The Puerto Vallarta Malecón Boardwalk of Banderas Bay

The Puerto Vallarta Malecón is one of the most visited boardwalks on the entire Latin American west coast. The city masterfully brings together the breadth of Mexican culture, and of all its attractions, the Malecón is the most important. Visiting Puerto Vallarta means walking along this mile long boulevard, taking in the invigorating breeze and Pacific Ocean. The city’s finest establishments, the country’s main cultural offerings and hundreds of daily tourists can be found along the waterfront.

History and development of the Puerto Vallarta Malecón

Construction began in 1935 between the Los Arcos amphitheater and the beacon/lighthouse on Calle Galeana. By 1936 this stretch was already finished, but in 1940 construction expanded from the beacon to Calle 31 de Octubre. It was completed between 1948 and 1952.

At that time, the boardwalk was known as Paseo de la Revolución, later renamed Paseo Díaz Ordaz.

Destruction and recent changes in the Puerto Vallarta Malecón, Mexico

Modifications continued from 1952 until 2002 when the Malecón was destroyed by Hurricane Kenna. Following nine years of repairs it was reopened, with a wider pedestrian walkway. At that time, the sculptures were redistributed and construction extended further south, reaching the Zona Romántica area.

Emblematic attractions and sculptures

El arte es lo primero que se asocia con el Malecón de Puerto Vallarta. Desde 1976 escultores nacionales e internacionales han dejado sus obras allí. Unas dieciocho esculturas acompañarán tu caminata desde la calle 31 de Octubre hasta la calle Venustriano Carranza. Algunas destacadas son Los milenios, En busca de la razón, El niño sobre el caballo de mar y Origen y destino.

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The most popular spot on the Puerto Vallarta Malecón

Art is the first thing people associate with the Puerto Vallarta Malecón. Since 1976 national and international sculptors have been placing their works there. You will be joined on your walk by around eighteen sculptures from Calle 31 de Octubre to Calle Venustriano Carranza. Some of the highlights are Los milenios, En busca de la razón, El niño sobre el caballo de mar and Origen y destino.

Tour of the Puerto Vallarta Malecón

The best way to enjoy the Puerto Vallarta’s Malecón is to walk along it from Calle Venustriano Carranza. Although if you prefer to be on wheels, you can rent a bicycle. In the morning you will find cyclists or people jogging or indulging in the aroma of Mexican coffee.

The galleries, stores and restaurants are open early, but the most exciting time starts in the afternoon, due to its cultural activities.

Every Tuesday, around 9:30 a.m., travelers gather at the Los milenios sculpture for a free guided tour.

Activities and entertainment

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Puerto Vallarta is diverse, because it has been built with the desire to charm its millions of visitors.

If you’re in an artistic mood, enjoy the sculptures, galleries and stage productions by Puerto Vallarta’s actors. If you thrive on the adrenaline of the sea, go surfing, kayaking, boating, even mountain biking and skydiving. But make sure you save enough energy, because the Puerto Vallarta Malecón nightlife and clubs are bound to make you want to dance to Mexican, Caribbean and international beats.

Gastronomy and nearby restaurants

Around the Puerto Vallarta Malecón in Mexico, burritos, tacos, pulques and tequilas are extremely popular in restaurants such as Café de Olla and street stalls. But international cuisines also stand out. Find sizzling Spanish cuisine at Barcelona Tapas, and Italian cuisine at Boccon di Vino. Meanwhile, Ah Caramba! offers enticing fresh seafood. In Zona Romántica, an area located in front of the Malecón, you will find the Calle de los Cafés (Coffee Street).

Shopping and souvenirs at the Puerto Vallarta Malecón

The Malecón is especially worthwhile if you are enthusiastic about artisanal crafts. Many of the surrounding streets are lined with vendors offering souvenirs and other items. As one of the top tourist destinations in Latin America, Puerto Vallarta has a bustling commercial scene. Browse extensive clothing catalogs in its four shopping malls and three local markets.

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Nightlife and special events

Bars, cafes and nightclubs are the centerpiece of the Puerto Vallarta Malecón at night. From 10 p.m. onwards you’ll see Roo, Zoo Bar and many other establishments start to buzz. The Zona Romántica, with its cozy architecture and cobblestone streets, allows you to experience the constant festivities from outside.

Get to know Nuevo Vallarta’s attractions

Next to the famous city of Jalisco, Nuevo Vallarta is the stellar coastal area of the state of Nayarit. Geographically, it differs from Puerto Vallarta because of its canals and wide, less rocky beaches. Nuevo Vallarta, recently renamed Nuevo Nayarit, boasts an abundance of attractions such as golf courses.

Commercial and tourist activity is lower than in Puerto Vallarta, since it is not a city but mainly a resort town for lodging. This means that Nuevo Vallarta benefits from a relaxing and exclusive environment. Dare to come a few kilometers further north of Jalisco and find the resting place to recharge your energy after the vibrant neighboring Puerto Vallarta Malecón.