Puerto Vallarta Tours: Since 1995, the Pirate ship Marigalante has been one of the most popular tours in all of Vallarta, and one of the most recognized symbols of Puerto Vallarta. Unlike any other vessel on Banderas Bay, this beautiful craft is an exact replica of the Santa María, one of the ships used by Christopher Columbus over 500 years ago to discover new lands.
The Marigalante was built in Alvarado Veracruz, Mexico by the Mar, Hombre y Paz Civil Association, (Sea, Man and Peace a non-profit organization,) to commemorate historical voyages, especially the 500th Anniversary of the Discovery of America. Over 30 types of tropical woods were used during construction, which began in 1980 and was completed in 1987.
On September 26 1987, the Marigalante took her maiden voyage from Alvarado Veracruz to Santoña in Cantabria Spain, the birthplace of Juan de la Cosa, the author of the very first Mapa Mundi. The owner of the Santa Maria, Cosa sailed with Columbus on his first three voyages to the New World, and was the master and cartographer of the Marigalante in 1493.
From Santoña, the Marigalante sailed to Seville and up the Guadalquivir to deliver 10,000 "Maravedies" gold coins corresponding to the payment promised by Christopher Columbus - and never paid - to the first man to shout "Land Ho!" This reward was due to Rodrigo de Triana, whose real name was Juan Rodriguez Bermejo.
The coins were collected from the 33 American countries and spanned various centuries. They were placed in a chest built with the same thirty types of wood as those used to built the Marigalante. The chest is exhibited in "La Antigua" chapel in the Cathedral of Seville.
The Marigalante then sailed the Nao route, from Acapulco to the Orient, visiting Japan for the commemoration of its 100 years of trade with Mexico. She also followed the Cocoa route to South America and sailed to Spain once again in 1992 for the 500th Anniversary of the discovery of America.
The Marigalante's voyage covered 87 ports and islands around the world, totaling 52,000 nautical miles or 96,304 kilometers - the equivalent of 2-1/3 trips around the world. Since then, the Marigalante has been sailing the length and breadth of the Bay of Banderas, sharing the magic, the joy and the culture of our beloved Mexico with all the tourists who visit Puerto Vallarta.
Climb aboard the Marigalante Pirate Ship and get ready for a fantastic fun-filled frolick with the Pirates of the Bay as you sail across the beautiful blue waters of the Bay of Banderas. Whether you choose a fun-filled day of family adventure on the TREASURE LAND tour or a BUCCANEER'S NIGHT dinner cruise, you'll enjoy the unique experience of sailing on a real galleon - and an unforgettable experience.