La Cruz, Mexico
Twenty-minutes north of the tourist Mecca of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, lies the town (pueblo) of La Cruz. It's full name being La Cruz de Huanacaxtle (which means the cross of the Huanacaxtle trees), La Cruz is a small and humble Mexican town, typical of those that flourish on the Pacific Coast.
I had the pleasure of being anchored offshore of La Cruz for a few days, while we waited for space to be available at the Nuevo Vallarta Marina nearby.
La Cruz has a few tourist provisions such as a 24-hour pharmacy, a hardware store, a grocery store, a British pub and various low-key hotels. Best of all, La Cruz has many wonderful and diverse restuarants, such as the Black Forest restaurant, where they serve scrumptious German food (a rarity in Mexico).
A great place to stay in La Cruz is the La Cruz Bungalows. We checked out this place when we expored the tiny town and looked so cute. Check out the website link above and you'll see what a cheerful place it would be to languidly pass a few days, especially at a festive time such as Navidad (Christmas).
Because La Cruz is such a small town, it's the perfect place to get away. There will be no crowds on the cobblestone streets, no peddlers hawking their wares on the fine-sanded beach and no sunburned tourists walking around in droves. When we were there we saw only Mexicans and one Gringo (not counting the two Gringas below).
That's not to say that tourism doesn't exist. But instead of countless holiday-seekers, foreigners come to La Cruz to snatch up properties that would be too expensive to buy in nearby Puerto Vallarta. The real estate business is booming in and the town is struggling to catch up, which why you will see wonderful new houses on dirt roads.
The best part of La Cruz is the fact that it is a typical Mexican town. Stroll around the wavering streets and you will come across meandering chickens, goats following children on bikes, families hanging out in their doorways, roadside vendors selling tacos, dogs lazing in the dirt, teenagers hanging out on the streets, kids playing in the water and neighbours talking to each other over the fence.
The only problem we had with La Cruz was the fact that a huge marina is being constructed there. Now, this will great for us boaters when it is finally completed next year, but because it is under construction, the beach area around the marina was off-limits.
I also have to wonder what a huge marina, as well as the accompanying condo developments and hotel, will do to the area. I have a feeling that if I come back to La Cruz in a year or two, it will be completely different. Whether the influx of tourism and development will be good for the locals, that remains to be seen.