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Transportation in Puerto Vallarta



Vallarta Guides:

Mexico Vacation

Guide to Puerto Vallarta Vacationing

Puerto Vallarta Introduction

Mexico Holidays - Cheap Vacation Packages

Travel Guide

Visiting Puerto Vallarta

Two Coasts of Mexico


Historical Sites

The Famous Malecon

Puerto Vallarta's Nearby Villages

Puerto Vallarta History

Puerto Vallarta Decor

Puerto Vallarta Famous Restaurants

Puerto Vallarta Ecotourism - Sea Turtles

Statues and Monuments

Vallarta's Cultural Center

Off-the-Beaten-Path in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta Beaches

Bullfights in Puerto Vallarta

Jungle Tours in Puerto Vallarta



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Distances and Driving Times

Driving from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta: 447.26 km/5:04 Hours.


Driving from Puerto Vallarta to Topolobampo (Ferry point):  894.56 KM / 9:23 Hours


Driving from Mazatlan to Topolobampo: 447.3 KM / 04:18 Hours

See more Mexico driving distances.


Transportation in Puerto Vallarta

Getting to Puerto Vallarta- plane, bus or automobile or boat.  

By air is by far the most preferred route to Puerto Vallarta.  Cruises stop in Puerto Vallarta for less than a 24 hour period, not allowing for much time to experience the city.  Bus tours are also common, however time in between cities in long and time spent in Vallarta is also short. 


Driving to Puerto Vallarta is another option. Specific documentation is required if bringing your own car in, including the title, valid driver's license, major credit card, immigration documentation (FMT,FM2,FM3) or tourist permit, signed declaration promising to return to your country with the vehicle, and a temporary importation application.  With all of these requirements, it is easy to see why most people opt to rent a car for their transportation.  Specific information should be obtained from Mexico Customs, which can also provide current fees and tolls for your road trip.


Driving distances in Mexico:  Mexico driving distances.



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Adults (18-64)

Transportation from Puerto Vallarta International airport

While plenty of timeshare salesman will be happy to offer you a free ride in exchange for listening to their sales pitch, you may opt to take your own taxi or rental car.  It is advised that rental reservations are made beforehand, and confirmed TWICE, although rentals are available at the airport. 


Taxi from Puerto Vallarta International Airport -   Crossing the bridge outside of the airport is guaranteed to save you money, the fare not including the airport tax drivers across the street are required to pay on airport exit.


Getting to Your Hotel from the Puerto Vallarta Airport

A number of taxis will be waiting to take you from the airport to your resort, however some may not wish to haggle over taxi prices, or bother avoiding the timeshare salesman who offer "free airport transportation in exchange for an hour of your time." A few tips for airport transfers- 


1.  Take a taxi from the airport, crossing the bridge to the other side of the highway will lead you to significantly less expensive taxis (they don't have to pay the airport fees.) 

2. Reserve your airport transportation ahead of time- this way you will know your fee and be guaranteed a hassle free transport to your resort. This company offers no-wait airport shuttles: Puerto Vallarta Round Trip Airport Transfer.

3.  Rent a car.  Rental counters are available at the airport, however they are notoriously overpriced.  A few links to help you save money on your Puerto Vallarta car rental:


Getting around in Puerto Vallarta

Taxis are widely available. Always ask the taxi driver "how much" BEFORE going to your destination and do not assume he will automatically request the same amount as the others. 


If you will be renting a vehicle in Puerto Vallarta, be sure to check our the "driving in Mexico tips" in the next column.


Buses can be taken for 5 pesos (less than .50 American cents.)  just about anywhere.  Locations and resorts are written on the front of the buses, making it simple to determine which one to take.  Water taxis are available for reaching far destinations such as Yelapa.  See our Puerto Vallarta tours section for more information.


Taxis in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta taxis are everywhere and relatively inexpensive.  Last minute car rentals at Rates are established by zone and posted in most hotel lobbies. 


Taxi rates in Puerto Vallarta: 

From north of Mismaloya (Dreams Resort) to Zona Romantica is 50 pesos (5 US Dollars.)  From Downtown to Marina Vallarta is between 40 pesos and 70 pesos (4 to 7 US Dollars.)  From Zona Romantica to Marina Vallarta is about 80 to 130 pesos (8 to 13 US Dollars.)  Tourists often get quoted higher rates than locals, so learn to ask in Spanish and you may save money.  TIP - negotiate your price BEFORE getting in the taxi!  You may get in assuming the price is 50 pesos, only to be told it's 100 pesos upon arrival if you don't ask first. 


Taxis can also be rented by the hour or for the day. Prices generally range around 150 pesos (15 US dollars) an hour, but feel free to negotiate for long periods of time.


Taxi drivers suggesting restaurants/stores

While it's often not a problem, do  be aware that taxi drivers often receive a commission for bringing customers to certain shops and restaurants so don't be surprised if you don't end up exactly where you wanted!



Tips for Driving in Mexico:

Mexico Driving Tips
Driving in Mexico is quite safe and convenient.  It can also be a great way to save money, compared to frequent taxi rides for vacationers.  However, driving in Mexico does require one thing:  defensive driving and a few basic tips.

Tip #1- opt not to drive at night.  Loose pets and livestock aside, driving in Mexico is simply safer during the day.

Tip #2- compared to the US, Canada and UK, driving within Mexico's cities requires a certain amount of aggression. 

Tip #3- Traffic Signals: 

Left Turn Signals
On the open road, a left turn signal is an invitation to the person behind you to pass. Particularly with trucks and busses, a left turn signal is an invitation for you to pass them.  This does not mean it is safe to pass, merely that you may pass when it is safe.

Typically, drivers on toll rodes use their left turn signals as they do in the US, however when on a 2 lane road, do not use your left turn signal to pass- this risks an accident since it may be seen as an invitation to pass you.

Left Turns
Left turns are different when driving in Mexico.  Left turn lanes are generally only directed by a green arrow turn signal- NOT the green signal for straight traffic.  Look for 4 lights on the traffic signal. You MUST wait for the arrow.

Right Turns
Right on red is usually not legal, nor safe- UNLESS there is a sign saying "Derecha con Precaucion" (right with caution.)

Read more tips for driving in Mexico...


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