Visit the Rio Cuale Island

Visit the Rio Cuale Island

March 16 2012

In the heart of bustling Puerto Vallarta hides a little piece of serenity known as Rio Cuale Island.

The lush green park is like an emerald necklace that provides Vallarta with clean fresh oxygen, its visitors a respite from their errands and stray cats safety from the dangers of the city.

Six blocks long by one wide, the island isn’t the result of city planning. It may have appeared by chance during a rainy season, as the river overflowed and arbitrarily created a second ocean-bound stream, trapping the little landmass.

The eastern side has remained a peaceful and quiet refuge, often frequented by locals and only a few tourists. A walking tour on its trimmed winding paths will entice a person to sit on one of the many benches and pause from the day's activities. Amid an unexpectedly serene setting, stray cats lounge on the grounds and trees waiting to be fed. Iguanas also provide visual entertainment.

The city’s cultural center at the eastern tip offers arts courses during the day at very affordable rates. Enthusiastic friends have tried painting, sculpture, singing, print making, guitar, or traditional dance and even ballroom dancing. Evenings, the center features outdoor performances and film screenings, crowd pleasers.

Several restaurants on the eastern tip provide delicious and reasonable food. Sip a cappuccino and spend a quiet hour beside the flowing river. Or take a couple of hours quietly catching up with a friend. For shoppers, boutique shops dot the area selling clothing, jewelry, art and home decorations.

The western side of the island is bordered by the Pacific Ocean and Insurgentes Street, where you''ll find a few well known restaurants and a busy flea market.

The Rio Cuale Island is entered through Vallarta and Insurgentes Streets, the pedestrian bridge along the Malecon, and a handful of suspension bridges.

Read more about Puerto Vallarta .