San Sebastián Plaza
The most important sights in San Sebastián are visible from the central plaza. The road into town from Puerto Vallarta comes in on the west side of the plaza. Far above the opposite side, the landmark mountain La Bufa (elev. 8,400 ft./2,560 m) crowns the eastern ridge. Beyond the north edge of the plaza rises the town church, dedicated to San Sebastián, who is adored for his martyrdom in Rome in A.D. 288.
The church, restored during the 1980s, replaced an earlier 17th-century structure destroyed in an 1868 earthquake. The main altar of the present church holds a pious, heavenward-gazing image of San Sebastián dedicated in 1882. Local folks celebrate the saint’s martyrdom during their major local fiesta on January 20.
Near the northeast corner of the plaza, visit the papelería and general store of María Francisca Perez Hernández, the unassuming, now elderly, local poet who wrote La Caída de los Cedros, lamenting the chain-sawing of old cedars that decorated the plaza before its renovation in 1984. She sells pamphlets of her poetry and the local history of chronicler- priest Gabriel Pulido Sendis.
© Bruce Whipperman from Moon Puerto Vallarta, 7th edition