Puerto Vallarta audio tour: Puerto Vallarta Walking Tour: A Guide to the Historical El Centro

Puerto Vallarta Walking Tour: A Guide to the Historical El Centro

Walking Tour

60 mins

About the Tour

Travel along the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, which echo with a history as varied as its people. On this walking tour, I’ll introduce you to the Spanish conquistadors, revolutionaries, and indigenous Huichol who made this city what it is today. With my help, you’ll trace its transition from a tropical fishing village frequented by pirates and miners in search of their fortunes, into one of today’s top tourist destinations.

As we walk, you’ll see several important landmarks, including a statue of the judge who the city is named after, Ignacio Vallarta. You’ll also get a glimpse of the bridge that Richard Burton used to cross to get to Elizabeth Taylor’s room when she stayed at the Casa Kimberly’. Our tour starts and ends on the Malecón Boardwalk, home to 30 bronze sculptures in a striking seaside sculpture park. I’ll show you where people gathered to gossip and buy goods over 100 years ago at the Plaza de Armas, Central Mercado, the former farmer’s market that now caters to tourists, and the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, which took over 40 years to complete.

Along the way, I’ll answer questions like:

• Who was Catrina and the Lady of the Dead
• What is the meaning of Gringo Gulch
• Why is peyote important to the Huichol people
• Who invented chocolate
• Who were Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata
• How did Puerto Vallarta get its name
• What was The Night of the Iguana
• What are the flying Valedores

Join me on this hour-long walk, where you’ll become acquainted with the history of the city, and some of its artisans too. I recommend stopping halfway through your walk for an organic coffee, mango smoothie, or dark chocolate truffle at the Vallarta Cigar and Chocolate Factory.

Tour Producer


Sandra Cesca

I moved to Mexico 14 years ago to experience the adventure of living in another country. There were no walking tours back then to help get me oriented so I created my own business Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours to help others. I love to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for this culture, its history, art, music, and especially to introduce others to the warmth and friendliness of the Mexican people. In addition to my live tours, I also hope to expand my audience to armchair travelers worldwide by offering virtual audio tours through VoiceMap.

How VoiceMap Works

Focus on your surroundings, not the screen

VoiceMap’s audio tour app uses GPS to play audio automatically, at the right time and place. Just install it, then download your tour and go to the starting point to begin your walk, drive, cycle, train trip or even boat ride.

Follow a route with turn-by-turn-directions

Tours follow a route from a fixed starting point. This is how we provide turn-by-turn directions. It also helps publishers tell a story greater than the sum of its parts. But you can use Resume to pick up a tour from the closest location whenever you like.

Listen as many times as you like

You can listen to your tours as often as you like using both the VoiceMap app and the VoiceMap website. Your access to tours doesn’t expire.

Take virtual tours anywhere

Just select Virtual mode in the VoiceMap app to listen to tours at home – or anywhere else. You’ll see the option after you download the tour. You can also listen to the whole tour at voicemap.me.

Buy for less on voicemap.me and sync

Once you’ve purchased a tour, it’s added to your VoiceMap library. If you sign into the app using the same method you used on the website, you’ll have access to your full library of tours in both places.

Use VoiceMap offline

The VoiceMap app works entirely offline if there’s no data connection, so you don’t have to pay roaming fees. Just download the tour over WiFi before you get started.

Major Landmarks

  • Malecón Boardwalk

  • Los Arcos Amphitheater

  • Plaza de Armas

  • Rio Cuale

  • Central Mercado

  • Cigar and Chocolate Factory

  • Casa Kimberly

  • Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

  • Bronze Sculptures of the Malecón

Directions to Starting Point

This tour begins on the Malecón just north of the downtown central plaza. Easily accessible by local bus, taxi, or walking from your home or hotel if you are in the central Vallarta area.

Show Directions
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Places to stop along the way

Vallarta Cigar and Chocolate Factory to sit for a hot coffee or cold mango smoothie. Restaurants for a local Mexican lunch are El Campanario across from the church; Gabby's past the church on Calle Hidalgo; seafood and pizzas at the Vallarta Cigar Factory.

Best time of day

Although you can take this walk any time of day, wait until 9:30 am as many of the shops do not open until 10 am.


Central Vallarta is populated by many shops, vendors, and tourists and is safe for walking. The climate of Vallarta is pleasant most of the year but will become hot and humid during the summer months of July through September. Be sure to wear a hat, bring water and sunscreen, and a camera if you love to take photos.


We have been on several of Sandra's walks and have loved each one. Thought we would sample her new audio. What a great resource. Thank you Sandra. Gary and Susan

Posted by Gary Gartner , 23 days ago

wonderful! what a wonderful experience! Having the privilege of spending this time to explore a city that we have visited many times has been a real pleasure! The depth of research that has been done and the thoroughness of a sense for Vallarta‘s history and culture has given me new eyes for seeing this wonderful city. Thank you! Thank you!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 2 months ago

What a eonderful rxperience! Being able to spend this tome with someone who has so deeply research the history and culture of this beautiful city has been a great pleasur.

Though we have visited for many yeRs, this tour has given us completely new eyes with which to appreciate this special place.

Thank you, thank you!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 2 months ago

I just loved this tour. I have been here many years and learned new things on this audio tour. It is detailed and interesting including art, history, culture and fun facts. This is perfect for a new visitor to Puerto Vallarta or a seasoned visitor like myself. I plan to do the tour again to pick up more details of this fascinating town. The tour is easily walkable and took me a little over an hour with a nice stop on the way. Very easy to follow and I like the option to start/stop it at any time. The app was very easy to use. This tour had pictures of destinations along with written instructions, where to turn, etc. The audio instructions were very easy to follow, but it was nice to have some back up if needed. Very professionally done. I would say one of the first things visitors and guests of Puerto Vallarta should do. A nice overview.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , about 2 months ago

This is a very good way to cruise Malecon and the central district and at the same time get a lot of history and local knowledge of the area. Great tour!

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 2 months ago

I absolutely loved this tour! it was interesting, fun, and easy to follow. Sandra is a great guide with a lovely voice. I really enjoyed learning interesting cultural and historical facts and anecdotes about Puerto Vallarta, and I appreciated her sense of humor as well.

Posted by Anonymous Explorer , 3 months ago
Preview mode limited to first 3 locations.
Puerto Vallarta Walking Tour: A Guide to the Historical El Centro