Playa Arrocito: The Hidden Jewel of Oaxaca, Mexico

Discover Playa Arrocito. The best hidden jewel beach of Oaxaca, tucked away in the gorgeous bays of Huatulco, Mexico. Read on for more details.

With a scalloped coastline and an abundance of beaches, Huatulco is a beach lover’s dream. But, tucked away in a tiny cove is the hidden gem of Playa Arrocito. Locals and travelers in the know have discovered this small but lovely spot and are happy it’s flown under the radar. Until now.

Read on to learn all you need to know about finding this jewel for yourself.

Where is Playa Arrocito in Huatulco, Mexico located?

homes with red roofs in Playa Arrocito, Mexico

Stretching across a spectacular series of nine bays along Mexico’s southern coastline, Huatulco—in the state of Oaxaca—is a dream beach destination. Obscured in a small cove is tiny Playa Arrocito. 

How is the Beach in Playa Arrocito, Oaxaca?

drone view of Playa Arrocito, Mexico

The sand at Playa el Arrocito, Huatulco, is granular, which accounts for its name, meaning little rice beach. But even though you might see a shell fragment or two, it’s soft enough not to require water shoes. 

The entire stretch of sand is only about 91 meters (300 feet) long and is surrounded by rocky headlands, so you’ll feel quite cozy in this little cove. Between the rocks and trees, there are some areas of natural shade, so you can enjoy this little beach in comfort.

The biggest draw to Arrocito Beach is the water—a crystal clear and inviting shade of turquoise. 

Surrounded by land on three sides, the cove doesn’t see much in the way of waves, making it an excellent place for swimming, snorkeling or diving. A gradual slope leads to deeper water, so it would also be ideal for families with small children.

Small as it may be, the beach can get crowded in the busy season.

Free parking is available at the top of the hill, which requires traversing a short staircase to get down to the beach.

Does Playa el Arrocito, Oaxaca have seaweed?

Fortunately, unlike many Caribbean and Gulf destinations in Mexico, Oaxaca’s beaches are generally unaffected by the plague of sargassum seaweed.

Things to do in Arrocito Beach, Huatulco

couple siting in loungers under an umbrella in Playa Arrocito, Mexico

Chill at the Beach

Whether you’re looking for sun or shade—or a combination of both—you can comfortably lounge away a relaxing afternoon on the beach.

Go Swimming

With a gradual slope and calm, protected waters, this is a great spot to go for a swim. Those same features also make this a safe place for younger swimmers.

Go Diving or Snorkeling

With calm water that’s crystal clear and a bevy of rocks for marine life to hide out in, this cove is a fine place to catch a glimpse of the underwater world. Unless you stay at the resort perched above the beach, you’ll have to bring your snorkel gear. 

Things to do Near Playa el Arrocito, Huatulco, Oaxaca

Huatulco is an established tourism hub with lots of attractions to keep you busy. Below are some options you have within striking distance of Arrocito Beach.

Go Beach Hopping

beach palapas and volleyball net in Huatulco

While Playa Arrocito is a hidden gem, it’s not the only visit-worthy beach in the area. Just a short drive or taxi ride away are some other world-class beaches that beckon to be visited.

Playa Conejos

If you’re looking for that delicious combination of soft white sand, calm blue water, and lots of seclusion, Playa Conejos is a great place to lay your towel. Even a high-end resort doesn’t change the fact that this 500-meter-long (1,640 feet) crescent of sand is an excellent place to relax away from the crowds.

Playa la India

Playa la India is an escapist’s dream. Glittering white sand bends around the curve of the bay as crystalline water gently laps the shore. Because it’s in the Huatulco National Park, no buildings mar the landscape of dry forest and hills that form a natural backdrop.

The wonderful seclusion you’ll find here is because the beach can only be accessed by boat, so you won’t be battling any crowds.

Visit Huatulco National Park

aerial view of Huatulco National Park

More than just a national park, this is also a UNESCO biosphere that preserves large swathes of both land and sea. The park is enormous—covering some 29,400 acres with trails that will bring you through a landscape of dry tropical forest. You might encounter armadillos, deer, iguanas and various birds within its confines. Offshore, you might just get the chance to see whales, dolphins and turtles.

Where to Stay in Playa Arrocito

hotels near Playa Arrocito, Mexico

The best place to stay is at the resort right on the beach’s doorstep, allowing you to use all their beachside amenities. However, there are a few other hotels at Playa Arrocito and throughout Huatulco, along with condos and villas you can rent.

What’s the Weather Like in Playa Arrocito, Huatulco Bay?

view of the beach and headlands in Playa Arrocito, Mexico

Temperatures are constant throughout the year, with highs in the low 30’s Celsius (90’s Fahrenheit) and comfortable temperatures during the day.

The rainy season—which roughly corresponds with the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere—gets some precipitation and high humidity. But for half the year (October to May), the climate is pretty dry, which accounts for the dry tropical forest that covers the area around Arrocito Beach.

If you’re interested in working on your tan, the sunniest months will be from October through February.

Packing List Essentials for Playa Arrocito

inside a woman's suitcase
  • High-SPF sunscreen for when you venture beyond the shade
  • A wide-brimmed hat to bring your shade along with you
  • Several bathing suits for more than one day at the beach
  • Flip flops or sandals that can go from beach to street (or vice versa)
  • Closed-toed shoes for hiking, touring and other adventurous activities in the area
  • Bug spray for mosquitoes
  • Underwater camera and dry bag for your valuables
  • Your own snorkel and mask if you intend to participate more than once
  • Lightweight backpack for bringing your snacks and equipment

Map of Playa Arrocito and Surrounds

Playa Arrocito is tucked away in a small cove between Chahue and Tangolunda Bays. This map will help you plan your trip.

How to get to Arrocito Beach

The best airport for getting here is Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code HUX).

rocky outcrops near Playa Arrocito, Mexico

From the Huatulco airport to Santa Cruz (also known as La Crucecita, is a short 35-minute drive.

From there, a short taxi ride (5 kilometers/3 miles) will bring you to Playa Arrocito.

Your best options for getting around Mexico are to take a shuttle or a bus and leave the hassle of driving to someone else. Otherwise, rent a car for maximum freedom.

A Few Final Words

long beach in Huatulco Bay near Playa Arrocito

Huatulco covers a wide swath of Oaxaca’s gorgeous coastline, and Playa Arrocito is just one corner of this fascinating region. But for a day, a week, or even an afternoon, you’ll find that spending time at this hidden gem will be time well spent.

FAQ

What is the closest airport to Playa Arrocito?

The closest airport is Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code HUX), located approximately 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the west. Travel time by car is roughly a half hour.

What is the closest town to Playa Arrocito?

The closest town of note is Tangolunda, 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) away.

Is Playa Arrocito safe?

Yes, though common precautions are always advised.

Can you swim at Playa Arrocito?

Yes. The calm water and shallow grade make this an excellent beach for swimming. 

Posted June 6, 2023
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Ben Pastore
Ben is a freelance travel writer, public speaker and graphic artist whose adventures to date have brought him to 78 countries across all 7 continents. He is the author of the witty travel ebook You Can Keep Your Adventure Just Leave Me the Toilet Paper, and a host of travel articles detailing his journeys. When not gallivanting across the globe, Ben spends his time as a volunteer minister along with his wife in Houston, TX, USA.
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