Malecon Puerto Vallarta

Malecon Beaches
Malecon Beaches

Malecon Puerto Vallarta is located along the waterfront of the downtown area. Stretching for a mile, it is an oceanfront boardwalk overlooking the city’s beautiful beaches. In Spanish, the word technically means a jetty or breakwater, and that was its original purpose. Today, this boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta is one of the city’s liveliest and most popular attractions, as it is lined by dozens of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafés. You will find these malecons along the main harbor of coastal towns and cities all over Central and South America. This is where almost all visitors come for an afternoon of shopping or to enjoy dining on local seafood specialties.

Malecon Puerto Vallarta
Malecon Puerto Vallarta

There is a wide choice of hotels near Malecon that will suit most tastes and budgets. In fact, Malecon Puerto Vallarta starts at the oldest hotel in the city, the Rosita. Built in 1948, it chronicles the modern history of the city. This is where famed director John Huston and his stars Deborah Kerr, Richard Burton, and Ave Gardner stayed while making the Oscar-winning film Night of the Iguana. This time marked the beginning of Puerto Vallarta’s tourism boom. Other hotels near Malecon include luxury hotels and beach resorts. An example is the luxurious Casa Velas, an all inclusive property with a full-service spa. There are less expensive hotels near Malecon by going inland just a couple blocks or by staying north or south of the boulevard. These are good choices if you’re on a budget and/or do not want to stay in the busier part of town.

Puerto Vallarta Malecon Restaurants
Puerto Vallarta Malecon Restaurants

At the other end of the Malecon Puerto Vallarta is the city’s symbol, the Seahorse Statue—known as Caballeo del Mar in Spanish—designed by Rafel Zamarripa and erected in 1976. Ten years earlier, its twin once stood at the far end of Los Muertos Beach. This one was destroyed by strong winds and waves, but a replica has been erected in its place. Other statues are in this area, including one of a dolphin, In Search of Reason by Guadalajara artist Sergio Bustamonte, and several other modern sculptures. There is also a beautiful Friendship Fountain, a gift from the city of Santa Barbara in California. At this end of the boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta is Los Arcos (the Arches). This Los Arcos Amphitheatre was named for the graceful stone arches that line the beach, creating a stunning outdoor amphitheatre where there are cultural and music performances on weekends and holidays.

Part of the enjoyment of strolling along this boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta is the glimpse of local culture that will greet you. You’re apt to come across large groups of families celebrating birthdays, weddings or other special events. Come for a sunset stroll to be joined what appears to be half the town, dressed in their Sunday best and also out for a stroll. You can book walking tours of El Malecon, and local guides will give you the colorful history of the large collection of public art and point out the best places to shop. Although many of the guides receive a percentage of the profits at recommended shops, their advice about the best bargains is usually quite reliable. The seaside promenade closes up pretty much by midnight after the diners have gone off to enjoy the city’s lively nightlife.

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