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http://www.hurricanedivers.com/1faq.htm

Frequently Asked Questions

Website

Question # 1: how can I find something on your website?

Answer: First of all you can browse through these frequently asked questions and their answers. Most of the time you'll find a link to the section of the website where you can find a more extensive answer. You can also use the buttons in the banner at the top of the page and buttons and links that you'll find within the pages themselves. Another option is to use the side bar with links on the right. You''ll find links there to all the main topics and their subtopics. Last but not least, you can go to our site map, which lists all the pages and the sub pages within this website with links to all the pages.

Question # 2: Are the photos and videos in the website really taken in Huatulco?

Answer: Oh yes! Of the more than 1500 photos and videos there are very few exceptions and then it's either obvious (photos of Monte Alban, for example) or clearly stated. Most imagery are unedited. We like to show you Huatulco and the underwater world as it really is and not make it prettier by editing.

Question # 3: Can I download photos and use them?

Answer: In many cases you can, after asking us for written permission. Some photos however, are supplied by others and some are copyrighted. In those cases it may not be allowed. If you keep your cursor on a photo you'll see the name of the original photographer if it was not taken by us (i.e. "Photo Courtesy of John Doe"). Obviously we have permission to use them for our website. Just ask. The answer will probably be yes!

Question # 4: Can I print pages of your website?

Answer: You're more than welcome, as long as you use them as source of personal information. In other cases you will need written permission. At the bottom of most pages you will find a link to a printer friendly version of the page, in a text-only format. It's a text-only format in black & white with a smaller size font.

Question # 5: Are the Guest Comments for real?

Answer: Definitely! You can read the originals yourself in our online Guest Book, the Guest Comment Book in our dive center, on the print outs of the answers to our survey, in emails sent to us and on the various websites where people posted their comments.

Question # 6: Is your website available in a Spanish version?

Answer: It certainly is. The complete website is available in both English and Spanish. If you find any mistakes in the Spanish version, let me know!

Hurricane Divers

Question # 1: where are your dive shops located?

Answer: Our main dive center is located on Santa Cruz Beach, more or less in the middle of the beach, close to the chapel. Our other shop is located in Plaza Punta Tangolunda, next to the spa, a few minutes walking from most of the hotels in Tangolunda Bay.

Question # 2: When are you open?

Answer: All year, except September, Sundays and January 1st. We will take you diving in September and on Sundays as long as you book in advance.

Question # 3: Do we have to book  in advance?

Answer: You don't have to, however, it's the only way to guarantee that we can provide you the service on the dates you want. This applies especially to the high season, public holidays, groups, courses, introductions into diving, all-day excursions, private services, packages with accommodation, etc., etc. Since it also makes our planning much easier, we appreciate it very much when you book any service in advance. That's why we offer an Early Booking Bonus.

Question # 4: How do I book in advance?

Answer: By sending us an email stating what service(s) you would like to book, for which date(s) and for how many people. We will then send you a reservations form with all the details. After receiving your deposit we will send you a confirmation by email.

Question # 5: How much in advance should I book?

Answer: In general we recommend that you book at least two weeks in advance. For the high season, public holidays, groups, packages with accommodation, etc., we recommend you book one to two months in advance. For the Christmas and Easter Holidays, our busiest times, you may want to book up to three or four months in advance. For any service(s) you book at least two weeks in advance you are eligible for an Early Booking Bonus.

Question # 6: How do I book when I'm already in Huatulco?

Answer: By coming by the dive center and making a deposit. For various reason we do normally not accept reservations by phone.

Question # 7: What happens if I cancel?

Answer: That really depends on the circumstances. You may loose your deposit, however, we normally try to re-schedule or find another solution.

Question # 8: How can I pay?

Answer: With US Dollars, Mexican Pesos, Mastercard or VISA, or directly into our bank account. We offer a discount if you pay in cash. Due to the high credit card fees here in Mexico, no discount(s) apply if you pay by credit card, this includes special offers, early booking bonus, etc.

Question # 9: Why can't I find your prices?

Answer: We compete with the quality of our service, not with our prices, therefore we do not publish our prices on our website. We would like you to send us an email, so we can send you the complete information on the service(s) you are interested in, as well as a link to our price list. We don't think you'll find our prices expensive.

Question # 10: What is included in your prices?

Answer: Everything you need for the specific service. For example: equipment rental, soft drinks and water on the boat, entrance fees to the National Park and the marina are included. You will also have the services of a professional, bilingual guide/Instructor who is trained in dive rescue, First Aid, CPR, use of oxygen equipment, use of an AED and the use of all the safety equipment we have on board. If you take a course, it will include a course manual or DVD, diploma, certification and a logbook if it's your first course. Our All-Day Excursions include a tour of the bays and a delicious picnic lunch on a secluded beach.

Question # 11: Do you have special rates for groups?

Answer: Yes we do, as long as every group member contracts the same service.

Question # 12: Do you have special rates for Instructors?

Answer: We have special rates for Instructors that come with a group of divers and/or students.

Question # 13: Will I get a discount if I bring my own equipment?

Answer: Yes, we do (don't forget to bring an adapter if you bring a regulator with a DIN connection).

Question # 14: Can I leave my diving equipment at the dive center?

Answer: You sure can. We store it apart from our rental equipment and you can rinse it after the diving in our dive center. While we can't accept any responsibility for a loss due to theft or disaster, it has never happened.

Question # 15: What rental equipment do you use?

Answer: Scubapro BCDs and regulators with an octopus and console. Tanks: aluminum 12ltr./80cft. with the "K" valve (for A-clamp regulators). Wetsuits: 3mm shorties and full suits. Snorkel equipment: full-foot fins, masks of various sizes and models, brand new snorkels in their original plastic wrapper (we don't want it back, you can keep it). We use comfortable padded pocket weightbelts.

Question # 16: How far are you from our resort/hotel/villa?

Answer: Our main dive center in Santa Cruz it's a 5 minute (taxi) ride from Tangolunda (Gala, Barcelo, Crown Pacific, Camino Real, Quinta Real). From Conejos (where most private villas are) it's a 10 minute ride. From La Crucecita it's a 5 minute cab or a 15 to 20 minute walk. From hotels in Santa Cruz it's a 5 minute walk or less.

Our shop in Tangolunda is a few minutes walking from most of the hotels there. Once you have booked with us, we can usually meet there in the morning and bring you over to our dive center in Santa Cruz, however you need to let us know in advance.

Question # 17: Do you pick us up from the hotel?

Answer: Normally no. Normally no. We would get into trouble with the local taxi driver's syndicate :-) If you have your own equipment we can attempt to schedule to pick you and your equipment up for the first day you come diving with us, however we cannot promise anything. Taxis are abundant and cheap here in Huatulco and available at all the hotels and resorts.

Question # 18: What is a PADI Gold Palm IDC Center?

Answer: It's the equivalent of a PADI 5-Star IDC Center, but is more focused on providing services to recreational visitors as opposed to the local population. IDC stands for Instructor Development Center, which means we also offer courses and training programs at the Instructor level. For that level we are required to have a PADI Course Director on staff. We do. Obviously we need to maintain a high standard of safety, quality and service to maintain this highly regarded recognition from PADI.

Question # 19: Are we in safe hands at Hurricane Divers?

Answer: Dive safety always comes first at Hurricane Divers! We not only follow the international rules and standards for dive safety, we go much further than that. We were the first DAN Partner in dive safety in Mexico! We are also a proud sponsor and supporter of DAN (Divers Alert Network). We are one of only 14 PADI 5-Star or Gold Palm Instructor Development Centers in Mexico.

Question # 20: How about protecting the environment?

Answer: The environment and its protection is very important to us. We try to lead by example and sponsor and support various good causes, such as Project AWARE.

Question #21: I dive, my partner doesn't, what can you offer us?

Answer: We offer All-Day Excursions for divers and non-divers alike. On these excursions you can choose to dive, snorkel or neither. It will include a tour of the bays and a picnic lunch on a beautiful, secluded beach, everybody will have fun!

Your partner also have to option to join you on a standard dive trip, there are plenty of sites that are nice for diving and snorkeling.

Question # 22: Do you offer packages with accommodation?

Answer: Yes, we do. We offer various standard packages with either diving or snorkeling and the Hotel Marlin.

Question # 23: What other packages do you offer?

Answer: Adventure packages combining other activities and/or tours and excursions offered by other service providers in Huatulco. We also offer Made-to-Measure packages with any combination of diving and snorkeling, other activities and accommodation. We do NOT offer packages without diving and/or snorkeling or packages that include air travel.

Question #24: Why should we choose Hurricane Divers?

Answer: I could probably fill a book with good reasons, but why take from me? Take it from people who have experienced our service. Check out the guest comments and testimonials and the results of our surveys.

Diving & Snorkeling

Question # 1: what's the diving like in Huatulco?

Answer: Interesting, lots of aquatic life, impressive underwater scenery, a lot of variety. We have over a hundred dive sites, with something for everybody, from beginners to experienced divers. There are hardly any currents here, although at times we can have some underwater surge. In general the diving is relatively easy and shallow, although we do have some more challenging sites.

Question # 2: What's the snorkeling like?

Answer: Nice, with lots of aquatic life and variety. We have some sites with huge, shallow coral plates. Most sites are calm and protected and easy to explore while snorkeling. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced snorkeler, there is something for everyone here!

Question # 3: What's the visibility like?

Answer: That varies, sometimes day by day. We can have 3m (10ft) to 30m (100ft) on any given day. On average it's somewhere between 8m (25ft) to 18m (60ft). Low visibility conditions normally last only a few days at most, good visibility sometimes last for weeks. In general, over the course of a week, it's likely that we have some days with lower visibility and some days with good visibility. With the amount of aquatic life here you will always see lots of interesting stuff, even if the visibility is not that good.

Question # 4: What's the water temperature?

Answer: From May to October it's usually around 30C (88F) at any depth. November to April it's a bit cooler, somewhere around 22C to 25C (72F-77F). It's more variable in the wintertime and there can be thermoclines.

Question # 5: What aquatic life can we expect to see?

Answer: A huge variety and lots of it! For example: tropical and sub-tropical fish, eels, rays, mollusks, nudibranches, starfish, octopi, sea horses, sea turtles, hard and soft coral and the occasional Nurse Shark, Whale Shark or Manta Ray. On the surface we regularly see dolphins and in the winter time, migrating whales.

Question # 6: What are the dive sites like?

Answer: We have over a hundred sites we regularly dive, so they offer quite a variety. There are sites with coral plates, sites with impressive rock formations, sites with a vulcanic rock bottom, sites with huge rocks standing in the sand, sites with pinnacles, sites around small islands, etc. The range from very shallow to the very limit of recreational diving.

Question # 7: What's your best dive site?

Answer: A question I often get, but can't answer. It really depends on the person, their taste, what they enjoy, what they like to see, their experience, what they're used to, the mood they're in, etc. It also depends on the diving conditions on the day that you dive. I'm afraid you'll have to find the answer yourself.

Question # 8: How does the diving in Huatulco compare to other places?

Answer: In general I think you can't really compare different dive destinations around the world with each other, they're simply all different. I'll throw some comparisons at you anyway: the water is warmer here than the rest of the Mexican Pacific, the Red Sea and the Great Lakes. We have more aquatic life than Florida, Cancun, the Dominican Republic, the Canary Islands and many other places I know, but less than the Philipines or the Fiji Islands. The visibility in general is less than in the Caribbean, but a lot better than many quarries or off the coast of California. We don't have coral reefs (we have coral plates), which makes the underwater world less colorful than in many other places, but we do have impressive rock formations, which makes the underwater scenery more interesting then many other places. We don't have wrecks and we don't have caves, but we have a lot of variey with over a hundred dive sites!

In our survey almost 90% of the respondents said that they were happy with the diving and/or snorkeling in Huatulco. Most of them called it excellent!

Question # 9: Does Huatulco offer better diving than the Caribbean?

Answer: To me, no. It's merely different. Again it all depends on your taste and what you're looking for. If you like colorful coral reefs you may like the Caribbean better. If you like diversity and lots of aquatic life, you may like Huatulco better. I personally like to dive in as many different places and environments as I can and I have never had a dive I didn't enjoy. Every site, every day and every dive offers something new and interesting to discover!

Question # 10: What's the best season to come diving or snorkeling?

Answer: In my personal opinion, between the winter months and the rainy season, that's when the ocean is calm and the water warm. That would be the months of April/May and October/November, whereby the latter would be my preference.

Question # 11: What are the snorkeling sites like?

Answer: Nice and with a lot of variety. There are sites with big coral plates, sites with a rocky bottom, sites with huge rocks standing in the sand, etc. Almost everywhere along the coastline you can find interesting snorkeling sites. In most places you'll find lots of colorful fish and an intresting underwater scenery. Most of our dive sites are interesting for snorkeling in the shallower parts as well.

Question # 12: Do you offer boat diving or beach diving?

Answer: We usually go out by boat. There are some shallow sites available for beach diving, but we hardly use them unless we can't go out by boat.

Question # 13: What kind of boat do you use?

Answer: We have our own dive boat called "Dignity". She is a little bit bigger than the standard "pangas" and has room for 10 divers plus crew. She is equiped with a sun roof, a comfortable ladder, tank racks and two 60HP outboard engines and we have all the required safety equipment on board. When we need more boats or a bigger boat, we rent them as needed.

Question # 14: How far away are the dive and snorkel sites?

Answer: Anywhere from 5 minutes to 50 minutes by boat. We typically dive and snorkel in the area between Tangolunda Bay and Cacaluta Bay, which means a 25-minute-maximum boat ride. The sites further away than that we usually only go to on our All-Day Excursions. We have about 10 very interesting dive sites we can reach in approximately 5 minutes!

Question # 15: Which site(s) will we be going to?

Answer: We don't dive certain sites on a specific day, we decide where we go when we go out. Depending on the conditions and the divers we try to select the most appropriate site(s). Since we have many sites we try to show you as many different sites as possible when you go out with us more than once, unless you would like to dive a certain site again, of course. On the half-day snorkel tour we usually make the first stop at Cacaluta Island and on All-Day Snorkel Excursion we always snorkel in San Augustin Bay (both sites have huge coral plates).

Question # 16: Do you offer wreck diving, cave diving or Nitrox?

Answer: Unfortunately no. There are a few small caverns, but no caves in Huatulco. We can't get Nitrox here and we don't have the equipment to fill tanks with Nitrox. There used to be some wrecks, but over the years they were all smashed to pieces by storms and heavy seas. One former wreck site, "El Barquito", is still interesting to dive though, as it still seems to attract lots of marine life. Unfortunately many websites still mention wrecks as an attraction in Huatulco.

Question # 17: What would be your typical dive profile?

Answer: In general we do two dives at two different sites, with a surface interval of 45 minutes to an hour. We typically dive approximately 40 minutes per dive, the first dive in depth of 12m to 20m (40ft to 70ft) and the second one between 10m and 15m (30ft to 50ft). There are various interesting dive sites with a depth of 30m (100ft) or more, however we only dive those with experienced divers and when the ocean is really calm and clear.

Question # 18: How big are the groups you go out with?

Answer: Most of the year we go out with one, or a few divers. In the high season (the winter) when we are busier, we regularly go out with six to ten divers, sometimes even more, in which case we usually go out with two dive guides and, if necesarry, with two boats. We try to keep the groups down to four, maybe six divers of the same experience level with their own dive guide. If you're with a bigger group and you all would like to dive together, we can accommodate you with a bigger boat.

Question # 19: Can I book the boat and a dive guide just for me?

Answer: You sure can, you can book any of our services as a private service, exclusively for you. You can also choose to dive from a luxury yacht if you would like to go out in style or if you want to treat your partner because of a special occasion. We can pretty much accommodate your special wishes and put together a Made-to-Measure trip for you, as long as you give us the time to organize it. Obviously all of the above comes at an additional charge.

Question # 20: I don't have a buddy, is that a problem?

Answer: No problem at all, with us you always go out with a professional, bilingual guide whom you can buddy up with, or we will hook you up with another diver.

Question # 21: What's your dive schedule?

Answer: Monday to Friday, 09:30 to approx. 13:30 hrs. for a two-tank dive. Upon request we can usually go out at other hours in the morning or afternoon, for a night dive, for a single dive or for more dives, depending on the season, workload, weather and diving conditions.

Question # 22: We come on a cruise ship, can we dive with you?

Answer: Yes, as long as you book in advance. In that case we will adjust our schedule according to the arrival time of your cruise ship. We have plenty of dive and snorkel sites close by, so even if your cruise ship is here for only a few hours, we can take you out for a dive trip or a snorkel tour. Our shop is a very short walk from the cruise ship pier.

Question # 23: What kind of snorkel tours do you offer?

Answer: Our most popular tour is our All-Day Snorkel Excursion, including a tour of the bays and a picnic lunch on a secluded beach. We usually snorkel in San Augustin and then various other places during the day. Another option is a Half-Day Snorkel tour going to two different sites, usually in two different bays. We also offer a simple snorkel tour at nearby La Entrega Beach, where we can go by boat or by car. Besides those tours you have the option to join divers on their trip and snorkel while they dive.

Question # 24: I have never snorkeled before, can I snorkel with you?

Answer: Of course you can! The snorkeling here is nice and easy. We have snorkel vests and life jackets you can use if that makes you feel more comfortable. You're always with a professional, bilingual guide. We even offer an Introduction into Snorkeling if you feel you need some instruction.

Question # 25: I have never dived before, can I dive with you?

Answer: As long as you can swim and you're healthy you can come diving with us. We offer the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program, which is an introduction into diving precisely for those who have never done it before and would like to try it out. It's a safe and fun way to find out what scuba diving is all about! We offer the "Bubble Maker" Program for kids of 8 and 9 years of age.

Question # 26: I've dived before, but I'm not certified, can you take me diving?

Answer: Yes we can. However you will have to complete the Discover Scuba Diving Program (this is required by Mexican law and PADI). The program consist of an explanation by the Instructor, some training in shallow water and a dive to 12m (40ft) maximum. Once you have completed this program you can continue diving with us if you like or continue on with a certification course.

Question # 27: I don't have my certification card, is that a problem?

Answer: Not if you're a PADI diver. In that case we can check online with PADI to determine whether you're certified or not. If you're certified with another agency it may be more a bit more difficult. In any case, I would ask your certification agency for a new card. If you're a PADI diver you can do that through us while you're here.

Question # 28: Do you offer a course to get certified?

Answer: Yes we do. We offer the PADI Open Water Diver Course, which is the standard entry-level course. If you don't have the time (or the money) to do the Open Water Diver Course, you can do the PADI Scuba Diver Course and dive with some restrictions. You'll be able to complete the Open Water Course at a later date, if you would want to. You don't have to do that, you're PADI Scuba Diver Certification is valid for life.

Question # 29: I already started a course, can I continue with you?

Answer: Yes, you can. A nice way of doing your course is doing the knowledge development part and the pool training with your dive center back home and come here to complete the open water dives. That way you don't have to study during your vacation and you have more time to do other things (or more diving!). This is called a "referral" and you can use this system for practically any course.

Question # 30: What's the minimum age for scuba diving?

Answer: You have to be 10 years of age before you can take a scuba diving course. If you're at least 8 years of age you can do an introduction into diving in a pool or a very shallow bay. By the way, there is no maximum age for scuba diving!

Question # 31: I'm already certfied, what courses can you offer me?

Answer: The whole lot! Everything from the PADI Advanced Course, Specialty Courses, the Rescue Diver Course to the professional level course, such as Divemaster, Instructor and beyond. We also offer the Emergency First Aid Course, as well as various DAN Courses, including at the Instructor level.

Question # 32: Do you offer Instructor courses?

Answer: We certainly do. We offer the whole range of PADI and DAN Instructor Courses, including a wide range of Specialty Courses. We also offer Career Packages, which include the various courses to get you to a certain level.

Question # 33: Do you offer DAN courses?

Answer: Yes, we offer various DAN Courses at provider level as well as Instructor level. They include: Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Injuries and Aquatic Emergencies(Oxygen Provider) and First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries.

Question # 34: How long does a course take? What's the schedule?

Answer: For almost every course you can find those details by clicking on the button underneath the course that says "Course Details". You will see the course contents, course duration and the duration of each of the various course components, a sample course schedule and the pre-requisites for the specific course. We are pretty flexibel with the scheduling, you can start a course at almost any time.

Question # 35: What are the pre-requisites of the various courses?

Answer: For almost every course you can find the pre-requisites by clicking on the button underneath the course that says "Course Details". You will not only see the pre-requisites for that course, but also the course contents, course duration and the duration of the various course components and a sample course schedule.

Question # 36: Do you rent out U/W cameras and dive computers?

Answer: Yes to the cameras, no to the computers. We have a few digital Sony Cybershot cameras for rent. Rental includes burning the photos and/or videos you take on a CD. If you have a memory stick or laptop with you, we can also download them on one of them. 

Question # 37: Do you have a special space on the boat for U/W cameras?

Answer: No, we don't. Our boat isn't that big, however, if you like we can bring a bucket of fresh water to rinse your camera after a dive.

Question # 38: Can we get a video of our dive(s)? 

Answer: Yes, you can rent one of our digital cameras and shoot whatever video you like (see question 36).

Question # 39: Can my non-diving partner join me on a dive trip?

Answer: As long as we have space on the boat, he or she is welcome to. If you book it in advance we'll make sure he or she can. We do charge a small fee that includes rental snorkel equipment if required, drinks on the boat and the entrance fees to the National Park and the marina.

You also have the option to do an All-Day Excursion with us, which is the ideal tour for any combination of snorkelers and divers.

Question # 40: I'm a diver, my partner is not, can we dive together?

Answer: Yes, you can. Your partner can do the introduction into diving with us (the Discover Scuba Diving Program) and you can accompany us on the dive. We would just charge you for a single dive in that case. After your partner has completed the introduction you can continue diving together with us, on shallow dives limited to a depth of 12m (40ft).

Huatulco

Question # 1: where is Huatulco?

Answer: On the South-Pacific Coast of Mexico, in the state of Oaxaca, almost in a strait line South of Oaxaca City. We're about 500km (300 miles) East-Southeast of Acapulco and roughly the same distance from the Guatemalan border.

Question # 2: How can I get to Huatulco?

Answer: By plane, arriving at our International airport, by car, by bus or by sea. In the winter there are charter flights from several cities in the US and Canada. The rest of the year there is a direct flight from Houston several days per week and there are several daily flights from Mexico City. By road it's a minimum of 12 hours driving from Mexico City.

Question # 3: What's the weather like?

Answer: Very nice most of the year. Sunny, clear and dry and around 30C/32C (90F) from October to May. During the summer it's the hurricane and rainy season and much more humid. Temperatures can reach 40C (104F). It's still sunny most of the time during the rainy season, with a shower here and there, usually late afternoon or at night. September it often rains a lot more and we get the brunt of the storms.

Question # 4: When is the hurricane/rainy season?

Answer: Officilaly from the beginning of May until the end of November. Usually we get the first rain the last week of May and the last rain the first week of October. The same goes for the tropical storms and hurricanes, which normally stay out over the Pacific Ocean. September is the peak of the hurricane/rainy season.

Question # 5: How bad is the hurricane season?

Answer: Normally not too bad. Most tropical systems form off the coast of Oaxaca while moving to the West or Northwest, away from the coast. By the time they develop into tropical stroms or hurricanes, they're usually far away from Huatulco. We do get some influence from them, usually a stormy day or a few windy days with the ocean being rough for a few days because of the wind. We typically get a shower now and then, late in the afternoon, in the evening or at night and it can be overcast for a couple of days. In September we get the most rain and "bad weather", it can actually rain the whole day occasionally. It is never cold here.

Question # 6: Are there many mosquitos?

Answer: In the rainy season they can be a nuissance, depending on where you are (the golf course for example). In general a fan or mosquito spray is enough to keep them away. Outside the rainy season they're really not a big issue, however I would recommend you bring some mosquito spray with you.

Question # 7: Are there any dangerous creatures around?

Answer: There are snakes, scorpions and spiders around, but they are not considered "dangerous" or life-threatening to humans. I have been stung by  scorpions many times in my life and never needed treatment (I've only been stung once in Huatulco, so far). Hotels and other buildings are pretty much kept free of them by fumigating. If you go out in the bush you may very well encounter them. 

Question # 8: Is there any dangerous marine life?

Answer: Nothing considered "dangerous" or life-threatening to humans. There are no man-eating sharks around (there are hardly any sharks around). There are however some venomous marine creatures here, such as the Scorpion Fish, Sea Urchins and Stingrays. If you get stung by any of these, it hurts. You should seek treatment, but you won't die from it. While diving or snorkeling you simply don't touch them. When walking in the water from the beach you should avoid stepping on a Stingray lying under the sand (by shufflling your feet, instead of taking big steps). The most common injury from marine life here occurs from stepping on a sea urchin!

Question # 9: Are there jellyfish in the ocean?

Answer: At times there are small jellyfish around. They generally don't sting or, if so, only mildly and the rash will go away relatively quick. If you get stung, don't rub the area, but rinse it with seawater and try to get some vinegar to pour over it. That neutralizes the venom and takes the itching away.

Question # 10: How about earthquakes in Huatulco?

Answer: We get them a few times a year. Usually you feel nothing more than a tremor for a few seconds. We haven't had any mayor earthquakes for a long time.

Question # 11: When is the best time to visit Huatulco?

Answer: I can only give you my personal opinion: October and November. The hurricane season is over, the ocean is calm and still warm, the weather is perfect and not too hot and the high season hasn't started yet, so it's nice and quiet here. In general the winter months are probaly the nicest, although it's high season. The weather is very pleasant, it's not too hot and humid and it actually cools off a bit at night. The only downside is that the ocean will be cooler as well.

Question # 12: What kind of hotels are there in Huatulco?

Answer: Everything from economic "posadas" in La Crucecita to luxury 5-star hotels in Tangolunda. In Chahue and Santa Cruz there are many smaller 3 and 4 star hotels.

Question # 13: Are there any hotels on the beach?

Answer: Only in Tangolunda. They're the luxury 5 star resorts.

Question # 14: What other accommodation is available?

Answer: There are rental villas, B&Bs, condos and appartements. What we don't have in Huatulco are cabaas on the beach.

Question # 15: Are there trailer parks and campings?

Answer: There are no camping grounds, but camping is unofficially allowed on some of the beaches. There is a place where you can park trailers, near the public beach of Tangolunda, but there is no electricity or sewage system.

Question # 16: Are there nice restaurants and bars in Huatulco?

Answer: Oh yes, quite a few! Many you'll find in La Crucecita, but there are various restaurants as well in Chahue and on Santa Cruz Beach and some in Tangolunda. It's definitely worthwhile to venture out of your resort for a nice meal or a cold beer. Use the link below to see my personal favorites.

Question # 17: What's the nightlife like?

Answer: Definitely not like in Cancun! There are some bars in town and there are a few disco type places in Chahue and Santa Cruz. Some of the hotels have a disco as well. If you're looking for night life, Huatulco is probably not your thing.

Question # 18: What activities are there to do in Huatulco?

Answer: An aweful lot; scuba diving and snorkeling, deep sea fishing, white water rafting, mountain biking, trekking, swimming, walking, climbing and rappelling, horseback riding and much more. Huatulco is a perfect place for outdoors activities. You can also rent jet-skis, kayaks, take an ATV tours and there's even para sailing in Tangolunda. There is an 18 hole golf course and there are tennis courts.

Question # 19: What's the must-do thing in Huatulco?

Answer: The Tour of the Bays. Huatulco has nine main bays and 36 beaches, stretching along the coast for 30km (18 miles). You can take a tour of the bays in various ways, we offer an All-Day Excursion with a tour of the bays and a delicious picnic lunch (lovingly prepared by my wife Pauline) on a secluded beach, combined with scuba diving or snorkeling or both.

Question # 20: What tours and excursions are available?

Answer: Obviously we offer tours and excursions with diving and/or snorkeling. There are also excursions to the coffee plantations and the waterfalls, tours to the Mexican Turtle Center and Puerto Angel and even excursions up to the Ventanilla Lagoon. Besides you can do atv tours, take bird-watching excursions, sunset tours on a sailing yacht and, of course, the tour of the bays. Another option is renting a Suburban or hiring a taxi for the day and create your own tour.

Question # 21: How can I book activities, tours and excursions?

Answer: Some of them you can book through us, normally as part of an "Adventure Package". Others you can book with your tour operator, in your hotel or directly with the service provider. A woman named Veronica has an "excursion agency" at the central park in la Crucecita, she'll be able to arrange almost anything for you.

Question # 22: Where can I find "old ruins"?

Answer: When you're talking about big Mayan or Aztec ruins and the like, you'll need to go to Oaxaca City or Chiapas (or any of the other famous places in Mexico). Monte Alban near Oaxaca is probably the closest to Huatulco and very impressive. It's quite a trip from Huatulco. If you would like to see ruins, you may need to book another holiday.

Question # 23: Is Oaxaca City worth a visit?

Answer: Definitely. However, if you're in Huatulco for your holiday, it's a long trip by road and there are very few options to fly. If you really would like to see Oaxaca, I would suggest you book a week there and a week in Huatulco to really appreciate the two places. Otherwise I would plan two separate holidays!

Question # 24: What's there around Huatulco?

Answer: Huatulco is relatively isolated, however there are various interesting places to visit outside the immediate area. There are coffee plantations in the mountains, the town of Santa Maria Huatulco is not too far from here and La Bocana is also worth a visit. You could also visit Puerto Angel, the Mexican Turtle Center, the Ventanilla Lagoon, Zipolite Beach or even Puerto Escondido, but they're a bit further away..

Question # 25: How do I get around in Huatulco?

Answer: Taxis are by far the easiest way. There are plenty of them around. Within the Huatulco area you pay $16 to $35 Pesos (a couple of US Dollars) for a ride. You can rent a car or a scooter, but with a scooter you shouldn't venture out of Huatulco. There are buses going to various destinations outside Huatulco and they're very economical. You can also rent a taxi or a Suburban with a driver for a day, if you would like to see the area around Huatulco or organize your own, private tour.

Question # 26: Can I rent a car or a scooter?

Answer: Yes, both are available here. However, theyre not inexpensive and the roads and the traffic in Huatulco are probably not what youre used to back home. We get cancellations regularly from people who fell of their scooter and can't come diving! With a scooter you're pretty much confined to Huatulco itself, as you shouldn't go on the highway with them. Within Huatulco taxis are plentiful and very economical. There's really no need to rent a vehicle unless you're planning to venture outside of Huatulco on your own, or maybe if you're staying in a villa in Conejos, which is a bit "out of the way".

Question # 27: How far is La Crucecita (the "pueblo")?

Answer: From Tangolunda, it's a 5 to 10 minute drive and from Santa Cruz it's about 5 minutes by car or 15 to 20 minutes walking.

Question # 28: How does Huatulco compare to Cancun?

Answer: Theyre opposites in almost every aspect! You won't find the amount of people, nor the endless variety of nightlife in Huatulco that you can find in Cancun. Huatulco is a lot less "commercial" than Cancun and you won't find a McDonalds here! Huatulco is much more "Mexican" and rustic than Cancun and much smaller. Food and lodging are less expensive here, but it's more expensive to get here. To me, the main attraction of Huatulco is the tranquility. By the way: Cancun gets hit by hurricanes a lot more often than Huatulco!

Question # 29: Does Huatulco take care of the environment?

Answer: Oh yes! Huatulco is one of the very few (tourist) communities in the world recognized by "Green Globe 21" for supporting and practising "sustainable development". For example: there is a water treatment plant and no waste water or sewage water is dumped into the ocean. A big part of the coast in Huatulco has been turned into a National Park, consisting of land as well as ocean.

Question # 30: How about buying property in Huatulco?

Answer: Land here is "released" and sold in Huatulco by Fonatur at very attractive rates. Building is not expensive here, so you can by a plot of land and build your own house relatively cheap. Obviously you can also buy land and/or a house from others than Fonatur. In that case I would definitely go through a reputable real estate agent and maybe even hire a lawyer. Be aware of "wheelers and dealers" and stay away from "comunal" land!

Question # 31: Is it worth investing in Huatulco?

Answer: In my humble opinion, yes. Huatulco is developing and growing very slowly, but I think one day it will "take off". It won't evolve into another Cancun, but if you're looking for an investment with a worthwhile return in the long run, Huatulco is definitely worth considering.

Question # 32: What's the currency in Huatulco?

Answer: The Mexican Peso. Over the last few years the exchange rate has been roughly 10 Pesos to the US Dollar.

Question # 33: Should I bring US Dollars or Pesos?

Answer: You can bring US Dollars (or Travellers Checks), but I would recommend you change them into Pesos. If you pay with US Dollars, most people and businesses will change them into Pesos and you will not get a very good exchange rate. If you have the opportunity, change your Dollars at the airport of Mexico City, as, in general, you get a better exchange rate there. Another good option to get Pesos is using a debit card at an ATM.

Question # 34: Are there any ATM machines?

Answer: Yes, there is one near the Barcelo Hotel, there are three at the banks in Santa Cruz and there are three in La Crucecita. If you use an ATM, you will get your money in Mexican Pesos and withdrawls are restricted to a few thousand Pesos per day (varies per bank). If you bring your credit card to Mexico, inform your credit card company, very often they will block credit cards after the first time you use them in Mexico if you don't alert them!

Question # 35: How do I go about tipping?

Answer: In my personal opinion a 10% to 15% tip is appropriate if you feel you received a good service. You can give a tip here for the same services you would give a tip anywhere else. Some companies and (government) agencies have a "no-tipping" policy, on certain occasions I simply ask the people if I can give a tip, if you're in doubt, I suggest you do the same. I would tip in Pesos, if you tip in US Dollars, the people will go to the bank and change them anyway. In general I would also stick to money and not tip with "gifts".

Question # 36:  Where can I find more info on Huatulco?

Answer: There are many websites with info on Huatulco, below you'll see some links. Of those Tomzap probably has the most extensive information available. Have you checked the section on Huatulco in our website?

Question # 37: When are cruise ships docking in Huatulco?

Answer: The cruise ship season is generally from October through to May. There are no fixed days they dock here, it may be one cruise ship one wee, 4 the next week and none at all the week after. There is a schedule available with the cruise ships that plan to come to Huatlco.

Question # 38: What is the fishing like and who can you recommend?

Answer: Fishing is very popular in Huatulco. You can go deep sea fishing, as well as in-shore or bottom fishing. You can go out with a "panga" or, if you like a bit more luxury or have a bigger party, you can go out with a yacht. If you choose to go out with a "panga" I would recommend Isidro who is very professional and experienced. If you would like to go out with a yacht, I would recommend the "Omega", also with a very professional crew.

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