Huatulco National Park, also known as Bahias de Huatulco National Park, is a national park of Oaxaca, Mexico. Also a Biosphere Reserve, it is located in the physiographic province of the Sierra Madre del Sur, characterized by bays, cliffs, rocky escarpments and lowland jungle.
Huatulco National Park
Huatulco National Park, also known as Bahias de Huatulco National Park, is a national park of Oaxaca, Mexico. It is located in the Municipality of Santa María Huatulco.
The Park was founded in 1998, protecting 5,516 ha (13,630 acres) of marine territory and 6,375 ha (15,752 acres) of lowland jungle that is officially set aside to be left undeveloped.
The marine area encompasses the bays of Bahía Maguey, Bahía Órgano, Bahía Cacaluta, Bahía Chachacual and Bahía San Agustín. In these bays live the most important coral communities of the Mexican Pacific.
Bahía Órgano is named for the cacti that grow there. It is 240 m (787 ft) long and only accessible by boat. Bahía Maguey is about 1/2 km (1/3 mi) long and is accessible by car. Both these bays have fine, white sand and waters of various colors of blue and green.
Bahía Cacaluta and Bahía Chachacual are only accessible by boat and there are absolutely no human constructions of any kind.
Bahía San Agustín is the furthest west and the largest of all the bays. It has 1 km (.62 mi) of beaches between 20 and 80 m (65 and 260 ft) wide. There are also small islets inside the bay itself.
In the lowlands of the park, there are 9,000 species of plants (about 50% of the species are reported throughout the country) in the forest and mangroves in the coastal belt. Vegetation is dominated by the low forest growth of caducifolia in 80% of the area with the unusual feature of 50 ft (15 m) high trees.
Fauna species have been identified as 264, which includes armadillos and white-tailed deer. There are approximately 700 counted bird species which include hummingbirds, pelicans and hawks.
The reptile species are counted to be 470, which include Black Iguana, salamanders and snakes. Dolphins, whales and turtles are sighted species off the coastline, out of the identified 100 amphibian species.
Huatulco Biosphere Reserve
The Huatulco Biosphere Reserve was established in 2006 and is located in the physiographic province of the Sierra Madre del Sur, characterized by bays, cliffs and rocky escarpments.
The site presents rocky associations of various ages that make up the texture of the land in Huatulco. The relief of the biosphere reserve is mountainous in its southern portion, with valleys perpendicular to the coast.
The terrestrial part is composed of rounded hills, isolated hills, dunes, escarpments, cliffs, mangroves, wetlands, savannah, lowland deciduous and riparian vegetation. In the marine part can be found bays, beaches, islands, kelp and coral communities.
Within the core area there is no human population, except in an area called El Faisán. However, in the recent years the population growth rate of the area has accelerated particularly.
During the period 1980-1990, the population rose from 6760 to 12645 inhabitants, representing an average annual rate of population growth of 6.6%. For the period 1990-2000, the rate of population growth was even higher, with a rate of 8.67%.
The Huatulco Biosphere Reserve occupies a territory recognized as national land, under the responsibility of the National Fund for Tourism.