Puerto Vallarta is filled with culture, history, authentic Mexican cuisine and breathtaking views everywhere you look. To get the best out of this magical city on your next beach vacay to Mexico’s Pacific coast, we’re sharing our insider’s guide to Puerto Vallarta.
Best Time to Travel
When planning beach vacays, your first thought is typically to book it during the summer months, for obvious reasons–summers are meant to be spent on the beach. However, summer also means rain and intense sweat season in Mexico. So, it’s best to visit during the winter months to avoid unruly weather and intense heat. Plus, December through February is prime whale-spotting season. For budget travelers, prices are often cheapest in June, September and October, just before and after hurricane season.
Things to Know Before Traveling to Puerto Vallarta
- When planning your trip to Puerto Vallarta, be sure to have your passport updated because you will need it when entering and leaving Mexico.
- Make sure to keep your FMM (Mexico tourist card) in a safe place through the duration of your trip–you’ll need it to leave the country when going back through customs.
- Thankfully, Uber now runs in Puerto Vallarta, so getting around is easy. Public transit, like taxis and buses, is also an easy option for getting around–you’ll want to have cash handy.
- The views are breathtaking, but the beaches in Puerto Vallarta are a little smaller than in other destinations.
- Swimmers should be cautious when swimming at most beaches, as the currents tend to be stronger than in other areas.
- Downtown Puerto Vallarta is definitely for culture lovers who love cobblestone streets, authentic restaurants, small shops and getting around by foot–pack comfortable shoes!
- Although many parts of town are touristy, it’s easy to find off the beaten path activities to experience authentic Mexican culture and history.
Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta
When it comes to Puerto Vallarta hotels and all-inclusive resorts, the options are endless. Just five minutes from the famous El Malecón boardwalk, Now Amber Puerto Vallarta boasts breathtaking bay and mountain views, an onsite casino, swim-up suites, and fantastic food options. Secrets Vallarta Bay has a fabulous infinity pool overlooking the ocean and tons of entertainment–plus, you’ll have access to amenities at next door Now Amber.
Five minutes from Puerto Vallarta’s Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport, Velas Vallarta features unparalleled views of Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre Mountains. A true tropical paradise, Velas has a lazy river flowing throughout the resort, plus a 10-acre beachfront paradise. Garza Blanca is about a 35-minute ride from the airport but has some of the most stunning views of Puerto Vallarta. Its intimate vibes and close proximity to four 18-hole, championship golf courses make it the perfect spot to call your home away from home in Puerto Vallarta.
Without a doubt, Puerto Vallarta is a fabulous beach destination for TBLs. Looking for a tranquil getaway where you can do nothing but relax on the sand with a great view? You got it. Want to explore the quaint, yet vibrant culture of Mexico’s west coast? No problem. Ready to celebrate a special occasion with tons of daily and nightly entertainment? It’s there. Check out the top 10 things to do in Puerto Vallarta, plus these great vacation deals and start packing your bags–the beach awaits!