What to do after a day of sun and fun at Bahias de Huatulco? The evenings are cooler and ideal for a relaxing stroll, refreshing yourself for the adventures of the following day. At Huatulco, most visitors opt for a visit to La Crucecita, the picturesque little town located at the heart of Bahia Santa Cruz, where the warm and spontaneous atmosphere of Oaxaca’s coast can be felt first-hand. Tours depart from La Crucecita to the other main bays of Huatulco, making it a central point on any visit to the coast. You'll also be in the ideal place to sample some of the region’s traditional dishes, from seafood and fish to traditional Oaxacan recipes, finishing off your meal with a local mezcal, the traditional – and strong – regional drink made from agave. A delicious ice cream or a fruit drink can accompany you on one of the most enjoyable missions of any visit to La Crucecita: handcraft shopping.
Oaxaca is renowned for the quality and diversity of the handcrafts and gastronomy on offer. Along your journey, you'll find an endless string of shops where you can buy mole sauce, Oaxacan cheese, tlayudas, fried locust seasoned with salt, garlic and other spices, chocolate, mescal, the list goes on. The elegant black clay typical of the region is traditionally formed into elaborate pots and decorative pieces, which are then sold at local stalls and outlets. Oaxaca's famous fantastical figurines are another of the most representative items on sale in La Crucecita, along with handmade rugs, carpets and traditional clothing famous for its vibrant colors and unusual textures. You will naturally find it an effort to keep your wallet in your pocket, especially when it comes to the fantastical figurines or “alebrijes”.
These vividly painted figures are made of wood from a tree called copal, which is also used to obtain incense. This extremely malleable wood is ideal for carving the complex, intricate figures that combine characteristics from mammals, birds, reptiles and fantastical animals, such as dragons. The raw piece of wood is carved and impeccably polished; then, using the utmost degree of imagination and acrylic paint in virtually all colors, a unique, unrepeatable fantastical figure begins to take shape. Many of the pieces carved in the workshops of Oaxaca are true works of art. You'll find these workshops on the outskirts of Huatulco, so, if your visit is exclusively to this inviting corner of Mexico, we recommend taking home some of the figurines to surprise your friends and family.