Puerto Vallarta's Río Cuale Market

Puerto Vallarta's Río Cuale Market

Javier Machain, staff OCV
July 22 2011

The Rio Cuale Market is one of Puerto Vallarta’s oldest neighborhoods: rich in tradition and history. Located in the midst of historic downtown Vallarta, you are sure to find the perfect souvenir from your visit, albeit traditional garb, jewelry, crafts, etc. 

There’s no better way to get to know us than by visiting our main market. Puerto Vallarta’s Rio Cuale Market harnesses the best that the city has to offer; it’s a place where you can observe many of Vallarta’s idiosyncrasies.

The Market’s history dates back to the 1950’s when “polleras”, women who made a living from selling traditional Mexican dishes like pozole, chicken gorditas and café de olla (cinnamon coffee), set the standard of what the market is today.

With the 1960’s came constant growth to Puerto Vallarta’s Rio Cuale Market. It is then that the present facilities were constructed and inaugurated on November 28th 1979 by then Governor Flavio Romero Velasco and Mayor Eugenio Torres Ramírez.

Back then, the square served more as a farmer’s market catering to the people’s needs with meat and fish stands, fresh produce, etc. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that it began to take a more tourist-friendly approach.

The Rio Cuale Market is made up of two floors where you can find nic nacs like: key chains, t-shirts, coffee and tea mugs, beach dresses, hats, wrestling masks, bathing suits, and an infinite amount of traditional Mexican souvenirs. Don't forget to check out one of the small restaurants serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Now a day the market has a total of 155 stores, of which 18 are food-related, and 137 sell other miscellaneous commodities.

Being that it’s Puerto Vallarta’s most famous market, it’s welcomed celebrities like:  Jorge Rivero, Pedro Fernández; Ofelia; Medina, Michelle Vieth; Lilia Mendiola de Chi (best known as Lyn May); Rocío Durcal, who shopped for the wardrobe featured in her music video “La Guirnalda”(1986), filmed on the beaches of Puerto Vallarta ; and most recently the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders, to name a few.

Come and relish from our authentic Mexican flavors and folklore, where all visitors are welcomed with open arms.