Streaming down from the jungle-filled mountains over Puerto Vallarta, the Rio Cuale cuts right through the heart of this magnificent city. Before emptying into Banderas Bay, this river gives a number of unique adventures to Puerto Vallarta’s island visitors. One of the most ignored sites in Puerto Vallarta is Isla Rio Cuale, a natural island in the center of the river near the city’s downtown location. Though Isla Rio Cuale is just six blocks long and one block in width, there is much to do and see at anytime of year.
Though Isla Cuale might not get much more than passing mentions in travel-guides, the island has become an indispensable part of Vallartan society. It has been rumored that the island was naturally constructed several years back after a severe and protracted rainy season which caused the river to overflow pushing debris to accumulate in its middle. As Puerto Vallarta became popular in the mid-20th century, the island came to act as the informal communal center of the city’s laid-back pedestrian culture. Bridges were created off nearly every side of the island, linking Isla Rio Cuale to several of the city’s best areas. Today, the island boasts many shops as well as dining establishments, an archaeological museum, a prominent nightclub, miles of relaxed trails, outstanding surroundings and one of Mexico’s largest public markets– the Rio Cuale Flea Market. Besides being a distinct visitor location, the island as well as its untainted nature act as a metropolitan oasis for the city’s citizens.
On the western side of the island, bordering the bay as well as Insurgents Street, you will discover the extremely preferred Rio Cuale Flea Market. With two floors of shops selling everything from locally-made natural leather products and blankets to ceramic pots and also hand-crafted jewelry, this market is the finest place to discover a deal in Puerto Vallarta. As you search the stalls, don’t hesitate to try out your finest bargaining techniques. You could be surprised to learn that many sellers are friendly and also responsive. After you have finished browsing at the flea market, you could dine at one of the tiny local cafes situated close by on the island’s western coast.
While the western side of the island appears to match the intensity and excitement of the city, the eastern end of Isla Rio Cuale acts as a silent refuge. The slim paths that wind in-between the trees are ideal for bicycle riding as well as tranquil walks. Local community members are known to unwind and also picnic in the cool shade of Isla Rio Cuale’s huge trees. As the island additionally functions as a refuge for plants as well as indigenous animals, tourists typically attempt to identify the families of iguanas that live in the treetops. On the eastern-most point of the island, you will discover the Centro Cultural Cuale– a prominent destination for outdoor shows, movie screenings and also art classes.
In the middle of the island’s arboretum, you will locate the Gallery Rio Cuale– an enchanting ancient gallery dedicated to regional societies. When possible, aim to visit the museum on a Tuesday at 1 pm when the supervisor provides her cost-free regular lecture in English. If you are more interested in the recent history of Puerto Vallarta, stop by the John Huston Plaza– the city’s devotion to the supervisor of “Night of the Iguana.” Attributed for putting Puerto Vallarta on the international tourist map, Huston and his movie are prized to this particular day, a number of years after its launch.
With a handful of narrow suspension bridges connecting Isla Rio Cuale to the mainland, getting to the island is taken into consideration by several visitors as one of the most amazing things they have done. Beyond Isla Rio Cuale, you will locate the Zona Romantica– a prominent area for upscale outings as well as entertainment– and also the Midtown Puerto Vallarta neighborhoods. The island additionally attaches to El Malecon, the city’s renowned boardwalk along Banderas Bay.
Besides being at the heart of the activity in Puerto Vallarta, Isla Rio Cuale is commonly referred to by locals as “el lugar mas bonito” one of the most lovely location in Puerto Vallarta. Come experience the marketplace and also the coffee shops, yet remain for the all-natural beauty as well as seclusion.