Cacaluta Bay: My Beach Paradise in Oaxaca, Mexico
I’ve officially found one of the dreamiest Mexican Beaches and I never expected it would be on the coast of Huatulco, Oaxaca (I would have sworn the best beaches were in the Yucatan Peninsula!). My little slice of paradise is called Cacaluta Beach and if you’re into secluded paradises away from the crowds, you’re going to fall hard for it, too!
It looks like this:
What you’ll find in this guide to Cacaluta Beach:
As a Mexican national who loves to explore the hidden gems of Mexico, I like to provide thorough guides to places that not all tourists usually get to see. I know how daunting it can feel to explore spots that aren’t on the usual radar when visiting a new country, so I tried to be as thorough here as I possibly could. In this guide to Cacaluta Beach, you’ll find the following information:
- All about my time in Cacaluta Beach (feel free to skip this section if you just want the details on how to visit)
- How To Get To Cacaluta (and back… getting back to Huatulco was a bit trickier!)
- Tips For Visiting Cacaluta Beach
- Best Time To Visit
My time in Cacaluta Beach
After spending a week in Oaxaca City, I headed south to Huatulco in search of all the beach goodness I had heard the coast of Oaxaca was about.
To my dismay, I quickly learned that the image I had created in my head of vast, empty beaches was far from reality. You see, I chose to visit Huatulco at the worst time possible: Semana Santa, which is the Mexican version of Spring Break. Huatulco is a pretty popular beach resort town year-round, but this is the one week of the year where it gets exceptionally crowded.
I found out about Cacaluta Beach thanks to a taxi driver, who recommended Cacaluta as pretty much the only go-to beach free of crowds in the area. I wasn’t sure if he was just trying to sell me an expensive ride, but I was so desperate to get away from it all that I agreed to let him drive us there and I’m so, so, thankful I did. I’ve been to many amazing beaches around the world, but never have I been in a place that felt so peaceful to be at.
Getting To Cacaluta: A Hike Through The Jungle
The next day, I set out to find Cacaluta Bay and the whole ordeal was a dream come true. I hiked through the jungle and past a lake which different species of birds made their hangout spot. If you are into bird-watching and nature, then right there is another reason to not miss out on visiting Cacaluta Beach while in Huatulco.
Fun fact: The name Cacaluta actually comes from Zapotec language. It translates into “the place where the blackbird stands” in honor of a large species of blackbirds that once lived in the jungle around the bay.
After one a half kilometer hike through the shaded jungle, we began spotting sand dunes.
Cacaluta Beach was the epitome of a beach paradise and we had it all to ourselves (yep, even during Semana Santa, so imagine how much more secluded it is any other day of the year!)
We dropped our backpacks under a tree and jumped into the clear waters of Cacaluta Bay. I spotted a few manta rays and all kinds of fish – my favorite was a tiny version of spadefish!
The day was spent alternating between lying on the beach and swimming. Part of me wanted to ditch the rest of our Oaxaca itinerary to just like, stay at Cacaluta forever and learn to live off the land.
How To Get To Cacaluta Beach
Now let’s get into the details of how to actually visit Cacaluta Beach! Cacaluta is located about eight kilometers south of the center of Huatulco, and while it’s not *too* far away, getting there independently involves a taxi drive and a half-hour hike through the jungle, so make sure to bring sturdy shoes along!
Getting to Cacaluta by land is super easy and I’d consider the hike itself one of the best things to do in Huatulco. You can just hail a taxi on the street and ask to be dropped off at the entrance of Cacaluta. The taxi should charge you no more than $60 Mexican Pesos for the drive.
Your driver should know exactly where to drop you off, but just in case, you can find the map here.
The exact coordinates are: 15.734728, -96.159742
Next, you’ll need to walk through the jungle for around half an hour. The start of the hiking trail looks like this:
Overall, the trail was pretty well-marked and the jungle provided shade the entire way.
Note: A few tours offer a quick visit to Cacaluta as part of a boat trip, but I’d definitely just do what we did and get there by land. It gave us the freedom to stay as long as we wanted without having to worry about anybody else’s time (plus, the hiking trail to get there is a dream if you love nature!).
How To Get Back To Huatulco From Cacaluta
Getting back to Huatulco from Cacaluta Beach is a bit trickier than the other way around, but it’s still doable. Just walk back through the jungle the exact way you came from. Once you reach the road, walk one kilometer towards your right to reach Playa Maguey.
You’ll find a taxi stand to take you back to the center of Huatulco at Playa Maguey. The walk to get there is short but not shaded at all, so make sure to bring a hat and lots of sunblock!
Tips For Visiting Cacaluta
- Cacaluta is a virgin beach, there are no restaurants or any amenities at all. Pack a lunch and enough water!
- Keep in mind that there are no lifeguards here.
- The area next to the cliffs is shaded until 2 pm or so, and after that – nothing! If you want to stay longer, bring something to protect yourself from the sun like an umbrella or a beach tent.
- You can also camp at Cacaluta and it’s free to do so.
Best Time To Visit Cacaluta Beach
Make your way as early as possible to up the chances of getting it all to yourself and avoid the midday heat. Moreover, the tide gets much stronger after 1 pm, so make sure to move your belongings a bit further away from the shore.
I hope this guide to Cacaluta helped you plan your trip better. Getting here is pretty easy and definitely worth making a day trip out of it.
Have you ever been to Cacaluta Beach? If so, did you love it as much as I did? If you know any other secluded beaches in Huatulco, let me know in the comments section below. I’d love to know!