Puerto Vallarta Street Art: Exploring 5 de Diciembre

April 22, 2018
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Street art in 5 de Diciembre in Puerto Vallarta

Exploring Puerto Vallarta’s street art in Colonia 5 de Deciembre

Within my first few days in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, after I’d already noticed a few pieces of street art, I came across a blog post titled Unique Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta: A Self-Guided Street Art Tour. In the article, Sarah mapped out a walking guide to see a number of Puerto Vallarta’s works of street art. The guide started in the 5 de Diciembre area of the city, an area I hadn’t yet seen much of. I decided the guide would be a good way to explore that area as well as finding street art. A delightful surprise was that I discovered more street art than was listed in the guide.

El Panteón Cemetery in Puerto Vallarta

The self-guided tour started at the El Panteón Cemetery at the corner of Calle Brasilia y Calle San Salvador. Street art covered the wall around the cemetery.

Street art painted on the wall around El Panteón Cemetery in Puerto Vallarta

Mural of a woman and candles on the wall of El Panteón Cemetery in Puerto Vallarta

Mural of woman with purple-ringed eyes on the wall of El Panteón Cemetery in Puerto Vallarta

It was nice to find so many pieces in one location, although many were worn and in need of touching up. But this was just the start of my street art discovery tour. I would discover many other impressive pieces.

Colonia 5 de Deciembre

Street by El Panteón Cemetery in Puerto Vallarta

Colonia 5 de Diciembre is located just north of the central downtown area (El Centro) of Puerto Vallarta. It was one of the first areas outside of El Centro to be developed. It is largely residential with a blend of locals and expats, a majority of whom are year-round residents. It feels more like a traditional neighbourhood than a tourist destination, the predominant aura in other parts of the city.

Scenes from Mercado del Mer (fish market) in Puerto Vallarta

Mercado del Mar, the city’s largest fish market is across the street from the cemetery. It is interesting to walk through even if you aren’t there to purchase fish.

Street in 5 de Diciembre neighbourhood of Puerto Vallarta

As I walked the streets, every so often I’d catch a pleasant whiff of a sweet, floury aroma. I quickly learned to recognize that meant I was approaching a tortilla bakery.

Tortilla making machine in a small tortilla bakery in Puerto Vallarta

Tortilla making machine in a small tortilla bakery

Fresh made tortillas at a tortilla bakery in 5 de Diceimbre in Puerto Vallarta

Street leading to Our Lady of Refuge in Puerto Vallarta

Street leading to Our Lady of Refuge Church

The Our Lady of Refuge (Nuestra Señora del Refugio) church was built in the 1960s. It is located in front of Miguel Hidalgo Park, one block north of the Malecon.

Our Lady of Refuge Church in Puerto Vallarta lit up at night

On another day I walked by Our Lady of Refuge Church in the evening to find it beautifully lit up

Misael Ivan Lopez

Einstein mural by Misael in Puerto Vallarta

The above mural of Einstein, located on Calle Columbia between Calle San Salvador and Calle Nicaragua, was on Sarah’s tour. It is signed by Misael. Back home, I did some research and discovered that several of the murals I’d liked in the 5 de Diciembre area were created by Misael.

Misael Ivan Lopez was born in 1987 in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico. When he was two, his family moved to Minnesota. In 2010 he was deported back to Mexico. After some culture shock, he discovered a love for Mexican indigenous and ancient art. That and his time in the U.S. have shaped his own art. In January 2018, he opened his own gallery The Hive Studio and Galería at San Salvador #370. The area near the gallery contains several murals he created or collaborated on.

Street art by Misael Lopez and Joey Real wrapping the wall beside the Hive Studio in Puerto Vallarta echoes the theme of the Hive with a swarm of bees

This piece, a collaboration between Misael Lopez and Joey Real, wraps the wall next to The Hive Studio. It echoes the theme of “The Hive” with a swarm of bees.

Bee mural by street artist Misael in Puerto Vallarta

More on the bee theme along that wall

Living Dreams street mural by Misael in Puero Vallarta features a bird in the centre

Another piece by Misael located near his gallery

Blue and pink street mural of girl and coral reefs

This mural by Misael is on Calle Venezuela

Coral Restore Mural Project

A Restore Coral Mural Project mural by Honhikuri in Puerto Vallarta features circular designs in turquoise, yellow and red

Restore Coral Mural Project mural by Honghikuri

The above mural on Calle Venezuela is one of many in Puerto Vallarta (and other places in Mexico) created as part of the Restore Coral Mural Project. Restore Coral is an organization working for the restoration of reef systems in Mexico, starting with the Mesoamerican Reef System. The Mesoamerican Reef, also known as the Great Mayan Reef, stretches for over 1,000 kilometres starting at the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula and continuing south along the coasts of Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, and Honduras. In recent decades, the Mesoamerican Reef System has experienced a density loss of 75% endangering hundreds of marine species. The organization seeks to create spaces for the restoration, reproduction and care of coral reefs working in collaboration with scientists and civil society. The Restore Coral Mural Project uses urban art to raise awareness.

Colourful whale street art in Puerto Vallarta

Piece by Tony Collantes

Restore Coral Mural in Puerto Vallarta

Collaboration by Noise and Nick located in the sport area/basketball court at the corner of Argentina and Columbia Streets

More Street Art

Colourful fish mural in Puerto Vallarta

Mural by Senor on Calle Peru

Street art in Puerto Vallarta: mural of black and white designs

Sarah’s guide goes on to other areas of the city, but I didn’t follow it beyond 5 de Diciembre. I had already discovered some of the pieces she listed on Isla Cuale. Over the remainder of my stay in Puerto Vallarta, I hunted out street art as I explored the city. I will write about street art in other areas of Puerto Vallarta in an upcoming post.

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Exploring Puerto Vallarta's Colonia 5 de Deciembre neighbourhood and its amazing street art #streetart #PuertoVallarta

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  • Reply
    Ken Dowell
    April 22, 2018 at 6:35 am

    So many of these look magnificent. I like the idea of cemetery walls decorated by street art. We’re used to cemeteries having a somber look and instead here’s all that color. Also impressed with the Einstein portrait.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 25, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Ken, even without murals like this, cemeteries in Latin America can be colourful.

  • Reply
    Karen Warren
    April 24, 2018 at 8:09 am

    What a wonderful selection of street art – it really brightens the place up. And I would never have associated street art with cemeteries, but why not…

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 25, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Karen, I too wouldn’t have associated street art with cemeteries, but I liked it.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 8:34 am

    What vibrant colors! I love street art, too, wherever I find it!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 25, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Irene, and it’s great that street art is becoming more prevalent in so many places.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Wow, amazing and colourful street art. I really liked the lizard and the octopus, but I couldn’t quite decide what Winnie the Pooh and his pot of honey were doing in the last one.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 25, 2018 at 7:32 am

      Cindy, there was definitely impressive street art in Puerto Vallarta. And, like art of all kind, it can evoke different responses in different people.

  • Reply
    April 24, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    Are there no end to Puerto Vallarta’s charms? I can’t believe how many works of street art you found! My favorite is the woman with the butterfly on her face — fantastic!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 25, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Patti, that is one of my favourites too. And there doesn’t appear to be an end to Puerto Vallarta’s charms. I discovered so many great things, but think there are still many things I have yet to see or experience.

  • Reply
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    April 24, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    It is amazing how street art has taken off around the world. I’ve never heard about the street art at Colonia 5 de Diciembre, so enjoyed seeing some samples and especially like butterfly lady.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 25, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Carole, I’m glad you enjoyed seeing the samples I included here. And it is amazing how street art has taken off. You can find it in such unexpected places.

  • Reply
    April 25, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Love street art and this 5 de Deciembre dies not disappoint. Especially like Misael’s. Will try to visit his studio when I get there!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 29, 2018 at 7:33 am

      Carol, I didn’t get to his studio. I only found out about it after I returned home. I will definitely visit it when I get back to PV some day.

  • Reply
    Rose Mary Griffith (@RoseMGriffith)
    April 25, 2018 at 3:22 pm

    love street art & self guided tours. Looks like a great way to see PV at your leisure.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 29, 2018 at 7:34 am

      RoseMary, I too love street art and self-guided tours.

  • Reply
    Elizabeth R RoseE
    April 27, 2018 at 12:10 pm

    There’s nothing like vibrant street art especially in Mexican towns like Puerto Vallarta. Thanks for the eye candy!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 29, 2018 at 7:34 am

      Elizabeth, I’m glad you enjoyed the eye candy.

  • Reply
    Abhishek Rathore @102 Fitness
    April 29, 2018 at 1:51 am

    I loved this street art all the pictures are worth seeing. Hope once I get chance to visit these all.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 29, 2018 at 7:35 am

      Abhishek, I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures.

  • Reply
    Sue Reddel
    April 29, 2018 at 8:34 pm

    I love walking where ever we travel. There’s something about seeing everything and randomly finding surprises along the way. The street art tour sounds delightful.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 30, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Sue, I too love walking and discovering things that way.

  • Reply
    alison abbott
    April 30, 2018 at 9:02 am

    What wonderful street art, I would love to visit for that alone. I especially love the one that wraps around the corner.Wings in motion!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      April 30, 2018 at 6:18 pm

      Alison, that mural wrapped around a corner was pretty amazing. It wasn’t one listed on the “tour” I was following so it was a delightful surprise.

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