Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe & Malecon/Boardwalk, Downtown Puerto Vallarta

What is the Malecon (Boardwalk)?

Full Puerto Vallarta Malecón/Boardwalk tour during the day

You may ask yourself (with good reason) what a “malecon” is. It is what people normally call a defensive pier wall, but in Mexico, it is the name you give a road or pathway that follows along the edge of the sea, something that in other countries is called a “Costanera,” a seaboard road.

  • The north end starts off at Hotel Rosita (by The Millennia Statue) and ends at the Amphitheater (Aquiles Serdán Plaza) beside the Plaza de Armas (Main City Square).
  • Attractions and sightseeing: statues, the local inhabitants, stores, street, sea-side artists, and the panorama: sea, waves, watching the sunset. Check out the restaurants, bars, and much more.
  • Around 11 small blocks (750m/2350ft) in the downtown area by the edge of the sea.
  • More than 80% is pedestrian-only and has a delimited bike path.
  • Enjoy the Voladores de Papantla (regular shows during the day).
  • After 10-11 PM, it becomes the heart of the local nightlife.
  • The first part, from the Los Arcos Amphitheater to the Customs Office “La Garita” (which no longer exists, by the lighthouse on Galeana) was built in 1935.
  • The second part started in 1940 and ended at Hotel Rosita between 1948 and 1952.
  • Originally known as “Paseo de la Revolución,” it was later renamed “Paseo Daz Ordaz” and is now simply known as “El Malecón.”
  • It was remodeled and inaugurated on November 25, 2011.

Malecon Before & After (1960 vs 2020)

Malecon Puerto Vallarta 1960Malecon Puerto Vallarta 2020

Walking along the Malecon (which some people call the “boardwalk”) is a feel-good area right on the oceanfront, and it’s a fast and easy way to really understand what PV, and even Mexico, is all about. The colors, the sounds, and aromas all take you under their spell, and you can end up just walking around for hours, enjoying a great breakfast, lunch, or dinner, eating and drinking here and there, grabbing souvenirs and shooting photos. Time will just fly by, as it always does when you are really enjoying yourself.

El Malecon (considered by many the best thing to do in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico) is now closed to vehicle traffic, so you can take a relaxing stroll along this sightseeing paradise walkway with great scenery, beautiful sculptures, and friendly people, without having to worry about taxis, cars, or buses (do take the bike path into account though).

Puerto Vallarta Malecon as seen from Bar Oceano in the downtown area

This recent iteration of the classical Malecon features many more palm trees that provide much-needed shade during the midday hours (some palm trees on the beach too, a nice move), and decorative plants. All the spaces have been designed with pedestrians in mind, so there are lots of places you can rest (sit on the edges of the plant “pots”, the white “pillows” are made for that) and really take your time to enjoy and absorb the vibe. It is a beautiful walk along the beach in a downtown area that is full of new experiences and colorful opportunities to discover the culture, traditions, and lively side of Mexico and Mexicans.

The Puerto Vallarta Sign (Puerto Vallarta Letters)

The Boy on the Seahorse (1976) Rafael Zamarripa Castañeda, Puerto Vallarta Malecon

A great Puerto Vallarta landmark was unveiled during the World Tourism Day events in 2016. A very beautiful sign with colorful letters that spell out “Puerto Vallarta”. It flanks the iconic Rafael Zamarripa “Seahorse Statue” on the downtown Malecon.

Read the full Puerto Vallarta City Sign article

The Boy on the Seahorse by Rafael Zamarripa (1976) and the City Sign

Where is the Malecon?

View of the malecon in downtown Puerto Vallarta by the Roundabout of the Sea