This is more than just a coastal resort getaway.
Somehow Puerto Vallarta also known as "Vallarta" or just "PV" maintains a small-town atmosphere, while still boasting one of the most unique and sophisticated oceanfronts in Mexico. The dining options and the hotel choices reflect more of the same you'll find both elegance and efficiency mingled together within the hotel and restaurant areas.
Most people associate this west coast town with its boundaries the Banderas Bay that snakes along the coast or the palm tree-lined Sierra Madre Mountains that stand tall in the east but Puerto Vallarta is more than its scenery. Take some time to discover its other perks for yourself by sampling the delicious food, discovering a hidden boutique in the Zona Romantica, sipping a signature cocktail at a bar along the Malecón or dancing to a salsa beat in a Havana-style nightclub.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.
Puerto Vallarta is ranked as:
#1 in Best Cheap Spring Break Destinations
#6 in Best Spring Break Destinations
#8 in Best Affordable Destination Wedding Spots
#9 in Best Places to Visit in Mexico
How to Save Money in Puerto Vallarta
Buy a map Taking the bus or a taxi around town is cheap in theory, but in practice, you could end up paying unnecessary fares if you don't know where you're going.
Pack an umbrella The best time of year to visit, April to June, isn't actually the cheapest time for a trip. If you don't mind the frequent (but short) rain showers, then plan your visit for late summer.
Just say no From the beach vendors that stroll along Banderas Bay to the timeshare representatives that stroll along just about everywhere, there are plenty of ways to let go of more money than you intended. Learn to say a firm but courteous, "No, gracias," if you're not interested in what they're selling.
Culture & Customs
Spanish is the primary language spoken, but many people especially those who work in the tourist zone speak English. It may be both helpful and respectful to know some basic Spanish vocabulary, such as hello (hola), goodbye (adíos), please (por favor) and thank you (gracias).
Puerto Vallarta's official currency is the Mexican peso. Since the Mexican peso to U.S. dollar exchange rate fluctuates, be sure to is before you go. American dollars are, however, widely accepted in Puerto Vallarta.
What to Eat
Food options are abundant here with eateries ranging from chain restaurants to regional cuisine. European cafes and restaurants are also scattered in the downtown district.
The drug and gang violence that has afflicted much of Mexico in the past several years has not greatly affected Puerto Vallarta. Most of the dangers in Puerto Vallarta involve swimming and food safety. Never swim by yourself or without the supervision of a lifeguard. Travelers should also note that the surf is rougher in the days following a rain or thunderstorm, so proceed with caution after bad weather. If you're going hiking or walking in the wilderness, wear long pants and shoes to prevent serious injury from snake bites.
Getting Around Puerto Vallarta
The best way to get around Puerto Vallarta is on a bus there are plenty of stops and the fare is cheap. If you're looking for a less bumpy ride (though not by much) you can also take a taxi. The bus is also the best means of getting from PV's Licenciado Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) to the hotel zones. Renting a car is also an option, but you'll pay hefty fees for the privilege.
Entry & Exit Requirements
Citizens of the United States need a passport to visit Mexico. Travelers must also carry a Mexican Tourist Permit, which is usually issued free of charge upon arrival. Any additional fees for the tourist permit are usually absorbed in the cost of your plane ticket. Be sure to hold onto this card throughout your trip, as you will need to present it upon departure. For more information on entry and exit requirements, visit the U.S. State Department's website.
Source: Travel US News