Special Sub-Topic: Huatulco: Semi-Secret Vacation Paradise
|Where is the city of Huatulco?|
There is no such city.. Huatulco isn't a city. It's a region of coastline that encompasses a couple of towns and over 30 spectacular beaches sprinkled along nine bays. It's located about 400 miles east southeast of Acapulco on the Pacific Ocean, not too far from the Guatemalan border. There is an inland town called Santa Maria Huatulco, but it isn't part of the coastal resort. It's where many former residents of the resort area were relocated when the resort development began.
|FONATUR has overseen the development of Huatulco. What is FONATUR?|
The tourism development arm of the Mexican government.. FONATUR stands for Fondo Nacional de Fomento al Turismo (National Fund to Develop Tourism). It's part of Mexico's government, and it's devoted to developing Mexico's numerous areas of exceptional beauty without polluting or otherwise ruining them. What a concept, eh?
|What is Huatulco known for primarily?|
Beaches. There are many beaches in the area, uncrowded, unspoiled and beautiful.. Huatulco has many beaches spread along its ocean bays, some of which are accessible only by water. Each has its own brand of charm. Some are completely undeveloped while others have restaurants and bars, and even shops nearby. One is on a spit of land between the ocean and the mouth of a lovely river flowing into the sea.
|How do you get to Huatulco?|
Commercial or charter airline, or by car or personal watercraft.. Huatulco has an airport, a small one, but capable of accommodating commercial airliners. Flights come in daily from Mexico City. There are some charters available as well. There is no port in the Huatulco area capable of accommodating anything like a cruise ship, but if you have a smaller craft, there's a marina.
|If you go inland from Huatulco, what geographical feature will you encounter?|
Mountains. The coastal beach area gives way quickly to the Sierra Madre del Sur mountains, an area that includes semitropical forests and a coffee plantation. The flora and fauna of the region are fascinating, and the drive to the coffee plantation is a nail-biter along a road that clings to a mountainside.
|There are two towns to visit in the Huatulco resort area. Name them.|
Crucecita and Santa Cruz. Hardly more than villages, Crucecita is a little more of a town than Santa Cruz, which is a square and a marina with some shops and restaurants; Crucecita also has a town square with lots of restaurants and shops and a beautiful church, and residential areas radiating outward from the center. Both cater heavily to the tourist trade. Santa Cruz is on the water-- you can leave there on day cruises to go snorkeling, fishing or diving or just enjoy the view of the Huatulco beaches from the water.
|During which of these months are you least likely to see a rain shower in Huatulco?|
February. September is the rainiest month of the year. In the first three months of the year rainfall averages less than half an inch in total. However, Huatulco has a tropical climate, which means showers can be intense but brief. Rain doesn't have to ruin the whole day.
|Many of the structures on and off the beaches are roofed with palm fronds, with open space between the roof and the walls. Sometimes they don't even have walls, just supports for the roof. What are these open-air structures known as?|
Palapas. Palapas dot the beaches, even those that are quite pristine. Your lazy stroll along the beach can be sprinkled with stops to drink cerveza or sit down to a meal of fresh-caught fish. There are palapas off the beaches, too, for instance, at the airport.
|Huatulco is a newer tourist area. What has the Mexican government done to encourage tourism in the area?|
Established an "ecological zone" in much of the area surrounding Huatulco.. An ecological zone is something similar to a US Forest Preserve. The Mexican government has overseen the development of the area with an eye to preserving the environment. Although there are some differing opinions as to whether the effort has been successful, it is true that they have created water and sewage systems that do not allow waste to be pumped into the ocean, and have designated thousands of acres in the area to be left undeveloped. Huatulco was the first recipient in the Americas of the Green Globe Community Standard Certification.
|Vicente Fox owns a villa on a bluff overlooking the ocean in Huatulco. Who is Vicente Fox?|
The former President of Mexico.. Fox was President of Mexico from 2000-2006. He used to work for Coca-Cola as a route driver! (although not immediately preceding his election to office...)
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