Getting around by bus
Getting around the city on bus is a very inexpensive way to travel. Fares anywhere nearly every corner and run from early morning until 11 p.m. There is even bus service for out-of-town trips. If you can’t figure out which bus to take, just check the front windshield it will give you the destinations. Expect an adventure!
Getting around by taxi
With more than 1,000 taxis in town, there is no problem hailing one. Taxi fares are set in Puerto Vallarta; the average fare is around $30 pesos or $2.90 USD. A trip across town — from the Marina to Los Muertos Beach, say — will run about $60 pesos which is approximately $6.00 USD. Fares are higher at the airport because of the airport tax. We recommend walking across the street on the walkway and catching a taxi there. Fares are posted in each taxi, the daily newspaper and most major hotels. Asking about the fare before you get in may save you a few pesos.
Telmex is the only telephone company in Mexico. Rates are higher to U.S.A. or Canada with a calling card. Any of the toll-free numbers listed below will connect you to an English-speaking operator.
Canada Direct 95-(800) 010-1900
AT&T (US) 95-(800) 462-4240
MCI (US) 95-(800) 674-4000
Calling without a card after 8 p.m. will save you 33%. If using a public phone, dial 95 then the area code and number. The Mexican long distance company is Ladatel; they have phones on nearly every street corner and in many hotels. You can purchase phone cards at local vendors around town for use in these phones, a much less expensive way to call home given the 60% tax placed on all international calls.
To call Puerto Vallarta from the U.S.A., dial 011 52 (322) then the local number. For dialing to the U.S.A. from Mexico on a private phone line, dial 001+ area code and number.
Weather in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is located at 20°N, the same latitude as Hawaii, thus it also shares similar tropical weather patterns. Puerto Vallarta enjoys nearly 300 sunny days per year. Daily temperatures reach between 78-85F (25-30C) and cool down to around 70F (21C) at night. The rainy season starts in mid-June and lasts till mid-October, bringing tropical rains and temperatures in the 90s with very high humidity. The hottest months are August and September.
Puerto Vallarta is in the Central Time Zone (the same as Texas), which is two hours ahead of California and one hour behind New York.
The American Consulate
Zaragoza 160, second floor
Tel. 222-0069, Fax 223-0074
The Canadian Consulate
Zaragoza 160, second floor
Tel. 222-5398, Fax 222-3517
When you enter Mexico you are given a tourist card, which you must return when you leave. If you lose the card, you will need to go to the Mexican Immigration office at Marina Park to obtain another. You will need proof of how you entered the country–such as a plane ticket–and identification–driver’s license, passport, birth certificate or voters registration card. These are the same means of identification needed to cross the border into Mexico.
The Puerto Vallarta Tourist Office is located downtown in the Presidencia Municipal building. They can answer travel questions and are a good resource for information about Puerto Vallarta. The local number is 222-0242 or 222-0243. From the U.S.A. call 011 52 (322) 222-0242. The Mexico Tourist office can be reached at (800) 446-3942.
is tested regularly; however, it is wiser to stick with bottled water. Most restaurants, bars and hotels use purified water (“agua purificada”), so be sure just ask. If cooking or preparing vegetables for salads, use products such as “Microdyn” to purify the water you soak them in.
Mexico uses 110 volt-60 current, the same as the U.S.A. and Canada. No adapters are needed, however three-prong adapters are good to bring along.
Tel. 060 (similar to 911 in the United States); for non-emergencies, call 222-0123 or 223-2500.
Tel. 060; for non emergencies, call 225-0000 or 225-0018.
Hospital and Medical Services
Ameri Med American Hospital: 221-0023 or 221-0024
San Javier Hospital : 223-1919
CMQ Hospita:l 223-0878, 222-3572 or 222-4395
Private Ambulance: 225-0386
Cruz Roja (Red Cross) Ambulancia: 222-1533 or 222-4973
We recommend you not get arrested while in Mexico. There is no reason why you should worry about this of course, unless you are purposely doing something illegal. Mexican drug laws are harsh. Don’t be tempted to buy or use drugs here. Be respectful; be careful; be courteous and obey the laws. Mexico is under Napoleonic law, which means, more or less, you are guilty until proven innocent. Being an American or Canadian citizen does not exempt you from the Mexican justice system.
ATMs and Banking
If your hometown bank card is one with “Interact,” ”Cirrus” or “Plus” printed on it, you can use it at cash machines located throughout Puerto Vallarta. Funds are withdrawn from your account in pesos according to the exchange rate that day. All major credit cards are widely accepted at hotels, restaurants and shops.
Can we get married in Puerto Vallarta?
Most definitely, this is one of the most romantic spots on earth and many people get married here. It will be almost impossible unless you hire someone who, speaks the language, understands the legal requirements and procedures. You do not want to spend all of your time in PV running around after all of the necessary papers and permits. If you want to get married, check out our wedding section for more information.
Can I use my laptop computer to get my e-mail and have Internet access?
You can bring your laptop computer, you will have to contact one of local ISP’s who will provide you with temporary Internet access for your limited stay. Condo Lani is set up with WiFi inside the condo. There is also sevice in the lobby and poolside. There are also quite a few Cyber Cafes in PV. Bringing a laptop computer into Mexico is a legal and accepted practice, no hassles with Aduana (Customs).
The dress in Puerto Vallarta is very casual. Shorts and T-shirts are the order of the day. At night, men can be seen in casual slacks at the more upscale restaurants and events, ladies in light summer-type dresses. In the winter months, bring a sweater for evenings. Sun hats and cover-ups are a good idea, and don’t forget the sun block.
Is it safe to walk around the town at night?
Yes, definitely. You should feel much safer in most parts of Puerto Vallarta than in the United States. There is very little crime here, and what does exist is usually petty compared to the U.S. The tourist police here are friendly and very helpful. Use your common sense, and be careful. Leave your fancy jewelry at home! After dark, stay on the main streets, do not wander on the beaches. Never flash large amounts of money