Among the restaurants, the stands and shops of crafts and souvenirs of the Isla del Rio Cuale, sits a small museum supported by the INAH (National Institute of Anthropology and History), the Museo del Cuale.
For over 30 years now, this museum has striven to present to the public, locals and visitors alike, the traditions and customs of certain migrant groups who populated the "West" region of Mexico between 5,000 and 2,000 BC.
The museum’s permanent exhibitions offers a look into these groups through various authentic artifacts of pottery, art, and hunting and gathering tools such as projectile points, scrapers and hammers. All of these were excavated in the Sayula-Zacoalco, Jalisco, Mantanchen Bay, and Nayarit regions, as well as the Ixtapa area, and in and around Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Marqués, Guerrero.
The Permanent Exhibit:
- From Nomadism to Sedentarization (Preceramic Stage, Formative (Mesoamerican Preclassic Period), Early and Middle Stages)
- The Cultures of the Tumbas de Tiro
- Pre-Hispanic clothing and adornment
- Religion and Music
- The tradition of Chupícuaro
- The late complexes of Sinaloa and northern Nayarit
- The Purépecha and Spanish Conquest
The museum’s purpose is to provide an overview of the various groups that, before the arrival of the Spaniards, lived in Western Mexico, in what is an extensive cultural area that includes what is Puerto Vallarta today.
For the study of ancient Mexico, archaeologists have identified regions with different cultural characteristics.
One of those, the West, was characterized for the abilities of its craftsmen, for the level of communication along the Pacific coast which enabled commercial and cultural exchange, and also for the rich burial traditions which, without doubt are most widely-known by the shape of the spaces in which the dead were buried, called "tumbas de tiro" or "tombs of stone." However, over time and across the geographic areas of the West, these various diverse groups lived with distict traits that distinguished them one from another, for which, this area is a great example of cultural diversity.
The heritage on display in this museum is a testimony of these ancient people, which permits us to reconstruct a look into these histories and cultures. Future discoveries and further research will allow us over time a more complete picture, into the West of Mexico.
This Museum is the joint effort of the INAH, through the National Coordination of Museums and Exhibitions (CMNE), the Regional Center in Jalisco and the Technical Secretariat, in addition to the Municipality of Puerto Vallarta.
Hours and Location: Entrance is Free
Use of a videocamaras are subject to a fee of 30 pesos.
Open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:30 to 7:00
Closed Sunday and Monday
Address: Rio Cuale Island, Puerto Vallarta