The Sand Sculptures of Puerto Vallarta Mexico



My wife and I spend the winter months on the West Coast of Mexico near the famous city of Puerto Vallarta. 

I guess you could call us Snowbirds. After we retired from the “rat race”, we decided to find a tropical paradise to live, so we could escape the wicked Canadian winters.  

sand sculpture

Although it was not intentional, our destination has some of the coolest sand sculptures, and sand artists that I’ve ever seen. 

Part of the reason I love this area of Mexico is its interesting sand sculptures. 

I’m not sure if this is a “movement” or “tradition”, because we haven’t been going to Mexico that long, but when it comes to sand sculptures, Puerto Vallarta definitely has some great work, and very talented people who inhabit the beach. 

Artists work hard all day to create these sand sculptures, and I believe tips are always welcome!

sand sculptures in mexico

We had traveled to the Florida area when we were younger, to take our kids to Disney World, but now it was our turn to have fun. 

After reading about different warm places, and they had to have great sandy beaches, we decided to live in the Mexican province of Jalisco, which is the area near Puerto Vallarta. 

It was also very accessible with a small manageable airport. We could fly WestJet non stop from Toronto and be there in 4 and 1/2 hours. 

We didn’t even have to experience the U.S. customs, and we didn’t need any U.S. dollars.   

sand sculpture

We soon discovered that Puerto Vallarta and surrounding area had it all and more. 

The weather was perfect. The people were friendly. The peso was very comparable to the Canadian dollar.

There was so much to do too. We could stay right in the high energy metropolis of Puerto Vallarta, or hide away in the small village of San Pancho, which is only 45 minutes north along the coast, from the PV airport.  

My wife and I have always loved going to the beach. Not only are we Snowbirds, but we are also Beachbums. 

We love everything about the beach. One of our favorite things to do at the beach, is to make sandcastles. 

Here is a video of me working on my “sand crater”. Not sure what inspired this, but I spent all day on it. Call me crazy! Only one person stopped by to ask any questions about it that afternoon.  

We try and stay away from crowds of people, especially the other Snowbirds, but one day, we overheard someone talking about the sandcastles near the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta. 

They said that the Malecon, or boardwalk, along the Pacific Ocean in old town Puerto Vallarta was something every tourist had to experience at least once.  


The artwork on display there was world class, especially the sand art. 

We took the local Compostella bus the very next day and headed directly for old town PV.  

Apparently, the beach there was very popular and very special, and we loved the thought of that.

puerto vallarta sand sculpture

I should mention that Puerto Vallarta is located on Banderas Bay, which is the 7th largest bay in the world, and has very warm waters. 

The humpback whales from Canada’s west coast even love to spend the winters in this bay.  Whale watching is very popular in the PV area. 

The Sierra Madre mountains protect the province of Jalisco from unwanted weather conditions, keeping the climate here pristine. 

Scientists have discovered evidence that humans lived in this area ever since 580 BC. 

sand art

Today, the population of the Greater Puerto Vallarta area is approximately 300,000, and many are Snowbirds and Beachbums.

Back to the Malecon! When traveling by city bus into old town Puerto Vallarta, just ask the driver to let you off at the Malecon. 

That’s where most people are going.  People watching, eating at great restaurants like the ‘Cheeky Monkey’, and shopping for gold or silver, might be what you’re after, since this area was once a mining community. 

But make sure you check out the sandcastles on the beach, and don’t forget to give the artists a tip, since that is the only way they can get paid for all their efforts.  Puerto Vallarta wouldn’t be the same without them.

kids on the beach

You might have already figured it out, but the ‘sand sculptures’ don’t last too long given they are right on the beach, and waves can make them disappear very quickly. 

I guess that’s good, because that way, new and different sculptures are always appearing, which gives the visitors a reason to return.

About the author: Robert is a former teacher and travel buff, and has spent the last 30 years travelling to different parts of the world including all over North America, South America, Africa, and Europe.  He loves trying new cultural cuisine, zip-lining through the Amazon jungle, and his cat, Twyla-Mae.