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Puerto Vallarta Prices

Mexican bank notes.

In “Puerto Vallarta Prices” a good rule to follow, “The further from the beach, the less everything costs”

Puerto Vallarta Prices. At the moment the exchange rate in Puerto Vallarta is around 17 pesos – see the current rate at the top of the page. These are inter bank rates, you will get a few points less at the ATMs.

Don’t expect to get this rate at, Banks or ˜Casa de Cambios” and the rate at the hotel is usually the worst.
With beach vendors and the flea market places they may give you a lot less, as they have to go to the bank and change them to pesos. At Restaurants & Bars you’ll be lucky to get 15p – US$1
Banks exchange of currency  requires you to show your passport and most also requires a copy. They are restricted to exchange US$1,500 a month or US$300 per day. Merchants have similar restrictions, so many will not accept dollars for payments over US$100.


Your ATM card will work fine here and there are many machines around town. They will give you your best rate, depending on what your bank charges you for an International withdrawal.
By withdrawing your maximum, the machine will show amounts in pesos, you get the best exchange rate. The ATM machines add a small charge (you may see a screen saying that there is a peso charge,).
Note. Make sure to tell your bank you’ll be using the card in Mexico, or they may put a ˜Hold’ on it.
ATMs are now even more important with some banks not exchanging US$.
FYI some ATMs will show a screen asking you to accept their exchange rate, if you deny this it will revert to the current exchange rate, which will be better.
When arriving at the airport, after customs and the infamous timeshare trap, you will find several ATM machines. Getting pesos here to pay for your taxi will save you money, the taxi booths will take dollars, but at a very low exchange rate.

Credit Cards

Credit Cards are accepted at mostly high end stores and restaurants, but the stores will often give a discount for cash, as the CC costs them a fee.

Many people believe that US dollars are very much sought after here. Years ago, when the peso was less stable, some locals would try to hoard dollars and wait for the exchange rate to go up.
With the new restrictions, this is no longer true and the peso is now more a ˜bit’ more stable against the US Dollar than it used to be.

Puerto Vallarta Prices will change as the pesos is now gaining in value!

Please do NOT tip in dollars. The person you tip, probably lives where there are no banks and the local stores will not take dollars at all. So they must go and line up at one of the banks changing dollars! Tip in PESOS please.

If you do bring foreign currency, be sure that none of the bills are defaced in any way. Even a tiny tear, or ink mark, and they will not be accepted. Foreign coins can not be used at all, as they are worthless.
Inspect your pesos also, torn or mutilated notes will seldom be accepted. If you do get some torn notes, Banamex is the only bank that will exchange them.


Breakfast (Desayunos)
from 90 pesos (Salud Super Food) to 150 pesos( Freddy’s Toucan)
Lunch (Comida) from 100 pesos (La Dianita) to 300 pesos (La Bodeguita del Medio)
Dinner (Cena) from 15o pesos (Gaby’s) to 750 pesos (River Cafe)

These are just examples, see Restaurants for other restaurants with good value and a guide to our food here.

And don’t forget the Taco Stands, see  Street Food

Gaby’s a full restaurant with many items 150 – 600 pesos.


At the market and depositos you will pay, for most brands (National) about 18-20 pesos  deposit+5 pesos for the bottle “we recycle” bring back an empty bottle and pay just pesos. At a wholesaler˜deposito” a case (20) of Pacifico is 384, pesos + a case of empties, without empties 564pesos keep your receipt for the case and return the empty bottles when you are leaving. At bars you will pay from 35p to 50p depending where you are. See The Insider for cheap places.
At the current exchange rates of 17 pesos to the dollar, you can get beer at some of the bars I recommend for about $US 2.00 at Happy Hour.
Some examples:- Gringo Loco
F. Madero # 403, at Aguacate. Beer 35 pesos at Happy Hour, 45 peso cocktails at Happy Hour 1pm – 5pm.
El Barril
Guerrero #225, Upstairs on the corner of Juarez. Low prices and a nice feeling. Few, if any, tourists. Mon-Fri. 1pm 2am. Happy Hour 2-4pm.
Mandela on the Malecón Beer 60 pesos Or 2 for 100 pesos at Happy Hour Also see the Happy Hour Group





A big difference in prices, depending on where you are. The same cocktail in one of the bars on the Malecón that costs you 5-10 dollars, can be half that price at a bar on the south side,  stronger too.
Happy Hours abound, but some places don’t have a unhappy hour. even at 2 for 1 the cost is high, again the south side is the place to be. Here’s a web page that shows our Happy Hours in real time, see the Happy Hour Board

Other Drinks

Puerto Vallarta is in the state of Jalisco which happens to be the birthplace of Tequila. Once a drink looked down upon by middle class Mexicans (drinkers in the USA consume far more than in Mexico), it has now gained in popularity. In part due to the production of a much higher quality product, there is now on the market a Tequila in a crystal bottle for $1,000.00 US.
A very successful marketing campaign, but without the necessary forethought to increase the planting of Agave, caused a shortage of the raw material and prices went up and up. Now, of course, everyone is growing this valuable plant, but it takes about 8 years to become mature, so they started planting more logically and the prices have come down.
There is one other unique beverage associated with the area around Vallarta, this is Raicilla a local moonshine made from a relative to the Agave Azul from which Tequila is made. This is the Agave Lechuguilla which only grows in our area of Jalisco. Raicilla is now available legally for the first time, unfortunately at a reduced alcohol level, about 40%, the illegal (untaxed) version is usually way up above 60%. Warning!, this drink has been compared to a cross between a local anaesthetic and rocket fuel. See Raicilla.


You will find many stores selling ˜Cubanâ” cigars, but beware they may not be what they seem. Many are seconds or rejects smuggled out of Havana or made somewhere else in Central America and dressed up with a Cuban label.
Unfortunately, having been embargoed for so long most Americans have never smoked a true Cuban cigar. The problem thus becomes how to avoid the many unscrupulous dealers and vendors who recognise and prey on this fact.

All licensed cigar shop in PV buy from Habanos SA, the official exporter of Cuban cigars.
Thus the cost is the same to all shops whatever the price they charge, but the cost of cigars in Vallarta varies from store to store. Why? Because of their overhead cost.

How about Free?

The Navel Museum (open 9am – 7:30pm Tue – Friday Weekends 10am – 5:30pm but closed from 2pm-3pm) right next to the amphitheater at Los Arcos, see MAP.
It has a wonderful collection of artefacts and models depicting the history of Mexico’s discovery, occupation by the Spanish and also other Spanish holdings in the world. Air conditioned and free.
On the 2nd floor they have an art gallery and a coffee shop, serving breakfast, ex.- eggs & bacon. Extremely clean and ship shape. There are two balconies you can sit at.

Just walking around town is entertaining, you never know what you’ll see. I’m talking non tourist areas, such as Gringo Gulch, except the Taylor/Burton bridge, generally the area behind the church and it’s up a steep hill, so you’ll need to be fit for this. Another reason it’s not a tourist area.?
The south side of town is flatter and the further you are away from the beach the less touristy the area will be.
A 10 peso investment (almost free) can put you on the Paso Ancho bus, number #04, and this will take you to a small colonia.

For a Few Dollars More.

Take the bus to El Tuito, from the corner of Aguacate and Basilio Badillo on the south side MAP, for 50 pesos.
After looking at the town, check out the several new restaurants around the plaza. You’ll be at about 1.000ft elevation in the cool with lots of pine trees but still the occasional palm tree.

For a Real Adventure,

Catch any bus and ride it to the end of the line and back, a “Magical Mystery Ride” for 20 pesos return.

Get Great Discounts.

By booking your tours on-line through this site, up to 15% off ALL TOURS