Tips & Tricks For Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Like My last blog, “ My top 5 favorite restaurants in Puerto Vallarta”  had mentioned, I have been traveling to Puerto Vallarta for a long time, and there is definitely an insider track on some things that will make your stay in Puerto Vallarta that much easier. Especially if you are like me and like to save a few bucks here and there.

Here is a picture of the first time our family visited Puerto Vallarta 15+ years ago.

The first tip I have to tell you about is right when you are leaving the airport. There will be ALOT of people bombarding you to get a cab from them. In my experience, we have learned a little trick along the way. We ignore all the offers for cabs and leave the airport with bags in hand. If you just walk a little further you can get a cab for half the price… no I’m not joking half the price. Its a little more on the adventures side, so if you are headed to Mexico and really don’t care about price then just disregard this tip. But, if you are like me, then saving a few bucks here and there definitely doesn’t hurt. When you walk out of the airport you will see a ramp to the left that leads to a bridge. We walk up the ramp, across the bridge and back down. Under the bridge there is usually 3-4 cabs waiting to take you anywhere you please, and usually with a significant price break. You may be wondering how come its so much cheaper? Well, I’ll tell you why… the only cabs that are allowed to take people from the airport to there hotels are the ones that are all white. The ones that are under the bridge waiting for you will be yellow. Don’t be afraid, all the yellow cabs are usually just fine. In fact, if you plan on taking a cab at any point from your hotel to say.. dinner, it will be a yellow cab. So if you want to save a few bucks, walking a little further may be worth it. Especially if you are like my crazy family who usually had 8-10 people and little kids running around. It adds up!
2) The second tip I have for you is that you don’t have to do all inclusive when your booking your hotel. Or I guess I should say you don’t always have to opt for that option. Some hotels are only all inclusive.. But some hotels have it as an add on. For example, the last time my family and I went to Mexico we stayed at the Krystal hotel. I booked thru cheap tickets because at the time they were offering the best promo code for hotels. When I was booking it gave me the option with my room to do all-inclusive for an extra 52.00/day per person. Pretty great deal right?! However, I knew that by the time we fly in that the day is pretty much over and the day we fly out, we were basically leaving at breakfast (which was already offered in our stay thru the promo). Also, our family usually likes to do one excursion while we visit, and on those days your barely at the hotel. So I opted out of the all inclusive. I did know that there would be a few days in our stay that we would be strictly at the pool/ocean and would easily spent more than 52.00 per person in alcohol/ food/ and water. So I called the hotel directly and guess what?! I was quoted the same price 52.00/day per person. So I selected those days as all inclusive days. Saved myself 208.00 for me and my friend by doing that. Not to shabby right? Although, I do suggest you calling the hotel before you book and make sure you can add it on later. Also, make sure you can pick which days you want to do it. Not all hotels are the same and theres always different rules. I suggest writing down who you spoke with in case there is any confusion at time of check in.

Staying at the resort all day, and being all inclusive can be so relaxing.

3) The third tip I have for you is if you haven’t planned on all inclusive, to make sure you do a quick run to Costco or some grocery store near by to get a case or two (depending on how long you stay). The price of water in Mexico, if you buy from your hotel, is outrageous. Talk about a mark up!! And you don’t want to drink the water from the tap, better safe then sorry!

4) The fourth tip I have for you is that to call ahead and ask for a bed pad to be already on your bed when you arrive. The beds in most places I have stayed in Mexico, are ROCK hard!! If you like a firm, and I mean very firm bed, then this doesn’t apply to you. But, if you are like me, comfort is key! So I call ahead and ask for it be on there upon check in. Otherwise, once you feel the bed and you realize its to hard,  you will have to get in touch with housekeeping and then stick around for them to show up… or worst sometimes they don’t even have any more available. So my suggestion…call ahead.. you’ll thank me later

5) My fifth, and final tip for you is to ride the bus. Yes, your heard me right.. Ride the bus. If you do it once, at least for the experience it’s worth it. Once again, you have to want to be a bit adventurous but we always ride the bus into town and then take a taxi back. It usually significantly cheaper and its actually fun. You literally always come off with a story. There have been times where there is clowns preforming, singing, or even chickens! Its fun for our family and I would suggest it to anyone else’s too. It bumpy and usually pretty hot and sticky on it, so like I said, if you like an adventure you probably would enjoy it. If they doesn’t sound fun to you, then stick to the cabs. We are usually headed into town so we look for the blue and white buses that say “Centro” – there is usually a bus stop in front of all the hotels or pretty near by.  If your not sure, you can ask the bus drivers, they are all pretty helpful and friendly.

Riding the bus down with my family… In all of our SEAHAWK gear! Football Sunday even in Mexico.
Bus ride into town, notice the live entertainment?


Have you ever been to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico? Do you have any tips or tricks you would like to share. Leave me a comment below if you do!! 🙂


6 thoughts on “Tips & Tricks For Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

      1. Hi Jill, first off I hope you have an amazing time in Puerto Vallarta. It’s a beautiful city with lots of culture and one of my favorite places to visit. The beer they serve in Mexico is mostly Mexican beer .. i.e. Pacifico, Dos Equis, And so forth. If you need some resturant selections, feel free to check out my other blog about my favorite ones. If you end up having any more questions, feel free to reach out! Hope you have a fantastic vacation!


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