Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide & Information

Puerto Vallarta is quite simply one of the most beautiful and luxurious vacation spots in all of Mexico. It is a Mexican resort city situated on the Pacific Ocean's Bahia de Banderas. The visual feast encompasses beautiful landscapes, original works of art from local artists and breathtaking beadwork created by the Huichol Indians, pristine white sands and mouth watering Mexican food prepared by renowned chefs working in numerous internationally notable restaurants.

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Travel to Puerto Vallarta, a city where original architecture remains intact and intermingled with modern, luxurious beachfront resorts. Flights to Puerto Vallarta are your ticket to a world class destination that represents a comfortable blend of cosmopolitan worldliness and the colonial features of its historic past, in old town. One can witness the town's history in the whitewashed buildings, cobblestone streets and graceful cathedrals dotting the city.

The resort city offers the ultimate fusion in traditional Mexican culture, from bullfights, to grilled marlin, served beachside and the finest of resort living, from spectacular sport fishing, to all-inclusive resorts that cater to every type of traveler. Whether you’re looking to visit for rest and relaxation (R & R), or you want to tour the city, Puerto Vallarta will not disappoint.

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Things to do in Puerto Vallarta

Museums:

Puerto Vallarta is host to several museums that showcase the city’s rich, glorious past.

Museo de Rio Cuale: is a small museum situated on the western side of the Isla Cuale in central Puerto Vallarta. Despite its small size, this attraction offers general information about Western Mexico's history and past. Included in the exhibits, are a number of significant archaeological treasures found within this region, traditional Mexican arts and crafts, folklore displays and some well-preserved pre-Hispanic items.

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Manuel Lepe Museum: houses an array of works created by artist, Manuel Lepe. Visitors to the museum can find the displays of colorful ceramics, jewelry, paper Mache creations, boats and miniature sculptures. The posters of his well-known oil canvases are also available for purchase and reasonably priced.

Huichol Museum: is one of the most visited museums in Puerto Vallarta. The Huichol Indians are considered to be one of the oldest tribes in Mexico. At the Huichol Museum, you can view a huge collection of beadwork, masks, jewelry and tapestries that are on permanent display. The museum also features some of the works of Jose Benitez, a contemporary master of traditional Huichol techniques.

Prominent Attractions:

Besides world class museums, Puerto Vallarta has many other prominent attractions for visitors to check out.

Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens: The Puerto Vallarta Botanical Gardens is an educational research center and leisure garden, high in the glorious Sierra Madre Mountains. Located on 20 acres of land, the botanical collections feature over 3,000 different species of plants. Palm Gardens, Rose Gardens, Tree Fern Grottos, Orchid Houses, Jungle Trails, Tropical Bird Watching, Agave Gardens, displays of Mexican Wildflowers and the Carnivorous Plant Collection, are some of the prime attractions.

La Hamaca: offers wonderful displays of folk art and historic, utilitarian handicrafts. It’s an ideal place to purchase souvenirs, too. The inventory of folk art and handicrafts is large and each piece is unique. Visitors touring this market can find masks and pottery from Michoacan, textiles and shawls from Guatemala, hammocks from the Yucatan and lacquered boxes from Olinala.

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Where to Stay in Puerto Vallarta:

Puerto Vallarta, formerly a tiny fishing village is now a Mecca for international visitors. Ranging from cheap hotels, 4-Star Hotels Under $99, all inclusive resorts, spas and beachfront hotels and more, there are endless hotels to choose from.

Beachfront and Waterfront: The Beachfront and waterfront areas of Puerto Vallarta, Marina Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Banderas Bay and River Cuale, are home to several beachfront hotels. There are a number of hotels in these locations that offer budget prices. Places to stay near the water also include waterfront apartments, condominiums and houses, aside from several hotels. These hotels and accommodations are a perfect choice for travelers who are looking for an extended stay.

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Downtown Area: Visitors who prefer to live in the lap of luxury while on vacation should look to the north of the downtown area. Almost all of Puerto Vallarta's five-star resorts, luxury hotels and suites are found in and around the Marina Vallarta area. This region is, for the most part, a city in itself with shopping centers, restaurants, bars, condominiums and golf courses. The area is home to almost everything that travelers would need or want while on vacation.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

As per the latest travel information available to Puerto Vallarta, here are the following passport and visa guidelines.

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*All Americans traveling by air outside of the United States are required to present a passport or other valid travel document to re-enter the United States.

* U.S. citizens do not require a visa or a tourist card for tourist stays of 72 hours or less within "the border zone," defined as an area between 20 to 30 kilometers of the border with the U.S., depending on the location.

*U.S. citizens traveling as tourists beyond the border zone or entering Mexico by air must pay a fee to obtain a tourist card, also known as an FM-T, available from Mexican consulates, Mexican border crossing points, Mexican tourism offices, airports within the border zone and most airlines serving Mexico.

For Canadian Citizens:

* Canadians are not required to carry a passport to enter Mexico. However, in order to avoid delays and misunderstandings, we strongly recommend that you travel with a passport valid for six months after your arrival date.

* Mexican immigration authorities recommend the use of a passport to expedite passage through ports of entry.

* Canadian citizens arriving in Mexico from a third country without a passport may be denied entry.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Puerto Vallarta.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is an extremely popular destination amongst travelers seeking sub-tropical weather and sandy beaches. The most popular time to visit is during winter and spring when most people want to escape gloomy, cold winters for bright sunshine.

Fall and early summer see the fewest visitors due to heavy rains and hotter temperatures.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (Mid-November to April)

Low season: (May to Mid-July, September to Mid-November)

Puerto Vallarta Weather

Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate, with temperature and variations in humidity that can make July through September nearly intolerable.

* Winter and spring can be pleasant, with average highs between 80 and 85 degrees.

* Mid-June through mid-October is the rainy season; afternoon showers clear the air and temporarily reduce humidity.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

ATM machines are scattered throughout Puerto Vallarta. Prior to departure, contact your bank and let them know your dates of travel. Be sure to ask what the cost of cash withdraws from local ATMs will be, too.

Languages:

* The official language of Puerto Vallarta is Spanish.

* Most people speak some English. However, knowing a few key phrases in Spanish will enhance your experience.