A Getaway in Mexico–PART 3: LA CRUZ DE HUANACAXTLE

La Cruz is a Mexican fishing village situated on the Pacific Ocean’s Bahia de Banderas in the state of Nayarit. It is situated approximately 25 km from Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. The town name comes from a cross that is made of Huanacaxtle wood which is located at its entrance.

streetWith a population of about 1,600, the village is very traditional—consisting mainly of aging concrete buildings along cobblestone streets. Most are residential, with a some small family-run restaurants and mercados. There are a few retail establishments along the main road that leads to town.

The literature states that La Cruz is a quiet village. Actually, it is anything but. It teems with the noises of everyday living– children playing, dogs barking, roosters crowing, delivery trucks passing, occasional merchants selling their wares from the back of old vehicles, construction sounds, and a lot of music—some of it pleasant, some of it not so much especially late into the evening.

There’s a traditional village square with a bandstand in the middle and a lovely church on one corner.

churchaltarEvery Saturday night there is a village-sponsored live music concert in the square that is very popular. People dance, children run and play, and traditional food is sold.

lacruz-plaza

Gateway to the village plaza

Every Sunday, there is a huge outdoor market along the harborside with dozens of vendors from all over.They sell mainly crafts, clothing, and prepared food items, with some produce.

On Wednesday, there is a small local market in the middle of town where household goods, clothing, miscellaneous sundries, and produce can be found.

The  Mercardo del Mar (fish market),  which features fresh catches of the day is part of the  original harbor. Fisherman come and go from there each day, selling their catch. One can literally buy a whole fish or a fillet directly from the fisherman as he is cleaning it. There is also an excellent seafood restaurant at this location, as well as a smaller one that features traditional Mexican food.

Domingo Mercado del Pueblo--stretches from before fish market to end of jetty

Domingo Mercado del Pueblo–stretches from before the fish market to end of the jetty

Huichol handcrafts--Huichols are Mexican Indians native to this region; they dress in distinctive costumes and their artwork, which is primarily made of tiny beads, from jewelry to statues and wall hangings, is exquisite.

Huichol handcrafts–Huichols are Mexican Indians native to this region; they dress in distinctive costumes and their artwork–primarily made of tiny beads–from jewelry to statues and wall hangings, is exquisite.

Picture of Huichol in native dress (taken from the internet)

Picture of Huichol in native dress (taken from the internet)

 

View from restaurant next to Mercado del Mar--obviously features great seafood!

View from restaurant next to Mercado del Mar–obviously features great seafood!

In 2008, a major renovation of the harbor was completed and it now boasts a beautiful marina capable of handling vessels up to 400 feet in length. Fishing boats line the docks on the fish market end of the harbor, while pleasure boats of all types and sizes fill the remainder of the marina. There’s also a boatyard and a fuel dock.

On the opposite side of the harbor, there is a beautiful yacht club with two excellent restaurants. Many pleasure boats as well as some tour boats dock there.

La Cruz Yacht Club, featuring two very good restaurants--both with great views: one facing the sea and the other facing the marina

La Cruz Yacht Club, featuring two very good restaurants–both with great views: one facing the sea and the other facing the marina

Busy marina...

Busy marina…

We had been to La Cruz before–once to visit the Domingo Mercado del Pueblo, and another during a private tour of the area. It seemed a quiet as well as picturesque locale (we did not go throught the town either time), so we decided to spend some “real Mexico” time here (much as we had done in Sayulita on a previous trip).

Sayulita is an exciting Mexican village, with many interesting retail and eating establishments as well as a significant population of American and Canadian expats. Its best features are the several beautiful beachfronts, where the “surf is up” a lot of the time. La Cruz, on the other hand, is a more typical Mexican village, with few attractions other than the marina. There is a small beachfront that doesn’t appears to be very popular.

Sayulita beach from one of our favorite restaurants; Sayuliita is famous for as a surfing beach town.

Part of Sayulita beach, famous for surfing

What we’ve learned from our exploration of Sayulita and La Cruz is that, for us at least, these are nice places to visit for a day, but not to stay for any extended period of time.

Sunset over La CruZ Marina--lots of dark clouds, unusual this time of year in Mexico

Sunset over La Cruz Marina–lots of dark clouds, unusual this time of year in Mexico

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s