Isla Cuale really is a hidden gem of tranquility and peace in Puerto Vallarta; a little oasis in the bustling heart of the city, Isla Cuale can be found in the very middle of the Downtown area. Here’s a spoiler for you – you’ll find it in the middle of Rio Cuale!
Cuale Island in Puerto Vallarta
Isla Cuale is a small islet in the middle of the Cuale river which is reachable by two bridges on the North and South sides of the island, and it has long been considered a play area of sorts for the children of the Downtown area (though this was considered formally half a century ago) in Puerto Vallarta. There are two hanging, wooden bridges on the island that all the children seem to find fascinating, but there’s much more to this green space than just these.
An abundance of classic white benches and winding walkways make it the perfect place to get away from the heat of the day, and when you reach the most inland point you’ll find a small cultural center at which there are singing, piano, sculpture, and even painting classes. There are even a few restaurants to stop at should you get thirsty or hungry while you wander!
John Huston’s Sculpture
If you were to tell us what you’d expect to find in the middle of the island, we bet you’d never say a bronze statue of director John Houston, but strangely enough that is exactly what you will find outside the old Le Bistro Restaurant (which closed its doors last year).
This statue was erected to mark the 25th anniversary of the Night of the Iguana movie which was filmed on Mismaloya beach near Puerto Vallarta. Credited with the start of the Burton and Taylor love affair, this movie also did much to put Puerto Vallarta (then a sleepy fishing village) on the map.
Mouth of the River Cuale
From this Islet you can see the meeting point of the Pacific Ocean and Rio Cuale where pelicans frolic and children play; this area is also home to the Cuale archaeological museum! During the rainy season the waters run high and fast, but at other times they are calm and perfect for paddling. Why not buy a popsicle (or Paleta) from a passing vendor and enjoy the heat of the day on the Cuale Island in Puerto Vallarta.