Late January, 2013 – After seeing the beautiful beach house, Villa Escondida at Playa La Bocana, we had the good fortune to spend more time at the dazzling resort of Las Palmas. The Gulf of Tehuantepec had gotten into a particularly unpleasant mood lately, and life aboard Groovy at anchor in Santa Cruz Bay had become a struggle to hang on for dear life as we lurched about in the rolling waves. Bruises showed up on our arms and legs in the craziest places, coffee cups went flying periodically, and dishes in the microwave did drunken dances as the carousel spun them around. Groovy was taking us for wild rides – at anchor!
Our new friends at Las Palmas graciously invited us up for a little more time off the boat. What a magnificent place to regain our balance and get our shore legs back! It was truly divine to kick back in a lounge chair poolside. Of course those shore legs took a while to return. Going into small spaces like a showers and bathrooms, everything seemed to spin like a whirligig. Staggering around the resort, we grabbed doorways and walls so we wouldn’t fall over!
But the world stopped spinning after a little while, and what utterly awesome beauty surrounded us at Las Palmas. It is a place that is made up of one spectacular view after another. Mark and I nearly wore out our cameras, because we could barely take a step anywhere without seeing yet another image that knocked our socks off.
The owner, Ron, signs his emails, “The President of Paradise,” and it’s the perfect title. High up on a hill, surrounded by lovingly nurtured palm trees and tropical flowers, with majestic views all around, it really is paradise.
A “color sketch” image I created on my camera from a photo of one of the casita doorways had an almost Mediterranean look.
But the climate here isn’t Mediterranean. It’s hot hot hot, and frequent dips in the pool are a must (oh, darn!).
As sunset fell one evening, Ron led us up onto one of the many rooftop terraces.
We stood there with a group of other guests and watched the most dramatic sunset unfold before us.
Down in the bay aboard Groovy we had been missing the sunsets because a row of tall hills blocked much of the western horizon. Up here, however, nothing was blocking anything, and we stood in a row in our bare feet and wet bathing suits, gawking at nature’s incredible colors.
Life at Las Palmas is pretty relaxed. Almost every room of every house opens onto a balcony or terrace or large deck, and you wander deliciously from indoors to outdoors, from living room to swimming pool, from kitchen to pool bar without taking more than a few steps.
The views sweep both eastward towards town and westward towards Huatulco’s outer bays, depending on where you stand. And every part of the resort is easily accessed by short paths and a few stairs here and there, making you feel like the whole property is your own personal estate.
One afternoon Ron took us on a road trip out to Barra de la Cruz, a long, windswept beach that is a local favorite for surfing. We had thought the surf would be up, because a Tehuantepecker was still blowing ferociously, but the waves were actually small and confused that day.
However, the beach was lovely to stroll on, and we had fun posing and playing with a few props we found along the way.
Back at Las Palmas, we took a morning walk one day down to Playa Violin, the beach that fills the majority of the views from the resort’s hilltop spot. The path in the woods peaks out at the beach here and there.
The surprising thing about all of Mexico’s Pacific coast is that cactus grows everywhere. Cactus and the ocean don’t seem like they’d be close companions, but very often they are.
The water was particularly blue and clear that morning, so we rushed down to the beach with snorkeling gear to see who we could meet up with in the ocean.
Playa Violin is small beach tucked into the end of a narrow cove that is hugged on each side by steep cliffs. It would be an ideal anchorage, except these rock walls extend out into the water, crowding out the little bit of sand that is in the middle of the bay, and robbing boats of any possible swing room at anchor.
The rocks form wonderful canyons underwater, however, and the fish are plentiful. We didn’t see any exotic big guys like rays or turtles, but the huge schools of small fish were abundant.
Nearby we found some beautiful flowers in bloom. Of course, Mark loves taking wildflower photos, so he was delighted to discover a few exotic ones he didn’t recognize and then he saw the familiar Regina which we first learned about at the beautiful orchards of Hagia Sofia.
When we first arrived in Huatulco the day after Halloween, we thought we might stay a few weeks. But this is a place that grabs your heart and doesn’t let go. We had heard a saying from some of our local friends that if you eat iguana in Huatulco you will never leave. Well, we hadn’t tried iguana yet, but it didn’t seem to matter. Leaving was something we just didn’t want to do!!