Which is the best season to visit?
The best season to visit Puerto Vallarta is during late fall thru spring (October through May), since there are smaller possibilities of rain, and the humidity level is moderate.
Is Puerto Vallarta safe?
Yes, it is! There is very little crime here, and the incidents that do arise are usually petty when compared to the U.S. The tourist police here are friendly and very helpful. Nonetheless, as always, make use of common sense and be aware of your souroundings. At night, stay on main streets within the touristic area, avoid dark alleys, just as you would just about anywhere else in the world.
What is Puerto Vallarta’s time zone?
Central Standard Time for most of the year.
Can I use US dollars in Mexico?
Yes, many places will take US dollars, however, be aware that larger bills can be harder for vendors to break so bring plenty of small bills. If you go on an adventure way out of the main tourist areas, it will be best that you bring enough pesos along. Banks give the best exchange rate, but require that you take in your passport. There are plenty of other exchange stations where you can trade US bills for Pesos.
Will I be able to use my credit cards in Puerto Vallarta?
Yes, most credit cards are accepted in touristic areas, however, we suggest that you ask before planning to pay with a credit card at each locale, or just bring cash to be safe. Remember to call your bank and let them know that you will be traveling to Mexico before you leave; some credit cards have a built in security feature that will freeze your account, otherwise.
Will I have Internet access?
Yes, there is Wi-Fi in most properties and hotel lobbies, and there are also a number of free hotspots around Puerto Vallarta.
Where and how can I make International phone calls?
International phone calls from your cell phone in Mexico can be very expensive. Therefore, we recommend you use a landline, or just use Wi-Fi connectivity at the hotel/property in which you are staying for Skype or Face Time apps. There are also a variety of other apps you can get for your phone, including Viber and Whatsapp, which can allow you to text message or call back home from your phone using Wi-Fi instead of Data.
You must dial 001, the area code and the phone number you wish to connect with. i.e. 001 (805) 823 8765.
Most hotels and villas block their line with a code, so you might want to ask for the code before trying to dial.
How much should I tip at restaurants etc.?
Tips range from 15% to 20% of the total bill, according to your perception of the service received. Checks are only brought to your table upon request, as in the Mexican culture it is considered rude to do it before hand.
How should I get around and how much will it cost?
- Traveling by bus
The most economical way to travel around Puerto Vallarta is by bus. It costs only 7.50 pesos per person, per ride. Bus stops are everywhere downtown and along the touristic area.
- Taxi travel around Puerto Vallarta
Taxis are plentiful wherever you go in Puerto Vallarta. If you’re hailing a taxi from your resort, the Bell Boy will assist you. If you are hailing a taxi on your own, be sure to negotiate the price before getting into the taxi. Prices are set throughout town and taxis are not metered.
Generally the standard fare is 50 – 60 pesos if you are staying in town. Cab drivers are very nice and the cars (usually Nissan Tsurus) are clean. Taxi drivers drive very aggressively, but you will find that almost anywhere that you visit in Mexico.
Always enter and exit the taxi from the sidewalk side (non-traffic side) of the cab and look for traffic or people before opening the door.
Try to have your money ready to pay right away when you arrive to your destination. Taxis will often stop in traffic to let you out, thus stopping traffic, so pay and exit as quickly as possible.
Seat belts are often tucked down in the backseat. While it is not required by law to wear a seat belt it is always a good idea to do so.
Taxis usually do not carry much change, so try to have smaller bills. Taxi drivers may accept U.S. Dollars, but typically at a poor exchange rate.
However, walking is encouraged, as Puerto Vallarta is a great walking town with lots to see.
- Driving and Parking in Puerto Vallarta
Driving in Puerto Vallarta is not as bad as most people make it out to be, you just have to know the rules before you attempt to travel.
At intersections, the left turn lane is on the lateral road (the lanes on the right side of the highway), and on a two-lane highway, a left signal light can indicate to the person behind to pass. Keep in mind they also may be taking a left hand turn, so pay attention as to what the driver ahead is telling you.
If making a left turn on a two-lane highway, pull off to the right side of the road, wait for traffic to clear then make the left turn; you pretty much always have to make a right to make a left, which can be a pretty confusing factor.
Parking in downtown Puerto Vallarta can be difficult to find, but they have recently opened an underground parking lot that always has space. The south side of Puerto Vallarta has a lot more parking.
Can I drink the water from the sink?
Most hotels and villas have their own purification system, so no need to fear when brushing your teeth or swallowing a pill; nevertheless, we recommend you stick to purified water, just to be safe!