Puerto Vallarta is quickly becoming one of the most popular destinations for people looking to relocate to Mexico.
From its stunning coastline to its intriguing cultural scene, Puerto Vallarta offers a taste of paradise for those seeking a new home in Mexico.
Puerto Vallarta boasts stunning beaches and delicious cuisine. Not to mention, the cost of living in Puerto Vallarta is significantly lower than that of many cities in the United States and Canada.
If you’re curious about what exactly makes Puerto Vallarta such a desirable place to live, this article will break down all the reasons why so many people are making their move to this bustling Mexican city.
So sit back, relax, and get ready to fall in love with Puerto Vallarta like so many others have before you.
Table of Contents
Reasons to move to Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is situated on the western coast of Mexico, along the Pacific Ocean. Specifically, it is located in the state of Jalisco, within the Bahía de Banderas (Bay of Flags). The city is approximately around 200 miles west of Guadalajara, the state capital. Known for its beaches, Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination that combines natural beauty with modern amenities.
Here’s our guide to making the jump; here’s why you should move to Puerto Vallarta!
1. Cost of Living in Puerto Vallarta
One of the biggest reasons people choose to retire or live in Puerto Vallarta is because it’s more affordable than living in the United States or Europe.
The cost of rent, food, and utilities are all much lower than what you would find in other developed countries. And although the cost of living has been on the rise in recent years, it’s still relatively affordable compared to other places in the world.
Puerto Vallarta also offers a wide variety of housing options depending on your budget. If you want to live in the heart of the city, there are plenty of apartments and condos available for rent or purchase.
And if you prefer a more laid-back lifestyle, there are plenty of beach towns to choose from along the coast.
2. The Beautiful Beaches of Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in Mexico.
The seaside city is famous for its stunning beaches, crystal clear water, and relaxed atmosphere.
The main beach, Playa de los Muertos, or “Beach of the Dead,” offers powdery white sand and guaranteed sun year-round. Visitors can lounge in a beach chair with a cool drink, or take advantage of the restaurants, bars, and shops lining the shoreline.
Beyond Playa de los Muertos lie endless stretches of golden sand, some leading to secluded coves where you can escape into pure relaxation.
Puerto Vallarta’s beaches are truly paradise on earth, perfect for soaking up some sun or enjoying a dip in the sparkling ocean.
3. The Weather in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has beautiful weather year-round, with sunny skies and warm temperatures.
In the summertime, the average high hovers around 90 degrees Fahrenheit and in the winter it stays in the low to mid-70s.
Puerto Vallarta experiences its rainy season from July through October, with brief showers throughout the day.
The rest of the year has little to no rainfall, making Puerto Vallarta a perfect destination for those seeking sunshine and warmth.
Along with its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, Puerto Vallarta’s consistently pleasant weather makes it a popular vacation spot – and an even better place to call your home!
4. The Friendly People of Puerto Vallarta
The people of Puerto Vallarta are known for being friendly and hospitable. You’ll quickly make friends and feel right at home in this tight-knit community.
Puerto Vallarta has a rich culture that stems from its history as a fishing village.
Over the years, it has evolved into a thriving tourist destination while still maintaining its small-town charm.
5. Puerto Vallarta’s Expat Community
Puerto Vallarta is home to a thriving expat community, bringing together people from all over the world in search of sun, sand, and adventure.
Lots of expats from the US have chosen Puerto Vallarta as their permanent home, finding it easy to settle into the relaxed atmosphere and welcoming culture.
Others are drawn in for extended stays or seasonal visits, seeking escape from colder climates or a chance to experience Puerto Vallarta’s world-renowned beaches and vibrant nightlife.
Regardless of their reasons for being there, one thing is clear: Puerto Vallarta’s expat community adds even more diversity and excitement to an already lively destination.
From beachside gatherings to language exchange meetups, Puerto Vallarta’s expats enjoy exploring all that the destination has to offer while also sharing their own unique cultures with one another.
If you’re interested in finding the expat community here, check out Nomad list.
Things to Do in Puerto Vallarta
In Puerto Vallarta, you can find amazing food, stunning beaches, and a vibrant nightlife scene. In fact, this Mexican coastal city offers a little something for everyone.
We’ve broken down the things to do in Puerto Vallarta into separate categories below:
1. The Food in Puerto Vallarta
One of the best things about Puerto Vallarta is the food!
If you love seafood, you’re in for a real treat. Puerto Vallarta is known for its ceviche, which is fresh fish marinated in citrus juice and spice.
Another local favorite is pulpo al pastor, grilled octopus with a savory chili-lime sauce.
Of course, no trip to Mexico would be complete without trying some authentic tacos! In Puerto Vallarta, you can find tacos al pastor, carne asada tacos, and even vegan tacos. Yum!
2. Alternative Beaches in Puerto Vallarta
We’ve already mentioned that the most popular beach among tourists and locals alike is Playa Los Muertos. This beach is well-known for its clear turquoise waters and lovely sandy shores.
But if you’re looking for a more secluded beach experience, check out Playa Gemelas. This beach is located just south of Puerto Vallarta and it offers dramatic cliffs, tranquil waters, and plenty of chances to spot wildlife like dolphins and whales!
3. The Nightlife in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife scene is world-renowned!
There are countless bars and clubs to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style.
For a truly unique experience, head to La Bodeguita del Medio. This Cuban-themed bar offers live music and delicious cocktails served in authentic Havana-style glasses.
4. The Attractions in Puerto Vallarta
From exploring the city’s history and culture to spending time outdoors in the sun and snorkeling, here are just a few of the many things you can do while you’re in Puerto Vallarta.
Visit the Historic Center of Puerto Vallarta
The historic center of Puerto Vallarta is a great place to start your exploration of the city.
Home to a number of important landmarks, including the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe and the Museum of Anthropology, the historic center is also full of charming shops and restaurants.
Be sure to wander down the cobblestone streets and take in the colorful architecture.
Spend a Day at Los Arcos
Located just off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Los Arcos is a group of natural rock formations that make for a beautiful day trip destination.
You can swim and snorkel in the crystal clear waters or simply relax on the beach and soak up the sun.
There are also a number of restaurants and bars in the area, so you can stay for lunch or dinner if you like.
Go Whale Watching
During whale season (December to April), Puerto Vallarta is one of the best places in Mexico to go whale watching.
Humpback whales come to the waters off Puerto Vallarta to mate and give birth, and there are a number of tour operators offering boat trips out to see them.
This is definitely an activity not to be missed if you’re in town during whale season.
Take a Hike
If you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Puerto Vallarta, head up into the Sierra Madre Mountains for some hiking.
There are a number of trails of varying difficulty levels, so you can find one that’s perfect for your fitness level.
If you time it right, you might even catch some stunning views of sunrise or sunset from one of the mountains’ peaks.
There are also great beach hikes down to the secluded area of Yelapa! This hike on Alltrails is one of our favorites.
Shop at Mercado Municipal
No trip to Puerto Vallarta would be complete without some shopping at Mercado Municipal, one of the city’s most popular markets.
From fruits and vegetables to jewelry and handmade crafts, you’ll find everything under the sun at Mercado Municipal.
Be sure to bargain with the vendors for the best prices on whatever catches your eye.
If you’re going to be living in Puerto Vallarta, you need to check out Sayulita.
Located just 45 minutes north of PV, Sayulita boasts a beautiful beach alongside vibrant cultural experiences. The surf town is known for its world-class waves, drawing in water sports enthusiasts from all over the world.
But even if you aren’t a surfer yourself, Sayulita offers plenty of other activities such as stand-up paddleboarding and yoga on the beach.
In addition, the hippy chic town is filled with colorful street art, delicious local restaurants, and unique shops selling handmade goods.
READ MORE: Where is Sayulita?
Puerto Vallarta FAQ
Puerto Vallarta is located in the state of Jalisco, Mexico. It is situated on the Pacific Coast, and is bordered by the states of Nayarit to the north and Colima to the west.
If you’re looking to fly into Puerto Vallarta, the airport you’ll be landing at is the Lic. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR).
The population of Puerto Vallarta is around 540,000 people (2022 census) with a growth rate of 2.64% year on year.
Yes, retirees can certainly enjoy a comfortable life in Puerto Vallarta. The cost of living is relatively low, and there are plenty of activities and amenities to keep you busy. In addition, the climate is perfect for those who want to enjoy warm weather year-round.
Puerto Vallarta is a safe city to visit, although you should always take precautions against petty crimes such as theft. As with any large city, it’s best to avoid walking alone late at night.
The timezone in Puerto Vallarta is Central Standard Time (CST).
Puerto Vallarta is in Mexico, so it is in the continent of North America.
Why Move to Puerto Vallarta?
Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to live – there’s no doubt about it! Whether you’re looking for amazing food options, beautiful beaches, or a vibrant nightlife scene, this Mexican coastal city has it all.
From its affordable cost of living and beautiful beaches to its rich culture and friendly people, there are plenty of reasons to consider Puerto Vallarta as your next home.
So whether you’re looking to retire or just need a change of scenery, add Puerto Vallarta to the top of your list.
READ MORE: The Best Places to Live in Mexico