If you follow me on Instagram, you probably know that I looove to hunt down the best street art wherever I am, whether I’m in Mexico City (check out my street art post about the Mexican capital here) or Monterrey (here’s a visual guide to the barrio antiguo). You’ll also probably realise that I’ve been holidaying over in Puerto Vallarta for the last couple of weeks, serving as the full-time translator for my mum and my boyfriend’s mum in between lounging by pools and sweating off approximately 30% of my body weight.
(Sidenote: If you don’t follow me on Instagram, then I’ll take this opportunity to say what the fuck have you been doing with yourself?! Here’s a link – go and follow me!)
A gratuitous and rare bikini shot for my loyal followers (lol who am i kidding?!) However, this does serve as an explanation for why northernlauren.com has been a bit quieter than normal lately – im on ACTUAL holiday! #northernlauren #puertovallarta #bikinishot #jalisco #jaliscoesmexico #visitmexico #mexico #westcoastbestcoast
However, despite this borderline Mexican street art obsession vibe I have going on, I’ve never really taken the time to methodically hunt down the best street art in Puerto Vallarta. In fact, the penultimate time I popped over to Jalisco was for a whistle stop tour of the sights and sounds of Guadalajara, Tequila and Vallarta which included missing the wedding ceremony for which we took the trip in the first place. Ridiculous, I know.
So, this time round, I knew I had to be proactive. After I’d waved off my mum and sister at their hotel, I dragged myself away from the fan I’d been plonked in front of for almost two weeks straight and took a few hours to compile the most colourful and social conscious street art in Puerto Vallarta. Honestly? I surprised myself with how much I managed to find.
Jump ahead to the kind of Puerto Vallarta street art you’re looking for!
These are all the murals I could find from the #RESTORECORAL Mural Project that are currently on display in Vallarta. This Mexico-wide project actually began back in 2015, focussing its attention (understandably) on Tulum, Cozumel and Playa del Carmen at first, before making its way over to the west coast with Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta and, most recently, Manzanillo in Colima. You can keep up to date with the latest murals over at their official Instagram account
Mostly works by pretty well-known Mexican street artists, the #RESTORECORAL Mural Project’s aim is to raise awareness about the destruction of the coral reefs in Mexico and worldwide. So, for all of you who think street art is just vandalism (seriously though, why are you even reading this article if that’s the case?), then this project goes a long way to prove that assertion wrong.
These are all the street art pieces I found that don’t seem to belong to the #RESTORECORAL Project. Where possible, I’ve noted who the artist is, so if you recognise any artworks, let me know who they’re by in the comments! I’ve divided these up based on where you can find them in Vallarta, for ease – Downtown, Río Cuale, Parque Lázaro Cárdenas, the Children’s Playground on Calle Colombia and Avenida Francisco Villa. Obviously, this is not an entirely comprehensive collection of all the street art in Vallarta, but it’s definitely rounds up a decent chunk.
Parque Lázaro Cárdenas
Children’s Playground on Calle Colombia
Avenida Francisco Villa
Sure, this is no exhaustive list, but if you’re looking for guaranteed Puerto Vallarta street art hotspots then you can’t go wrong by starting in the downtown area. Go about two to three streets up from the main malecón and you’ll find yourself knee-deep in exquisite artwork, or at the very least, picturesque cobbled streets not filled with Señor Frog’s and tourists. What’s not to love?
Personally, I found that Calles Peru, Venezuela and Colombia/Juárez were great starting points and easy to navigate. Then you have to check out the Río Cuale market, which has souvenirs and street art all rolled into a handy package.
Don’t forget to stop by the Parque Lázaro Cárdenas either, as there are some mirrored murals on the nearby walls. If mosaics are your thing, you can’t miss the one found in the Marina either (I have some pictures of it in this post, it’s fab).
Outside of the centre, you’ll find smatterings of street art in various locations, including dotted down Avenida Francisco Villa and into the Pitillal neighbourhood, but I can’t give you pinpoint locations for those spots I’m afraid.