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Appreciating the Art and Culture of Puerto Vallarta

DESTINATION | Published on 24/10/2018
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One of the greatest rewards of traveling to a foreign country is experiencing its culture firsthand. When it comes to things to do in Puerto Vallarta, taking the opportunity to explore the city and soak in the art and culture of Puerto Vallarta is an enriching activity that can teach you an incredible amount about the world around you. When you visit Puerto Vallarta on your next Mexico vacation, dive into Mexican culture by taking the time to appreciate the art of Puerto Vallarta that can be seen splashed throughout the city. 

The art of Puerto Vallarta is modern but draws on the traditions of Mexican and international artists. During high season, galleries open their doors on Wednesday nights, serving drinks and appetizers as visitors wander through to gaze at the Mexican art, which includes paintings and sculptures, on display. This casual night is one of the popular things to do in Puerto Vallarta that allows you to go and look at what artists in the city are creating and to get a taste of the culture of Puerto Vallarta. All the galleries are in the heart of the city and are all within walking distance of each other. For more information and a map of participating galleries, visit their website.

The art of Puerto Vallarta isn’t limited to galleries. Some of the greatest pieces of modern Mexican art can be found outside on the walls. These massive murals are painted by local artists to showcase their talents and heritage, beautifying the streets throughout the city and bringing joy and color into all parts of Puerto Vallarta. These paintings will give you a glimpse into Mexican culture, but for more information on the artists and their works, check out the PV Street Art website.

As you walk through the city, you’ll also be able to see the public art of Puerto Vallarta. Around the city and along the Malecon are sculptures, some of which were created as far back as 1984 and as some as recent as 2018. When you pass one of these statues, take a moment to stop and enjoy the Mexican art and think about the story that goes along with each piece. You can find their location and read more online about these amazing sculptures and the culture of Puerto Vallarta that inspired them.

A guide to the art of Puerto Vallarta wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the intricate artwork of the Huichols, a group of indigenous peoples that still inhabit the area and are extremely important to Mexican culture. Huichol art includes beaded sculptures and handmade jewelry. When you visit Puerto Vallarta, you’ll find a number of different shops along the Malecon and throughout town that display and sell Huichol art for all to enjoy. As you peruse these shops, take a moment to appreciate the amount of detail that goes into each unique piece and if you want the perfect souvenir from your trip, take home a sculpture, bracelet, pair of earrings, or even a ring. 

Depending on the time of year you visit Puerto Vallarta, you can participate in local cultural festivals that are taking place. At the beginning of the year, you can watch Fiestas Patronales in Bucerias, Nayarit when fishermen deck out their boats in bright neon colors to carry the Torch of Peace to Mary as they request a prosperous year. Throughout the year, there are also cultural activities in Puerto Vallarta that celebrate international holidays, like Easter and Christmas. Perhaps the most special cultural festivals to see are the ones that celebrate Mexican culture and holidays, like Independence Day in September, Dia de Muertos in November, and the Virgin of Guadalupe during the first two weeks of December. As you prepare to visit Puerto Vallarta, check out the official tourism guide to see upcoming events and things to do in Puerto Vallarta.

During many of these cultural activities in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll see vast amounts of people dancing and hear all types of music being played. Traditional dancing is one of the most exciting cultural activities in Puerto Vallarta to see. All year long, the city invites musicians and dancers to perform live in the plaza in front of the cathedral on Wednesday nights. Every May, dancers travel from around Mexico and America to showcase different types of Mexican dances in one of the most lively and entertaining international cultural festivals: the Puerto Vallarta Folkloric Dance Festival.

Watch and participate in these cultural activities in Puerto Vallarta to gain a better understanding and appreciation of Mexican culture because cultural experiences are what traveling is all about. Take advantage of being in a foreign country to celebrate the traditions of the past and learn about the people around you. This will make your Mexico vacation truly memorable and rewarding.

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