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Cruises to Huatulco

Huatulco (Photo:Galina Savina/Shutterstock)
Huatulco (Photo:Galina Savina/Shutterstock)

About Huatulco

Founded some 40 years ago by FONATUR, Mexico's tourism development agency, Huatulco (located in the state of Oaxaca) encompasses a stretch of 18 miles of Pacific coastline, located at the foot of the Sierra del Sur Mountains. Here you'll find dozens of pristine sand beaches, spread across nine bays -- four of which have been designated as ecological preserves where no development is permitted.

The area is also dotted with small villages where many of the locals preserve native traditions including basket weaving, cactus horticulture and cooking. Most cruise lines offer at least one excursion that visits these villages. (Look for one that includes the nopale -- prickly pear cactus -- farm; the fruit is delicious.)

Designed to attract mass tourism, cruisers visiting Huatulco will also encounter numerous souvenir and jewelry shops, and yet crass commercialism seems to have taken a back seat here, unlike other purposely designed tourist cities like Puerto Vallarta, Cancun and Acapulco. Buildings in Huatulco may not be higher than four stories, so there are no tall structures to clutter the area, beaches are everywhere and the government is taking pains to preserve the indigenous flora and fauna.

Huatulco is composed of three smaller regions, as well as several outlying villages. Santa Cruz is the port area where cruise ships dock. La Crucecita is the main downtown area and Tangolunda is the hotel and resort zone.

Huatulco most commonly appears on Panama Canal itineraries, though it might also be included in Pacific coast partial Panama Canal transits and some Mexican Riviera sailings.

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DAY 4: Puntarenas

12 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Panama Canal, Puntarenas ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Panama City
Visiting:
Puerto Limon, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Miami

15 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Miami
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Norwegian Cruise Line
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DAY 1: Seattle

17 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Seattle
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco ...
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Cruise Line:
Carnival Cruise Line
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20 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta ...
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Cruise Line:
Oceania Cruises
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111 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kona ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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17 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Aruba, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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18 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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22 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
San Francisco, San Diego ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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16 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Aruba, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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116 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Honolulu, Kauai ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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70 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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88 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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Cruise Critic Favorite

15 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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111 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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25 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Vancouver
Visiting:
Victoria, Astoria, Oregon ...
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Cruise Line:
Crystal Cruises
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20 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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19 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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14 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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111 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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15 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Fort Lauderdale
Visiting:
Cartagena, Panama Canal ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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21 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Cabo San Lucas, Huatulco ...
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Cruise Line:
Seabourn Cruise Line
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111 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
Los Angeles
Visiting:
Hilo, Honolulu ...
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Cruise Line:
Princess Cruises
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18 Night
Cruise to Huatulco

Leaving:
San Diego
Visiting:
Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo ...
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Cruise Line:
Holland America Line
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Why go to Huatulco?

Pros:

Explore millennia-old ruins and unspoiled beaches

Cons:

Travelers seeking a fully developed resort town alive with clubs and restaurants will be disappointed

Bottom Line:

Huatulco offers a more peaceful experience than most Mexican Pacific Coast destinations

Huatulco Cruise Port Facilities?

There's a fair amount to do within a short walk of the cruise pier, from the sandy Santa Cruz beach, to a slew of restaurants, bars and shops. The marina next door also offers Jet Ski rentals, plus a variety of boat tours.

Good to Know?

Huatulco is a safe port with less crime than many of the larger tourist cities but as with many ports around the world, leave your expensive jewelry on the cruise ship when you visit and keep an eye on your wallet.

Getting Around?

Getting around Huatulco is easy.

On Foot: For cruise passengers with difficulty walking, electric carts are available to take people back and forth from the ship to the entrance of Santa Cruz's shopping district. (Drivers work for tips.) The beach, restaurants and shops are all within a 15-minute walk.

By Taxi: For those who wish to go beyond Santa Cruz, taxis (both land and water), as well as numerous tour companies hawking their programs, are all available.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money?

The official currency in Mexico is the peso. Visit www.xe.com for current rates.The nearest ATMs are at banks in downtown La Crucecita, which is about a 25-peso taxi drive away from the port.

Language?

The official language of Mexico is Spanish but because Huatulco is a tourist town, most shopkeepers, restaurant workers and taxi drivers speak English.

Where You're Docked?

Cruise ships dock at a pier in Santa Cruz Bay, right next to a beach and a small marina. As your ship pulls in you'll be able to see the beach to the left-hand side.


Awards and Recognition

Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination

  • 2018 Top-Rated Mexican Riviera Destinations
  • 2017 Top-Rated Mexican Riviera Destinations
  • 2016 Top-Rated Mexican Riviera, Central & South America Destinations

Huatulco Cruise Reviews

Emerald Princess
Dawn Poore
Sail Date: Dec 2019
Highlights of Huatulco. Guide gave a good background about the town. Stopped at a local restaurant for snacks and beverages (no charge, even for beer) and heard a local musician. Stops at scenic overlooks and in... Read More
Coral Princess
Lizabetsa
Sail Date: Mar 2019
-Huatulco Mexico~Absolutely loved Huatulco.. we did a boat cruise that took us to all the bays and the man in the rocks, and other sights to see. Then went to Entrega and went snorkeling with our tour captain. it... Read More
Coral Princess
GirlfromSC
Sail Date: Mar 2019
On the land and sea tour we were able to view the spectacular coastline and remote, clean beaches. Huatulco is the way Puerto Vallarta was years ago...still small and not crowded. Lots of resorts to choose from.... Read More
Celebrity Eclipse
4774Papa
Sail Date: Mar 2019
This port was still a mystery to us, no one had ever heard of it before. The coastal city was about halfway between Acapulco and Puerto Vallarta. The port and nearby area appeared to be under development. It... Read More
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