12 Days of Tradition: Puerto Vallarta Pilgrimages


December in Puerto Vallarta is a magical time of the year, starting off with the annual pilgrimages in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe along our cobblestone streets, a Vallarta tradition since 1921.

The Virgin of Guadalupe is a central figure in Mexican culture. According to legend, her image miraculously appeared on the cloak of an Aztec man, Juan Diego, on December 12, 1531, to restore his faith. In her honor, every day during the first twelve days of December, processions are made to Our Lady of Guadalupe Church. The processions begin in the late afternoon, moving along Calle Juarez in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Along the way, the street is lined with vendors selling typical Mexican street food and snacks like tamales, corn, atole, churros, fried bananas, tostadas, pozole, enchiladas, tacos and popcorn.

There are also food stands set up in the Plaza de Armas to enjoy snacks and music after the procession is finished.

If you are living in Puerto Vallarta and have never experienced the tradition of the Virgin of Guadalupe pilgrimages, you should certainly make the time to witness this beautiful and charming part of life in Mexico. Also, during these first twelve days of December, be prepared for heavier traffic, road closures and limited parking in the downtown area to accommodate the processionals and give yourself additional time to get to your destination or take public transportation.

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