Buenos dias from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!
Today we are going to give you a few tips and tricks for your upcoming vacation to Puerto Vallarta. This blog post accompanies a video from our Youtube channel so if you are more of a visual person, check that out instead:
Our first tip is to go to breakfast and the beach as early as you can! It seems that most people get a pretty late start here in Mexico so if you are willing to wake up a tad earlier you will have the beach to yourself! Additionally, we have found that most beaches have calmer waves earlier in the morning, making for more clear water.
If you go to Pancake House for breakfast (we suggest you do), they are going to bring out some delicious bread before your food arrives. However, they are not going to bring out a set of plates to eat this bread on. If you sit around waiting for plates you are going to miss out on some amazing bread. Just go ahead and grab a napkin and use that as your plate. You will thank us later!
Do not pay with US or Canadian dollars. Most restaurants will allow you to pay in these currencies, but you will get your change back in pesos. Most often the exchange rate at these restaurants or stores is going to be way less than what the banks offer.
You have a few options for exchanging your dollars to pesos. You can exchange your money at your bank back in the United States, most major banks will let you do this.
Second option is to bring dollars and exchange them at a bank here in Mexico. We do not suggest using the exchange counter at the airport, instead we suggest using large banks such as Bancomer or Intercam. It is important to note that you will need your passport or a copy of your passport whenever you exchange your money.
Last, and this is what we do, is using ATM machines to get our pesos. We use either Bancomer or Intercam to take out money. If you plan on doing this be sure to let your bank know that you will be using your card in Mexico. This is so that they don’t flag your card and put a block on your account.
Below we have linked a map to banks/ATMs that we have had success using and feel confident in.
Our fourth tip is to try new things. Try new types of food, drinks, excursions, etc. Get out of your comfort zone and try something new. If you are coming from the US or Canada then the cost of taking these “risk” is going to be much less than it would be back home. Worst case scenario you hate the drink or food and it still makes for a funny story. Best case scenario you find something new that you love!
The most fun thing for us in creating these posts and videos is in trying new things! #DoMore
Don’t go to the first happy hour that you see! Everywhere in Puerto Vallarta seems to have a happy hour. If you jump at the first one thinking it is a good deal, you are probably missing out on something better down the road. This tip is a little silly, but just don’t get too excited to see drink specials. We are planning on creating a list of our favorite bars/happy hours in the future though. But for now, our favorite beach bar is…
Go to Swell Beach Bar! The food is good, the drinks are excellent, and the view is incredible. Situated right on the beach, you can drink one of the best daiquiris you have ever had while watching the waves roll in! Swell does have a great happy hour every day from 6pm to 8pm!
Last but not least, do some free stuff early on in your trip! Here is a list of things to do in Puerto Vallarta to get your started (not all listed are free).
There are so many things to do here in Vallarta, most of which are very affordable. It is very rare that you see us post a video of us doing an excursion, yet we seem to have fun pretty much every day! Talk a walk on the malecon, check out a few beaches, get to know the city on your own for a day or two. If after that you are ready for something different or you want to do something that requires an excursion, then go for it.
What we found on our first trip to Vallarta was that after doing some of the free things to do, we didn’t want to do the excursions, we wanted to circle back to some of the free things we did early on in our trip!
I hope these tips were helpful! We have so many more that we could list, but we will save those for another post/video!
Comment below and let us know what questions you may have!