Getting To Puerto Vallarta

Air - Bus - Car - Sea

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By Air

You can fly direct to Puerto Vallarta from the United States or from most of the Mexican cities. Flying is the most popular way to get to Puerto Vallarta. Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR) is located approximately 4 miles north of downtown and close to the major resorts. The airport is quite new because it was remodeled and also has many sevices like car rentals, bank, souvenir shops and restaurants.

Mexican airlines arrive daily from Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey and Tepic. Mexicana also has service from Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles, while Aeromexico flies in from Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Diego. Some of American carriers like Alaska Airlines, American, America West, Continental and Delta also flies into Puerto Vallarta

You must present at the airline check-in a valid passport, or your original birth certificate (US and Canada) and a photo ID. Once on the plane you will be given two forms to fill out - one for immigration (Tourist Visa) and another for customs. There are some restrictions to what you bring to Mexico some of them are limits for "duty free" like cigars and cigarrettes and liquor or wine, and some are absolute, such as fire arms without a Mexican permit (not to mention drugs).

Once the airplane has landed the Immigration counter will be your first stop. Here you will have to present your passport or birth certificate along with the Tourist Visa you filled out on the plane. Your tourist visa and passport will be stamped to make your arrival official.
Next you'll proceed to the baggage claim area for your luggage.

After that you will need to have your Customs Declaration Form and this will be the last step. Mexico has a "Red Light - Green Light" system for customs and is completely randomly. If you have put "Nothing to declare" on this form, you will be asked to push a button....... If the light is green you can exit without inspection; if the light is red you will be subject to inspection. Consequently you need to be honest on your Customs Declaration and declare anything over and above what is allowed, paying all applicable duties. If you do not, and are caught by a red light, the fines may be very steep.

Getting Between The Airport And Town

A van collective taxi is an economical and easy option for getting into town, but you might have to stop at a couple of other hotels while they drop off other passengers. Booths sell tickets just outside the airport terminal.

An individual taxi is a quicker and more convenient option and are available right outside the airport terminal. They are more expensive than colectivos, but they won't break you.

Car Rentals reservations can be made at the airport, before arriving or at some of the major hotels. Car rentals run from US$40-$110 daily. You will need to purchase Mexican vehicle insurance from the agencies.


By Bus

Puerto Vallarta can be reached by public bus. First class (recommended) and second class buses leave and arrive in Old Town. Buses are one of Mexico's inexpensive ways to see the country.

You can travel to Puerto Vallarta on a luxury bus from Mexico City - but note that the trip will take around 14 hours. Flying is the most sensible way to get to Puerto Vallarta, unless you are on a budget, and don't mind the wait as well as you want to see the sights along the way.

The bus station is located about 7 miles north of town and has centralized bus travel in and out of Vallarta. It offers an array of services including ticketing, long distance telephone and fax, restaurants, baggagee storage, guarded overnight parking, and a large air conditioned waiting area.

By Car

Driving to Puerto Vallarta is recommended only if you have a good reason to go by road - for example, you want to stop and see places on the way. If you are going to drive, rent a good-sized, air-conditioned car to take with you, and share the driving.

Puerto Vallarta is about 1,900 km (1,200 mi) from Nogales, Arizona, at the U.S. border, 354 km (220 mi) from Guadalajara and 167 km (104 mi) from Tepic. Driving to Puerto Vallarta is not difficult many of the roads to Vallarta are two lanes and caution should be taken, especially when coming down the mountains to the coastal highway. If you choose to drive your car or a rental car to the resort, please check with a Mexican consulate for all rules & regulations before you leave. Remember Mexican car insurance is mandatory.

By Sea

If you plan to sail to Puerto Vallarta, you will need to follow all Mexican regulations for entering their territorial waters. Also, upon arriving at the marina or your anchorage, you'll need to submit your papers to the Captain of the Port for legal entry. Please contact the Mexican consulate nearest you.