Puerto Vallarta was a thriving
Mexican village with an economy of fishing,
agriculture and mining. Tourism is now its main
industry due to its climate, beaches, scenery and
cultural history. (Coolcaesar,
The Bay of Banderas, with PV as its
center, has a 100 kilometer coastline around which tourist
resorts and activities are located.
Puerto Vallarta boomed as
a tourist destination in the 1970s and 80s with development
of transportation infrastructure and global-brand
Marina Vallarta is a modern planned
development with upmarket resorts, shops, restaurants, a
luxury marina and a golf course.
The Muelle de Cruceros
serves as a pier for water taxis and fishing boats.
Adventure tours and vendors are active in this area.
The Church of Our Lady of
Guadalupe with its iconic crown anchors the central plaza
and downtown core. It celebrates its 100th anniversary this
The Cuale River divides
the downtown area and the romantic zone. Three pedestrian
bridges offer views of local homes lining the river, an
island with a cultural center and museum, and children
enjoying the water.
The cobblestone streets of PV are lined
with interesting shops and restaurants.
The waterfront esplanade, the Malecon,
runs along a 1.6 kilometer stretch of Los Muertos
beach. Locals and tourists gather to sample street food and
view street performances.
The pleasant walk on the Malecon affords
views of the beach, the architecture and the numerous
sculptures, such as this Nature as Mother.
The arches on the Malecon
were brought from a hacienda in Guadalajara. They serve as a
backdrop to an open air theater.
The Friendship Fountain (1987)
Vallarta Dancers (2006)
The Boy on the Seahorse (1976)
Since the 1970s Vallarta has added at least
30 sculptural creations along the Malecon and throughout the
A lot of street art
adorns the walls and store fronts, many with themes about
natural beauty, human diversity and indigenous wisdom.
In the Parque de
los Azuelos, mosaic-tiled pillars and benches commemorate
people, places and events.
Papantla flyers perform
acrobatics while rotating on ropes down from a high pole.
Indigenous dancers and
drummers perform on the beach.
During the Day of the Dead holiday
on November 2, family and friends gather to
remember and pray for those who have
died and to support their spiritual journey.
Our Lady of Guadalupe (a
vision of Mary appearing in 1531) is an important religious
and national symbol.
Devotion is shown by pilgrimages and
processions during the Lady of Guadalupe Festival from December 1 to 12.
Sand sculptures on the
beach attest to the growing concern about the environmental
impacts and challenges of tourism in the region.