Beaches

Girl on beachAs there are a numerous beaches in the area, we have tried to visit as many as we could in order to give you as many options as possible. With 9 bays and 36 beaches, this is a welcome core and we will be updating this list as we visit more and more. Some beaches are rather difficult to get to and require a hike through rather rough paths. With this said, you will be more than rewarded if you make the trek to some of the more remote beaches. Some beaches can only be reached by boat, which makes them even more exclusive and desirable. There really is a beach for everyone – if you don’t like the swimming on one, move to a different one. If you don’t like the sand on another, I am sure you will find it on the next beach. The best time to visit beaches is between 8 am – 1 pm as they are less busy and not as hot.

Sign at Playa ChahuePath to Playa Conejos

 

Most restaurants will let you stay at their place and use their chairs throughout the day. To do so however, please just buy the odd beer or meal and the restaurant owner will be glad to have you.  Keep in mind that the rush hour for the beach restaurants (particularly Maguey) is at about 3:00 p.m. … as this is the time for the main meal of the day for the locals.  It is also when most of the beach tour boats pull in, and disembark their passengers for a meal.

Public washroom (banos)Public Banos (washrooms) are found at most beaches. They normally cost about 5 - 12 pesos to pay for the cleaning and upkeep. Please feel free to use them to change, shower and go to the washroom.

Beach flags signWatch the flags on all beaches and always remember that you will be swimming at your own risk. There are no lifeguards at even the most popular beaches. Make sure you are very confident with the water conditions and be careful to keep safe.  Some of the beaches have STRONG currents! 

Even in the dry season you may see the odd mosquito or sand lice. To avoid bites make sure you bring some bug repellant. Further, please remember that you are in a foreign land and thus be careful to be respectful of the locals and the animals that you may encounter. Stick to the paths and avoid going into the jungle. Remember, this is Mexico and snakes, spiders and scorpions exist. Don’t be worried - but use your common sense.

You can find an excellent map of the beaches at:
http://www.tomzap.com/map-Huatulco.pdf

Playa Santa CruzPlaya Santa Cruz - The Santa Cruz beach is the closest beach to the condo. It is a nice beach and fine for swimming. The waters can be a bit churned up because of the boat traffic but as it is less than 5 minutes walk it offers great possibilities. It has a multitude of restaurants and shops and is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. The local cruise ship pier can also be fascinating - as it is surreal to see massive ships pulled up to the pier that looks delicate in comparison. Note that you should try to postpone your shopping at the pier to a “non-cruise ship day” as the prices are sometimes inflated and your ability to barter limited. The walk the Santa Cruz beach is an easy one.  It is possible to remain on concrete until you reach the sand of the beach.

Playa Yerbabuena is also located in Bahia de Santa Cruz, but out of respect should be avoided.  There is a naval base nearby and the beach is considered navy only.  It can be seen from a wonderful viewpoint on the way to Entrega, but we also recommend discretion when taking photos of the scenery.  Stick to the non-military snapshots.

Playa EntregaPlaya Entrega is very close to Casa de la Harmonia by taxi, and for 4-6 dollars one can get there in about 4-5 minutes. Entrega has great swimming and plenty of restaurants to choose from. The access to the beach is easy - as it is paved and not too steep. A taxi can basically take you right up to the beach. Again this is a popular beach for both locals and tourists alike. It is easy to find taxis to and from this beach.

Playa ViolinPlaya Violin is a small beach on the way to Entrega. It can be easily missed as it is unmarked. When you are going to Playa Entrega you come to a curve in the road that has a black and white safety fence. If you stop where the fence ends you can see a small trail going off to the right. You have to go down a concrete water escape and wind through a short trail to make it to the beach. As this beach is very small, very private and not marked it is great place for couples to escape for the day.  Take everything you need with you, including enough water, snacks and sunblock, as there are no restaurants or shops here!  While a taxi driver can drop you off here it may be more difficult to find a ride back home. You may want to ask the taxi driver to return for you at an appointed time. Note that although this beach is not normally busy it is a favorite of many of the locals, so remember to respect their enjoyment - it is not unusual to see dogs off leash, for example.

Playa MagueyPlaya Maguey is in my opinion one of the best beaches close to the condo. It again is a very close taxi ride (4 minutes and 6 dollars) and is a great swimming beach. You walk down a steep concrete grade to get to the beach (steps and ramp). It is fairly easy to navigate but you may want to watch your step because of how steep it is. The concrete ends at the sand of the beach. There are several palapa restaurants (popular stop for the bay tour boats at the end of the day) and therefore loads of places to stay for the day. You can also find some small booths with hats and such for sale, but the focus of this beach is not shopping. It is more for a relaxing day at the beach. When I was swimming here in October two small manta rays swam very close to me. They must have fun jumping in and out of the water as they burst out only a few feet away from me (and then continued down the beach doing the same). A local restaurant owner says it happens often and they are completely harmless. I must say it was a very very cool experience that I can’t wait to repeat. It is easy to find taxis to and from this beach.

Playa ChahuePlaya Chahue is located in Bahia Chahue, north east of Bahia Santa Cruz. It is on the way to La Crucecita from Santa Cruz and should cost about 3 dollars to get there. It has a large beach - wide and with some length to it - but is often rough with wind. Therefore it is not as commonly frequented.  With that said there is an opportunity to have the beach virtually to yourself. As normal watch the flags and be careful of the waves.

Playa EsperanzaPlaya Esperanza is also an out of the way beach near Chahue. It has a nice smaller beach with a fair amount of sand. It is similar to Violin in that you will have to bring your food and water and make arrangements for the taxi to come back to get you (or take the cell to call when you’re ready). Getting down is a bit longer of a hike but the trail is well worn and you should be able to make it down easily enough.

Playa TangolundaPlaya Tangolunda is located in the resort beach area of Tangolunda, but the public is welcome to use the beach. The access to this area is near the Quinta Real Hotel and is well marked with a “Playa Publica” sign. You walk in beside the golf course through a small stand of trees to get to the beach. It is a wonderful beach, but it has less options restaurant-wise, as it is populated with the areas bigger resorts. However it is a good swimming beach and worth the trip.

Playa ConejosPlaya Conejos can be found on the way to La Bocana and one must watch closely between Tangolunda and La Bocana if you don’t want to miss it. There is the normal beach sign and a small wooden “Bahia de Conejos” sign posted to it. While the trail is well worn, it is a bit of a hike to get there. I only saw one palapa style restaurant on my visit but this is a wonderful beach – rugged but fairly calm – with a beauty all of its own.

Playa MagueyitoPlaya Magueyito can be found right beside Playa Conejos and also is normally a calm nice beach to visit. It is a short walk via a small path on the east side of Conejos beach. Here you will not see a restaurant but should be able to have a beach stay with a minimal amount of people. When we walked the tiny path to Magueyito we came across a small pond beside the path and I must say my blood pressure went up a bit. Even the guide jumped as we all thought there was a crocodile waiting for us. It turns out it was just a slab of concrete and we all had a good laugh. But it was a good reminder that we were not in Canada anymore.

Playa La BocanaPlaya La Bocana is the areas surfing beach. The waves are larger here so it may not be the best swimming beach but it really is a site to see. The beach is long and rugged and one should visit at least once during a stay. It is a great spot for a picnic and one can normally see surfers out and about. It is easy to walk to from the street (a few steps, as a matter of fact). This is also the location of the mud baths, where you can pay 50 pesos to one of the ladies who work at the beach to apply a mud bath to exfoliate …. Rinse in the waves or at the showers that are available for a small fee.

Playa San AgustinPlaya San Agustin is the furthest bay to the west of the area and has one of the nicest swimming beaches in the area. One can snorkel right off the beach as the reef is only a few steps away. You will have to take a boat or a taxi to this beach as it is quite far away – 30 minutes by taxi – however it is a great experience as not only is the swimming good but the various restaurants are wonderful. Most use an open grill so you can smell the food cooking for miles. Again, order your lunch and your cervesa, set up your towels, and snorkel or splash to your heart’s content. The restaurants are happy to provide you with your “home base” for the day – many have hammocks you are welcome to lounge in. San Agustin is wonderful and I recommend it for everyone.

Beach “entertainment”

Vendors

As with most areas in Mexico there are some vendors on the beaches. As normal a “No Gracias” is enough to deter them. Sometimes however you may want to spend a few dollars. For instance my daughter got her picture taken with a rather large iguana – the rate is about $1 - $2 a picture (which with 3 people with digital cameras turned into a mini photo shoot!). Hair braiding is about $15 in the resorts and somewhere around $5 on the beach. Like all of us, the locals are just trying to make a living so be kind and gracious… and remember that you are paying for an experience as well as braids.  Our daughter took hers out at bedtime the same day because the shells were “too pokey”.

Sporting Gear Rental

At some of the more popular beaches you can rent snorkeling equipment but you may want to consider bringing your own from home. Swimming shoes are also recommended as the coral and the rocks are sharp (if swimming in their vicinity).

Daydreaming

If your idea of beach entertainment is sitting on the sand, watching the waves and listening to the surf for hours, one more “medical” word of advice in addition to the regular warning about sun burns and heat stroke.  The water reflects the suns rays back at you and can do serious damage to your eyes without proper protection.

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