La Cruz de Huanacaxtle’s Must-Do Activities: Cruising Through Paradise

la cruz de huanacaxtle
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La Cruz de Huanacaxtle’s Must-Do Activities: Cruising Through Paradise

This small fishing village is located between Bucerias and Punta Mita, Nayarit. It is a place where you can enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the Pacific Ocean, as well as the culture and hospitality of the local people.

One of the best ways to explore La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is by taking a cruise through the bay, where you can admire the stunning scenery, the marine life, and the sunset.

In this guide, I unveil the must-do activities that transform La Cruz de Huanacaxtle into a haven for cruisers seeking a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

From savoring fresh seafood at the local markets to setting sail on the Pacific waves during a mesmerizing sunset cruise, La Cruz captivates every visitor with its unique offerings.

Getting to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is about 26 km north of Puerto Vallarta and 18 km from the vibrant town of Sayulita.

To get to La Cruz, you can consider the following options:

  • Fly into Puerto Vallarta Airport: This is the nearest major airport where you can take a taxi or arrange transportation to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
  • Drive: If you’re already in the region or renting a car, you can drive to the village, which is accessible via Highway 200 that runs along the Pacific coast
  • Bus: Public buses are also available between Puerto Vallarta and La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (around 30 pesos each way). One of these bus stops is outside the airport across the bridge
  • Taxi or Shuttle: Taxis and shuttle services are available as well from Puerto Vallarta to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. You can hire them on the spot at the airport or arrange for them through your accommodation

It’s always a good idea to check the latest transportation options and schedules based on your travel dates.

Additionally, consider the current local regulations and travel advisories, and plan accordingly.

4 unmissable things to do in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

la cruz de huanacaxtle marina
The Marina

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle boasts an impressive marina and a lively atmosphere, especially in the high season (November to April).

There is no shortage of fresh seafood, nice beaches, a fantastic Sunday market, and not to mention beautiful views of the entire Banderas Bay.

Here are some ideas for activities not to be missed. To get around you can use cabs (or Uber), but ideally, you should rent a car as this will save you time and allow you to move around at your own pace.

1. Shop at the Sunday Market

sunday market
lots of fresh products at Sunday’s Market

Set aside Sunday morning to visit the market of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, which is next to the Mercado del Mar, in the marina.

You’ll find excellent quality handicrafts from various regions, including embroidered dresses for girls, clothing made by local designers, bracelets, and Huichol art, as well as vegan baked goods, organic vegetables, and aguas frescas.

There is also live music. If you arrive early you can enjoy the beach right next to the marina for a while, or visit the Mercado del Mar to see the variety of fresh seafood, something that kids find very fun!

Afterward, stay for lunch at the marina’s restaurants, such as La Peska.

2. Go snorkeling, paddleboarding or just cruise around the bay

la cruz de huanacaxtle

In season, you can go out to see humpback whales (November through April), which breed and calve in the Mexican Pacific.

You can also take day trips to fantastic beaches like Yelapa and national parks like Los Arcos and the Marietas Islands (home to the famous Playa del Amor).

It depends a bit on who you travel with, but in general, boats and sailboats departing from La Cruz are for small groups and accept children of all ages to participate in snorkeling tours in the bay.

If they are older, they can opt for a sunset sailboat ride or a paddleboard tour.

3. Enjoy the surfing vibes near La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

la cruz de huanacaxtle
The Km5 Surf Bar in Higuera Blanca

15 minutes from La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a surfing school in Bucerías, which offers classes for children 6 and up.

To do so, the instructors take the apprentices to a beach called La Lancha, right before Punta Mita, to teach them how to ride the waves.

After the lesson, they feed their surfing spirit by visiting Km 5 Surf Bar, which is just past Punta Mita (in the direction of Sayulita), in a small town called Higuera Blanca.

It’s a super laid-back family bar, which doesn’t face the ocean but has a good view from its second floor.

It has become a mandatory stop for those visiting the Riviera Nayarit; you will find pizzas, salads, good margaritas, and mojitos.

4. Soak in the sun!

la manzanilla beach
Playa La Manzanilla in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle has several public beaches. La Manzanilla is a beautiful beach but can get crowded quickly, especially on weekends.

In this case, I recommend going towards Punta Mita, where there are many more quiet beaches to choose from. This is the very reason why I recommend renting a car, as it allows you to explore more places and optimize your vacation time!

However, if you don’t want to go far, you can stay at the Eva Mandarina Beach Club, just behind the marina in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle; their day pass includes food and drinks, plus access to the pools.

Another beachfront hotel in La Cruz de Huanacaxaxtle that has a beach club open to the public is the B Nayar.

After shaking off the sand and taking a dip, you can dine with the family nearby at the Frascati restaurant overlooking the marina, where seafood, pasta, and fresh salads are highly praised.

Another popular restaurant for ceviches and pizzas (which kids always love) is Langosta Diez, but beware, it closes during the summer.

If you prefer something more sophisticated then there’s Black Forest, which offers German cuisine and has a very good reputation in the area.

Things to consider

The rainy and hurricane season runs from June to October. However, the advantage is that everything is “green,” which makes the landscape beautiful.

During this time some hotels, restaurants, and tour operators have better promotions, but others simply close their doors, so you should always be well-informed before traveling.

Other activities such as the Sunday market at the Marina of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle remain closed.

In regards to lodging options, a few hotels in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle are beachfront and adults only.

But if you go in a group you can rent an apartment or stay in a hotel in the hills, such as the colorful Villa Bella Bed & Breakfast, and spend the day at a beach club.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle: Final thoughts

In conclusion, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a hidden gem on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, offering a perfect blend of tranquility and adventure for those seeking a unique and unforgettable experience.

From the vibrant marina atmosphere to the pristine beaches and the rich cultural heritage, this charming town has something for every traveler.

Whether you’re exploring the local markets, indulging in delicious seafood, embarking on a thrilling water adventure, or simply soaking in the breathtaking sunsets, each experience contributes to the tapestry of memories that make La Cruz a standout destination.

As you cruise through the various activities, you’ll discover the warmth of the locals, the beauty of the landscapes, and the authentic charm that sets La Cruz apart.

So, pack your bags, set sail for this hidden haven, and immerse yourself in the magic of a destination that promises not just a vacation, but a lifelong connection to the paradise found along the Riviera Nayarit.

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