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Weddings in Huatulco Mexico
If you want to get married in Mexico, there is nothing legal or technical stopping you from doing so; but you will need to plan ahead and get a few documents together, fill in a few forms and pay a few fees.You can opt for a legal ceremony that requires blood tests and legal paperwork to be performed within Mexico. Or you can select to have the legal paperwork and ceremony done at home and save the symbolic and/or religious ceremony for the beach. Many couples choose this option for its simplicity, and most resorts have a wedding planner to help guide you through the process, whichever option you choose. Wedding planners can also take care of all the details, from catering, lodging and music, to entertaining any children that might make the trip.
Planning a Mexican Wedding in Huatulco Mexico
Mexico has two types of marriage ceremonies, civil and religious. The civil ceremony is the only one that has any legal standing, and is recognized outside of Mexico. The civil ceremony requires that the couple have positive identification, such as a passport or birth certificate, a blood test performed in Mexico, and wait three days from the filing of the paperwork to the ceremony itself. If one or both parties are divorced, you must provide proof that the divorce has been final for at least a year. Also, four witnesses are required, two for each member of the couple. The ceremonies are performed in the local registrar's office by a government official. However, arrangements can be made to have the ceremony in an outdoor location. Your wedding planner can arrange this for you. The couple receives a certification, stating that they are legally married according to the laws of Mexico. This is largely recognized as legal worldwide.
The religious ceremony is mostly for show, pomp, and pageantry. These are held in a church, or perhaps an outdoor location, such as a beach or garden. The couple must show proof of a civil marriage, performed either in Mexico, or at home, before a religious ceremony can be performed.
Huatulco Resort Destination Mexico's Pacific Coast. This beach resort is not so big that it has big-city crowds, and it's not so small that it's boring. It is scenically stunning, planned to enhance the natural setting and protect the environment.
Rather than one long strip of sand, Huatulco is made up of a series of rock-rimmed bays notched into a 21-mile stretch of Pacific coast in the southern state of Oaxaca. The resort's full name is Las Bahías de Huatulco (The Bays of Huatulco).
The most luxurious properties are set around Tangolunda Bay, where Huatulco's 18-hole, par-72 golf course is also found. Conejos Bay to the east has been lightly built up, while Chahué Bay to the west holds mid-priced hotels and condominiums, the public marina and a small, commercial area. From the sea, each bay resembles a coastal village. The oddball blend of Mediterranean/Moroccan/Mexican architectural styles works. Harmonious stucco buildings, many of them whitewashed, are at water's edge or cling to the slopes above.
Santa Cruz Bay, location of the fishing village that preceded present-day Huatulco, is now the site of the resort's cruise-ship pier that accommodates only two ships at a time, so Huatulco, with a population of roughly 25,000, does not feel overrun. Literally steps away are a pair of clean beaches and a lively little commercial area of shops, restaurants and an artisans' market catering to passengers.
While even the largest resorts are not high-rise, they are full-service, which includes shuttles between hillside accommodations and the closest beach. Several operate on the all-inclusive format with meals, activities, entertainment and even childcare wrapped into one price. Some visitors never leave their resort, preferring to spend languorous days dipping into the sea or a pristine swimming pool, lounging in the sun or under a shady palapa, indulging in spa treatments and generally getting away from it all.
Just five of the nine bays are developed, each with a cluster of hotels and several lovely, little beaches. Some have calm waters for swimming and snorkeling, while others are best for sunbathing and relaxing with safer swimming in lavish hotel pools.
Locals and escapist visitors prefer undeveloped beaches. Punta Arena, one of Conejos Bay's three beaches, and La Bocana are known for strong waves and a surf season that runs from November through February. Maguey beach is known for its good snorkeling and excellent beach restaurants. The isolated beaches of Organo, Cacaluta and Cachacual Bays are accessible only by boat and have no infrastructure at all, so BYO food and water.
Other accessible land and sea activities include deep-sea fishing, sea kayaking, mountain biking, rafting or kayaking on the Copalita River, riding a zipline, rock climbing, horseback riding, and visiting coffee plantations and magical waterfalls in the nearby Sierra Madre mountains. Resort concierges help guests organize excursions.
Those who want to feel they are actually in Mexico can head a couple of miles inland to the town of La Crucecita. Even though Huatulco's history dates back only to 1985, the town has a traditional grid layout centered around a shady plaza with the requisite church on one side. Narrow side streets are lined with restaurants, nightspots, budget hotels and shops catering to both locals and visitors.
Regional crafts include black Oaxaca pottery, small, wooden figurines, jewelry and fabric. The Escobar family moved its looms from the city of Oaxaca to an open-air workshop in the center of La Crucecita, where visitors can watch the weavers make tablecloths, napkins, bedspreads, drapes and simple clothing.
La Probabita is a downtown tasting room where visitors can sample beverages, alcoholic and not. Mezcal is the potent local firewater made from the heart of the agave, the same plant that yields tequila. Local non-alcoholic beverages are Oaxaca's rich hot chocolate, usually served with sweet bread, and strong, smooth coffee made from beans from the misty blue hills of the southern Sierra Madre range north of Huatulco.
Although Huatulco's resort side has literally been carved out of the jungle, much of the jungle remains and is conserved. No building may be higher than four stories, and nothing may be built on the ridgetops. Growth control, habitat protection, litter control and environmental practices have earned Huatulco certification as Mexico's first Green Globe 21 community.
The Bahías de Huatulco National Park has yet to be developed, but in the meantime, the jungle with its rich variety of flora and fauna is protected, as is the coastline. The national park comprises both land and water. Dolphins, whales and turtles can be seen off the coast, and divers encounter fish, lobsters and turtles. Scuba diving and snorkeling are permitted, but fishing is not.
Naturalists have found some 9,000 lowland jungle plant species in the park. The gallery forest and mangroves are habitat to 264 mammal species (including armadillos and white-tailed deer), 701 migratory and indigenous bird species (among them hummingbirds, pelicans, gulls and hawks) and 470 reptile species (including black iguanas, salamanders and snakes).
But for guaranteed wildlife viewing, nothing beats an excursion to La Ventanilla, a small village with a big commitment to conservation. On the long, white sand beach, the 25 families who live there collect turtle eggs, placing them in safe enclosures to hatch and save them from poachers and predators. Villagers also ferry visitors by canoe to an island in the Tonameca Lagoon, where they have established a sanctuary where some 500 crocodiles at a time are bred and protected until they can be released into the wild.
The lagoon's dense mangrove swamp, which was devastated by Hurricane Pauline in 1997, is being restored, both by nature and by Ventanillans who maintain a tree nursery. Of the many birds that live in the lagoon, the three easiest to spot are the herons that wade in the water close to the shore, the "corlitos" which are cranes so small and light that they can walk on lily pads in the lagoon, and cormorants wheeling above.
Tour companies combine La Ventanilla and the National Mexican Turtle Center in Mazunte into a fine eco-tour from Huatulco. The center studies and rehabilitates land turtles, sea turtles and fresh-water turtles. Of the eight sea turtle species known in the world, seven lay their eggs on Mexican beaches, so it is impossible to diminish the importance of these turtle studies as well as on-going efforts to protect eggs and baby turtles.
A full-day tour takes in La Ventanilla and the turtle center with time for lunch, perhaps in a beach restaurant specializing in fresh from the boat seafood. It is not a trip for anyone who tends to get carsick, because the road does wind and roll. But for everyone else, it provides a fascinating and inspiring insight into the green side of Mexican tourism.
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