The Sculptures of Puerto Vallarta’s Malecón

We’ve visited Puerto Vallarta’s Malecón three times, with our kids in 2008, in 2012, and again last month. It was redesigned in 2011, making it more aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian friendly. With a recent extension, it runs southward for about a mile from 31 Octubre Street to Los Muertos Beach.

The first sculpture erected on the Malecón was “The Boy on the Little Seahorse” by Rafael Zamarripa (1976). It’s one of PV’s most recognizable landmarks.

“Puerto Vallarta” has been erected beside it, making it a very busy photo spot.

The spiraling “The Millennia” by Mathis Lídice (2001) stands at the north-end of the Malecón.

My crew, in 2008. I’m on the right, with the frizzy hair.

Amazingly, an albatross is perched atop the sculpture in both my 2012 and 2019 photos!



“Good Fortune Unicorn” by Anibal Riebeling (2011)

“Nostalgia” by Ramiz Barquet (1984) was one of the earliest sculptures on the Malecón.

“The Subtle Rock Eater” by Jonas Gutierrez (2006)

“The Roundabout of the Sea” by Alejandro Colunga (1997). Also a popular photo op.

“In Search of Reason” by Sergio Bustamante (1999)

Tourists often foolishly climb the ladder, and apparently in 2008, so did my bratty kid.

“Triton and the Mermaid” by Carlos Espino (1990)

“The Friendship Fountain” by James “Bud” Bottoms (1987)

“Vallarta Dancers” by Jim Demetro (2006). It’s had a paint job since we last saw it.



“Standing on End” by Blu Maritza Vasquez (2007). Resembles giant sea urchins.

My guys, in 2008.

San Pascual Bailon, patron saint of cooks, by Ramiz Barquet (2008). To honor chefs worldwide.

“Origin & Destiny” by Pedro Torres Tello (2011)

“Angel of Hope and Messenger of Peace” by Héctor Manuel Montes (2008). We missed the sculpture this trip, but photographed it in 2008.

“The Washer Woman” by Jim Demetro (2008)

“The Fishermen” by Jim Demetro & Christina Demetro (2018). A new piece on the southern extension of the Malecon.

Not really a sculpture, perhaps this tree and presents are only around during the Christmas season.

We hardly saw any sand art this trip, just these two.

And this old guy, who was a little worse for wear.

I’ve only included the sculptures we saw along the Malecón; there’s more we didn’t see. We saw the following sculptures at nearby locations:

“Come on Bernardo!” by Jim Demetro (2014). It’s a newer sculpture, at Lázaro Cárdenas Park off Los Muertos Beach.

Ignacio L. Vallarta, PV’s namesake, by Miguel Miramontes Carmona (1964) in Plaza de Armas.

“Solar Framework” by Antonio Nava (1987) by the Cuale River bridge to the island.

“Minstrel’s Corner” by Ramiz Barquet (1999) on Galeana Street.

“The Fisherman” by Ramiz Barquet (1996) at the intersection of Libertad, Agustin Ramirez and Insurgentes in downtown Puerto Vallarta.

I got much of my information from these two websites, which give an interesting and detailed background on each sculpture.

For my vacation wrap-up click here. Catch up from the trip’s beginning here.


Looking For One Thing And Finding Something Better…

With no iguanas in the trees near our balcony at Las Palmas the next morning, I focused my camera on this snowy egret in the estuary below.

Of course I zoomed in…

Later that morning, we watched the Papantla Flyers perform on the Malecón.

My instructions to find Matamoros Lighthouse, our destination, were to go up Galeana Street, then turn right on Matamoros Street.

With no lighthouse in sight, Hubby wondered if we were going the wrong way on Matamoros, so we turned back. (The directions were actually correct, but we never did find the lighthouse.) We climbed the steep streets in a northeastern direction, and quite by chance happened upon this staircase.

It leads to Mirador de La Cruz (Lookout of the Cross), which was also on our to-do list. It’s a residential neighbourhood, with the stairs running alongside people’s homes.


Lots of concrete steps.

And then more, these ones twisting and turning precipitously.

We rested a couple of times, for water and to take in the view. Safely navigating the stairs were more difficult for me than climbing them. Going down actually proved harder than going up.

A trolley track ran beside the stairs, but was no longer in use.

Over 250 steps later, we reached La Cruz.

View from behind.

The mirador is one of the highest points in Puerto Vallarta. First, more stairs to climb.

It offers an incredible view of the city and the Bay of Banderas with the Sierra Madre Mountains in the background. My panorama shots didn’t do it justice.

From south to north

Lone sailboat

Close-ups of the city

Sad how graffiti marred every pillar on the mirador, and so much else.

Back at street level, we watched these young men push a heavy load up the steep grade, and didn’t envy them the task.

Around the corner, we stopped to greet a cat family.

Mirador de La Cruz from the Malecón (little bump left of the antenna)

Zoomed in

For a moment, I thought these kites were real people. (I’m visually impaired, but still…haha)

Large albatross resting on top of the Millennia sculpture at the north-end of the Malecón.

Beach birds

Many of Puerto Vallarta’s buses have been modernized and are air-conditioned.

We usually ended up on the rattly old hot ones.

Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascencio is wide and busy, making it an adventure to cross. Helpful motorcyclists would toot their horns and wave to us when it was safe to proceed from one lane to the next.

We stopped to listen to a band playing Long Cool Woman and Born To Be Wild outside a restaurant along the way.

A cruise ship leaving dock that evening.

We enjoyed the Latin Night dancing.

Click here for my showcasing the sculptures of the Malecon. Catch up on our trip from the beginning here.

Exploring Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town

Another morning, another iguana viewing from our balcony at Las Palmas by the Sea.

We caught the Centro bus to Old Town midmorning, giving ourselves plenty of time to arrive before the noon-hour start to the free walking tour with Turismo Puerto Vallarta. We used the early arrival to explore the surrounding area.

Plaza de Armas.

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the background.

Ignacio L. Vallarta, namesake of the city, in the Plaza de Armas.

Los Arcos Amphitheater, on the Malecón.

Sights along the Malecón.

Hubby loves photographing pelicans in flight.

Juarez Street

Hubby’s postie hat on a Mexican mailbox.

Municipal Tourism Office, Juarez Street.

Entrance to Palacio Municipal – Old City Hall.

Palacio Municipal

Manuel Lepe, Mexico’s national artist, has several public murals displayed in his native Puerto Vallarta. This one hangs in the stairwell of the Palacio Municipal.

Puerto Vallarta’s coat of arms.

Manuel Lepe mural, at the Plaza de Armas.

Our tour guide, Julian, was a font of local information. At age 68, he does five 2-hour walking tours a week, receiving tips instead of a wage.

Another Manuel Lepe mural, this one on the Malecón.

We wandered through the flea market on La Isla Rio Cuale.

Trump’s not real popular in Mexico.

Swinging bridge connecting La Isla Rio Cuale to Downtown.

Streets of Downtown.

Casa Kimberly, Elizabeth Taylor’s house, on the hill above town.

Stairs leading up to Gringo Gulch and Old Town.

Iguana snoozing in a tree beside the stairs.

Plaque outside Casa Kimberly.

Richard Burton and Liz Taylor.

A lovely white bridge connects Casa Kimberly to the house across the street from it, which was also owned by Liz Taylor.

The streets of Old Town are narrow and paved with crumbling cobblestones. There’s lots of stairs to traverse too, some in poor condition.

The tour ends at the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. We didn’t peek inside, but I took several exterior shots, to see what my new camera is capable of.

Back in our room at the resort…

Clouds gathered in the evening, creating a dramatic sunset.

The evening’s entertainment, Show de Circo, was cute and funny rather than a showcase of talent.

Although, I imagine working all those hoola hoops took some talent.

My photos didn’t turn out, but still looked cool.

The pup in the elephant suit was precious.

Click here for my next post on what happened when we looked for one thing and found something much better. Start from the trip’s beginning here.

Los Muertos Pier in the Sparkling Sunshine

After we got moved to a room by the estuary at Los Palmas by the Sea, we began to routinely check the trees near our balcony to see what might be lurking in their boughs. This big guy greeted us on our first morning there.
Midmorning, we took a taxi to the Zona Romantica. It cost 110 pesos for the cab compared to 20 pesos for two bus tickets, and in retrospect, we probably should’ve caught a bus. But after getting off at the wrong bus stop on our way to the marina, we didn’t want to waste any time or energy searching for Los Muertos Pier.
No matter which angle we took our photos from, it’s a great looking structure.
Busy Los Muertos (Dead Man’s) Beach is situated south of the Malecón along Banderas Bay. There’s restaurants with beach chairs, fishing boats, banana boats and paragliding amongst the many tourist attractions.
We dawdled on the pier for a while, relaxing in the shade and watching the pelicans’ antics.
Los Muertos Beach, looking south from the pier.
And looking north.
Lázaro Cárdenas Park is about a block east of the beach. I liked the cute tile art décor.
Best looking baño in Puerto Vallarta.
We explored parts of the mile-long Malecón on three separate days, and I’ll feature its numerous sculptures in another post. These are some of the other sights we saw that day.
The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe
The beach, along the Malecón, varies from sandy
To rocky
To nonexistent
Rock art, on the beach
Looking south from the Malecón’s north-end.
A rooftop pelican convention.
The sign on Boulevard Francisco Medina Ascencio we used as reference to get off the bus.
Las Palmas by the Sea Resort on Calle Pablo Picasso.
Two parrots live in the entrance lobby at Las Palmas.
This one, the male I believe, is fairly nice.
This one, the female(?), is rather cranky. Muy malo (very bad), according to Antonio, the bellboy who minds them. One day Hubby walked near her while she was on the floor, and she quickly scuttled over to nip at his feet. Haha, the little brat.
Towel art in our room.
We had an excellent dinner at the Fusion a la carte that evening. (The two a la carte restaurants were far superior to the buffet.)
This delicious lemon chicken with fried plantains was my favourite meal of the trip.
I quite enjoyed the tiramisu dessert, too.
No sunset photos that evening. And no blurry entertainment photos either, for the second evening in a row. The previous night they’d held a surprisingly good karaoke session, and that night we listened to a fairly talented band. I even almost got Hubby up to dance. Almost.
Click here for my next post on our walking tour of old town. Start from the trip’s beginning here.