No more polar fleece
Huatulco is very different than San Miguel, both physically and culturally. While there was and still is a small town here, La Crucecita which is located a short distance off the water, the rest of the area is a planned spread out resort community with significant infrastructure investment starting in 2008. We all know what happened economically that year.
Huatulco is on the ocean just off the foothills of the Sierra Madre range. 9 beautiful bays collectively known as Bahias de Huatulco are strung along the coast, 5 of which are designated for tourist development, the other 4 remain as natural areas where only eco projects are allowed. There are 35 beaches found among the 9 bays. Huatulco has won national and international awards for sustainable development and for its protection of the environment.
Just around the corner is Parque Nacional Huatulco which protects 119 sq km of land, sea and shoreline including some of Huatulco's most important coral reefs. It was initially declared a protected area and later decreed as a National Park on July 24, 1998.
Lots of new and very nice roads, sidewalks, planted walkways, stores, restaurants, condos are found where we are staying in the very small community of Santa Cruz located around a marina and small protected port. Remember that old saying: “build it and they will come”, unfortunately they didn’t show up. This is high tourist season and while it’s not a ghost town, it does have a somewhat Twilight Zone quality to it from the lack of folks walking around.
There are numerous building projects that have come to halt and are left unfinished altho much of the community is completed and attractively done in a Mexican Colonial style. All of the building has been done for the tourist industry with boutiques, craft markets, restaurants, etc and a Zocolo or mail square. A pier has been constructed out into the bay for the cruse ships to dock at.
Between the two communities of La Crucecita and Santa Cruz is a sizable hill where they blasted a very wide walkway large enough to build retail stores on both side of the walking area. The entire walkway has been landscaped and they have multiple security people in the area but not one retail store has been constructed.
A little further down the coast are a whole series of high-end resorts including all-inclusives such as Dreams, Secrets, etc. plus a large golf course. We think that there are probably lots of folks staying in those resorts that don’t venture out all that often because nearly everything they came to enjoy in Mexico can be found with in a few steps.
It’s been a bit of a cultural shock coming from the old historical town of San Miguel de Allende to the newish, touristy area of Huatulco. Then there’s the heat. No more polar fleece, no more finding extra blankets. It’s hot and humid here.
When we went looking for a place to stay here last June, we thought that there would be lots of places but to our surprise there wasn’t much available, in fact, unless we wanted to spend very big bucks, just about nothing. We wanted a stand alone apartment but we ended up booking into a small all-inclusive that had great ratings. We knew it wouldn’t have the character of our place in SM and were right. We’re having to change mindset, relax (neither of us are good at that) and appreciate having a nice pool, and someone to make our bed and cook our meals. Our morning even began with a trip to the elliptical trainer and stationary bike instead of a march up and down the hill. Seems a lot of the guests here are Mexican families with small children so meals are on Mexican time and have a selection of Mexican fare which is neat from a cultural perspective. In the pool this afternoon, after our walk around Santa Cruz, there were a number of over weight gringos so I guess we found our culture.