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Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours


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Puerto Vallarta Cultural Walking Tours  (We reopen October 2021)

Immersing yourself in a place helps to discover its culture. Walking enhances this experience. My name is Sandra Cesca. Welcome to my walking tours. My love of photography and travel writing has helped develop my business over the last 10 years. As you read the descriptions of my walks and view the photos in my gallery, you will get a sense of the experience you will have with me. Finally, go to my BLOG TAB where you can read stories of some of the people you will meet.

Why walk with me? Informative small groups, visit workshops and markets to see and meet the artisans and vendors, hear interesting history, visit places you may not find on your own. Time for questions and conversation. For customer reviews, go to Trip Advisor.

BOOK NOW!   We reopen in October!   COVID compliant. Masks required.

BOOK NOW gives immediate reservations, online payment, and email confirmation. Only available up to 24 hours in advance. Book early to assure your choice is available. Walks are about three hours long except for El Tuito (6 hours includes transportation).

Small, private groups of 4 or less until further notice. Questions? Email me. sandra.learn.vallarta@gmail.com

See photos of each walking tour in the photo links below.

Certificate of Excellence since 2013

Primary Walks

Guided Walk Through Arte Viviente Gallery Book Now

Guided Walk Through Arte Viviente GalleryNew

$10M,W,F5 pm

Arte Viviente has moved!  We now occupy four floors and a rooftop terrace in Centro Vallarta on Calle Libertad at Matamoros. There are loads of windows for better viewing of all the artist’s creations. Join me, your personal guide, as we take a private stroll through the largest and only cooperative Artists Gallery in all of Banderas Bay. I am Sandra, an artist, author, and member of the Coop. You will learn the history and stories of many of the 50 artists represented and their creative techniques, some of which are a reflection of the Mexican culture. All works are handmade and most are locally produced. There will be time for questions, conversation, and shopping at the end while you enjoy a margarita made with local raicilla.

Some of the artists may be present including Marcia or Kim who are also the directors of the Coop. Local 4th generation herbalist will be available Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons to answer questions about the numerous Mexican herbs he uses in his products. Tour fee is donated to the Coop.


See the See the Arte Viviente Tour photo gallery.

Milagros Workshop Book Now

Milagros WorkshopNew

$20, $30, $60, $87M,TH10 am

The history of Milagros goes back 4000 years to Spain. Milagro means miracle and indigenous people used them to express gratitude for health, home, and food, for blessings and answers to prayers. They would pin these small figures onto church statues praying for a miracle. This tradition was brought to Mexico in the 16th century by the Spanish Conquistadors. Today you can make your own Milagro with the symbols that have meaning to you. Francisco and Lupita have been Milagro artisans for over 30 years and are conducting this workshop in the private garden of their home. These make beautiful gifts for family and friends as well as yourself. Or as a blessing to hang in your home. This is a hands-on 3 hour workshop.

Price of the workshop is based on the size of the Milagro you wish to make from small to extra large and includes all materials, your guide Sandra, and a personal interpretation by Lupita about the relationship and meaning of the symbols you have chosen.

See the Milagaros Workshop photo gallery

Chocolate Walk with Class Book Now

Chocolate Walk with Class

$50M,W,F10:00 am

Begin with a mini-class where you will learn the history of chocolate, roast and grind cacao beans, and prepare the ancient drink of the Spanish Conquistadors. Hear about the history of Vallarta and its relationship to chocolate as we visit the three best chocolate shops in town, including two production kitchens, to see, smell and taste the many varieties of chocolate available. Experience local street culture as we walk from one shop to the next. Free samples and the opportunity to purchase various chocolate goodies, including body lotions and soaps made with local chocolate.  Meet at the Unicorn sculpture on the Malecon at the end of Josefa Ortiz de Dominguez street in Centro Vallarta. Easily reached by Uber, taxi or walking.

See the Chocolate Walk photo gallery

Historic El Centro ~ All New Route! Book Now

Historic El Centro ~ All New Route!

$50M,W,F,S9:30 am

This is my most popular walk. If you have taken this walk before, come again. I have revised the route adding several new locations. This walk covers the oldest and most historic part of Vallarta on the north side of the Rio Cuale. From the Central Plaza, we walk the surrounding cobblestone streets with its old colonial architecture and new urban art. You will hear about Vallarta’s history, Talavera pottery, origins of chocolate, vanilla, coffee, Huichol beadwork, ancient milagros, Oaxacan rugs, and more as we stop in some of these specialty shops.  We will take a break at the Chocolate Factory to sit and ask questions. We visit the Guadalupe Church and some of the famous Malecón sculptures as well as artisans at work. Meet at the Los Arcos Amphitheater on the Malecon across from the downtown Central Plaza.

See the Historic El Centro photo gallery

Gringo Gulch Book Now

Gringo Gulch

$45T,T,S9:30 am

See colonial architectural homes and villas including those of actors Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Learn how the movie “Night of the Iguana” changed the destiny of Vallarta forever! Listen to the entertaining stories of famous people from the past who helped to settle Gringo Gulch. Imagine yourself in this former fishing village while walking charming cobblestone streets with views of both ocean and jungle. End up at the famous Cigar Factory where the well known products of Mexico such as tequila, chocolate, vanilla and coffee are available. Meet at the Los Arcos Amphitheater on the Malecon across from downtown Central Plaza

NOTE: numerous stairs and some moderate hilly cobblestone streets.

See the Gringo Gulch photo gallery

Emiliano Zapata Neighborhood Book Now

Emiliano Zapata Neighborhood

$45T,T,S9:30 am

From the patio at the Chocolate Factory, we head for the Emiliano Zapata Colonia on the Southside over the swinging Rio Cuale bridge, through local cobblestone neighborhoods that are a mixture of old homes and new rentals. Visit Vallarta’s largest central produce/fish market; meet the fish lady; taste tortillas hot off the cooker; see renovated eclectic historic hotel, Banderas Bay’s largest ceramics factory where artists create colorful tiles, find old-world antiques, folk art, and hand-made leather in Alfonso’s museum where over 40 mannequins display historical clothes and headpieces all sewn by Alfonso. Meet at Chocolate Factory on Insurgentes and Libertad, across from the Municipal Market.

See the Emiliano Zapata Neighborhood photo gallery

Rural El Tuito ~ Not Available Yet Book Now

Rural El Tuito ~ Not Available YetNew

$70 or $100M,TH,S9:00 am - 3:00 pm

This tour has been revised to include several more interesting stops. El Tuito is a 500 year-old rural pre-Hispanic mountain town one hour south of Vallarta nestled in beautiful agricultural and ranch country. Our first stop is the famous family-run panaderia where we sample empañadas baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Then across to Mi Pretexto, a small family raicilla farm started 20 years ago, to observe how raicilla is made. Next several stops include the brickyard where hundreds of hand-made bricks are made daily and fired in their two-story kiln; the plaza; 200 year-old church; local pottery studio; coop art gallery; behind the scenes in a tortilla shop. Hear the history of this town since the days of the Spanish conquistadors. We end with lunch (fee not included) at local family restaurant.

$70: RT transportation on Vallarta bus; local private car in Tuito
$100: RT transportation from Vallarta in private car

NOTE: this walk is not suitable for those with mobility or balance issues.

See the Rural El Tuito photo gallery

Other Tours

Snorkel Hike Swim ~~ Adventure Tour Book Now

Snorkel Hike Swim ~~ Adventure Tour

$65/person Custom Tour (6-12 people)M,T,W,T,F,S,S9:30 am Request a Day BEFORE you book

Take a day, get off the beaten track, and out on the water where you will see Vallarta in a different light. This 6 hour day trip on my friend’s boat includes snorkeling, an easy hike through a small village to a remote waterfall with a dip in its cool pool. Back to the tranquil beach for a simple Mexican lunch (not included) and one more dip in the clear ocean. Enjoy refreshing cold coconuts, talking with the locals, and some local raicilla (for taste or purchase).

Captain Juan is a former lifeguard (think safety and first aid) and grew up in Mismaloya where he docks his boat. He knows the water and the local people. I know this isn’t my usual walking tour…but it is such a fine day that I am happy to arrange this again for you and a few friends (minimum 6 and maximum 12). To schedule,  CONTACT ME:   322 228 9365 in Vallarta or  sandra.learn.vallarta@gmail.com

NOTE: If you have less than 6 in your party, we can make some adjustments.

See the Snorkel Hike Swim photo gallery

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