The Malecón (Boardwalk)

It extends from the central Hotel Rosita all the way south past the River Cuale to Los Muertos Beach.

The newly renovated part of the Malecon begins by the Hotel Rosita, downtown’s oldest hotel and ends at Los Arcos, the stone arches across from Parque Lazaro Cardenas, the main plaza. A new seawall was built along the 12-block zone and the pedestrian promenade was widened. Plenty of new palm trees and comfortable new benches provide shady seating. Near the Hotel Rosita you can sign up for free kayaks and bikes.

Intricate and swirling pebble designs in the pavement catch the eye and give the whole project an artistic flair. The patterns were created by artist Fidencio Benitez, a member of the fascinating Huichol group whose gorgeous beaded artwork appears in galleries all over town.

Every Tuesday morning at 9:30 AM meet at the Millennium sculpture next to the Hotel Rosita for a free tour of the bronze sculptures that enhance the Malecon promenade along Puerto Vallarta’s waterfront with the Bay of Banderas as the stunning backdrop. This collection has greatly been expanded since the first sculpture, the Seahorse, was installed in 1976. The Seahorse has since become an iconic symbol of the city.

More fantastic sculptures created by sand and rock-balancing artists adorn the beach.

The Voladores de Papantla (Flyers of Papantla) are yet another of the Malecón’s many highlights. The five voladores, dressed in traditional native attire, climb a 15-metre (50-foot) pole. One plays the flute as he sits on top of the pole, while the four others literally fall head over heels off the top of the pole, dangling by just one of their ankles from a rope until they reach the ground. This important religious ceremony, dating back 1500 years, began in central Mexico in honor of the God of Sun, for the purpose of boosting that year’s harvest and improving fertility. The flyers represent fire, earth, water, and air. They perform for tips so please be generous.

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