Colour, Music and Enchantment
Mexico is a country with a thousand faces – from the beautiful beaches along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, to the colourful towns of Oaxaca and Guadalajara and the world-famous ruins at Chichen Itzá. But it is within the small villages and indigenous communities that you will find the heart of Mexico and discover exactly what it is that makes this country so special.
The Riviera Nayarit or “The Mexican Riviera” is situated along the Pacific Coast and includes the beautiful city of Puerto Vallarta, a place that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once called home. The region is home to an abundance of authentic indigenous life, with many Indian villages and a prominent Huichol community. These villages are scattered along the coastline and situated close to one another, framed by the beautiful Pacific waters on one side and the dramatic Sierra Madre mountain range on the other with sugar cane fields and papaya, mango and tobacco farms tucked in between.
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
Named “the enchanted towns” by the Mexican Tourism Department, these villages embody everything that is authentic about Mexico in a region where the views are as lively, bright and full of life as the inhabitants. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is a colourful and vibrant village located around 25 kilometres outside of Puerto Vallarta. As you wander the maze of cobbled streets that make up this charming fishing village, the smell of tortillas fills the air and mingles with the exotic notes emanating from the instruments played by the many street musicians. The Huichol people are notoriously reclusive but if you listen carefully, you will hear the magic of their language from those who come to La Cruz de Huanacaxtle to sell their crafts. Their artistic talent and craftsmanship are astounding and their brightly coloured clothing, handicrafts and jewellery are easy to find in villages across the region, either on market stalls or hanging in art galleries. La Cruz de Huanacaxtle is also home to the largest marina in Central America, making it a popular anchorage spot for passing sailors. It is especially vibrant when the fish and farmers’ markets are taking place, where you can mingle with the locals and sample the fresh catch of the day.
Where to Stay
The Matlali Hotel brings the authentic Mexican ambience into a five-star luxury accommodation, surrounded by immense natural beauty and seemingly endless golden beaches. Its contemporary design rests beautifully against the tropical scenery while the onsite spa includes outdoor treatment rooms with a focus on indigenous traditional healing and rituals. The delectable seafood dishes in the restaurant are excellent examples of why the Riviera is a seafood lovers’ paradise.