Walking the Malecón
You can entertain yourself for days on end walking the Malecón. There’s so much to do, we have made a short list but you’ll discover many things on your own. And it’s all free!
There are two points to start from, depending on your fortitude when you walk along the Malecón. The first is The Sheraton Hotel, where you will pass the stadium to the east. Besides sporting events, there are other exciting happenings at the stadium. Lila Downs, among others, have given free concerts at the stadium. This is also where the International Fireworks Competition is held when it visits Puerto Vallarta. Just south of the Sheraton on the ocean side, you may catch sight of a volleyball tournament or other international outdoor event; this space has been utilized for many attractions since it was stripped bare by the Hurricane Kena in October 2002.
Along your way, you’ll find great places to stop of a cold beer, tacos, and other refreshments at establishments such as Mangos Beach Club or El Barracuda, where you can find a spot in the shade indoors or relax on the beach.
Hotel Rosita is considered the northern point of the bona fide Malecón. Join in on walking tours viewing Malecón sculptures on Tuesday mornings at 9:30 (don’t be late; the guide will start without you) from November to April. Meet in front of the Millennium sculpture next to Hotel Rosita. It’s also free but you can make a contribution to the Los Mangos Public Library. The walk take about two hours, with approximately fifteen sculptures to see, great information and a wee bit of gossip, sponsored by Gary Thompson, the owner of Galleria Pacifico.
If you’re on the Malecón in the evening, you are sure to observe all sorts of entertainment. Make good use of the tip jars. Cultural and civic shows at Los Arcos arena (the Arches) seat about three hundred people (bring a pillow; it’s hard concrete) and usually start in the early evening.
The main plaza and Our lady of Guadalupe church is a main attraction, the site of colossal Christmas celebrations for the entire month of December; weddings, baptisms, funerals, and regular services.
Cross the bridge to south of town and you’ll find live theater, restaurants, boutiques, jewelry stores, pubs, pizza parlors, and a growing ex-pat community. The malecón ends with a lovely walk directly on the beach, as you pass some of the finest and oldest dining establishments in Puerto Vallarta. Vendors are here in the daytime and the beach is a lively place with the pier docking departures and arrivals of small boats and fishing excursions, as well as water taxis to the southern coastline.
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