Getting Around, Puerto Vallarta Travel, Transport and Car Rental

(Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico)

Picture of donkey in the city centreTravelling to Puerto Vallarta is relatively straightforward and the Gustavo Diaz Ordaz Airport is conveniently sited nearby. Local buses are amongst the best transport options within Puerto Vallarta itself and travel every five minutes between the hours of 05:00 and 23:00, with most routes being extremely inexpensive.

Taxis are always a convenient way to travel around Puerto Vallarta and the city's water taxi transport is always popular with tourists, connecting a number of prominent points around the coastline. Worth noting, traffic in Puerto Vallarta has been greatly reduced following the arrival of a much-used bypass road, known as the 'libramiento'.

Photo of Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz Airport (PVR)

Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) / Arriving by Air

Puerto Vallarta's international airport enjoys an attractive coastal setting within the north-western region of Jalisco, approximately 10 km / 6 miles to the north of the city. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz Airport is where many tourists visiting Puerto Vallarta arrive each day, with the main airlines including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Delta Airlines, Mexicana, Northwest Airlines, Thomsonfly and US Airways, arriving from Calgary, Toronto, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London. Domestic airlines travel to and from many locations throughout Mexico, such as Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey. Colectivo van transport is available from the airport into Puerto Vallarta, while the most popular way to travel to the airport is by the regular 'Aeropuerto' buses.

Puerto Vallarta Airport (PVR) Guide

Aerial picture of major roads

Car Rental

To be able to hire a car in Puerto Vallarta, you will need to be aged 25 or more and bring a valid driving licence. Credit cards or large cash deposits are always required when hiring car transport. Be prepared to shop around, as prices vary. Motorbikes and scooters are popular alternatives for some, being available for hire along the Avenida Ascencio.

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Image of city centre and main road

Buses and Coaches

Long-distance bus transport in Puerto Vallarta departs from a bus station located off the Highway 200, around 12 km / 7 miles north of the city centre. Popular long-distance destinations include Barra de Navidad (four hours), Guadalajara (five hours), Manzanillo (five hours), Mazatlán (eight hours), Mexico City (12 hours), San Blas (three and a half hours), Sayulita (one hour) and also Tepic (three and a half hours).

City bus transport regularly departs from the Plaza Lázaro Cárdenas at the Playa Olas Atlas. Many buses travel to the northern side of Puerto Vallarta, stopping at the Zona Hotelera, the Marina Vallarta and at the airport itself. Further buses head in a southerly direction and travel along the southern coastal highway. It is always advisable to try and bring plenty of change, as bus drivers won't usually break down notes.


Taxi transport in Puerto Vallarta is extremely popular with tourists, although be prepared for a speedy journey. In general, taxi prices are dictated by the number of city zones that you actually travel through, although on slow days you can often successfully haggle and improve the overall price. However, do confirm the price before you actually climb into the taxi and set off. Hotels in Puerto Vallarta will always be happy to provide a list of expected prices.

Boats and Ferries

As well as Puerto Vallarta's many land taxis, the city also features a series of water taxis, which connect a number of attractive beaches to the south of the bay. Water taxi transport regularly travels to and from the pier at the Playa de los Muertos, stopping off at the Playa Las Animas and Yelapa, departing at 10:00, 11:00 and 16:00.