Even though we could have easily never left the property of Dreams Huatulco Resort and Spa, one more dream I needed to have come true was for the children have some REAL Mexican cultural experiences outside of the resort. Prior to arriving in Huatulco, I quizzed everyone I could find about what to do in Huatulco. There are many reasonably priced tours offered by AmStar and Apple Vacations. The only complaint about the tours from guests is they sometimes tend to run longer than described, not that I would have a problem with this if we were traveling alone. The consensus- it was fun to see the countryside and the natural beauty in the area.
I decided it would be in our best interest if we ventured out on our own, just in case the kids needed to come back early. The travel gods must have been smiling on me this week as we were very lucky! Lucky indeed to have the Bell Captain hail for us taxi driver, Bulmaro Mendoza. The taxis are extremely inexpensive in Huatulco, most destinations are just $30 pesos or so, $3 USD or less!! Bulmaro’s car was nice, clean and fit the 4 of us comfortably. Bulmaro spoke very good English and carried a dictionary for any words he couldn’t remember. I speak enough Spanish to get me by and understand a bit more than I speak. During our conversation, I asked Bulmaro if he would be interested in taking us shopping and sightseeing in the area. Of course, he was very interested in my proposition! I told him the things we wanted to shop for and how we would like to take a tour of the bays and beaches. The going rate for a taxi by the hour is $150 pesos per hour, about $12 an hour- which seems very fair to me. He took us EVERYWHERE!
We went sightseeing and shopping at our own pace from 10:15am until 3:30 for about $75USD. We shopped for souvenirs and soccer jerseys. We wandered the streets of La Crucecita. We saw tortillas being made and stopped at a shop where there were huge looms making fabric for dresses, curtains, tablecloths and placemats. The children share my fondness for el barro negro- the black pottery and made even more purchases than I did! Jack now has a collection of Day of the Dead skulls and Ella has a primitive animals collection. Ella and I ate homemade popsicles of lime and pineapple. I was disappointed the church was closed in preparation for a special event. I understand it has a beautiful fresco of the Virgin Mary on the ceiling.
Bulmaro took us to many beaches, lighthouses and scenic spots. We went to La Entrenga, a well known local beach, and he arranged for us to have an oceanfront table. The restaurants were packed and we were the only foreigners there! The children were curious as to why we made this stop. I wanted them to see how Mexican families enjoy their vacations. A little girl was burying her father in the sand, a family was building sandcastles, swimming, laughing and eating. There were vendors coming to the tables with all kinds of souvenirs and local snacks. We tried some kind of homemade tamarind gooey treat which none of us liked but, at least we could say we tried it! We had braids done in our hair-all of us, even Grandpa! We had so laughed hard and had so much fun. By the time we left, Jack and Ella understood the purpose of this excursion and were glad we ventured out.
Our last day in Huatulco the travel gods smiled on us again! I planned a private deep sea fishing and sightseeing expedition with Tino Hernandez on his panga, Snook at 7am. He called us Wednesday night to say the seas were rough and we would have to wait for the port authority to open the port in the morning. About 9:30am he called to let us know he would pick us up at the gate in 20 minutes. I was concerned about the water conditions. I didn’t want a boat load of seasickness on our last day. He swore to me the sea was calm and if conditions changed we would return immediately.
On the way to meet Tino, we stopped at the gift shop for some Dramamine. Better to be safe than sorry! We only took partial doses because I knew full doses would make us too sleepy to enjoy the day. Thankfully, the sea was as smooth as glass all day. Tino brought a cooler full of ice cold beers and pop for us. We saw several pods of dolphins and sea turtles all day long. Unfortunately, this day we went fishing and not catching. I have to say, it was not due to Tino and Tony, his first mate, not trying. They called other fisherman, they changed the bait and tackle several times. We finally saw a marlin jump and we circled around for 45 minutes but it was not meant to be! The kids understood when I told them to remember this is nature and not an aquarium but, Tino was not going to give up. He took the boat into Maguey Bay near the rocks and cast until a small grouper was on the line for Jack to reel in. He continued to cast until Ella reeled in a pretty leopard spotted fish. The kids were SO happy and finally Tino was too! Honestly, I don’t know what we would have done with a marlin or sailfish anyway! The kids certainly could not have reeled it in, although it would have made for a wonderful story, I am sure.
We stopped at Maguey Beach for a late lunch at one of the many beach restaurants. While we were waiting for our lunch, the kids and Terry cooled off in the water. To the delight of the kids, there was a man with a huge iguana who let us take as many photos as we wanted for $5. I surprised Jack and Ella with a little treat from one of the vendors, paperweight rocks with a clay iguana and dolphin to help them remember our last day in Huatulco. After a relaxing time on shore, Tino offered to take the children snorkeling in front of the Parque Nacional. By this time the kids were tiring so we continued sightseeing. We saw the Man in the Rock formation and El Bufadero – the blowhole, on our way back to Santa Cruz Marina. All week long I heard other guests tell of all the fish they caught and I heard a few tales of seasickness too. I know Tino was disappointed we didn’t have a big catch, I could see it in his face but the kids were happy with their catch, to see dolphins and sea turtles in the wild and to see the sights in the bays. We disembarked with smiles on ALL our faces to end another happy day of dreams come true in Huatulco.
If you are planning to stay at Dreams Huatulco and would like to secure a driver for private sightseeing I gave the concierge, Christian has his contact information. If you would like to contact Tino, his email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org I understand his written English is not as good as his spoken, dont let that deter you from making arrangements with him. These gentlemen gave me no consideration for their services or these recommendations.