La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, Marina Club
Marina Riviera Nayarit, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Mexico
This seaside town, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, has been a fishing village for generations and has become a bit more modernized thanks to the largest and most modern Marina on the Nayarit coast. Riviera Nayarit Marina helped create a Nayarit destination that balances the traditional life of a Mexican “Pueblo” with the benefits of modern development.
So, when you visit this town that the locals call “La Cruz” (The Cross), you’ll witness postcard-worthy scenery, including fishermen arriving at the pier on pangas (local boats) loaded with various fishes and wonderful sunsets, as well as beautiful modern yachts and boats silhouetted against the blue sky.
So, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a quiet small fisherman town (total population: 4169 inhabitants, 2020 census) located in the state of Nayarit, north of Puerto Vallarta.
La Cruz Marina, Marina Riviera Nayarit, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Panorama
It’s between Punta de Mita and Bucerías, closer to Bucerías and is, more or less, 30 minutes from downtown Puerto Vallarta, depending on if you drive, you take a bus or a taxi, the last one is the option that’ll get you there fastest…
La Cruz has now become much more relevant as part of a larger tourist development called Riviera Nayarit. In 2008 the harbor of La Cruz was renovated and is now called Marina Riviera Nayarit, a modern marina with 340 slips that can accommodate vessels from 31 to 400 feet.
Marina de La Cruz de Huanacaxtle of Riviera Nayarit
La Cruz is:
- 4 miles from Bucerías
- 11 miles from Punta de Mita
- 12 miles from Nuevo Vallarta
- 20 miles from downtown Puerto Vallarta
The name of the town, translated as Cross of Huanacaxtle, comes from a cross that was located in the town’s entrance, which was made from a tree called Huanacaxtle or Parota (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), which is also called Oreja de Elefante (Elephant ear) in other parts of America.
The cross of Huanacaxtle wood at La Cruz
The town itself was founded in the 1930s by the Chávez family that still lives in the town. The town is known as “La Cruz” to the locals and is a picturesque rustic village.
Marina Nayarit, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
For those interested in a more laid-back vacation or place to retire, together with Bucerías, this cobblestone street town offers a more Mexican and less mainstream lifestyle.
Main Square of La Cruz Huanacaxtle, Nayarit
The weather in La Cruz is cooler than what the beaches down the coast offer. La Cruz, thanks to its Marina and harbor is a favorite for boater visitors from the US, Canada and Europe, some of which have established themselves in the town, bringing with them an array of businesses, so you can now enjoy a Huichol Indian Art Gallery, cafés, various international food restaurants, local charity events, plus the local eateries and stores.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle has many beautiful beaches, the own local beach, called La Manzanilla, known for its calm waters and the great food you’ll find in the beachside palapa restaurants.
Close by you’ll have access to Destiladeras beach and Careyeros, plus Bucerías, the further north you have easy access to Sayulita, San Pancho, Chacala, Chacalilla, Rincón de Guayabitos and La Peñita.
Plaza La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
An important part of the attractions are the golden beaches and sands of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. La Cruz offers a total of three miles of beaches that are divided into five parts:
La Manzanilla Beach
La Manzanilla Beach is the most popular beach of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Although the beach measures a total of 2800 feet (0.53 miles), the area most people recognize as La Manzanilla is a 560 foot stretch that goes from the breakwater by Vista Hermosa Restaurant to the breakwater separating the Alamar Beach Club.
The beach is in the southern part of town, some 5 minutes from the town’s main square.
Read the full La Manzanilla Beach article
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Beach
The beach measures a total of 2950 feet (0.55 miles) and offers an 80 feet wide stretch of grey-golden sand. There are a few breakwaters along the way that help corral the sand in and keep a swimmable and shallow stretch of family-friendly beach. The beach is located in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, 5 minutes from La Cruz’s square and adjacent to the eastern limit of Marina Riviera Nayarit.
Read the full La Cruz de Huanacaxtle Beach article
La Cruz Fish Market
The La Cruz Fish Market is a great place to go to buy fresh fish and other sea produce. It’s the place the local fishermen sell their daily catch. You can find all kinds of local fish, like Tuna, Pargo, Mahi-Mahi, Huachinango, Mojarras, Sierra, shrimp, lobsters, oysters and more. If you want fresh, this is the place. The variety changes with the season and the fishermen’s luck. You’ll need to talk some Spanish, maybe bring a local friend along to translate. The fishermen know quite well how to get the best out of the fish. They will even expertly filet them for you. It will also be a fun little side trip if you have kids.
- Calle del Mar #4, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit, México
- Open all days of the week: 8:30 AM – 3:30 PM
La Cruz Sunday Market (Mercado La Cruz de Huanacaxtle)
A place where the locals sell their produce including farmers and artisans from all over Jalisco and Nayarit, located right beside the Fish Market, by the Marina walkway.
FB PageSunday 9:00 AM – 2:00 PM (High season)
Riviera Nayarit Marina
Riviera Nayarit Marina, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
When you visit La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, experience a beautiful sunset while tasting margaritas at the Sky Bar located in the marina area.
The Riviera Nayarit Marina is the most modern terminal in the Mexican Pacific Ocean and can accommodate 400 vessels ranging from 30 to 400 feet. The Marina terminal is equipped with all the services needed for a comfortable stay: bathrooms and showers, security, electricity and a fuel station.
This modern La Cruz development includes a yacht club, business center, bar and restaurant, seafood market and a pier. It also has one of the best-equipped shipyards in the country, including the largest travel lift in the Pacific Ocean. Further development of this area of Nayarit Riviera includes plans to provide commercial space for the many well-known brands and also apartments and restaurants in the terminal.
Places to stay in La Cruz
Aerial view La Cruz de Huanacaxtle & Marina (2010)
- Frascati La Cruz
Italian food, grill and more
Langosta 10 La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Nayarit
Aerial view of the Marina La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
La Cruz location map