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Home > Vacations > Destinations > Mexico > Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Check out resorts in:
 NUEVO VALLARTA
 PUERTO VALLARTA

The Mexican Riviera's Premier Resort!

Puerto Vallarta, set on Mexico's most spectacular bay, combines the charm of old Mexico with every modern amenity under the sun.  This popular resort is made up of three different areas: Puerto Vallarta, with cobblestone streets and chic boutiques; Marina Vallarta, with pastel-colored villas and a championship golf course; and Nuevo Vallarta, a new resort area that boasts Vallarta's best beaches, and activities ranging from watersports to horseback riding.

 

What to Know Before You Go

Entry Requirements*
A U.S. passport valid for at least six months or a birth certificate with a raised seal accompanied by a photo I.D. is required. Foreign citizens should check with appropriate consulates.

Tourist Information Offices

  • New York (212) 606-9012
  • Chicago (312) 565-2786
  • Houston (713) 880-8772
  • Los Angeles (213) 351-6800
  • Miami (305) 443-9160
  • Washington, D.C. (202) 728-1758

Consulate of Mexico
Laredo, TX (512) 723-0990 or 723-6360.

National Language - Spanish
English is widely spoken and understood.

Currency - Nuevo peso
Dollars may be exchanged for nuevo pesos at the front desk of many hotels, local banks and currency exchange bureaus. Travelers checks and most major credit cards are accepted.

Flying Time
About six hours when flying from the Northeastern U.S.

Time Difference
Late October to early April: one hour behind EST. Early April to late October: two hours behind EST.

Voltage - Same as U.S. (110 volts, 60 cycles AC).

Transportation
Taxis are convenient and everywhere around Puerto Vallarta. . Rates are usually published in the hotels. Check with the bellmen or the front desk for information, and confirm the rate with the taxi driver before leaving. If you prefer to drive, you can rent a car in Los Cabos for about $60 to $85 per day.

 

General Information

Climate
The average yearly temperature is 85 degrees.

Sports and Activities - Watersports abound!
There is swimming, scuba diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, jet-skiing and parasailing. Deep-sea fishing is also very popular, as the waters are full with sailfish, marlin, tuna, bonito and more! On land, try horseback riding, tennis or golf. Two 18-hole golf courses are currently available, one in Marina Vallarta and one in Nuevo Vallarta. For the truly authentic Mexican sporting experience, take in a round of bullfighting!

Shopping
Puerto Vallarta offers the best in international shopping. Everything from resort wear, serapes and sandals to silver, blown glass and pottery can be found in the boutiques and markets all over town. Bargain hunters should head over to the outdoor market for the best deals on local handicrafts and Mexican jewelry.

Dining
At the top of El Faro lighthouse, enjoy a beverage and a 360 degree view -- a perfect spot for watching the sun set before dining. Afterwards, head to the riverbank for elegant dining, particularly at Le Bistro Jazz Cafe. Or, spoil yourself at Mogambo, another elegant choice. Mexican specialties can be found at Las Palomas Dorados and Plaza Mexicana with live mariachi nightly. For an Italian extravaganza choose Porto Bello or La Terraza. Is seafood your preference? Where else but the Seafare? If you crave pizza with an atmosphere, don't miss Pizza Joe's -- small and intimate with classical music and tasty pizza, pastas, lasagne and great desserts! The waterfront, along the Malecon, is home to the Hard Rock Cafe (great burgers and fajitas) and Carlos O'Brian's (popular, noisy and lots of fun).

Nightlife
If you are up for a night of disco dancing, Christine's is the place. Other options abound! Check out a cozy piano bar or a rockin' beach party. Want to discover what traditional Mexican entertainment is all about? Attend a folkloric show, listen to live mariachi music or take in a Mexican fiesta.

What to wear and bring
Its best to bring shorts, sundresses, lightweight skirts, and slacks. Bathing suits, cover-ups, sandals and sneakers are a must, as are film, sunscreen and a good hat! Coats and ties are not required in most restaurants and hotels; however, shorts and sneakers are not usually allowed at discos and other nightspots.



Optional Excursions and Activities

Tropical Tour
Visit the Guadelupe Cathedral, the residential area Gringo Gulch, and the Gold Coast, passing villas and sights to Mismaloya, where The Night of the Iguana was filmed. This is a perfect introduction to Puerto Vallarta.

Sunset Cruise
Take a relaxing tour of the lovely Banderas Bay.

Horseback Riding
A ride on horseback through the countryside will take you past quaint little villages and bring you close to nature as you discover the plantations, rivers and mountains in this beautiful region.

Ranch Barbecue
Experience a traditional party at an authentic Mexican ranch at the foot of the Sierra Madre. Enjoy a hearty Mexican buffet, festive music and lots of dancing!


Helpful Books

Frommer's Puerto Vallarta Manzanillo & Guadalajara, 1/E
Suzanne Roe Jannetta(Editor), et al / Hardcover / Published 1997

Pacific Mexico Handbook : Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta Oaxaca, Guadalajara, Mazatlan (3rd Ed)
Bruce Whipperman / Paperback / Published 1997

Pacific Mexico Handbook; Including Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, Oaxaca, Guadalajara, and Mazatlan
Bruce Whipperman / Paperback / Published 1999

*Requirements for US Citizens