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La Cruz 20° 44.903′ N
105° 22.365′ W
The eclectic little town of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is located on the northern shores of Banderas Bay in what the Mexican tourism board refers to as the Riveria Nayarit in the great state of Nayarit Mexico of course. Banderas bay, based on my own very inadequate and most brief research is the 9th largest bay in the world. Located somewhere behind the Bay of Bengal, the Hudson Bay and E-bay of course. I last visited La Cruz via our 40 foot trimaran Windsplitter so this perspective is loosely based on that of a cruisers view of the town since we spent most of our days in La Cruz anchored off shore but did spend a few nights in the Marina and a few nights at a hotel while Ines’s parents visited us.
Entrance to La Cruz Marina from Anchorage
La Cruz Marina
As we sailed towards La Cruz after two weeks off shore in the Revillagigedos islands we were surprised to see that there was a rather large and modern marina located in the town, where once there was a simple break water. All of our rather outdated cruising guides, Rains 6th edition 2003 and Charlies Charts 2005 are now hopelessly out of date in terms of cruising the area. The Marina itself looks to be first class and very secure. I expect this marina to be a very safe place indeed to hold up during a hurricane. All docks had water and electricity although the electricity at our dock failed to work and we were forced to use our neighbors connection.
Water and electricity are metered at the Marina La Cruz so you will pay extra for the utilities you use. We filled up our water tanks, perhaps 50 gallons and the cost was very cheap, I think we paid an extra 15 pesos for water. Far cheaper than Cabo San Lucas were we paid 150 pesos for 50 gallons of water at the Marina. While the marina staff were pleasant we found that the information that they imparted to us was often incorrect or incomplete but that is a common occurance in Mexico and the off season prices for the Marina, we were there in June, were reasonable even though we were charged extra since we are a Trimaran. It cost us 375 pesos for a night at the marina. Excellent insurance in case of a hurricane! The facilities included clean bathrooms and showers, along with a small pool for the kids to swim in and internet service. I would have to say that the internet service was poor. We could never log on to the the Marina connection but the Restaurant above the yacht club was kind enough to give us their log in info but you had to be pretty much right below them in the yacht club to get online.
The marina has a large travel lift so going on the hard looks pretty simple although I did not check rates for pull out services.
About the dingy dock. We must have been at the marina for at least 4 or 5 days before we were approached by a night time security guard who informed us that we had to pay a landing fee of 20 pesos each time we used the dingy dock. We were a bit surprised at that one since we had come and gone freely so often during our time there. After that we kind of felt guilty for never paying. The funny thing is that only certain security guards told us we had to pay and other guards never mentioned the fee at all and it was only at night that anyone mentioned the fee to us. We never did pay for landing the dingy but we did pay for two nights in the marina out of the two weeks we spent in La Cruz.
Night Life & Dining
There are many bars and restaurants in La Cruz. For good bear and free food with every drink you purchase we recommend you try the Huanacaxtle Bar. They have Modelo Negro on tap and damn good Margaritas and Karaoke on Thursday nights.
Philo’s is also another local favorite were you will find good music and plenty of local atmosphere.
For the best tacos in town we recommend two spots. One spot is directly in front of the newest bar in town called Tortuga Beach and the other is one the same street as Philo’s called La Silla Rosa.
Now just east of the marina and boat anchorage lies the small town of Manzanilla, really just a stones throw from La Cruz and about a 10 minute walk. Here you will find several sea food restaurants and a very protected beach where most of the local go to eat. Get there before 6 p.m. during summer since this is when all the restaurants close. We were actually lucky to get there late since this forced us out to the highway to eat at the excellent restaurant called El Coleguito
|Huachinango||View from Coleguita restaurant|
|Best Ocotopus I have ever had!||El Coleguita from higway|
If you are a kite boarder and happen to be sailing then you are in for a real treat since you can easily kite right from your sail boat while anchored in La Cruz. The best kite boarding is some were between late April and the end of June when you get great thermal winds starting usually around late morning or early afternoon and lasting to late afternoon.
Doing down winders from La Cruz to Bucerias is also a very simple affair and I did two down winders from the anchorage to Bucerias. There are actually two launches for kites in La Cruz. The most popular launch site is the beach just west of the Marina and this is where I saw most kites launch from. But you can also launch your kite from the beach that is due north of the anchorage and just east of the breakwater and entrance to Marina La Cruz.