Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico – Mexico’s national sport, Charrería, will take center stage in Guadalajara this September when Charros de Jalisco, Mexico’s first-ever competitive charro group, celebrates its 100th anniversary through a variety of events from September 10-20.
But, if you are going to be in Puerto Vallarta this winter, you don’t have to wait until September to experience the excitement of one of Mexico’s oldest cultural traditions.
From January 28 to February 2, 2020, sixteen of the best Charro teams in Mexico and ten teams from the United States will gather in Puerto Vallarta to compete in the Noveno Campeonato Internacional Charro (Ninth International Charro Championship) “Hacienda Serena 2020” at Arena Vallarta.
Inscribed as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016, Charrería is a celebration of the traditional Mexican Charro lifestyle, and very much a part of Jalisco’s living heritage.
Like its rodeo cousin in the United States, Charrería turns cattle farming skills into competitive stunts. Contending teams show off techniques of jumping through the air onto wild mares, riding bucking broncos and bringing down rampaging bulls with lassos.
But Mexican Charros are much different than American cowboys, with a culture, etiquette, mannerism, clothing style and social status that is quite unique. And the Charrería is not just a sport with strict rules and substantial prizes, but also an art form with exquisite costumes and elaborate pageantry.
The festivities kick off on Tuesday, January 28 at 8:30 pm with the traditional Verbena de Tradiciones Mexicanas (Traditional Mexican Street Party) at Los Arcos de Malecón in downtown Puerto Vallarta, featuring Mariachi Internacional Real de América, Xiutla Folkloric Ballet, Rope Flourishing demonstrations, and lots of family fun. This event is free and open to the public.
On Wednesday, January 29th, there will be a special dinner show called “Origens’ at Hacienda Serena. Tickets range from $119-169 USD. Click HERE for more information.
The Ninth International Charro Championships will be held from January 30th through February 2nd at Arena Vallarta. Charreadas (competitions) are held three times a day with each Charro team, made up of all men dressed in traditional clothing, competing in 9 different challenges to demonstrate their skills at horse training and commands, roping of horses and livestock, bulldogging, bull riding, forefooting, speed challenges and bareback bronc riding.
After each Charreada, there will be two Escaramuzas, which entail teams made up of 8 to 12 women dressed in ornate Adelita or Ranchera dresses performing a variety of precision horseback riding techniques while riding sidesaddle. Tere will also be several children’s (Infantil) Charro team exhibitions over the February 1-2 weekend.
Throughout the Championships, attendees will also enjoy live music, Folkloric ballet and Mariachi performances, Charro parades, traditional food, dance and more. For the full schedule of events, visit arenavallarta.com.
Entrance fees are just $100 pesos a day on Thursday & Friday, and $200 pesos on Sunday. Children under the age of 10, accompanied by paying adults, get in free. On Saturday, February 1st, ticket prices start at $215 pesos, which includes “Magna” access to a musical performances by Pancho Barraza and dancing. (Click HERE to view map of other concert seating zones and prices.)
As a thank you to attendees, tickets to all competitions automatically enter you in a raffle for a late model car to be given away at 8:30 pm on Sunday (You must be present – with with ticket in hand – to claim your prize.)
Make plans now to attend the 9th International Charro Championship “Hacienda Serena 2020” in Puerto Vallarta. With daily competitions and traditional events, this is the perfect way to enjoy the “real” Mexico.
If you can’t make it out to Arena Vallarta to see the competitions, you can see the Charros and their horses in all of their glory on Friday, January 31st during the Tradicional Maleconeada (Traditional Charro Parade down the Malecón) which starts in front of Hotel Rosita at 11:00 pm and ends at the Zoo Bar in downtown Puerto Vallarta after midnight.
Located in El Colorado, just 20 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, Arena Vallarta is a handicap accessible, ultra-modern facility that boasts seating for 5,000 spectators, on site security, clean public rest rooms, a commercial area offering food & drink as well as crafts and souveneirs, a supervised childrens’ playground, a 600 car parking lot and stables for the horses. Click HERE for location map and contact information.