After almost three years of work, the pier on Los Muertos Beach was inaugurated with fireworks, music, and fun, at the start of January 2013.

Introduction

  • This is the third iteration of the pier, designed by Arq. José de Jesús Torres Vega.
  • Pier/dock inaugurated January 4th, 2013.
  • Measures 335 feet (103m) out into the sea and has a total walkable area of 7700 sq. ft. (715m2).
  • Water depth varies according to the season and ranges from 4.5 to 6 meters (15 to 20 feet).
  • Took 3 years to build and had a total cost of $6.5 million dollars.
  • Offers benches, footpaths, and handrails.
  • Offers a landing dock with berth space for up to 6 medium-sized boats.
  • 20.59863 N – 105.23931 E

The pier (also known as a lookout/”mirador”) is a wonderful addition to Puerto Vallarta’s beachfront area. It was designed by the Mexican Biannual Architecture prize-winning architect, José de Jesús Torres Vega. It was the centerpiece of an ambitious Downtown Puerto Vallarta renewal program, that included a series of important projects in and around the city center. These added sparkle to the existing popular attractions for both local and international visitors.

The grand opening event was wonderful and included, live music, folkloric dancers fireworks, skydivers, and a lot of spectators enjoying a great evening on this, Puerto Vallarta’s main beach. The Los Muertos pier is of a modern and nautical design, like a sail in the wind. There is no way to miss it if you are walking along the edge of the beach southward.

Anyone can walk out onto the pier, it is a great place for a stroll, access is free and you can sit on the available benches, cool off in the fresh sea breeze and enjoy the view. At night it’s an illuminated light show with changing colours, adding to its stunning appearance.

Los Muertos Beach, Old Vallarta

The pier at Los Muertos Beach in Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone (Old Vallarta)

The pier, with its strategic location in the middle of Old Vallarta (AKA Romantic Zone) has become an important attraction for Francisca Rodríguez street and the surrounding area where both the streets and pedestrian access has been considerably improved.

Boats can dock at the end of the pier and the pier is very functional with a lower ramp closer to the water for passengers embarking/disembarking on the various water taxis, fishing boats and other yachts, a very welcome feature after several years without a docking option in the area.

Los Muertos Beach Pier History

There have been two previous incarnations of the pier, the first one was a wooden one with iron underfooting where luxurious floating hotel ships such as Princess Patricia, Italia and Fairsea, would anchor there with tourists much to the pride and amazement of the locals.

Los Muertos Beach Pier 1971 vs 2018

The Los Muertos Pier 1971 compared to 2018

“Princess Cruises began in 1965 when founder Stanley McDonald chartered Canadian Pacific Limited’s Alaska cruise ship, Princess Patricia, for Mexican Riviera cruises from Los Angeles during a time when she would have usually been laid up for the winter. However, Princess Pat, as she was fondly called, had never been designed for tropical cruising, lacking air-conditioning, and Princess ended her charter in favor of a more purpose-built cruise ship Princess Italia.” (read more).

Top left: Princess Italia, Bottom Left: Fairway, Right top and bottom: Princess Patricia from the 1960s and on

Top left: Princess Italia, Bottom Left: Fairsea, Right top and bottom: Princess Patricia

In 1963 the pier was used to help load construction material, film crew, equipment and the actors to and from Mismaloya while John Huston filmed “The Night of the Iguana” there.

This pier was built before the movie, not for it, as I have read some places online, that is just not correct and even John Huston mentions it was there beforehand in his autobiography:

“I was thinking about locations for “Iguana” and Guillermo (Wulff) urged me to go to Mismaloya. It was only a few miles by boat from Puerto Vallarta’s only pier – at Playa Los Muertos…” (An Open Book; 1980. John Huston).

Panoramic view of Los Muertos with the old pier, before the year 2000

Los Muertos at the turn of the century, you can see the “La Solidaridad Vallartense” pier

The second one, called Muelle de La Solidaridad Vallartense finished on December 7th, 1990, was a project carried out by the local inhabitants, financed in part by local businessmen, officials and, in the end, mainly Don Juan Peña Dávalos, the owner of Hotel Marsol, who lent a considerable amount of money that was never fully returned. This newest pier was financed by the Federal Government and remaining part by the State of Jalisco.

Why visit the Los Muertos Pier/Lookout

The pier’s atmosphere changes quite a bit in the day and at night. During the day there are lots of activities in and around the pier, and many visitors and locals enjoy the sights and sounds here. At night this stunning pier is beautifully lit up and stands as the backdrop for many bars, restaurants and dance clubs. The options are many and there will be a club for almost anyone’s taste, age, music taste and interests.

If you visit the pier during the morning, you’ll enjoy a less crowded walk, the waves are normally calm and you will enjoy the many sea birds and pelicans diving for fish. As the afternoon draws to an end, people gather around the pier to enjoy the sunset. Puerto Vallarta is known for its colourful sunsets and the pier, the sea and the colors will make it a memorable experience and a great photo as a souvenir from your visit.

Los Muertos Beach Pier, Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta

Pier & Los Muertos Beach, Old Vallarta

The pier itself is also very functional and boats are constantly surrounding it and anchoring here. Water taxis (pangas), tour boats, fishing boats and private boats use it for easy boarding and disembarking passengers.

The view of Puerto Vallarta and the bay area is amazing. The pier is also romantic, as well as a fun place for a family stroll or outing.

Get some group or selfie photos at this colourful and emblematic landmark that is enjoyed by both the locals and visitors.

The pier at Los Muertos Beach in Puerto Vallarta's Romantic Zone

Pier at Los Muertos Beach

How to get to the pier

The Playa de Los Muertos pier/lookout is located where Francisca Rodríguez street ends by the Los Muertos beach, one of the city’s beaches with most tradition and culture in Puerto Vallarta.

There are two obvious ways to get there, one is walking along the Malecón from the main square, you go south (with the sea on your right), walk past the Malecon Arches, the Naval Museum, walk over the Cuale River along the pedestrian bridge, you can then either move off to the beach (Olas Altas) and continue south, you can no easily see the pier in the distance. You can also continue along the sidewalk past the Lazaro Cardenas park and turn right on Venustiano Carranza or any of the streets beyond that one up until Francisca Rodriguez street.

Address: Francisca Rodríguez 121, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.

Playlist: Playa Los Muertos / Los Muertos Beach

Things to do

The pier is beautiful to look at, it lights up in different colors at night. The pier’s colors are a great contrast against the skyline’s sunset, so make sure you bring your camera along

Beautiful to look at and functional, as the pier offers access to boats, water taxis that you can take north of the bay and mostly to the wonderful beaches and coves to the south. These include Colomitos, Las Animas, QuimixtoMismaloyaYelapa, Majahuitas, Las Caletas, and other many beautiful destinations. You can also catch sail trips and cruises around the bay from here. It’s also a place where you’ll be dropped off once it’s over.

Playa Los Muertos Panorama (Los Muertos Beach Panorama 12/2019) Puerto Vallarta

The Los Muertos pier is also the place to hire your own private tour boat. You may need to haggle a bit on the price, there are some people there that act as ‘brokers’ that can help you find a boat and captain for your needs and then it’s just a matter of agreeing on a price, what you want to visit and the time schedule. For many, this is a much better option than taking one of the organized cruises where you’ll be limited to a standard fare of destinations and limited or no changes possible. This is the preferred option to visit and experience some of the beautiful south zone beaches and sights.

It has now become an icon in Puerto Vallarta and offers great pictures or people watching at any time of the day. It’s also a great place to end your morning Malecon jog or walk. People also like to bring their dogs here for a walk. There are a lot of benches and sitting areas, so sit down, enjoy a nice cool breeze and soak in the views.

At night there’s lots of action around the pier, there are lots of restaurants, bars, music, great food, shopping and it’s a great place to meet friends new and old.

Los Muertos Pier

Los Muertos Pier

Where to eat

Old Vallarta, and now more recently known as the Romantic Zone, was barely developed when John Huston and his team of Hollywood stars descended on it for the shooting of The Night of the Iguana, but there were two restaurants there that they enjoyed, they are still there now: El Dorado and La Palapa, both offer great dishes with a wonderful view of the beach and pier.

El Dorado Restaurant, Romantic Zone, Puerto Vallarta

Other popular options include El Pueblito, Langostino’s, Cuates y Cuetes, Daikiri Dicks and many more. All are great and the setting is just exquisite.

Where to stay

Many of the more traditional hotels in Puerto Vallarta are found in the Romantic Zone and therefore close to the Los Muertos Beach Pier.

The closest ones are on the corner of Francisca Rodríguez and the pier, on the north side Hotel Marsol and to the south, Hotel San Marino. A little further to the north you’ll find Hotel Playa Los Arcos and to the south you have Hotel Emperador and Hotel Tropicana.

There are many more and you can find them on the map below.

Los Muertos Pier Location Map

The Playa Los Muertos Pier/Lookout is found in the Puerto Vallarta area called the Romantic Zone (Old Vallarta or Old Town too).

It’s located where Francisca Rodríguez street ends by the beach. Some people call this part Malecón, but it’s not officially called that way and it is not an extension of the Malecon/Boardwalk that is found in the downtown area of PV, so if you call it that way, you may confuse people – take that into account. Anyway, despite what Google Maps shows, it’s not the official name of this sidewalk in the Romantic Zone.

Conclusion

A stroll along the 200 feet of the pier is now a valuable and fun addition to the fabulous Olas Altas/Los Muertos area in the romantic zone, enjoy the panoramic view, the new perspectives, and all the sea-related and watersports activities you can enjoy there.

Take a walk around the central sail and get some great photos at night, when the multicoloured lights create a beautiful backdrop for your romantic photos on Playa Los Muertos.

Pier at Los Muertos Beach

View of the pier from Restaurant La Palapa

During the day, enjoy the innumerable sea and beach-related activities, all through the day, you can take advantage of the many great restaurants, bars and shops in the area. At night you’ll also have many clubs and shows available, so just remember where the pier is and you’ll know where to start off on your many adventures in Puerto Vallarta.