Geographical

Puerto Vallarta is located within the Bay of Banderas.  This bay measures 26 miles from east to west and 20 miles from  north to south.  It is one of the largest and deepest in the Pacific Ocean. 


Weather

Puerto Vallarta is on the same latitude and the Hawaiian Islands.  The winter months, October through June are warm and dry with an average daytime temperature of 26 C.  The summer months are considerably warmer, not so much in temperature but in humidity.  There are dramatic rains that never last for long but weathering one will explain why our sidewalks are so high above the street. 


Population

There are approximately 250,000 full time residents.  This is likely a higher number, there are many indigenous people living in the surrounding areas. The foreign population is considerable, many that are year round inhabitants and even more that just enjoy our glorious winters. 


Time

Puerto Vallarta is in the Central Time Zone.  We are one hour behind New York and two hours ahead of Los Angeles.  An interesting fact is that Nuevo Vallarta is actually in another time zone than Puerto Vallarta but PV time is normally used to avoid mix ups with the airlines. 

The Money

US dollars can be exchanged for Mexican pesos at any bank Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and noon.  Some banks will not exchange Canadian dollars or travelers checks, we have no idea why.  If you want to exchange money at the bank, be prepared for a long line up and for the sake of cents,  you are better off to use a Money Exchange (Casa de Cambio).  These are located throughout the city and offer almost the same exchange rate as the banks.  They will accept Canadian dollars and travelers checks.  (You will need your passport or photo ID to cash travelers checks).  Don't dash about madly trying to find a bank or money exchange, most everyone will accept dollars if that is all that you have.  We also have a number of ATM's in banks and larger supermarkets that will give you pesos but please be aware that there is a limit as to how much you can withdraw each day.  Currently it is approximately $3,000 pesos or $300 US and this can be done 2 times in a 24 hour period.   


More Local Information

Something that we have encountered on a number of occasions that has sometimes alarmed our visitors is the fact that at times their credit card purchase cannot be authorized by the Fish.Travel.  There can be a number of reasons for this, the most obvious is that they are over their credit limit, but most likely it is that they used their credit card for a car rental, opened a line of credit at their hotel or just have a very cautious bank that became aware of a sudden change in their credit card spending habits, and in a foreign country.  This little inconvenience is really for the customer's protection and our advice would be for them to advise their bank that they are traveling to Mexico and will be making foreign purchases on a daily basis. 



The Credit Cards

Visa, Mastercard and American Express are accepted in most businesses in Puerto Vallarta.  In our opinion, the 'Don't Leave Home Without It' guys are the champions, and although not the most popular card in Canada and the USA, American Express is a great one to carry in Mexico.  The customer service, for both proprietor and client is excellent.  Our local office on Calle Morelos will assist you and the representatives speak English and are charming and helpful. 

Did you know that in a recent survey by Conde Nast Traveler, Puerto Vallarta was selected as the 8th most ideal location world wide as a vacation destination, but she was named the 'Friendliest' town to American tourists.  Isn't this  kind of like losing a beauty pageant but being named Miss Congeniality?

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