Puerto Vallarta is a charming Mexican town in the state of Jalisco that offers visitors sandy beaches, fun water sports, and colorful festivals year-round. Depending on your tastes and interests, you can enjoy a vibrant nightlife scene, boutique shops, a historic cobblestone town center, and the iconic Malecón, a beachside promenade with unique sculptures and a wonderful bar and restaurant selection. Need I say more?
Now that you’ve decided to go to Puerto Vallarta, here are some planning tips to make it the trip of a lifetime.
When To Go
For most travelers, the best time to go is during the “dry season” from November through April. But this is also the high season when prices are up and crowds are common. Late June through October is a good time to visit to avoid the crowds and high cost if you don’t mind a bit of humidity and rain.
If you want to go surfing, diving, or snorkeling, summer offers the best conditions.
Book a Nice Room
A good tip to know is that east-facing rooms are ideal especially during the warmer months. You will receive morning sunshine, but your balcony will be shaded during the afternoon, making it a comfortable place to chat and relax late into the evening.
Coupons from Hotels.com will allow you to save money on a comfortable room and spend it on fun experiences instead.
Take a Cruise There
If you’re in the mood for a luxury vacation, take a cruise to this Pacific Ocean town and arrive in style! Take advantage of cruise deals and embark on an adventure as you travel from port to port along the western coast of Mexico.
If arriving by air or road to Puerto Vallarta, you could book a yacht or sailboat excursion to a private beach and enjoy a day trip on the pleasantly warm Pacific waters. Just remember to book tours and excursions as soon as possible because they fill up quickly during the high season.
Don’t Be Scared but Be Cautious
We’ve all read about crime and violence in Mexico, but Puerto Vallarta is quite safe. Like any other city, however, Puerto Vallarta is not immune to pickpockets or the occasional mugging, so common sense precautions are wise. Carry enough money in your wallet to cover only the day’s spending. Leave your passport and valuables safely locked in your hotel room, and don’t leave bags, phones, and cameras unattended.
The biggest threat to your safety are probably the local drivers. Even though pedestrians have the right of way, don’t expect drivers to follow this rule. Be extra cautious with traffic.
There are truly so many reasons to visit Mexico. Don’t let disproportionate fears about crime keep you away from the experience of a lifetime.
Remember You’re on Vacation
Make the most of it. Don’t forget to take lots of photos but remember to be in the moment while exploring the city and soaking in its beauty.
The residents of Puerto Vallarta, like those of most Mexican towns, are very friendly. Learn a few words in Spanish and have fun interacting with the locals at annual festivals and events.
Don’t fret if some things don’t go as planned; most of the time they don’t and it turns out for the best. Embrace the unexpected and have fun!
(Top Image via Flickr by Christian Frausto Bernal)