Huatulco, Oaxaca – From cloud forest to jungle

The region is somewhat odd. Most Indígenas live in very primitive shacks. A not inconsiderable amount of the male population stumbles along the road, lies sleeping in the ditch, or sits around with a vacant look in their eyes. I guess that the men here are of no use and the main burden of working is left to the women. This delirium-like state is caused by alcohol and other intoxicants. It is a weekday right after breakfast. Some of the less drunken ones raise their bottles to us and beckon us to drink with them. With pleasure, maybe next time. The unusually strong military presence confirms our feeling that money isn’t always earned legally here.

There is no direct connection from Oaxaca to the state of Chiapas located to the east. One either has to head via the gulf coast in the north or the Pacific. We decide in favour the shorter southern route and fight our way through one of many mountain chains in Mexico, the Sierra Madre del Sur. This road contains more curves than anything else we have seen in this country. It takes us into the foggy, rainy cool at 2,800, covered with landslides. On descending agave and conifers soon give way to lush tropical vegetation with huge banana plants, mango and palm trees, ferns and bromeliads. A parrot crosses the road flying. The tropics’ sunny mugginess reaches for us.

In the afternoon we reach Huatulco. A mega-tourism project that puts even Cancun in the shade shall evolve as the government wants where some years ago only a fishing village and undergrowth spread on the beach. At least the jungle around was declared a national park and ugly multi-storey buildings are unwelcome. Anyhow, there aren’t many hotels yet and if there will be many in the future is doubtful since there is no feeder infrastructure. The only campground in the area is used as a beach parking, and there doesn’t seem to be any camping due to locked bathrooms and showers. But at least it’s free of charge. When parking here, take care not to stand under a coconut palm with fruits that could cause severe damages on a camper’s roof or solar panel.

To get to the beach we have to cross the jungle that’s flooded in rainy season. Some stepping stones and semi-rotted wood pallets make for an adventurous way through the swamp. The beach is shared with few hotels, but there’s not much going on. Despite the protected bay impressive Pacific waves run in. There is not really cooling from the tropical heat. The sea has 30° C and swimming is like a sportive interlude: Waiting for some smaller waves, dashing into the water, dipping in and immediately running out before the next big wave brakes and pulls us into the ocean with its mighty undercurrent. The good site would cost 50 MXN pp if operating. Club de Playa Tangolunda, Bahías de Huatulco, N 15°46’23.0’’ W 96°05’59.1’’.

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