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Scenes of Huatulco

Fast Facts: Huatulco

Huatulco, also known as the Bahias de Huatulco, is a tourist development located on the Pacific coast of Oaxaca state. Huatulco's tourism industry is centered around its nine bays. The population of the area is around 30,000 people.

Huatulco was developed in the mid 1980s by FONATUR, Mexico's tourism development agency. The economy of the region is based almost entirely on tourism. It is a beautiful place with a very laid back atmosphere. Huatulco is one of the cleanest and greenest developments in Mexico, with populated areas interspersed with large green zones.

This is the tropics, and Huatulco can be very hot and humid. Sunshine can be expected about 330 days a year with the average temperature of 82° F (28° C). The Dry Season extends from December to May, and the Rainy Season lasts from June to November.

Huatulco map

First Impressions

La Crucecita zocalo
©2013 Marrovi, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Depending on the last port you visited, more than likely you'll probably arrive in Huatulco in mid-morning. Even then, the approach to Huatulco sneaks up on you. The shoreline is really beautiful; some bays are placid, but Santa Cruz bay is quite rocky on its sides, while there is a very pleasant beach and a small marina sharing space with the Cruise Ship Pier.

Your ship will dock at the Cruise Ship Pier in Santa Cruz bay. From the Pier, the beach is on the left side, and the marina is on the right side. Just behind the beach you'll find a number of restaurant/bars and a small retail center, with shops selling souvenirs, tours, wines and liquors and other services.

Santa Cruz Bay is just south of the village of La Crucecita. Only a mile away from the Pier, La Crucecita is worth a visit, if only to shop for the famous Oaxacan Alebrijes figures. Alebrijes are brightly-colored folk art sculptures of fantastical animal-like creatures, originally created by the artist Pedro Linares.

The main luxury hotel district is located on Tangolunda bay, a short $50 pesos taxi ride from Santa Cruz bay. The master plan for Huatulco calls for greenbelt space to be left between building projects, and areas for future development are being carefully selected to minimize environmental impact. Distinguishing itself from Cancun, hotels and other buildings in the area cannot exceed a height of six stories.

Time Zone

Huatulco is on Central Time, six hours earlier than Greenwich Mean Time during standard time, or five hours during daylight savings time. Daylight savings time begins on the second Sunday of March, and ends on the first Sunday of November.

Mexican flag Huatulco Local Time


Spanish is universally spoken in Huatulco; most of the shopkeepers catering to tourists also speak English.

Travel Advisory

Dept of State

The U. S. Department of State has issued this Travel Warning, dated August 22, 2017, to inform U.S. citizens traveling to and living in Mexico about the security situation in Mexico.

Oaxaca (includes Oaxaca, Huatulco, and Puerto Escondido): U.S. government personnel must remain in tourist areas and are not allowed to use public transportation in Oaxaca City.

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from traveling on Highway 200 throughout the state, except to transit between the airport in Huatulco to hotels in Puerto Escondido and Huatulco, and they are not permitted to travel to the El Istmo region. The El Istmo region is defined by Highway 185D to the west, Highway 190 to the north, and the Oaxaca/Chiapas border to the east and includes the towns of Juchitan de Zaragoza, Salina Cruz, and San Blas.

Dealing with Money in Huatulco


Mexican Peso

The Peso is Mexico's official currency, and uses the "$" sign to denote the peso amount. Each peso is made up of 100 centavos. Bills come in denominations of $20, $50, $100, $200, $500 and $1000 pesos. Coinage comes in denominations of 50 centavos, and $1, $2, $5 and $10 pesos.

Just be aware that larger notes (e.g., $500 Peso notes) are often difficult to change.

The current US Dollar/Mexican Peso exchange rate is as follows:

Banks and ATMs

ATM machines can be found in most of the hotels in the resort area. In addition, banks with ATM machines area can be found at the following bank locations:

  • HSBC: has an ATM at the Bahia de Santa Cruz, near the marina, as well as just south of the square in La Crucecita.

  • Santander: has a branch with an ATM machine at Blvd. Chahue #164. People with Bank of America accounts aren't charged a fee when using a Santander ATM.

Huatulco ATM map

Map icon

See our Huatulco ATM map for the locations of the above ATMs.

Using US Dollars in Huatulco

Pesos, or credit cards for that matter, would probably be a better way to pay for the things you're going to buy in Huatulco. The larger hotels and higher-end shops will accept US dollars, but you may not get a very favorable exchange rate. And if you do use dollars in a smaller shop, they more than likely won't have change for anything larger than a $20 bill, unless the change is in pesos.


Playa Santa Cruz
©2010 Danielllerandi, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license

Huatulco is hot and humid year-round. From November through February, the average high temperatures are in the low 80s F (about 30° C). During the evenings, it frequently feels cool enough to wear a sweater. The wind blows off the Pacific in Huatulco, making the evenings quite nice.

The rainy season lasts from May to October, but as with most monsoonal areas, rains tend to be fierce and brief in the late afternoon, leaving the evenings dry and cooled off. September brings the highest levels of humidity and sees the heaviest rains.

The hurricane season stretches from August to the end of October.

The surface water temperature from May through November ranges from 82° to 90° F (28° to 32° C). From December through April, the temperature ranges from 72° to 77° F (22° to 25° C).

Average Temperatures

Average Precipitation

Keeping In Touch

Internet Access in Huatulco

You can find several cyber cafes in the nearby village of La Crucecita, a pleasant 20-minute walk or a 5-minute taxi ride from Santa Cruz Bay. The rates are very reasonable, ranging from $20 to $50 pesos per hour.

Wi-Fi Hotspots

Wi-Fi is a good option in Huatulco as well. The following venues feature Wi-Fi connections:

  • Both the Club de Playa Chahue and the Castillo Beach Club, located on Playa Chahue, have Wi-Fi. There's nothing like enjoying the beach while checking your email.

  • The Terra-Cotta Restaurant at the Mision Los Arcos Hotel has wireless connections. Located at Gardenia 902, in La Crucecita.

  • The Casa Mayor Restaurant, located at the corner of Bugambilia and Flamboyant, in La Crucecita, also features Wi-Fi. Enjoy your lunch or a couple of beers, and ask your waiter for the WEP access code.

  • Cafe Juanita also provides Wi-Fi; its breakfasts and lunches are excellent as well. Located at 311 Palma Real, in La Crucecita.

Huatulco Internet Access Map

Map icon

See our Huatulco Internet Map for the locations of the above internet access points.

Internet Cafe

Cellular Phone & Data Services

Customers of U.S. wireless carriers can expect the following levels of service in Huatulco:


Cell service: Verizon's CDMA service in the Huatulco area is provided by local partner Iusacell.
Data services: Through partner Iusacell, Verizon offers EVDO coverage in the greater Huatulco area.
See details on Verizon's cell and data services pricing and coverage maps.

ATT Wireless

Cell service: AT&T's GSM service in the Huatulco area is provided by Telcel and Telefonica.
Data services: AT&T offers 3G service in the Huatulco area through its partners Telcel and Telefonica.
See details on AT&T's cell and data services coverage maps.


Cell service: Sprint's CDMA service in the Huatulco area is provided by partner Iusacell, and with partners Telcel and Telefonica when using a quad-band GSM phone.
Data services: Through Iusacel, Sprint offers EVDO coverage in the Huatulco area. Sprint also offers 3G coverage in Huatulco when using a UMTS-capable device with an active SIM card and global plan.
See details on Sprint's cell and data services coverage maps.

T Mobile

Cell service: T-Mobile's GSM service is available in the Huatulco area through its partners Telefonica and Iusacell.
Data services: T-Mobile offers 2G service in the Huatulco area through its partners Telefonica and Iusacell.
See details on T-Mobile's cell and data services coverage maps.

Samsung Galaxy S III

Huatulco Telephone Information

Travelers with American or Canadian cell phones should be aware that their carriers will add a variety of international roaming charges when their phones are used in Mexico. You can also buy a "Mexico plan" from your carrier; check with your carrier for the precise details.

Country Code: 52

Huatulco Area Code: 958

Local Phone Numbers have seven digits: XXX-XXXX

Calling Huatulco from the US or Canada: Dial 011-52-958-XXX-XXXX

Using your US or Canadian cell phone in Huatulco

To make a call from:

Huatulco to the US or Canada: Dial 001 (area code) XXX-XXXX

Huatulco to a US or Canadian cell in Huatulco: Dial 001 (area code) XXX-XXXX

Huatulco to a local Huatulco number: Dial 001-52-958-XXX-XXXX

Woman with a cell phone

Local Holidays & Festivals

Local festivals, holidays and events taking place in Huatulco in 2018:

  • Ano Nuevo (New Year's Day), Monday, January 1. National holiday celebrated with dances and fiestas.

  • Dia de los Santos Reyes (Day of the Three Kings), Saturday, January 6. A national holiday celebrating the New Testament story of the arrival of the three wise men who each brought a gift to the Christ child. It's the day that children receive their Christmas gifts as well as shoes full of candy, and people buy a pastry called the rosca de reyes.

  • Dia de la Constitucion (Constitution Day), Monday, February 5. Public holiday commemorating the signing of the Mexican Constitution of 1917. The day is usually marked by festivals and street celebrations.

  • Dragon
    ©2015 Adrian Ceron, under cc-by-sa 4.0 license
  • Carnaval (Mardis Gras), Wednesday, February 7 to Tuesday, February 13. The big party is held on Tuesday night, the 13th.

  • Birthday of Benito Juarez, Wednesday, March 21. A public holiday celebrating the birthday of Benito Juarez, who rose from humble origins to occupy the Presidency of the Republic in the second half of the 19th century. Since the day falls on a Wednesday, Mexicans get Monday, the 19th, off to observe the holiday.

  • Semana Santa (Holy Week), Sunday March 25 to Saturday March 31. A religious and a secular holiday in Mexico, where you'll see processions and passion plays taking place in the city. Easter takes place on Sunday, April 1. During Semana Santa, banks are closed on Maundy Thursday, March 29 and Good Friday, March 30.

  • Primero de Mayo (Labor Day), Tuesday, May 1. A national holiday.

  • Cinco de Mayo, Saturday, May 5. A Mexican holiday that commemorates the Battle of Puebla in 1862, when the Mexican army defeated a French force twice its size just south of Mexico City. This holiday is really only celebrated (outside of the Gringo bars) in Puebla.

  • Dia de Independencia (Independence Day), Sunday, September 16. Look for the delivery of the "El Grito de Dolores," the official grunt that marks the day. Since the day falls on a Sunday, Mexicans also get Monday, the 17th, as a day off.

  • Dia de la Raza (Columbus Day), Friday, October 12. Dia de la Raza is how Mexico celebrates Columbus Day.

  • Mariachis
    ©2013 Inocencio Vasquez Melchor, under cc-by-sa 3.0 license
  • Dia De Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Thursday, November 1 (which is All Saints' Day) and Friday, November 2 (which is All Souls' Day). Two days when celebrants honor the deceased.

  • Revolution Day, Tuesday, November 20. A national holiday celebrating the Mexican Revolution of 1910. Since the day falls on a Sunday, Mexicans also get Monday, the 19th, as a day off.

  • Inauguration Day, Saturday, December 1. A national holiday commemorating the inauguration of the new president of Mexico.

  • Fiesta de la Inmaculada (Feast of the Immaculate Conception), Saturday, December 8. Marks the beginning of the Christmas celebration season.

  • Dia de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe (Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe), Wednesday, December 12. Commemorates the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's patron saint.

  • Las Posadas, Saturday, December 15 to Monday, December 24. Commemorates the New Testament story of Joseph and Mary's search for shelter in Bethlehem. Consists of candlelight processions as well as stops at various nativity scenes.

  • Navidad (Christmas Day), Tuesday, December 25. A public and religious holiday celebrating the birth of Christ.

  • Vispera de Ano Nuevo (New Year's Eve), Monday, December 31.

Huatulco Cruise Port Schedules

©2008 Jean-Philippe Boulet, under cc-by-sa 1.2 license

Huatulco is a boutique port for ships making Panama Canal cruises to and from Caribbean and Pacific Coast ports. Cruise ships begin to arrive in mid-September and continue making port through early March.

In 2018, cruise ship passengers will spend an average of about 8¾ hours in Huatulco.

In 2018, Huatulco is slated to host 46,800 passengers sailing on 30 ships. For further information, see our Huatulco Cruise Ship Schedule - 2018.

Cruise Lines Making Port in Huatulco

The following cruise lines will make port in Huatulco in 2018:

Royal Caribbean Princess Cruises
Holland America Oceania
Crystal icon Crystal Cruises Seabourn hoenix
P & O Cruises Azamara
Cruise Ship

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