Avoid the Long Distance Collect or Credit Card offers from the many
telephone boxes covered with Credit Card logos on the street. These
are an extreme rip-off. Use them and you may have a heart attack will
you get the bill, back home.
the TelMex phones, see photo. Local & International Long Distance 'LADATEL' -
telephone cards 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
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 a few bars that offer free international calls to their
customers, for example: Que?Pasa, Cafe Roma and Pour Favor.
The CDMA and TDMA protocols used in the U.S. for cell phones are also
used in Mexico. Some cell phone companies have a roaming agreements
within Mexico. Ask your U.S. provider who they use for roaming in Mexico,
that will tell you who to sign up with when you get there. GSM phones
(VoiceStream) will also work here on a frequency of 1900 MHz.
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 Celular Speed, Insurgentes #161 Cell. what else ? 322-278-7801, on the south side, he speaks
good English and is extremely helpful.
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
Many people are moving here permanently or on a seasonal basis.
Local knowledge and the ability to communicate in Spanish can help
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. Hire a Professional
Shopper, who can speak the language, knows all the best stores and
will drive you around in a nice airconditioned extended cab
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 places 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. Also several bars in town now offer computer use
for free, with your drink, Cafe Roma, for example,.
Many bars and coffee shops have WiFi, if you wish to bring
your laptop with you. Que?Pasa, Pour Favor, on the south side, Dee's Coffee on R.
Gómez, off Olas Altas and Cafe Roma on Encino by the Flea
Market. Most hotels have WiFi, for a price, but now we have a city Hot Spot in the Main Plaza, which is free and require no password, it runs 24/7, though I haven't checked it lately.
Used to be that vehicles had the right of way. Pedestrians now have
the right of way - they changed the law, but they forgot
to tell anyone, 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
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.
There are many small laundry places which provide a wash and fold
service for a very small sum - 33 Pesos for 3 Kilos. They are also
quite fast, giving usually 'same day' service.
The downtown post office's latest location is on Columbia near Venezuela.Map.
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.
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
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
all are really trying to get you to sit through a four hour Timeshare
presentation? Your Choice.
* Real names not used.
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
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
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.
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!
Just remember 'Mañana 'does
not necessarily mean 'Tomorrow' ,
but it definitely means 'Not Today'.
Greeting strangers with
'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' Shaking hands with people
is expected, even if you've already met before and have seen them
three times in the same day. 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'
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
regular games are not playing, mornings are best, no Spanish
required! There is also a softball league and basketball there
There are several tennis courts open to the public and
also 7 golf courses, see Golf.
Darts and Pool are at Que?Pasa,
as well as at Harry's Bar
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
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,
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.
Page for more information.
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
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
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
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 -
Also see See
Health & Fitness Page. Emergency medical and surgical problems
can be attended to here in town
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.
It's here but not widely publicized. for more details Click
Here - WARNING Adult