By Caitlin Moore

Mexico evokes certain images when mentioned as a vacation destination, but when the topic of conversation is Puerto Vallarta, it becomes necessary to expand a little bit. This isn’t a run of the mill getaway spot where cerveza and sunbathing are the main draws; Puerto Vallarta is rich with culture, art, and adventure along with the typical relaxation aides mentioned above, meaning a trip here will contain all you could ask for in a tropical beach getaway.

Puerto Vallarta (doesn’t the name alone rev you up just a little bit?) is located on the Pacific coast of Mexico on what is know as the Mexican Riviera. Near the center of the expansive country, this destination enjoys fine weather most of the year and tends to attract a healthy wintertime crowd in search of relief from the snow and ice that less fortunate parts of the world are forced to endure. Summers can be steamy and rainy with high humidity and temperatures in the 90’s, while the winter months range from 70 to 85 degrees. The sun shines for nearly 300 days a year, so chances are you’ll be happy with the conditions during your visit.

History has seen Puerto Vallarta evolve from a simple fishing village to a fashionable spot worthy of shooting a movie starring Elizabeth Taylor, and today it is not only a solid choice for tourists looking to kick back and have some fun, but it has retained a singular identity that sets it apart from other resort towns. Wandering around this town is a feast for the mind as well as the eyes, so prepare to be replenished in more ways than one.

For example, an unmissable sight is the Malecon, an eleven block stretch of coastline that contains sculptures, shops, bars and people-watching opportunities galore. This is one of those places to “see and be seen” and it’s also quite visually interesting. Take a look at the nine foot tall bronze seahorse that tells an interesting story about the wily ways of the ocean and stands as the first statue to be built along the promenade. Also notable is the piece depicting a thirty foot ladder with two children climbing ever upwards, and just down the way is a sea god and sea nymph locked in an eternal gaze. Mostly made by Mexican artists with grand visions, this display is not to be overlooked.

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