Its uniqueness is incomparable. Puerto Vallarta is situated in the central-pacific coast of Mexico. Excellent weather year around. December temperature is ideal that you won’t ever want to leave!
How to get here
Amazing destination for national and international tourists. Major airports around the world have seasonal direct flights; who wants a layover when you can get there in one single flight! The municipal bus station has daily schedules going and coming from Guadalajara, the capital city of the state, around 5-6 hour drive inland, depending on the day of the week and time. If you get from the bus station, taxi rides are very affordable to the downtown or resort areas as it may take 30 minutes to get there. From the airport, cab fares are more expensive but still cheap.
I have to say this, the best place to stay and really get to know PV is the old downtown. Streets are small, made of stones and walking friendly. There are many places to eat, have a drink, buy pottery and clothing. Convenience stores are every other corner. You can discover different areas of the downtown each day. Taxis, buses and ubers are easy to find.
The boardwalk or Malecon is a must do. You’ll enjoy the beautiful view of the pacific blue ocean, while getting the fresh air and hearing the waves. At night, you can find pop up tents with regional food. Try the corn on the cob, Mexicans love it and so will you!
Church of our Lady of Guadalupe
This roman catholic church is the jewel of downtown. It has a beautiful crown at the very top of the building. I’ve never seen anything like it. Is really well kept inside and worth to stop by for a few minutes to appreciate the architecture.
There are many jewelry stores every other block. The speciality is silver. Look for the opal stone which is native to the state. It comes in different colours and is ideal for a present as it is light and easy to take with you on your flight back home.
There are hundreds of resorts, timeshares and condos available year round. Resorts provide amazing service. The food everywhere is exceptional. Nuevo Vallarta is the new developed resort area near Puerto Vallarta. It takes approximately a 30 minute taxi drive from downtown. Nuevo Vallarta is actually located in another state, Nayarit, part of the Riviera Nayarit.
There are a few markets around Puerto Vallarta. Take the time and explore them. Enjoy the local food, walk around and see the pottery, art, etc. Make sure you have seen enough stores before deciding where to get your souvenirs. The Cuale market has an area in the second level full with simple restaurant targeted for locals. Food is delicious and affordable.
This park island is right in the middle of the river Cuale. Beautiful hills on the back of Puerto Vallarta, covered with jungle vegetation will complement your beach shots.
How to save money on Puerto Vallarta?
Oooh, favourite topic! I’m all about making vacation time as affordable and joyful as possible! Here is a list of my recommendations to save you money in PV:
- If you plan to stay for a long period of time, rent an apartment or a condo. Beachfront units are super affordable if you rent months in advance!
- Stay downtown. Everything you want to visit or do is around downtown. Bring a comfortable pair of walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat and a small backpack to carry your belongings. You can buy water and snacks pretty much everywhere!
- Explore small local restaurants. Fancy, beachfront restaurants are expensive. Eat where the locals eat. Prices could be half of what you pay elsewhere touristy.
- Improv meals. You don’t need to eat in restaurants 3 times a day. Find the local supermarket and do a trip every few days. Bring your backpack with you to carry the food back to your place. Get some bread, jam, peanut butter, fruit, milk and cereal for breakfasts or snacks.
- Convenience stores. They are exactly that, for your convenience! If you have one near your hotel, get a 5 L container of water to drink at the hotel room. It will save you money instead of buying 500ml water from the front desk every time you get thirsty in your room. Same thing with snacks!
- Plaza. Remember to stop by the main plaza in front of the church of Guadalupe on Sundays. There are free events and music for all!
Puerto Vallarta is so unique! There are many tourists but it is full with its own charisma. You’ll have fun!