Dispatch, Huatulco: Low-key and liking it

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Huatlco dispatch Michelle

Senior editor Michelle Baran is in Huatulco, Mexico, on an Apple Vacations trip to highlight a new nonstop flight from Los Angeles. Michelle's first dispatch follows.

Earlier this month, Huatulco received its first nonstop flight from Los Angeles, which tourism professionals hope will be a game-changer for this up-and-coming resort destination in southern Mexico.

The flight is being chartered by Apple Vacations and is operated by Aeromexico, leaving each Friday out of LAX, potentially shuttling more travelers from California and other Western states to the handful of Huatulco resorts clinging to the rocky cliffs that line the Pacific Coast.

Huatulco, or Bahias de Huatulco, was established as a resort development area by the Mexican government in the 1980s. Unlike highly developed resort areas in Mexico, this quiet stretch of Oaxacan coastline has been developed more slowly, giving it a sleepier and more detached feel.

Where the hilly jungle meets the sandy beaches here, there are all-inclusive resorts such as Secrets Huatulco and Dreams Huatulco, as well as Hotel Barcelo Huatulco, Quinta Real Huatulco and Camino Real Zaashila Huatulco. Also, there are small boutique hotels, vacation condos and villas.

Perhaps even more so because it’s the slow season, Huatulco feels quiet and low-key right now. The Secrets resort (my home for the week) looks to be less than half full.

The adults-only property appears to be hosting a mix of Mexican couples and families with grown-up kids as well as American honeymooners and groups of friends.

Compared with Cancun, Playa del Carmen, the Yucatan Peninsula or Baja, the beaches and towns are more mellow — but perhaps that is due in large part to the fact that it is harder to get here than those other resort areas in Mexico.

But that could be changing, as Apple Vacations appears to be aggressively promoting this emerging beach destination with the charter out of L.A., along with one out of the Midwest. My flight from L.A. was rather full.

If it does continue to grow in popularity, hopefully Huatulco can avoid becoming a carbon copy of other resort destinations in Mexico. Refraining from overdevelopment would help keep Huatulco unique.

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