On a recent cruise, we stopped at Huatulco, Mexico. Warm breezes, white sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters met us. While cruising is a fantastic way to get there, Huatulco itself is a destination that invites you to unwind and indulge in the tranquil beauty of Mexico’s Pacific Coast.

Arriving at the Port

The port at Huatulco is relatively new; it is a bustling little area with many shops, places to eat, a church, and a nice selection of hotels nearby. It’s a great place to hop off the ship and stretch your legs or the starting point for your day’s adventure.

If you don’t book a cruise with the ship, many tour operators are available at the pier with many options. If it’s hot out and you’re not up for the walk from the ship to the shore, adorable tuk-tuks are waiting to zip you from the ship to the shopping action and back. It was really hot when we were there and the tuk-tuks were doing a booming business.

Beach at Huatulco Mexico
Statue in front of curise ship
Port map

The Town of La Crucecita

After checking out the shops by the pier, we grabbed a cab to La Crucecita, which cost us $5. It’s close by, and there is a well-marked path to walk there, though there’s a hill on the way that can feel like a bit of a workout when it’s hot.

The Church of Iglesia de la Crucecita

When we arrived at the main square in La Crucecita, we first saw a church, the Iglesia de la Crucecita. It’s this pretty piece of history dating back to the early 1800s; it is usually open if you want to go in and take a look around.

Inside, it’s dedicated to the Virgin of Guadalupe, a very popular saint in Mexico. The walls are full of lovely murals, paintings, and impressive stained glass windows that add colorful light to the place.

Church on square
Hotel on the square
Shopping on the square

Places to Eat

Many restaurants lined the square, serving everything from local Mexican flavors to more mild international options. Many of them had outdoor seating, which was great for catching a glimpse of daily life for locals and travelers just passing through.

Lodging

Around La Crucecita, we saw a good mix of hotels offering the basics like pools, spas, and eating places. Close to the pier and throughout the town, you’ll find well-known hotel chains such as Holiday Inn alongside smaller, local establishments

Shopping

The main square is lined with retail shops where you can find all kinds of souvenirs, from clothes and jewelry to local pottery. And the shopping isn’t just on the square – it stretches down the nearby streets, too. Just a quick note about the area: our friend needed to use the restroom while we were wandering the streets. We sent a second person and a few pesos with her to the public restroom. She was surprised there was a charge for the most “basic” facilities. Stay safe, and don’t wander too far off the beaten path alone.

Town Square
Shops along street
Town square with gazebo

Pickleball Anyone?

We decided to walk back to the pier from La Crucecita’s square, and on the way, we stumbled upon some pickleball courts. Although it’s very popular in the US, I was surprised to find them in a small town in Mexico. They were open-air courts with a roof to keep the sun off the players and appeared to be pretty new. The place was busy; it looked like everyone was having a great time.

Pickleball courts
Pickleball courth
Shoreline

A Nice Port Stop

If you’re in Huatulco and want relax and soak up the scenery, you can’t go wrong with hanging out at the pier or wandering around La Crucecita. The folks we bumped into were friendly – always ready to point us in the right direction or help us when browsing the shops. However, once we left the pier, finding people who spoke English was harder. I would venture to say that La Crucecita is one of the more authentic Mexican towns you’ll find near a cruise port.