“El Cuale” An Island that Has it All

“El Cuale” An Island that Has it All

By Verónica Toro, translated by Nyima Bieber
August 1 2014

An absolutely incredible place to visit.

Located right between El Centro and the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta , the Cuale River in downtown Vallarta is home to many attractions for both visitors and locals; best known as “patas saladas” or salty feet. 

Also known as the Isla Río Cuale, it is one of the most visited places no matter the season, and undoubtedly one of the most scenic and beautiful in the region. The Cuale River lies between the Sierra del Cuale and the source of the river of the same name. 

The waters of the Cuale River are always cool, maintaining a low average temperature throughout the year. You can see where the river meets the sea and as it passes through the natural stones, and when it is not the rainy season it appears completely crystal clear. 

Aside from its great visual appeal it is also a significant place to explore from above, with activities like zip-lining,or discover the diversity of its flora and fauna with hiking or horseback riding excursions; the river and surrounding areas are home to many species of animals such as iguanas and birds.

The river not only offers a glimpse into the natural world; it also has architecture and commerce. You'll find the Rio Cuale Archaeological Museum, one of the most important due to its wide variety of artifacts from the ancient civilizations of Mexico. There is also a cultural center featuring plays, dance performances, exhibitions of paintings and many other events related to the arts. 

Visiting the various restaurants and bars is a smart choice, as sampling delicious dishes and tropical drinks while admiring the natural beauty of the region is a truly relaxing experience (and one of the greatest pleasures as you’re able to breathe in an ambiance of incomparable peace). 

However, one element that gives the island more color and fills it with life is the market; commerce is a vital part of the Isla Río Cuale and the various stalls offer everything from artisanal handicrafts to clothing, toys and fine jewelry; many of these products are made by the talented hands of indigenous Huichol people who preserve their traditions and still inhabit small villages in the mountains of the Sierra Madre Occidental. Here you’ll find not one but countless souvenirs to take home with you or give to family and friends. This is one area that you simply cannot miss during a visit to Vallarta-Nayarit !