La Cruz de Huanacaxtle – Bucerias

Also known as Puerto Vallarta North Shore or Riviera Nayarit - Reviewed by Lisa

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With miles of wide, golden sandy beaches and a recently-built marina, the twin towns of Bucerias-La Cruz de Huanacaxtle create a hub for visitors of varied interests and tastes. The long stretch of beach that connects the two towns is safe for walking, swimming and for watching the incredible sunsets.

With great restaurants offering everything from traditional Mexican fare to European and Asian specialties, trendy shops, markets, superstores and plenty to do – you can be assured of a carefree experience.


  • 45 minutes from Puerto Vallarta International Airport
  • 15 minutes from Punta Mita
  • 3-1/2 hour drive from Guadalajara


Bucerias, meaning “place of divers”, is one of the most-visited destinations of the Riviera Nayarit. You, too, will be enchanted by this traditional Mexican town with its cobblestone streets, brightly-colored homes and quaint, charming church and plaza.

The wide, sandy beach is the perfect spot for those who love to sail, kayak or jet-ski or simply stroll along the shore. You’ll find a great selection of restaurants bordering the beach with menus ranging from typical Mexican fare to sophisticated dining.

Play a few rounds at one of the nearby golf courses. Take a tour of the crocodile sanctuary at El Cora. Or visit the Marietta Islands, a protected bird sanctuary filled with caves and unique hidden beaches located just off the tip of Punta de Mita.

Bucerias has become a commercial hub for the area and offers many different shops and services.

In the middle of town sits a flea market where you can find numerous stalls offering typical souvenirs such as silver jewelry, clothing and traditional Mexican handicrafts.

The local village market, which takes place on Sundays, is located on a dry riverbed near the underpass.  This market is geared towards locals – so if you’re looking for authenticity, this is the place to find it.


  • Water sports: Activities range from scuba diving, sport fishing, para-sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, deep sea diving and spear fishing.
  • Gym: Yoga, exercise gyms, Pilates studios, Zumba classes… Bucerias has everything you need to work on that perfect beach bod!
  • Golf: Tee off at Flamingos, the oldest golf course in the area. Other world-class golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman are just minutes away in the Punta de Mita Area or in Nuevo Vallarta.
  • Beach: The town boasts the longest beach in the Bahia de Banderas – over 5 miles (8 km) of golden sand. The shallow water and moderate surf provide the perfect conditions for swimming and boogie boarding.
  • Food and Gastronomy: Bars and restaurants where you can relax with an ice-cold margarita line the sandy shores.
  • Horseback Riding: With stables in Bucerias, a beach ride is always an authentic Mexican experience.

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle

La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a quiet fishing village named for a large wooden cross that used to stand at the entrance to the village. The cross was made of wood from the huanacaxtle, or parota, tree – a hardwood tree native to this area of Pacific Mexico.

La Cruz still exudes typical Mexican charm, but these days its port has expanded into a world-class marina. Located right at the heart of the village, the Riviera Nayarit Marina is now a favorite destination for recreational sailing and motor vessels of every size: from multimillion-dollar yachts to a fleet of colourful fishing pangas that still pull in the fresh catch of the day.

You’ll delight in a trip to the fish market where you’ll find chefs from local restaurants haggling with local housewives over who gets what cut of still-flopping fish. This is as fresh as it gets – definitely a must for the food lover who wants to try his / her own hand at a truly Mexican Ceviche recipe or even a whole Zareandeado.

Every Sunday, La Cruz is home to one of the most popular farmers’ markets in the area. Fishermen can be found here rubbing shoulders with tourists, reggae musicians, artists and any number of creative types. Vendors congregate here to offer everything from fancy soap to exotic food to tropical local flowers to amazing, unique works of art. If you need a special gift to take home – this is your one-stop-shopping venue.

The town square is located just a block from the marina. Nearby, you’ll find a number of shops, art galleries, gourmet restaurants, bistros and galleries. The quaint little town of La Cruz with its cobblestone streets and slow pace of life offers a peaceful, more authentic, Mexican lifestyle.


  • Water sports: Activities range from scuba diving, sport fishing, para-sailing, jet skiing, water skiing, deep sea diving and spear fishing.
  • Hiking and biking: Miles of safe trails to explore.
  • Marina: Marina Riviera Nayarit is a full-service marina with over 340 slips ranging from 30′ up to 400′ feet, a fuel station, marine store, rigging & welding services, a shipyard, pump-out station, public dinghy dock, service docks, restaurants, laundry services and sailing schools. It is also home to the Sunday Farmers’ Market.