Looking at Huatulco from above is like looking at Canc�n before 24-hour room service hit. Only Huatulco is more resplendent. It is a necklace of nine emerald bays and shell-brown beaches; none can be seen from another.
Not far from the bays are two islands with their own bays and beaches. Unspoiled isn't the word. Untouched is. At Conejos Beach there are turtle tracks, vultures eating dead fish, manta rays jumping out of the water, porpoises not far behind—but no people and no chaise longues.
In 30 years FONATUR expects two million visitors per year to fill up 26,750 Huatulco hotel rooms, but for now the village is a theater waiting for opening night. There are luxurious hotels full of empty. There are blue-blue swimming pools with nary a swim-up-bar customer. There are waiters standing around, practicing on each other. There are golf courses waiting for grass, beaches waiting for Chiclet sellers, moonlight waiting to dance playfully off somebody's hair. See it before Kentucky Fried Chicken buys a lot.
33. Best wave
Legend has it that in April or May a giant wave comes crashing against the city of Cuyutl�n, about 30 miles from Manzanillo. It is known as the ola verde, the "green wave," and those who have seen it say the wave is 30 feet tall.
34. Best waves
Puerto Escondido, 150 miles south of Acapulco, has the third-best surfing waves in the world, behind those of Hawaii and Australia. Puerto Escondido is the place that was supposed to be the next Cancun, until FONATUR discovered Huatulco and left Escondido to the dudes, babes and goofy feet. One reason they dumped it is that the undertow is so severe that only experts can brave the water.
How tough is the surfing here? Well, put it this way: They won't rent you a surfboard because they figure you won't be back.
35. Where to surf
Anywhere. Nearly every place we went had very good, head-high surf. The best places we saw were in Puerto Escondido, Ixtapa and just south of Acapulco, but the surfers who showed us the best spots said they would personally wax my teeth to my tongue if I told you exactly where they were. Ask at the front desks. And remember, bring no valuables to the beach. We buried about $600 worth of stuff near Ixtapa one day only to find it gone when we came back.