Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

La Malecon (Boardwalk)

Top Row (from Left to Right): The Malecon Arcos & Huichol sand sculpture

The four grand stone arches of Los Arcos Amphitheater are a symbol of Puerto Vallarta, and mark this prominent open-air theater located downtown at the south end of the Malecon, and right off the main plaza in front of Guadalupe Church. They were brought from a colonial hacienda close to Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.

Los Arcos Amphitheater is the venue for free concerts, cultural performances, and other impromptu activities. For grand-scale events, the city of Puerto Vallarta brings out risers to accommodate the large number of spectators that arrive to enjoy the festivities. The arches were dragged away into the sea by Hurricane Kenna in 2002 and modified in 2011. Also, in 2002, a replica was created by artist and sculptor Martín Distancia and his assistants, Manuel Palos, and Martín Yépez.

Middle Row: Vallarta Dancers—Jim Demetro, a US artist, was first inspired to create this impressive sculpture in the year 2000 when he witnessed the Xiutla dance troupe performing the “Jarabe Tapatío” (Mexican Hat Dance) on the Malecon, under the direction of their instructor and choreographer Professor Enrique Barrios Limón. It was unveiled in 2006.

Bottom Row (from left ro right): The Friendship Fountain (La Fuente de Amistad) sculpture made by James Bottoms who designed this fountain with three leaping dolphins inspired by a Chumash legend in 1987.

Carlos Ramírez’s sculpture of John Huston an actor and filmmaker from the early 20th century

Playa de los Muertos (Beaches of the Dead):

First legend states that many years ago on this beach, pirates came ashore and stole what they could. They would take advantage of the habitants and would constantly create battles. There was once a big battle created and many people and pirates were killed at the site and that is why it was called playa los Muertos.

Another legend states that this beach was once a cemetery and when they started civilization they had to build another one but kept the name Playa los Muertos because it was a cemetery and the time.

The third legend states that long ago when Puerto Vallarta was just a small port, pirates came to hide their treasures. One day on a full moon, the captain who was the only one who knew where the treasure were hid, could not remember where they were put and realized all his treasures were buried. When he did not find anything, he sent the other pirates to search. After long hours of searching pirate found a large fortune, he realized it was the treasure. Seeing that; he did not want to share the information, soon all the pirates realized he had found the fortune and started fighting over it, they all killed each other but one lived to see all dead, and he decided to name it playa los Muertos.

The second legend was more truthful because this area was truly a cemetery. Over the years, when the population began to grow and began to see that it was a tourist place, people began to build its restaurants and hotels. It is said that while they were building them, they would find bodies.

Yelapa Beach

Mirador de la Cruz

Naval Museum Secretary of the Navy of Mexico (Museo Naval Secretaria de Marina, Armada de México)

REFERENCE: Google Earth

Grade: A

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