A Self-Guided Walking Tour in Puerto Vallarta

2 minutes read

You only have a few hours to discover Puerto Vallarta? This self-guided walking Tour is designed for you! This 34 min walk include art, landmark, street art, beaches, and more.  Follow me for an immersive visit!

A pinch of history

  • The region was inhabited by the Huicholes.
  • Guadalupe Sánchez founded the city in 1851.
  • Originally, Puerto Vallarta was called after his founder “Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe.”
  • In 1918, it was renamed after State Governor Ignacio Vallarta.
  • The small fishing village is now a popular tourist destination for North Americans,
  • And a Hollywood destination since the 60s: The Night of the Iguana (1964), Predator (1987), and Beverly Hills Chihuahua (2008) were some of the movies filmed in PV.

5 miles to discover Puerto Vallarta. Let’s walk!

Puerto Vallarta – View from a cruise ship

1 – Stretch your legs at Malecón Boardwalk and admire Mexican Sculptures

Malecón Boardwalk

Start your day at Malecón Boardwalk. Aside from numerous shops and restaurants, this oceanfront promenade includes 34 sculptures from Mexican artists.

La Nostalgia by Ramiz Barquet, 1984.
“In Search of Reason” (En Busca de la Razón) by Mexican artist Sergio Bustamante, 1999.
Triton and Siren (1990) by Carlos Espino, 1990.

Look also for sand sculptures.

Sand Sculpture
Bailarines de Vallarta by Jim Demetro, 2006.

2 – Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe)

Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Built between 1920 and 1940 in honor of the Lady of Guadalupe, the Church is still an active place of worship for Catholics. Symbol of the city, its architecture is a mix of European and Mexican influences.

The 48 feet tall (15.5 meters) crown, called “Tecuntlanopeuh” (from Spanish “People born on Las Peñas’ peak”), was replaced in 2009. Damaged after the 1995 earthquake, it took 14 years to sculpt it.

Location: Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Hidalgo 370, Proyecto escola, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico.

3 – Mercado Municipal Río Cuale

Mercado Municipal Río Cuale

Created in 1979, the municipal market offers products mainly for tourists. It’s not an authentic market, and you will find many souvenirs and textiles.

The market is open daily from 9 am – 7 pm.

Location: Mercado Municipal Río Cuale, Agustín Rodríguez s/n, Centro, 48300 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

4 –  La Isla del Río Cuale

La Isla del Río Cuale
Colorful Shops

La Isla del Río Cuale is a small island nestled in downtown Puerto Vallarta. This pedestrian area includes a park, colorful shops, restaurants, and a museum.

Public Park

The crowd-less park is quiet and pleasant. There are many benches to relax and a few public artworks to appreciate.

Location: Cuale Island Flea Market, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, 48380 Puerto Vallarta, Jal., Mexico

5 – Zona Romántica

Zona Romántica

Zona Romántica is a trendy LGBT and expat neighborhood. With a concentration of restaurants, coffees, hotels, and shops, it’s an animated and enjoyable area. I recommend venturing into the streets to discover and immerse in the local life.

I stepped into a restaurant and had the best tacos and guacamole from my Mexican trip 😉

Location: Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

6 –  Lázaro Cárdenas Park

Lázaro Cárdenas Park

Lázaro Cárdenas Park is the highlight of this tour! This colorful large square is filled with tile mosaics and sculptures. This public art project started in 2017 thanks to artist Natasha Moraga and many volunteers. The plaza continues to be transformed with mosaics art, and you can contribute to magnifying it.  

Kindness is the way.
True Love is You Love

Does it remind you of Park Güell in Barcelona (Spain)?

7 –  Sea the beach

Playa Los Muertos

End the day at the beach. There are numerous beaches to laydown and soak in. When I visited Puerto Vallarta in December, the beaches were crowded with both tourists and locals.

According to the legend, Playa Los Muertos (Beach of the Dead) was named after a deadly confrontation between pirates and locals.

Bonus – Street Art all Day

I love street art and was surprised by the numerous murals I discovered through this walk. If you visit Puerto Vallarta, immerse yourself in the streets to discover colorful art.

Based on my visit on December 2022

Ready to explore Puerto Vallarta?


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