The State Tourism Office, or Oficina del Turismo (tel. 958/581-0176; www.baysofhuatulco.com.mx), has an information booth in Tangolunda Bay, near the Grand Pacific hotel. It's open Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm.
The overall resort area is called Bahías de Huatulco and includes nine bays. The town of Santa María de Huatulco, the original settlement in this area, is 27km (17 miles) inland. Santa Cruz Huatulco, usually called Santa Cruz, was the first developed area on the coast. It has a central plaza with a bandstand kiosk, which has been converted into a cafe that serves regionally grown coffee. It also has an artisans' market on the edge of the plaza that borders the main road, a few hotels and restaurants, and a marina where bay tours and fishing trips set sail. Juárez is Santa Cruz's 4-block-long main street, anchored at one end by the Hotel Castillo Huatulco and at the other by the Meigas Binniguenda hotel. Opposite the Hotel Castillo is the marina, and beyond it are restaurants in new colonial-style buildings facing the beach. The area's banks are on Juárez. It's impossible to get lost, and you can take in almost everything at a glance. This bay is the site of Huatulco's cruise ship dock.
About 3km (1 3/4 miles) inland from Santa Cruz is Crucecita, a planned city that sprang up in 1985, but has taken the shape of a traditional Mexican village, complete with a leafy plaza in the center of town. This is the residential area for the resorts, with neighborhoods of new stucco homes mixed with small apartment complexes. This is where you'll find the area's best and most reasonably priced restaurants, plus some shopping and several less expensive hotels.
Until other bays are developed, Tangolunda Bay, 5km (3 miles) east, is the focal point of development. Over time, half the bays will have resorts. For now, Tangolunda has an 18-hole golf course, as well as the Las Brisas, Quinta Real, Barceló Huatulco, Royal, Casa del Mar, and Camino Real Zaashila hotels, among others. Small strip centers with a few restaurants occupy each end of Tangolunda Bay. Chahué Bay, between Tangolunda and Santa Cruz, is a small bay with a beach club and other facilities under construction along with houses and a few small hotels.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.