Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide

  • Puerto Vallarta
    by africateach
  • Puerto Vallarta
    by jmv1224
  • Puerto Vallarta
    by AlisonCoghlan

Puerto Vallarta Things to Do

  • Boat Cruises

    It sounds cheesy but it was a really great experience. If you want to have a "real" drink on the boatride there just ask for it. They have some snacks on the boat to tide you over. Don't buy the bugspray at the Marina, bring your own or don't worry about it. Be hungry for dinner, the food is really great. It is a very romantic trip. After the...

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  • Malecon

    during the days or in the evenings, you will always find something to see or do if you take a leisurely stroll on the "malecon," which is a wide pedestrian promenade/walkway that runs alongside the beach. it stretches from about 14 blocks north of the rio cuale (this is the central downtown area) to about 9 blocks south of the rio cuale (this is...

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  • Old Town

    Old Town is definitely the place to be. You will feel like you are really in Mexico, unlike some the places with walled off beach areas to the north. Why go to Mexico if you don't want to experience anything Mexican? Our favorite places to hang out on the beach are Epoca and Cuates y Cuetas. At Epoca, you can sit under a palapa in the sand and have...

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Puerto Vallarta Hotels

Puerto Vallarta Restaurants

  • All Inclusives

    4 out of 5 stars

    Right on the beach & completely increadible. The main dish is formed into a boat in some way & is out of this world! Oddly enough, the clam chowder was awesome for the appetiezer & the es' cargo was unbelievable. The lobster was great, but a little salty (i'm just not a salt person).

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  • Pipi's Restaurant & Bar

    4.5 out of 5 stars

    My wife and I have been going to PiPis since 1991 and have taken friends and customers to this great resturant. The people are friendly, the food is great, the drinks huge. We go yhere at least twice in our seven day stay in PV. Fajitas, all of them, served flaming hot and with all the fixings.

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  • Chico's Paradise Restaurant, Bar & Grill

    4 out of 5 stars

    The food was great and the zipline was fun until I hit the platform at 30 miles an hour and broke my tailbone in half and all the nerves in my butt are numb. Also, my backside was bruised even down my thighs for three months and I couldn't sit down. It has been 10 months and still isn't healed and I could have been parylized. They did nothing about...

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Puerto Vallarta Nightlife

  • Malecon

    When I was in Puerto Vallarta it was Easter and wow!!!! The party at the Malecon was in full swing!!!! The streets wer full to capacity. There was live music and dancing everywhere. It was awesome. Many restaurants and bars were full to capacity. It was interesting to watch people and talk to people. Casual

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  • Royal Decameron Complex

    Here is my advice on nightlife. If you are going to an all inclusive resort you normally leave with your spouse, friends or family and you don't know anyone else at first. That was my case but as you can see from this picture by the end of the week a lot of tequilla can make you some great friends. We hated to leave after 7 days. We met some...

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  • College Club

    We attended the famous foam party on Tuesday and had a great time, but there are a few things to remember if you decide to go: 1. foam is wet and soapy - it will burn your eyes if you accidentally get it in there 2. floors are slippery - a friend of ours slipped and cut his forehead open - it was not pretty. do not wear heels 3. watch for your...

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Puerto Vallarta Transportation

  • Bus/Transit

    It sounds like the City of Puerto Vallarta designed their public transportation stopping stations so as to unclog traffic and it's design is working. However, this system is costing the public a lot of money! Instead of just paying one fare, they pay two fares even if the same bus is going to the same direction! For example, the blue bus and white...

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  • Taxis

    The cab fare from the "Hoteles" to the airport (one way) is usually 80 Mexican pesos. This is the regular price. If you pay more than this, then you are paying a lot! It is approximately 2.5 kms from the hotel to the airport. The hotels are very close. You can even walk if you wanted to.

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  • Airplane

    airplane is best, you can get tourist cards either from the airline steward(esse)s or at the airport; customs inspection is random and fairly cursory. i've driven into mexico only once (border towns are NOT representative) and don't remember encountering a hassle but have heard of people who have. because of the distances and mountains, it is hard...

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Puerto Vallarta Shopping

  • Markets

    This two story maze of shops is laden with everything "Mexican." One of the stalls we frequented was the Artesanias Los Gemelos run by Dora. Here you can find scores of T-shirts, silver jewelry, leather goods, hundreds of handicraft items and home-style lunches. The rule of the day is to barter for the best price, but beware the sales people are...

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  • Art/Silver

    I remember we bought 4 paintings of this local artist. As you can see from the picture he was painting on these tiles using only paint and his finger nail!!! They were amazing landscape pictures of the local area and they worked out to be only $20 Canadian. It was a steal and they look great to this day. They were even framed.

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  • Souvenirs

    VALLARTA MART visit the best shop of souvenirs and crafts located in Walk Diaz Ordaz 830 Center encontraran the best crafts, beach, shorts, tequilas and liquors to the best price DO NOT STOP GOING. T shirts, polo shirts, shorts, best crafts in town, beach shorts, tequilas and liquors to the best price DO NOT STOP GOING. 60 DOLARS AND FREE A BAG ASK...

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Puerto Vallarta Local Customs

  • Local People

    many mexicans are descended from the spanish who landed in mexico several hundred years ago. however, when the spanish landed, the people they found were indigenous tribes that had been living in mexico for a long time; some of those indigenous tribes still exist, some living in the mountains close to puerto vallarta. it is considered a slur to...

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  • Financial

    if you use american DOLLAR BILLS (in any denomination) in puerto vallarta, the people to whom you give them can use them, altho they will have to go to the bank to exchange them for pesos. this is one of the strong reasons why it is more considerate to exchange your dollars for pesos before you do very much shopping, eating out, etc. if you give...

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  • Tipping

    the DAILY wage for hotel/lodging maids is roughly the equivalent of one HOUR of the minimum wage in the united states. for this reason and also because i have found the maids in every place i have stayed to be extraordinarily conscientious, i usually tip the peso equivalent of approx $2-$3 per day. in hotels, where the room might be cleaned by a...

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Puerto Vallarta Warnings and Dangers

  • Health/Safety

    Make sure that when you bring children, they are always with an adult. The swimming pools at the hotels here don't have life guards on them! Also, the beaches have strong currents and not actually great for swimming especially in Puerto Vallarta!

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  • Financial/Shopping

    the people in the downtown open market and the stores will take dollars, but they don't give you a particularly good exchange rate. it is easier just to arrive on a price in pesos and then get pesos from an ATM, a casa de cambio (money-changing stall), or a bank. ATMs and casas de cambio are everywhere.

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  • Attractions

    One thing I did not do (and learned my lesson!) was to check with the guys at the reception desk of our hotel before going to Chino's Paradise. I just relied on the information provided in the guidebook I purchased prior to going to Puerto Vallarta. I was really looking forward to going to Chino's Paradise, taking a dip in the pool, enjoying good...

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Puerto Vallarta Tourist Traps

  • Time Share

    there are time-share vendors everywhere, and they can be extremely aggressive, with come-ons such as jeep rental for extra days free, "bargain tours," free breakfasts at various resorts, etc. proceed at your own risk financially.

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  • Attractions

    Located 12 km south of P.V. is a little village called Mismaloya. All I remember about it is that there is a very luxurious hotel nearby, and that 5 km north from there "El Eden" is located. "El Eden" is by the way a typical tourist trap, and you'll find it as an attraction in any guide book. We felt like hiking for one day so we decided to visit...

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  • Shopping

    the downtown open market might be considered a tourist trap by some, but if you ignore the aggressiveness of the vendors or just say "not today," people are not offended. bargaining is expected, but shop around first to get a good feel for the going rate (most of the tourist guidebooks say to offer 50%-75% of the price requested, don't worry, the...

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Puerto Vallarta What to Pack

  • Clothing/Luggage

    you need expendable sandals for walking on the beach; the sand is VERY hot. a hat is also very useful, on the beach or while shopping (otherwise, you risk serious sunburn). a hat cuts down on the squinting too, even with sunglasses.

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  • Health/Safety

    Make sure your luggage is washable, we had to totally disinfect ours from all the sand fleas and mini spiders. Take extra fast drying clothes, the humidity hinders the drying process. IMODIUM, GRAVOL, PEPTO BISMOL, MOSQUITO REPELENT, CALAMINE LOTION, AND SUN BLOCK LOTION. Take your own towel. You can get a towel from the resort with a towel key,...

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  • Complete List

    I recommend packing light, that way you can bring back more stuff! :o) Bring cool clothes, maybe a sweater for night time, a pair of pants too. If you will be doing alot of walking, its always good to have comfortable walking shoes. Have all your medical suppiles on your carry on. if your bag goes missing it may be importaint to have those with...

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Puerto Vallarta Off The Beaten Path

  • Nearby Towns

    As we were driving from our hotel to the restaurant for dinner, I sincerely enjoyed the transition from crowded city to thick foliage and quaint villages. At one point, I said, to noone in particular, "This reminds me of The night of the Iguana." The taxi driver responded, "We are about to enter the village where most of The Night of the Iguana was...

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  • Local Places

    be sure to go to BOTH sides of the river (the "rio cuale") and UNDER the two overpasses that cross the river on opposite sides of downtown. a sidewalk between the overpasses has stalls and some things that you may not be able to find elsewhere.

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  • Festivals/Customs

    I wish more people would include the "good" prices they negotiate! I started at the top of the Malecon and worked my way down to the Romantic Zone. The prices were cheaper at the starting end, but I chose a company near the pier. We negotiated a price of 500 pesos (I detest when people give prices in US dollars ~ you are in MEXICO people!), but as...

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Puerto Vallarta Sports & Outdoors

  • Water Sports

    Snorkeling at Los Arcos, Baya Banderas, was a lot of fun, although colder than we had expected. We had no exposure suit, so we didn't stay in as long as we might have otherwise. Los Arcos is a wave-formed rock formation near Mismaloya. The rocks are a federal eco-preserve and named after the arching grottoes channeling through some of the rocks....

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  • Scuba

    Best Scuba Diving store in Vallarta is Banderas Scuba. They are located in the Romantic zone, and they are professionals, and really nice guys too! I´ve been going with them many times, and is always a pleasure... I recommend them and only them!

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  • Beach Sports

    I was on a horse in Mexico at Quiximto so I didn't go for it at the Royal Decameron Resort Complex but there is obviously ample opportunity depending on where you are to I guess. These guys in the picture left right from the Royal Decameron Resort Complex beach. The vendors in this area are liscensed and have permission to be there. I always...

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Puerto Vallarta Favorites

  • Siteseeing

    There is so much to do and see in Puerto Vallarta that you should never get bored. If this is your first time here, don't try to do too many tours...you'll be back for more. But do attempt to take at least one of them...we've done the Tequila Tour as well as the Jungle Tour and had a blast.

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  • Cultural

    Head south of Rio Cuale into the area called SouthSide or by tourist name Zona Romantica or OldTown. There are fine spots for a meal or a snack, parasailing, boat riding, fishing, sunning, shopping, gawking! On my first visit 30 years ago as my feet hit the hot tarmac I knew I belonged here. I have returned many times and now have my own small...

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  • Beaches

    As I already mentioned, THE BEACH was my biggest disappointment. The shore was very rocky and the water quite murky and muddy, not at all blue as I had expected. On the last day that we were there (Thursday) the lifeguard actually put up the red flag, as there was a large algae blob in the water, that made it unsafe to swim. Note, in my picture...

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Comments (1)

  • Nov 8, 2012 at 1:15 AM

    Has anyone seen the carved gourds used for lanterns for sale in either Bucerias or PV

 
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Downtown
Things to Do
Relaxing
Favorites
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Shopping
Shopping
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Groceries
Shopping
El Palomar De Los Gonzales
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La Palapa
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Weather
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Canopy Tour
Things to Do
La Dolce Vita
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Nature
Local Customs
El Eden
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Swim with Dolphins
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Street Vendor
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Cafe Des Artistes
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Le Kliff
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The Zoo
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Night of the Iguana
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Senor Frogs
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Los Arcos
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Zona Roja
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Nikk Beach
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Club Roxy
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Flores Magon (Orphanage)
Off The Beaten Path
Planet Hollywood
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Delicious AND great service!
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beautiful native art from the indigenous huicholes
Shopping
good basic mexican food
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good food, free wi-fi, on the beach
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vallarta botanical gardens -- a wonderful day
Off The Beaten Path

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