the Barcelo [photos 141K] and found the accommodations clean, sanitary, safe and just what the doctor ordered.

Oaxacan food takes a bit getting used to unless you stick with the fish which we ended up doing. I would warn against visiting the Argentine restaurant (not the Pampa) across from the Barcelo since the service there wasn't the greatest and it seemed that the bill was jacked up. Otherwise all other restaurant visits were fantastic.

We found the service was first rate at all other stops during our stay. Especially the service provided by Miguel at the Jarro and Don Porifino's on the corner across the street from the Gala. He was a remarkable person who we greatly admired by the end of our stay. We highly recommend that visitors seek him out.

ATMs aren't the easiest to find. You won't find one at Tangolunda so either take cash to have exchanged at the Hotel or use your credit card. [ATMs are at the banks in Santa Cruz and various places in La Crucecita such as the main square. -Tom]

Beautiful place, great people, sunny everyday, and very slow, Huatulco is the perfect place to get away and hide for as long as you want. I highly recommend a visit to this Mexican jewel.


March 2000

Any Charters from Minnesota?

I am interested in getting information on Charters to Huatulco from Minnesota. I've been told there are none this year at all. A group of family members are interested in going to the Gala Resort in Huatulco next February and I'm wondering If there will be charters then, or what other options we might have? We were there in 1999 and it was WONDERFUL!

Shirley Olson

March 2000

Crown Pacific

Hi Tom! I really appreciate the work you've (and likely others) have gone to set up and maintain this site. I found the candid comments to be very useful in planning our trip. I noticed that there were not many comments regarding the Crown Pacific [photos 79K] (yet) on your website, so here's our observations and comments.

We stayed at the Crown Pacific for a week starting Feb 18th. Overall we really enjoyed our stay. Before I arrived, I was concerned about Mosquitoes, excessive pesticide in the rooms (I have an extreme sensitivity to both) but did not experience any major problems. I did notice one time when I accidentally scraped my bare shoulder against one of the walls, it did turn red and irritated for a short while - so I knew some kind of offensive chemical was there. So, I just didn't touch the walls much and I was fine.. Didn't spot even a single Mosquito. [It it common for hotels to spray walls for mosquitoes because the mosquito tends to land on a wall after biting. -Tom]

The Crown Pacific was only about 40% full at the time we were there - so that meant there was never a wait for a table and never a problem getting a lounge chair at the pools. The food was excellent; I think we gained weight on or weeklong visit. To mirror another comment I saw on this website, the wait for the little passenger shuttle to shuttle us up and down the terraced site of the Crown Pacific was sometimes a pain. On the bright side, my 4-year-old daughter Kacey, thought it was a thrill. You have to picture these shuttle vehicles. Small truck frames with the box converted to basically 6 open bench seats on either side facing outward. Of course no seat belts or much other than a short armrest to grasp onto. Perfect from a 4-year-old's perspective. Dangerous from a Mom's perspective. So I'd try to secure her position in the vehicle by sitting next to her and placing my hand firmly across both of her knees. She'd be insulted by this action and briskly remove my hand and place it back on my own lap. This routine would repeat until we arrived at our destination. It felt like a first date in a movie theatre.

The Crown Pacific had a "Kids Club" but it was not that well organized/supervised and probably as a result of that, was basically unused. We certainly never felt comfortable with the notion of leaving Kacey there, so we didn't.

The "entertainment" was obviously low budget - apparently it was the daytime "activities staff's" responsibility to devise the dinner entertainment - so usually it was the guests' children playing some games with the activities staff on stage or perhaps the kids' lip synching to Michael Jackson or Celine Dion. When they'd exhausted the kids, then it was time to pick on the adult guests by hauling them up on stage and having them learn to dance or (my own performance) gargle tequila to the tune of La Cucaracha. OK, so a little of this can be entertaining, but soon we'd drift away to the beach and see what the Gala or Barcelo had to offer for entertainment (you could see it from the beach). It invariably looked better than what was being offered at Crown Pacific.

On our last day there, we were informed that the Crown Pacific had been sold the night before and that a lot of the staff had just been let go. The shock and disappointment was quite apparent in the atmosphere. That was quite the downer after such a nice time.

The overall area itself was just great - friendly people, very clean beach, water, streets, etc. We'd go again without hesitation.

P.S. The other downer we experienced (our own fault but I put this in here to give any other tourists the heads up) was the phone bill that was presented to us upon checkout - ~3000 Pesos! After picking ourselves up from the floor we realized we should have used our calling calls (we just phoned from the phone in the rooms - after having put down a 100 Peso deposit.. ha ha!) It seems the going rate of the day was 67 pesos per minute, plus a lot of tax. We demanded some back-up to confirm the number of calls and the time spent. After considerable delay we finally got a printout detailing some of the info - enough to tell that a few of the calls where not even placed from our own rooms. So they moved those charges from the overall bill and demanded the balance, which we had no choice but to pay.

Kim and Lee

March 2000

Phil & Dave's "Mexcellent" Adventure

My buddy Dave and I just returned from Huatulco on 3-8-00.we spent 10 days at the hotel San Augustinillo (which me and my friends call the ruins). Pretty laid back. We did see a German break his neck surfing though. Many people gathered to help and Shandor the Hungarian took him to the hospital in Pochutla. There they had oxygen but no mask to administer it--not the place to be when in need of medical attention! I hung out with our buddy Hubert in Mazunte and Pablo and Carol.

When it was time to go Hubert offered us a ride to La Crucecita to a place his friend owned for our last night. It was hotel Las Palmas and his friend and owner was a gentleman by the name Willem or Memo. Well this guy knows everybody and everything. Deluxe rooms-hot water-air cond. and even toilet seats. The restaurant rivals some of the best I've seen in Chicago for quality and service. Again Willem knows where everything is and speaks perfect English. Took Dave and I another 5 days to leave this party. This is a must for anyone looking to stay away from the ugly Americans at the large resorts. p.s. the women are still fine in Zipolite but so are the thieves.

Also beat the large Mexican school teacher arm wrestling at Shandors palapa 3 times. Thanks for the web site.


March 2000

Huatulco Vacations, Dentistry, Retirement Living

I recently returned from three weeks in Huatulco and environs. I am a real estate lawyer and broker, and I also have a masters in urban and regional planning. I have seen a lot of beautiful places. All I can say about Huatulco is that this is the best place on earth.

First of all, FONATUR has done a great job of planning small communities separated by open space. Each community has its own feel. It is planned, but not overplanned. Second, the financial commitment to utilities, boulevards, parks, etc. is outstanding. Third, it is not overcrowded.

Initially I went there to check out Dr. Freddy Marin, a local dentist, about some major dental work I needed. I ended up getting a root canal by Dra. Griselda Castellanos, a bridge and a total of five porcelain crowns from Freddy. Excellent work, very reasonable. Moreover, Freddy is a great guy, a Renaissance man who composes, plays the guitar, harbors local political ambitions, and is starting to develop a commercial parcel in the new zócalo area in Chahue. He introduced me to a lot of locals and the small but growing expatriate community. He can be reached at freddyhuatulco@hotmail.com.

All in all, I decided this is where I want my second home/retirement home, so I spent a lot of time checking out the land development situation, architects, banks, lawyers, etc., and finally selected a parcel in Balcones de Tangolunda planned for 12 homesites. I will put in utilities, the pool, palapa, tennis court, etc. landscape it, and buy some vehicles, sports equipment and toys. People will buy a homesite and design and build their own home, using a local architect. Doing it this way, they can have a medium size luxury home for about $185,000 USD, with all the common amenities, toys and vehicles -- market value should be about $225-250,000.

I am looking for both investors in the project, and buyers. Even at the low finished cost, the investment shows an excellent "NASDAQ"- level return. And we can do "Phase II" -- there's another parcel next door for 18 homes.

Kirk Wickersham

March 2000

Fishing and Snorkeling

Just returned from another great trip to Huatulco and Pto. Escondido. We have been going frequently for the last 5 years and always have a perfect vacation. We've been keeping expenses down by staying at the Posada Michelle in La Crucecita (They have a nice 2-room suite with 2 double beds and 2 single "bankettes" plus refrigerator; or a second suite with a wonderful private patio complete with hammocks for 400-500 pesos per night). This allows for lots more trips to the wonderful snorkeling beaches in the area.

We go with Isidro or Gonzolo, who can be found at the Santa Cruz marina. They are both very dependable and knowledgeable about the area. Isidro tends towards fishing excursions and Gonzolo is an excellent diver who can amaze you (if asked) with sea urchins, puffer fish, starfish etc . Our favorite trip is to San Agustín, with a stop at La India for snorkeling. We like to fish on the way and if lucky we bring our catch to be prepared at a restaurant when we arrive. If not so lucky they always have an assortment of fresh seafood to choose from. The snorkeling in San Agustín is excellent as well as easy for any level swimmer. It's a perfect day trip. The rates for all trips are posted at the marina and you can customize any way you want. Tips are the perfect way to express your thanks for the extra efforts... (fishing, guided snorkeling, extra stops). A full day trip can be had for $80-$100 and is worth every penny! (6 people can easily be accommodated on a longer trip...8 for the shorter trips.) Fishing excursions are available for @ 250 pesos per hour and Isidro will be very honest with you as to how successful fishing has been in the past few days.

Huatulco is a very beautiful place...I have always felt welcome and safe. I have yet to meet anyone who did not express an interest in returning for an even longer vacation "next year".

Sue Blackstone
Mpls., MN

March 2000

Crown won't be bought by Barcelo

I recently read a comment where is said that Crown Pacific is going to be bought by Barcelo. This is not the case. The Crown Pacific owner has decided to change operators. Right know, most of the operations employees as well as some of the administrative staff who worked for the old operator are gone. Now, the hotel is going to be operated by one of the most important charter companies of Mexico named Magnicharters. This company is probably the travel company who sells more trips in the whole Mexico. They own or rent airliners (727, DC 10, etc) to move their own clients. So, for the moment, the hotel's name doesn't change.

And, as always, weather is beautiful (temperature has begun to raise), there has not had "rebalses" yet and conditions for SCUBA diving as well as for other ocean activities have been good.

I'll keep you updated.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

On our Way

Hi. We are going there for the first time. we will be staying with a friend who just moved there and is not familiar with it either. We're two young ladies from Minnesota--any tips? Hablamos espanol. Una de nosotras es maestra de espanol. And what's the dillio with the "inappropriate touching?"

carolyn and ginna

March 2000

I think the inappropriate touching has been discontinued. - Tom

Something for Oscar

Hola Tom My sister and I just got back from a one-week trip to Huatulco, staying at the Barcelo. I found the feedback on your site to be extremely useful and would like to pass on some comments. We both absolutely loved Huatulco - it's so beautiful, the water is so warm and clean, and the air is fragrant with a hint of spice and flowers. IMHO the snorkeling was much better than anything I had seen in Maui.

The hawkers were few and not overly aggressive (except for Oscar, who lurks in Santa Cruz and was an uninvited guest in our cab back from Entrega to the hotel - next time, he gets one right in the kisser!!!), and shopping in La Crucecita and Santa Cruz was very relaxed and laid back.

We sailed with Jack Hennessy on the Luna Azul for both the Seven Bays tour and the Sunset tour, and found that Jack, his crew and the boat lived up to all of the positive advance billing. These were wonderful trips (probably the best thing I'd ever done on a vacation - I love boats), and Jack and his crew were wonderful, considerate and fun hosts. We recommend them completely and without any reservation, and look forward to seeing them again when we return to Huatulco.

We weren't nearly as impressed with the all-inclusive Barcelo [photos 141K]. The front desk staff were indifferent and downright rude at times, housekeeping was spotty and inconsistent, the smoke shop was closed for at least 4 days "for inventory" (give me a break, with that amount of stock they could have counted it completely in an hour). Breakfast was excellent, lunch was OK, but the dinner meals were mediocre - over a quarter of the menu was comprised of pizza. Worst of all, the place was relentlessly noisy - mindless dance mix blasting at the pool from noon till 6 pm, then loud Elvis and combination canned and live music from 7 until 11 pm, also at the pool. There was loud canned music in the lobby, in the dining room, in the breakfast restaurant. People can listen to this excrement at home anytime - they can't always hear the surf breaking and the breezes ruffling the palms. Based on all of this, I would definitely not stay at the Barcelo or the Gala (whose disco kept guest there and at the Barcelo awake until 1 am.) Just a note, it is my understanding that the Gala chain bought the Crown Pacific, so there may be more changes in store. The physical premises of all of these hotels are very lovely, but the ambiance doesn't match.

We did the Rough Guide to Huatulco and Plantation Tours, offered by Signature. These were really good and well done. Just make sure that you bring your swimsuit and snorkel gear on the Rough Guide, since there's a long stop at Entrega Beach. Thanks Tom, for providing a forum for information and feedback. This was our first trip to Mexico, and we may have found the best first. Huatulco is beautiful, and I definitely plan to return.


March 2000

Looking for Suggestions

We have been to Huatulco a few times and have stayed at various hotels. This time (we will be there first 2 weeks of April) we will be staying at Casa Costena with children, and grandchild.... Really looking forward to it as it will be their first time. We plan to go golfing (any particular information would be helpful as first time for that), visiting the LaGloria Finca, and generally renting small boats and going to beachs and LaCruceccita.... Any major problems in the area? Or any other excursions someone might suggest? Love this site and hope someday to live in area for a couple months a year....

Kathy & Bert

March 2000

Fake Juice at the Barcelo

I just returned from spending the last two and a half weeks at the Barcelo/Sheraton. I found that it hasn't changed too much. In fact, the employees are wearing both the new Barcelo uniforms as well as the old Sheraton uniforms. There are a few things that I was not happy with. The breakfast buffet no longer serves fresh orange juice, but some awful orange liquid that at times tasted like Tang and other times like a combination of orange and pineapple juice.

Additionally, there are no longer English newspapers available for guests, only Spanish.

Also the hotel put up a makeshift stage over one of the set of stairs that led to the beach, and one of the shower areas. It's a real eyesore. Hopefully it's only temporary.

An earlier commentary spoke about a robbery and in checking around learned that the Pampa de Argentina, had in fact been robbed, and apparently some tourists who were eating there at the time were also robbed. I did get the impression that local people were reluctant to talk about it as tourism is so important to them. I felt quite safe though.

Probably the biggest annoyance that I and other guests I spoke with had, was the obvious catering to the conventions that were there. While I understand their need to do so to an extent, they seemed to ignore that there were other paying guests. One day in particular a group of Spanish travel agents, who were there with their wives, free, as guests of the hotel simply came to the beach and took over other people's palapas and beach chairs. Another day the hotel apparently provided unlimited use of jet ski's for their use and had the skis moved to the area where the guests normally sit so we were subjected to the smell of gas fumes, noise and an oil slick in the swimming area, as they had no regard for what the ropes meant. The final indignity was one evening when the hotel hosted an outdoor dinner party for another group on the grassy area between the hotel and the Gala. It was pleasant until 1:00 a.m when from a sound sleep we were awakened to what we thought may have been an earthquake but was actually the vibrations from the music the band was playing.

Rumor has it that the hotel may go all-inclusive. I would hope not as it's nice to go to different restaurants in the area, especially if you're staying for any length of time. In particular, the Jarro cafe is a real treat with consistently good food and pretty fair prices, and the quantity is awesome. A particularly good entree is the stuffed chicken barbeque which consists of white chicken breast stuffed with cheese and then wrapped in bacon and barbecued on a skewer with vegetables. It's served with a tasty barbeque sauce, rice and veggies.

The area seemed quite busy. Both the Tangolunda area and the towns, Santa Cruz and La Crucecita were filled with tourists in the evenings. It's a shame that the use of U.S. dollars is becoming more prevalent, as it takes away from the Mexican culture. I cashed travelers checks at the local banks in Santa Cruz and used pesos. I found that when merchants quote the dollar vs. the peso that you would be overcharged using the dollar. Besides I like using local currency, and some vendors preferred pesos as it was a problem for them to cash in.

The weather was great as always and the water clean and clear. (except for the temporary oil slick)

March 2000

Gala Beats Barcelo

We just returned from a week at the Gala Resort at Huatulco. What a fabulous vacation. The property is lovely. The rooms were clean and tasteful. The food is excellent. The beverages were delicious and the service was fantastic. When the Gala says it is all-inclusive, it is not kidding. We heard comments from people staying at the Barcelo and they were not pleased with their all-inclusive holiday. One of our best experiences was a day of snorkeling with Valentino. He is a friendly fellow who took very good care of us. He picked us up when he said he would, told us about the area and then snorkeled with us to show us the best spots. If you want to do some snorkeling while in Huatulco, look for Valentino on the beach. He is the one with the frisbee. We have visited several other warm weather destinations but nothing can hold a candle to Huatulco. We plan to return in 2002 for at least 2 weeks.

D & B McTeer
Calgary AB

March 2000

Travel Agent Finds Value in Huatulco

Dear Tom, I have just returned from a brief visit to Huatulco and must tell you what a pleasant experience this was. I am a travel agent and this was my first trip to Huatulco, and I will certainly recommend this destination to many of my clients. The people were wonderful, very friendly and helpful and I felt very safe. The beaches and mountains are absolutely beautiful, (I was also impressed with the blow hole). Because I was only there for 3 days there was not sufficient time to check out all the excursion. The one I did go on was the 7 Bay tour. For just $35 it is a great value for an all day trip including drinks, snorkeling, games and visiting the beautiful Bays of Huatulco. I did spend a great deal of my time in La Crucecita. It is a lovely little town, good shopping, very clean and safe.

I stayed at the Crown Pacific hotel [photos 79K]. While this is a moderate property I found it very comfortable. The suites are roomy with a lanai and a great view from almost anywhere on the property. I thought the hotels location on the hill side only added to its charm. This hotel is all-inclusive and a great value. I expected the same old buffet food and limited dining options. The menu was very different every night at the Beach Club and the Tamayo restaurant was excellent. The food was beyond my expectations. The entertainment at the Beach Club every evening was also very good, something different every night. In the evening after the Beach Club closed the lobby bar was open until 1am, there was no shortage of drinks and conversation.

Another bonus is getting there. There is a charter with non-stop flights from Chicago with Apple Vacations. The flight times are bit unusual but only a 15-minute ride to Tangolunda Bay. The modern Huatulco Airport is also something to see, coming from Chicago O'Hare you have to see it to believe it.

If it is a quiet vacation your looking for or something with a lot of activity you can find it here. There are some wonderful modern hotels as well as more basic accommodation. There is nightlife in La Crucecita but you will not find the big city atmosphere. In the hotel area of Tangolunda Bay it is very quiet, especially at night, one thing I noticed was very little traffic. Huatulco is also an excellent place for children. The staff at the Crown Pacific was very good with the children. There were activities through out the day for the children. Several times at dinner and later in the evening I saw children cuddle up on the laps of there new friends, the activities staff.

Huatulco is a great value and I look foreword to returning with my husband for our next vacation.

Ina Prokop
Milwaukee, WI

March 2000

A Zipolite Experience

Zipolite....... well that was an experience all on its own! Now I know why all the taxi drivers and locals of the resort area smiled when I mentioned it was on my list of destinations!

This province of Mexico is a nice mix of resorts and real Mexico and I would go back in a flash. Next to the exploring, I enjoyed the snorkeling the best.... maybe some day I will try diving?

I had a mix of adventures, only a very few problems as a single, marketable product, traveling solo in a foreign country, without much knowledge of the native language, but overall I was in a very safe environment and have no real horror stories to share, which is a good thing. The weather, people and geography of the area is excellent and I would recommend it to anyone:-)

Barb Armstrong

February 2000

Real Estate Question

What is the rule about buying a property and renting it out to others, e.g. a small office building? Thanks.

Marcus & Alison Cain

February 2000

Dust-Eating Tour (and more)

We recently spent a wonderful week at the Crown Pacific [photos 79K] in beautiful Huatulco. The weather was warm with clear skies every day. My wife and I have been to Cabo San Lucas and Puerto Vallarta in the past but we both agree this was the most relaxing holiday of the three locations. The Crown Pacific was for the most part very clean and neat, the staff friendly and helpful. The buffet style meals had an excellent variety especially the breakfast. I had read earlier comments from some people from the Kelowna area that won a free trip from cilk-fm radio station that had a bad experience in the Tamoyo restaurant. We ate there twice and enjoyed it both times. The staff was very anxious to please you and make it a very pleasant dining experience. Of course with all the good comments there is obviously something that was not as good. We found the language barrier a little difficult at times. It was a bit of a pain having to use the transport vehicle to get to the tenth floor room as the walk to your room is a bit of a climb. Those of course were minor inconveniences. There is a young lady by the name of Anne-Marie (a fellow Canadian) who is the PR.& Marketing Director and she was the greatest. I would suggest that when you see all-inclusive check out what it really means. We had a bit of a problem when it came to kayaking, sailing or snorkeling equipment, but again all the staff at the beach club were willing to help you out if you just ask.

I had the pleasure of going on a scuba diving excursion with Carlos Ramos at the Dive Shop at the Barcelo. I took a private lesson with Carlos and he was very thorough. When I went for the dive two days later it was one of the highlights of my trip. We managed to get about 50 yds from 2 humpback whales and both underwater sites we full of life and excitement. (highly recommend)

We also went on the ATV jungle tour or as we referred to as the Dust-eating tour. Be cautious of the machines you ride as they are in need of much repair and tires. The other problem was none of the guide people spoke a word of English. That created a minor problem. The beaches we visited were both gorgeous. Crystal clear waters and white sand.

We spent a fair bit of time in La Crucecita shopping and eating and found it to be a friendly town with a lot of good shopping. I must mention the El Sabor de Oaxaca restaurant we ate at, as the food was great. As well in Santa Cruz the Ve El Mar Restaurant we enjoyed a delicious meal on the beach by candlelight at a more than reasonable price. I only wish the Mexicans new what a real steak is like as I am not the biggest fan of seafood.

I will finish this long-winded commentary by saying that I will most likely return to Huatulco next year as my wife and I greatly enjoyed our stay. If you and your family are looking for a peaceful Mexican getaway with no pressure to buy time shares or goods from vendors this is the place to go. My only regret is that we didn't stay 2 weeks.

R&S Speckman
Kelowna BC Canada

February 2000

Villa Coral

Hi We just got back from staying for 2 weeks at the Villa Coral. It was beautiful, clean and QUIET! But definitely not for children, and even older kids there is not much to do. Steeps stairs and unsafe balconies for little ones especially. The breakfast was great and the service was slow but Victor was so nice and the view was fantastic we saw dolphins and humpbacks swim by from the restaurant. Dinners were a bit hit and miss there so we went into town every night and had wonderful dinners. The best was the Oasis and Juan the head waiter so nice.

Being Canadian I found the prices for everything a bit pricey T Shirts $19 US and baseball cap $28 CA the food as well 168 pesos for a sea food dinner! But again steaks at OASIS were fabulous and only 69 pesos. The best place to get money is from the bank machine (with a bank card) we got home and the rate was 6.3 Canadian bank line ups are long and you HAVE to have a passport at most of them. We went on a 1-day tour with Martha and Allan who are staying at the Villa Coral. There were 8 of us, great day; went to see the Turtles, Mazunte (great lunch for 50 pesos seafood) Zipolite and Puerto Angel and then on to Pochutla which is truly a Mexican town with basically no tourists and was very interesting.

Anyway the trip was great and weather was as well.

Noreen and Gary
British Columbia, Canada

February 2000

Is the Water Safe?

Dear Tom- I will be visiting Huatulco soon and have found your website to be excellent in helping us prepare for our trip. -Thank YOU- One quick question, Is the tap water safe in Huatulco? We will be staying at the Barcelo, can we drink margaritas, eat salads, etc.? What about the restaurants in town? Your help is greatly appreciated.

February 2000

Huatulco has a modern water treatment plant and the water is safe to drink. However, I suggest you ignore this and drink the bottled water. It is better--no chemicals--and it is just a good idea to get into this habit in Mexico.

"Montezuma's revenge" is a threat to infrequent travelers to Mexico, and other places too. I have had this problem even after being very careful, so my approach is to just enjoy the salads, the restaurants, the street food, and only avoid obviously poor sanitary conditions. I feel very comfortable about eating at the restaurants in town.

The good news is that you can build up a resistance to these bacteria with only a few visits.

Of course, if you have particular medical factors that make intestinal problems a more serious matter then you should be more careful than I am. Then you avoid raw fruits and vegetables, unless you wash them yourself with bottled water, eat at the nicer indoor restaurants, don't drink beverages with ice in them, etc.


Dogs in Hotels, Renting a House

Hi! Tom! We have been looking at your site for almost 2 years. It made us discover a wonderful part of the world. After vacationing in Huatulco last year, we decided to take a 6 months trip around Mexico and to try to rent a home in or around Huatulco. This is why we have the following questions for you and your readers:

- Since we are going to travel with our dog (a black lab name Georges), can somebody who had this experience tell us if it's possible to rent hotel or motel rooms for a night with a dog?

- Does anybody know how we can find a house to rent for a period of 3 months that is cheaper than those usually announce on the internet?

Michel and Christine
Quebec, Canada

February 2000

I would like to help people connect with budget home rentals, but I don't know of any. I hear they exist, but I don't have the specifics. - Tom

It's possible to rent houses an apartments for day, week or month in Huatulco. Depending on the area is the price. To give you an idea, a two-bedroom condo in La Crucesita (downtown) area, varies from 1,000 pesos (US 120 more or less) to 3,000 (US 360) for a furnished, air conditioned condo. Santa Cruz and Tangolunda area are more expensive.

If you Michael and Chris are really interested, I may help them to find an apartment here. I've just got an apartment for a girl from Chicago, who came here to work.

About the dog and the hotel room, let me inquire around to check if this is possible.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Crown Pacific, Tipsy's, Golf

Hi Tom, Thanks for your great site, I printed 40 pages of it before our trip at the first of Feb. and it got passed around the Crown Pacific. Everyone found something interesting.

Regarding the Crown Pacific [photos 79K], I am not sure what some people expect from an all-inclusive package but this was our third and found the food and service to be first rate. The specialty restaurants at these resorts are typically not all they could be however.

The Crown Pacific bills itself as wheelchair accessible, which I think must mean that you can get there in wheelchair. It is by no means wheelchair friendly. Many stairs, steep hills, and cobblestone drives. Shuttles are running at all times but there only seemed to be three of them, so if you are too tired too climb you may have quite a wait.

Our rooms were very large and comfortable with awesome views. The seventh floor I felt is probably the best, with direct access to the pool.

Being on the sixth floor we (myself, wife, and 14 yr old daughter), would pack for the day and head for the beach club where we had a beautiful beach, pool, bar, and restaurant. Things would get a little noisy around mid afternoon as the pool activities got going. Salvatore and his staff did a great job, with Tequila volleyball, dance lessons, aerobics etc. All service staff was friendly and spoke good English, as well Seve was Norwegian and helped with the translations for a surprising number of Swedes and Norse guests.

Thanks to this web page we contacted Jack Hennessy at the marina in Santa Cruz. What a great trip he took us on for my wife's birthday. We saw dolphins, humpback and pilot whales as well as numerous turtles and fish. Stopped and snorkeled at La India Beach, if you have ever fantasized about paradise you can find it here.

While at Sta.Cruz stop at Tipsy's Restuaraunt right behind the port authority for lunch and cervasa's. Andy Gudino owns it and is a world class water skier. He runs a ski school and rents water sports equipment.

Golf at the Tangolunda course was listed at $35 US plus cart or caddy. We didn't play but the course looked very well maintained and severely underused.

Money exchange can be a problem especially on weekends.

All in all we had a great week in Huatulco, and feel we have found a place we would return to many times.


February 2000

Cilk FM-Arranged Fiasco at the Crown Pacific

As one of the One Hundred & One Amigos we expected an exceptional trip. This trip had been promoted heavily and we were expecting to have a great time. That was not the case and this is really what happened.

Huatulco Mexico was not all it was promised to be and the all-inclusive Crown Pacific Resort [photos 79K] was a large disappointment. The food was atrocious and as a direct result my husband ended up contracting the E. coli disease.

Here's how it happened. On Jan 17th 2000 we ate dinner at the Tamoya Restaurant. Since we had eaten here on two previous occasions and the service and food had been excellent we expected this night to be no different. This was not to be the case, the service was slow, attitude poor, and the food came staggered. So I watched while my husband ate his entrée and then after he was finished mine was served and he watched me eat. I ordered a drink, took a sip and it was whisked away by an overzealous waiter, the drink was still full. The food was served at room temperature and was barely cooked. After finally completing our meal we left the restaurant disappointed and unsatisfied with the food, service and attitude of the staff at the Crown Pacific Hotel. We came to understand that this was the way the hotel was being run. If you tried to go to the nicer restaurant and not the buffet then you were treated poorly. In fact to even get into the Tamoya restaurant you had to chase down a signature/crown pacific employee to get your name on the list and were told that the restaurant was full. I still fail to understand how a restaurant that had every second table empty could be classified as full. In spite of all the trouble and discouragement that you received in order to eat at the Tamoya it was a far superior choice to the buffet being served at the beach club. However after dinner on the evening of the seventeenth my husband suffered from severe cramps, diarrhea, and stomach pains. Temporarily he controlled this with Immodium . We were not the only people to be treated in this manner and we were not the only people who got sick with the E. coli disease while on this trip as a part of the Cilk FM group. One group that was choosing to eat at the Tamoya instead of going to the buffet were served raw chicken and spent over 3 hours in the restaurant just trying to complete their meal due once again to poor service, poor attitude and bad food.

This was not the only aspect of the trip that was less than enjoyable. The whole place shut down at 11:00 and no food or drinks were being served. The pools were closed at 8:00 pm and were patrolled to keep swimmers out of them. Choices were limited and unless you chose to catch a ride into town with the Crown Pacific employee that rounded up the amigos and other hotel guests to go into town and buy overpriced drinks and food, you went to bed. This was an all-inclusive package that discouraged guests from enjoying the all inclusive food and drinks. No room service unless you paid. No snorkeling equipment unless you paid. In fact nothing seemed to be included unless you paid.

Finally we made it home. Thank God. We thought it was over but the Mexico trip just keeps on giving, my husband has had to take a strong superdrug to overcome the E. coli and has been unable to return to work.

As you can see this trip was a fiasco from start to finish and we would like full compensation for our pain, loss and disappointment. We look forward to hearing from Cilk FM.

Dawn Veale
February 2000

Hyperbaric Chamber is Here

Hi Tom. I'd been reading all the comment's about Huatulco, and I agree with the opinion of your fantastic "feedbackers".

It's also very nice to read the good comments about the Barcelo. I'd been a little bit concerned about the change of owners, but looks that the Barcelo operation is keeping a good service and guests' satisfaction levels are OK.

First, I'd like to say to Judy Hitchcock that Ivan is still working at Gala. He is now working as divemaster in the scuba operation. Ben is gone. He moved to Puerto Vallarta. I'll pass Judy's message to Ivan.

Navy Hospital Is Open. Last Friday ((18 -2-00), the NAVY HOSPITAL located in La Crucesita, was inaugurated by the Governor of the State. The hospital is now open, and the SCUBA diving community of Huatulco, Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido is very happy, because the hyperbaric chamber is working now. The hospital is very well-equipped, and Navy physicians are well recognized in all Mexico.

Weather: The weather had been very nice; sunny, warm and a little bit windy on the afternoons. Wonderful!

Scuba Diving Conditions: Finally, water has became warm again. Winter is almost gone and the conditions for diving have improved a lot. Warm water and very good visibility. Last week, we have two close encounters with humpback whales. A couple of them on the first (one female with its baby whale). We followed them from the boat for 45 minutes. The second one was shorter: this time, we saw two adults. We also found a huge pod of dolphins. Hundreds of dolphins playing and jumping around us. This week was gorgeous. About rebalses, we haven't had them yet. Surface is very calm and waves are not higher than two feet.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
20 February 2000

Food, Tours, and Activities

My wife and I joined the Ingwell Family group the second and third week in January and stayed at the Barcelo [photos 141K] for our second trip to Huatulco. Keith and company did a fine job of coordinating our visit using local contacts. We found the Barcelo quite satisfactory; but being "non-inclusive" guests, we sampled many of the restaurants in communities nearby and up the coast. We felt safe at all times. The people of Huatulco were very gracious, and we would like to "pass them on" to you via the following remarks.

Each day started with breakfast at the Jarro Cafe, across the street from the Barcelo. The food was good and the menu was priced right. "JC," a waiter, was humorous and found time to teach us a little Spanish. Also, there was a convenient "min-mart" next to the cafe to stock up on supplies needed for the day.

We found the Los Portales Taco and Grill and Iguana Bar in La Crucecita a good place to start each day when we shopped in La Crucecita. The owners, Luis and Elve Estavillo actually operate two restaurants (and a flower shop), the other being El Pato Mojado, next to the Corona Distribution Center. We enjoyed several evening meals at the EL Pato Mojado which featured its meals baked in a clay oven using a wood fire. The language was not a problem, because the menus had color photographs labeled in English. A special thanks to Elve Estavillo who went to extra trouble to help us locate a guide we used on our previous trip.

Around the corner from the Los Portales restaurants at #204 Flamboyan, you will find the Il Giardino del Papa, an Italian restaurant, featuring the skills of chef Mario Saggese. The presentation and flavor were excellent. However, the hospitality was the best.

Just up the street from the IL Giardino del Papa (across from an excellent bakery) was a new restaurant called La Tentacion. English was not spoken, but the steak was the best in Huatulco (the La Pampa Argentina near the Barcelo was a close second, in our opinion).

Equally fine, the El Sabor De Oaxaca restaurant (just off the square) featured excellent regional food. We thoroughly enjoyed on several occasions the food and service on both of our trips to Huatulco. The owner, Guillermo Ugartes, was exceedingly helpful when we experienced a problem that threatened our entire vacation. He assisted us in solving it; he was a true "helping professional" on our behalf. Mr. Ugarte can be reached by E-mail at sabordeoaxaca@huatulco.net.mx. If you are looking for an economical place to stay, you might inquire about the new rooms that are being added to his hotel located above and beside the restaurant.

Of course, there is much to do besides haunting every restaurant and bar. In nearby Sta. Cruz, we joined fellow "cheeseheads," i.e., Wisconsin, USA, citizens) and wonderful Canadians and went sailing for hours on the Velero Luna Azul, a 44-foot sailboat. The owner, Jack Hennessy, was on board with fellow business person, Ray Haney, owner of the Huatulco Outfitters, a whitewater rafting company (near the La Pampa Argentina restaurant). We stopped in bays and snorkeled, enjoyed good beverages (all included), and observed sea turtles. It was probably the highpoint of our vacation on our second to last day. The E-mail address of Mr. Hennessy is velerolunaazul@hotmail.com. If you are interested in rafting, he could forward a message to Mr.. Haney.

Horseback riding can be arranged through the Rancho Caballo de Mar (local number 705-30 or 705-31). Call them directly, and they will pick you up at the Barcelo or otherwise take a taxi. It is only a short distance south of the resorts. We were inexperienced on horses, but they looked out for us. We went horseback riding in the jungle and on the ocean beach and up on the hills (quite an experience). Plan on a stop at a beach restaurant and a little bit of "silver trading."

We also arranged our own ATV rides through Caesar Blas, a vendor operator in the "mini-mall" (end inside stall away from harbor) in Sta. Cruz. On earlier trips, we tried arranging trips through hotel based vendors with little success. For the second time, we did not succeed in using them to fly into the capitol city of Oaxaca. I strongly recommend that you do not count on flying for seats appear scarce. Next time, we are hiring our guide to take us by car for a two or three day trip. I think it is the only way I will ever get to see Oaxaca.

Our guide, Esteban, took of about two hours north of Huatulco to the village of La Ventanilla where we visited a mangrove swamp by boat and a crocodile farm. Also, nearby was Mazunte where natural cosmetics were made and a turtle aquarium. The E-mail address is ecosolar@laneta.apc.org. Apparently, the preceding businesses were organized to provide families "a new form of life based on nature's respect and preservation" for which the sea turtles are very grateful!

On both trips, we engaged the services of Esteban Monje Reyes, a guide with English skills, a car, and a knowledge of the area, for a reasonable hourly fee. His taxi number is 2108, and he can probably be located in front of the Crowne Pacific resort through the "Sitio Benito Juarez" taxi service (white and green taxis). Tell him "Esteban" from Wisconsin, USA, sent you!

Thanks, Tom, for this Web site. It has helped us greatly in exploring this less visited "Paradise." We hope to return many times.

Stephen and Patricia Sardeson
The "Midwest" of the USA
Happy Year 2000

February 2000

Loved the Luna Azul (Blue Moon)

My wife and I recently returned from a week at the Barcelo--a great facility [photos 141K] and we had a great view of the bay. Language can be a problem but a simple Spanish phrasebook and some sign language can get you by. We had a great experience with a bay tour and a sunset tour on the only operating sail boat in the area, It sure beats the crowded and noisy larger boats that are pushed by the tour companys.

We would recommend it to anyone -- it is the Luna Azul owned be Jack Hennessy. He is a Canadian (married to a Mexican lady) and is from Vancover (so no language problem). He can be contacted direct at 587-1081 and you can also contact him by e-mail at hennessylorena@hotmail.com He has competitve prices and provides everything (and more) than the larger tour boats and offers snorkeling as well as the equipment.

F. Mykleby

February 2000

The Spanish Experience

My husband, 16 year old son and I spent two weeks at the Hotel Castillo [photos 35K] this past Christmas / New Years. The hotel was very quaint, the rooms somewhat spartan, the people were very friendly and nice. There seemed to be few American or Canadian tourists at this hotel which appealed to us. We felt that the Spanish experience only added to the charm of our stay. After all, if one wants to speak only English and stay in a hotel like the "Holiday Inn" one can stay in Canada or the United States! We had our little English/Spanish dictionary and had no trouble at all communicating.

We loved Huatulco because it was quiet, uncommercialized, and safe. Needless to say, the weather was absolutely perfect as well. We felt no danger in wandering through the streets of La Crucecita even at night.

The new internet cafe was an added bonus. Sam was friendly and pleasant, and my son was able to keep in touch with friends back home.

I look forward to returning to Huatulco, hopefully in the not too distant future.

I have been trying to find an email address for the Hotel Castillo but have not been successful. Can you help?

Denise Addona

February 2000

Endless Supply of Cute Girls

We stayed at and highly recommend the Barcelo [photos 141K]. Don't miss Friday night there as it features a genuine Mariachi band. No matter how old you are (within reason), make sure you bring your friends to play water polo -- check the Action Marina display board for daily times. Beach volleyball times are posted too but may change with the tides! Say hello to Sharky for me -a great guy and ref! He has an endless supply of cute local girls to fill in when turnout for a game is low.

Here are the prices for the Signature tours in January, in pesos:

1. "Rough guide" - 220 - 1/2 day - La Crucecita, Santa Cruz, La Entrega (enough time for a swim / snorkel), viewpoints.

2. The Bays of Huatulco - 300 - 1 day on SS Tequila - free drinks on board stops in two bays north of Santa Cruz - good snorkeling (equipment rentable on board) at both bays - boat overcrowded but fun.

3. Coffee Plantation "Finca el Pacifico" - 550 - 1 full day - outbound rest stop in Pochutla. our guide on this tour and tour #1 was Pablo. He was a good guide. Finca el Pacifico is a remote and genuine plantation and I recommend this tour or one like it. The bus was barely A/C - I would say air "cooled".

4. Rafting - 650

5. Horse-back riding - 400

6. 4 wheel expedition - 450

There is a discount for prepurchases of #1 & #2 together: 470 pesos combined.

The prices posted are for advance purchases, with a 50% cancellation fee for 24-48 hours' notice and no refund for under 24 hours notice. Hasta la vista!

Bill Birney

February 2000

Golf Rates

I know somebody asked about the golf already but I would like to reiterate this question. We are going to Huatulco in a couple of weeks and would like to golf but don't want to spend a ton of money doing it. Do you or a regular to your website know what the prices are? Ralph

February 2000

Ben & Ivan?

We vacationed at the Gala in June ' 99 and got to know Ben and Ivan who work the watersports on the beach. We plan to go again this April and would love to know if they are still there. If anyone going to the Gala could check for me I would really appreciate it and if they are there say hello from Bill and Judy Hitchcock in California and let them know we'll be there in April. We've vacationed a lot in Mexico but our Huatulco vacation was the most fun and memorable, a lot of that because of the wonderful people there.

Judy Hitchcock

February 2000

Mountain Tours

Hello Tom-- Thanx for posting all the fabulous information on Huatulco. My fiance and I are looking into sights for our honeymoon. I was wondering if anyone knew about hiking trails or tours in the jungles and Sierra Madre Mountains? Also, has anyone heard of any problems or dangers with these things?


February 2000

Dear Marla I personally wouldn't bother with an escorted tour but would instead grab a rentacar and head towards San Jose del Pacifico, as I have personally never had any problems in the mountains. However, I do understand that some people do not feel as comfortable with spontaneous adventure as do others, so here are a few suggestions:

Check with the concierge at your hotel. Most will have a relationship with one tour company or guide. In the Hotel Castillo Huatulco in Santa Cruz there is a tour company offering the type of planned adventure I think you may have in mind.

If you plan a white water excursion, check the water levels carefully. If the water is low, these sometimes turn into a riverbed hike.

Most importantly, ask around. Spend your first day just getting the feel of the area and talking to long-term types. That's where you'll get the best information - or as they say, Eso es!

John M Williams

January 2000

No Hablamos Español

My husband & I just returned from 12 days in paradise...Huatulco. We stayed at the Zaashila [photo 66K] and were very impressed with this property. We had a fabulous view of Tangolunda Bay and enjoyed the beautiful landscaping at the Zaashila. We took the 7-Bay tour on the Fiesta and from then on hired small boats to take us to Organo & Maguey to swim & snorkel.

Huatulco was the most beautiful Mexican coastal destination we have ever been to. The only downside was the language barrier, as neither of us speaks Spanish. This will not deter us from returning to Huatulco!

Tom, your website was extremely helpful in making our visit a wonderful trip. Thank you! We would be happy to answer any questions or provide more information.

Chris & Steve

February 2000

Crown Pacific

My wife, my two kids (3 and 5), and I are booked to stay at the Crown Pacific in Huatulco for March and I was wondering if anyone had any current experiences they would share with us. I can't seem to find much information on this particular location anywhere. I would appreciate any advice or information I can get.


February 2000

One Week At Club Med

My girlfriend and I just got back from a week at Club Med Huatulco [photos], and I couldn't resist sending my comments in. We exhaustively searched this web site, which is extremely useful, and printed a booklet of club med related comments to peruse. I find it interesting that the seal family listed below found the music to be as addictive as we did. We were also very tempted to ask one of the staff if there was a way to obtain a CD. I cannot imagine vacationing anywhere else in Huatulco now. The G.O.'s (Full time club med staff) are extremely dedicated, obviously picked for certain characteristics. They must run on adrenaline with the schedules they keep... and the kind of love one has for a challenging job that makes every one of them an ambassador for Club Med.

The weather was perfect. Upper eighties to lower nineties during the day, and very warm at night. Never needed to use the air conditioner in the room as there was an effective ceiling fan on both sides. I am curious as to the conditions at some of the other resorts in the area. How does the total cost/value compare? Club med is fenced in and very concerned about making your time in the village worry and hassle free. With so many activities included in the price, it was very possible for me to spend NOTHING extra. I spent forty dollars U.S. since we wanted to rent scooters a couple times from a place across from the Barcelo (formerly Sheraton), and do a very small amount of shopping. On the site, it seemed much easier to me to simply eat when the restaurants were open (They're only closed for a total of 5 hours between 7:00 a.m., and 9:30 p.m.) Families might find that more difficult since children would be less accommodating to judicious waiting for meals, snacks. My advice: Spend 10 dollars at a grocery store for candy and snacks, and keep them in the room.

The snorkeling was surprisingly enjoyable. The two main swimming beaches are dominated by a rocky reef that can make careless swimming a painful affair. However, with snorkeling equipment and careful floating, they came alive with color and various fish. Beautiful, but shallow in some places. The ocean kayaking was also particularly enjoyable, with the easy, no-restrictions access a plus.

Finally, one of the best parts of the whole deal was the nightly entertainment. While certainly not Broadway class dancing, the athletic and compulsively showmanlike G.O.'s made this memorable. Their sound system is high quality.

What we were looking for was a relaxed vacation with unlimited food, beaches, and swimming pool access, and few extra costs. We were not disappointed. I would consider going to other clubs, but why? In the dead of winter, it felt like a tropical paradise in Huatulco, and I know many areas further north could not make that claim.

Matt Hosch

February 2000

Go Now

Hey Tom: I am so glad I found your website, it was a huge help in finding restaurants, hotels & activities .My son & I stayed at the Barcelo [photos 141K] for the first week and ate most nights in La Crucecita (The Hotel was quite expensive for eats & drinks).I really enjoyed going into La Crucecita for dinner in the evening. I think we tried most of the restaurants that have been recommended. We also ate most mornings at Jarro's with Pancho the Parrot. If anyone goes to Cactus, say HI to Armando from Jordan & Cindy. I would recommend the jumbo shrimp flambéed with tequila.

Signature vacations booklet rates the Barcelo at @ 5 stars, I would say it is more like 4 stars. I thought it had great pools and I heard the food was excellent but I have been at many other Mexican resorts and find that they could improve on entertainment and the rooms were not quite as nice as the Gala. I went for a quick tour to the Gala, which I was told it would cost me $180 US all inclusive per night (of course a package would be much less expensive).

We went on the ATV jungle tour that was totally awesome (be ready to get dirty and don't forget your swimsuit).

I brought Canadian travelers cheques but never used them as I used the ATM & Visa, so I received the bank rate for that day. The mosquitos were not a huge problem but I found I had to use Autan on my legs at dusk, which you can buy in Mexico.

When my son went home after the 2nd week, I stayed at Hotel Flamboyant. What a simple, quaint and clean hotel, only $38 US per night. They included breakfast and free shuttle to and from Santa Cruz beach club. They also have very nice suites, 2 bdrms-2 bathroom, kitchen, and dining room. I found Mission Los Arcos Hotel (above the Chocco-Latte Cafe) less expensive and nicer rooms but the Hotel did not have a pool.

On my 2nd week I went on the Huatulco Fiesta catamaran for the bay tours (150 pesos) and it was not crowded, lots of drinks. The staff on board could not be any more helpful; they went around and talked to everyone. I even had a guided tour when I reached San Augustín beach of the area and hiked up to look over Coyote beach.

The weather was sunny and hot (80's-90's) everyday. I miss the warm nights of walking around with a sleeveless shirt. I'm missing Huatulco already and plan to go back in a couple of years after they build up a little more. For anyone that wants a quiet vacation, GO NOW!!!! I have to say being a female traveling on my own I felt very safe and comfortable in Huatulco.

If anyone needs more info, I would be glad to answer any questions. Thanks again Tom, much appreciated....

Cindy & Jordan Parker

February 2000

Stay Off the Tequila!

Tom- My wife and I recently returned from a wonderful week at the Gala resort [photo 39K]. I couldn't say enough about the staff and the resort. The food was terrific (although the Mexican restaurant left a little to be desired) and the staff couldn't have been more helpful. We would definitely recommend the Gala to anyone considering a Huatulco vacation.

There was only one negative experience during our trip. That was the tour of the bays on the "Tequila" boat, which we booked through our Apple vacations representative. We had heard that this tour was a lot of fun and, being a young couple, we were looking for a little fun while seeing the bays. Unfortunately, the boat was so crowded that there was no room to even walk from one side of the boat to the other, let alone get near the bar to get a drink. Several other couples got off of the boat before we left the marina, and we found out later that they were able to take a second boat that was much less crowded. I also talked to some other couples who hired one of the local fishermen to take them on a private tour of the bays. That would definitely be the way to go...and I would NOT recommend the "Tequila" boat tour to your readers.

We would love to answer any questions from your readers.

Andrew and Stephanie Rink

February 2000

What was That Music?

Hello Tom.....Nice site. We used it pretty much exclusively to find out as much as possible about our Club Med vacation....We loved Club Med...There was 3 families traveling together: 6 adults and 6 kids ages 8-13. The kids had a great time as did the adults. The trapeze was a big hit, probably more with the adults then kids. The food was great. I had a question about some of the music they played every evening. They seemed to have a few they played every day and night....One during the day was played noon every day, something about the sun shining. The dance mix in the evening was kind of the theme song, no words though. Then there was a mix that had the sound of revving formula one cars and the only word said was "Shoemaucher"....Do you have any idea where Club Med gets their music.....we want it. Maybe an email address of any G.O. so we could get the titles from them. Of the G.O.'s we talked with were Geoff, Josh, J.C., Randy, and Dennis.....Any possible hints as how to get a hold of them would be GREATLY appreciated.....

Kelly Seal

February 2000

About the Gala

Hi Tom: Well this was the 4th January back in a row to the former Royal Maeva now the Gala and we were very pleased. They have made quite a few changes, the lunch restaurant by the ocean is much larger, the Sports Bar now has no children under 12 years of age. This is good except our son was 11 and had to leave, but it is better for the adults. They now have a massage area over by the adult pool and bar for 50.00US an hour. The food was the best that it has ever been with more variety and more fresh fish. Also included is the mini bar in your room but added was 24 hour room service.

There are a lot more water sports for the kids, in fact the 10 to 16 have a Director who looks after keeping them on the go with everything from volley ball to basketball. The staff is friendlier and now only stay 6 months with quite a few Canadian people working here, The comment letters that you fill out are all typed out and kept, many of the changes made we from peoples recommendations of other years.

The reason for this e-mail is out son got quite sick with a stomach infection that started just when we left, The on-staff doctor at the Gala saw him in 10 minutes of calling, 2 needles in the butt and some Bactrime and by the next day he was on the go again. Visa Gold covered all this and said his rate was very reasonable, he also had all the medicine in the office and there was no need to get any prescriptions filled. He has been here many years and a very good reason to stay here.

During the end of January this Hotel was running 100 percent full while several of the others were at 30 percent to half full, a good sign for this place. We are glad to help with any info that other people may have.

Bill, Helen and Brent Woolgar wwoolgar@ciaccess.com
February 2000


Hi Tom...Great site, thanks for all the details. My family and I (husband and 16 year old son) are visiting Huatulco Club Med for the second time in April of this year. We have been to several Clubs and found that while the accommodations are not always the greatest, it's the one place where we can be together as a family, but still have time for ourselves. Your site has been very helpful because I am getting a little tired of being Club-locked and last time, didn't really get the lay of the land before we went. One question...could you please add a site on shopping? Where are the best buys for silver, can I get Talavera anywhere without paying the exorbitant hotel prices, anything else you or your commenters can contribute. Thanks.

Phyllis Cavaliere

February 2000

Most shopping is concentrated in two small areas, on and near the central squares of La Crucecita and Santa Cruz. - Tom

What Happened at the Argentina?

My family just came back from Huatulco. We stayed at the Gala. We always stay there. We love the area but I have a question what happened at the Argentina restaurant on the corner. When we left for the airport we were stopped by the Marines and searched. They were searching everyone. We later heard the three gunmen robbed the restaurant and the tourists that were there. Please tell me what happened. We come down every year and plan on bringing more people with us but this is a little unnerving. My son was very frightened when the Marine told him to open the glove compartment of the taxi we were in (he is only 12 years old). The Marine was nice but very scary to a little boy. Please let me know what is going on. Thank you Julie. Our trip was from 1/29/99-2/6/00.

Julie Mraz

February 2000

I haven't heard about what happened at the Argentina. Perhaps the readers can help.

However, it is not that unusual to get stopped and searched in Mexico. There are roadblocks along highways where drug traffic may occur, and this includes the coastal highway 200. These roadblocks may include machine gun nests just off the road with searches conducted by machine gun-toting soldiers looking for drugs and weapons. It can be a little unnerving. I once went through this five times in one day as I traveled along this highway. Our own government, incidentally, has been strongly supportive of this kind of off-premises control of our drug problem. - Tom

Hi Tom. This is Charlie again. I read the comment of Julie Mraz asking about the problem in La Pampa Argentina. As well as I talk about the positive and marvelous things we have in Huatulco, I won't be fair hiding the bad things.

That's right. La Pampa Argentina restaurant was assaulted the past Saturday by a group of three guys. That happened at 23:00 hrs and they robbed 6,000 pesos from the owners of the restaurant and the guests, as well as some credit cards. Only one of them was armed with a shotgun. Nobody got hurt. I talk this afternoon with Elias (he is the owner, a very nice guy) and he confirmed this version.

But, let me tell to your readers, that this is the first time since Huatulco is alive that something like this happens.

In past months, we hear about a group assaulting people in the mountains (specially in the rafting tours) but this gang is in jail now.

So, Huatulco is still very safe. Statistics of crime in this area show that Huatulco is not only one of the more safe places in Mexico, but in the world.

About the soldier in the road, I don't think they were looking for the gangsters. As you wrote, in Mexico is common to be stopped in the road by the army. In fact, I just came back yesterday from Oaxaca City and we were stopped on the way four times by soldiers. You're right, they look for weapons and drugs and you're also right, the American Government is very happy with this actions because lots of drugs are confiscated every year with this operations, drugs that, if they were not confiscated in Mexico, they would be reach the USA territory.

I'm sorry about Julie's son. The soldiers can be frightening. But, for my 5-year old daughter, it was very funny. As her school is next to the Navy hospital, she has a lot of contact with marines, so any time we were stopped on the road, she talked with the soldiers, asked a lot of questions and she offered them cookies, chips, and all the trash the kids eat on family car trips. For the soldiers, my daughter's chatter was also funny. Some of them were laughing with her antics.

Don't feel afraid of these roadblocks: they have made traveling by road safer and, I agree, soldiers and marines armed with M-16 and FAL G-3's are absolutely scaring, except probably, for my daughter.

And about my trip to Oaxaca city. this is beautiful. I found a seafood and steaks restaurant named "LA MORSA". Delicious food, variety on the menu (for those who don't like sea food they have meats, I recommend the arracheras). This place also has an art gallery with paints of well known Oaxacan artists in exhibition and for sale. The owners, Norma Diaz and her husband Gustavo Scherenberg, are a very nice couple, and the decoration of the place is very very nice. La Morsa is located in Violetas 606, Colonia Reforma. Phone number is (951) 849 00, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca. They have an email address: gusness@hotmail.com La Morsa is only 15 minutes away from the center of Oaxaca.

I'll keep you informed.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Barcelo All Inclusive?

Hi Tom, I have heard that the Barcelo offers an all inclusive plan now. Is this true? We stayed at the Gala last year and loved it, but wouldn't mind trying a different resort (even if it is only next door!). Also do you recommend going through a travel agent to make reservations? This is the only way we have traveled in the past, but when we get there and talk with other people they seem to make the same trip for allot less money. I am always checking the apple site for the last minute specials, seems to be good buys there. Thank you for such a great site, I enjoy reading peoples comments and all the wonderful information you have on the area.


February 2000

Be There Next Year

My mother and I recently took a 12-day vacation to Huatulco and to Puerto Escondido. Thanks to your website and to the many comments, my mother and I had a great time. We stayed the Hotel Gala [photo 39K], and as one of the other commenters said it was absolutely beautiful. We spent nine glorious days in Huatulco and three in Puerto Escondido. We visited during the slow season, (and let me tell you there was hardly anyone around) the weather was fabulous, mid 80's and no clouds to be found. We had the best service at the hotel, and with the inroom safe I felt quite at ease knowing that my possessions were safe. The kids on the hotel's aquatic team were great, I learned how to windsurf. The hotel has nightly entertainment, which I strongly recommend (we didn't miss one night). The food and the drinks were GREAT. The small town of La Crucecita was very clean and beautiful. The people were very nice (a corner vender gave my mother a free tamale, and she would not accept any money for it.) We also suggest your readers take a tour of the Bahías, we had such a wonder time, we even got to see some sea turtles and dolphins. If you want to travel to Mexico, I would definitely suggest Huatulco. I know where I will be next year.

Maria Cerecer

February 2000

Minneapolis Charters Have Ceased

We visited Huatulco in 1997 and 1998. We're sorry to say that the Minneapolis, Minnesota area is no longer servicing Huatulco with airline charters. We can't get any solid answers as to why the change. Are you aware of any? Thanks.

Tom Gilson

February 2000

I'm sorry I don't have any information about the Minneapolis charters at this time. In the past MLT Tours has arranged this charter using Sun County Airlines. It has been an on-again/off-again service that was usually active in the summer and not in the winter. Due to my own difficulties in contacting MLT in the past and the many schedule changes, I have not been keeping track.

I can only speculate that it was a business decision and encourage everyone to let the company know your concerns in any way you can.

Tom Penick

How to Contact Villa Coral

Tom I have two questions: 1. How do I contact the Villa Coral? 2. We are planning a March 10-17 visit to Huatulco with our family of 5 and another of 4 (all 5 children are 16 yrs & older). Would the Villa Coral be suitable for us?

Kumsheen Raft Adventures

February 2000

Surf's up Dudes!

Today, I went with my family to the Botazoo (this is a ecological reserve and archaeological site under research) located close to the Copalita river, less than ten minutes away of Tangolunda). We parked the car on the entrance of the botazoo, and walk along a paved way, between the forest until the edge of Copalita River. Once there, we headed right into the ocean, following the river, and once one the beach, we headed toward the area of the beach known as "La Bocana". We spend the day there, climbing on the rocks next to the ocean, watching the birds, drinking a beer and having a lot of fun, when suddenly appeared a bunch of teenagers and kids, with surf and body boards, they got directly into the ocean and they surfed there. They were able to ride a lot of waves, nothing really exceptional, but by the time I left la Bocana beach, they still remained surfing. The waves should be three to five feet high, but they broke very well to allow the surfers to ride a good distance over them.

So, if somebody looks for surfing waves in Huatulco, La Bocana is the place to go. Additionally, there are pretty nice restaurants ocean side with services, and prices are very reasonable.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632
January 2000

Day Use of Gala or Club Med?

We're headed down to Huatulco next month and will be staying at the Zaashila. I've heard that you can pay a fee for day use at the Gala Resort & Club Med, but have also heard conflicting reports. Anyone know for sure?

Bill Palmer

January 2000

How to Entertain a Huatulco Resident?

I am going to Huatulco in February to visit my Huatulcan girlfriend. I am going to be there in two weeks. Do you know something we could do that even she could appreciate? Best wishes in the future with your excellent site. Greetings from the cold Norway.

Jostein Pettersen
Oslo, Norway

January 2000

Kids & Club Med

Hi, my name is Chris, and I am 16 years old. I am going to go to Club Med in Huatulco [photos] in a few weeks. I am an experienced Club Meder, as I have been to Huatulco before, as well as Ixtapa, Punta Cana, Eluthra, and Sonora Bay. I am posting this for two reasons. I invite a person my age (or my brother's age, he can answer your questions...he's 12) or a parent with kids my age to E-mail me to find out what it's like. The second reason would be to see if I could find anyone going the week I am, which would be the last week of March, 2000.


January 2000

Looking for Dancing

We are going to The Barcelo in Mid Feb. and would like to know if anyone who has been there has come across any nice places to dance other than the loud discos. We are hoping to find some romantic spots where one can dance to traditional Latin music possibly in an outdoor setting or nice restaurant setting. This is something we try to find when we go to Mexico but never seem to have any luck. Thanks for providing this great site.

Bob and Sharon Heise
Summerland, B.C.

January 2000

Hey Bob! You might try La Crema for dancing. It's usually not TOO loud and features a good bit of Reggae, El Tri (the best rock and roll band in Mexico for over 30 years) and other good rock on the sound system. Tell Lalo I said "Hi". Also, around the La Crucecita zócalo at Los Portales they frequently have a little live Mexican tropical music in season and will shove some tables out of the way to let you dance! Really, just walk around the zócalo with an open ear and you'll hear music coming from SOMEwhere. Follow your ear.

The disco by Roca Blanco in Zipolite might also be a pleasant surprise. Get away from the main dance floor between the speakers and dance in the sand. It's well worth a one night side trip.

Above all, ASK! Tell Lalo at La Crema what you want and he'll tell you where to find it. If he's off to Paris again, ask Luis at Los Portales. They want you to be happy on your trip more than they want you to spend money exclusively at their bars!

John M Williams

January 2000

My wife and I are going to Huatulco the week of Feb 19. We are staying at the Gala resort and want to go fishing for either a 1/2 or full day. I wanted to find some names of some good charter boats. I would like to see if I could make reservations before I arrived (is this necessary?). Also, do you know if it would be possible to fish off shore from the beach at our resort (early morning and at dusk). Can guests bring fishing poles with them? Can a person get shrimp for bait nearby? (I am just looking to have fun shore fishing, I'm not looking for any large fish, I just like fishing.)

Lastly, besides Puerto Escondido, Puerto Angel, and La Crucecita, is there any other villages or towns for shopping/touring nearby (within a taxi drive). We are looking for more native towns reflective of local culture. What about Santiago Astata or Salina Cruz. We would love to go to Oaxaca City, but we are afraid airfare will be expensive (from what we read, Oaxaca City seems to be a very neat and interesting place, with lots of history and character).

Thanks for creating such a helpful and interesting website. Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Cary Bilicki

January 2000

For fishing, there is Ventures Huatulco. They have a large fishing boat and good equipment. You can contact them by email. Recently recommended by a visitors' comment (scroll down) is Valentino. He probably fishes out of a panga (small open boat that the local fishermen use). You can ask for him when you get there or ask your hotel to contact him for you. If you want a particular fisherman, it wouldn't hurt to arrange in advance, but there is always someone available to take you fishing.

You can fish from the shore with your own pole, but it is not widely done so there is no such thing as a bait shack (as far as I know). You could probably get something from the kitchen for bait.

For shopping, you won't find anything better in the area than La Crucecita and Santa Cruz. Puerto Escondido would be a good place too, but it's two hours away. Puerto Angel is a small fishing town and doesn't offer much shopping--some of us like that. Salina Cruz is a shipping port in an oil-producing region and doesn't offer much for visitors. I don't know about Santiago Astata--why don't you try it? La Crucecita does have a genuine Mexican ambiance.

Oaxaca City is a neat and interesting place, worthy of a week's vacation itself. It's not really that convenient to the coast though. - Tom

Hey Cary. If you're up for a little lancha-type fishing instead of the big fancy charter type, ask on the beach in front of the Gala for Jorge, "El Indio." You'll be hard-pressed to find a better human being in all of Mexico than Jorge. He works very hard to support his family in the near-by village of 21 de Noviembre and he knows Huatulco fishing very well indeed!

Surf fishing is a little hard in front of the Gala. The wave action tends to be just a bit too vigorous. After all, most of the hotels NEVER take down their red flag on the beach. I think that's silly, but it is an indicator. A short distance from the hotel there are some jetties protecting a marina mouth. THESE are good for fishing. Enjoy yourselves!

John M Williams

January 2000

How Much to Golf?

My wife and I will be vacationing in Huatulco the last 2 weeks of February. Has anyone out there played golf at the Huatulco course recently? If so what is the current cost? I understand there are quantity rates available at the course as well. If anyone knows about those rates, I'd be interested. Thank you very much.

Mike Lambeth lambeth51@yahoo.com
January 2000

Crown Pacific?

Hello out there. Does anyone have any information about the Crown Pacific Hotel. We are considering a visit to Huatulco very soon and are wondering about this hotel and its qualities, good and bad. Thanks for any info you can send me.

Carolyn Hoagland

January 2000

Won a Trip!

Well, what a beautiful region of Mexico! My daughter (age 11) and I won a wonderful trip from a radio station in Vancouver, BC. We spent 7 glorious days at the all inclusive Barcelo Resorts (formerly Sheraton) [photos 141K] and also had full privileges at the Gala Resorts [photo 39K]. One thing to note, the hotel kept running out of money and couldn't make change, so you would have to do it in town. Plus the exchange rates at the hotel aren't as good as in town. Trip to town only 20 pesos. Everything is quoted in US Dollars which is frustrating, I kept saying Canadian, Canadian!!

Before I left I contacted your website and found some wonderful tips and advice on what to see and do, and THANK YOU......it served us so well. One of our most memorable days was a sailboat cruise aboard the Luna Azul, which is owned by a former Vancouverite, Jack Hennessey. Jack and his wife live in the area and keep their boat in the Santa Cruz Marina. I had contacted Jack from here via email and when I got to Huatulco, I phoned him to arrange a boat cruise. He came by and picked up our group of six people and brought us to his lovely boat. We sailed, snorkeled, saw sea turtles, went ashore on a small beach with various little palapas and ate fresh shrimp and drank cervezas (beer). Drinks on board the Luna Azul were compliments of Jack and we had the most enjoyable time. His three crew members (one being his nephew Charlie) were so sweet and helpful. Jack was most interesting to talk to, and you could tell he thoroughly enjoyed talking to people from 'back home' and enjoyed his life there. I recommend ANYONE wanting to have a super, not expensive day, to contact Jack. He also does sunset cruises, and will put a buffet on board for you if you prefer. There are other cruises, like the Tequila boat, but that holds over 100 people and you sure don't get the personalized service like we did. Thanks to the Erharts (spelling) for recommending Jack.

We enjoyed the town La Crucecita for shopping, and a neat little bar there called La Crema (where in fact Jack's nephew was also working), they make great pizzas there. I would recommend a couple of things, take along a very good sunscreen and lots of aloe cream for afterwards. I have traveled to many hot countries, and usually it doesn't bother me, but you are very close to the Equator there and it is very intense. To buy this lotion down there is expensive, so take lots of creams with you. Also, take something for bites, as if you get bit by a jelly fish or the red ants, they sting and it really helps to have that kind of stuff. Also, get small peso bills 20s and 50s as the vendors always tell you 'no change'. Use your ATM card there, that's the best bet. I really enjoyed our hotel, the Gala was more for the younger crowd. Food was super, loved it all and the Mexicans couldn't be more hospitable, they truly are serve-oriented people. Great service. Anyone wishing to contact me for info or have any questions, please do so. Love to talk to you.

Claudia Cox
Vancouver, BC Canada

January 2000

A Look at the Villa Coral

Hi Tom: I was in Huatulco for the weekend and visited the Villa Coral that I askec you about a few weeks ago. It is a secluded, beautiful hotel. Some suites and junior suites. Rates $75 for a regular room, Jr. suite was $115 and suite was $125. Views are spectacular. Food in restaurant was good to very good. Staff very attentive. You could eat off the floor of the kitchen. Very clean. The hotel is only 2 years old.

Only one major caution. This hotel is NOT child proof. We have a 2 year old and for that reason we could not stay there now. The structure is built right into the side of a hill with major drop offs to the ocean below and low walls. A curious child could have a terrible accident. Same with the balcony's. Easy for a child to take a tumble.

For older children and adults, what a great find. To get there, take the turn off Blvd. Benito Juarez, before the road to Club Med. Follow the road right down to the hotel. Sorry, I don't remember the name of the road, but it is the turn before the road to Club Med as you head into Tangolunda.

Bob Brueck

January 2000

Valentino Finds the Fish

I enjoyed reading the posts on your Huatulco web page. They were very helpful and informative for our family. We recently returned from a wonderful week long vacation at the Gala Resort.

On our third day, my father and I, along with a friend, went fishing with a guide named Valentino Garcia. Valentino speaks excellent English and is a very amusing fellow but his greatest attribute is knowing where the fish are. We had great success catching as many Spanish mackerel as we wanted (which we had the hotel chef prepare that evening) and then we went for sailfish. We caught a seven foot sailfish and had many other opportunities for others. We saw much "fancier" boats that morning out on the bay that hadn't caught anything. At the end of the half day we had a boat load of fish.

If anyone is going to Huatulco and is thinking about going fishing, I highly reccomend seeking out Valentino Garcia. He can be found on the beach in front of the Gala or you can contact him in advance at:

Mercado De Artesanias
Bahia de Santa Cruz #27
Bahias de Huatulco
Oaxaca Mexico
C.P. 70969
His rates are quite reasonable and he provides an excellent fishing day in Huatulco.

Robert Goldblatt

January 2000

New Internet Café in Town

For those visitors looking for a place to check their emails, there is a new internet cafe in the town called Chocco-Late.

It is located in the corner of Tamarindo and Gardenia (the same street where the church is located) in the hotel Mision de los Arcos, one one block away of La Crucecita Park.

That's a pretty nice place, they sell a wide variety of coffees as well as ice cream. They have three computers and the fee for using them is 60.00 pesos per hour. They also sell "cards" and using them the price is lower. The owners (Sam) and his wife speaks a perfect English.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Barcelo Jacks up Prices; How About Villa Coral?

Great web page. I have enjoyed it for several years. My wife and I are building a home in Huatulco. We bought the lot next to the "white house", Mision Fa Sol. The back of the lot faces Conejos and the front is just off of the ocean. It is a great spot. Anyway, we've been enjoying Huatulco since 1990, always staying at the Sheraton. The new owners have really jacked up the prices (They quoted $290/night last Saturday. We have always paid $85 or $90, plus 17%). So now we're looking for a new place. I know about most of the other hotels, but one that has been recommended that I have never heard of is Villa Coral. If you know anything about this place would you be kind enough to pass along the info? I would appreciate it.

Bob Brueck

January 2000

Travelers Cheques and Transportation

Do most hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. accept travelers checks? What is the best form of transportation? We would like to see Huatulco, Puerto Angel/Zipolite, Puerto Escondido/Zicatela. How long of a trip would you suggest? How long does it take to get from Huatulco to Puerto Angel and from Puerto Angel to Puerto Escondido? Would it be better to rent a car and how much is a compact per day?


January 2000

Travelers cheques are a good way to carry some extra money but are not very convenient. They are not even all that safe, since even Visa doesn't always reimburse you for stolen cheques. Banks will always change them, but you will have to ask everywhere else before you spend. Plus you have to pay for the cheques, then you get charged again for the conversion to pesos, more at businesses than at banks, but even the banks may charge a little extra because they are travelers cheques rather than cash.

I prefer to charge the hotel and car rental to my credit card, and get pesos from an ATM machine. You get the bank exchange rate when you withdraw from the ATM machine and it just comes right out of your bank account. I sometimes carry some travelers cheques just in case they are needed, but usually return without spending them.

You can rent a car at the Huatulco airport. Call Budget International and make the arrangements before you leave. It's a small airport--they don't keep rental cars there all the time. I think you can get a compact for about $35/day. It takes 40 minutes to get from Huatulco to Puerto Angel and 1-1/2 hours to get from Puerto Angel to Puerto Escondido. You can take first-class busses between Puerto Escondido and Huatulco. From Puerto Angel you will have to take a local bus or taxi to Pochutla to catch another bus.

How long should your trip be? If you are not a frequent traveler to such distant areas, I would suggest one week. By that time, some bacteria with which your immune system is unfamiliar may have made its way into your body and is preparing to make trouble. If your timing is right, you can deal with this in the comfort of your own home.

Enjoy your trip. - Tom

Contacting the Barcelo

Hi Tom. I'm sending you this information, because some of your web site visitors have sent me emails (I really enjoy replying each one) asking about rates, reservations, etc. in the Barcelo (formerly Sheraton). As sheraton is not the owner of the hotel anymore, some people have contacted Sheraton offices to book rooms but they aare not longer running the hotel.

So, for those interested in contacting Barcelo resort (Sheraton) to inquire about rates, reservations, availibility or whatever, the email address is barcelo@huatulco.net.mx Send them with attention to Yanina Haddad, Reservations.

And of course, for all your readers looking for current-to date information about Huatulco (not only about SCUBA diving), you know, they can contact me in charlie_diver@hotmail.com. You can't imagine all the mails I receive asking for the most wide variety of things, persons, places, etc.!

Saludos desde Huatulco.

Tu amigo, Charlie.

PS: The weather is wonderful, the water is a little bit cold aand the ocean is very flat. I'll keep in touch.

Carlos C. Ramos

PADI OWSI 157092
PADI IRA 19632

Who to Dive With?

My son and I will be staying at Club Med and would like to dive 2-3 tanks per day and some night dives. Who would you recommend we use? Really appreciate any info on Dive Shop, sites, etc. Thanks.

Sanford Kassel

January 2000

Dear Sanford I have two suggestions. First would be Charley - he's the divemaster at both the former Sheraton and the former Royal Maeva and you'll find quite a bit about him on the website. The other would be Hector Lara at Buceo Sotavento. I worked with him a couple of years and feel that he also has the spirit of Huatulco. You won't go wrong with either - why don't you try one the first dive day and the other the second, compare them, and let us know on the website which one you enjoyed the most?

John M Williams

Canadian Travelers' Cheques

Dear Tom Penick: Conventional wisdom for Canadians heading south to Mexico has been to buy travellers' cheques in US currency. This is outdated and potentially expensive advice in an era when the whole world survived Y2K.

Buying foreign currency always involves costs. Each exchange takes a cut out of the value, so introducing that intervening step Can-US-Mex adds to the expense of changing money.

But the cheques themselves are a needless expense, thanks to plastic. Credit cards and ATMs are the cheapest way to deal with the local currency, almost everywhere.

Credit-card purchases are processed at close to the prevailing wholesale bank rate, not the over-the-counter rate which builds in a profit for the bank. Home banks also impose a service charge for a foreign ATM withdrawal - a Canadian will probably be charged $3 CAN. But on a substantial withdrawal that amount will be less than commissions etc. charged for cashing (and perhaps buying) cheques. And ATMs exchange at the wholesale rate too.

The non-Spanish-speaker will probably find using an ATM easier than dealing with a non-English-speaking clerk. Shorter lines, too, and 24-hours-a-day operations (usually.)

Can the robots be trusted? Last winter a new machine in Crucecita gave me lots of money but swallowed my card at 9 p.m. But the ATM was attached to a bank branch, which sorted it out the next day, helped greatly by my photocopy of the card. Other exchanges went exactly like back home, and I only used a few of the small American bills in my wallet. I also carried Visa and Mastercard credit cards, which work in ATMs, although at a high rate of interest.

One more tip: Canadians should check that a four-digit PIN number is encoded on any credit card which might be used in an ATM.

Cheers from a cheapie
John Laycock

January 2000

Mexicana Mess

Hi Tom, l wrote several weeks ago to say how I've been going to Huatulco from the beginning and love the place and the people! I just read the prior trip information from the couple from L A and all the problems they had with Mexicana. I booked back in August for my annual trip to Huatulco this February, and just before Christmas was advised by my travel agent that Mexicana cancelled their flights. I was supposed to leave from Newark as Mexicana has been advertising that they now have non-stop flights to Mexico City.

We've finally made arrangements thru Continental but the cost is much higher, and the dates had to be changed. This is the third time Mexicana has pulled this stunt. Two years ago they cancelled four days before we were leaving so you can imagine the scramble. Unfortunately, there are no charter tours, such as Apple offering anything from this part of the country, New Jersey. Needless to say I will not even try to book again with Mexicana . The good thing is that now I'll get to spend a few more days there! Can't wait!!!!

January 2000

| Top of page | Main index | Search | What's new |
The Pacific Coast of Mexico www.tomzap.com Tom Penick:  tom@tomzap.com