The best way to explore and experience the scenic beauty of Huatulco’s famous bays is to head to sea for a day-long snorkel tour and so I signed up for an excursion that went swimmingly after a rocky start.

I confirmed the Amstar Seven Bays tour with the tour company rep. in the lobby at Dreams Huatulco a few days in advance and at the appointed pick-up time loitered in the lobby awaiting the tour pick-up which failed to show up. Figuring the driver was running on Mexican time we waited patiently but after a spell asked the tour company staffer on duty for a status update and after a few cell phone calls found out that despite having a receipt the reservations hadn’t been logged into the system so the pick-up never arrived. As a Plan B a taxi ride was arranged for the short drive to the nearby Santa Cruz marina but with no tour company staff on hand we weren’t sure where we should go or who we should see but luckily a local boat boss took charge and made sure we were in the right place at the right time.

photo courtesy of Shannon Poole

The tour begins with a leisurely route north from Santa Cruz along the rugged coast with the hills a brown dry colour during dry season in February when barely any precipitation falls.

video by author 

A number of notable local marine landmarks are seen including El Faro (the lighthouse), a blow hole and the Stone Face.

photo courtesy of Shannon Poole

Special guests appeared during the coastline cruise as dolphins appeared off the starboard bow.

video by author 

Organo Bay is within the Huatulco National Park which has preserved its virgin bay and long  crescent beach.

photo by author 

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The tour’s first stop is Chachacual Bay which is accessible only by boat.

photo by author 

Savvy local entrepreneurs sell shade under beach umbrellas for MXN100 or about CAD$6 which for a 90-minute rental is a virtual necessity given the scorching sunshine.

photo by author 

The snorkeling equipment is included and there’s 90 minutes to view the scenery above & below the waterline.

photo courtesy of Shannon Poole

The visit to Chachacual Bay included a visit from a local hermit crab who turned out to be a handful.

photo courtesy of Shannon Poole

After our aquatic adventure we pulled anchor and set a course for Maguey Bay which is lined with local restaurants offering shaded dining under thatched roof that extend almost to the waters edge.

photo by author 

The two hour stop was about an hour too long for me as beyond having something to eat and swimming among the crowded waters of the bay there really isn’t too much to do. My lunch of a side of fries and a couple of local beers was almost the equivalent of CAD$15 with tip so nowhere near as inexpensive as elsewhere I’d experienced in and around Huatulco.

One tip I’d pass along for those joining a day-long snorkeling tour is to have a waterproof plastic container to store resort room key, I.D. such as a drivers licence and some smaller U.S. bills as this will allow you to keep your essentials with you instead of leaving them on the boat.

It should go without saying that any day of leisure snorkeling and soaking up the scenery of the bays of Huatulco is a good day but I would’ve preferred more time in the water in different bays and less time sitting around at waterside diners. For the price this tour is a good value and know the booking problems encountered at the start were an oversight so would close by noting that this is a day-long tour with snorkeling rather than a dedicated snorkeling tour so those wanting more time in the warm waters of Huatulco should plan accordingly.