Annual December Processions in Puerto Vallarta

Written by Tropicasa Realty
November 29th, 2023

With Dia de Muertos celebrations now passed, the next major event of the holiday season will soon be upon us. Winter holidays in Puerto Vallarta are full of magic and the traditional culture of Mexico, including the annual pilgrimages that will fill our cobblestone streets this December in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  

Since 1921, pilgrimages have been an integral part of December holiday traditions in Puerto Vallarta. A revered figure in Mexican Catholicism, the most prevalent religion in Mexico, the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe is said to have appeared on the cloak of Juan Diego on December 12th, 1531, to restore his faith.  

To mark this event, during the first 12 days of December, daily processions make their way through downtown Puerto Vallarta to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. School groups, civil associations, workers unions and others gather together in the afternoons and journey down Calle Jaurez, with the street lined with onlookers and food vendors selling delicious traditional street foods of Mexico. Once they make their way to the church and pay homage, then the celebration continues across the street at Plaza de Armas, next to the Puerto Vallarta Malecon, which will be filled with people, live music, and food stands every night of the 12 day event. 

The processions are a wonderful tradition to witness and experience Mexican culture in Puerto Vallarta. If you live in Puerto Vallarta, it is wise to plan in advance and consider road closures, traffic rerouting, and limited parking in the downtown area from December 1st to 12th, and consider walking, using public transportation, and allowing some additional travel time.  

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Photo source: Fideicomiso Puerto Vallarta