Vacations Puerto VallartaMiami has South Beach, Maui has Front Street, Sidney has the Bondi, and Venice Beach has the Board Walk. Every seaside vacation spot, or travel destination through out this planet of ours, possesses that central hub of cultural activity framed by a backdrop of vast expanses of ocean splendor.

Puerto Vallarta is no different, and boasts a rejuvenated esplanade called the Malecon.  The Malecon “is” the heart and pulse of the town, the historic center, and its main man-made tourist draw.  The one mile long seawall promenade or boardwalk, now minus the traffic congestion, stretches the length of downtown Vallarta, some sixteen blocks, from end to end. Near the south end of the Malecon is the infamous Los Arcos outdoor amphitheater and the “signature” arches that provide the background element for staging various entertainment and outdoor attractions such as folkloric dancers, live music, and a variety of cultural events.

The Malecon is home to some of Puerto Vallarta’s renowned landmarks, including a string of bronze statues that appear on postcards and travel materials everywhere. The “Friendship Fountain“, the famed sculpture of three dolphins, a nine-foot high statue of a young boy riding “The Sea Horse“, and the sculpture “In Search of Reason” by Sergio Bustamante, depicting two pillow-head figures ascending their ladder to the sky, have all become synonymous with Puerto Vallarta.   While it is true that the seaside, stone boardwalk does contain many historical locations and public art installations, it is the “Buskerfest” atmosphere that is played out on a nightly basis that “is” Puerto Vallarta! Street performances of every conceivable background and subject matter, performance painters using aerosol cans and blow torches to create “street art” for adoring crowds, and musicians from all disciplines, join together to make an evening on the Malecon a highlight of any stay in “Vallarta”.

I haven’t mentioned the food…..

Just as the art and entertainment is abundant, the food selection is a virtual smorgasbord. From taco stands, to street sided cafes, there is something for every taste and budget. delecacies

Serving up deliquesces from the surrounding hillside, fish on sticks from the sea, sweets for every sweet tooth, the “snacking” becomes an event for the night, enhanced by the “tasting” of various liquers along the way. The menu for fun is always extensive on the Malecon. Making sure you have the appetite is up to you!

-Malcolm Farley

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