The Little Sea Horse

The sculpture “The Boy on the Seahorse”, commonly known as “El Caballito”, is one of the icons of Puerto Vallarta.

Although most of the residents and visitors of our destination know this figure located on the Malecon, just a few know that the original sculpture made by the artist Rafael Zamarripa was placed at the end of the 60’s in Las Pilitas, at the southern end of Los Muertos Beach.

After a strong storm, the sculpture was lost at the ocean and a larger replica was ordered from the artist, which was placed in 1976 in a prominent position on the Malecon and was the first of many sculptures that would later adorn this tourist promenade.

According to Juan Manuel Gómez Encarnación, chronicler of the City of Puerto Vallarta, “to interpret this bronze figure one would have to think of the elements that integrate it. The hippocampus alludes to the sea as the generator of the nature of our destination. The child means hope looking towards the future. His smile and outstretched arm as a sign of welcome is a symbol of friendship and kindness. The mexican hat embraces the pride of being from the state of Jalisco, as well as the culture, traditions and history of our country”.

Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in 1942, Rafael Zamarripa is currently one of Mexico’s most respected choreographers and teachers of contemporary and folkloric dance. He is also a painter, sculptor, ceramist, designer and set designer. At the age of 18 he won the National Sculpture Award and, at that time (1960), he was commissioned to create “El Niño sobre el Caballito de Mar” (The Boy on the Seahorse), a piece that has become an icon of Puerto Vallarta.