La Cruz seems to be the perfect distance from the city of Puerto Vallarta. It is not too close to have lots of tourists and mega resort complexes and everything else that comes along with that i.e Starbucks and MacDonald’s. Yet it is close enough that it is only a 35 minute bus ride to any and everything that a major city has to offer. In La Cruz you can visit any number of places to have your morning coffee. The difference is that it is probably going to be on someone’s porch or on the sidewalk in front of the home of a local entrepreneur. There are many, many small grocery stores all throughout the town and they have nearly anything you will need to fill your pantries. They are called tiendas and what stands out about the most to me is that they are tiny. The average tienda is no bigger than a small city apartment, yet they have fantastic selections of fresh foods as well as basic staples. And if you don’t find what you are looking for there is another tienda less than a 3 minute walk away that has much of the same and some different options. Local farmers are always walking in with crates of fresh vegetables and fruits selling directly to the tienda owners. It is really great to see and be a part of the supply chain of the food we are eating. There are also many small restaurants in the La Cruz. And again I mean small. Our favorite in La Cruz was called Organic Love. They had a total of one table inside the restaurant itself and another three tables on the sidewalk outside. They had a fantastic menu that offered a large selection of breakfast and lunch options. Alexander had an amazing quinoa and black bean salad. Victoria and Ashley would always get smoothie bowls with fresh fruits and seeds and it came with freshly baked bread. I had a few different meals but the best was the vegetable spring rolls. The owner/operator’s name was Alef and she was so helpful and happy each time we would visit or just walk by. She also was very helpful and patient when we would try to speak Spanish. Her father is a local surgeon who believes in holistic healing and that it begins with what you eat. Alef has taken that philosophy and his teaching and created an amazing place to get a super healthy meal. One of our other favorite places was the lavandaria. There were places to have your laundry done all throughout the town. The place we choose was run by Maria and close to the town plaza. She was so delightful and she knew all our names and our boat name on our first visit. We could drop off 4 or 5 loads of laundry and she would have it all done and folded by the end of the day for less than $10. We have a washer on the boat but we thought that using her service was a perfect way to participate in the local economy and free up some of our time. Win Win. One of the other things we really liked about the town of La Cruz was all the murals throughout town. At any given time there is a local artist working on a new or improving on an existing mural. They all seem to be so happy to be participating in the beautification of their town. Lastly, I wanted to mention the dogs. As I have said before there are many dogs that are not either on a leash or confined to their yards. It seems that there is not a single street in the town that does not have at least one dog to greet you as you walk through town. Sometimes there is a pack of dogs. At first it can be a little intimidating, but after three weeks of wondering through town and meeting dozens of loose dogs we have not encountered even one that was slightly aggressive. Even when we have Ranger with us there has not been one incident of aggression toward him or us. It seems that La Cruz is not just full of wonderful, kind and welcoming people, their dogs are just the same.
La Cruz – Part Dos