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September 13, 2023

Top 5 Ideas for Mexican Independence Day Celebrations in Puerto Vallarta

Mexican Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16th, is an important and patriotic holiday that commemorates the independence of Mexico from Spanish rule in 1810.  This festive occasion is celebrated with enthusiasm all over the country, and Puerto Vallarta, one of the top beach destinations in Mexico, is no exception.  

Here are the top five ideas to make the most of your Mexican Independence Day celebration if you're lucky enough to be in Puerto Vallarta during this time.


The “El Grito” ceremony, held on the evening of September 15th, is one of the highlights of Mexican Independence Day.  Puerto Vallarta typically holds the event on its main square -the Plaza Principal- and the Los Arcos amphitheater.  Join the community in commemorating the historic moment that Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, an important figure in the Mexican struggle for independence, rang the Dolores Bell and declared freedom from Spanish rule.  The ceremony includes fireworks by the Malecón, live traditional music after midnight, and the iconic cry of “¡Viva México!” by the mayor of Puerto Vallarta.  Immerse yourself in the spirit of Mexican patriotism for a powerful and moving experience.


No Mexican celebration is complete without a taste of the country's delicious cuisine.  On Independence Day, you can enjoy traditional dishes such as chiles en nogada, mole poblano, tacos, tamales, and more at local restaurants, cenadurías, and street vendors along the Malecón and the main square.

For the past 34 years, Restaurant Gaby's has been a favorite place for visitors to enjoy typical Mexican food.  Specialties include chile relleno, mole con pollo, chimichangas, enchiladas and Cinco de Mayo (a combination of chile relleno with fresh panela cheese; chicken with mole, rice, beans and tamale).  From their open-air terrace overlooking Puerto Vallarta's historic downtown, enjoy Chef Julio César Castellón Pérez's creations.

Head to the heart of the Romantic Zone, very close to the Municipal Market, to enjoy Mexican dishes with the authentic flavor of Puerto Vallarta cuisine.  Pajaritos Restaurante has been preparing fresh local seafood using señor Jorge Cortés’ “Pajaro” family recipes for over 20 years.  In a casual, unpretentious atmosphere, you'll find delicacies like chile en nogada de marlin (stuffed Poblano pepper with marlin and walnut sauce) and fish or shrimp meatballs in a hot, spicy broth.  Wash it all down with one of the house raicillas or an ice-cold cerveza.


During Mexican Independence celebrations, Puerto Vallarta comes alive with lively street fiestas and parades.  The Malecón is always one of the best places to go to celebrate.  Expect to see colorful decorations, music, dance performances, and lots of dancing in the streets.  Adding to the festive atmosphere, you'll see people dressed in traditional Mexican attire.  Nightclubs, bars and discos along the Malecon, El Centro and the Romantic Zone host Mexican-themed nights with live music, mariachis or guest DJs throughout the Independence Weekend.  The next day, head to one of Puerto Vallarta's best beach clubs to recharge your energy and party spirit.  Don't forget to check out our Events section for more information on Independence Day specials.


Use this opportunity to learn more about Mexico's rich history and culture.  Visit local museums like the Museo Naval to gain insights into Mexico's maritime heritage.  Throughout the month of September, the Ruta Mushi traveling exhibition will feature a thematic exhibit of objects, documents and photographs related to the history of the charrería in Puerto Vallarta and the region.  On weekends, from 9:00am to 9:00pm, the tour makes stops at tourist attractions such as Hidalgo Park, Marina Vallarta and Lazaro Cardenas Park.  Additionally, you can explore the historic center of Puerto Vallarta, known for its cobblestone streets, colonial architecture, and vibrant art scene.


No Mexican Independence Day celebration would be complete without a breathtaking display of fireworks.  Colorful explosions and dazzling pyrotechnics light up the sky in Puerto Vallarta.  Many beach areas and overlooks offer great views of the fireworks.  Examples include Los Muertos Beach, the Malecón and the North Hotel Zone.  Be sure to bring your camera to capture this awe-inspiring moment.

An unforgettable experience filled with culture, history and excitement is celebrating Mexican Independence Day in Puerto Vallarta.  You'll find that Puerto Vallarta offers a unique and vibrant way to celebrate this important holiday, whether you choose to participate in the "El Grito" ceremony, enjoy delicious Mexican cuisine, or immerse yourself in the local festivities.

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