Traveling by bus, rental car or taxi
The Bahias de Huatulco region stretches 26 kilometers or 16 miles. Along the coastline, there are nine main bays, a few of which are still uninhabited while others are either developed as residential, tourist or commercial zones.
The most central bay is Santa Cruz, which is where cruise ships come in to port. There are many services available around this bay including a variety of restaurants, marinas, markets, boutique shops, bars, discos, hotels, and private condos/villas.
East of Santa Cruz are the developed bays of Chahue, Tangolunda (resorts), Conejos (gated residential) and the beach where the mouth of the Rio Copalita meets the pacific, La Bocana. All of these bays are accessible by car/taxi and from Santa Cruz, it’s about a ten minute drive to the furthest area (La Bocana). You can expect to pay anywhere from $2 – $6 USD to get from Santa Cruz to any of these other bays/beaches. Taxis are readily available in Santa Cruz or any of the other public beaches. You can also flag taxis down from the roadside.
To the west are the less developed bays of Bahía Maguey, Bahía Órgano, Bahía Cacaluta, Bahía Chachacual and Bahía San Agustín. Maguey is accessible by car while Órgano, Cacaluta and Chachacual are all only accessible by boat. All three of these bays are still in their primitive state with absolutely no human constructions on them. The local ATV tours will typically take you out to Bahia Cacaluta via a dirt jungle path. The refreshing water offers a nice break from the dusty trails on this tour.
Another area people may be interested in while visiting Huatulco is Santa Maria Huatulco. This is about a half hour drive up into the mountains but is well worth it! Here you find the original town center, dating back to 1539. Here you can enjoy some fantastic Oaxacan cuisine (at non-tourist prices), pick up some handmade tortillas at the Tortilleria, or pick up some fresh fruit, flowers, meat, etc. at the central market. The drive up here will likely cost you about $50-60 – but you can negotiate the rate with your driver. To experience this region with a guide, local tour companies offer a venture here called “cultures and traditions”. This will include your transport and a guide to walk you through the history and cultural depth of this part of Huatulco.
Other transportation options include bus service and car rental agencies. Often times the car rentals will end up costing as much as using taxis for your stay and will be a lot more of a headache for you. It is not uncommon for travelers to arrive to Huatulco and find out that their pre-booked car rental reservation has been given to someone else and that there are no more cars available. The bottom line is that using local taxi service will probably cost less in the long-run and is great for keeping the local employment up. Many drivers also offer tour-guide quality narration while taking you from point A to point B…which is a lot more enriching than trying to navigate local roads and maps!