bronze sculptures of the malecon

There are a lot of things that impress me about 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. This post is devoted to the 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.


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.


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


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.


The Rotunda by the Sea (pictured above) is a surreal collection of bronze sculptures by Alejandro Colunga that was installed in 1996. In all, 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, the one below would be it. This captivating sculpture 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.


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.

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. Jason B 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

  2. Elizabeth 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

    • Thx for your comment, Elizabeth. Yes, these kind of art installations really add to the persona of a place. I love it!

      I’m not sure if any further works are in the plan for the Puerto Vallarta Malecon. I’ll try and find out.

  3. 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
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  4. 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! 🙂
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  5. 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 | The Globe Wanderers 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

  6. 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.

  7. Arleen 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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    • Thx so much for your comment. Arleen. Yes, I’d forgotten just how lovely Puerto Vallarta is … until my recent visit. It’s no wonder it has such a large ex-pat population. People come, and they just don’t want to leave!

  8. I do enjoy open air museums like this! I’d say Nostalgia was my favourite too, has the sea air turned the bronze green?
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  9. 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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  10. Jeri 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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  11. 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. 🙂

  12. Ken Dowell says:

    Some really interesting art. I especially liked the surreal bronze sculptures.
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  13. sher says:

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


  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.
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  15. 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

  16. 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

    • Thanks for your comment, Kathy. Yes, I was amazed that the sculptures and statues of the Malecon had been created over a 35-year-period! I recall some statues from my visit so very long ago, but was thrilled to see all the new installations. Puerto Vallarta is a remarkable destination for art lovers!
      Doreen Pendgracs recently posted…bronze sculptures of the maleconMy Profile

  17. Linda Paul says:

    Great post, Doreen. It reminds me a bit of a park I visited in Lima, Peru. I think you chose my favorite sculpture.
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  18. 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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  19. 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.
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  20. Lenie 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.
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  21. Kire Sdyor 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.

  22. Sabrina says:

    What lovely pictures! I never heard of this place in Mexico. Thanks for sharing.
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  23. 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.
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  24. Phoenicia says:

    I find these statues very artistic but slightly creepy.
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  25. 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!
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  26. 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.
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    • 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.

  27. 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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    • Hi Catarina. Thx very much for your kind words. I always try to find the unique in a place, and pinpoint what, for me, was the highlight. For me in Puerto Vallarta, it was definitely the statues and sculptures of the Malecon.

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