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Getting to Know Puerto Vallarta Through Its Maritime History

Published May 1, 2010 - (Updated Nov 30, 2012)


Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Spring/Summer 2010 issue.

In addition to its natural attractions and recreational activities, Puerto Vallarta is also rich in maritime history, as can be seen at the Naval Historical Museum located beside Los Arcos Amphitheater in El Centro. Its collection includes artifacts and curiosities that tell the story of the founding of Puerto Vallarta and the state of Jalisco, as well as maritime exploration in the region and the activities of the Mexican Navy.

This fourth Mexican naval museum—there are two in Mexico City and another in Veracruz—was originally planned for Monterrey, but because of a lack of adequate space in that city, it was established in Puerto Vallarta instead. The building that houses the museum was built as the port captain’s office in 1974 and years later became the naval hospital. In 2001 it was chosen for the naval museum because of its excellent location, officially opening on November 18, 2006.

What Is a Naval Museum?

Mexico’s naval museums were created so that the secretary of the navy, in cooperation with civil authorities, can disseminate socio-cultural information to the community and abroad, in this case about the maritime history of Mexico, as well as the functions of the secretary. In addition to its fixed exhibitions, the Naval Historical Museum also features a temporary exhibition area that is used in coordination with the city’s Department of Arts and Culture, which schedules exhibitions of renowned local, national and international artists.

Take Advantage of the Experience

The museum has bilingual guides who offer optional tours for local and foreign visitors. Both admission and the guided tours are free, the only requirement being to sign the guest book at the end and comment on the service. Currently, the museum has agreements with various educational institutions to offer tours to students and with the secretary of tourism to attract more tourists. For more information, call (322) 223-5357.

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