Huatulco is a development planned by FONATUR, the Mexican government’s national trust for tourism development. It was one of five destinations picked by FONATUR more than 30 years ago as having world-class potential. In many ways, Huatulco is a small town still emerging as a major destination.
There are only about 56,000 residents, according to official figures, with about 1,000 being ex-pats or pre-retirement, part-time visitors who own property.
Even during rush hour, you can drive from one side of town to the other in about six minutes. You’ll see great — and puzzling — contrasts in Huatulco. This was originally a fishing village, and the larger town that has grown up, thanks to investments in the 1980s and 1990s, has a slight Disney-like quality. In some areas, for instance, you’ll find large public walkways and promenades that have been built with no surrounding businesses to draw tourists and locals to them. The four-lane highway that hugs the coast here is oversized for Huatulco’s current traffic needs.
The water-treatment facilities are some of the best in Mexico. And despite its modest population, Huatulco has an international airport with direct jet service to the U.K., U.S., and Canada, as well as to other parts of Mexico.
Fishing, snorkeling, and diving are all very popular. Every year Huatulco hosts several fishing tournaments. The biggest tournament, the Torneo de Pez Vela Huatulco (Huatulco Sailfish Tournament), attracts professional sport fishermen.
If you don’t feel like cooking, Huatulco has plenty of restaurant options and a variety of cuisines.