Puerto Vallarta is home to a true piece of Mexican history – the tallest Catrina figure in the world. The spectacular creation was made to celebrate the Day of the Dead, which has origins dating back to around 3,000 years ago.
But in this long history of the icon event, there has never been a Catrina as high as the one on display to the public on the Malecon boardwalk. The monumental Catrina has become an awe-inspiring attraction and added to the rich and colorful tradition, which is celebrated across the country and has become famous around the globe.
A world-record-breaking Catrina
Puerto Vallarta’s Catrina stands at an incredible 24 meters high and was officially recognized by the Guinness World Records on November 2nd, 2022.
It results from months of hard work from the artist Alondra Muro Carrillo and a team of visual art students from the University Center of the Coast.
Their creation surpasses the previous largest Catrina, displayed in the city of Zapotlanejo in 2019, at 18 meters tall.
Alongside the sheer size of the Catrina is the incredible attention to detail in its decoration. The figure draws inspiration from the nearby ocean, which is immediately evident in its vibrant blue dress.
The skull also showcases fascinating creativity in its intricate details, including flowers on the side and front of the face.
All the finishing touches are supported by a metal frame, giving the Catrina its structure, and a fiberglass skeleton. A masterpiece of imagination, planning and engineering.
A proud and long celebration of tradition
The giant Catrina is the central point for this year’s display on the Malecon boardwalk, which is the place to find many more impressive pieces of artwork.
Several skulls surround the 24-meter-high Catrina that hotels and local businesses have created.
Each one is as captivating and creative as the next, showing the artistic talent in the town and the passion for the Day of the Dead festival.
The latest efforts follow those in 2021, which included a 16-meter-tall Catrina and inspired the installation of the world’s biggest Catrina in Vallarta 12 months later.
An exhibition of Mexican creativity
No two walks along the Malecon boardwalk are ever the same – and this is especially true during the Day of the Dead festivities in Puerto Vallarta.
While a stunning sunset is almost guaranteed almost every evening of the year, the mile-long stretch also attracts many street performers and artists.
The boardwalk provides a mesmerizing setting for their work, which includes several smaller Catrinas and altars for this year’s celebrations.
The Catrina statues are essential to the Day of the Dead holiday. The word Catrina translates as elegant skulls, but beyond their beauty, the models also carry an important message.
The dress represents celebration, and the smile symbolizes comfort in accepting the inevitability of death, as well as making time to commemorate and remember the friends and family who have passed away.
Altars are used to welcome the souls of the dead and help guide spirits back to their loved ones. The offerings left at these altars include water, wind, earth, and fire elements.
Mexican traditions like these, coupled with the bright colors and vibrant designs, make the Day of the Dead, also known as Dia de Los Muertos in Spanish, a celebration that draws visitors worldwide.
Visit the famous Catrina from Garza Blanca Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is one of Mexico’s most passionate places about the Day of the Dead.
That makes Garza Blanca Puerto Vallarta an ideal place to stay when coming to observe, participate in and enjoy these celebrations.
The waterfront lighthouse, which houses the world’s biggest Catrina, can be found along the same coastline as the Garza Blanca luxury resort.
It is a short journey to visit the Catrinas and is sure to be one of the highlights for many visitors as they come to take in the true spirit of the festivities at the array of the Day of the Dead events.