Travel Pics Theme: M for Mexico. Malecons and Milleniums

Malecon sand sculptures

Malecon sand sculptures


Malecon is a Spanish word for boardwalk, or embankment, or esplanade.

And there are a number of famous Malecons – the most famous is probably in Havana, Cuba (the 8km long Avenida de Maceo).

Other Malecons include Mazetlan’s which is 21km long and a collection of roads and avenues. It’s not, strictly speaking, a Malecon because it does not run beside an embankment all the way – but that hasn’t stopped locals from adopting the term!

There are other Malecons, like Cartagena, and Veracruz – but today we’re going to showcase Pueto Vallarta’s Malecon – and its world famous ‘sand sculptures’.

The Malecon is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Puerto Vallarta – a 1.5km long stretch of beachfront that has been radically reshaped in the 2010s, replacing a somewhat seedy version that had seen better days.

And one of the  key attractions is what is referred to locally as Sand Sculptures.

Now, in most places, ‘Sand Sculptures’ would be .. well .. sculptures made of sand.

But  in Puerto Vallarta, it refers to a series of bronze statues that line the Malecon – some quirky (a Wookie, of all things), some whimsical ones by artist Alejandro Colunga (which feature sea-creatures washed up on beach furniture), and “The Millenium”, the subject of today’s Travel Pic.

This is by Mathis Lidice, and is an interesting (if somewhat historically inaccurate) treatise on the passage of time, and the influence of key figures in the development of Latin American culture.

It begins with the millennium before Christ, linked by life that evolved from the sea with different symbols of Christ appearing farther up. The first millennium is represented by Charlemagne, the second by Aztec king Nezahualcoyoti, and the third millennium is symbolised by a woman holding a dove.

And what does the female “Magnificent Frigatebird’ perched on top of the dove represent?

Probably that nature will always come out on top, given enough time .. and poop all over our best efforts.


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