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Basic facts about Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

Published Jun 19, 2012 - (Updated Aug 28, 2012)


Located on the Pacific Coast between the Bay of Banderas and the jungles of the Sierra Madre, Puerto Vallarta is a booming resort destination that combines the best of Mexico’s past, present and future.

  • Puerto Vallarta encompasses all of Banderas Bay on the Pacific coast of Mexico. Located in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta features 40 miles of coastline and a diverse topography including tropical jungles, steep mountain sides and arid flatlands.
  • Climate: November to April average high 85F/low 63F, May to October average high 92F/low 70F, Rainy Season (mid-June through September) mainly afternoon and evening showers.
  • Local time: Puerto Vallarta is in the Central Time Zone (the same as Texas), which is two hours ahead of California and one hour behind New York.
  • Currency: Pesos, money exchange houses located in the airport, on nearly every street corner and at banks throughout the city. Credit cards are widely accepted.
  • Electricity: 110 volt 60-current, same as the U.S.A., no adapters needed.
  • Local Transportation: The easiest way to get around town is by taxi. There are over 1,000 licensed taxis operating in Puerto Vallarta and fares are set, not metered. Average fares range from 30 pesos for a short run to 60 pesos for a cross town ride. Fares are higher for rides to the North or South shores. All fares are posted in taxis, at hotels and main local newspapers. Travelers should ask the fare before getting into a taxi. The city also offers an extensive public bus network that runs from early morning till 11 p.m. Bus fare is 6.50 pesos.
  • Puerto Vallarta is among the top ten most visited beach destinations in Mexico, with over 3.5 million tourist arrivals in 2011.
    • Puerto Vallarta is the second most popular cruise port on the Mexican Riviera, after Cabo San Lucas. In 2012, Puerto Vallarta is projected to host approximately 330,000 cruise ship passengers sailing on 135 ships.
  • As of the 2010 census, the total population of Puerto Vallarta is 255,681: 50.29% men and 49.71% women. Over 113,181 have 15 or more years of formal education. Puerto Vallarta’s educational infrastructure includes 414 schools, including 22 adult training facilities.
  • Puerto Vallarta has 20,784 hotel rooms, with over 10,700 4-star-plus rooms and suites, with three new resorts (the first new construction in 10 years) near the new convention center.
  • Nearly 50% of Puerto Vallarta’s workforce is employed in tourist related industries— hotels, restaurants, personal services, and transportation—though the municipality does continue to have strong agricultural, industrial and commercial sectors.
  • Within the past two years, the office of the Mayor has invested $900 million pesos in public works utilizing a combination of federal, state and municipal funds. Among the completed projects is the new malecón, or waterfront, the most important tourism investment in the past 20 years, inaugurated in October 2011. The result is nearly 4 miles (6,000 meters) of renovated public space, twice as wide, and with improvements extending from the Hotel Rosita to the Hotel Los Arcos. These include major reconstruction projects of adjoining streets as well as new underground lighting systems for improved safety and visibility. Additionally, new, wide sidewalks were installed in the Romantic Zone and along the popular dining and shopping street, Basilio Badillo.
  • Easy access from the United States and Canada make it a preferred location for retiring North Americans, complemented by the existence of American-standard hospitals and health care; modern infrastructure, and a full array of services and amenities which make it both user-friendly and affordable. Puerto Vallarta is home to an existing and growing community of expats.
  • Puerto Vallarta is committed to ensuring the safety and security of its residents and visitors, and has undertaken a number of initiatives to this end, including the reinstatement of the Tourism Police Program (Summer 2011), the initiation of a “Taxi Safe” crime notification system (February 2012), and the establishment of a National Security partnership agreement signed between the State Federation and the municipality of Puerto Vallarta in which the city was allocated $10 million pesos as part of the Municipal Public Security Grant (SUBSEMUN) program. The City of Puerto Vallarta has twice the national standard of policemen (2.0 per 1000 Pop.) required by the Federal Government to qualify for federal subsidies.
  • This charming port is filled with restaurants featuring international cuisines, first class spas, championship golf courses, round the clock entertainment, a historical and picturesque downtown full of rich cultural traditions, extraordinary art galleries, plentiful shopping and any number of outdoor activities both on land and sea.

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