Bahia Cacaluta
y tu mama tambien The name of this bay and beach is derived from the word "cacalote", which is the name for a variety of crows or ravens. It is one of the most beautifully serene places in Huatulco, with a half mile long stretch of beach made up of extremely coarse ground-up coral. The beach has the steepest incline to the water in the area, and instantly falls off too deep to stand. Open ocean swells wrap around either side of the island in the middle of the bay and surge powerfully against the beach. When King Juan Carlos of Spain came to visit Huatulco in 1993, he declared Cacaluta to be his favorite beach. In the critically acclaimed 2001 film "Y Tu Mama Tambien", the highly sexual and humorous road trip tale that first introduced Gael Garcia Bernal to foreign audiences, the characters end up at the beach at Cacaluta while searching for a mythical beach destination called Boca del Cielo. One of the film's more hilarious moments, for those of us unimpressed by the inexplicably more popular gringo destination of Puerto Escondido 80 miles up the coast, was when the the teenage boys first met the woman they went traveling with. She assumed they were going to Puerto Escondido and the boys scoffed and said "Puerto, no! No! Es puro huarachudo, fresita, y surfistas de cuarta." ("Puerto is full of backpackers, yuppies, and wanna-be surfers.") "We're going somewhere there are only fishermen." Blissfully empty the great bulk of the time, Cacaluta does seem like the perfect deserted beach dream.

Due to the wrapping of swells around Isla Cacaluta, a spit of land has formed in the middle of the bay, giving the bay the shape of a heart. The island is only about a 75 yard swim from this point, and just all along the inside edge of the island is a beautiful coral reef in 5-15 feet of water. On the outside edge of the island the water drops off abruptly to 100 feet. There is good scuba diving on the outside, including a deep canyon laden with coral and sea fans. The cattle boats cruise through the bay but don't snorkel here, and most people who visit take pangas. If you follow the road from Santa Cruz toward Cacaluta, and park at the end of the road, it is a very long and hot walk to the beach along the trail. The first part through the woods is nice, but once you get out into the sandy valley along the dry riverbed of the Rio Cacaluta, it never seems to end. The ATV tours take this route to the beach. (I have been told that most of the brakes don't work on the ATV's, so the riders spend all day running into each other.) on the beach The best way to access the beach is something of a local secret. You can drive your own car or take a taxi to Bahia Maguey, and right before Maguey at the "entronque" or roundabout where the road forks off to Cacaluta, you continue toward Maguey to the far side of the roundabout and there's an unmarked trail to your right. If you have your own car you can park it in the parking area just down the hill at Maguey and walk back up, or have a taxi drop you right at the trail. The trail winds through the woods and is easy to follow, with one fork just before the beach you have to bear left at. It's between 15-30 minutes, depending on how fast a hiker you are. It's also great as a trail run or mountain bike ride, though it's not always clear enough for the latter. The National Park boundaries are a little confusing in Cacaluta, since the headland between Maguey and Cacaluta falls within the National Park - including the trail from the entronque - but a large chunk of the Cacaluta valley is not in the park. This explains why there are National Park signs on the beach saying no ATV's, while ATV tours are allowed to run through the valley right up to the beach. The beach itself and the marine area are in the Park. Fonatur intentionally carved out pieces of coastal real estate in the National Park at the San Agustin end and Cacaluta end to reserve the option for future development. The word is that a golf course is slated for the Cacaluta valley in the future, since three major courses were planned as part of the Huatulco development scheme, and only the one at Tangolunda has been completed at the moment. Since Tangolunda sees very light use to date and ground is being broken on a new course over by the Copalita River, hopefully they'll never go through with the Cacaluta course. The problem with government-funded development, though, is they rarely ever adjust to the realities of the market. They stick to their master plan regardless. You should enjoy this incredible place in its natural state now in the event they do irrevocably change it in the future.

Bahia Cacaluta