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Puerto Vallarta Vacation Planning

Puerto Vallarta Destination Guide


Where Mexico Comes Alive - Fall in love with Puerto Vallarta's old world charm and dreamlike natural beauty. Lush tropical Puerto Vallarta Vacation Planningjungles surround this quaint colonial city with interesting architecture, cobblestone streets and white-washed buildings. Discover chic boutiques as you stroll along the Malecan, then check out the exploding art scene and sizzling nightlife. Sprawling golden beaches, Pacific blue waters and heart-stopping sunsets that reflect on majestic mountains complete this picture-perfect vacation spot.

 

Weather in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta enjoys a warm tropical climate all year round, the rainy season is late June through September (afternoon showers). January through April - high 86°F, low 63°F; May through Dec. - high 92°F, low 70°F.

 

 

Recreational Activities in Puerto Vallarta

Golf

Hotel-Affiliated Courses
The Vallarta Palace offers golf options at the following courses:

  • Flamingos Golf Club
    One of the first golf courses in Puerto Vallarta. Designed by renowned English golf course architect Percy Clifford.
  • Marina Vallarta Golf Club
    Marina Club de Golf offers a challenge for all levels of golfers. Designed by Joe Finger.
  • Vista Vallarta
    • Nicklaus Course
      Target-style golf with breathtaking views of Banderas Bay and the Sierra Madre mountains as a back drop. Designed by Jack Nicklaus.
    • Weiskopf Course
      Precision is required from tee to green with several bunkers along the way. Designed by Tom Weiskopf.

Independent Courses

  • El Tigre Club
    One of the first golf courses in Puerto Vallarta. Designed by renowned English golf course architect Percy Clifford.

Sport Fishing

Banderas Bay’s deep blue waters provide an abundance of sailfish and marlin along with smaller game fish. October through February is the best time for sailfish and black or blue marlin. And the International Sailfish and Marlin Tournament, the largest fishing tournament in Mexico, takes place in November.

Whale Watching

The best months to see the majestic humpback whales are the months from December through March, when they are in their calving season and before they make their migration north.

Watersports & Beach Activities

All your favorite watersports and beach activities can be found in Puerto Vallarta. Enjoy snorkeling and diving under the water; surfing, boogie boarding, and sailing above the water; and beach volleyball and other activities on the golden sand. It is recommended to avoid parasailing in Puerto Vallarta, as well as independent vendors offering horseback rides on the beach.

Puerto Vallarta Travel Tidbits

Fireworks
There are fireworks every night at 9 pm from the Marigalante, a pirate ship in the bay.

Art
Check out the local art scene and a wide variety of intriguing art forms while having fun (and free cocktails) at the Old Town Art Walk, every Wednesday from 6-10 pm.

Change of Scenery
Bus routes include the north coast, up to Bucerias and Punta Mita for a fun day trip away from town.

Hidden Beaches
From Los Muertos beach, you can also take a boat — a panga — to the beaches of Animas, Quimixto, and Yelapa, which are only accessible by boat.

Groceries
If you’re in need of snacks or beverages, Rizo’s Supermercado is a great place to stock up.

Gourmet Festival
Vallarta’s restaurants really overachieve during the 10-day Gourmet Festival in mid-November. More than three dozen establishments invite guest chefs to prepare special menus, some of which influence restaurant offerings in the following year.

How do I get around town?

Transfers
Roundtrip transfers between the airport and hotel are included with air and hotel packages. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) is off the highway six miles north of town, near Marina Vallarta. Upgrades to a direct private transfer are also available.

Rental Car
Rental cars are a fast and efficient way to get around the Puerto Vallarta area, especially if you’re planning on traveling to the northern coast of Banderas Bay. If you’re more likely to spend all of your time at a resort, a rental car is not necessary.

Taxi and Bus
Camiones (local buses) and colectivos (minibuses that are a cross between standard buses and taxis) both run set routes throughout the city and the coastal strips at either end, servicing all of the major hotels in the process. Taxis veer their way through predetermined city zones, with the price of a ride climbing as you pass into a new zone. Negotiate the cost of a trip before getting into the vehicle.

Tipping in Puerto Vallarta

Mexico generally follows the 15% tipping rule, and a 15% sales tax will be charged on most items.

Wedding Requirements for Puerto Vallarta

Only civil ceremonies are recognized, and there is no residency requirement. Marriages occur at the Civil Registrar's office (fees range from $100-$200), both parties must have a birth certificate or passport, a tourist card, divorce decree (if applies).

Airport Information for Puerto Vallarta

Travel to and from Puerto Vallarta uses the The Gustavo Diaz Airport (PVR).

Rental Cars in Puerto Vallarta

Local car rental agencies include: Budget, Hertz, Alamo, Thrifty, National, Avis, Dollar, Tom & Jerry Volkswagen Rental, Advantage, and Turimax Rent & Buggy. To rent a car you must be at least 25 years of age, hold a valid driver's license and a major credit card.