I love Huatulco. Say it with me- “wah-TOOL-co.” Nicely done.
Huatulco is a small coastal area, tucked away on the southern coast of Mexico, surrounded by 9 incredible bays that stretch out into the Pacific. This summer, I discovered this gem of a destination, and have been entranced ever since. I have two words for you: Go Now.
I’m a beach kind of girl. If there is sand and a body of water, I’m there. Palm trees are an added bonus, and rum is a must. As I packed for my trip to Huatulco, I expected it to be similar to all of my other favorite Mexico destinations. There would be a long stretch of white beach, unlimited tropical drinks with names like “Banana Mama” and “La Bomba,” and just a stroll away would be authentic restaurants, endless shopping, and exhilarating music echoing through the streets.
But as we flew into Huatulco, I realized that things were going to be a little different. As the plane descended, I looked to my left to see lush, green mountains rolling up into the clouds. These are the infamous Sierra Madres. We don’t have any hills like this in Illinois… we have corn fields. And the world’s largest bottle of Ketchup, in case you are interested.
In the mountains, I saw rivers winding down the mountainside, running through the thick green tangles of rainforest. I had a moment of anxiety when I wondered if I accidentally got a ticket to Machu Pichu, but it disappeared as I looked out the other side, to the vast Mexican beaches that I know and love. This was it! Huatulco. After we landed, I stepped out into the sunlight and was greeted at the airport by grinning Oaxacans, (“Wa-ha-kens,” locals of the state of Oaxaca, “Wa-ha-kah”). I knew that I was ready for an incredible adventure.
My hotel, Secrets Huatulco, is nestled into one of the southernmost bays of Huatulco. After gawking over the gorgeous lobby and testing out all of the cool features of my hotel room (rainfall shower, HELLO!), I decided to check out the beach. I wound my way between the crystal clear pools, thatch-roof cabanas, and the smells of fresh tacos cooking at the poolside restaurant- and discovered one of the most breathtaking Pacific beaches I have ever seen. The waves were a surfer’s dream, the beach was deep and smooth, and along each side of the bay, craggy cliffs stood against the backdrop of the turquoise pacific. I stood there admiring the view, and was there for so long that the tide started to come in. I was almost knocked over by a wave, and had to scurry back up the beach to avoid a mid-afternoon swim.
For the rest of the day, I wandered the property in search of some food and found fresh Marlin ceviche, homemade guacamole and crispy tortilla chips, and my new favorite drink- the Paloma. The Paloma is a refreshing concoction of grapefruit juice, lime juice, and a splash of tequila and soda water, blended with lots of ice and served with a salted rim.
After that, I ventured off in search of the highest point I could find, in order to get the best view of the bay and surrounding areas. I discovered this view at the Spa, where one of the best views was (unfortunately) from a treadmill in the glass-walled gym. I decided that this was a sign that I should exercise (I forgot to mention that I also discovered some Gelato after lunch), so climbed on the treadmill, to work-out, but more to just stare across Conejos bay. The views were breathtaking, and I made a mental note to spend some extra time down the hallway, to enjoy the pools, waterfalls, and breathtaking views at the spa (photo below for your viewing pleasure).
After my adventurous day, I headed up to my room to indulge in some wine, my Jacuzzi tub, and to take in the beach from my amazing ocean view balcony. I felt like a princess, even though I later discovered that every room is ocean view. As I rinsed off (yet again) in my rainfall shower, and crawled under the fresh sheets, I only had a moment to reflect on my incredible day before I drifted off into a mild coma. I needed a full night’s sleep to prepare for the next day- a day of sightseeing, shopping, and my first wonderful (and mildly disastrous) Oaxacan cooking class.
Stay tuned for my next blog about my trip to Hualtuco….
For now, check out some of my pics!