Author Topic: Puerto Vallarta in May with 2 little ones  (Read 2223 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Puerto Vallarta in May with 2 little ones
« on: April 19, 2016, 09:32:47 AM »
Mustachians! I'm taking my family (including a 3 year old and 11 mo old) to Puerto Vallarta the third week of May. Give me all your advice... cheap restaurants, best place to buy groceries, exchange money, things to do and see! We'll have a kitchenette where we'll do most of our cooking and we'll have a rental car. We did already book a rental car, but we already know the most expensive part comes from the company forcing you to buy their insurance. Anyone know of a better (local) company to work with that won't charge and arm and a leg for the car + insurance? Thanks ahead of time for all your advice!


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 37
Re: Puerto Vallarta in May with 2 little ones
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 11:03:44 AM »
I went to Puerto Vallerta over Christmas to new years, here are my thoughts/ tips from the trip ( just a couple, no kids):

1. I do not suggest exchanging currency at the airport. Their rates were not very competitive- when I went, they were giving 13.5 pesos to $1, and they wanted my passport and all sorts of other info. Local restaurants etc were doing about 15-16 pesos per $1. Our condo was trading out at $16 to $1.  My American Express has no foreign exchange fees and exchanged and about 17.5 pesos to $1.  American express (and credit cards in general) are not accepted at a lot of the restaurants.

2.  There are time share sales presenters in the airport as you go to leave. They will give you maps and helpful information trying to get you to go to a presentation.  We chose to go to a 90 minute presentation ( not including transpotation time) and received the following:
2 days of 2 tank boat scuba diving for 2 people
The Adventure tour for 2, including zipline, 4x4, tarzan swing, etc.  ( this was awesome)
Taxi to our condo (they ask you to tip)
A taxi from our condo to timeshare presentation
Taxi fare from timeshare presentation to condo ( we chose to walk and take the bus, so we pocketed some)
Choice of a Mexican blanket or bottle of tequila
Many helpful tips and suggestions
We did have to give $100 US to reserve our spot and towards the tours, so we paid $100 for the above items.

3.  Scuba visibility was only ok, nothing special.  The First scuba was on a big boat with a bunch of snorkelers. There was an open bar and a party on the way back.  The second one was a smaller boat, and we were able to ge the to drop us off at a beach closer to our hotel ( there was not even a dock there, they just pulled up until we were close enough to wade in).

4.  We did not rent a car b/c it was way more expensive with insurance, and were glad we didn't. Parking would have been awful. The streets are narrow. People drive pretty crazy. On one weird expressway you move to the right lanes in order to be able to make a left turn. We used busses that are about 50 cents each bus per person mostly (no transfers).  The bus rides were sometimes an adventure in themselves.

5.  We went to an awesome little restaurant right in front of the church that everyone goes to see.  It had lunch specials that included- a drink that seemed like a hibiscus, your choice of a few entrees, including flank steak or chick fajitas, etc.  ric, small portion of salad, a soup with tortillas, and a small pudding type dessert for about $5.  We went here twice and shared both times, and had plenty of food. 

6.  The malecon was good for people watching, and most of the restaurants are all in the blocks around it.  We walked it several evenings, and they had street performers and shows going on often.  The also have street food vendors that have decent prices on street tacos, corn, etc.

7.  On Christmas, a lot of things were closed. We took a bus south to the stop for el eden.  We started walking up the road and there were tequila distilleries offering free tours.  I think we ended up getting about 3 shots each at the first one with all the different flavors they offered.  I am not much of a tequila fan, but then they had creamy flavored ones, and those were pretty good.  We did not go to the one right next door because we were a bit tipsy from the first.  A river/ creek runs parallel to that road, we walked up it more and found a good pace for a little picnic.  Some locals showed up later and were swimming etc.  There was a restaurant that was closed for Christmas, but looked fun. Right against the river, and looked like you could swim.

8. I never felt like my personal safety was an issue walking and taking the bus, but any time that you have a bunch of people crowded together, I worry about pickpockets.  I never saw any of that going on though, and did not have any problems.

9.  I added the Verizon travel pass to my phone for $2 a day and had access to my text, phone, and data plan on my phone.  My condo also had free wifi.

10.  I stayed at Costa Sur, which is south of the main, but right at a bus stop ( you hop on the bus, and it ends at the end south end of malecon/romantic zone)  They had a nice little protected cove that I snorkeled at and saw all sorts of colorful fish, better visibility than the scuba for sure.  Would prob be a good place for your kids for swimming and play on the beach too.  No idea of the cost of our condo though, as we got it for free.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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  • Posts: 37
Re: Puerto Vallarta in May with 2 little ones
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 11:07:03 AM »
Due to not having a car, we did not really grocery shop like we would normally. 
There is a Costco and a Walmart near the airport since you are renting a car. 
There are little oxxo stores all over, but those are more like convenience stores. 


  • Bristles
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Re: Puerto Vallarta in May with 2 little ones
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 01:17:27 PM »
Public transit is easy and cheap in PV. So you might skip the rental car altogether. I'll be there the same time. After booking we found out it's gay pride which I'm looking forward too. So there will be some festivities going on.


Wow, a phone plan for fifteen bucks!