Tips for First-Time Visitors
to Puerto Vallarta, México
Eating at Restaurants
When dining out you must ask for the check; it’s considered rude in México to present it before the diners are ready to leave (to ask, simply say “la cuenta, por favor“).
Tip your server like you would in the United States; remember this is Mexico – with the “mañana” attitude – not all service is “slow”, but don’t judge it that way! Also, everyone is relaxed – if you’re in a hurry, you’re in the wrong place.
Check taxi fare before getting into the cab: tell the driver where you want to go, and ask how much it is to get there. There are no “meters” in PV cabs!
When making purchases in the market or on the beach, you don’t have to pay the first price quoted to you. It’s allowable to bargain with the vendor, unless you’re in a store – silver especially – where there are set prices.
When bargaining, don’t offend with a lowball offer; although it’s okay to go back and forth on pricing, be reasonable.
In regards to vendors on the beach, keep in mind if you make eye contact with them, you’re fair game!
Only look at products or make eye contact if you are serious about looking at what they’re selling, otherwise, if approached but you’re not interested, say “no gracias.” Remember, they’re salespeople trying to make a living. The beach is a popular place for them to get in front of lots of potential buyers; if you don’t want to deal with vendors you can move to the pool, where they can’t enter.
Be careful about getting pulled into the first vendor that offers you day-trips or any fishing excursions – be sure to price-hunt. Make sure you’re on time for whatever trip you’re planning, as sometimes they’re oversold!
If you are prone to seasickness, take Dramamine before you get on the boat and be wary of the all-day cruises. The big boats go slowly and tend to roll! Another option is to take the “water taxi” – they’re fast and go directly to whatever beach/town you’re visiting.
When flying into the Puerto Vallarta airport, make sure to exit the luggage area and head directly to the taxi counter by the exit. You will need to pay in advance for taxis (about 200 pesos per taxi depending on how many passengers – they also take American dollars), get a receipt and then head out the door to the taxi stand.
Don’t be pulled in by the first vendors you see inside offering a taxi — many times these are timeshare ploys.
While walking along the streets, people in little shopfront nooks will try to engage you in conversation (and sometimes they’ll follow you for a few steps). Unless you want to get hooked into a timeshare presentation, just smile and wave and keep walking.
Remember to be polite, even if you’re not interested. Again, they’re salespeople trying to make a living.
To avoid getting sick during your stay in Puerto Vallarta, be careful of what you eat and drink! It’s been our custom not to eat anything that hasn’t been cooked or peeled.
Vegetables are okay (even though they’ve been washed in the water) as long as they’re sautéed or cooked in some way. Don’t drink the water from the faucet – including in the shower – but every restaurant is aware of cultural differences and have bottled water available.
Puerto Vallarta Sun
Be aware that Puerto Vallarta is not far from the equator, meaning the sun is very strong. Even if you’ve been tanning in preparation, be sure to bring along plenty of sunscreen – or buy it at one of the many Farmacías – and use it! You’ll have to continually reapply it throughout the day, and beware that you can still get burned sitting under an umbrella in the shade.
It’s no fun to be burned on your first day and have to spend the rest of your vacation under the umbrella.
Please visit our calendar to see the condominium’s availability for the time you would like to book. You can also contact us directly with an email or call 218-765-3017.