Of all the vibrant places to visit during your vacation in Puerto Vallarta, the Malecon is the most iconic. Located in the heart of the city, the Malecon of Puerto Vallarta is a gathering spot for locals and visitors where they can spend their day strolling by the sea, shopping in galleries and markets, and eating the freshest seafood in town. While enjoying an afternoon or evening here has been considered one of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta for years, there is constantly something new and exciting taking place in downtown Puerto Vallarta along the Malecon.
Throughout the year, the sights along the Malecon of Puerto Vallarta are constantly changing to reflect the seasons and holidays. During Dia de Muertos, giant catrinas, traditional Mexican skeletons in Victorian dress, stand along the boardwalk, overlooking the bay. As Christmas approaches, lights and decorations begin to glow in the evenings and parades take place just two block up from the Malecon, making for great evenings of culture, art, and fun. When Mexico’s Independence Day arrives in September, banners of red, white, and green flutter in the tropical breeze and announce the city’s patriotism. These festive decorations bring a constant fresh look to downtown Puerto Vallarta.
One of the reasons this is the most scenic place to walk in the city is the lifesize sculptures nestled between the swaying palm trees. From mermaids to seahorses, each artwork draws its inspiration from the sea and the magic of the city. One of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is to stop and snap a couple unique photos of your vacation with the larger than life statues, especially if you climb the towering ladder or sit in one of the sea-creature chairs.
The art and performances along the Malecon show off the best of Mexican culture. In addition to the statues, there’s live performances daily, increasing more and more during high season. From the Flying Men of Papantla to the music and dance performances in the plaza in front of the church at night, there’s something to see everywhere you look, making it a festive and exciting place to walk. In the evenings, traditional drummers and dancers make their way through the crowds as men serenade visitors with Mexican music. Stopping to watch these performances will show you the rich history and culture of the country, giving you an even stronger appreciation for the beauty of Puerto Vallarta.
One of the best things to do in Puerto Vallarta is discover the little markets that pop up around the city. In downtown Puerto Vallarta, vendors set up their booths selling handmade jewelry, bright paintings of the city, traditional crafts, and unique Mexican trinkets that you can take home as a gift or reminder of your vacation. Along the Malecon of Puerto Vallarta is the Rio Cuale that flows into the sea. On the sidewalk next to the river are a couple markets where you can get lost in a maze of vendors and find the perfect treasure to take home with you. One of the newly reopened places to visit during your vacation in Puerto Vallarta along the Malecon is the Saturday Olas Altas market in Lazaro Cardenas Park, where local artisans sell homemade bagels, sauces, produce, and jewelry. The goods here are incredibly unique and well crafted, making them the perfect gifts for friends, family, or even for yourself.
The Malecon isn’t just the best place to walk for a pleasant afternoon, but it’s also the route many parades walk throughout the year. In the days leading up to Christmas, the processionals for the Virgin Mary will wind their way through downtown Puerto Vallarta to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the central church along the Malecon and at the heart of the city’s skyline. For Easter, Independence Day, Mardi Gras, and Dia de los Muertos, you can also watch dancers, floats, and musicians make their way along or near the Malecon.
Of all the culturally vibrant places to visit during your vacation in Puerto Vallarta, the Malecon has it all. From artwork to markets, restaurants to music, you’ll never be bored if you spend a day here. With its pulsating energy of music, art, and life, it’s the heartbeat of the city.