Visit Puerto Vallarta - Best of Puerto Vallarta

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."

Puerto Vallarta Travel Tips

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

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Puerto Vallarta Itineraries

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Puerto Vallarta Tours for you

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

  • Save 11% Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop
    Bean to Bar Chocolate Workshop New on TripHobo

    Duration: 2 Hrs

    Come and learn how to make chocolate ! Located in the heart of the city center of Puerto Vallarta, ChocoMuseo will tel...

    Book Now
  • Bikes and Bites: Taco Bicycle Tour in Puerto Vallarta
    Bikes and Bites: Taco Bicycle Tour in Puerto Vallarta

    Duration: 3 Hrs 30 Mins

    Cycle your way through the charming cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta, discovering along the way the landmarks, history ...

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  • Save 17% Nogalito Eco Park Canopy Tour
    Nogalito Eco Park Canopy Tour New on TripHobo

    Duration: 2 Hrs

    Feel the adrenaline while you fly above the trees in our 11 zip lines, enjoy the nature and wildlife of the area while flying...

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  • Small-Group Sunset Cruise in Puerto Vallarta
    Small-Group Sunset Cruise in Puerto Vallarta New on TripHobo

    Duration: 3 Hrs

    Enjoy a private small-group activity where you'll be able to witness the beauty of Bahia de Banderas as the sun goes down. Ba...

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View all Tours, Tickets and Activities in Puerto Vallarta

Facts and Stats for Puerto Vallarta*

  • Pollution Statistics in Puerto Vallarta

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

    • Air Pollution 65.44 (High)
    • Water Pollution 54.03 (Moderate)
    • Noise and Light Pollution 70.97 (High)
    • Unattended dirt and garbage 59.38 (Moderate)
    • Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility 37.5 (Low)
    • Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal 49.17 (Moderate)
    • Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City 62.88 (High)
    • Dissatisfaction with Green zones and parks 42.74 (Moderate)
  • Puerto Vallarta: Crime and Safety

    How safe is Puerto Vallarta for tourists? Understand risks and safety concerns that can hamper your travel experience in Puerto Vallarta.

    • Burglary and Theft 29.44 (Low)
    • Mugging and Robbery 29.03 (Low)
    • Assault and Armed Robbery 31.75 (Low)
    • Corruption and Bribery 61.25 (High)
    • Car Stealing 27.05 (Low)
    • Robbery of Car belongings 35.48 (Low)
    • Attacks 18.85 (Very Low)
    • Drug offense 35.89 (Low)
    • Safety walking alone during daylight 88.1 (Very High)
    • Safety walking alone during night 60.71 (High)
    • Insulting and offensive behaviour 16.13 (Very Low)
    • Hate crime due to Racism, Religion, ethnic origin 8.75 (Very Low)
    • Property crimes and Vandalism 39.11 (Low)
  • Living in Puerto Vallarta - Quality of Life

    Quality of Life Index of Puerto Vallarta is 155.36 (Very High)

    • Safety Index 68.66 (High)
    • Climate Index 82.19 (Very High)
    • Pollution Index 68.22 (High)
    • Traffic Commute Time Index 16 (Very Low)
    • Cost of Living Index 28.63 (Very Low)
    • Health Care Index 89.68 (Very High)
    • Property Price to Income Ratio 9.82 (Moderate)
    • Purchasing Power Index 59.81 (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.

  • Cost for Essentials in Puerto Vallarta

    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 2.43 USD
    • Summer clothing in a chain store 21.25 USD
    • Pair of Basic Nike Shoes 51.82 USD
    • Pair of Basic Levis Jeans 25.75 USD

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

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