When you think of Puerto Vallarta, one of the most popular port stops along the Pacific coast of Mexico on your Mexico cruise, you may think first of beaches, the sea, the vibrant nightlife , and the hillside villas overlooking the Bay of Banderas. But PV, as it’s called for short, also has a rich cultural tradition.
Theatrical performances. In a show replete with lively musical entertainment and dance, the troupe from Rhythms of the Night transports you back to ancient Mexico – with tales of a mystical and spiritual land — in a dramatic outdoor setting on the edge of a forest. After taking a boat ride to a secluded cove, you’ll be treated to a candlelit dinner buffet as the colorfully costumed performers fill the stage. With torches lit and rhythms pulsating, you’ll experience the mythology and magic of old Mexico in this memorable evening of theater.
Food tours. Culinary culture is front and center on the Downtown Vallarta Tour, where you can sample the regional foods of Puerto Vallarta and pick up some culinary and other local lore. This guided three-hour, 1 ½-mile tour takes you to ten food-tasting locations ranging from family-owned restaurants to a tortilla factory and taco stands. With sample bites of tacos, mole enchiladas, ceviche, coconut, fresh tortillas, soups, chocolates, traditional drinks, and more, it all adds up to a filling lunch like a local might eat, with side glimpses and folkloric tales of Old Town, the Malecon, and the town plaza.
Public and commercial art. The Malecon, Puerto Vallarta’s half-mile-long seafront promenade, features 15 bronze open-air sculptures that are free of charge to enjoy while on a stroll. The owner of the Galeria Pacifico, a local art gallery, leads free two-hour tours of the sculptures on Tuesday mornings from November-April, and the gallery itself is a treasure trove of contemporary regional paintings and sculptures. You’ll find dozens of other art galleries scattered around the city, concentrated especially in historic Old Town, also known as the Zona Romantica. Besides paintings and sculptures, watch for art-quality ceramics, glasswork and jewelry. Galeria Olinala displays exceptional examples of Mexican folk art, with a special focus on vintage dance masks from regional villages.
Traditional towns. Not far from Puerto Vallarta, up in the Sierra Madre Mountains, are colonial-era villages that evoke memories of old Mexico. One is San Sebastian del Oeste, a former silver mining town that is about an hour and 15 minutes’ ride east of Puerto Vallarta. You can walk its quiet cobblestoned streets and imagine what life was like back in its mining heyday. Another former silver mining town with a mountain setting is Talpa de Allende, which features a late 18th-century church where thousands of Catholic pilgrims journey annually to see the image of the Virgin of Talpa, believed to perform miracles. Besides viewing the church, you can visit Talpa’s market and the town plaza. Talpa is about an hour and 45 minutes’ ride from Puerto Vallarta.
To book your cruise to Mexico and enjoy the pleasures of Puerto Vallarta and other ports, call our expert travel advisors today at (888) 804-2784, visit us at www.cruiseexperts.com or email us at [email protected] to find out the best deals for Mexico voyages. Looking for a Last Minute Deal? Check out our 90 Day specials and be on the beach this weekend!