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Top 5 Photo Opportunities In Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is home to some very unique attractions made for photgraphic discovery, especially along the Malecon, the foot traffic famous boardwalk along the coastal edge of downtown Puerto Vallarta. We could easily give you a 1-5 (or more) list of scenes, statues and landmarks along its path, enough to make anyone content. In the spirit of adventure, we thought we'd at least mix it up somewhat. But for some reason if you are only in town for a brief period (e.g. cruise ship stop over) and dont want to venture out too far, you can spend your day strolling the magnificant Malecon.


Seahorse Statue

Malecon (Boardwalk), Puert Vallarta


No, thats not some jerk climbing up on an iconic statue of Puerto Vallarta pretending to be a rodeo star. He is an actual part of the fixture making the work a little more playful than many of the "stand around" ocean life statues found throughout Mexico. El caballito de mar, or "Seahorse", is probably the most photographed attraction in Puerto Vallarta and is a great starting point for your journey along the Malecon.


Los Arcos

Malecon (Boardwalk) South, Puerto Vallarta


Los Arcos, "The Arches", is found at the southern end of the Malecon and serves as a large outdoor amphitheater where on any given day you can find all forms of entertainment ranging from live music, folk dancing, cultural activities, and even clown shows (you've been warned). On top of the over the top performances, Los Arcos makes for an amazing landmark photograph, especially when the sunset perfectly positions itself within the bending frames of this architectual work. 


Marietas Islands


Jacques Cousteau thought the world of Las Marietas Islands. Thats good enough for us and should be good enough for you too. Marietas Islands is a protected wildlife sanctuary and marine preserve where a simple boat ride out can leave your SIM card packed with images of sea turtles, massively wing spanned manta rays, playful dolphins, and humpback whales if the season dictates. The scuba and snorkeling are top notch, but even if you don't venture below the surface, we recommend pulling up to the sea caves and rock formations via boat/kayak and marvel at the views Marietas Islands provides. Puerto Vallarta Tours will be happy to accommodate your needs on this expedition.


Puerto Vallarta Cathedral, Cathedreal of Our Lady of Guadalupe


This towering cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe. It not only serves as monument and a bell tower, but as a clock tower as well, with a large timepiece visible from all sides of the structure, marking the presice moment you captured this image.


A great zoom-in shot can be taken at the peak of the Vallarta Cathedral where it is capped by a replica crown worn by the Empress Carlota, wife of Maximilian of Habsburg, emperor of Mexico from 1864 to 1867. However this crown is an updated version replacing the original that was destroyed during an earthquake in previous years. The original, was said to be modeled after a headpiece worn by a mistress of that very same emporer. It seems as if a higher power wanted to make a literal statement about the moral misgivings of placing a mistresses tiara upon a cathedral named after the Virgin, Our Lady of Guadalupe. What were the contractors thinking?


Los Arcos Islands

Los Arcos Marine Natural Area, Bay of Banderas, Puerto Vallarta


This Los Arcos, contrary to the number two entry above, is a natural wonder and an official National Marine Park in Puerto Vallarta due to its use as a honeymoon suite (breeding ground) for sea birds such as pelicans and boobies (yes, "boobies" is a type of bird...stop snickering!). Thus, bird watchers will get double duty photo opportunities at Los Arcos. The tunnel formations and underwater caves of the small islands are magical sites to see when paddling up via kayak, but the goods are found under this tropical "tip of the iceberg" as Los Arcos, with its fossilized coral beds and sea life, serves as a home to some of the best scuba and snorkeling in the area. So strap up with the best underwater camera gear you can get your hands on and plan a day at Los Arcos, Puerto Vallarta. YAHglobal.Com recommends Discovery Day Cruises  to help you fulfill this adventure.


Creepy Surreal Chair Statues - Honorable Mention

Malecon (Boardwalk), Puerto Vallarta


We are aware that this is a Top 5 list and that we could have simply grouped this item in with the above first and second place finishers; The Seahorse or Los Arcos (monument), both found along the Malecon, but these two "guys" deserve mention for the simple fact that they scare the hell out of us. Take a photo with/on them, and then proceed run for your lives!