When you hear about Puerto Vallarta, the first thing that may come to mind is an exotic, tropical vacation. While Puerto Vallarta definitely has sparkling waters and luxurious beaches, the most exciting thing about the city may very well be its art and culture. During our trip there this July, we were expecting to find another resort beach town, but we were blown away by the personality we found in Puerto Vallarta. Despite the reputation that Mexico can get, we found Puerto Vallarta to be very safe and friendly and full of people from all over the world. And it was full of artistic personalities! So, visit this beautiful city for the art, fashion, and culture- that’s the real reason for the trip.
When you visit Puerto Vallarta, you should absolutely take a walk through the city streets and markets as soon as you can. For those who love art and fashion, you will feel right at home. You will find art gallery after art gallery of unique and beautiful pieces. It doesn’t just have nice-looking art, though, rather incredibly colorful and creative pieces. Be sure to step into Galeria Colectika and see the colorful beaded art of the Huichol people.
As you walk through the vibrant, sunny streets, be sure to hop into the boutiques. You will find countless boho-chic outfits that offer a fashionable yet bohemian approach to beachwear. Be sure to find jewelry shops such as Pepe Cerroblanco that sell jewelry that isn’t just jewelry, rather rare pieces of art, as well.
As you experience the hip and trendy eateries, be sure to pay attention to the details put into the atmosphere of them. For instance, the modern vibe of Florios Restaurant has light bulbs hanging down from wires to match its trendy décor. And, if you are lucky enough take a boat out to Casitas Mariaka Beach Club, the bathroom sink there is sitting over a tree with a seashell as the soap holder, and a gothic mirror sits in the tree in front of you. The clever design is perfect for a beach club, but also artistically genius.
And, of course, you have to visit the infamous Malecón. The Malecón is the boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta that takes you down the coast and by the shimmering beaches. However, the Malecón in Puerto Vallarta is adorned with many unique statues for tourist to admire and even interact with. Yes, many of them allow you to interact with them.
Artist Jim Demetro loves to create works that depict dying traditions. So, you will find the bronze statue called “The Washingwoman” depicting a woman scrubbing clothes, as was a tradition on the Cuale River year ago, as well, as “Andale Bernardo” which depicts two boys and their dog trying to move Bernardo the donkey. While you can’t find many washerwomen around the Cuale River by the beach anymore or find donkeys carrying items up the hills, you can appreciate the culture that used to be through Jim Demetro’s statues.
Our personal favorite statue was “Searching for Reason” by Sergio Bustamante, which depicts three pillow-headed figures. One at the bottom of a ladder seems to be encouraging the other two to climb up higher and higher to continue their search for reason and answers.
Art is all around you in every aspect of Puerto Vallarta, and that is truly why you should visit this gem. When you visit, you will be blown away by the colors and culture you will see all around you.