Puerto Vallarta Travel Tips
Planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta? Here are some Puerto Vallarta travel tips to help you as you make your plans.
Time Zone: The entire state of Jalisco is on Central Time, as is the southern part of the State of Nayarit, starting from San Blas in the north.
Buses: A system of urban buses with different routes can bring you from one end of the bay to the other and all the spots in between. if you’re going further than San Pancho, head to the main bus terminal to catch a “Pacifico” bus. Current fare is $10 pesos.
Click here for a detailed explanation on using buses in Puerto Vallarta. It’s pretty accurate, except the bus fares have increased.
Taxis: There are set rates within defined zones of town. Do not enter a taxi without agreeing on the price with the driver first. Make a note of the taxi number (or take a cell phone photo) in case you leave something behind. Drivers typically do not carry change.
Uber: New in 2017 to Puerto Vallarta, Uber is still experiencing some growing pains particularly in the state of Nayarit. Uber is about 25-50% cheaper than a taxi, but this is subject to change. The benefits of using Uber are set fares and the ability to follow up directly with your driver if there is an incident or if you leave an item behind.
If you want to avoid any possibility of conflict between Uber and a taxi (taxis are union-controlled, and they are not particularly happy with Uber horning in on their business), choose a meeting spot a short distance from any major intersection or plaza. Your driver will appreciate it.
Money Exchange: Typically a bank will give you a higher rate of exchange than the exchange booths (Caja de Cambio). You will need your passport. Better yet, use your bank card to withdraw funds from any ATM. Note that ATMs in banks are the safest to use and charge lower fees.
Drinking Water: While Puerto Vallarta’s water has been awarded a certification of purity for the past two decades, the quality of the water tested at the source varies greatly from what comes out of the tap at the other end. So do be careful. If you want to be doubly sure, you can pick up bottled water just about anywhere.
Restaurants and bars use purified water for ice. We’ve never had any trouble with ice in drinks in Puerto Vallarta.
Exporting Pets: Falling in love with the street dog outside your hotel is easy to do and it’s also easy to bring them home with you too. The process is inexpensive and only takes a day or two. You need a certificate of health from a local vet among other things. For the most up-to-date information, contact the Puerto Vallarta SPCA.
Common Sense: Just as you wouldn’t walk around your hometown drunk and belligerent, it is not acceptable to do that in Puerto Vallarta (or anywhere). While Mexico is a tolerant culture, basic politeness is appreciated. Don’t pee in the streets. Don’t flash your money or expensive gadgets. Pay attention to your surroundings. Know where you are going. Pay your bills (and don’t forget to tip). And have fun.
Drinking and Driving: First off – just don’t. The consequences are not worth it. Taxis or Ubers are cheap and plentiful. Fines are as much as $12,000 pesos. You can be taken to jail and your vehicle impounded. There are many checkpoints on the weekends, and you will be asked to blow into a breathalyzer if they suspect you have been drinking.
Legal System: Not knowing the law is not a valid excuse in Mexico or anywhere. If you find yourself caught in a legal situation be aware that guilt is presumed until your innocence can be proven. This is a very difficult lesson to learn if you are visiting from the United States or Canada. Immediately contact your consulate for assistance.