Puerto Vallarta Tourism

Nestled into the curve between the Bay of Banderas and the hilly jungles, Puerto Vallarta used to be a simple village once upon a time. Then Richard Burton starred in 'The Night of the Iguana', invited Elizabeth Taylor over, and the USA obsession with the celebrity couple launched village into tourism stratosphere. It's now the fifth largest city in the country, with a population of a quarter million.

The area has been settled since at least 600 BC, perhaps earlier. In the 16th century Cortes fought a huge battle with the Native Indians here, bringing the territory under Spanish control. In the 18th century, it began to function as a port for the nearby sierra towns. Mining operations in the 19th century gave it the final thrust of growth that led to it being made a municipality in 1918. Growth in agriculture in the nearby valley led to progressive modernisation. In the second half of the 20th century, tourist infrastructure was greatly developed, eventually establishing the city's reputation as a resort town.

For a tourist, the city is rich with both things to do and places to sightsee. The city is a popular LGBT tourism destination, dubbed the "San Francisco of Mexico."

Essential travel information and Puerto Vallarta tips for your visit

  • Time Zone: Central Time Zone UTC-06:00
  • Currency: Peso
  • Electricity and Internet: 110 volts. Plug type is North American Non-Grounded, North American Grounded.
  • Languages: Mexican, Spanish. English is widely spoken.
  • Security: Emergency Number: 66
  • Off-Beaten Path: La Casa del Habano
  • Tipping: 10-15%
  • Tourist Traps: El Malecon Boardwalk, Los Muertos Pier, Olas Altas

The best tours and activities in the city, guided by experts to give you a local insight to the best of Puerto Vallarta

  • Know the pollution level of Puerto Vallarta before you plan your visit.

    • Air Pollution 63.57 (High)
    • Water Pollution 54.69 (Moderate)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 71.09 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 59.85 (Moderate)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 38.64 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 50.81 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 61.76 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 44.53 (Moderate)
  • How safe is Puerto Vallarta for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Puerto Vallarta.

    • Burglary and Theft 28.38 (Low)
    • Mugging and Robbery 26.35 (Low)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 29.33 (Low)
    • Corruption and Bribery 60.07 (High)
    • Car Stealing 23.97 (Low)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 33.78 (Low)
    • Attacks 17.12 (Very Low)
    • Drug offense 35.47 (Low)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 89.67 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 63.67 (High)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 15.2 (Very Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 9.03 (Very Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 37.33 (Low)
  • Quality of Life Index of Puerto Vallarta is 143.44 (High)

    • Safety Index 70.12 (High)
    • Climate Index 82.19 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 67.69 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 17.8 (Very Low)
    • Cost of Living Index 33.25 (Very Low)
    • Health Care Index 89.68 (Very High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 13.88 (High)
    • Purchasing Power Index 40.83 (Very Low)
    • Indices such as Quality of life, Climate & Healthcare index are good to be high whereas others such as Property price, Traffic & Cost of living Index are good to be low.

  • Here's how much it will cost to shop in Puerto Vallarta

    • Local calling per minute on Prepaid mobile 0.05 USD
    • International Movie per seat 3.2 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 24.59 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 55.32 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 34.42 USD

*Stats and figures mentioned are crowd-sourced ‚Äčand subjected to change without notice.

* Some of the data on this page is powered by Numbeo