Indigenous people have long inhabited Puerto Vallarta and the area around it. Huichol Indians call themselves “the people” or Wixáritari in their native tongue and claim to have drifted west to the Sierra Madre Mountains from the San Luis Potosi area. Some evidence suggests that they may be descendents of the Aztec culture.

Today, about 7,000 Huichol still live in mountainous villages, while some 13,000 have dispersed throughout Mexico. You will have a chance to visit three settlements when on a tour in Puerto Vallarta: San Andrés Cohamiata (Tatei Kié), Santa María Cuexcomatitlán (Tuapuri), and San Sebastián Teponohuastlan (Wautüa).

Besides their ability to maintain their native culture, the Huichol are also known for their unique artwork. After some of them relocated in the city proper, Mexico City and other parts of the country, their artwork quickly became popular among lovers and collectors of art. Huichol artists have been creating large yarn paintings that incorporate traditional motifs. They have also recently begun creating works by pressing metal and wooden beads onto wooden forms.