While you might not typically think of tropical beaches as the best places to spend Christmas, holiday traditions are festive and cheery in the coastal town of Puerto Vallarta. As the Christmas season approaches, the city streets light up with decorations, and families and friends gather to exchange gifts and eat traditional foods. When you spend Christmas vacation in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll get to experience a unique part of the city and the warm Mexican culture traditions that make the Christmas and holiday season so special.
The Christmas and holiday season kicks off with a celebration of the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico. This vision of the Virgin Mary first appeared to a humble indigenous man named Juan Diego over 400 years ago, and today, the first twelve days of December and of the Christmas season celebrate her. On these nights of winter in Puerto Vallarta, families and churches make a pilgrimage to the downtown cathedral with long processionals filled with dancing and music, the most important Mexican Christmas traditions. As you wander the streets and watch the festivities, street vendors will offer you traditional tamales and hot chocolate to keep you warm. Being a part of all this festiveness makes Puerto Vallarta one of the best places to spend Christmas in Mexico.
Mexican Christmas traditions focus on family and friends, and in the weeks leading up to Christmas Eve in Puerto Vallarta, thousands of invitations to posadas will be sent out. These parties range from small gatherings of friends to large corporate banquets. Traditionally, many posadas include a reenactment of the nativity story as well as a large meal and gift giving. If you’re spending Christmas vacation in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll be able to attend posadas at resorts and restaurants around town.
At posadas or in the streets as you walk through town, you’ll see some traditional brightly colored piñatas that are important Mexican culture traditions. With seven points coming off of them, this Christmas star represents the Seven Deadly Sins, and breaking it open is a way to symbolically destroy them. For kids, the sweet treats inside make the piñatas an exciting part of the Christmas season.
While some cultures eat their big holiday meal on Christmas Day, the Mexican Christmas traditions focus around Christmas Eve. All day, families cook traditional tamales, stir pozole soup, and roast meats for dinner on Christmas Eve in Puerto Vallarta. Many of these parties last until midnight, welcoming in Christmas Day, and sweet treats, like buñuelos and ponche navideño, help keep everyone awake. For your Christmas vacation in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll be treated to festive parties at local resorts on Christmas Eve.
The Christmas and holiday season in Mexico doesn’t end on December 25. Dia de los Reyes, or the Day of Epiphany, is celebrated on January 6. This day is for sharing rosca de reyes with family and friends in honor of the Three Wise Men. Within this flaky pastry, plastic babies representing Jesus are hidden, and whoever finds one has to bring tamales for everyone on February 2, on Candlemas. If you’re spending winter in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll get to experience these tasty Mexican culture traditions.
Whether you’re watching the processionals or sharing dinner on Christmas Eve in Puerto Vallarta, you’ll have all the cheeriness of the holiday season with the mild temperatures of a tropical winter in Puerto Vallarta, making it truly one of the best places to spend Christmas.