Travel Guide to Puerto Vallarta, MexicoJan 05, 2022
We went on friend-cation (vacation with friends) in February 2020 to PVR (before the pandemic shut everything down) and absolutely loved it. It was easy to get to and a place we definitely plan on visiting again. It’s right on the coast and is a beach city, but there are mountains all around too which is stunning.
The beach was great and we walked there some, but I think our favorite part was relaxing at the infinity rooftop pool where we stayed. I mean just look at the photos below - it was gorgeous!
One of the tips I would give ladies is that there are cobblestone streets everywhere, so wear flats/sandals/sneakers. I brought cute wedges for going out to dinner and didn’t even wear them once.
CURRENCY: Mexican peso is the currency. In PV they will also take USD and credit cards most places, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand. I recommend taking some pesos with you especially for tips. Also, the “$” symbol is used for pesos too, so don’t worry if you see something small that costs $200 pesos haha… it equates to about $10 USD.
Travel Tip: Mexico is a place where negotiating price is normal, so feel free to negotiate on tours and that sort of thing, but just be courteous and don’t low ball anyone.
GETTING AROUND: You can use Uber all around PV and it’s pretty cheap. We either did Uber or walked everywhere which worked out great. We had cell service through our cell provider, Verizon.
If you need to get transportation to another town outside of PV, you can hire a taxi/driver. I recommend just asking the host where you’re staying to arrange it with someone they know and trust, or there are plenty of taxis driving around you can wave down and arrange it with them. We always felt very safe.
We looked into doing a rental car which was very cheap (like $1 a day!) but driving around the area was pretty crazy. Like one of our drivers said, “there are rules in Mexico but no one follows them.” So really, drivers didn’t follow any rules of the road plus the roads can be pretty sketchy in some areas. Because of that, we would have added all the rental car liabilities and that added up to be more expensive than just doing Uber everywhere.
WHEN TO VISIT: My highly recommended time to go is between January-March since that’s whale season and you have a good chance of seeing them migrating from the north to the south. We got to see several from the view of our condo balcony and one on the boat tour we did too – crazy cool experience.
WHERE TO STAY
Where we stayed totally made the trip for us. It’s called Sayan Condos and it was an Airbnb find. It’s a swanky place with a huge balcony that overlooks the ocean and window walls that we had open the entire time. It sort of felt like a hotel too because there is a rooftop pool and hot tub with a bar and lounge area you could order from all day. We got drinks and lunch there every day and all of it is surprisingly affordable. On the bottom floor of the building, there’s another restaurant and bar overlooking a couple pools plus a really nice gym too. Again, everything about this place was just incredible and I would go back in a heartbeat.
You can view all my videos and photos of this place on my Puerto Vallarta Instagram story highlights too.
THINGS TO DO
The highlight of our time and the purpose of our trip here was to relax, so we spent a lot of time by the rooftop pool. Other options are to do the beach thing, kayak, snorkel, and any water activities.
We did a luxury yacht and snorkel boat tour with Vallarta Adventures that was great. We went to a spot to snorkel then to a private beach. We had a great time but I will say the yacht and being on the water was the highlight of this our - the snorkeling wasn't great. The water here just wasn't very clear and made it a meh experience.
WHERE TO EAT & DRINK
Gosh, there are some really fantastic places to eat here. We love Mexican food so were in heaven. Below are the places we went to that we really liked. Full disclosure though, all of us who went to Panchos Takos were sick (stomach stuff haha) afterward. I’m still keeping it on the list though because it was absolutely delicious and one of the ladies in our group had been before and said they didn’t get sick so I’m hoping it was just a fluke. But really, it was so good that Jeff and I joke that we'd still go back to Panchos despite the chances of getting sick again because the tacos were that incredible.
- Panchos Takos
- La Palapa (brunch)
- Margarita Grill
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