PVR – Random Thoughts

Tom and I first started going to Puerto Vallarta (PVR) in the mid/late 70’s. 
For about 20 years we went yearly.   OMG the changes!
The airport Oh my gosh!  The airport itself is really nice, but trying to depart the area is an obstacle course of vendors.  Do Not make eye contact, walk rapidly through them all until you get outside the airport, then get your cab.  You pay a premium to use the airport taxis.  Tom and I are fairly light packers so we departed the airport and walked out to the road and down a short way and got a regular taxi and paid 120mxp to get from the airport to the Conchas Chinas area where our friends were staying.  If we had opted for an airport cab the rate listed was 260mxp.

We have always stayed South of the Rio Cuale.  We always, well almost always, ate at small cocina economicas or small food stands.  We were budget travellers.  Not anymore, and good thing, because PVR is expensive!! 

We could get week long packages for air and hotel for just a few hundred dollars each.  ONCE, we stayed at an all inclusive in what was then a newly developing area to the North (Blue Bay Getaway)  not even as far as the marina.  And even the all inclusive was only about 500USD each …   We ate breakfast on the grounds then took off, we tried to utilize their grounds but they were all about loud music, tequila shots, and group pool dances,… eeeeshkkkk!

Puerto Vallarta used to be called exactly that – Pueto Vallarta – Now, due to ever increasing expansion, there is Viejo Vallarta, Marina Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, WhoKnowsWhatsNext Vallarta – so now it’s just called ‘Vallarta’.

Vallarta is all about Tourists!  Vendors are thick everywhere you go, and aggressive, and insistent, and annoying, and will make me think twice before going back.

English is widely spoken.
The Beach was PACKED! It was really crowded.

The beach, which I believe is Public Domain, is none the less segmented into private Domains; and you can tell as you move between domains, it is that obvious.  Inside each domain a restaurant/hotel/whatever has set up their umbrellas, seats, tables, kingdom.  That’s ok, I do like beach service!  Drinks are expensive, food is expensive, but hey, you’re at the beach. 
There are ‘Special’ Beach Domains set up for ‘Gays’.  It’s odd to me that there are notices stating that this beach is a ‘Gay’ beach. There is even a Gay AND Lesbian Domain.  Are Gays not allowed at the other areas? Am I not allowed in the Gay area, or is it a warning?  Although I must admit it must be nice to be able to openly affectionate with your loved one – Something I as a straight person take for granted!  The ability to walk hand in hand,  or with your arms around each other, or to share a kiss.  To ALL my gay friends – I am SO sorry you need to be gaurded with your affections. So sorry!
Shopping – I was looking for some little remembrances to bring back for friends – I couldn’t find anything there that I can’t find at the beach areas here around Merida, and for less Money!  A friend there, who buys beautiful large scale silver and stones jewelry had been looking at pieces in Vallarta, and then on a day trip to Bucerias found same/similar pieces for, in some cases, 100USD less.  I bought a candle at the grocery, and a pullover cotton jacket because I was so cold.
The food options – and oh there were/are options.  It’s one thing we do miss here in Merida are food options.  Things are changing here in Merida, and more exciting food options are evolving, but at a price.  We did take advantage of the options in Vallarta, we ate alot and often.  Even staying in a condo with a kitchen we almost exclusively ate out.  Now I can be conservative when eating at home, but for whatever reason when I go out, it is no holds barred, I eat, I eat a lot, and I eat it all….
Mountains!   Vallarta sits against a mountain, and is built upon and expanding up the mountain.  Oh the vistas, the altitude, the weather changes, it really was lovely.  Although the 10 days we were there the temperatures were quite low!  Only got my feet in the water, and even then, brrrr!
Buses, bus transportaion in Vallarta is an ‘E’ ride.  Tickets within Vallarta are 6.5pesos each, no transfers, each entry requires payment.  Buses to outlying areas are more depending on where you  awe going.  Buses have assigned stops, but will pick you up sometimes in between stops.  They will pick up as many people as are willing to squeeze into the aisle.  If the bus you need is coming in your direction you need to wave, or stick up your hand to let them know you want them to stop, else they keep going.  Do not expect them to let you get seated before they start going again.
Taxis are quite reasonable.  You get/agree on a price BEFORE you get going.  The price is for the taxi, not per person.  There are Zones, with fixed rates; unfortunately only the cabbies seem to have access to this info!
Just some random observances I wanted to share, of course being with friends makes everything seem ok.


About Debi in Merida

I moved from Colorado Springs, Colorado USA to Merida, Yucatan, MX in January 2006. I love to read, garden, travel, and hang out with friends.
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6 Responses to PVR – Random Thoughts

  1. orangelynn says:

    Debi said, “To ALL my gay friends – I am SO sorry you need to be guarded with your affections. So sorry!”
    I say to Debi, “I don't personally know you, but thank you so very much!”

  2. Nancy says:

    You really should have come to Mazatlan! In the Golden Zone there will be a bit of time share guys etc but for the most part we are a mellow Mexican historic city right on the water. Worth a visit if you've never been here.

    Paul and I visited PV about 13 years ago and never had a desire to go back.

  3. Anonymous says:

    my first time in vallarta was dec. of 2002 and the last was in mar. 2008. even in that short amount of time there has been a lot of change, lots of new construction around the beach/downtown area and elsewhere, so tancho, it is definitely very different from when you were there.

    teresa in lake stevens

    as for transportation from the airport, we usually just take a public bus becaue we really travel light. they're very reasonable and it's always a good chance to speak to some of the locals. also, if you do want to take a taxi, you can just go on the walkway and catch a cab on the other side of the street. just that short walk can save you a lot of money.

  4. suk says:

    Well, I booked from costco travel for Walter's bday last yr. It was great price & all inclusive & hotel picked us up but we got holding by timeshare people in airport, y know Korean, Walter tried to nice them so I said get out of my way, my time is more important than all freebies, I told Walter, I am not going. One time we went to one of fancy hotel in cancun timeshare, we were there all day & they were lied to us. Yes, y right, they were very aggressive, it was pricy, but Walter had a fun time get a massages front of beach, he went out to fishing, his sister sent to our hotel champagne & fruit basket with strawberry chocolate on top. And we rent a car to drove to tequila 4hrs & met George couple, tour the tequila distill company. Y right, one time visit for me, tulum is much pretty beach, price of condo, I could not believe, it is more expensive than Houston . But I am glad at least y & Tom had great meals & good friends. That is all count. Hope see y soon, love suk

  5. jennifer rose says:

    ” It's one thing we do miss here in Merida are food options. “

    And I thought Merida had so many more food options than Morelia! The 100 miles from home rule must be in force.

  6. Tancho says:

    Well I think you have saved me a trip back to PV. My last time was in the early 80's. If I want a ton of tourists and crowded beaches I might as well go to Acapulco and be done with it! Fond memories of the past are probably better than reality now, I'll keep going to our little local beaches even though it takes half a day to get to them, we know what to expect.

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