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Tattoos: the map of your story

By Tribune Travel

September 13, 2021

The word tattoo originates from the Tahitian word “tatu”, which means “to mark something”. Tattoos are part of human history.

Tattooing has been in practice for thousands of years in many cultures and countries such as China, Greece, Rome, India, Egypt, Persia, Polynesia, etc.

The earliest evidence of tattooing appears in ancient art.  The Löwenmensch (Lion-man) figurine dates back 32,000 years ago and features a series of parallel lines on its left shoulder.

The oldest discovery of tattooed human skin is on the body of Ötzi the Iceman, who used to live in the Alps, and dates from the 4th millennium BC. Ötzi had sixty-one carbon-ink tattoos of dots and lines.

Tattoos have a different reputation now

Fortunately, modern day tattoos are not as controversial as they used to be. Nowadays in our western society, they are no longer a stereotype for criminals and outcasts, as they once were. (In other cultures, tattoos have always had a ritualistic meaning), and all kinds of people and social classes sport them. There is a boom in the tattooing world. If you sit in a public place for a period of time, the number of people that will pass by with tattoos may surprise you.

People get tattoos for a variety of reasons: As a spiritual ritual or as a tradition, to identify themselves, to honor beloved ones, for style or decorative purposes, as prison tattoos or gang affiliation (hence, the stigma of delinquency. That prejudice is in the past). Also, to cover up scar tissue, as reminders of an important event in life, self-expression or artistic freedom.

Tattoos trends

What to avoid: Tattoos that look like they were made with pen ink. Avoid having a tattoo with the name of your ex. It´s not sexy to complain about how a tattoo looks on you. Therefore, think about the long term effects before branding permanently, especially when choosing the place and design.

Interesting tattoos are those that are significant to you, those that reflect your personality and narrate your story.


Trends are: Non-conventional tattoos, in 3D, with optical illusion effects, geometric or multicolor. Before, the global tendency marked white tattoos. What´s in now? Tattoos aquarelle style, and for the most daring: Glow-in-the-dark tattoos, UV tattoos and Blackout tattoos.

With the hyper modern tattoos, one should exercise caution when weighing the decision. Blackout tattoos have massive designs, the ink for glow-in-the-dark and UV tattoos, contains phosphorus. Research diligently before making a decision.  Currently, only one UV ink has the approval of the FDA. The difference between a glow-in-the-dark tattoo and a UV tattoo, is that the second one needs a source of black light to be revealed, which makes it even more discrete than one that glows the moment it gets dark.

If you are an adult and decide to get a tattoo… Select a design that will be with you forever. Since your health comes first, choose experienced professionals and studios that are certified in hygiene procedures. Make sure those procedures are followed. It is an art form, so research about the tattoo artist and his/her style.


Tattooing in Puerto Vallarta



In Puerto Vallarta you will find a wide selection of tattoo studios. They offer all kinds of works, from simple “infinities” to the most elaborated and colorful designs.

It comes a no surprise, as Vallarta has been a destination characterized by all forms of art. and tattoos are one of the most modern artistic expressions, one where skin is the canvas.

In the photograph right, Axel Sanchez is sporting a tatoo of Giyu Tomioka, a Demon Slayer character. It is a special creation by Juan Valladares, renown artist whose studio, Black Cat Tattoo, is in Marina Vallarta.

You can tell what Axel is trying to convey. What story do you want to tell the world through your skin?







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