Puerto Vallarta visitors who miss real-life fiestas can still enjoy one of several local Fiesta Mexicana tourist shows, which are as popular with Mexican tourists as foreigners. The evening typically begins with a sumptuous buffet of salads, tacos, enchiladas, seafood, barbecued meats, and flan and pastries for dessert.
Then begins a nonstop program of music and dance from all parts of Mexico: a chorus of revolutionary soldaderas and their Zapatista male compatriots; raven-haired señoritas in flowing, flowered Tehuántepec silk dresses; rows of dashing Guadalajaran charros twirling their fast-stepping chinas poblanas sweethearts, climaxing with enough fireworks to swab the sky red, white, and green.
The south-of-Cuale Restaurant Iguana (Calle Lázaro Cárdenas 311, btwn. Insurgentes and Constitución, tel. 322/222-0105) stages a very popular and auténtico show Thursday and Sunday around 5 and 7 p.m. (Sun. only in the low season, call ahead to confirm). Other good tourist-show bets are at the Hotel NH Krystal (tel. 322/224-0202, Tues. at 7 p.m.) and the Sheraton (tel. 322/226-0404, Thurs.).
The tariff for these shows typically runs $40–50 per person with open bar. During holidays and the high winter season reservations are generally necessary; best to book through a travel or tour desk agent.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition