Now in the year 2003, Puerto Vallarta is in a state of comical contradiction. With old world charm, a train of donkeys carrying sand in sacks will be passed by a super stretch limousine while a beach vendor carrying a mountain of hand-woven blankets pauses to answer his cell phone. Sophisticated venues like the Hard Rock Cafe and Planet Hollywood are set along cobble stone streets. Yet the charm of Vallarta is maintained with the expanse of red-tiled roofs and winding cobblestone streets, scores of happy children playing everywhere, watched by several generations of family. The sense of family is one aspect of Puerto Vallarta that has remained the same for generations. Children, teen-agers, parents and grandparents all celebrate together.


Vallarta's taxis have fixed rates between zones and for the most part, these are adhered to. Be sure to ask the cost before you hire the taxi and if you have any doubts, your hotel will tell you what fare to expect to pay.  Chat with your taxi driver, many of them speak English and have a wealth of local information, perhaps not the same as may be found in guide books, but possibly more interesting. There is no need to tip the drivers.

City Buses

Vallarta's large fleet of city buses offers convenience as well as adventure and in some cases, humor. If one were to wait more that two minutes for a bus, it would make headline news. Hence, there is some competition for passengers and it is not unusual to see a bus pulled over and receiving a Fish.Travel. The drivers are an aggressive lot and it is rumored that the blue bus boys are actually Mexican airline pilots on their days off.  Often a musician will hop aboard with a few choruses of La Bamba or Celito Lindo, collect a few tips and hop off for the next bus. Whether for transportation or entertainment, a Vallarta bus trip is a must. The current fare is 3 1/2 pesos.


Despite rumors, Puerto Vallarta is relatively crime-free. In fact, it has the lowest average crime rates within Mexico and the USA. There is a large police department and a special unit of 'Tourist Police' who are dressed in white uniforms and Safari hats. These officers speak English and are trained to assist our visitors in any way they can. Because tourism is the number one industry in Puerto Vallarta, assault against a visitor is not taken lightly.

The Drinking Water

Puerto Vallarta has one of Mexico's highest quality of tap water.  Hotels usually have their own purification systems and all licensed restaurants and food and beverage service outlets only use purified water.  If you have problems despite all of this, it is usually because you are simply unfamiliar with our water.  If you are concerned, bottled water is available everywhere. 

Tourist Card

The little form that you fill out on your flight that looks totally insignificant is actually a document and it is important that you do not lose it as you will be asked for it at the airport on your departure. If lost, it can be replaced, but it will take precious time from your vacation.

Medical Services

Ameri+Med Hospital (emergency services and air evacuation)
Plaza Neptuno
Tel: 221-0023   221-0024

Regional Hospital      Medasist Hospital          CMQ Hospital          San Javier Hospital

Libramiento                  Manuel M. Dieguez 360       Basilio Badillo 365         Fco. Medina Ascencio 2760

Tel: 224-4000              Emiliano Zapata                  Emiliano Zapata             Lazaro Cardenas

                                    Tel: 223-0444                    Tel: 223-1919                Tel: 226-1010

Some Telephone Numbers

American Consulate:  222-0069 / 222-30074 / after hours: 01-333-826-5553

Canadian Consulate:  222-5398 / 223-0858 / after hours:  01-800-706-2900

Immigration Office:  224-7970 / 224-7653

Consumer Protection Agency (PROFECO):  225-0000 / 225-0018

Phil in Puerto Vallarta:  221-5402 

Nicole in Puerto Vallarta:  221-6036

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