Iguana Bridge – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - Atlas Obscura

Iguana Bridge

This bridge over the River Cuale leads to a neighborhood that was once an escape for Hollywood's elite.  


Puerto Vallarta’s modern history can be traced back to the 19th century. Its historic district encompasses areas like Old Vallarta and the Romantic Zone. 

The area known as “Gringo Gulch” lies precisely here, atop a ravine-sided cliff next to the River Cuale. Gulch was the hideaway for celebrities the likes of Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, and Jack Huston during the 1950s and 1960s. Constructed in 2012, the Iguana Bridge connects the low-lying River Cuale Island and Gringo Gulch via a structure that is equal parts bridge and stairs.

The bridge draws inspiration from its namesake animal (which also inspired the 1964 Huston-directed movie, The Night of the Iguana). Covered in tiles of different shades of green, the bridge has an iguana appearance.

The architecture throughout the region is a mix of Vallarta style (an innovation by architects Fernando “Freddy” Romero and Guillermo Wulff) and authentic 19th-century villas. It required a bridge that also mixed different styles, with an influence as ancient as the saurian iguana.

Know Before You Go

The bridge is public and can be used at any time.

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