Zaashila - Chez Binni - Elegant presentation of food, best service, best ambiance and priced accordingly. We also like the Beach Club and La Bella Grill at Zaashila for more casual meals during the day.

Oasis Cafe - Located next to bakery in La Crucecita. Same menu as other Oasis on town square, plus new items cooked on outdoor grill. Good food, service, reasonably priced.

Mambo Cafe- "Flavors of the World" (Sabores del Mundo) International Cuisine located at Calle. Zapoteco, Chahue. Owner of the inn is the experienced chef from France. Great food, clean, moderate prices, nice ambiance, artistic decor. Closed Monday. Info 9 58 72480.

Tentacion- Across from Oasis, good food, service and price. (No credit cards accepted.)

Santa Clara Restaurant- for breakfast or lunch-closes at 7 p.m.

Mision Fa-Sol (Walking distance of Zaashila) Excellent food and service. Air conditioned. Higher priced.

Santa Cruz Bay - Many beach seafood restaurants. We haven't found a favorite or bad one yet. They all have similar menus and prices and fresh seafood. Pick one you like.

El Sabor de Oaxaca at the Las Palmas Hotel (across from the Market). Higher priced, clean and good food. Waiters speak English. There are many selections on the menu.

"Bargain lunch, try the Comida Corrida at El Sabor de Oaxaca or Hotel Grifer. Usually served from 1 to 3 p.m. For $3 to $5 you get soup of the day, rice, choice one of two entrees, and the fruit water of the day."

The Barcelo Hotel has an Mexican Night-Buffet and folk Loric Show and a Buffet and Show called LLuvia de Las Estrellas (Parade of Stars Impersonations of Celebrities) and a Tropical Caribbean Buffet and Show. (We paid 200 pesos per person which included the buffet and national drinks, soft drinks, tax and tip.) We thought it was an excellent value! For schedule ....call Barcelo at 9-58-10055.

Information you may find useful during your stay at CAMINO REAL ZAASHILA HOTEL RESORT, Huatulco, MEXICO. (As of October 2002)

WHAT TO PACK: Huatulco's climate is very tropical year round. Dress is very casual day or evening. Leave jackets and ties and fancy evening attire at home. Pack cool and comfortable clothes. Swim suits, cover-ups, shorts, T-shirts, tank tops, comfortable shoes, tennis shoes, beach shoes or thongs. Hats or visors to shade the sun or purchase them in Huatulco. Get the picture?

A definition of dressed up in Huatulco would be light weight slacks and tropical shirt for men or light weight casual summer dress or slack outfit for women. You may want to bring one pair of jeans or old slacks for horseback riding.

Be sure to pack sun screen, sunglasses, camera and film. Its hard to take a bad photo in paradise. If you own your own mask, fins and snorkel, bring them. They can be rented for approximately 50 pesos ($5) per day. Tennis racket if you're very particular. Camino Real Zaashila has good rackets you can use. No need to pack towels, Zaashila provides plentiful supply. Hair dryers are supplied in all condos bathrooms.

CURRENCY: Most everyone accepts U.S. currency, and many even prefer U.S. currency because the value is more stable. (Credit cards are accepted at hotels, restaurants and shops.) Mexican banks, located in Santa Cruz and La Crucecita are open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.. weekdays and shorter hours on Saturday. When the peso is actively fluctuating it may be worth your time to exchange money at the bank. The value of the peso changes often. Exchange rates will vary slightly from bank to bank but always better than at the hotel. There is Bital Bank in La Crucecita just a few blocks from the town square.

THE SUITE/CONDO: This is your home to enjoy. Leave sign "Privacy Please" or "Favor de No Molestar" on outside door knob if you don't want service. You will be billed daily either way (231 pesos with service or 133 pesos without service). Look in the buffet drawer for 4 x 6 cards in Spanish (English translation on back of card) to assist you in communicating your needs to housekeeping. In the unlikely event, there is a maintenance problem, please inform the front desk. The only way they will become aware of problems is for you to inform them. As owners, we have already paid for maintenance service. Please request it, if you need it and help the next guest.

KITCHEN: Use any item you wish, but please replace if you use it all. Replace basics when they run out, and paper items and cleaning supplies. (Cleaning supplies are located under kitchen sink.) Discard any items in refrigerator that may spoil when you leave. Leave any items that will keep for the next guests. Note: Boxes of unopened milk in Mexico have a 6 month shelf life. List of standard staple items which you should find are the following: Box of Juice, Box of Milk, Cold Cereal, Coffee, Tea, Instant Coffee, Coffee Filters, Salt/Pepper, Some Spices, Sugar, Honey, Jam, Peanut Butter*, Pasta, Pasta Sauce, Mayonnaise, Catsup, Mustard, Cooking Oil, Vinegar, Napkins, Paper Towels*, Dish Wash Soap, Glass Cleaner and Misc. Other Items. * Available at La Fuente Supermarket.

DINING ROOM: Buffet drawers have decks of cards, pens, paper, etc. and menus for some of local restaurants. We suggest you dine at Zaashila restaurant, "Chez Binni", the first evening, then compare prices and services with all the others. Room Service is available 24 hours per day at Camino Real Zaashila. The menu has a variety of choices and tip is included in price.

LIVING ROOM: TV-VCR is behind picture near steps. Use any video that is there. Pull out beds which are on wheels, are stored under each sofa. (Remove coffee table first and be careful with glass top.)

BEDROOM: Night stands & dresser contain magazines, reading material, first aid, and toiletries. (Please replace if supply is depleted for convenience of next guest.)

BATHROOM: Hair dryers are provided, soaps, towels, etc. (Beach towels are provided at pool side for your convenience.)

DRINKING WATER: Some bottled drinking water is provided free and is included in daily billing. If more is needed, call housekeeping.

(Blue Dolphin condo #133 has RO filtration system.)

GYM ROOM: Stationary bicycle, stair master, tread mill, sit-up board, and multiple gym machine. Gym is located near tennis court.

FOOD & WATER PURITY: Tourists in Huatulco seldom have problems with Montezuma's Revenge, so often experienced in other areas of Mexico. Nevertheless it's best to be careful. Drink, cook and brush teeth with the bottled water. Soak lettuce and similar vegetables and fruits in dish pan located under sink using Sun Smile Fruit & Vegetable Rinse or Clorox Bleach. These items can be found under the sink. Read directions on bottle for correct proportions.

What to do while in Huatulco?

WATER SPORTS... If your preference is water sports, such as water jet skiing, wind surfing or sea kayaking, all you have to do is request your preference at Service Center/Land Services at the Pool Towel booth. There is also a stand on the beach near Beach Club Pool, where you can arrange for yourself to enjoy a sunny day.

Bay Tours: This is the tour par excellence. Get to see the unsurpassed beauty of beaches and bays, the submarine parks and the capricious rock formations that give us the Bufadero, the stone face and the Organo Bay. You get the chance to swim, snorkel and enjoy seeing the coral reefs plus music, games and seafood. Don‚t miss the bay tours on the larger boats, like the "Fiesta Huatulco" or "Tequila" boats are $200 to $250 pesos per person. They are more "touristy" party boats and sometimes crowded.

Mario Cobos may arrange day long tours of the 7 bays and deep sea fishing for price of $125 USD on the small boats. You pick your schedule and activities and start and end when you want. You can fish, snorkel, swim and spend as much time as you want on any beach that you want. After you catch fish, Mario will make "ceviche" for you and/or arrange to have your fish cooked at one of the beach restaurants. (Ice chest filled with soda, beer, etc. included)

Deep Sea Fishing: These waters are excellent for deep sea fishing where your best fishing dreams come true through a sail fish, marlin, snapper, tuna, or dorado fish. The Captain will provide the know how and you supply the skills. Larger boats leave Santa Cruz early AM. English speaking Captains are available. Determine number of hours and price per hour before leaving. (Usually $40-$70 USD per hour depending on size of boat and crew.) Check with Capt. Antonio "Tony" Hernadez at 044 958 58 94284 of the "Fisher Eagle."

SCUBA DIVING: Huatulco offers around 13 different dive sites with its interesting coral reefs and fascinating diversity of marine life. Talk to Hector Lara Ocampo or his wife Gabi at the Leeward Dive Center 958 58 72166. Hector‚s email is scubahector@huatulco.net.mx.

Golf: Enclaved between the mountains and the ocean, one of the best golf courses of the Mexican Pacific can be found in Huatulco. You can enjoy 18 holes, par 72, championship class with 6,851 yards. The hole 13‚s beauty lies in offering a panoramic view of Tangolunda Bay. Call hotel‚s front desk for discount rate and tee time. $550 pesos for 18 holes. Rent golf clubs for $120 pesos. Cart rental is 180 pesos per person. 3 days of green fees and cart for $1800 pesos ( Prices subject to change.)

Tennis: Make court reservation at front desk. Ask name of person who takes your name & suite number. Pick up tennis balls and rackets at front desk or from tennis pro Paco. Ball boys are available for $30 pesos per hour and tennis instruction is $150 pesos per hour or $75 pesos per half hour. (Watch for insects - they hide in court surface, sometimes.)

Soccer & Volleyball: Balls available at Front Desk if not on beach or in condo.

Snorkeling & Wind Surfing: La Entrega Bay is the best place. Rent equipment at beach or bring your own. Take a taxi ride, get round trip price. Taxi drivers WILL come back at the proper time. Don't pay until end of round trip. (There is NOT a phone at this beach!) Also excellent snorkeling at San Agustin, the last bay. This can be included easily when you take a personal bay tour.

Down River Rafting: Besides the exciting experience of going down river through the rapids, you adventure through the lush beauty of the landscape of the two rivers of this region. You may choose from a variety of descents, from class I to IV depending on water level on either kayaks, rafts or canoes. Call Piraguas direct for best rate at 9-58-71333. www.piraguas.com

Land Tours: For side trips to Cascades of "Copalitilla" and Coffee Plantations, Santa Maria Huatulco, and other nearby areas of interest call Mario Cobos 9-58-71833. Mario speaks fluent English, knows the area well. We rate the Cascades as a "must experience" after the bay tour. See photos in condos for tours. We suggest you combine the Cascades and Coffee Plantation tour in one trip!

Horseback Riding: Camino Real service center can book the trip. The price will be ($450 pesos). Rancho Caballo de Mar has the most scenic and personalized tour. (10 a.m. or 2 p.m. departures) This is a 3 1/2 hour trip with a break for swimming, eating and drinking. Bring your camera, sunscreen and towel. Wear your swimsuit under your clothes. Gym shoes, walking shoes, or riding boots are best. Long pants or jeans are recommended, but if you forget them, know that you won't be the first tourist to wear shorts on a horse.

Motorcycle ATV Jungle Tour: Excitement and fun on wheels offers tours through the jungle on four-wheel motorcycles. Visit virgin beaches where you can sun, swim and play at the sand dunes. This motor cycle tour of jungle and beaches is dirty, hot and fast. We didn't like this activity, but you might. Horse back riding is much better for those interested in jungle and beaches. Contact tour guide Denis at 9 58 10491 or denishuat@yahoo.com for questions. ($40 USD or less)

MASSAGE: For the best rates therapeutic massage call Mario Cobos at 9-58-71833. $250 pesos per hour. Mention our name and get a FREE 1/2 hour massage (One person per condo). Arrange a time and Mario will come right to the condo for your massage.

Shopping: Shopping at the Huatulco Bays is an experience in itself. Walking through its markets, craft shops and boutiques, means to be in close contact with the traditions and culture of people, proud of their origin. You will find, from the smallest souvenir, to the best of pottery creations. Shop La Crucecita (miscellaneous shops), Santa Cruz (tourist items at small Flea market), and Barcelo Hotel has a couple of nice shops. At times, native crafts are available pool side on Friday and Saturday. Better shops are closed for Siesta 2 - 4 p.m. daily. Mexican flea market for new clothing, hardware, etc. is found at outskirts of La Crucecita and appears on each Saturday and Sunday.

NIGHT LIFE: For night fun you have a wide range of entertainment possibilities such as tropical shows, or modern discotheques with light, sound and video system. The Acqua Discotheque opens nightly at 10:00 PM, closes at 4 am. It is located at Marlin Hotel in Santa Cruz. There is a cover charge and lighting and special effects are quite incredible. Acqua Discotheque is another night club located in Santa Cruz that advertises live music. At Santa Cruz and La Crucecita you will find bars and discotheques where you can enjoy your favorite drinks and cocktails with the music of your choice.

GUELA GUETZA - Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings at Noches Oaxaquenas (Oaxacan Nights) - Folkloric Dances characteristic of the 7 regions of the state of Oaxaca performed by dance troupes touring from the folkoric school in Oaxaca City. Colorful, festive and well done. Show only, $80 pesos per person. Don Porfirio's also offers a dinner/show combination which we don't recommend. Our experience, as well as some of our guests, has been that the quality of the food preparation at Porfirio's is marginal at best. Drinks are no problem.

Gala Resort - For a half day rate of $300 pesos for a.m. or $55 USD for p.m. per person you tour the Gala, enjoy a breakfast or dinner buffet, unlimited drinks and the nightly entertainment show and the disco. You may call and ask what is the entertainment for the night and price at The Gala and Barcelo Resort Hotels.

Upon receiving your final payment we will send you additional information regarding arrival and ground transportation, check-in, billing, restaurants and grocery stores, transportation, taxis, side trips, important phone numbers, etc.

We suggest you also keep this information as a reference.

Now call the airlines or your travel agent and make your reservations to vacation in Huatulco! Next, call us with your date of arrival and date of departure. It's that simple! $200 per week will hold your reservation! You do want to go, don't you?