In today’s modern world, getting off the grid has increasing appeal. At Playa la India, on Mexico’s scenic southern coast, getting off the beaten path is not only necessary but wonderful.
Read on to discover why and how you should visit this hidden gem and be ready to leave your modern entrapments behind.
Where is Playa la India, Oaxaca?
Playa la India is on the coast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca, near the tourist hub of Huatulco.
One of the things that makes it so appealing is that it is situated deep within Huatulco National Park. More than just a national park, this is also a UNESCO biosphere that preserves large swathes of both land and sea. This means visiting here brings you to an ecological site of global importance.
What is the Beach Like at Playa la India, Huatulco?
The beach at Playa la India is an escapist’s dream.
Powder-white sand curls around the curve of the bay as crystalline water gently laps the shore. Since it is in a national park, there are no buildings, hotels or houses to mar the natural dry forest and surrounding hills that form a natural backdrop.
You’ll find wonderful seclusion here because the beach can only be accessed by boat, so you won’t be battling any crowds. It’s an excellent place for a swim, with calm water that isn’t plagued by the sargassum seaweed that affects other beaches in Mexico.
Of course, being off the grid does have its inconveniences.
There is absolutely no infrastructure on-site at all, which translates to no restrooms, no restaurants, no rental umbrellas—no anything, really.
But isn’t that why you want to come in the first place?
Things to do at Playa la India
Upon first sight, your initial inclination will likely be to lay out on the fine white sand and soak up some rays. That is a perfectly acceptable reaction—one that will be quite rewarding. But once you’ve gotten your fill of Vitamin D and wish to do something a little more active, other activities beckon.
Walk the beach
At less than a kilometer in length, you can easily walk the entire beach in about ten minutes. Unfortunately, there’s no shade to speak of, so make sure you’re covered up and/or coated in sunblock. If you happen to be here around sunset, its west-facing views will give you a spectacular show.
Between its secluded location and its protection as part of a national park, Playa la India is considered one of the best sites in the area for snorkeling. You can poke around offshore rock formations and the reef for a mesmerizing view of all sorts of tropical fish.
Take some pictures
The beach here is quite picturesque, making it a popular subject for photographers. Even if you’re not a professional, your pictures here will likely result in some good-natured jealousy on the part of your Instagram followers.
Things to do Near Playa la India, Huatulco, Oaxaca
Huatulco National Park
Since you’ll find Playa la India in Huatulco National Park, it would be a shame if you didn’t also explore this ecological jewel a little further.
The park itself is enormous—covering some 29,400 acres. Within the park are various trails that will bring you through a landscape of dry tropical forest and offer the opportunity to encounter wildlife such as armadillos, deer, iguanas and a host of various birds. Offshore you can see whales, dolphins and turtles along the undeveloped coastline.
Opposite Playa la India in the bay of the same name, Chachacual Beach is a huge stretch of sand located within the national park. Look for turtle tracks here and enjoy a less sheltered but just as secluded slice of paradise well off the grid.
Maguey Beach is a good fit if you’re looking for a beach that combines natural beauty with some modern amenities. As the last of Huatulco’s nine bays that can be reached by land, you’ll find restaurants and other structures on half the beach, while the rest is unspoiled.
This is also an excellent spot for snorkeling and diving, as the many tour boats that come here can attest. The calm water makes this a safe place for even young kids, and when you combine the convenience with the beauty, it’s a great destination for a day trip.
Where to Stay near Playa la India
Since there are no hotels within the national park, your best bets are the nearby towns of La Crucecita or Tangolunda. Alternatively, you can travel to the other side of the park and stay in tiny Bahia de San Agustin.
Regardless of where you spend the night, Playa La India is most definitely a day-trip-only option and is best combined with a fuller itinerary visiting the other magnificent attractions in the Huatulco area.
How is the Weather in Playa la India?
If you’re seeking an escape from the cold, you’ve come to the right place. Temperatures vary little throughout the year, with highs in the low 30’s Celsius (90’s Fahrenheit) and comfortable temperatures throughout the day.
You’ll undoubtedly notice the dry tropical forest that lines the beach and surrounding hillsides, which attests to the relatively dry climate for half the year (October to May). The rainy season—which generally corresponds with summer months in the Northern Hemisphere—will see some precipitation and high humidity.
If you’re coming as a tourist with dreams of the perfect tan, the best weather will be from October through February.
Packing List Essentials for Playa la India
With no services whatsoever, you will want to make sure you are well-prepared for your visit to Playa la India. Here’s a list of items you’ll want to include:
- Plenty of water—you may be surrounded by water, but to avoid dehydration, you’ll need to bring an ample supply of water with you. Remember to responsibly dispose of any bottles once you return to port.
- Something to eat—if you plan on spending the day, you will want to bring some snacks since there are no restaurants anywhere to be found. Do the planet and everyone else a favor and take any trash back out with you.
- A good hat—the sun is intense here, and with no shade, you will want to keep your head covered as much as possible.
- A water shirt—save on sunscreen by keeping your torso covered, especially while snorkeling.
- Biodegradable sunscreen—whether you’re swimming or just lying on the beach, biodegradable sunscreen will protect your skin and the environment. Here’s your chance to contribute to the conservation efforts being made in the area.
- Your swimsuit—with snorkeling, swimming and lazing at the beach the main attractions, you will want to have at least one bathing suit on hand.
- Closed-toed shoes—if you expect to explore the land portion of Huatulco National Park, having some close-toed shoes will allow you to trek with proper footwear.
- An underwater camera—with crystal clear water and access to a reef, you’re going to want to share some pictures of this underwater paradise.
- Mask and snorkel—while you can always take an organized tour that provides snorkeling gear, having your own will allow you greater freedom and the peace of mind of knowing whose mouth was on it last.
- A study bag or backpack—while theft isn’t much of an issue on such an isolated beach, you’ll want something convenient to lug around all the stuff listed above.
Map of Playa la India and the Surrounds
Playa la India isn’t the only stunning place to visit while you’re in Huatulco. Use our interactive map to see where else you must visit.
How to Get to Playa la India, Huatulco
The first step in any visit to Playa la India is to get to Mexico.
The best airport for this slice of paradise is Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code HUX). From there, it depends on where you are staying:
- The journey from the airport in Huatulco to La Crucecita is quick and easy, at around 40 minutes.
- The ride from the airport to Tangolunda is about 30 minutes.
- From the airport to Santa Cruz, its about 35 minutes.
So, as you can see, no matter where you stay, everything is nearby.
Then, from your accommodation, you have several options.
The easiest way to get to Playa la India is by taking an organized tour, which will usually include stops at other points of interest. You can also hire a boat for the short ride west along the coast, allowing you to explore the many bays on your own schedule.
Access to the beach is directly from the water, so no long walks through the jungle are necessary.
Going offline and off the map naturally requires a bit of effort. But the reward is finding a place of peace, tranquility and beauty. So the next time you’re ready to unplug, consider visiting Playa la India in Oaxaca. Even if it’s only for an afternoon, you’ll find getting off the grid a trip that’s well worth the effort.
Don’t forget to check out where else Bookaway can take you in Mexico.
The best option by far is Bahias de Huatulco International Airport (code HUX).
Santa Cruz and La Crucecita are the starting point for most trips out to the beach. You can also enjoy limited services at Maguey Beach.
With no towns, residents or infrastructure, you’re extremely unlikely to encounter crime here. Instead, your greatest dangers are sunburn and the temptation to move off the grid permanently.
Swimming is both safe and highly recommended.