By Brooke Gazer
Growing up in Calgary, a trip to the Pacific Ocean was a really big deal. Before western Canada developed its modern Highway system it took two full days driving to reach Vancouver. The winding drive over the Rocky Mountains, just to the interior of British Columbia was similar to the trip from Oaxaca to Huatulco… except it was a dirt and gravel road. Once we were underway my father stopped for nothing short of a life threatening emergency and since I was prone to car sickness I do not have fond memories of those road trips. None the less, it was worth the suffering to spend a few glorious days in the Pacific surf.
Arriving at the beach, we kids couldn’t wait to jump into the waves. We lasted about ten minutes before rushing out; lips blue, skin the texture of goose flesh. After huddling under a towel to get our blood flowing we’d dart back in. Even in August the Canadian Pacific can be frigid and to us, this was a normal seaside vacation. It was impossible to imagine anything as dramatically different as the warm, languid water found in Huatulco. Mexico was almost as remote as the moon since traveling by airplane was considered a luxury.
Half a lifetime later when we decided to open a B&B we were unsure as to where it would be but narrowed our search to the Pacific coast of Mexico. We spent five months living like gypsies, searching for our new home as we explored every beach from San Carlos, Sonora to Huatulco, Oaxaca. I felt like Goldilocks “this is too developed, this has too much surf” andbegan to despair of finding what we wanted until we arrived here. Huatulco felt “just right” and after only three days we knew it would be our new home.
A major deciding factor was the beaches; beyond a doubt, Huatulco has some of the nicest in the country. It was late May when we arrived and the crystalline ocean was the temperature of a tepid bathtub. Compared to my frigid Canadian experience it felt marvelous! While not as extreme as the goose flesh swims of my childhood, we had discovered that many of the resorts on the northern coast of Mexico can be rather cool during the winter months. We also learned there is nothing pacific about the Pacific. The water in many of the bays of Huatulco has the advantage of being both warm enough and calm to swim comfortably year round. This is important since most foreigners visit during the winter to escape the cold northern climate. It is a pity however, that most people never see Huatulco at its most beautiful time, when it is lush and green from June to November.
Traveling to Huatulco can be a challenge and undoubtedly there are other resorts in Mexico that are easier to reach. This is a double-edge sword because one of the reasons this is such a great place is due to its remote location; the land, the sea and the people are still unspoiled. How many places can you find not one, but several virgin beaches without a soul on them?
Brooke Gazer operates a B&B in Huatulco. http://www.bbaguaazul.com/