The Malecon is a long boardwalk, the main strip where locals and tourists gather to stroll hand in hand; buy ice cream, candies, and other goodies; check out the talented sidewalk artists and street performers; or just kiss and gaze out at the ocean from the pier. This is where you can find both quality and fast-food restaurants, lively and loud bars and nightclubs, and a cast of characters - both male and female - that are often scantily dressed and on the prowl for a good time.
Our hotel, Agua de Molino, did a fantastic job of decorating the main dining garden in anticipation of a New Year’s Eve celebration. Earlier that day, a hotel employee visited each guest cabin and personally delivered a lovely invitation to the night’s feast. We all gathered for a full sit-down meal, but I have to say, we were slightly disappointed with our food. The band they had hired was loud and the atmosphere was a bit impersonal, so after a few bottles of wine, we decided to blow that scene and walk across the beach bridge to the Malecon to see how the Mexicans really party.
And believe me, they party! The streets were teeming with people—young and old—dressed to the nines and in amazing spirits. I found an uplifting joy in the Mexican character that left an impression on me. It seems that they value laughter and pleasure, an inkling that was further enhanced by the sight of people dancing in the streets. If you find yourself in Puerto Vallarta during New Year’s, you’d be wise to make plans in advance to drop anchor at one of the many bars in Malecon. If you wait a few hours like we did, you will find yourself dealing with a massive crowd and high entrance fees. You can still have a hell of a time just walking the streets of Malecon and getting high off the buzz of the energetic partygoers. At midnight, the city hosts a truly spectacular fireworks display that easily rivals any I’ve witnessed in larger wealthy American cities.