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Our Life in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

Posted on Sat 03 March 2012 in Destinations, Living Aboard, Pearson 424, s/v Deep Playa

I must apologize for ignoring our blog lately.  Life in Mexico is rewarding, relaxing and wonderful, but it also has its challenges.  One of those challenges includes finding good reliable Wi-Fi access to upload our pictures and blog posts.  So we spend a lot of time moving from café to café utilizing free Wi-Fi while enjoying a bebida fresca.  Most of the time the Wi-Fi is iffy, at best, so I have to utilize the time online very efficiently. 

We are currently anchored in La Cruz (“The Cross” in Spanish) de Huanacaxtle in the state of Jalisco, Mexico.  It is a small fishing village just north of Puerto Vallarta in Bahia de Banderas (Bay of Flags) on the Pacific mainland of Mexico.  La Cruz is a popular destination for cruisers because of its benign weather during the winter months, relatively quiet anchorage (although rolly at times), and easy shore access via a dinghy dock in the La Cruz Marina.  The village is growing from its original roots but still holds its small town vibe due to its beautiful town square and cobble stone streets.  Along the marina malecon is the open-air fish market where the pangas are docked and fish is carted off straight from the bay.  Every Sunday there is a farmers market where I buy organic fresh salad greens, fresh fruit, handmade jewelry and art and, most importantly, yummy homemade baked goods.

Sunday Farmers

La Cruz Sunday Farmers Market


La Cruz Fisherman’s Panga Beach


La Cruz’s Fresh Fish Market

Stingray with reflection of a

Stingray swimming by in the La Cruz Marina

So far we have been here for about a month.  And we love it. Smile  The people are so friendly and the restaurants located here are so diverse and interesting.  There is a German restaurant, a British pub, and an Italian restaurant with wood-fired pizza.  And not to mention the many cheap and delicious local taco stands that pop out of the wood work after dark.  One of our favorite places is Huanacaxtle Bar & Café that is is owned and run by a local family.  They are super friendly and make you feel like one of the family every time you show up.  They have an awesome happy hour, 10 peso draft beers, and host karaoke night on Tuesdays, but Oliver is ready for some karaoke any night of the week and will try his hardest to convince you of the same!

Singing our hearts

Patrick and me singing karaoke after a few 10 peso happy hour cervezas.

It’s also a popular day trip for tourists from Puerto Vallarta and Punta de Mita because of the easy and inexpensive bus ride. Since La Cruz is so convenient to get from PV’s airport, we had our friends, Melissa and Ruben, down for a visit.  It is always so nice to see friends from back home.  We took a bus up to Sayulita, a quaint hippy surfing town known for their beach palapa restaurants and surfing schools. Since they were visiting from Seattle, they brought a gift for us…rain and clouds!  We hadn’t seen rain since we left San Diego!  That didn’t deter us from enjoying ourselves so we took a bus ride up to Sayulita.


Melissa, Ruben and Pea getting wet in Sayulita


Sayulita beach during our wet beach walk


Downtown Sayulita in the pouring rain


At least we got an amazing rainbow in payment for the rain and clouds.


Double rainbow over the La Cruz Marina

And when the clouds and rain cleared up we took at trip into Old Puerto Vallarta and explored the city a bit.  We really enjoyed this part of Puerto Vallarta because of its beautiful beach, historic buildings and streets and interesting art work.  This is much better than Neuvo Vallarta and Paradise Village, which has a very sterile and “Americanized” feeling.


Walking along the malecon in Old Puerto Vallarta


View of the breakers along the malecon in Old Puerto Vallarta


Patrick trying his first tamarind-flavored margarita based upon Ruben’s recommendation…yes it was quite yummy!

This February was our second wedding anniversary Smile and it was my turn to plan our celebration, which wasn’t too hard since there is so much to explore and experience in this area of Mexico.  And so I surprised Patrick with a surf lesson in Sayulita. We decided to use Patricia’s Surf School, which is located right on the beach. Edgar, our teacher, gave us land-based instructions before we hopped into the water to try and catch some waves.  The small surf allowed us to get up quickly and we had such a blast that we decided to make more time for surfing and consider buying our first boards. Smile

Sayulita sunny

Sayulita’s beach after our surfing lesson….enjoying mas guacamole and tatopos


Sayulita’s local surfers at the school enjoying the sunny evening on the beach


Sayulita’s beach just as the sun begins to vanish behind the hills

So what’s next for Deep Playa and her crew?  The month of March will be a busy one…there is a regatta from March 2 through the 18th, Regatta Copa Mexico http://www.regatacopamexico.com/, which is a HUGE event including J24 races, kite surfing, laser and big 80 foot yacht races, which is held in PV and La Cruz on the Bahia de Banderas.  Many of the boats and events are taking place in La Cruz Marina and right outside the anchorage.  So we will be hanging out here to watch the boats racing and hopefully hitch a ride on some viewing boats to get close up to the action.  The entire town is being beautified for this event and is quickly being transformed into a clean and well-primped world-class marina.  There is also a big Stand Up Paddle (SUP) and longboard surfing contest in Sayulita http://puntasayulitasurfclassic.com/ that we want to watch.  So our cup runeth over for the month of March.  After March, it all depends on the weather, but we plan on making our way back north to La Paz and up the Sea of Cortez.