3 best Huatulco beaches for kids and parents [Family destination: Oaxaca, Mexico]

During our month in Oaxaca’s Huatulco region, we wanted to find fun beaches where we could romp and relax. While there are lots of beaches in the area, we wanted to recommend just three as our picks for the best Huatulco beaches for kids.

Two are less than ten minutes by car or taxi from the immediate La Crucecita area. One is more of a half-day or day trip option. And we just also happen to have a very special bonus Huatulco beach for you too.

Why we picked these Huatulco beaches as family friendly 

We pick our beaches not only based on what makes for easy access and safe conditions for the kids, but for what is easy for Jodie to get to and get around. Jodie is an above-the-knee amputee.

Usually Jodie walks with the aid of a prosthetic leg. When we go to the beach though, she leaves her prosthesis at home and uses crutches to get around. For us, beach access needs to be approachable for her while she’s using her crutches. Beaches and beautiful coastlines abound on Oaxaca’s Pacific coast. However, they are definitely not created equal.

For example, Bahía Conejos, or “Rabbits Bay” is on the site of the Secrets Resort, in the main resort area east of La Crucecita. From what we understand, it’s a pretty beach, but generally the surf is rough. Not what we were looking for. In a similar vein, the surf-covered sands of Playa Cacaluta have a sudden, steep drop-off into the ocean. Other beaches may be amazing, but access can be tricky—the sort of places that might be easier to tackle when you don’t have children with you perhaps.

If you are interested, here are some other area beaches you could talk with your hotelier, concierge, or trusted local source about, and see what matches up with your safety level, transportation, and what you’re looking for in a Oaxacan beach:

  • Playa El Violin
  • Playa El Maguey
  • Playa Chahué
  • Playa Tangolunda
  • Playa Atrocity
  • Playa La Bocana

When it comes to the Huatulco area, you’ve got options aplenty for beaches. But here are the 3 best Huatulco beaches for kids we recommend for families:

Snorkel (and dine on the beach): Playa La Entrega

Vibrant colors abound under the calm waters of Playa La Entrega.
Vibrant colors abound under the calm waters of Playa La Entrega.

As parents who have regularly taken our kids to the chilly, rough, driftwood-strewn waters of the Oregon Coast, we are no stranger to figuring out beaches that have a relative measure of safety. In Oaxaca though, we wanted to focus on enjoying the surf, not constantly wondering about rip tides, crazy currents, or pounding waves.

When what you want is a chill day on the beach, with tasty restaurants all around and shops where you can get what you need for the day, Playa La Entrega is a winner. You’ll also see plenty of locals or area visitors coming down here to enjoy the beach as well.

Easy ride from La Crucecita

About 10 minutes by car from La Crucecita, a taxi ride will set you back about 60 pesos, approximately US$3 each way. When you arrive, people will be waiting to try to steer you toward their restaurant or shop, in a row of palapas at the back of the beach. Ignore them or gently tell them “no gracias” as you will, or read up in advance on the options to see where you want to head to.

For us, Renta de Snorkel Vicente, and neighboring restaurant Juqulita, offered just what we needed. Vicente kitted us out with snorkeling gear, complete with well-sized gear for the kids, including PFDs. Juqulita set us up with a square table right on the sand. While the kids romped in the surf, we parents enjoyed a beer and a michelada at our table, while the gentle waves gave us absolutely nothing to worry about.

Ideal for first-time snorkelers

With shallow and deep areas, the water itself makes for fine snorkeling. An array of fish varieties swim through and nibble coral all around Entrega. When you curve to the left around the rocks, you can also surprise the kids with a jaunt into a little shaft of a cave, or a tucked-away beach just a little farther beyond the rocks.

Entrega was Aster’s first snorkeling experience. The calm, clear water, abundant fish, and comfortable conditions gave her an incredible first time masking up for the water, and now she can’t wait to snorkel anytime it’s an option.

Plus, when all that water romping has you hungry, Juqulita (or your choice of restaurant) has an extensive menu that makes it easy for kids and adults to find a tasty meal.

Splash in gentle surf (and dine on the beach): Playa Santa Cruz

After a seafood dinner on the beach at Playa de la Cruz, we knew we’d be seeing this place again.
After a seafood dinner on the beach at Playa de la Cruz, we knew we’d be seeing this place again.

For starters, Playa Santa Cruz can easily get mixed up with our day trip pick below. However, Playa Santa Cruz is a long, built-up stretch of gentle, wave-tickled beach just a few minutes away from La Crucecita by car (and will cost you about 35 pesos, approximately US$1, each way). About a block away from the centro, with its lovely gazebo (and vibrant Saturday market), Playa Santa Cruz has a paved boardwalk for easy strolling and rolling.

Just like Entrega, plenty of people will be happy to guide you to their restaurant. Honestly, you won’t make a bad choice, but a little advance research can help you hone in on a place you particularly fancy.

Access for visitors with strollers or mobility devices

We especially enjoyed Restaurante Bar Doña Celia, located at the terminus of the walkway. Not only are they home to an amazing roasted pineapple full of seafood, but it was especially easy for Jodie to walk using her crutches down the walkway to the restaurant, just where the sand begins.

Visitors here can also spend a few bucks to take a banana boat ride. For Anthony and the kids, this took in a jaunt into nearby Entrega, and we saw some tucked-away little beaches that we otherwise never would have known exist.

If you prefer to be closer to more amenities, Play Santa Cruz also is nearby more shops, restaurants, bars, and more.

This beach is more about languid strolls, playing in the warm water, or perhaps wandering over to the rocky headlands nearby. There’s plenty of room on the wide beach for building sand castles. The water is typically pretty shallow for a decent way out, so your kids can go out a little ways while you keep a good comfort level with their playing.

When looking for a beach that’s easy to get to—especially if you have baby or kid gear to haul—the flat paths and gentle beach here make Playa Santa Cruz perfect for families visiting Huatulco, especially if you have small children. Proximity, amenities, ease of access, and wonderful calm water: That makes Playa de La Cruz one of our best Huatulco beaches for kids.

Take a surfing lesson (and dine… near the beach): Barra de La Cruz

When the blond surfer guy saw us, with our romping kids, he said, “How did you find out about this place?”

It’s a fair question. When you don’t want to go up to surfer hub Puerto Escondido, Barra de La Cruz is closer to La Crucecita, typically has few people around, and can be a great way to do a little surfing.

Rougher and more remote, but a beautiful stretch of beach

For a completely different beach experience, you can take a day or half-day trip to our third pick. Barra de La Cruz is the opposite of our first two Huatulco family beach recommendations. They are easy to get to; Barra de La Cruz is about 45 minutes’ drive to the east, through a village, down a bumpy track that ends in a dirt parking lot.

Instead of shops and restaurants being close at-hand, Barra de La Cruz has a tucked-away scoop of beach that is nothing but sand, rocks, waves, and the people enjoying the space. While the beach itself is not built up, as you come into the area there are little stalls that sell some basic gear, or rent surfboards, umbrellas, and such. There’s also an excellent covered, open-air restaurant. It’s not right on the beach, but is at the edge of the parking area.

Take more care with the waves

However, while our first two picks were gentle, bay-set beaches, Barra de La Cruz is not. This is a popular surfing beach. It’s less for the little ones getting to romp, and more for if you want a remote beach experience.

For us, we chose this beach specifically so Connor could take his first surfing lesson. The waves here are rough, and the current is stronger. Anthony and Aster stuck together, and stayed close to shore, but still, this surf is pretty pounding.

Depending on the season, as you make your way to the shore there can also be a bit of a small river between you and the actual beach. If you go to your right (keeping the river, channel, and ocean to your left), continue around the hill and rocks, and you’ll arrive at the hill-enclosed beach.

When we went, in November 2022, a round-trip taxi was 400 pesos. (Your driver will wait for you, and you don’t need to pay until you get dropped off back at your accommodation.) This area is also run and maintained by an indigenous group. Entry to the beach area costs 100 pesos per adult (but the kids were free), and the fees help the tribe take care of the land.

Less built up, but just as beautiful

Barra de La Cruz has no services on the beach itself (and no cell signal), so bring what you need or want to have on-hand. However, the wilder setting can have a more natural feel, so you can also get that extra feeling of getting away for a day.

And remember: This is primarily a surfing beach. Small kids can wade a little near shore, but the waves here are powerful, and the currents are not messing around.

BONUS: Release baby sea turtles at Escobilla

Look into their eyes, and see the same life and excitement there that we see in our own.
Look into their eyes, and see the same life and excitement there that we see in our own.

This bonus pick is extra special. It’s not a recreation beach, but it offers something the other don’t, and that’s why it counts as one of our best Huatulco beaches for kids.

About an hour and a half to the west of La Crucecita, the town of Escobilla is also home to one of the world’s most important sea turtle nesting grounds. We booked an evening tour with OscarTours, so we and the kids could learn about sea turtle conservation along with the work and science that goes into the conservation efforts here. Above all, we got to help release 67 baby sea turtles into the ocean. The experience was educational, fun, and truly connected us with the power and fragility of nature.

You can learn more about our experience at Escobilla with OscarTours here.

Check out OscarTours

What to do and where to stay in Huatulco with kids

Enjoy the 3 best Huatulco beaches for kids and parents

Huatulco has so many incredible beaches. However, busy parents have only but so much time to figure out which ones to go to! At the very least, spend a morning, afternoon, or entire day each at Playa La Entrega and Playa Santa Cruz. If a bigger excursion sounds right, day trip to Playa Barra Cruz, or book a sea turtle release tour to visit Escobilla.

You’ll find adventure, relaxation, and beautiful days at these best Huatulco beaches for kids. And if your experience was anything like ours, you’ll have an amazing time by the Pacific in Oaxaca’s Huatulco region. Enjoy!

About the author
Learners and Makers
We are the St. Clair Family: Anthony, Jodie, Connor, and Aster. As Learners and Makers, our family of four slows down, connects, and enjoys the world and each other's company. We have been traveling full time since 2022.

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