Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – From January 31 through February 4, 2024, Hacienda Serena (aka Arena Vallarta) will host the twelfth edition of the International Charro Championship. This year 43 charro teams will compete, of which 14 come from the United States. There will also be 30 skirmish teams, 6 of them from the US.
The centuries-old tradition of Charrería brings together working skills, training and discipline, horsemanship, music and dance, and symbolic reenactment of Mexican values and customs. Like its rodeo cousin in the U.S., Charrería turns cattle farming skills into competitive stunts. Contending teams show off techniques of jumping through the air onto wild mares, riding bucking broncos and bringing down rampaging bulls with lassos.
But Mexican Charros are much different than American cowboys, with a culture, etiquette, mannerism, clothing style and social status that is quite unique. And the Charrería is not just a sport with strict rules and substantial prizes, but also an art form with exquisite costumes and elaborate pageantry.
At a press conference, Alfonso Bernal Romero, organizer of the event, announced the details of this championship, which returns to Arena Vallarta with a record number of registered teams.
Each Charro team, made up of men dressed in traditional clothing, compete in 9 different challenges to demonstrate their skills at horse training and commands, roping of horses and livestock, bulldogging, bull riding, forefooting, speed challenges and bareback bronc riding.
This year’s tournament will once again feature teams made up of 8 to 12 women dressed in ornate Adelita or Ranchera dresses, who will compete in the Escaramuza (skirmishes). This entails performing a variety of precision horseback riding techniques while riding sidesaddle.
The festivities kick off on Wednesday, January 31 with the traditional Verbena de Tradiciones Mexicanas (Traditional Mexican Street Party), featuring a Mariachi Band, a Xiutla Folkloric Ballet performance, Rope Flourishing demonstrations, and lots of family fun at Los Arcos de Malecón in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
Attendees will also enjoy live music and dance performances, children’s areas, traditional food, souvenir stands, and more, throughout the 5-day tournament at the Hacienda Serena arena. All competitions are narrated in both Spanish and English, which makes it easy for foreigners to not only learn more about this truly Mexican tradition, but also share in the excitement.
Ticket prices will be $110 pesos for the first two days, $220 on Friday and Saturday and $300 on Sunday. They are now on sale at all Mex Wings restaurants and Medisim pharmacies in Puerto Vallarta, at the Hacienda Serena box office, or by calling 322-223-1484 or 322-223-3672.
Around 30,000 people are expected to attend the event, not counting the participants, who generally travel with their families and friends. As a thank you to attendees, tickets to all competitions automatically enter you in a raffle for a late model pickup to be given away on Sunday, February 4th. (You must be present, with ticket in hand, to claim your prize.)
Make plans now to attend the 12th International Charro Championship “Hacienda Serena 2024” in Puerto Vallarta. With daily competitions and traditional events, this is the perfect way to enjoy the “real” Mexico.
Attending the event just got easier! Public transportation (buses) on the Las Palmas routes have been expanded to add stops at Hacienda Serena during the 5 days of competition.
Located in El Colorado, just 20 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport, Hacienda Serena (aka Arena Vallarta) is handicap accessible ultra-modern facility that boasts seating for 8 thousand spectators, public rest rooms, a 600 car parking lot, a commercial area, and stables for the horses. Click HERE for Google map.