Bahía Santa Cruz has a pair of inviting beaches, Playa Entrega, and the most visited, Playa Santa Cruz, beyond the shops and restaurants, to the right (facing the ocean) of the boat harbor. Especially during the high winter season and weekends, kids play and vacationers improve their tans at Playa Santa Cruz, and two or three days a week cruise liners dock (and discharge hundreds of tourist ashore) at the adjacent, east side, maritime terminal dock.
Playa Entrega is a small, hidden stretch of sand slipped into the west side of Bahía Santa Cruz. It is the infamous spot where, on January 20, 1831, Vicente Guerrero, president and independence hero, was brought ashore in custody of arch-villain Francisco Picaluga and sent to be murdered in Oaxaca a few months later.
Quarter-mile-long Playa Entrega is the ideal Sunday beach, with calm, clear water and clean yellow sand. Swimming, kayaking, and often snorkeling, sailing, and sailboarding possibilities are excellent. A number of shoreline restaurants serve fresh seafood plates and drinks until around 8 p.m. daily.
Hikers and drivers get there via the main east-west street, Boulevard Santa Cruz, which passes the inland edge of the Santa Cruz boat harbor. Continue west, bearing left, at the Y intersection at the Hotel Binneguenda (mark your odometer) on the right. After 0.8 mile (1.3 km) the road bends left and winds uphill, past panoramic viewpoints above Bahía Santa Cruz. Follow the signs and you’ll soon be at Playa Entrega.
If, instead of curving left to La Entrega, you follow the highway that continues straight ahead at the same spot, you’ll be headed for the Bahías El Maguey, El Organo, Cacaluta, and Chachacual (Chah-chah-KOOAHL). The planned roads to the latter three of these four bays had not yet been completed. Until authorities get around to finishing them, land access to the Bays of El Organo, Cacaluta, and remote Chachacual will be achievable only by hikers or experienced drivers in off-road vehicles who know the myriad dirt tracks that wind through the tropical deciduous forest west of Santa Cruz. If in doubt, hire a jeep and a guide, or take a boat tour.
Bahía El Organo is closest. About 1.1 miles (1.8 km) along the highway from the Hotel Binneguenda, look on the left side for the (one-foot-high, 30-foot-long) raised concrete curb. The easy, unofficial half-mile (0.8 km) foot trail to El Organo takes off downhill through the forest from there. The beach is isolated, intimate, and enfolded by rocky shoals on both sides, and sprinkled with driftwood and green verbena vines. Stroll the quarter-mile-long beach, enjoy the antics of the spouting blowhole on the left-side shoal, and, with caution, swim beyond the close-in surf. Surf fishing appears to be fine here. Some trees behind the dune provide shade. Bring food, water, and everything else, including insect repellent.
Back out on the road, continuing straight ahead, the paved highway forks again (about 1.8 miles from the hotel). Either continue straight ahead downhill to El Maguey, or fork right to Cacaluta. The sandy crescent of Bahía El Maguey is bordered by tidepools tucked beneath forested headlands. Facing a protected fjordlike channel, the Maguey beach is usually calm, nearly waveless, and fine for swimming, snorkeling, diving, and sailing. It would be a snap to launch a kayak or a rubber boat here for fishing in the bay. Beach access is on foot only, via a downhill staircase. A procession of permanent seafood palapas line the beach. Most days, especially weekends and holidays, picnickers arrive and banana towboats and aguamotos (minimotorboats) buzz the beach and bay.