25 Best Things to Do in Huatulco Mexico in 2024

sign with colorful letters overlooking the beach

Wondering about the best Huatulco things to do?

You’re in the right place because I live in Mexico, and have spent quite a bit of time in Bahías de Huatulco, usually just called Huatulco. This article will highlight the 25 best things to do in Huatulco so you have an epic trip!

Huatulco Mexico is a beautiful coastal town in Oaxaca state. It’s known for gorgeous beaches with turquoise water, snorkeling and diving, whale watching in winter, delicious food, all-inclusive resorts, and friendly locals.

Though Huatulco is one of the best beach towns in Oaxaca, there are things to do in Huatulco off-beach. These include exploring the waterfalls and rivers, taking cooking classes, seeing the ancient ruins in Huatulco, and more.

Ready to discover everything you need to add to your Huatulco itinerary? Let’s get to it — but don’t miss the Huatulco travel FAQ at the end of the article that covers everything you need to know about traveling to Huatulco.

25 Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

1. Boat Tour to the Huatulco Bays

boat tours are one of the best things to do in Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico

The best way to experience Huatulco is from the water. It has a rugged coastline and miles of beach — many of those beaches are best accessed (or only accessed) by boat.

There are a number of full-day boat tours from Huatulco, like this one which I personally took. In fact, this is the most popular of all Huatulco tours.

They all depart from the Huatulco Pier near Playa Santa Cruz, the main beach in the center of town. You’ll spend the day swimming, snorkeling, sunbathing and eating at various beaches, like Playa Chachacual and Playa Maguey.

You can rent snorkel gear for about $200 pesos ($10 USD), but it’s better to bring your own snorkel gear so you get an up-close look at the tropical fish and coral reefs in Huatulco.

You’ll also enjoy snacks and drinks on board the boat.

⛵️ Best Huatulco Boat Tours

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco boat tours that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. Exotic Paradise Boat Tour from Huatulco (Best Rated)
  2. Private Huatulco Boat Tour for Just Your Group
  3. Huatulco Boat Tour to the 7 Bays
Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

2. Go Snorkeling in Huatulco

man snorkeling in oaxaca mexico
You won’t find a list of Huatulco Mexico things to do that doesn’t include snorkeling.

Huatulco has some of the best diving and best snorkeling in Mexico. Many of the beaches are part of Huatulco National Park, which is a protected area. Because of this, there are numerous healthy coral reefs just offshore.

You can go snorkeling on your own at some of the best beaches in Huatulco, like Playa San Agustin and Playa la Entrega. However, for the best experience, you’ll want to go on one of the Huatulco snorkel tours listed below.

🤿 Best Huatulco snorkeling tours

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco snorkel tours that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. Premium Huatulco Snorkeling Experience (Top Rated)
  2. Private Huatulco Snorkeling Tour & Boat Trip
  3. Huatulco Boat Tour to the 7 Bays with Snorkeling
Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

3. Release Baby Turtles into the Ocean

woman holding baby turtle for release in oaxaca mexico
Book this top-rated Huatulco turtle tour and release baby turtles into the Pacific Ocean.

Oaxaca state is one of the best places to see turtles in Mexico. There are a few species that live in the waters off the coast, like the Hawksbill turtle, Green turtle, Leatherback turtle and Olive Ridley turtle.

💡 Huatulco Travel Tips: The best time to see turtles in Oaxaca is from July to January.

In decades past, sea turtle numbers dwindled to the point of nearing extinction. However, conservation efforts are helping to change things. When you participate in a Huatulco turtle release, parts of the proceeds go to helping save the turtles.

With the Huatulco sea turtle release experiences, you get to hold a baby turtle and then place it in the sand and see it take its first steps into the Pacific Ocean.

The babies are adorable, and you will never forget your interaction with these amazing animals.


Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco cooking classes that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. Huatulco Turtle Release & Bioluminescence (Top Pick)
  2. Oaxaca Turtle Sanctuary at Sunset
  3. Turtle Release at Escobilla Sanctuary
Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

4. Laze on the Best Beaches in Huatulco

Huatulco has 36 beaches and nine bays to choose from. To quickly explain, the bays are large coves. Each of the bays in Huatulco has several beaches within it — so you could spend weeks there, and never run out of beaches to explore.

Below, you’ll find a list of the most popular beaches. If you want to explore some of the hidden beaches and off the beaten path Huatulco beaches, check out these 27 Best Beaches in Huatulco, Mexico.

🏝️ Playa Santa Cruz (Main Beach)

playa santa cruz, main beach in huatulco mexic
Huatulco has some of the most beautiful beaches on the Pacific Coast. (Photo: Canva, Best of Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico)

👙 Good for swimming? Yes | 🤿 Good for snorkeling? No | 🌮 Are there restaurants? Yes

Playa Santa Cruz Beach is located in Bahía Santa Cruz Bay, near where the cruise ships dock. It’s sometimes called Playa Principal, which means main beach. This lively beach is popular, day and night, and has everything you’d need.

🏝️ Playa la Entrega

playa la entrega beach in huatulco mexico
Playa Entrega Beach in Huatulco is perfect for water sports. (Photo: Huatulco activities)

👙 Good for swimming? Yes | 🤿 Good for snorkeling? Yes | 🌮 Are there restaurants? Yes

Playa la Entrega is one of the most popular and most accessible snorkeling beaches in Huatulco. In fact, some go as far as to say it’s the best snorkeling beach in Huatulco and one of the best swimming beaches in Huatulco too!

As one of the best beaches in Huatulco for snorkeling, it can get very crowded by midday. The best time to visit Playa la Entrega Beach for snorkeling is before 11am because the crowds stir up the sand on the bottom and affect visibility.

🤿 Planning to go snorkeling in Huatulco Mexico?

This full-face snorkel mask is the best mask for snorkeling available today. It’s super easy to use, and even if you’re a beginner at snorkeling, you’ll feel confident underwater when using it.

🏝️ Playa Tangolunda Beach

playa tangolunda beach in huatulco mexico
Playa Tangolunda (pronounced tango-lund-uh) often has strong waves, but it’s still among the favorite beaches for Huatulco visitors.

👙 Good for swimming? Yes | 🤿 Good for snorkeling? Yes | 🌮 Are there restaurants? No

Tangolunda Beach is one of the most beautiful and best beaches in Huatulco Oaxaca — especially for those who love long walks on the beach. It’s about 2,625-feet-long (700 m) and there’s soft sand.

For those wondering, Can you swim in Huatulco Mexico? You can at some beaches. However, Tangolunda Beach is not great for swimming because there’s often a strong undercurrent; to swim, opt for Playa la Entrega Huatulco.

barcelo hotel pool in huatulco mexico, oaxaca state


Playa Tangolunda is in Bahía Tangolunda, the main hotel zone in Huatulco. If you want to stay at an all inclusive Huatulco resort, this is the place.

🏝️ Playa la Bocana

playa la bocana huatulco beaches
Playa la Bocana beach in Bahias de Huatulco, Mexico is famous for the large rocks in the water.

👙 Good for swimming? No | 🤿 Good for snorkeling? No | 🌮 Are there restaurants? Yes

If you can only visit a few beaches on your trip to Huatulco, Playa la Bocana should be one of them. It’s great for a long walk, swimming, relaxing, and sipping cocktails at sunset.

By day, it’s one of the best Huatulco surfing beaches, but has many other activities to offer — like the mud massages on Playa la Bocana. It’s also a nice place to watch the sunrise, and to walk along the beach to the Copalita River.

🏝️ Bahía de Cacaluta

bahia cacaluta beach in huatulco mexico
Bahía de Cacaluta became one of the top Huatulco attractions after being featured in a movie.

Fans of the 2001 Mexican film, Y Tu Mamá También, will love seeing Bahía de Cacaluta in person. Several scenes from the film were shot in this bay, and even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ll love beautiful Cacaluta Bay.

The best way to see this beach is on the Exotic Paradise Water Adventure Tour from Huatulco, which takes you to some of the best Huatulco beaches that are only accessible by boat. I did this tour, and it was a lot of fun.

🏝️ Need a few more Huatulco beaches suggestions?

bahia san agustin beach in huatulco oaxaca mexico
Bahía San Agustín Bay is one of the best places to snorkel in Huatulco.

There’s popular beaches like Playa Chachue and Playa Maguey, and the off the beaten path Huatulco beaches like Playa Arrocito and Playa Tejon.

Some of the best bays in Huatulco include Bahía Maguey, Bahía Conejos and Bahía San Agustín (sometimes called Playa San Agustin) — my personal favorite beach in Huatulco!

For a longer list, check out these 27 Best Beaches in Huatulco, Mexico.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

5. Swim in the Cascadas Magicas Waterfalls

Huatulco Waterfalls at Cascadas Magicas Copalitilla
One of many waterfalls at Copalitilla Huatulco Mx. which you’ll visit when you book this tour.

One of the can’t miss things to see in Huatulco is Cascadas Mágicas de Copalitilla (Copalitilla Waterfalls Park).

There are about 30 waterfalls throughout the park, the highest of which is 65-feet-tall (20 m), and there’s also natural waterfall pools that you can swim in.

The park is about one haour from Huatulco, in the small pueblo of San Miguel del Puerto, Oaxaca, located way up in the mountains.

This far from the Huatulco city limits, you’ll feel like you’re in a tropical paradise, surrounded by lush vegetation, wild nature and freshwater jungle pools. There are also hot springs in Huatulco not too far away!

💦 Best Huatulco Waterfall Tours

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco waterfall tours that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. Copalitilla Waterfalls Tour from Huatulco with Transport (Best Rated)
  2. Cascadas Mágicas de Copalitilla Adventure Tour
  3. Coffee Plantation and Waterfalls Huatulco Tour
Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

6. Zip Lining at Hagia Sophia Eco Park

woman on zipline in huatulco mexico | hagia sofia eco park
Ride the zipline in Huatulco at Hagia Sofia Eco Park — one of the top Huatulco Mexico things to do for adrenaline junkies.

Hagia Sofia Park, located near Huatulco, offers visitors the best of both worlds — nature and adventure. On their famed Exotic Flower Trail you can see more than 100,000 plants, including 60 species of rare and exotic flowers.

In the spring, they host seasonal fruit tastings in the gardens. The park has more than 80 varieties of tropical and exotic fruit trees they sample from, including rambutan and mangosteen trees.

With such a large collection, the trees attract butterflies and birds all year.

For Huatulco adventure travelers, the Hagia Sofia zipline takes you on a 1.25-mile journey (2 km) over the gardens below. You get a bird’s eye view of the park’s biodiversity, as you soar 325-feet (99 m) above the ground.

🌳 Best Hagia Sofia Tours from Huatulco

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco tours to Hagia Sofia that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. Hagia Sofia Tour: EcoPark & Zipline (Best Rated)
  2. Hagia Sofia Botanical Park Tour with Meals Included
  3. Hagia Sofia Park & Waterfall Tour
Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

6. Huatulco Coffee Tour in Pluma Hidalgo

coffee cup near coffee bush in Pluma Hidalgo, Mexico
When it comes to attractions in Huatulco, don’t miss the coffee tours.

Oaxaca is known as a Mexico foodie destination, but it also produces some of the country’s best coffee. Pluma Hidalgo rivals even the most famous coffee in North America, like Havana Cuba coffee and Colombian coffee.

Head to the fincas (coffee farms) near Huatulco for a tour of the fields, and to sample their delicious product. Many of the best fincas near Huatulco, like La Gloria and El Pacifico, don’t allow walk-ins, so you must book a tour.

Most tours from Huatulco combine the finca with a stop at some of the other places mentioned on this list, so you get two tours in one.

☕️ Best Huatulco Coffee Tours & Tastings

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco coffee tours that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. 3 Level of Hidalgo Tour: Beaches, Coffee, Mountains (Best Rated)
  2. Huatulco Coffee Tasting and Cultural Experience
  3. Coffee Plantation and Waterfalls Tour
best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

7. Visit Bahias de Huatulco National Park

bahias de huatulco national park
Bahías de Huatulco National Park is a 29,000-acre (116 km²) land and water park, famous for everything from snorkeling to birdwatching in Mexico.

At 29,000-acres (116 km²), Huatulco National Park is massive. Unlike many parks, this is a land and water park. It was declared a national park in 1998, it’s also a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve and a RAMSAR site with protected wetlands.

At Huatulco National Park, three ecosystems converge: tropical forest, dry forest, and of course, marine.

There’s a lot to enjoy on dry land, like Huatulco bird watching, hiking, biking and horseback riding — but take one of these best Huatulco snorkeling tours to see the healthy reefs just offshore.

The waters off Huatulco National Park are teeming with fish, turtles, coral and more. One of the more famous types of marine life here are the whales.

In fact, the Mexican government declared this area a national whale watching zone in 2019. In the winter months, you can see several species of whales in Huatulco, though the most common is the Pacific gray whale.

You can sometimes see the whales breaching the water from the shore, but you’ll want to book one of these best boat tours in Huatulco so you get to see the whales up close. It’s a true bucket list experience 🐳

best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

8. Huatulco Cooking Classes

man preparing street food in oaxaca mexico
Street food in Oaxaca is serious business! Learn how to cook it in this top-rated Street Food Cooking Class, one of the best tours in Huatulco for foodies.

Not sure what a tlayuda is? Never heard of a memela? No worries, because the best way to learn about Oaxacan food is to cook it — and then eat it, of course!

There are numerous Huatulco cooking classes available in town, and in the nearby pueblo (small town) of La Crucecita. This is considered Downtown Huatulco, though it’s not technically a part of Huatulco.

In these classes, you can expect a fun and educational environment, as you learn to prepare things like mole, tlayudas and empanadas, and Mexican drinks like tejate — a prehispanic chocolate and corn drink.

👩‍🍳 Best Cooking Classes in HUATULCO

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco cooking classes that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

9. Ride ATVs in Huatulco Through the Jungle

riding a quad
Huatulco ATV tour on your itinerary? Book this ATV Tour in Huatulco — one of the most fun things to do in Huatulco Mexico.

Zip through rugged trails that lead you through the beautiful lush tropical jungle, on this small-group Huatulco ATV Tour with Jungle Visit & Copalita River.

The tour starts with a hotel pick-up, where you’ll be taken to the Tangolunda Ranch. Here, you’ll learn how to handle an ATV before heading out. One of the best Huatulco adventure tours starts when you turn the key.

Ivan, our guide, was awesome and gave us lots of history of the ranch. It was a nice, relaxing ride. Definitely recommend for a fun outing.

—gretchen (read more reviews)

Then it’s off to explore the jungle. At one point you’ll reach the Copalita River in Huatulco, where you will have the chance to go swimming. Note: Make sure to pack a swimsuit and a towel.

Once the swim is over, you’ll head back to the ranch on your ATVs. Back at the farm, you’ll also have the opportunity to have lunch (extra cost). Food and drinks are not provided on this tour, so bring a backpack filled with essentials.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

10. Visit Downtown Huatulco (La Crucecita)

man standing on a colorful street in La Crucecita Huatulco Mexico
La Crucecita (AKA Downtown Huatulco Mexico) is located just up the hill and inland from the Huatulco beaches.

When it’s time to escape the crowds in Huatulco, or if you want to do some shopping, head to La Crucecita, Oaxaca. It’s named for a crucecita, or “little cross” that sits high atop one of the hills overlooking town.

La Crucecita is a small pueblo where many locals live. Huatulco is a Mexico resort town, so La Crucecita is the place to experience the area’s cultural side.

It has the best authentic Mexican street food in Huatulco, and great shopping at colorful local mercados (markets), perfect for buying with artisan handicrafts and local souvenirs.

Wondering what to do in Huatulco at night? All the best things to do in Huatulco at night are happening in La Crucecita, where you’ll find all the hippest restaurants and best bars in Huatulco.

🚌 Best Huatulco City Tours

Here’s a list of the Top 3 best Huatulco tours of La Crucecita and Downtown that you won’t want to miss when you’re visiting Huatulco on your vacation:

  1. Huatulco Sightseeing Tour with a Local (Top Rated)
  2. Private Huatulco Tour: Sightseeing, Shopping & Mezcal Tasting
  3. Huatulco Sightseeing and La Crucecita Tour
Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

11. Ancient Copalita Ruins in Huatulco

ruins in oaxaca at Copalita Park, Huatulco Mexico
Visit the Huatulco Ruins of Copalita with a tour guide to really understand this ancient site. ▶︎ Book it here

Located in Copalita Eco-Archaeological Park, visit the only ancient ruins in Huatulco Mexico. Bocana del Río Copalita Archaeological Zone is a smaller site, but has two prehispanic temples and ancient ball courts to see.

Copalita excavations have confirmed that both the Zapotec and Mazatec peoples used the site as a ceremonial center.

During digs, archaeologists uncovered two tombs at Copalita, which they say are the final resting places of elite members of the ruling class.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

12. Go Kayaking in Huatulco Oaxaca

kayaking in huatulco mexico
For the best Huatulco sightseeing, you have to get out on the water. (Photo: Airbnb, Things to do Huatulco Mexico)

The best way to enjoy Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico is on the water. While these Huatulco boat tours can be a lot of fun — for a more relaxed experience, you’ll want to book this Huatulco kayaking tour with Roldan.

Going with a Huatulco local like Roldan means you get to venture away from the crowds and check out the virgin beaches in Huatulco, like Playa Pauliana Beach, where you can swim with the turtles.

Roldan really went out of his way to make sure we had a beautiful experience and a good view of turtles and fish benches… Generally highly recommended!

—Karen (read more reviews)

Roldan is used to working with kayakers of all skill levels, and will stick to the areas with calm waves. On the tour, you’ll visit two beaches and two snorkeling spots that you may just have all to yourself.

Kayak, paddles, snorkeling gear and bottle water are all included. Also, Roldan will be taking videos and photos with his GoPro Camera, which are available for purchase afterwards.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

13. Mud Bath at Playa La Bocana Beach

woman getting mud massage in huatulco at playa la bocana beach
The mud massage at La Bocana Beach is one of the coolest activities in Huatulco Mexico.

Looking to get a massage in Huatulco? Don’t miss Playa la Bocana Beach in Huatulco, where you can get a mud bath massage right on the beach.

The mud on this beach is said to be good for the skin, with natural exfoliants in it. I got one last time I was visiting Huatulco, and my skin did instantly look and feel much better.

The locals at Playa la Bocana offer massages for about $200 MXN pesos ($10 USD), which is a bargain for a beachfront massage.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

14. Eat at the Best Restaurants in Huatulco

two oaxacan tlayudas
Tlayudas are also known as Mexican pizza, for obvious reasons 🍕

Many don’t know this, but Mexico isn’t all tacos and burritos. In fact, the state’s capital of Oaxaca City is known as the Foodie Capital of Mexico, because this cuisine is so beloved — and so incredibly delicious.

Mexican cuisine is very regional, and Oaxaca state has its own unique foods you don’t always find outside of the state.

While traveling to Huatulco, try some traditional Oaxacan food favorites, like mole, tlayudas and memelas and tamales oaxaqueños.

One of the best places to try these foods is El Sabor de Oaxaca in La Crucecita. If you want to eat where the locals do, head to La Casa De Las Tlayudas Huatulco, Tlayudas Arely and Tlayudas Del-i-ciosas.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

15. Whitewater Rafting on the Copalita River


The Copalita River is one of the largest rivers in Oaxaca state. There are some parts near Huatulco with Class I and Class II rapids, which are on the smaller side, but still make for one of the most fun day trips from Huatulco.

The river dries up considerably in the Huatulco dry season from about November to April, so the tours are seasonal. You can check for Huatulco Copalita River Tour here to see if there will be any when you visit.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

17. Mezcal Tour in Huatulco

four bottles of mezcal and two small shot glasses at La Mezcaloteca, one of the best Mezcalerias Oaxaca City has
This Complete Mezcal Experience in Huatulco is the best-rated Huatulco mezcal tour of all.

Learn about the entire Oaxaca mezcal process — from agave plant to distilled drink — when you book this Complete Huatulco Mezcal Experience with Magdalena, a Oaxaca native.

She will take you to mezcal plantations and agave fields near Huatulco to taste small-production, house-made mezcals that you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll learn how to drink mezcal in Mexico so you savor each sip to the fullest.

You’ll also visit the surrounding Huatulco jungle to learn about the local flora. Here, you get to taste Oaxacan chocolate, and sample another Oaxaca drink that has deep meaning within Oaxacan culture.

If that wasn’t enough, you’ll enjoy a farewell meal at the end of the tour with traditional Oaxacan foods, like mole, tlayudas, tamales and memelas. Everything is included, even transportation from your Huatulco hotel.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

18. Go Shopping in Huatulco at the Artisan Market

man making a rug on a loom in oaxaca mexico
Shop for locally-made Oaxacan textiles, black pottery, alebrijes and more at the best Huatulco market.

Huatulco isn’t too far from all the coolest art towns in Oaxaca Mexico, so if you want to do some shopping in Huatulco, you have plenty of options.

One of the best places to buy Huatulco souvenirs is in La Crucecita, which is known as Downtown Huatulco. Head to the Museo de Artesanías Oaxaqueñas to buy textiles, pottery, clothing and more made by local artisans.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

19. La Ventanilla Lagoon EcoTour

boats in the lagoon at La Ventanilla in Oaxaca, Mexico
La Ventanilla Lagoon is among the top Huatulco tourist attractions for nature lovers.

Laguna Ventanilla is a lagoon that 20 families have taken up conservation efforts to protect. They are known as the Ventanilla Ecotourism Cooperative, and if you want to take an eco-friendly Huatulco tour, this is it!

As Ventanilla Lagoon is accessible only by boat, you must go with a tour. The best tour from Huatuco is this 4 in 1 Tour to La Ventanilla, Mazunte, a Cacao Factory, and Turtle Spawn — so you get to see a lot in one day.

Laguna Ventanilla offers a chance to get out into nature and see another side of Mazunte, away from the beaches. While boating through the mangroves, be on the lookout for iguanas, spider monkeys, deer and crocodiles.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

20. Huatulco to Mazunte Day Trip

mazunte pueblo magico sign
Mazunte is the only pueblo magico in Oaxaca on the coast.

There’s no shortage of beaches in Huatulco, but you can also check Mazunte. This is Huatulco’s neighboring beach towns on the Riviera Oaxaqueña (Oaxacan Riviera), located about one hour away by rental car.

Mazunte makes for one of the best day trips from Huatulco. It’s a quaint, laid back town, popular with bohemian types, backpackers, artists and yogis. (In fact, I even did a 10 day silent meditation retreat in Mazunte 🧘‍♀️).

🏝️ Mazunte, Oaxaca Pueblo Magico

Mazunte is one of the 135 or so Mexico pueblos mágicos (magic towns). It is the only Oaxaca pueblo magico on the coast — and some say the most “magical” things about Mazunte is beautiful Mermejita Beach.

🏝️ Playa Mermejita Beach in Mazunte

playa mermejita in mazunte oaxaca mexico
Playa Mermejita Beach in Mazunte, one of the best pueblos magicos in Oaxaca.

Playa Mermejita in Mazunte is said to be the best beach in Oaxaca, and one of the best beaches in Mexico. If you’re staying in Mazunte all day, hike up to Punta Cometa, which overlooks this beach for epic sunset views.

🐢 National Mexican Turtle Center

The Mexican National Turtle Center is a museum, aquarium, research institute and sanctuary dedicated to sea turtles preservation. They house the four sea turtle species found in Mexico, two land species, and 16 freshwater species.

The Mexican National Turtle Center is located here, and open Wednesday through Sunday, from morning until early afternoon. Admission is just $40 MXN pesos ($2 USD), and proceeds go to a good cause.

🌅 Punta Cometa: Best Place to Watch the Sunset

people walking on the pathway to punta cometa mazunte hike
Looking for the best things to do in Mazunte? Don’t miss the Punta Cometa hike at sunset, and then dinner afterwards at these best Mazunte restaurants.

Punta Cometa (AKA Cerro Sagrada, or Sacred Hill) was used in pre-Hispanic times as a ceremonial center. Today, it is a gathering place by Mazunte visitors and locals alike, and the best spot in town to see the epic Mazunte sunsets.

Punta Cometa is just a short, mostly easy hike up from Playa Rinconcito. You can access the path up from the southern end of Playa Rinconcito, where you’ll see the trail to take up the side of the hill.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

21. Go Surfing in Puerto Escondido

surfer getting out of the water in Puerto Escondido Mexico
Puerto Escondido has some of the best surfing in Mexico.

Want to go surfing in Huatulco?

While there are a few spots with decent waves, you’ll have to head to Puerto Escondido Mexico for the best surf on the Oaxaca Coast — and some of the best Mexico surf waves, for that matter.

Hop in your rental car and head two hours west of Huatulco, and you’ll be in Puerto Escondido.

Once you arrive, you can enjoy a surf lesson with Pablo, or head to the shops on the beach to rent gear and go on your own. 🏄‍♀️ For a complete guide, check out these 7 Best Puerto Escondido Surf Lessons and Surf Schools.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

22. Visit the Zipolite Nude Beach

zipolite sign on the beach inn zipolite oaxaca

Zipolite is famous, or maybe infamous, as the only nude beach in Mexico. There are other beaches which allow or tolerate nudity, but Zipolite is the only legal nude beach in Mexico.

While nudity is legal everywhere, it is mostly confined to the area near the aptly-named Naked Hotel Zipolite and Playa del Amor Beach — so don’t feel like you have to be naked in Zipolite.

In fact, Zipolite attracts everyone from families to bohemians to LGBTQ+ travelers. The best way to visit is by renting a car in Huatulco and driving. The Huatulco to Zipolite drive is about one hour and 15 minutes.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mexico

23. Rent a Car and Visit the Best Beaches Near Huatulco

puerto escondido rental car offices

Looking for things to do near Huatulco Mexico? The best way to cover a lot of ground will be taking a fun Huatulco road trip where you control the itinerary.

Renting a car in Huatulco is an easy process, and allows you the freedom to visit the nearby beaches and sites on your own schedule. I recommend and always use Discover Cars when I rent a car in Huatulco.

In this article, you already learned about a few of the beaches close to Huatulco, like Puerto Escondido, Mazunte and Zipolite, but here are a few more beaches you can check out on the Oaxaca Coast:

🏝️ San Agustinillo, Oaxaca

San Agustinillo Oaxaca beach town
Playa San Agustinillo, located about one hour from Huatulco.

San Agustinillo has some of the best beaches in Oaxaca.

The San Agustinillo beaches are famed for their large, unique rock formations. It’s a laid back town, popular with travelers seeking posh accommodations and quiet beaches.

🏝️ Puerto Angel, Oaxaca

Playa Estacahuite Oaxaca beach
Pretty Playa Estacahuite Beach in Puerto Angel, Oaxaca.

Visiting Puerto Angel is like going back in time. It’s a charming, old school fishing village that also has gorgeous beaches and bays, like Playa la Boquilla and Bahía Estacahuite.

You can also enjoy amazing, cheap and fresh seafood at one of the beachfront restaurants. A personal favorite is Restaurant July, located just steps from beautiful Playa Estacahuite Beach.

🏝️ Playa Boca Vieja (Secret Beach)

Playa Boca Vieja hidden beach in huatulco mexico
Playa Boca Vieja Oaxaca is known for its long beach, beautiful landscape and fresh seafood.

Playa Boca Vieja Beach is somewhere I shouldn’t be telling you about, because it’s a secret! Well, kind of, anyway.

Situated east of Río Coyula, and southwest of Estero la Salina, this virgin beach paradise is only about 45 minutes from Huatulco by rental car.

Playa Boca Vieja Beach is known for its unique setting, where the river is right next to the Pacific Ocean — but also for its seafood.

Enjoy the freshest seafood you’ve ever had at a palapa right on the beach as you enjoy the sea-breeze in this Oaxaca pueblo (small town).

Best Things to do in Huatulco Mx

24. Visit La Escobilla Turtle Sanctuary

sea turtle laying eggs on the beach in puerto escondido, mexico (Playa La Escobilla Mexico)
Book this Turtle Release at Escobilla Sanctuary for one of the coolest things to see in Huatulco.

Oaxaca is home to several major turtle nesting beaches, including La Escobilla, a waterfront sanctuary for sea turtles. It is also among the world’s most significant nesting grounds for the Olive Ridley turtle.

One of the most extraordinary things about this endangered turtle species is its nesting habits. During the nesting season, large groups of turtles gather together offshore and then come ashore together in vast numbers.

🐢 La Arribada (The Arrival)

This event is known as La Arribada, which means “the arrival” in Spanish. Sometimes, you’ll see it called Gran Arribada, or “great arrival,” as they come in such vast numbers.

The nesting season at La Escobilla Sanctuary runs July to January, peaking during September and October. During this time, up to 90,000 turtles come ashore over a 3-5 day period. Each will lay about 85-150 eggs.

La Escobilla beach is protected by military guards, and you can only visit with a tour. The guards here are volunteers who know how to keep the turtles’ safety a priority — like making sure people don’t use flash photography.

Best Things to do in Huatulco Oaxaca Mexico

25. Go Scuba Diving in Huatulco

person diving in huatulco mexico
Looking for the best scuba diving in Oaxaca? Look no further than Huatulco.

In addition to having some of the best beaches in Oaxaca, Huatulco also has some of the best diving in Oaxaca! Diving in Huatulco is great because the waters are protected, full of marine life, and offer plenty of places to explore.

Because Huatulco faces south, it is protected from a lot of the strong winds and currents other parts of the Pacific Coast of Mexico are exposed to. As the Huatulco bays face in many different directions, there’s always a great place to dive.

For the best dive shops in Huatulco, you’ll want to check Hurricane Divers, Buceo Huatulco, Scuba Diving Anfibios, and Huatulco Dive Centre — which all have excellent reviews and great safety records.

Huatulco Mexico: Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Huatulco Mexico located?

Huatulco is located in southern Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca. It is located on the Pacific Ocean, about six hours by car from the state’s capital, Oaxaca de Juarez (AKA Oaxaca City).

🗺️ Huatulco Map

🏨 Need a place to stay? Check out all the best Huatulco Mexico resorts and best hotels in Huatulco!

You can easily travel from Oaxaca City to Huatulco by private shuttle, plane, rental car or bus; but we’ll get into Huatulco transportation later.

If you’re wondering, How do you pronounce Oaxaca?, you’re not alone! Let’s actually clear up the Oaxaca pronunciation before we go any further — Oaxaca is pronounced waa-haa-kah, not oh-haa-kah.

How far is Oaxaca to Huatulco?

The distance from Oaxaca City to Huatulco Beach is 161 miles, or 259 km. It is the same for the Huatulco to Oaxaca route.

Oaxaca Day of the Dead decorations
Oaxaca City is the capital of Oaxaca state.

What’s the best way to get to Huatulco Mexico?

The best way to travel to Huatulco is by flight. There are direct flights to Huatulco from Mexico City and Guadalajara, or you can take this Oaxaca to Huatulco flight from Oaxaca City.

What’s the best airport for Huatulco?

There is a Huatulco airport, located about 20-30 minutes from the beaches, called Bahías de Huatulco International Airport (code: HUX).

huatulco airport oaxaca
For Huatulco Airport flights, make sure you’re searching for Airport HUX Huatulco.

It is a small airport, and very easy to navigate. If you’re booking a flight to Huatulco, make sure you’re flying into Bahías de Huatulco Airport. HUX Airport is the only airport in Huatulco.

🚌 Best Huatulco Airport Shuttle

What are the best places to stay in Huatulco?

When deciding on Huatulco accommodations, the first question you must ask is if you want to stay on the beach or in town. For most, Huatulco Beach is where you’ll want to stay.

view of Bahia Conejos (Bunny Bay) and the pool at secrets resorts huatulco all-inclusive
The view of Bahía Conejos (Bunny Bay) from Secrets Huatulco, one the best all-inclusive Huatulco resorts.

If you want to stay right on the beach, there are a few distinct areas, but if you want to stay in downtown close to all the action, opt for a place in La Crucecita.

On the beach there’s Bahía Tangolunda, where you’ll find all of the best Huatulco all-inclusive resorts; Bahía Santa Cruz, the central area for all the beaches of Huatulco; and Bahía Chahue, where all the best beach clubs are.

Huatulco vs Puerto Escondido: Which is better?

While Huatulco is popular with honeymooners, families and the 30s-50s demographic, Puerto Escondido might be better for the 20s-30s crowd, and anyone who wants to surf 🏄‍♀️

Playa Carrizalillo Beach Puerto Escondido Oaxaca Mexico
Playa Carrizalillo beach in Puerto Escondido is one of the nicest beaches in Oaxaca.

Also, if you want a lot of nightlife options, Puerto Escondido works better. If Puerto Escondido sounds like it’s more up your alley, check out this Puerto Escondido travel guide to help you plan your trip.

Is Huatulco safe for travelers?

Huatulco is one of the safest places to travel in Mexico. It has low crime rates, friendly locals, and even the taxi drivers treat tourists fairly (this is not always the case).

As far as Huatulco Mexico safety, just take the same measures here as you would when traveling anywhere else on Earth. In short, the answer to Is Huatulco safe for tourists? — is usually yes.

If you want to network with locals to get a better feel for Huatulco before and during your visit, join some Facebook groups, like these:

Can you drink the water in Huatulco Mexico?

Some people do drink unfiltered tap water in Huatulco, however, you might not want to if you’re someone who errs on the side of caution.

One of the most common questions I get is, Can I drink the water in Mexico? The answer is NO, unfiltered Mexico tap water isn’t safe for human consumption — not for locals and not for visitors.

water bottles for oaxaca mexico with built in filter

For more info, head to Can You Drink the Water in Mexico? for a complete guide to this topic. To be as safe as possible, you’ll want to get one of these Water-To-Go Bottles that have a built-in, three-stage water filter.

What’s the best way to get around in Huatulco Mexico?

renting a car in oaxaca airport
Need a rental car in Huatulco Mexico? I recommend and also use Discover Cars for all my Mexico car rentals.

🚗 Renting a Car in Huatulco Mexico

A Huatulco rental car is definitely the best way to get around because you’re not dependent on anyone, you just come and go as you please, staying anywhere you want for as long as you want.

As one of the safest cities in Mexico, you’ll be fine driving in Huatulco Mexico.

🚙💨 For more info, head to Renting a Car in Mexico: Everything You Need to Know.

When it comes to Mexico rental cars, I recommend and also use Discover Cars. Their search tool checks both international companies and local Mexican companies so you get the best rates.

🚕 Taxis in Huatulco Mexico

taxi in huatulco oaxaca mexico

You might be wondering, Are taxis safe in Huatulco?

For the vast majority of travelers, yes, you will be safe using taxis in Huatulco. You can use them to get from Point A to Point B, but some drivers will also negotiate a day rate for you, and they will take you all over town for the day.

Is there Uber in Huatulco?

No — There’s no Uber in Huatulco, and there’s no Lyft in Huatulco.

If you don’t have a rental car, you’ll have to use taxis or public transportation in Huatulco. Taxis will cost more than public transport, but they are also a lot more convenient.

🚌 Public Transportation in Huatulco Mexico

huatulco taxi rates sign
Taxis in Huatulco are quite economical, so they might be a better option than public transport.

Huatulco public transportation is pretty good, though unlike taxis, don’t expect bus drivers to speak English.

If you do want to use public transport in Huatulco, make sure you have change and small bills to pay the driver; as many won’t make change for large bills.

Since I barely used the public transportation and buses in Huatulco, I’ll refer you to the best guide I’ve seen on the subject, How to Travel in Huatulco.

It was written by Shevaun (Shev for short), one of my fellow Mexico bloggers, who lives in Huatulco Mexico.

What’s the best time to visit Huatulco Mexico?

Weather-wise, the best time to visit Huatulco is from November to March.

beautiful blue water in a bay and beach cove in the small beach town of Bahias de Huatulco, Mexico, in Oaxaca state, a safe solo Mexico travel destination in southern Mexico on the Pacific Ocean
Enjoy the Sierra Madre Mountains to one side, and the beautiful Huatulco beaches on the other. (Photo: Canva, Huatulco Mexico beach)

You’ll have no rain (or very little), low humidity, and no mosquitoes (or very few) in these months.

With perfect weather, however, comes larger crowds and higher price tags. To avoid the large crowds and higher-than-average prices, skip the weeks of Christmas, New Year’s and Semana Santa (Holy Week).

🧳 Not sure what to pack for Huatulco Mexico? Check out this guide to Packing for Mexico, and for outfit inspiration, head to Cute Outfits for Mexico.

🌡️ Huatulco Weather: Yearly Averages

huatulco mexico weather chart
  • Huatulco Busy Season: November to March
  • Huatulco Slow Season: May to September
  • Huatulco Shoulder Season: October and April
  • Huatulco Rainy Season: April to September 
  • Huatulco Dry Season: October to March

If you’re traveling to Huatulco on a budget, you’ll want to visit during the slow summer season.

For the best value, but still nice weather, plan your visit during what’s called the shoulder season, a magical time right in-between the high season and low season.

What’s the best time to see whales in Huatulco?

The Huatulco whale season runs from about November to April — but the best time to see them is from mid-December to March.

whale breaching in huatulco mexico, oaxaca state
Whale watching is one of the best things to do in Santa Maria Huatulco in winter.

During this time, you can take this Huatulco boat tour and venture into the Pacific Ocean to (hopefully) see everything from Pacific gray whales, to orcas (killer whales), to humpback whales.

Is Huatulco worth visiting?

Yes — Huatulco Mexico is perfect for those who want to venture slightly off the beaten path in Mexico.

There are these great all-resorts in Huatulco, similar to Cancun, Cabo and Puerto Vallarta, but without the large crowds. Huatulco also has great tourism infrastructure, and is safe for tourists.

I recommend Huatulco for those who want to enjoy the beaches, nature and relaxation. It’s great for daytime activities, but limited in its nightlife.

There are some bars in nearby La Crucecita (Downtown Huatulco Mexico), but even the bars at the best Huatulco resorts and Huatulco hotels often close by 10pm.

Final Thoughts: Best Things to Do in Huatulco Mexico

huatulco sign at playa santa cruz beach in oaxaca mexico

Huatulco is a very special place, and provides a very unique experience, as far as Mexico beach towns go.

Its nature is very well preserved, yet there are beautiful accommodations; it’s a beach town, yet still maintains an authentic, cultural feel.

Huatulco also has an international Green Globe Certification, meaning it meets standards for Sustainable Tourism.

With more protected space than most other Mexico travel destinations and Mexico resort towns, you’ll have an amazing trip but also feel good about traveling to Huatulco Mexico.

Oaxaca Travel Planning Guide

Should I buy Mexico travel insurance for Oaxaca?

100% YES! — With basic coverage averaging just $5-10 USD per day, enjoy peace of mind with a plan from Travel Insurance Master, one of the biggest names in travel insurance. (Read more)

Can you drink the water in Oaxaca?

No — You’ll want to buy this Water-To-Go Bottle, which filters your drinking water so you don’t get sick from drinking water in Mexico, and helps keep you hydrated while traveling to Oaxaca. (Read more)

Is it safe to rent a car in Oaxaca?

Yes — Renting a car in Oaxaca is one of the best ways to see the state. I always rent with Discover Cars, which checks international companies and local Oaxaca companies, so you get the best rates. (Read more)

Will my phone work in Oaxaca?

Maybe — It depends on your company, so check with your provider. If you don’t have free Mexico service, buy a Telcel SIM Card. As Mexico’s largest carrier, Telcel has the best coverage of all Mexico SIM Cards. (Read more)

What’s the best way to book places to stay in Oaxaca?

For Oaxaca hotels, Booking.com is the best site. If you’re considering a Oaxaca Airbnb, also check VRBO, which is often cheaper than Airbnb. For the best Oaxaca hostels, use HostelWorld.

What do I pack for Oaxaca?

Head to the Ultimate Mexico Packing List + FREE Checklist Download to get all the info you need on packing for Mexico.

What’s the best site to buy Oaxaca flights?

For finding cheap Oaxaca flights, I recommend booking through Skyscanner.

Do I need a visa for Oaxaca?

Likely Not — U.S., Canadian and most European Passport holders don’t need a visa for Mexico; but you can check here to see if you need a Mexico travel visa.

The vast majority of travelers will receive a a passport stamp, or 180-Day FMM Tourist Visa upon arrival.