The Malecón , where the sunsets seem the most beautiful in Puerto Vallarta , is a perfect place to begin an evening. Make sure you eventually make your way to the downtown central plaza by the Presidencia Municipal (City Hall). On both weekday and weekend nights, the city often sponsors free music and dance concerts beginning around 8 p.m. at the bayside Los Arcos amphitheater. (For current listings, see the events calendars in tourist newspapers Vallarta Today and Vallarta Tribune.)
After the concert, join the crowds watching the impromptu antics of the mimos (mimes) on the amphitheater stage and the nearby street artists painting plates, watercolor country scenes, and fanciful outer-galaxy spray-can spacescapes.
If you miss the Los Arcos concert, you can usually console yourself with a balloon, palomitas (popcorn), and sometimes a band concert in the plaza. If you’re inconsolable, buy some peanuts, a roasted ear of sweet corn, or a hot dog from a vendor. After that, cool down with an agua or jugo (fruit juice) from the juguería across the bayside plaza corner, or a cone of ice cream from Baskin-Robbins (Morelos 420), a few blocks north of the city hall.
A tranquil south-of-Cuale spot to cool off evenings is the Muelle Nuevo (New Pier) at the foot of Francisca Rodríguez (beach side of Hotel Playa Los Arcos). On a typical evening you’ll find a couple of dozen folks—men, women, and kids—enjoying the breeze, the swish of the surf, and, with nets or lines, trying to catch a few fish for sale or dinner.