bronze sculptures of the malecon

There are a lot of things that impressed me during my return visit to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The beautiful vistas, the gentle waves of the beach, the amazingly creative culinary scene, the fabulous street food, the chocolate, and above all for me … the abundant street art. Stay tuned for posts on all those other memorable aspects of my visit. This post is devoted to bronze sculptures of the Malecon (boardwalk), a collection of statues and sculptures that runs from the Hotel Rosita in the north for 11 blocks south along the beach through Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant downtown area.

sculpture-at-hotel-rosita

The Millenia statue behind the historic Hotel Rosita was placed in its striking location overlooking the north end of the beach in 2001. It is a creation of artist Mathis Lidice and represents the passage of time.

millennia-statue

This close-up of the head of the Millennia Statue located behind the Hotel Rosita shows the structure of the work’s provocative design. This piece of art is officially referred to as a statue (perhaps because of its height) but it really is a sculpture as it a unique piece of art that is an artful creation, vs that of a statue which is defined as a replica of a real person or animal.

the malecon sculptures combine traditional with contemporary art

seahorse-statue

The Boy on the Seahorse statue is one of the more traditional pieces of art you’ll find along the Malecon, and probably the most photographed piece of art in Puerto Vallarta. It was erected in 1976.

The bronze sculptures of the Malecon marry traditional bronze sculptures that you’d expect to find in a seaside venue with some of the wackiest and most other-worldly sculptures you are likely to find in Mexico–or anywhere else on the planet. I loved them all, but was somehow eerily attracted to the work of Alejandro Colunga of Guadalajara. I was pleased to see some of Colunga’s work in Guadalajara as well, but the striking seaside setting in Puerto Vallarta really make the sculptures come to life.

bronze-sculptures-of-the-malecon

The Rotunda by the Sea is a surreal collection of bronze sculptures by Alejandro Colunga that was installed in 1996.

The Malecon sculptures number about 20 pieces of original that were installed over a 35-year-span (from 1976-2011) to inspire and tantalize you while you meander along the beautiful beachside boardwalk that hugs the shore of Banderas Bay.

Do you have a favourite among the Malecon sculptures? I thoroughly enjoyed each of the Malecon sculptures and if I had to pick one as a favourite, this would be it. The sculpture shown below is called Nostalgia, and is a tribute of love from Mexican artist Ramiz Barquet to his wife. You can’t help but feel the love that was put into this work of art as you walk by it, lean against it and enjoy the very touchable art form that has adorned the Malecon since 1984.

love statue

Many thanks to the North American Travel Journalists Association for holding its 2015 conference in Puerto Vallarta, and to Visit Puerto Vallarta and its partners for covering the costs of my travel. If you haven’t been to Puerto Vallarta in a long while–as I hadn’t prior to my long-overdue visit in May, 2015–you will be surprised at the abundance of street art this lively resort town has to offer. Hope to see you there on my return visit in October.

 

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

56 Responses

  1. Catarina says:

    Doreen, I love your way of focusing on sculptures in Puerto Vallarta. It’s an unusual and personal approach to a sea side resort. Most people would just write another post about beaches, sand and fun:-)
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  2. I would have to agree with you in terms of favorites, I love the work entitled Nostalgia. But I have say how impressed I am with all the bronze sculptures of the Malecon and what a terrific enhancement they provide to this seaside resort.
    Jacqueline Gum recently posted…A CROOKED GOLDEN RULE… WHERE’S THE JUSTICE?My Profile

    • Thx for your comment, Jacquie. I try to highlight what is unique and different about a place, so that when travellers are choosing a destination, they will learn what else–besides the obvious beach and sun– will be there to enjoy and learn from.

  3. Beth Niebuhr
    Twitter:
    says:

    Doreen, It has been many years since I last visited Puerto Vallarta and I am going to enjoy your series. I too love the Nostalgia piece. Those works are so magnificent!
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…Don’t Pitch in a Networking Group!My Profile

  4. Phoenicia
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    says:

    I find these statues very artistic but slightly creepy.
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  5. Wow this is amazing Doreen, I’ve never seen anything quite like it. But I sure would like to! You’ve definitely wet my appetite for a return visit to PV one day in the near future. Thanks for sharing about your trip and these lovely images.
    Marquita Herald recently posted…Why Do We Always Do it This Way?My Profile

  6. Sabrina
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    says:

    What lovely pictures! I never heard of this place in Mexico. Thanks for sharing.
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  7. Kire Sdyor
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    says:

    Doreen, everything I knew up until now about Puerto Vallarta came from the TV show The Love Boat in the early 1980’s (so really nothing). Love the idea of bronze statues instead of sand castles. Alejandro Colunga has created some of the creepiest park benches I have ever seen. Not sure I could bring myself to sit on one.

  8. Lenie
    Twitter:
    says:

    Doreen, these sculptures are all intriguing but the one I like best is the realistic one of the boy on the seahorse. That really is lovely – the other ones, interesting.
    Your way of writing does entice people to go see for themselves so I would say the Visit Puerto Vallarta group certainly received their money’s worth.
    Lenie recently posted…Baking Soda: 40 Best Cleaning TipsMy Profile

  9. Erica says:

    I’ve never been to Mexico at all. However, I just came back from a few days in San Diego which is about as close as you can get without actually being there. I like the sculpture dedicated to love as well. It is very sweet. I also like the girl riding the seahorse, but that is something you would more typically expect to see at the beach.
    Erica recently posted…From No Time to Cook to Master ChefMy Profile

  10. Ah Doreen, you sent me back to my files for my pictures of these sculptures from my January of 2002 trip to PV. I took a couple of different pictures–the woman with the long braid of hair down her back, the funny looking thing with a long straight snout and of course, Neptune. Thanks for the memories!
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  11. Linda Paul
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    says:

    Great post, Doreen. It reminds me a bit of a park I visited in Lima, Peru. I think you chose my favorite sculpture.
    Linda Paul recently posted…America; the land of slaughter by gunMy Profile

  12. Kathy Andrew
    Twitter:
    says:

    Thanks SO much for this post Doreen – I’d forgotten all about these wonderful sculptures! They are really amazing and so surprising in such a tourist destination. The Rotunda by the sea is my favorite one, and the last image is very beautiful too.
    Kathy Andrew recently posted…Lack of fREADom Sucks…No More Banned #BooksMy Profile

  13. Patricia Weber
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    says:

    These bronze sculptures of the malecon remind me of some of the things we see from Richmond VA to Outer Banks NC. They aren’t exactly the same mind you – Outer Banks has a theme going on of horses, and if I remember correctly, Richmond is fish.

    I am so happy you are sharing such unique parts of your travel adventures Doreen!
    Patricia Weber recently posted…Staying focused, brain on technology, smell the roses, introvert in graphs #Blog Round-up from #introvert inspirerMy Profile

  14. Tim says:

    Call me a traditionalist but you can’t beat the boy on the seahorse as the quintessential PV sculpture that has been a land mark since it was first erected.
    Tim recently posted…Adventure BotswanaMy Profile

  15. sher
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    says:

    wow those are some cool chairs. i especially like the one of the naked woman because it cracks me up haha!

    Sher
    http://www.shershegoes.com

  16. Ken Dowell
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    says:

    Some really interesting art. I especially liked the surreal bronze sculptures.
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  17. Susan cooper
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    says:

    Hi Doreen, I’m a big art fan and can see why you chose to blog about this particular aspect of the trip. I love the seahorse one. The last one made me think of the Vigeland Park in Oslo. There all the statues are nude people of all ages. No wonder they get over a million visitors a year. Lol. Art, as in beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. 🙂

  18. Jeri
    Twitter:
    says:

    Those bronze sculptures are great and what a fantastic location. I especially like the ones that also function as chairs.
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  19. These are wonderful works. I am very impressed.
    Many bronze statues in Europe did not make it through history. Many of them were melted down to make cannons. I hope these can go through history so others can view them.
    Thanks for sharing.
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  20. I do enjoy open air museums like this! I’d say Nostalgia was my favourite too, has the sea air turned the bronze green?
    Gemma Two Scots Abroad recently posted…Overheard Whilst Travelling – Coffee Shop CringeMy Profile

  21. Arleen
    Twitter:
    says:

    What a great place for a conference. Puerto Vallarta is one of my favorite places. From the town to hills, it is truly a beautiful to visit. Just loved the art of the bronze statues and the way they are situated overlooking the water. Who would not love your job.
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  22. Joe Ankenbauer
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    says:

    PV is a great place to visit! I haven’t seen these statues before though. Thanks for introducing them to me Doreen!
    Joe Ankenbauer recently posted…Getting Nauti: The Museum of Maritime ScienceMy Profile

    • You’re welcome, Joe. Just like me, I think a lot of people visited PV a long time ago, and hadn’t visited recently. I was amazed at how much the resort town had grown, and in a good way, with lot of art and amazing restaurants to enrich our visit.

  23. Love this sort of thing and going hunting round cities etc for art works. Barcelona is an obvious one but there are so many places that offer such cool little treasure hunts like this.
    What a beautiful place this is! 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Doreen.
    James recently posted…6 Little Lessons Travel Has Taught MeMy Profile

    • Thx so much for your comment, James. Yes, I’m realizing that as long as I find great art, food, wine, and chocolate in a destination … I’m a happy camper! On my previous visits to Mexico, I’d been more enamoured with the cheap folk art I’d found in the resort shops, but having now been to the major cities of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and soon be be Merida, I’m overwhelmed by the creativity and amazing talent of the more sophisticated Mexican artisans.
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…bronze sculptures of the maleconMy Profile

  24. Ahh, the beauty of art. Those are unusual yet very interesting works of art! Seems like the sculptor were really able to express themselves. Thanks for sharing! 🙂
    Isabela Mariano recently posted…Things Off My List | I See BelaMy Profile

  25. the sculptures are all so lovely. there is something to be said of the beautiful street art of Latin America. I really enjoy the art on the street as they have thing like this all over Chile, in Lima Peru e.c.t. very cool
    Kimberly Erin recently posted…Hello Instagram: 9 Photos you have to take in South AmericaMy Profile

  26. Elizabeth
    Twitter:
    says:

    Cool sculptures. I love these kinds of parks, it adds a whole new dimension to things. I think I like the first one best, it is unusual, have to use your imagination a bit. Interesting they had the foresight to build it over 35 years, are they still adding to it?
    Elizabeth recently posted…Patagonia Travel Tips and Planning Your TripMy Profile

  27. Jason B
    Twitter:
    says:

    I haven’t been to Mexico yet, but I would love to see those sculptures in person. They are weird and interesting at the same time.
    Jason B recently posted…The Life of an Uber DriverMy Profile

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