Laura Del Rosso
Laura Del Rosso

InsightThe Pacific coast resort city of Puerto Vallarta is sprucing itself up as it prepares to host two important events this spring: the Tianguis travel trade fair from March 25 to 28 and the World Economic Forum on Latin America from April 16 to 18.

The biggest project is along the city’s waterfront. In November, the malecon, the promenade fronting Banderas Bay, was reopened after reconstruction and renovation that turned the formerly traffic-filled thoroughfare into a palm-lined, pedestrian-only pathway. At its center is a beachfront amphitheater overlooking the Pacific. As part of the renovation, the city opened a kiosk with bicycles, kayaks and strollers available for rent. Their use is free for the first 30 minutes.

The attractive new malecon is one part of the renaissance of Puerto Vallarta’s historic core, said Sara Sanchez Maldonado, a spokeswoman for the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board. She said the goal is to retain the city’s traditional Mexican village atmosphere downtown but to modernize its infrastructure. The malecon is considered “the soul” of the renewal project, she said.

The renovated area, which comprises 12 blocks along the downtown waterfront, is busy day and night with local residents and visitors enjoying a beachside stroll.

One of the main features of the promenade is its paving, done in mosaic by Mexican artist Fidencio Benitez of the local Huichol tribe.

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