Strange Art, Wild Nature, and Bounteous Beauty… Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon

Unique, often humorous art, along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon is one of several attractions that make the walkway appealing.

Unique, often humorous art, is one of several attractions that make a stroll along Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon a must-do activity each time I am in the city. How could anybody resist this flying/swimming whatever?

Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon, or walkway, along Banderas Bay is special. Most cities would offer up their top five attractions— or their Chamber of Commerce president, to have it. Beautiful sunsets, cascading pelicans, and waves rolling in from the Pacific are only part of the appeal. Interesting/fun art, views of the town, and the charm of the Malecon itself capture locals and visitors alike.

Looking south from the northern section of the Malecon as the sun sets over Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay.

Looking south from the northern section of the Malecon as the sun sets over Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay.

Pelicans join a feeding frenzy as they dive into Banderas Bay after a school of fish. The upside down guy made me laugh.

A photo of pelicans in a feeding frenzy from two years ago as they dive into Banderas Bay after a school of fish. The upside down guy made me laugh. Now that is dedication!

A number of sculptures adorn the walk including the Eggplant man…

A number of sculptures adorn the walk including the Eggplant Man, who just happens to be eating an eggplant. His substantial girth captured a bit of the Puerto Vallarta in reflection.

…Long Nose,

I wasn’t sure whether this was an octopus with one tentacle or a creature with a long nose that featured suction cups. “The better to smell you with, my dear.”

…this sea monster with a large mouth. (Check out his tongue and the hand pointing where food is supposed to go.)

This smiling sea monster with a large mouth featured a tongue with directions as to where it hoped tasty tourists might go.

…these graceful dancers,

A taste of the beauty and grace of Mexico…

and this beautiful sculpture that suggests that two heads are better than one.

…and a suggestion that two heads are better than one.

Even without the art and the bay, the Malecon is a very attractive walkway.

Even without the art and the bay, the Malecon is  very attractive. Note the designs built into the walkway.

Puerto Vallarta’s iconic cathedral is one of many sights looking inland from the Malecon.

Puerto Vallarta’s iconic cathedral is one of many views looking inland from the Malecon.

For those more into partying or shopping, a walk on the non-ocean side of the Malecon provides countless opportunities for mischief. Senior Frogs and many other bars line the non-ocean side of the walkway. Shops selling everything from tourist trinkets to humorous folk art compete for your attention. Or, you can get serious and spend the kid’s inheritance on something large and silver.

Peggy has her photo taken with Senorita Frog on the landside of the walkway.

Peggy holds hands with Senorita Frog on the landside of the walkway.

A flying cow serves as an enticement to one of the many bars.

A flying cow serves as an enticement to one of the many bars. From the expression on her face, I doubt that she is drinking milk.

Anybody want to buy a great ape? This big fellow is decorated with thousands of beads, Huichol Indian style. The shop was packed full of Huichol art. Peggy bought a small turtle. Apparently the ape was a little large to carry home on the plane.

Anybody want to buy a great ape? This big fellow is decorated with thousands of beads, Huichol Indian style— and a Corona hat. The shop was packed full of Huichol art. Peggy bought a small turtle. Apparently the ape was a little large to carry home on the plane.

I found this three foot alligator in Old Town Puerto Vallarta, but similar silver gifts are available along the Malecon. Armed guards were outside and inside the store.

I found this three foot alligator in Old Town Puerto Vallarta, but similar silver gifts are available along the Malecon. Armed guards were outside and inside the store. And no, we didn’t spend the kid’s inheritance on it. That money goes to our travels. (grin)

Peggy and I usually choose to walk on the ocean side. The ubiquitous vendors found along the bay front of Puerto Vallarta apparently aren’t allowed to push their wares on the Malecon north of the town center. Normally the sales pitches don’t bother us. It comes with the territory, and the people are only trying to make a living. Still, an occasional break is appreciated. Our tolerance for hassling doesn’t extend to timeshare sales people, however. Their approach bares a striking resemblance to that of used-car salesmen.

South of town center as you approach the Rio Cuale and Old Town on the Malecon, your opportunity to obtain ‘bargains’ increases exponentially. Our friend Lesley Lake made the mistake of allowing a bracelet vendor put a bracelet on her wrist. She ended up buying four. These guys are good. When they get you, you’re got.

Our friend Leslie made the mistake of showing interest in a hawker’s bracelets on the lower Malecon and ended up buying four. He was one happy salesman.

The vendor has Leslie. She won’t get away.

It is appropriate to end this blog on Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon with the statue of a boy on a seahorse, the symbol of Puerto Vallarta.

It is appropriate to end this blog on Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon with the adopted symbol of Puerto Vallarta, a statue of a boy wearing naught but a sombrero while riding a seahorse. Seems it might get a little rough, to me.

NEXT BLOG: Folks in Mexico take dead people seriously— sort of.

16 comments on “Strange Art, Wild Nature, and Bounteous Beauty… Puerto Vallarta’s Malecon

  1. When it comes to street vendors, avoid eye contact. I know it sounds cruel but just follow the habits of the locals. In Bali it became so bad, it hampered tourism. They have all but disappeared. Often the haggling was over nothing more than a cent or so. Why not just allow them to make some money?
    Isn’t it amazing though how beauty seems to be in abundance even in poor countries. The designs even in concrete pathways and the sculptures. Really refreshing and so uplifting..
    Great hourney, thanks Curt.

  2. Nice tour. I’m not one for trinkets and shiny objects and pretty firm when it comes to someone reaching into my wallet, so wouldn’t have been a good companion on your walks. The vendors would quickly ascertain that I was not the one to target and would pivot towards you and the others.

  3. What interesting sights, Curt. Love that Eggplant Man, cathedral, and giant ape. So glad you are there, because I may never make it to that part of the world. Your pics are helping me envision the colorful setting — and the humor found in local art!

  4. I love these public art displays Curt, and this looks like a good one with lots of variety. I love the photo of the feeding pelicans. I too get kick out of watching pelicans feed. Graceful flyers, and attractive in flight, but when they feed, they hit the water like suitcases falling out of the sky. Not attractive, but obviously effective. ~James

    • “Suitcases falling out of the sky:” great description James. When it comes to dinner, grace is definitely not a factor if you are a pelican. 🙂
      Puerto Vallarta is filled with public art. The city and its people have done a great job. –Curt

    • I am convinced that no moss will ever grow on you, Cindy. I barely got you out of Yellowstone and you were off wandering in Europe. And here, our neighbors accuse us of never being home… Glad you are enjoying the posts. And the gorilla is a treat. Can you imagine the work that must have gone into covering him with beads? –Curt

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