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Puerto Vallarta México Travel Tips

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My favorite place to chill the beaches of Puerto Vallarta Mexico

Just enjoying a great day at the beach in  Sayulita Mexico  Feb (2018)

Just enjoying a great day at the beach in Sayulita Mexico Feb (2018)

Travel Information - Where to stay, best restaurants, and things to do while you are in Puerto Vallarta.

l awaken your senses and captivate your soul. Puerto Vallarta Is a wonderful Mexican city that is fronted by the blue Pacific Ocean and backed by the lush, green tropical Sierra Madre Mountains. The people are friendly and charming, always helpful, and accommodating.

The minute you set foot in Puerto Vallarta, you will realize you have arrived at a truly beautiful, and unique place. The town itself is split mainly into two sections, Old Town, and Centro, both having their own special qualities. It's my recommendation if visiting Puerto Vallarta, make sure to take full advantage of both areas. They have distinctively separate charms. Centro is the newer part of town, It consists of a wonderful boardwalk, that stretches the good length of the town, and continues down into the beach area of Old Town. At night you will find a large variety of free entertainment, including music, magic, fireworks, and lots more. Centro also has wonderful shops and eateries. Not to mention the club's, that stays open until the last fun is had. Centro also has the town's Zocalo. (Town Square.) The Zocalo is the area that as a rule is in the center of town, where locals gather to visit and become acquainted. Old Town, is the older section of Puerto Vallarta that is built up to the sand of the sea. It has a very relaxing feel and gives way to some of the most romantic restaurants, and accommodations that one can find in Mexico. The local citizens refer to it as Zone Romantica. It truly lives up to its name.


You Won't Need A Car - Getting Around

Getting around Puerto Vallarta is easy, cabs are cheap, and in abundance. After you get your bearings, you may just want to walk. It's a very easy town to maneuver on foot. Plus walking will give you the chance to enjoy the wonderful sights, and sounds the town has to offer. Not to mention the ocean, and its wonderful breezes that will invigorate you.

Fabulous Weather!

One of the constants of Puerto Vallarta is the weather. They have a winter season, where it literally does not rain, with very low humidity, this combination lends to spectacular weather. It provides warmth in the sun and cooling in the shade. The summer gives way to a rainy season, and hot steamy days, and nights. So the best time to visit is between November and March. What to pack for your trip? Summer clothes will do for daytime, and sleeves for the evening. Make sure to pack that sweater, the nights can be fresh and cool at times.

What To Pack For Your Trip To Puerto Vallarta?

The tone is casual... I always pack an over the shoulder sling bag, and a great pair of walking sandals. I love the comfort, and style of Ecco walking sandals.

Puerto Vallarta is a casual town. Bring comfortable shoes, there are cobblestone sidewalks in some areas. The weather is wonderful, so bring beach attire for the daytime. It's the kind of town you can live in your beach clothes, no one seems to notice? Bring a big beach bag, it helps to carry your shopping purchases. Plus, you may just want to bring a towel in your bag, you can swim just about anywhere. Remember Puerto Vallarta is fronted by sea, and you rarely are far from a fabulous beach. At night if you like you can dress for dinner, It depends on where you will be dining. But I will say, the evening wear is pretty casual even in the upscale restaurants. Always pack a sweater or jacket with sleeves, It cools down wonderfully at night. Make sure to pack suntan lotion. It's a must. With the dry air, you don't feel the sun and can burn easily.

Dinning In Puerto Vallarta

Dinning is wonderful in Puerto Vallarta. There are a wide variety of restaurants. You absolutely can't go wrong when choosing a restaurant in Puerto Vallarta. It would be hard for me to recommend one restaurant over another. I do have my favorites though. One is Bravos in the old town a few blocks from the beach. The staff is wonderful, and the owner always makes sure his guests have an unforgettable dining experience. Another favorite eatery I can highly recommend is La Palapas, located on the beach in Old Town. La Palapas is an upscale restaurant, again romantic and elegant, with a wide selection of food to choose from. This eatery offers up wonderful soft live music, nightly. My husband and I have a tradition; we love to spend our last night dining atop the quaint Hotel La Siesta Hotel, at the hotel's Panorama restaurant. The hotel is located in Gringo Gulch and no better "view" can be found in Puerto Vallarta. It offers a 360-degree view of the bay and town lights.

Just A few wonderful eateries I can recommend

  • Le Kliff...

    This is a beautiful restaurant, which is about 10 minutes south of town. The ride will give you a chance to see the gold zone. You won't find any more spectacular views in Puerto Vallarta. Le Cliffs hang out over the bluff and have the most wonderful sunsets. The food is wonderful. It's a very romantic setting. Just the place to pop the question, and return the following year and book your wedding at the Cliffs. Remember PV is known for its endless sunny days. Makes it a wonderful place to plan that special day.

  • Restaurante Barcelona Tapas Restaurant...

    This is a great place if you love tapas. You feel as if you are in Barcelona. It is set high on the hill in The Centro part of town. If I made up the hill, you will. It's worth the hike. The view of the sea is wonderful. They serve dinner only. So please don't hike up that hill for lunch... Try the freshly made sangria. It's so-- good.

  • La Palapa...

    This restaurant is one of my favorites. It is located on the beach in Old Town. It's elegant, the food is superb, the staff wonderful. The soft live music... Must I say more?

  • Archies Wok...

    If you love Asian food, please do yourself a favor, and eat at Archie's Wok. Wonderful food, atmosphere, and live easy listening music.

    Archie's is in Old Town.

  • Melissa's

    Has Wonderful seafood, and local Mexican food. Inexpensive, Quaint atmosphere, wonderful staff, all and all I give this one five stars, and a must-try restaurant Located in Centro are. Address: Josefa O.De Dominguez No. 223

Shopping in Puerto Vallarta

There are so many options...

Shopping in Puerto Vallarta is wonderful. You can find all kinds of wonderful things to buy. Whether you want to spend a little or a lot... You will find Puerto Vallarta a great place to spend some time shopping!

Just Need some Souvenirs

For the person that just wants to spend a bit of cash, visit the Flea Market. They have low prices, plus it's fine to bargain. The Street vendors and beach vendors also bargain, so don't be afraid to say no to the first few prices offered.

Oh The Silver

You will find silver galore... It's sold by weight, and you can get some wonderfully unique pieces.

Take time to Visit The Glass Factory. You will find not only a wonderful glass item's but they also have great silver art pieces. It's right in town, and very easy to walk to.

The Tile Factory -- This Is right next to the Glass Factory. Stop in and watch the tiles being hand painted. You can find the unique washbowls there, and much more. They ship and small items are packed for the trip home.

Old Town

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Old Town is minutes from Puerto Vallarta Centro. This part of town is the best to head for if you are a serious shopper. You will find loads of one of a kind art, jewelry, clothing, and home accessories.

The Department Store Lans

Lans is a department store. If you need a good brand of cosmetics, perfume, sunglasses, you might want to go Lans. It's a great department store comparable to a department store you would find in the states.


Where to stay In Puerto Vallarta

Where to stay, this will depend on what kind of accommodation you desire? Puerto Vallarta offers a wide variety of accommodations, from large chain hotels to the luxury condo and villa rentals. You can also find wonderful smaller charming hotels. I always recommend one turn to the Internet, where you can research all options. My husband and I have made Puerto Vallarta a yearly destination for some years or more. If we stay in town, we prefer Old Town and renting a condo on the beach. If we stay a bit out of town, we love the south of town. It provides some of the most spectacular views, and sunsets one will ever see. As a rule, both areas are a step above, when it comes to charm, and relaxation. The hotel zone has the larger chain hotels, and they are geared toward activity. I find the hotel zone a bit overstimulating. I think this is due to the multitude of people that are under one roof? There are also adult-friendly hotels. The price will vary; you can find wonderful inexpensive accommodations, along with very high-end spa hotels.


anonymous on February 19, 2013:

Wow , perfect timing finding all these great suggestions! Arriving in PV next week. We are staying at Casa del Puente for a few days, but would have probably followed your suggestions had I found them sooner. Will be moving to Nuvevo Vallarta to keep up with our crazy side business renting out suites for Mayan Timeshare owners at Not as cool as the boutique places you reviewed, but a great resort.

Sharlee (author) on December 07, 2012:

@anonymous: Hi Randell,

I can highly recommend Puerto Vallarta as a wonderful retirement destination. Over the past twenty some years my husband and I have made many friends, Americans as well as Canadians that have retired in PV, and are loving it ! We are retired now, and we spend our winters in PV.

anonymous on December 06, 2012:

Thank you for this! I am looking to move somewhere warm when I retire, 6 months from now. PV has always been foremost in my mind and this just sold it!!!!

Traveller579 on October 24, 2012:

Really great lenses. Amazing Guideline to Puerto Vallarta. Very nice info...

bikerministry on September 22, 2012:

Great lens. Hoping to get to Puerto Vallarta in the future. Blessings.

mueedahmad on June 27, 2012:

Amazing work done by the author! Great pictures added by the author of the lens. :-)

PennyHowe on June 27, 2012:

I love Puerto Vallarta. Even lived there for a while. Great lens and wonderful photos.

jregins2 lm on June 12, 2012:

Terrific lens, very comprehensive.

jayceehaynes on May 18, 2012:

wow, great lens :)

TsunamyPower on May 15, 2012:

I've never been to Mexico but defacto with all this information I have to go visit. With my business even better because I can still travel for free and for more money. Thanks for the info.

youngwoman101 on March 29, 2012:

This is a very good lens. Puerto Vallarta sounds like a very nice place to visit. Thanks for the information.

sarahrk lm on February 12, 2012:

I have been to Mexico many times. but never to Puerto Vallarta. You have written a good lens and I would like to go there.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on January 27, 2012:

I've never been to Mexico but sure enjoyed seeing and learning about Puerto Vallarta. Great Travel Guide

Shana rios Chavez on January 26, 2012:

hello this is a great lens thank you!!

Lindrus on December 28, 2011:

Thank you very much for your interesting lens about Mexico. I enjoyed it. If you are interested in Halkidiki Greece you can check out one of my lenses!

Fiona from South Africa on October 07, 2011:

Very interesting lens - thanks

FreebieChick on April 26, 2011:

Loved this lens! So informative and in-depth! Keep up the great work.

Bellezza-Decor from Canada on April 16, 2011:

My husband and I vacationed there about 10 years ago and we really enjoyed it and the people.

dkenda on April 03, 2011:

My favorite destination, Puerto Vallarta is heaven on earth as far as I'm concerned- The scenic beauty is only surpassed by the warmth of the town's people...Your lens makes me long for the beach, fine restaurants et al. Thank you!

KokoTravel on August 30, 2010:

Great lens! Puerto Vallarta is fabulous, isn't it?


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VillasAndCondos on February 26, 2010:

Nice info here. I blog about Puerto Vallarta here and welcome any comments and questions.


anonymous on May 23, 2009:

[Nice to heard so many people interested in our lovely town of Puerto Vallarta, if any of you need advice on where to stay on your next vacation in our town please visit us at we have over 150 properties all around the bay with many different budgets that will accommodate to any body.]

imagelist lm on April 16, 2009:

Nice, I give your lens 5*'s. I have a lens on Puerto Vallarta too... A great beach vacation.

billyannecrews on March 01, 2009:

Great Lens Shar for Puerto Vallarta! You gave some great suggestions for people! I know you have a good time and you love it dearly! -BA

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BeachConcierge on February 12, 2009:

I´m sure you didn´t miss anything.... great lens

isabella lm on January 10, 2009:


An almost complete A-Z list Santorini hotels, with hotel reviews and photos is waiting for you to check it out, when you got time!

PattB LM on October 30, 2008:

Thanks, Shar–I've been wanting to visit PV and this lens gives me so much great information. Now I can dream while I build my lenses! 5 stars!

AlisonMeacham on October 04, 2008:

I am visiting next month - and this was just the lens I needed!

You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

Jasonb702 on September 15, 2008:

I might have to take your up on that shar. My family is looking for a new place to vacation..

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AlisonMeacham on September 10, 2008:

I am very glad to stop by here again - I am going to Puerto Vallarta next month and this lens is invaluable!

You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

anonymous on September 04, 2008:

Nice lens! This place seems to be very beautiful.Hope fully I will soon visit it with my family.

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TopStyleTravel on August 29, 2008:

Well that's 5 stars & a favorite. This lens is exceptional. Filled with great links and even a doctor contact. Great resource. Thanks

anonymous on August 25, 2008:

Superb!The lens has got nuch of the valulbe information and it helps a lot .

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Keaka77 on August 05, 2008:

This place sounds so fun.. Hopefully one day ill be able to take my family there..

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anonymous on August 04, 2008:

you have very big list of comments! any way i like this lens very much..please check out Restaurant Oslo | Catering Oslo

rose08 on July 23, 2008:

Great lens and Wonderful pictures! "Awaken your senses, and captivate your soul":) congratulations for your efforts which have produced such a wonderful lens. The way you have presented your thoughts on the subject indicates how interested and well versed you are in this field. Thank you for giving us such well organized information on the benefits of secured cards with great resources. You may ask for a loan for your trips,I would like to share with you an interesting and informative site about loans.

Alex-and-Ra on July 09, 2008:

p.s. I linked to your lens on my page. keep up the great work.

Alex-and-Ra on July 09, 2008:

WOW. Extremely complete lens! So much great info. I have a lens that features a popular Puerto Vallarta resort: It might be a good addition to this lens.

WorldTravelers916 on June 24, 2008:

I went here two years ago and went deep sea fishing a great experience!

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AlisonMeacham on May 21, 2008:

I am planning my first trip to Mexico later this year - thanks for this comprehensive lens. I love the photos!

Art Gonzalez on May 14, 2008:

Wow! I want to take my wife there. Not only sounds like a great place, but I love authentic Mexican food.

Many blessings to all,

Art Gonzalez

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lisawillard lm on May 12, 2008:

Great and helpful information. I love Puetra Vallarta. 5 stars!

anonymous on May 07, 2008:


this is very interesting lens here, I really happy with your lens and I would like to forward your lens to my friends.

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krisManuel on May 03, 2008:

Hey Shar, the place looks beautiful. 5*

If you have time, check out my brand new lens on the Verve! Thanks!

krisManuel on May 03, 2008:

Hey Shar, the place looks beautiful. 5*

If you have time, check out my brand new lens on the Verve! Thanks!

Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on May 01, 2008:

5 stars, Favored and joined your Fan Club!

The Frogs in the Pond hopped down to Mexico to visit your lens and loved it so much that they are sending you virtual pancakes and a cup of coffee to hang on your wall.

funwithtrains lm on April 22, 2008:

Nice Lens! 5 stars and a favorite! Please visit my Marklin Trains lens.

anonymous on April 06, 2008:

Hoping you can help us. We are in PV now. My husband had an accident last night our first night and cut his knee. He had 12 stitches. He can't swim in the pool or the ocean kinda puts a downer on the vacation. Do you know where we could buy a cast protector or a device to keep his stitches safe and dry. Any leads are much a appreciated. Our two toddlers just want Daddy to play in the water!!! Thanks so much.


iqbal615 on April 02, 2008:

Sounds like great place.I hope will be there soon.Thanks for your sharing.5 stars.

beachbum_gabby on March 25, 2008:

very historical and soul-captivating place to spend time with someone. :)

Margaret Schaut from Detroit on March 20, 2008:

I'm featuring this terrific page on Wanderer's Travel Group!

jackpaperdig on March 17, 2008:

WOW! lots of info, and great. awesome job

maxy on February 26, 2008:

Useful lens, great work! Hope you check out my phone card lens!

thomasz on February 12, 2008:

Cool lens. Interesting info.

KokoTravel on January 10, 2008:

Great Lens on Puerto Vallarta!

We were just there in November and loved it.

We have a couple of Mexico Timeshares that we rent to folks and always get rave reviews from people who go to Puerto Vallarta and Nuevo Vallarta.

Thanks for sharing about Puerto Vallarta!

ShortSaleRealtor on October 12, 2007:

great lens 5 stars 4 u

ebizsalez on October 06, 2007:

very good flow of information... lots o read :)

thanks for the lens.

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GypsyPirate LM on September 24, 2007:

Wonderful lens, you have great information in here! I'm glad you joined us in the Squidoo City Guide!

attractfitness on September 20, 2007:

Great lens, I'm going on a diet so I can fit in my bikini and then I'm off to Puerto Vallarta to visit some of the places you have listed here.

Aika on September 11, 2007:

it captivates my soul. A perfect place to spend vacation. Great job for putting this up

allysa on September 06, 2007:

a great place to be. great infos! Gracias! 5*

tplus on August 27, 2007:

Congratulations! You are #4 at Who Has the Most Lenses?! I've picked this lens to be featured alongside your name. Come check out your competition!

Piksychick on August 20, 2007:

That's great first hand info, makes me want to go there. Btw, I just went to the Canary Islands and was fantastic, if you have time check out my travel log let me know what you think.

bigjimj on August 08, 2007:

Great lens. Thanks for joining the Squidoo City Guide.

cathyb5701 on July 27, 2007:

Hi Shar, Wow! I can see that you're as passionate about Puerto Vallarta as I am about my Caribbean paradise, Anguilla. 5*'s for you for this great lens! Please visit my site on Anguilla

Karendelac on July 13, 2007:

You've done a woderful job of creating this 5 star lens. Very complete and informative. Please visit me soon.

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anonymous on July 08, 2007:


I wonder if you can help me with the name of a PV shop (it might be two neighboring shops). They have the most amazing linens, embroidered pillows, etc. I think they were near VIVA, on same side of the street. Ring any bells? I ordered once from their website, but have lost the name. Thanks!

anonymous on July 05, 2007:

Congratulation, you've done a great job here, excellent resources about Puerto Vallarta Mexico. 5 stars for you! Check out my lens at Top 10 Vacation Spots.

Classic LM on June 24, 2007:

Hi Shar, excellent lens! I gave you 5*s - Please feel free to submit this lens to Faraway Places! Great job!

YKRandall on June 13, 2007:

This is a great lens. I'm really enjoying a sense of excitement, the beautiful photos, and abundant information.

elishadavis on June 08, 2007:

Informative and interesting! Great job. Keet it up. Cheers. :D

elishadavis on June 08, 2007:

Informative and interesting! Great job. Keet it up. Cheers. :D

globy on May 28, 2007:

Shar, you've sold me on Puerto Vallarta! California Real Estate For Sale

rksmythe lm on May 06, 2007:

You've been blessed by a SquidAngel. Keep up the good work.

anonymous on March 26, 2007:

Nice page - makes me want to go and visit!

hartworks lm on February 07, 2007:

Very nicely done page, Shar!

I haven't been to PV in several years but we're planning a trip sooner or later and I've made this page a Favorite. My husband and I now also live in Jalisco, on Lake Chapala. I have a blog about living in Mexico at


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Sharlee (author) on October 02, 2006:


As I mentioned in my article above, my husband and I have been vacationing in PV for many years. I would be glad to answer any questions. I know the town well, and would be glad to help make your vacation a great one...

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