Mussaendra frondosa (Flag Bush)

I’ve just returned from a week in Paradise, otherwise known as Puerto Vallarta, a welcome respite from gray days and cold temperatures. Sunny skies every day, beautiful sunsets, delicious food, and the opportunity to reconnect with good friends. I’ll never tire of looking at the plethora of flowering trees and shrubs but, in this post, I want to talk about the artistry found in this charming city.

Use of azulejos (ceramic tiles) to decorate formerly concrete walls and columns

Until recently, the Lazaro Cardenas Park in the Zona Romantica was a sea of concrete where the Saturday morning market takes place. However, an enterprising local artist named Natasha Moraga has spearheaded the effort to transform the park into a colorful, mosaic tile space now called El Parque de los Azulejos. What a difference. Last year, I saw her team gluing tiles to some of the columns at the east side of the park. Now all of the columns in the park have been tiled as well as all of the building walls and some of the seating.

Pebble pattern in sidewalk joint

Sidewalks are rarely without decoration. Joints are often filled with pebbles, probably washed up onto the beaches from the ocean, in varying patterns. Other times, the joint space is filled with bricks in an undulating pattern.

The wall that encloses one of the large condominiums along the Malecon, a concrete “boardwalk” that connects Old Town to the Zona Romantica, is a work of art composed of local rose-colored stone and brick pavers set at angles.

In Old Town, we frequently walked past a less elaborately painted wall but it has a niche that has been filled with colorful ceramic pots and flowering plants.

One of the small buildings in the Zona Romantica has been painted in a series of pictures that entice you to look at it, not just walk past it.

It’s rare to find undecorated walls. In our hotel, the wall by the elevator had a turquoise bench and straw baskets beside and above it with color echo. Beauty and artistry is everywhere.