The beautiful beaches of Huatulco are a major draw along Mexico’s Pacific coast, but the region has lots more to boast than just sun and sand. Here are five things to experience:

1. Llano Grande Park

Pochutla Street Market, photo by Giuseppe Pagnoni

In the Llano Grande eco-tourism park, some 30 waterfalls and crystalline pools are found amid the tropical plants and animals of the native forest. There are walking trails, caves, a butterfly garden and rope swings over the water, inviting weary hikers to take a refreshing dip.

2. Pochutla Street Market

Every Monday, Pochutla plays host to one of the largest outdoor markets in the region. Hundreds of people arrive from the coast and mountains to sell fresh fish, exotic fruits and aromatic herbs, making it a treat for lovers of street food and those travellers seeking a local atmosphere.

3. Copalita

The archaeological site of Copalita, photo provided by iStock/Lokibaho

The archaeological site of Copalita (which you can explore on your own or as part of a tour) is an opportunity to discover southern Mexico’s rich indigenous past. Nestled between waterfalls, cliffs and panoramic ocean lookouts lies an impressive collection of temples and other structures dating back thousands of years.

4. Wahaca Cooking School

The state of Oaxaca is famed for its cuisine that centres on cocoa-infused mole sauces and smoky pasilla chile salsas. More than a culinary experience, Wahaca Cooking School provides insight into the cultural relevance of Oaxaca’s staple dishes, while also teaching the traditions behind their preparation.

5. Finca Don Gabriel

The mountains of the Sierra Madre provide the ideal conditions for producing Arabica coffee. Located at an altitude of 1,300 metres above sea level, the town of Pluma Hidalgo is home to a number of coffee farms—including popular Finca Don Gabriel—that open their doors to visitors.


[This story appears in the December 2018 issue of WestJet Magazine]