So, after our lack luster experience in Acapulco we were happy to get underway. We continued on our southern path (which is actually more east than south) and headed for Huatulco (wah-tool-co). It was a two day, two-night passage with some good sailing along the way and without any longline sightings.

Huatulco is a nice clean resort community and a great change from Acapulco. We booked ourselves into Marina Chahue. It has not been dredged since 2020 and the river has added a lot of silt to the site. So much so that our friends onboard Ghillie were unable to make it into the marina as they need water 7 feet deep so they decided to carry on to Chiapas. We only need 4 feet and even then, our depth sounder showed 4.5 feet at one spot. Stella Blue wisely waited a couple of hours for the high tide before they entered.

Huatulco is actually an area of 9 bays and 4 small communities. Santa Cruz, that’s where the cruise ships come in, La Crucecita slightly inland “downtown” area with the restaurants, central plaza and shops, Tangolunda Bay, home to the higher end resorts and golf course and Bahia Chahue with the marina. The area is popular with tourists due to its beautiful beaches and clear waters.

Pangas and tour boats in Santa Cruz basin
Small businessman

We had a few days to check out the Huatulco before we hired a driver to take us inland to Oaxaca (pronounced Waa-haa-kah). We, along with Larry, Kim and Duke (the yellow lab) from Stella Blue, were picked up at 7 am for the 6 ½ hour trip. The drive took us up and over the Sierra Madre Mountains. The last hurricane did some major damage to the road. There were many sections that were washed out, had major potholes and damaged bridges down to single lanes.  For the majority of the drive we felt like we were on the road to Hana in Hawaii or the Mad Mouse roller coaster ride at the PNE, it was very twisty! The scenery was beautiful, we passed through a couple of towns, small villages and the view of the valley below was stunning. If you are prone to carsickness, take Gravel or something equivalent.

Notice how well marked it is…. not
They call this a road. We make the curve, cross the bridge and we carry on
Lunch stop on route. You can swing out over the cliff. If you want.

Oaxaca City is the capital city in the state of Oaxaca and along with Monte Alban are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There are over 20 churches and many beautiful buildings some from the 16th century. We had an Air B&B in the central core and that made for a great base to walk just about everywhere we wanted to go. Oaxaca has the nicest Central Mercado we have seen. The aisles are large, clean and the products are well displayed. You can buy any manner of product there. Oaxaca is 5085 feet above sea level and when we were there the temperature during the day was mid 20’s C. and dipped down to 10 C. at night. Cool enough that we had to dig deep into the closets to pack along some warm clothes.

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzman
Ceiling art
Yes that’s real gold plate
Catedral Metroplitana de Oaxaca just a few blocks away
Just one of the huge stained glass windows
Busy City Center – AKA Zocolo
Mole varieties in the Market
Oaxaca staple Chapulines – AKA crickets or grasshoppers
Yummy street food for lunch

Oaxaca is known for its artisan culture. The handwoven wool rugs, the black clay pottery and the colourful Alebrijes carved from the lightweight copal wood are a few of the crafts that have been made for generations. Oaxaca is also known as one of Mexico’s gastronomic capitals, there are certain flavours and combinations you won’t find anywhere else. The area is famous for its seven Mole flavours, coffee, Mezcal, and tlayudas were some of the specialities that we tried, as well as much more.

Alebrijes carvings
Mezcal in cool bottles

We visited the archaeological site of Monte Alban that dates back to 6th century BC. It was inhabited over a period of 1500 years by a succession of peoples – Olmecs, Zapotecs and Mixtecs. We were pleasantly surprised to find that there was signage in Spanish and English. The 360 degree view was amazing looking down at Oaxaca City and the surrounding area.

Just one of the views from the top of the Monte Alban
We were able to catch up with our friend Marcel and his friend Darlene.

We are waiting on weather to cross the Gulf of Tehuantepec. It is the southern part of Mexico with the narrowest separation between the Pacific and the Gulf of Mexico on the Atlantic side. Trade winds blow through the Caribbean and get funneled across the land mass. Its not uncommon to see winds of 50 knots. We are trying hard to make sure we don’t see those and are waiting for a two or three day stretch of light winds to make the 224 mile, two day, crossing. Looks like we have a good weather window this week. We checked out with the Port Captain today and will leave tomorrow.

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2 thoughts on “Huatulco and Oaxaca

  1. Barb and Derick Happy New Year and more safe sailing in2023. I would love to have seen the art and crafts in Oaxaca. One can see the expert craftsmenship in the photos of the cathederal interiors . It has been a haven for Canadian and American tourists interested in that. This blog ends leaving us with fingers crossed that your journey past the narrow area Salina Cruz went smooth.
    Best wishes, Aunt Kathy

  2. Beautiful pictures, We were in Acupulco many years ago and recognized some views.
    Barb, Canucks are in a retool, not a rebuild. says the king Rutherford. Gino Oijeck passed, only 52. Good luck, you are so brave.

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