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The city’s entertainment hub, Centro draws crowds to the waterfront Malecón boardwalk, popular for evening strolls, late-night bars, and nightclubs. The Our Lady of Guadalupe church, with a Renaissance-style tower, stands in the main square. Al fresco restaurants dot the leafy Cuale river island, connected to the posh Gringo Gulch area by a footbridge. Galleries and flea markets sell local art and Huichol crafts. El Centro’s southern border is the Rio Cuale river, which splits downtown Vallarta in two, creating the two unique communities of El Centro and, well… There are so many names for the south side of the Cuale River, like Centro South or Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone), but we refer to it here as Emiliano Zapata. As the Cuale river makes its way through the downtown region it forks, creating the tiny island of Isla Rio Cuale, which offers a flea market, restaurants and shops as well as an interesting museum, an active cultural center, and relaxing green spaces. Very traditional homes and small apartments dot the hillside of El Centro, offering wonderful views of the town and bay. Along the Malecón, which now stretches from one end of town to the other, there are mostly shops, restaurants, and nightclubs, with few homes or condominiums. Most development now is taking place on the other side of the Cuale River in Emiliano Zapata, but it is only a matter of time before this development spills over into Central Vallarta

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