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 Open-Air Art Gallery that’s 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) and a bike path area too. It is here you’ll find a string of beautiful sculptures in bronze, stone, and other durable materials. Many are from local and national artists, some are international.
The Millennia Statue (2001)
The Millennia statue by Mathís Lídice Malecon Puerto Vallarta
If we start off from North to South, right beside Hotel Rosita, we’ll first find “Los Milenios” (The Millennia) by Mathis Lidice, a spiralling 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, Charlemagne wielding a sword, Nezahualcóyotl and a woman stretching up to the future.
Complete information on The Millennia
Origin and Destination (2011)
Origin and Destination by Pedro Tello (2011) – Malecon Puerto Vallarta
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 hourglass filled with sand, a symbol of the transience of the present.
Complete information on Origin & Destination
Nostalgia by Jose Ramiz Barquet Puerto Vallarta Malecon
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.
Complete information on Nostalgia
The Subtle Rock Eater (2006)
The Subtle Stone-eater by Jonás Gutiérrez on the Malecon
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.
Complete information on The Subtle Rock-eater
The Good Fortune Unicorn (2011)
The Good Fortune Unicorn by Aníbal Riebeling, Malecon P. Vallarta
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.
Complete information on The Good Luck Unicorn
Nature as Mother
Nature as a Mother by Adrián Reynoso Malecon Puerto Vallarta
Going south you’ll find Nature as Mother (La Naturaleza Como Madre) by Adrián Reynoso.
An abstract polymer-resin-bronze sculpture on the Malecon, curves depict a crashing wave with human features. Unveiled on the Malecón in 1997. It’s now once again located on the Malecon, where the Triton and Mermaid sculpture was: boardwalk and Abasolo street. (Triton & Mermaid is now just north of the Seahorse statue).
(Between April 2012 and March 2019, this statue was no longer available on the Malecón and was located on the Main Plaza of the Colonia Infonavit).
Complete information on Nature as Mother
The Roundabout of the Sea (1996)
The Roundabout of the Sea by Alejandro Colunga (1996)
“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.
Complete information on The Roundabout of the Sea
In Search of Reason (2000)
In Search of Reason (En búsqueda de la razón) by Sergio Bustamante
“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 photographs which are fine just as long as they don’t fall off during the photoshoot. Definitively one of the most impressive statues on the Malecon.
Complete information on In Search of Reason
Lluvia (Rain) Jovian (2020), Puerto Vallarta Malecon
Lluvia (Rain) is a new monumental sculpture unveiled December 10th, 2020 on the Malecon.
It depicts a young man standing with outstretched arms looking upward into the sky (or rain). It becomes the 34th sculpture placed along the edge of the sea in Puerto Vallarta.
Lluvia is placed where Galeana street intersects with the seaside boardwalk, a few steps from the Malecon Lighthouse.
Complete information on Lluvia
Triton and Siren (1990)
Triton and Siren by Carlos Espino on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta
You’ll find this statue on the corner of Mina and the Malecon on Morelos, just north of the seahorse statue (previously it was placed further north on the boardwalk).
This sculpture by Carlos Espino, Triton and Siren, 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 Siren (the Greek name for Mermaids).
Complete information on Triton and Siren
The Boy on the Seahorse (1976)
The Boy on the Seahorse by Rafael Zamarripa (1976) Malecon Vallarta
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 asked for a new version which was then installed by the old Lighthouse on the Malecon.
Complete information on The Boy on the Seahorse
Angel of Hope and Messenger of Peace (2008) [still not replaced]
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 amphitheatre (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).
The Friendship Fountain (Dancing Dolphins Fountain, 1987)
The Friendship Fountain by James Bottoms and Octavio González Gutiérrez on the Malecon
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.
Complete information on The Friendship Fountain