Originally named Las Peñas de Santa Maria de Guadalupe, Puerto Vallarta was renamed in 1918 after Ignacio Vallarta, a former governor of Jalisco.
Puerto Vallarta (Vallarta Port) is often shortened to "Vallarta", by the locals, while English speakers call the city P.V. for short. The correct pronunciation is “pwerto väyär'tä”.
Pacific coast of Mexico on the Bay of Banderas, Mexico's largest natural bay, in the northwest corner of the state of Jalisco. Nuevo Vallarta is located in the state of Nayarit.
November to April: Average high 85F/low 63F
May to October: Average high 92F/low 73F- humid
Rainy Season: Mid-June through Mid-October.
Rain showers and thunderstorms typically occur in the late afternoon or at night with plenty of sun during the day.
Airport/ Code- PVR
Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) is located four miles north of downtown. ATMS, restaurants, bars, money exchange booths, duty free and regulated taxis are available. Beware of the timeshare sharks who will accost you once you leave the customs and immigration area. See more here.
The currency is the Peso and while U.S, Dollars are widely accepted, you are at the mercy of the taxi driver or proprieter's rate of exchange. I recommend you pay in Pesos as much as possible which often saves you 20% or more. Casas de Cambios (money exchange booths) are widely available as are ATM’s, which offers the best rates of exchange.
110 volt 60-current, same as the U.S.A., no adapters needed but many accommodations do not always have three prong outlets. Pack an adapter for any of your three prong plug-ins, such as laptops, hairdryers, etc.
Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta are in the Central Time Zone which is two hours ahead of California and one hour behind New York.
Mexico is under Napoleonic Law - you are guilty until proven innocent. Drugs are against the law and subject to prison time.
All beaches are public but not always accessible. Public nudity is prohibited and is subject to fines and/or arrest. There is roughly 25 miles of beaches on the Bay of Banderas. Check out our beaches section for more info.
Taxi fares are set by zone and are not metered. Be sure to ask and agree to the price to your destination before departing. Most hatels provide taxi fare information. All taxis have a sitio (taxi waiting location) and taxi number. Make a note of both (located on the outside of the taxi) in case you forget a wallet, bag, camera, etc. Most fares between one zone to the next are 30 to 40 Pesos.
The buses are the preferred transportation by locals without cars and a great inexpensive transportation option. Hold tight and enjoy th ride! City bus price is 6.5 Pesos per person. No transfers. Bus prices to Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, Sayulita, etc. are between 12 and 25 Pesos. Buses to the north (into Nayarit) can be caught at the bus shelter in front of WalMart. Buses to Mismaloya and Boca de Tomatlan can be caught on the corner of Insurgentes and Basilio Badillo. 7 Pesos.