Route #1: Walk along the Malecon to the “Romantic Zone.”
A great start to seeing the city is to walk south along Vallarta’s boardwalk, called the Malecon, to Los Muertos Beach in the Romantic Zone. General Directions: Walk straight down Corona toward the water until you hit the Malecon. Turn left (south) and stroll along it for as long it for as long as you like. There are tons of shops, bars, restaurants and stores of all kinds. Puerto Vallarta is famous for its bronze statues on the Malecon. You’ll see another kind of artists — sand castle builders — which are truly amazing.
You’ll cross the Rio Cuale, which officially splits the city, entering the Emiliano Zapata colonia. Sometimes referred to as the “Romantic Zone.” it has the city’s most dense collection of bars, restaurants and shops. There are dozens of interesting restaurants and bars that deserve a try.
Once you pass the new pier, try La Palapa on Los Muertos Beach as a great place to have a cocktail, do some people watching, and catch the sunset. The beach was named for a (we think) mythical battle between local miners and pirates in the late 1800s. After the battle, they found Los Muertos — the dead- on the beach.
The block bordering the beach, Olas Altos, is another lively street. Want to dance? The Andales bar and restaurant is a good place anytime during the night. Stroll the street and stop in on one of the cafes or restaurants or silver shops.