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When staying in Huatulco, you will most likely wind up in Santa Cruz; a bustling town located a five minute drive west of Tangolunda's luxe resorts. This Huatulco marina whistle-stop offers a wide variety of shopping, restaurants, cafes and more! As a result of these many attractions and entertainment, Santa Cruz is often also considered "town" along with La Crucecita.
The increased development in this area can be attributed to the cruise ship port located in Santa Cruz. As a result of this cruise hub, dozens of beachside restaurants have opened up to service the tourists coming off the ships. Beyond the restaurants, you'll quickly stumble upon many shops where you can get everything from inexpensive beach toys to designer jewelry. The wide variety of shopping is a perk associated with trying to please the many personality types that walk off the cruise ships.
If you decide to shop one of the designer jewelry boutiques, such as Maria Bonita, be prepared for higher price tags (usually between $200 - $1500 USD). A good tip is to shop with friends...when purchasing multiple pieces, the sales associates will often be more willing to offer discounts.
As mentioned, there is plenty to see and do while visiting Santa Cruz, Huatulco.
For starters, located in the marina there are several panga boats (small motorized fishing boats), available for day trips. Typically you can expect to pay between $100 - $200 USD for a couple hours of cruising (depending on the number of people in the boat). This is an affordable way to take in the Mexican coastline.
Apart from the panga boats, several other boat tours depart from the Santa Cruz marina, including both the Chartered yacht tour and the Jet ski tour. Organized party boat tours also depart from this marina.
A Mexico vacation wouldn't be complete without enjoying the many beaches Huatulco has to offer, a couple of which are located in Santa Cruz. The first, simply coined 'Santa Cruz beach', can be found right next to the harbor along with the many seaside restaurants. A busier beach with protected water that gradually slopes in depth, perfect for kids.
The second beach, called 'Playa Entrega' is a major tourist beach located on the west side of Santa Cruz (a short cab ride is required to reach this beach - see below). Entrega is a very busy beach offering calm waters and yellow sand, perfect for swimming, kayaking and snorkeling. Busloads of people arrive at Entrega throughout the day and there are several beach-trolling vendors selling crafts and jewlery. There are a number of restaurants at this beach where you can grab a bite to eat and/or a few drinks. This is your classic Mexican tourist beach experience - prepare for the crowds (a rare experience in Huatulco). To get to Playa Entrega you must follow the main road 'Boulevard Santa Cruz' until you come upon a Y, veer left at the junction and continue along the winding roads following the signs. Before you know it you will find yourself at Playa Entrega!
For a map to Playa Entrega see below.
Located on the other side of the pier you will find the Santa Cruz beach club, rightfully named 'Club de Playa Santa Cruz'. Here you can enjoy complementary beach loungers as long as you're a paying customer at their seaside bar. They also offer a decent dining menu. Beach clubs are an excellent idea for those with children as it offers a guaranteed spot to settle in - "park" your belongings and enjoy the beach. Allowing you to avoid the hassle of trying to find loungers etc.
As mentioned there are plenty of shops in the area where you can browse, bargain and buy an assortment of souvenirs and accessories.
Finally, while in Santa Cruz you may find it interesting to check out the beautiful open air Catholic church located off the marina entrance in the common square. The church offers Sunday service for those interested. Service times are posted outside the church.
It's clear that there is plenty to do while strolling around Santa Cruz. In fact, if you like the idea of staying in a more 'lively' area of Huatulco, there are plenty of accommodations located in Santa Cruz. Including both the spacious Real Marina Blue located alongside the marina and Villa Maya a gorgeous villa in Punta Santa Cruz that overlooks the bay.
Whether you choose to stay in Santa Cruz or simply visit, you should definitely make a point visiting this 'tourist village' by the Huatulco marina area. With so much to see and do, it's the ideal spot to both roam around and relax on the beach.
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