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  • By Barbara Ramsay Orr

Cultured friends  followed Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to Puerto Vallarta after their incendiary affair made the city popular. They brought with them an interest in art and were partly responsible for the central role that art would play in the development of the city. Today, the malecon is lined with sculpture, there are galleries in abundance, and artists come to live and create here. It helps that there are paintable scenes around every corner!

Whether you want to look at art, buy art or create it, the Puerto Vallarta arts community will embrace you.

Galleria Dante, Basilio Badillo, Zona Romántica, Emiliano Zapata, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Puerto Vallata, Galleria Dante

River Cafe, Isla Rio Cuale, Zona Romántica, Centro, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

River Cafe

ART VallARTa, Pilitas, Zona Romántica, Amapas, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico

Art Vallarta

Best Things To Do in the Morning in Puerto Vallarta

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Join Up with Fellow Artists

I meet every Friday with my tribe – a group of artists who just love to spend their morning painting and drawing Puerto Vallarta. The group is called The Puerto Vallarta Plein Air Painters, and anyone who wants to can join up. The location of each week’s meet is posted in the group’s facebook page. 

The level of skill ranges from professional artists to complete newbies, but this is a welcoming and collaborative group, where you can pick up some great tips and meet interesting people. We usually all gather for coffee somewhere near where we plan to paint and have a good chat. Then everyone disperses to find a place, hopefully in the shade, to paint for the morning. At about noon we meet for a throw down, where everyone displays their work from the morning. Often we’ll also have lunch together at a nearby cafe.

I love these Friday mornings, and I think any artsy person would too!

Free Art Sculpture Walk

Every Tuesday morning, starting at 9:30, during high season, there is a free sculpture walk. Gallery owner Gary Thompson takes you on a guided tour of public art, installed along the Malecón of Puerto Vallarta . You will learn the history, hear the stories and find out the curious facts that you may not have known about your favorite sculptures, such as “The Boy on the Sea Horse”, “Nostalgia”, “Triton and Mermaid”, and others.

The tour departs from the sculpture “Los Milenios” at the beginning of the Malecón and 31 de Octubre Street. The guided tour lasts approximately two hours and is completely free. If you wish, you can make a donation that will entirely benefit the Biblioteca Los Mangos cultural center; one of the oldest in Puerto Vallarta .

Best Places for Lunch in Puerto Vallarta

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Dine in an Artful Place: The River Cafe

When hunger strikes, wander into the River Cafe, located right beside the Cuale River. The food is good, mainly Mexican dishes, and the margaritas are generous and tasty, but best of all is the art on the walls. With the river beside you, and colourful paintings on the walls, this is an inspiring place for a leisurely lunch.

Best Things To Do in the Afternoon in Puerto Vallarta

One good way to get out of the heat of the day is to visit some of the art galleries. They are usually air conditioned, some have interior gardens and some have shaded courtyards, like the Galleria Dante on Basilio Badillo.

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Take an Art Class

There are a few artists who offer classes in different mediums in Puerto Vallarta. One place that always has a good roster of classes and teachers is Art Vallarta, in Olas Altas. The school offers classes in several mediums, including sculpture, oil painting, weaving, ceramics and watercolour. There is also a small art supply store with good quality items, and there are frequently shows of local artists in the school’s gallery. Nice way to while away an afternoon, praticing an existing skill or learning a new one.

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After Dark in Puerto Vallarta

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Art Walk

The streets come alive in Old Town after dark, and this is the perfect time to hit up the galleries which often stay open late on Fridays. Sometimes the gallery will serve you a glass of wine while you peruse the art! There used to be a popular art walk on Wednesday evenings but the pandemic seemed to derail that. Now, every second Friday evening is Paseo Del Arte, a night when the galleries and artists’ studios stay open late and art lovers are invited to visit. It is a great excuse to explore some of the side streets and smaller galleries. Twenty two of them are participants in this artsy evening, and often there will be an opening, with the celebrated artist in attendance. You can find a map of the participating galleries here.

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Sculpture After Dark

When the sun sets, the time is right for a walk along the malecon to take in the public sculptures that line the walkway. There’s a whole history that goes with each sculpture ( there is a very informative sculpture tour – see details below) but each work is best seen when washed by the setting sun – truly magical. And there are lots of cosy bars where you can sit and sip a marguarita while you enjoy the sculpture. Great beginning to the evening.

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