There are far more hotels than visitors to fill them right now, so for most of the year except for Christmas and Semana Santa, you can have your choice of just about anything, anywhere. Rooms start under $20 for hole in the wall places in La Crucecita, and go well over $200 a night for the big Tangolunda resorts. The average price for a double is in the $50-60 range, though some quite nice hotels in off season offer $40-45 rates. Out among the million dollar homes of Conejos, Villa Pacifico offers surprisingly reasonable rates with fantastic views of both Conejos and Tangolunda bays. Suites with two beds run from $80-$150 a night depending on the season, and the proprietor Rebecca is an excellent cook and a warm and friendly host. Also a reasonably priced choice in Conejos is Villas Sol y Mar run by Wayne and Marcy. A good option in Santa Cruz for bargain priced suites - especially for longer stays - or an entire house rental is La Vivienda, owned by Hector and Shannon Jimenez. In La Crucecita, the hands down best bet is the Mision De Los Arcos, which offers very nice air-conditioned doubles with cable TV and an exceptionally clean environment for around $50 in low season and $70-80 in high season. Sam and Sherry are great hosts and they have an excellent restaurant, Terracotta, as well as a locally popular cafe/ice cream place.

For better or for worse, the realty companies (Resort Real Estate, Remax, Data Habitat, Century 21, Robles Leon) are almost the only places to go if you're trying to find a condo or house rental in Huatulco, though much better rates can be found from people you can deal direct with. Prices you can expect to pay for a rental vary tremendously based on size and location. The affordable end of the condo market, in a nice but small two bedroom in Santa Cruz or one of the better neighborhoods of Crucecita, you can expect to pay $500-600/month longterm, $900-1300 for a single month, and about $400-500 for a week. It's increasingly hard to find any deals in winter during high season. Nice 2-5 bedroom homes and condos near the beach can go for anywhere from $2000-5500 for a month, or $1500-2500 for a week.

Real Estate

There are a lot of misconceptions about owning property in Mexico, and many people don't think foreigners can own property. More than 50 km from the coast or the nation's borders, foreigners can hold title outright to property. On the coast, including Huatulco, a bank holds the title for you in a trust and you pay about $600 a year for the bank trust, known as a fideicomiso. You are free to sell the property at anytime and a fideicomiso is every bit as secure in Huatulco as having a title. It's just an extra layer of paperwork to make banks more money. When you set up the trust, the initial cost includes the first two years of the trust fees and you don't begin paying new fees until the third year. This clunky system thankfully appears that it will soon be a thing of the past, as reforms are going through to eliminate the fideicomiso and make buying of land along the coast the same as buying land anywhere else in Mexico. Elsewhere in Mexico people have heard many horror stories about land being resold multiple times by people that don't own it, dubious titles, and all other manner of chicanery. Hardly any of this is possible in Huatulco, because Fonatur claimed all the land in 1984 in creating Huatulco and voided any past history to ownership. Because in nearly every case Fonatur is the original owner, the history of ownership is usually easy to establish to ensure you are actually buying it from the person who owns it. In other parts of the Mexican coast, land is often only available for sale when it has been reclassified from the communal land system that only allows residents of local villages to own land in their area. It is the confusion of the conversion process from the communal land system that has left places around Puerto Vallarta and elsewhere in a nightmarish disarray of crooked land deals. Even still, you have to be VERY careful who you deal with in buying property. Full disclosure does not exist. There is no licensing for realtors in Mexico and anyone can be a realtor. There are about five or six realtors in Huatulco, and with all of them you can usually find someone to swear by them or swear at them. Some are definitely better than others, and I will privately recommend ones I trust as well as those that should be avoided to those who contact me.

No matter who you deal with, however, have everything spelled out up front. The popular book "Gringos in Paradise" is an almost must-read for a would-be homebuyer in Mexico. The entertainment value of the couple's experiences in Mexico is worth it alone, but it's also a good primer on how things are done in Mexico. Most of the realtor's listings are highly inflated over what you should be able to get a place for in Huatulco, so if you can find a way of eliminating the middleman completely, you'll save a great deal of money.