Puerto Vallarta Travel Information

The Mexican beach resort city of Puerto Vallarta is located on a narrow coastal plain at the foot of the Sierra Madre Occidental on the Pacific Ocean’s Bay of Banderas. The Cuale, Pitillal and Ameca rivers flow through the valleys and hillsides. The city itself is divided into: the hotel zone, which extends north along the shoreline; the Romantic zone, a historic section south of the Cuale River that is full of interesting small shops and authentic local restaurants; El Centro in the middle, the top place for bars, restaurants and shopping; and the residential area to the east of the hotel zone.

Getting to Puerto Vallarta

Most people enter by plane, flying into the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (IATA: PVR) just north of Puerto Vallarta proper. Most major US airlines service this airport, in addition to Aeromexico, Interjet, VivaAerobus and Volaris. You should be able to fly for around $200 from LAX.

Once you land, be careful to avoid lucrative transportation offers from hucksters trying to sell you timeshares. It is best to arrange your own private transportation prior to landing to save time and money. You can also board a bus marked “Centro” or “Zona Romantica” and reach these destinations in about 30 minutes for about 50 cents.
Necessary travel documents include:


Driving in Puerto Vallarta

If you are feeling really adventurous, you may drive the 27 hours from Southern California to Puerta Vallarta, Mexico.  There are modern, maintained toll roads to the border, but the road becomes a bit more rugged in Mexico, passing through smaller towns at slower speeds and hilly areas.

Here are a few considerations if you plan to drive:


Mexican customs and border crossing

Be aware of import restrictions like plants and seeds, cigars and cigarettes (up to 20 packs per person), liquor and wine (up to 3L), film and videocassettes (up to 12 per person), medication (must have prescription), and firearms (hunting allowed with valid permit from Mexican consulate). You may bring up to $10,000 in US currency.

Ground Transportation in Puerto Vallarta

Once you are in Puerto Vallarta, you can get around by:


Puerto Vallarta safety information

The U.S. State Department has issued the following advisories for traveling in Puerto Vallarta:


Emergency assistance in Puerto Vallarta

Should you have an emergency, you may dial:


Hospitals in Puerto Vallarta

There are three main hospitals in Puerto Vallarta for travelers to consider. The small AmeriMed Hospital (226-2080) can handle most emergencies and tests. Across the street is the San Javier Hospital (226-1010), an ultra-modern facility capable of taking on more complex emergencies like heart attacks or strokes. The Cornerstone Hospital (224-9400) is the newest facility, which specializes in radiology, dialysis, emergency pediatric care, cardiac emergencies, and ophthalmology.

These hospitals accept most international insurance and veterans benefits. With low prices and excellent service, high levels of satisfaction are reported with these establishments. Of course, there are still a number of smaller, older and less capable hospitals still in operation as well.

Puerto Vallarta weather

Puerto Vallarta has a nice tropical climate similar to Hawaii. There are over 300 sunny days a year. Temperatures range from 60 to 95, depending on the time of year. The rainy season lasts from mid-June through mid-October. In July, up to 336 mm of rain falls. Of course, there is still plenty to do in Puerto Vallarta on those rainy days – from resort spa treatments and Galerías Vallarta shopping, to a visit to Biblioteca Los Mangos or the Vallarta Naval Museum.

When to visit Puerto Vallarta


Additional Puerto Vallarta Travel Information and Resources: