Huatulco and San Agustin
We chose to visit Huatulco because we had heard that this area has some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches in Mexico. After a week of traveling, we viewed our time here as a “vacation”, to relax and recharge ourselves in preparation for the rest of our journey.
Here was the view from our apartment balcony. A cruise ship had pulled into port overnight.
This region is known for its coffee farms. This morning Ben and I tried out the 100% locally grown coffee at Café Huatulco, located under the bandstand in the plaza next to our apartment.
Waiting for our drinks to be served:
The coffee was very good! And the kids enjoyed fresh fruit smoothies.
Genevieve and Sebastian had fun roaming around the small plaza while Ben and I sipped our second cups of coffee. The children have vivid imaginations; here, Genevieve was pretending that the log was a boat, and that she was George Washington crossing the Delaware:
When we had reached the coast yesterday, we had been surprised to see miles and miles of brown vegetation (in contrast to the lush green vegetation that we had envisioned). We learned that the rainy season here (which starts in the summer) is almost the opposite of ours in California (which starts in the winter). Some of the “brownery” can be seen in the background here:
After breakfast, we relaxed at the Santa Cruz beach in front of our apartment.
There were some rocks on the side of the beach, where the kids spent a lot of time searching for tiny crabs and small fast-moving starfish. Genevieve was befriended by a lively and out-going Mexican girl named Karla, who immediately invited Genevieve into her circle of friends and family.
Karla and her friends spoke Spanish only, and Genevieve didn’t understand many of words that flowed back and forth, but the girls all spoke the language of “playing and having fun.”
Sebastian wore his snazzy goggles:
Sebastian and I, sharing some snuggles:
The manager of our apartment in Huatulco had recommended a dune buggy eco-tour through the local jungles. After an afternoon siesta we strolled over to the tour office to get some more information. The 2-person dune buggies were parked out front, and we opted not to pursue this activity for safety reasons after noticing that all but one of the vehicles had severely bald tires. In walking through the main plaza, we saw that some of the trees had what appeared to be hand-made brush brooms in them. We guessed that whoever keeps the plaza so beautifully clean must store their brooms in the trees for convenience. Here is Genevieve under a tree with brooms:
We had heard from several sources that the beach at San Agustin was the most beautiful in Huatulco; so this afternoon we set off to verify this for ourselves! The road to San Agustin was not paved, and was very lumpy and bumpy, so we had to be careful navigating the potholes with our small car.
Sights along the way:
We reached this sign at a fork in the road.
We initially went right, but the beach at the end of the road was very narrow and too congested with restaurants and people; so we turned around and went back to the sign and took the left fork. Much of the land around Huatulco has been protected by the government as green space and natural preserve. This sign let us know that we had just visited a portion of the national park:
We passed this pretty little house:
The left fork took us to a much wider beach, with plenty of room for the children to play.
The waves were not too big, and the children had a great time splashing around in the water.
The large glasses of “limonada” were very refreshing! (Genevieve and Sebastian enjoyed this drink in many restaurants throughout Mexico.)
The air was very clear, and the colors around us were beautiful.
In the distance, Genevieve spotted the cruise ship that had been at our beach area this morning.
Looking around, I couldn’t help but wonder how exquisite San Agustin must have been before the palapa-covered restaurants stretched across the sand, one after another. I know that these restaurants only exist because we, as travelers, are here—and our family did have dinner here and enjoy the shade of one of the overhead palapas. The irony is that our presence as visitors seems to change the pristine places that we come to visit, which places become less pristine (with ever-increasing modifications—often couched in terms of “growth” or “progress”) in order to accommodate the increasing number of visitors . . . who come because they have heard how beautiful and pristine the place is . . . and so on. I know, however, that this stretch of Pacific Coast still has many remote beaches, without a single palapa (most without roads leading to them, so that they are not easily accessible to large numbers of people). Even with its palapas, however, San Agustin was still a beautiful place, and I’m glad that we had the opportunity to see and experience a small part of it.
We ended our day by honoring the children’s request to go swimming in the pool at our apartment area (“What, you all aren’t tired of swimming yet?!”) Genevieve instructed her brother in the fine art of jumping into the pool with a raft:
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