Puerto Vallarta is not only a tourist destination that can offer beaches, tours, beautiful landscapes and everlasting memories, it's also a place to enjoy art in its various forms and expressions.
While you walk around town you'll find numerous art galleries offering works by various local and foreign artists, but the easiest and most hands-on way to enjoy art is to take a walk along the Malecon.
Check out the Map showing the statue location along the Malecon
This seaside promenade was remodeled in 2011 and is now exclusive for pedestrians (no more noisy cars and taxis spoiling the enjoyment). It is here you'll find a string of beautiful sculptures in bronze, stone, and other styles. Many are from local and national artists, some are from around the world.
If we start off from North to South, right beside Hotel Rosita, we'll first find "Los Milenios" (The Millennia) by Mathis Lidice, a spiraling sculpture that represents the passage of time, starting off with the origin of life and ending in the hope for the future: peace. On the spiral sculpture, you'll find animal evolution, Charlesmagne wielding a sword, Nezahualcóyotl and a woman stretching up to the future. More information.
Next, on the corner of Allende and the Malecon, you'll find "Origin and Destination" by Pedro Tello. The sculptures represent the beginnings of humanity, music, time and knowledge. The boat represents mankind's quest for new horizons. In the second sculpture, a chimera, symbolizes humanity's unity with reptiles, birds and marine animals, with musical notes that represent the harmony existing between them. The final sculpture is an obelisk, representing humanity's spirituality. The obelisk contains an hours glass filled with sand, a symbol of the transience of the present. More information.
Next along our walk is "Nostalgia" by Mexican artist, Ramiz Barquet, who created this sculpture to symbolize his love for his wife, Nelly Barquet, it shows a loving couple sitting side by side on a white granite bench, looking dreamily towards the sea, mountains, town and life with immense joy and love that lasted through time and finally became a reality. This sculpture is also one of the first that was placed on the Malecon in 1984. More information.
Going south you'll find Nature as Mother (La Naturaleza Como Madre) by Adrián Reynoso [note: many places online you'll find his name as "Tapatío", but actually tapatío means he's from Guadalajara].
An abstract polymer-resin-bronze sculpture on the Malecon, curves depict a crashing wave with human features. It's now once again located on the malecon, now in the place where the Triton and Mermaid sculpture was. (Triton & Mermaid are now just north of the Seahorse statue).
A human waveform (the mother, we guess) above a snail spiral shape that represents the eternal cycle of life and death.
On the corner of Leona Vicario and the Malecon, you'll find an interesting and strange sculpture named "El Sutil Comepiedras", The Subtle Rock Eater by Guadalajara artist Jonás Gutiérrez from 2006. It's a 2.4-meter-high, bronze-and-obsidian sculpture, it shows us a friendly and funny man. More information.
On January the 16th 2011, one of the newest sculptures on the Malecon was inaugurated, it's the work titled The Good Fortune Unicorn “El Unicornio de la Buena Fortuna” by the Guadalajara artist Aníbal Riebeling. It's a 3-meter high unicorn in a very stylized and wavy form, maybe to better fuse with the surrounding sea. More information.
Triton and Mermaid by Carlos Espino
You'll find this statue on the corner of Mina and the Malecon on Morelos, just north of the seahorse statue. This sculpture by Carlos Espino, Triton, and Mermaid, concentrates on the human form and classical mythology, which can clearly be appreciated in this piece.
It depicts Triton, son of the Greek god and Goddess of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon and Amphitrite, and a Mermaid. More information.
“La Rotonda del Mar” (The Roundabout of the Sea) by Alejandro Colunga from 1996, is found on the corner of Aldama and the Malecon. Colunga is a self-taught painter and sculptor from Guadalajara. You'll also find his statues, with the same concept, around Guadalajara and Zapopan. Eight monumental high-backed bronze chairs offering exaggerated human anatomy, surrealism, fantasy, and nautical imagery. More information.
"In Search of Reason" (En busca de la razón) by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante on the corner of Corona and the Malecon. Very distinctive statue with pillow headed figures and a ladder which they are climbing, searching for an answer while striving farther and above the normal limits of humanity (at least that is how it seems.
People like to climb up this statue and take their photograph which is fine just as long as they don't fall off during the photo shoot.
Definitively one of the most impressive statues on the Malecon. Read more about this interesting sculpture.
Rafael Zamarripa's famous "The Boy on the Seahorse" (Little Seahorse) statue on the Malecón has become a symbol of Puerto Vallarta, now placed in a new location with better space and stairs to sit around it. It's a 3 meter high bronze replica of the statue that was placed initially on a group of rocks called "Las Pilitas" at the end of Los Muertos Beach, but it was thrown over by the waves and strong winds, so in 1976 the artist was requested a new version which was then installed by the old Lighthouse on the Malecon. More information.
Angel of Hope and Messenger of Peace (Angel de la Esperanza y Mensajero de la Paz) by Hector Manuel Montes García
Behind the Los Arcos amphitheater (the Arches were part of a hacienda in Guadalajara) you'll find "Angel of Hope and Messenger of Peace" (Angel de la Esperanza y Mensajero de la Paz) by Hector Manuel Montes García from 2008. More information.
This statue was removed while the Malecon was being rebuilt, in July 2012 the local government approved to replace it between the sea and Los Arcos (the Arches).
Now behind the arches, you'll find the Friendship Fountain (Dancing Dolphins Fountain) "La Fuente de la Amistad" by James “Bud” Bottoms together with Octavio Gonzalez Gutierrez (1987).
Puerto Vallarta and Santa Barbara, California have been sister cities since 1972, Santa Barbara's sculptor James Bottoms designed this fountain with three leaping dolphins inspired by a Chumash Indian legend. More information.