Cruz de Huanacaxtle


"Cruz de Juanacaxtle," the official name, ("The Cross of Huanacaxtle") is a Mexican fishing village situated on the Pacific Ocean's Bahia de Banderas in the state of Nayarit. It is situated approximately 25 km (15.5 miles) north of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco. The town name comes from a cross that is made of Huanacaxtle wood (also known as "parota") which is located at the town's entrance. The town was founded in the 1930s by the Chavez family, who still live in La Cruz. In 2008, a major renovation of the harbor was completed and now hosts a marina, Marina Rivera Nayarit, capable of handling vessels of all sizes up to 400 feet in length. The streets in la Cruz are primarily named after fish and fishing: Langosta (lobster), Marlin, Pescador (fishermen), Atun (tuna), Dorado (mahi mahi), Pez Vela (sailfish), Cameron (shrimp), Huachinango (red snapper), Tiburon (shark).


Banderas Bay

Bahía de Banderas

The Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay) on the Pacific Ocean is bounded on the north by Punta Mita (Mita Point), and on the south by Cabo Corrientes (Cape Corrientes). Its coastline is approximately 100 kilometres (62 mi) long. Though locally regarded so, it is not the largest bay in Mexico.

Tourism is very important to the local economies, and the Bahía de Banderas coast is an important location of tourist facilities development in both states. Puerto Vallarta has been the longstanding primary resort destination and cruise ship port of the bay. However, beyond the city on the long 100 kilometres (62 mi) coastline, other attractive beaches and landscapes have since been developed to serve visitors.

Bahía de Banderas (Banderas Bay) is also an important breeding and birthing ground for the Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae).

Map of the Municipality of Bahía de Banderas, with towns.

Municipality of Bahía de Banderas

The Municipality of Bahía de Banderas in Nayarit state has a total area of 773.3 km². It was created in 1989. Its westernmost headland is Punta Mita, to the south it is on the Bahía de Banderas, and northwards it is on the open Pacific Ocean.

The municipality had a population of 83,739 in 2005 (59,808 in 2000). The long valley of Banderas, and abundance of water, allow for extensive cattle raising. The mountains contain an important ecological reserve in the eastern section.


On the north the Municipality of Bahía de Banderas borders Compostela in Nayarit, on the east the state of Jalisco, on the south the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco, and on the west the Bahía de Banderas and Pacific Ocean.


The municipal seat is the town of Valle de Banderas, with a population of 5,057 in 2005. Other towns are San Juan de Abajo (8,159), Bucerías (5,711), San José del Valle (5,188), San Vicente (3,543), Jarretaderas (3,426) and Cruz de Huanacaxtle (1,621).


The municipality's economy is based on tourism, sea fishing, and agriculture.

The main crops are corn (maize), beans, sorghum, tobacco, rice, watermelon and mango. Exotic fruits like papaya, litchi, and guanábana are also grown. Most of the planted area is irrigated. There are several packing houses for papaya and other fruits.