Mexico Beach Vacations

 Puerto Vallarta Neighborhood Guide:  Downtown

puerto vallarta downtown malecon

Downtown Puerto Vallarta


Related, on Inside PV


Puerto Vallarta Malecon


Puerto Vallarta Monuments and Statues


Puerto Vallarta Churches and Cathedrals


Puerto Vallarta Downtown Beaches



Downtown is best known for its infamous malecon, or boardwalk.  With recent construction, the malecon now stretches to Puerto Vallarta's south end, and will soon be the longest boardwalk in Latin America.  The strip is lined with beautiful palm trees and famous statues, such as the Seahorse, recognized from many travel books.  Near the famous Los Arcos (the Arches Monument) is an amphitheater where regular performances by mimes, musicians and even the occasional beauty contest takes place.

Periodically, the street along the malecon, Paseo Diaz Ordaz, is blocked off for colorful celebrations including parades, dancing, and traditional festivals.  New Year's Eve along this strip is often referred to as "Mexico's Mardi Gras" where thousands of tourists and locals dance in the street and on the malecon, spilling out from packed clubs and restaurants. 


At night, the Malecon's south end is speckled with merchants selling local snacks; tamales, corn mixed with mayonnaise, hot dogs and french fries, papaya and mango sprinkled with red pepper on a stick, and homemade desserts.  Crepe stands have become a popular attraction near the am

Smaller boutique hotels and guesthouses are scatter throughout the downtown area, and many apartments, as well as privately owned condos.  This area is popular for long-term accommodations for vacationers and snowbirds.

The cathedrals in downtown Puerto Vallarta are amongst the most elaborate sites in all of Puerto Vallarta.  Visit our section on churches and cathedrals for information and photos.

There are also stretches of stores, boutiques, and souvenir shops.  If there were a "fashion district" in Puerto Vallarta, it would be 1 street back from the malecon, where rows of clothing stores from bridal to current fashions to exotic beachwear can be found.  A popular shopping location for tourists is the Flea Market, which is nestled up against the Rio Cuale.  Endless merchants offer everything from beaded sashes, leather goods, and silver jewelry inside.  The second floor of the "mercado" also has a "food court" with local cuisine from inexpensive shrimp diablo to tacos and of course, flan.

Restaurants along the Malecon offer beautiful views of sunsets, fireworks, and even the famous flying birdmen, which can best be seen from the third level restaurant, Viejo Vallarta across from the famous Seahorse Statue.  Popular nightclubs line the boardwalk as well, with elegant restaurants such as De Santos and Azul with it's rooftop sand-floor bar one street back from the beach. 

The latest restaurant and club to open on the malecon is a bit of a hideaway- The entrance to ZTai is a barely visible stairway that leads to a courtyard dining area, with sunken dining sections, trendy yet elegant ambiance and fantastic gourmet duck tacos.  Be sure and order a "Geisha," a cucumber inspired martini that is refreshingly different.  Hilo and The Zoo area popular downtown hang outs, where the party starts around midnight and the dance floor doesn't clear until around 4 or 6, closing time.  After which, crowds often head to High, the most popular after-hours club in Puerto Vallarta, open until 9 a.m.  Check out our nightclub and restaurant guides for reviews and more information.



puerto vallarta new malecon

Downtown puerto vallarta statues - dolphins

puerto vallarta fireworks

puerto vallarta rock beaches near the malecon

puerto vallarta sunset




Site Map    Blog    Links

Puerto Vallarta General Info     Accommodations     Events and Entertainment     Health and Spa 

Weddings and Honeymoons     Puerto Vallarta Living     Restaurants and Nightclubs

Photo Gallery     News and Articles     Tours and Activities


Copyright © 2007-8 Privacy policy 

Site and graphics designed by J. Bernal














Hit Counter