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Hidden Treasure Revealed
Maggie Callan

Many tourists never see the river walk along the Rio Cuale, a beautiful and peaceful area that is rarely mentioned when speaking of "What to see and do in Puerto Vallarta." This is a shame since the Rio Cuale is a cool, refreshing place to spend a hot afternoon.

Here, you will find the Museo Rio Cuale, a joint government/volunteer effort near the tip of Isla Rio Cuale. Though it is very small, inside you will find a fine collection of paintings by local artists as well as locally excavated pre Colombian artifacts.

Walk down the shady paseo of shops that are literally "stuffed" with crafts from all over Mexico. Here the shopkeepers are always ready to bargain, especially if you are purchasing several items.

Along the way you will find several very good restaurants offering steaks, seafood and Mexican food. Relax over a drink or lunch in one of these beautifully decorated restaurants while listening to the water rush over the rocks. In the afternoons, you will occasionally see a parrot or an Iguana in one of the trees that shade the river.

Continue on until you come to the Plaza John Huston with a bronze statue of the director who helped put Puerto Vallarta on the map, when in 1963 he filmed "Night of the Iguana" here.

If you are feeling adventurous, there are three swinging suspension bridges that span different parts of the river. These bridges, constructed of cable and wood, will make you feel as if you are in an amusement park but the view of the river is spectacular.

If you prefer to visit the Rio Cuale at night, most of the restaurants here have live entertainment in the evenings.

Many sights and sounds await you as you stroll alongside this clear, tree-draped stream. DON'T MISS IT!

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