During our visit to Puerto Vallarta in December, 2012, we decided to spend some time in El Pitillal. El Pitillal was once a town outside Puerto Vallarta, but with sprawl and other growth, it is now pretty much inside Puerto Vallarta. The attraction of El Pitillal was to get away from the tourist zone for awhile, check out the square and church in El Pitillal, and grab a bite to eat.
Reaching El Pitillal was easy enough — simply grab a city bus with “El Pitillal” on the front, and get off when you see the square. The bus ride took perhaps 20 minutes, and took us through some areas of Puerto Vallarta we hadn’t yet seen. The bus dropped us right on the square, in front of the church.
The church of San Miguel Archangel was an attractive church. The stone building has two brick bell towers, with a clock positioned in between. I’m a big fan of churches, and this was a nice one. I’m not sure how old it was, though perhaps it may have dated from the 1800s. Many buildings in this area are not as old as in other parts of Mexico, particularly around Puerto Vallarta, which was not a very populated area until more recently.
The interior of the church featured an extremely large sculpture of Jesus Christ, said to be carved from one piece of wood. It’s about 27 feet tall, to give you an idea of the size. It hangs high above the altar, seemingly in mid-air.
We spent a bit of time just wandering through El Pitillal, checking out some of the small shops and taking in the sights. This area is a typical, working, Mexican neighborhood. No sign of tourists. A street view shows many shops.
We decided to eat lunch. I had read a few reviews of a place called Carnitas El Pitillal, which sounded pretty good. We located it a few blocks away from the square. It was your typical local’s food place, with cheap, fast eats.
I ended up ordering a couple of the gorditas, which at $10 pesos each (about 85 cents), were quite good. I also tried one of the queso and frijol gorditas — yum! The place was packed and they actually ran out of the queso and frijol gorditas, so I was only able to get one.
After lunch, we decided to head back to our hotel. Returning was quite easy — catch another bus back to the south side of Puerto Vallarta. All in all, this was a fun little side trip.