La Cruz and Puerto Vallarta: Yoga, Art, & Good Food

La Cruz and Puerto Vallarta: Yoga, Art, & Good Food

We only spent a week in La Cruz, but it was easy to see why cruisers gravitate there. The cruising community is strong. Several people came over to help us with dock lines when we first arrived, so we instantly felt welcomed. When we arrive in a new place, Philippe and Keith like to take what they call a “dock walk”. They walk along each dock, look at all of the boats, and take mental notes on things like intriguing boat features and organizational techniques we could apply on Untangled. Philippe and Keith judge the strength of the community by how far they need to walk before they are invited aboard for a beer. In La Cruz, they only made it 3 boats. A big thanks to our new friends on S/V Woody for the delicious drinks, and to S/V Grace for showing us a great dinner spot and sharing stories of everything we still have to look forward to in Southern Mexico!

Marina Riviera Nayarit in La Cruz has a number of great features. My personal favorites were morning Yoga (the cost is a donation to a local dog neutering program), a great book exchange area (I picked up Condoleezza Rice’s memoir from her time in the White House), and decent WiFi in the cruiser’s “VIP lounge”. They also hosted a few seminars during the day. Philippe went to a scuba seminar hosted by S/V Scuba Ninja. We wish we were in La Cruz longer so that we could have taken a scuba certification class with them! In any case, we were only in La Cruz for about four days.

We did the quick jaunt to Puerto Vallarta on Valentines Day. Keith was flying out the next day, and it gave me and Philippe a few days to settle in before his parents showed up.

Marina Puerto Vallarta is mostly filled with large power boats. It’s also surrounded by lots of touristy shops and restaurants, but it’s a nice area with lots of great services. There is at least one crocodile that hangs out in the marina. Did you know crocodiles can jump straight out of the water? They can. Did you know that sometimes if they are hungry they will grab unsuspecting dogs right off of the dock? They will (I’ll skip the video evidence for this one). As a result, we carried Yuki every time we were on the docks. I’m sure all of our friendly Mexican boat neighbors thought we were nuts carrying our cream puff of a dog around, but I had an irrational fear of him getting eaten by a crocodile, and it was not going to happen on our watch.

Don’t even think about it, cocodrilo!

We had a wonderful week with Philippe’s parents. We started off the week with a walk through Old Town and the Romantic District, plus a great meal at Joe Jack’s Fish Shack. On Sunday, we took an amazing trip to the botanical gardens. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize they were pet friendly! Yuki missed his shot at smelling flowers and catching butterflies, but we really loved seeing the exotic plants, hiking on the Jaguar Trail (no sightings for us!), and swimming in the river. I had Monday off for President’s Day, so we took Untangled out to Los Arcos for a day of snorkeling and whale watching. Ann and Louis Henri jumped in the water and had a great time exploring the caves and the area surrounding the Los Arcos islands.

Botanical Garden Selfie
One of the greenhouses at the botanical gardens
Just your average tree roots.
Swimming in the river along the botanical garden hiking path
Spotting a whale!
Family photo!

I spent my weekdays at Vallarta Co-Work, a super cool space right near Old Town. For $220 pesos I got space at a desk (or on a hammock or couch), access to the kitchen, and fast WiFi. Co-working communities are always great, and it was nice to connect with other people who were traveling or living in Puerto Vallarta but working for companies based elsewhere. While working there, one of the co-working space co-founders, Chase Buckner, asked if I’d talk about my life as a “digital nomad” on his podcast, Webbing the Surf. Check it out!

The view from my “desk” at Vallarta Co-Work.

We found a number of fun things to do in the evenings, including Wednesday’s Art Walk and Thursday’s Craft Market. We ate really great food. Ann and Louis Henri sat through a time share presentation, and were rewarded with a 4-hour fishing trip for the four of us in the Bay. We were unsuccessful, but we did see some whales!

This is right in front of Ann & Louis Henri’s hotel, and you can see Untangled’s black mast in the background!
Fishing lines in the water.

At the end of the week, Ann & Louis Henri waved us goodbye as we departed for Barra de Navidad, our first passage without crew.

Right before our departure from PV.

La Cruz Details

Cell phone connectivity – Cell connectivity was fine for Verizon and Telcel.

Wi-Fi – Even with our booster, the Wi-Fi at Marina Riviera Nayarit didn’t reach to out our boat. Luckily, if I posted up in the Cruiser’s Lounge it was fine.

Restaurants – I loved the German food at Black Forest. Partially just because we haven’t had any German food since arriving in Mexico, but also just because it was all really good. They also brew their own beers! Marina Riviera Nayarit also had a couple restaurants, and La Peska was surprisingly good. The prices were a little higher, as they often are at marina restaurants, but the quality matched the price. We never made it there, but we heard great things about Tacos on the Street.

 

Puerto Vallarta Details

Cell phone connectivity – Cell connectivity was fine for Verizon and Telcel.

Wi-Fi – The marina Wi-Fi was no good for us. Luckily, there are a number of restaurants nearby that offer free Wi-Fi with strong signals. I spent a lot of time at the Starbucks and Moyo Frozen Yogurt. Of course, I would also highly recommend Vallarta Co-Work.

Restaurants – We had great meals at Joe Jack’s Fish Shack and 8 Tostadas (try the seafood soup!). We went back to both twice, which says something. My favorite restaurant visit, though, was Tintoque. It’s on the pricey side, but the small plates are all so good. The owner and chef are both young, and I have a soft spot for open kitchens where you can watch the action. The menu changes regularly, but we ate family-style and enjoyed everything. Don’t skip dessert. You know a meal is good when the table next to you waits to catch the chef’s eye after their meal so that they can give him a round of applause!

Things to Do – I would highly recommend the Botanical Gardens and Wednesday Night Art Walk in Old Town. Both are a bit touristy, but very worth the time. 

One thought on “

La Cruz and Puerto Vallarta: Yoga, Art, & Good Food

  1. Don & I were in Barra almost 40 years ago – it was pretty primitive then. Will look forward to your report on it!

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