It’s hard to believe that the Malecón in La Peñita unofficially opened to the public one year ago.

During the past year, the new malecón has become a popular gathering place and well-used destination for both locals and tourists alike. Many events have already taken place here – including art shows, the staging area for a women’s beach volleyball tournament, weight lifting contests, a biathlon and even kite flying demonstrations – and many more events are on the drawing board.

Sunsets are a particularly busy time when you will find at least 100 folks enjoying our beautiful malecón.

La Peñita Malecón Timeline

While it may have felt like the malecón project took an eternity, it was actually only a few years from concept to completion. Like any community project of this magnitude, there were also political and social considerations that needed to be addressed before the first concrete footing could be poured.

Even though building anything in Mexico is far less complicated than almost anywhere NOTB, typical bureaucratic and environmental hoops still needed to be jumped through. Also, there were multiple resource centers that needed to be tapped into in order for this project to even get to the drawing board. Costs were ultimately shared by the federal and municipal governments, as well as tax money taken in by local hotels. As you can imagine, not an easy process.

Various related projects were necessary before construction could be started. These included the removal of numerous structures on the beach itself, creating accommodations for storm water runoff, installing new sewer water and fresh water lines and the underground routing of power lines.

The adjacent and adjoining streets were torn up to accommodate these utilities and were rebuilt using stamped concrete. All of this was done while accommodating vehicular and foot traffic to the nearby businesses.

Here is a brief overview…

September 2011 – Environmental studies, surveying and planning began.

August 2012 – The removal of beach structures began (below).

Malecon 1

November 2012 – Initial street demolition and reconstruction.

Malecon 8 Malecon 12

January-February 2013 – Digging and pouring of the malecón footings. This work was hampered by high tides.

Malecon 6 Malecon 2

April 2013 – Finish work on the streets was going fast, aided by a couple of local comedians (Tom doing the screeding and Tiki supervising).

Malecon 5

June to mid-July 2013 – Most of June and July was consumed by pouring walls, the concrete deck, the exposed aggregate top coat and installation of the stainless steel railings.

Malecon 4 malecon ojo de dios logo

The photo below shows how the power lines used to look (minus most of the pelicans and frigate birds).

End of July to August 2013 – The finishing touches were being completed… decorative street lamps, stainless steel railings, palm trees, beautiful park benches and finally colorful decals on the walls depicting the official colors of Nayarit.

Malecon La Penita 1403
Malecon La Penita 1397

Drawings of the project were initially circulated back in June 2012 and portrayed a longer boardwalk, one of 300 meters in length, as well as a fishing pier extending out into the ocean to allow for a promenade as well as some boat dockage. However, after the reconstruction of the streets and related costs were taken into account, the extended pier idea had to be scrapped. What we ended up with is a beautiful and user-friendly 217 meter long, palm tree lined boardwalk.

malecon 5

by David Thompson
Photos by Tom Plattenburger, Tiki and David – Muchimas Gracias!

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3 replies
  1. Tom
    Tom says:

    OH David…

    Nice job with the malecon history/update.

    There must be something “wrong” with our town plaza in La Peñita. It is a beautiful space. But in my many years here, it has always been under-utilized. When big events are centered there, it is packed with people. Otherwise, people seldom congregate. Probably there is some sort of feng shui explanation for this.

    Our new malecon has become what a town plaza should be. I witness it at the end of each day. Reliably, every evening of the week, there are at least a hundred people on the surface (and probably an equal number on the beach and in the streets) gathered to watch the sunset and socialize. There is a broad spectrum of ages, families, singles, and romancing couples.

    The malecon is a big plus for our community. Many are clamoring for an extension. I think that will be a very hard nut to crack; but then again, I never believed that what we have now would become a reality.


    (Plattenberger rhymes with hamburger, but in the end, the words are spelled differently.)

  2. Cinnamon
    Cinnamon says:

    David, great story on the Malecon!

    Erik and I were excited to see everything coming together on our trips to Jaltemba Bay in 2012/13. It was quite a feat, and definitely an amazing accomplishment, with so many hurdles to get over. We watched – impressed – as they demolished the old dilapidated beach properties, dug the foundation for the Malecon structure, built the streets up…we only got to see the bits when we were there, the whole feat must have been quite something to see day after day.

    This past fall and spring, it was a joy for us to stroll along the Malecon, enjoying the view and smiling faces taking full advantage of this wonderful addition to La Penita. The beautiful designs painted on to the Malecon are quite something as well! Quite a view of it all from Tiki’s gorgeous patio, looking down on the Malecon and expanse of beach and ocean – enjoying an icy cold cerveza. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

    Sure can’t wait to return, and enjoy strolling on the Malecon once again! Cheers!

  3. eddy lang
    eddy lang says:

    Beautiful structure….I have had many hours just sitting and strolling on this impressive walkway….its wonderful….I would love to see it extended to Guayabitos one day, but that will have to wait for a few years….As it is now, it is a pleasant stroll during the day, or even the evening….I love this part of Mexico, and hope that it does not grow too fast….One has to remember that this part of Mexico belongs to the many wonderful Mexican families, and should not become a “Gringo” hot spot….Its their country, and I feel very privileged to be able to share in their experiences. Viva Mexico….and viva the Mexican people….I love them…my wife and I can’t wait to return in December 2014….Its our winter home….


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