Puerto Vallarta Icons – Our Lady of Guadalupe Church

Lady of Guadalupe Church

The construction of the Temple of Our Lady of Guadalupe, located across from the town square “Plaza de Armas” and the city hall, started in 1918. Its facade is made of brick and its central tower was built of four sections in the early 50’s and in 1965 was topped with a crown of concrete supported by eight angels of the same material, this tower has become the worldwide symbol that identifies the charm of Puerto Vallarta. Not far from the sea and at the foot of the mountain that shelters the bay, its poise stands out from the red roof tops, cobblestone streets and colorful patches of bougainvilleas, palm trees and golden bowls.

Lady of Guadalupe Church 1995 Lady of Guadalupe Church Crown Empress Carlota

The original crown fell during the October 9, 1995 earthquake, so current is made of fiberglass and is said to be a replica of the crown used by the Empress Carlota wife of Emperor Maximilian of Hapsburg in 1860, who led the second and last monarchy in Mexico.

Lady of Guadalupe ChurchThe interior keeps beautiful works of art made ​​up of a marble altar with the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe, painted by artist Ignacio Ramirez, the Stations of the Cross, a communion rail, pulpit and confessionals carved wood. The paintings that decorate the dome of the temple were made ​​by the artist Daniel Lechón.

The church held on October 12, 2011 its 90 years and since then and by tradition and devotion on December 12, attending the parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe thousands of pilgrims to celebrate the Virgin of Tepeyac (Virgin of Guadalupe), a festival attended by locals and visitors.

Pilgrims

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Puerto Vallarta Icons – Islas Marietas (Marietas Islands)

Islas Marietas

Surely a natural icon of Banderas Bay, the Marietas Islands are one of the most important nesting sites of seabirds in Mexico and eastern tropical Pacific, also housing many other marine species.

Islas Marietas
Islas Marietas
Islas Marietas

Marieta Islands were caused by volcanic activity during the cretaceous era, getting fancy shapes, the two islands of this archipelago (Round Island and Long Island) have virtually the same shape, dominated on the surface and underneath with a variety of caves and cliffs.

After years of scientific research and an intensive effort to provide legal protection to the archipelago, was finally declared a “Marietas Islands National Park” in 2005, with almost 1,400 hectares of land to be an important nesting area, shelter, reproduction and transit of at least 92 species of waterfowl, underwater, resident and migratory.

It is estimated that in these islands is located the largest population of the iconic global brown bobo bird (Sula leucogaster) and with them you can see the beautiful blue-footed bobo bird, which also nests in the Galapagos Islands.

Islas Marietas Birds Islas Marietas Birds

That is why it is not allowed to “step on” the islands, and human routes should be limited to sightseeing, the beach and water activities like diving, kayaking and snorkeling.

If this was not enough, during winter you can hear the amazing songs of humpback whales, who use the islands as a natural shelter against predators and ocean currents.

Islas Marietas Islas Marietas Islas Marietas Islas Marietas
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Puerto Vallarta Icons – Caballito de Mar (Sea Horse)

This bronze sculpture of almost 3 meters high of a seahorse with a child riding it is the most recognized symbol of Puerto Vallarta; from the talented Rafael Zamarripa was installed in the year of 1966 on “Los Muertos” beach but because to the relentless force of the waves and bad weather led to eventually capsized and disappeared in the ocean. In 1976 there was a replica, becoming the first sculpture on the “Malecon” of town.

Some years after its twin was installed, the original mysteriously appeared and then lost again with the arrival of Hurricane Kenna and later to be rediscovered and reinstalled one more time.

Nowadays both sculptures are currently starring in many of the photographs of the spectacular sunsets over the bay. Some say that the god Poseidon takes everything that belongs to him to never return, however this time it seems that the horse and the child are so in love of the place that welcomed them; escaping each time Poseidon steals them to go back to the place where they feel loved.