Puerto Vallarta Information

Area Description - E-mail & Internet - Beaches - Weather - Weddings - The Water - Security - Phone Numbers - Gay - Travel

New Tourist Office on the inland side of Lázaro Cárdenas Park, open 24/7. Tel. 222-2224 Map

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Tours in Puerto Vallarta
General Information
Maps of the Area
Hotels in Vallarta
Transport in Vallarta
Vallarta Restaurants
Vacation Rentals
Prices in Vallarta
Insider Tips for Vallarta
Watch Videos of Vallarta
Outside of Puerto Vallarta
Local Customs
Events Calendar
Real Estate
Vallarta Street Food
Golf Courses
Art & Galleries in Vallarta
Beaches around the Bay
Photo Gallery
Fables and Legends
Churches & Charities
E-Mail

Telephone

TelMex
LadatelYou can use the TelMex phone boxes, see photo for Local, Long Distance & International Long Distance. Purchase from corner stores, OXXOs and Farmacias a 'LADATEL' - telephone card 30 -100 Pesos, local call = 1 peso per minute, you can call to the US or Canada using these cards from a public 'LADATEL' phone for only 5 pesos (.50cUS) a minute.
Available at all Pharmacies and many other stores, such as liquor stores.
These are Smart-Cards and the screen on the phone will show how many pesos are left.
It's an awful lot cheaper to buy a 100 pesos card and talk till it runs out, than call from a hotel at a higher rate and the added service charge.

Free (almost) Calls to the US/CAN.

There are several bars, where expats gather, that offer free (well you need to buy a drink) international calls to their customers, for example: Que?Pasa, Cafe Roma and Pour Favor.

Cell Phones.

Some cell phone companies have a roaming agreements within Mexico. Ask your provider who they use for roaming in Mexico, that will tell you who to sign up with when you get there. Some of these companies sell short term options for vacationers.

If you have a pre-paid card cell phone, it can easily have a local number added, just for the cost of buying a local SIM card. I recommend Roberto at Unlock Vallarta, Insurgentes #161 322-227-3815, on the south side, he can unlock your phone, speaks good English and is extremely helpful email- robertugg@hotmail.com.
Pre-paid cards cost from 100 Pesos up and are available at any pharmacy or liquor store.
Charges: Local Calls - 1.19 Pesos per min. National - 3.88 Pesos per min. International - 9-10 Pesos per min.
Incoming calls. : Now all are free, but the dialing has changed a bit. See New Cell Information

 

Moving Here?

Many people are moving here permanently or on a seasonal basis. Local knowledge and the ability to communicate in Spanish can help immensely and save you a lot of money. Getting furnishings and appliances at a reasonable price used to involve a trip to Guadalajara, we now have far more outlets for what you need to finish off your house or condo, but the prices can vary by many, many pesos.

E-mail and Internet

There are several ways to keep up on your E-mail while you're here. Apart from some hotels there are many Cyber Cafes in town that have DSL high speed access, you can use a computer for from 10 to 20 pesos for one hour, on some side streets I've seen as low as 8 pesos an hour. At some of these places you can get coffee, snacks and even beer! At last count there were at least 200 places like this, and that's just in town.

Most every bar in town offers free WiFil and some offer a computer to use for free, with your drink purchase, 'natch. Cafe Roma, ¿Por K No?, Pour Favor, Nacho Daddy and Escondido are just a few examples.
We have a city Hot Spot in the Main Plaza, which is free and require no password, it runs 24/7, this is meant to run along the whole Malecón and another in Parque Lázaro Cárdenas on the south side.

Crossing Streets

Used to be that vehicles had the right of way. Pedestrians now have the right of way - they changed the law, but they didn't get the message across to everyone, so take care and look before you cross. Luckily with our cobbled streets, the traffic don't go too fast anyway. .... Note - with the possible exception of some of our bus drivers who may appear to be practicing for the Mexican Gran Prix.
BEWARE. A stop sign does NOT mean that vehicles will stop, or even slow down. Please remember this as we have lost a few. Always try to make eye contact with the driver, this is the best way to get them to stop.
Disabled Access. More and more ramps for the disabled are appearing and the telephone company, who neglected to make provision for their cables when the others where buried under downtown, are installing more as penance. These ramps are something pedestrians should be on the lookout for, although they ease our high curbs, there are no railings around them and you could easily fall into them.

Laundry

There are many small laundry places which provide a wash and fold service for a very small sum - 40 Pesos for 3 Kilos. They are also quite fast, giving usually 'same day' service. The closer to the beach the higher this cost will be.

Snail-Mail

The downtown post office's latest location is on Columbia near Venezuela. Map.

Beaches

The beaches of our bay can change month to month, depending of the weather, wave action and currents.
Even without a storm the beaches change from season to season, what you might see on your visit could be quite different from what your friend sees a couple of months later.
Los Muertos Beach. A very popular beach but not the best as far as sand quality and space, very busy on Sunday and Holidays - it's the locals beach of choice, See Beaches. Another excellent beach is Playa Gemelas (Twin Beaches) south of town on the way to Mismaloya.
The best beaches are, without a doubt on the northern shore of the bay. Destiladeras and El Anclote have much finer sand and are long and broad with a shallow fall off which produces some excellent boogie boarding waves. To get there take the ATM bus, see Transport.

TimeShare

ALERT!
As you wander down the Malecón you will be accosted by people who will admire your shoes/T-shirt/necklace to start a conservation. Yes it's the dreaded Timeshare OPC!
But, you know who they are at least, up front, and you can easily walk away.
But, beware, they are now getting as sneaky as the airport. There's a quasi eco business on the Malecón (we're talking real high rent) which appears to exist on the sales of ecological T-shirts and blown glass? And part of the sales of T-shirts go the environmental concerns!, but their real business is TIMESHARE!
They can also be found in restaurants masquerading as part of the management and even in some of our large supermarkets, look out for "Can I help you?"
There are others, masking themselves as a "Huichol Art Gallery and Museum" or one that appears to be about "Mayan Archaeology'" but all are really trying to get you to sit through a four hour Timeshare presentation? Your Choice.
* Real names not used.

Weather.

 weather

Forecasts for Vallarta are notoriously inaccurate. This is one of the better ones, though far from reliable.
Please don't believe every thing you see on TV, particularly CNN. For very up-to-date conditions see the Cafe Roma site here

Climate Year Round

The climate in the high season - October-May - is warm 80° to 85° Fahrenheit, 27° to 29° Centigrade (65°F / 18°C at night). We may have 1 or 2 days when it might rain a little in that whole period.
After April and until about June or July it will become increasingly warmer, to about 90° F or 32° C, and more humid (80°F - 27°C at night). Around mid June the rains begin. In the rainy season the humidity will increase during the day until the rain comes.
Normally, and I repeat Normally, it will rain for about 2 hours - very heavy with thunder and lightning - in the late afternoon, in the evening or sometimes in the middle of the night. It hardly ever lasts long unless there is a weather system of the coast.
Around the middle of October the rain will stop and the humidity will go down, it used to be something you could bet on, but now with climate change, I'm not betting any more.
I love the rain, it cleans everything up and the jungle gets incredibly green. It's not cold when it rains, still about 80 degrees F.
We don't usually have hurricanes that affect us, Kenna in 2002 was the exception and that was just a glancing blow, The waves from it caused a lot of damage along the shore but we only got 1" of rain from it and hardly any wind. Don't listen to what CNN says. The bay protects us from the worst but they do effect our local weather.
When a storm system is involved, we can expect the rain to continue into the night and perhaps the next day. The rain comes as a relief from the humidity and, although it is wet, it is still warm.
Rainy season mid June to mid October. Great thunder and lightening shows, if you like drama, this is for you!

Communication  Rio Cuale, Puerto Vallarta

Just remember 'Mañana ' does not necessarily mean 'Tomorrow' , but it definitely means 'Not Today'.

Some local protocols I've learnt. When walking down the street and a local approaches, if they make eye contact you say one of the following greetings:
'Buenos Días' - 'Good Morning',
'Buenas Tardes' - 'Good Afternoon'
'Buenas Noches' - 'Good Evening' it's part of the culture.
When in a store always start out with one of the phrases above and you will be 'muy cool'
After a certain amount of time, when you see the same person regularly, you can switch to the greeting "Adios", yes, I know it means 'goodbye' but it's also used as a greeting here, especially between people who know each other.

Shaking hands with people is expected, even if you've already met before and have seen them three times in the same day. In less formal situations the alternate for some years now, is the 'slap' & 'punch' - slap palms and punch fists, baby's learn this almost at birth smiley

If you have met the female before it is customary to kiss the cheek. If you haven't seen them for a week, or more, be prepared for 'un abrazo' - an embrace. Male or female.

Other useful phrases: 'Una Cervesa, por favor'

Sports

Plenty of soccer games, nearly every day, at the Municipal Stadium which is about 1 mile north of Park Hidalgo. See the local papers for the schedule, if you don't read Spanish get a local to help you. Any local with some English (there are many) will enjoy helping you especially if it involves 'futbol'. The sports stadium has been completely re-done, we even have a high tech running track, really excellent. Now there is a nice office, fronting the main road, where you can get all the information you wish. It is possible to get into a pick-up game when the regular games are not playing, mornings are best, no Spanish required! There is also a softball league and basketball there as well.
There are several tennis courts open to the public and also 7 golf courses, see Golf.

Night Life

This is, most definitely, a Party Town. Whether you want Disco (Straight or Gay by the way), Jazz, Rock & Roll or Latin/Salsa, we've got it.
Keep in mind, the most locals do not eat dinner before 9:00 PM so most night spots do not even open until 11:00 P.M. On the Malecón there are many Dance Bars, offering 2 for 1 drinks all day and night (check the price first, it may not be a great deal, since many do not seem to have an 'Unhappy Hour'). Dancing on the dance floor/ tables/ windowsills is encouraged.
On the south side of town (across the Rio Cuale and towards the beach) you will find most of the clubs offering live music as well as coffee bars and great restaurants.
Speaking of restaurants, we have a wide variety of styles to choose from, such as: Mexican, Cuban, American, French, Italian, German, Swiss, Austrian, Greek, Argentinean, Brazilian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese (of course), Filipino, Middle Eastern, Indian and Vegetarian. Restaurant List.

Weddings

Lots of people come to Puerto Vallarta to get married. What a location !
It is quite easy to get married here, in the Catholic Church 'Our Lady of Guadalupe' or with an American Ordained Minister. You can marry on the beach, in the jungle, where ever you want. Keep in mind, in the case of a church wedding, in order for it to be legal you would have to have a civil ceremony. Church weddings in Mexico are not accepted by the civil authorities as being legal. If you want a legal marriage there are a few coordinators here who will take care of everything - from the paper work to the fireworks.
See the Weddings Page for more information.

Water

I've seen so many misinformed reports from bulletin boards over the years about the water. The usual bad reporting by mainly US media, that treats Mexico as a large state south of the border, and if there's a report of pollution in the state of Guerrero or somewhere, their report is just "Mexico Pollution". This is a very big country, it's not the same everywhere - just like in your country.
SEAPAL (Local Water Board) have consistently exceed World Health Organization criteria for drinking water, for over fifteen years. But, if you're really worried, plenty of your favorite bottled water is available.

Yoga, Tai Chi, Shiatsu and Acupuncture

Many teachers of these therapies are available here, either 'In House' or at your location.
See Health & Fitness

Health

There are many excellent doctors in town, both traditional and homeopathic. We have a brand new hospital as well, the Cornerstone, for more information contact Pamela Thompson - E-Mail. Also see See Health & Fitness Page. Emergency medical and surgical problems can be attended to here in town and there is also an AirVac program.
One of the reasons I kept coming back here for so long was the fact that I had found a dentist I could trust and who also had the latest equipment and techniques. In fact, you can combine a vacation with your dental work for less than the dental work alone in the USA. For my dentist here's his Web Site.

Adult Entertainment

It's here but not widely publicized. for more details Click Here - WARNING Adult Content!

For more information, feel free to e-mail me.

 
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