Puerto Vallarta Life and Visitor Travel Tips
(Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico)
A great way to learn more about life in Puerto Vallarta and what is going on is to pick up a copy of 'Vallarta Today', a popular English-language newspaper, which is free of charge. Other useful publications in Puerto Vallarta include the PV Tribune newspaper and both the Vallarta Voice and Vallarta Lifestyles magazines.
Gay travellers visiting Puerto Vallarta should look out for the useful Gay Guide Vallarta booklet, which is bursting with travel tips, information and a helpful map showing the main gay businesses. The Puerto Vallarta Convention and Visitor's Bureau offers in-depth information about how to travel around the city and staff here can also help with finding accommodation and will happily post out pamphlets and brochures if requested.
Useful Contact Details
Puerto Vallarta's Municipal Tourist Office features a range of multilingual literature, numerous free city maps and plenty of English-speaking staff. Club Paco Paco is widely considered to be Puerto Vallarta's informal tourist office for gay visitors and features a useful printed booklet of the city's main gay businesses and attractions.
For pre-arrival information about the city's gay community, visit the Gay Guide to Vallarta website: www.gayguidevallarta.com.
Puerto Vallarta Municipal Tourist Office
Address: Juárez, Municipal Building, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 322 223 2500
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:00 to 16:00
Puerto Vallarta Convention and Visitor's Bureau
Address: Local 18 Planta Baja, Puerto Vallarta, 48310, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 322 4 1175
Fax: +52 322 4 0915
Club Paco Paco
Address: Vallarta 278, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, MX
Tel: +52 322 222 1899
Language and Dialect
A Mexican version of Spanish is the national language in Puerto Vallarta and spoken by virtually everyone. It is not normally difficult to find someone speaking English and in fact, English is widely spoken all around the resort of Puerto Vallarta. However, it is always extremely courteous to learn a few Spanish phrases and bring a Spanish phrasebook. Some Spanish phrases are shown here:
- Hi - hola
- I would like to hire a motorbike - quisiera rentar una moto
- How cool is that? - qué padre?
- What time does the city bus leave? - a qué hora el camión sale?
- What is the current exchange rate? - cuál es el tipo de cambio?
- I'd like a twin room - quisiera una habitación con dos camas
- How much is it per week? - cuánto cuesta por semana?
- Where is...? - dónde hay...?
- Please - por favor
- Yes - si
- No - no
- Bye - hasta luego
- Goodnight - buenas noches
Do's and Don'ts
- Accessing the Internet - many air-conditioned venues around Puerto Vallarta offer Internet access, with inexpensive hourly rates, especially around the Plaza Principal and the Madero
- Heavy Goods / Shipping - many of the shops and galleries in Puerto Vallarta will be happy to either deliver your good directly to your hotel, or even arrange shipment to your home address
- Money - many shops and businesses within Puerto Vallarta will be happy to accept US dollars as payment for goods. Banks are scattered around the Plaza Principal and most features ATMs. 'Casas de cambio' (exchange houses) tend to offer the best rate of exchange and are available around the Malecón, Insurgentes and Vallarta
- Silver Scam - beware of any silverware and jewellery sold on the beaches, as this is usually made with a low-quality metal and therefore extremely overpriced
- Smoking - it is currently possible to smoke in many venues around Puerto Vallarta, although some restaurants now feature no smoking areas and city buses enforce a ban on smoking
- Sunscreen - even on overcast days you can still be sunburnt in Puerto Vallarta, so make sure that you bring plenty of sunscreen, particularly when you are heading for the beach
- Tap Water - always stick to bottled water in Puerto Vallarta, or alternatively use tablets to sterilise the tap water, or simply boil it thoroughly first
- Toilet Tips - only put used toilet paper down toilets in Puerto Vallarta where there is no wastepaper bin provided
- Tourist Card - when you first arrive in the country, you will be expected to complete a short document (forma migratoria para turista - FMT)