Is Puerto Vallarta Safe? 2023 Safety Guide
If you’re planning a vacation to Puerto Vallarta, one of the top tourist destinations in Mexico, you may be wondering about the safety of the city and its surrounding areas. With recent events in Mexico making headlines around the world, it can be difficult to get reliable information about the safety of Puerto Vallarta. In this guide, we’ll provide you with the latest safety updates so you can plan your trip with confidence. If you are thinking about traveling to Puerto Vallarta, check out our Puerto Vallarta travel guide!
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe Right Now?
Puerto Vallarta, like any other city, has its share of safety concerns. However, as of now, the city has seen a significant improvement in safety in recent years. The crime rates have decreased, and the police have stepped up their efforts to maintain order in the city. The authorities have also invested in modern equipment and surveillance systems to ensure that the city remains safe. So, in conclusion, Puerto Vallarta is generally safe right now, but tourists are advised to be cautious and use common sense when traveling in the city.
Puerto Vallarta Travel Advisory
The United States Department of State currently has a Level 2 Travel Advisory in place for Mexico, which advises visitors to exercise increased caution due to crime. However, Puerto Vallarta specifically has not been given a higher level advisory. It is important to always exercise caution while traveling and be aware of your surroundings, especially in unfamiliar areas. Keep in mind that tourist areas may be targeted by criminals, so it’s best to take precautions such as avoiding showing off valuables and keeping important documents secure. Always research your accommodations and transportation options ahead of time and use reputable companies. It’s also a good idea to stay informed about any local news and developments in the area before and during your visit. Overall, Puerto Vallarta is generally safe for visitors who take proper precautions and exercise common sense.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe To Walk Around?
Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful coastal city with many popular tourist destinations that are easily accessible by foot. While Puerto Vallarta has seen a rise in crime over the past few years, walking around the city during the day is generally safe. However, it is advisable to exercise caution and stay aware of your surroundings at all times.
As with any tourist destination, it is important to take basic safety measures when walking around Puerto Vallarta. Avoid walking alone at night or in isolated areas, stay on well-lit streets, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid displaying valuables such as expensive jewelry, and keep your phone and wallet close to your body.
While the Malecon, the city’s popular boardwalk, is a must-visit attraction for tourists, it can get crowded and attract pickpockets. Keep an eye on your belongings and be mindful of your surroundings. If you are planning to walk to some of Puerto Vallarta’s more remote beaches, it is advisable to join a guided tour or travel with a group of friends. Avoid taking shortcuts through isolated areas, and stick to well-known paths and trails.
Is Uber Safe In Puerto Vallarta?
Uber is considered a safe transportation option in Puerto Vallarta, but there are still some precautions you should take. Uber drivers are required to undergo background checks and vehicle inspections, which should give you some peace of mind. However, as with any form of transportation, there is always a risk of accidents or crimes such as theft or assault. To ensure your safety when using Uber in Puerto Vallarta, here are some tips:
- Verify the driver’s identity and the car’s make and model before getting in.
- Make sure the license plate on the app matches the one on the car.
- Avoid sharing personal information or location with the driver.
- Use common sense and avoid riding with drivers who seem suspicious or under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Always wear your seatbelt and avoid distractions while riding in the car.
If you do have any concerns or issues with your Uber ride in Puerto Vallarta, the app allows you to report incidents and contact customer support for assistance. Overall, Uber can be a safe and convenient option for getting around Puerto Vallarta, but as with any mode of transportation, it’s important to stay vigilant and take necessary precautions to ensure your safety.
Is Public Transportation Safe In Puerto Vallarta?
Public transportation in Puerto Vallarta is generally safe, but travelers should exercise caution. The city has a modern public transportation system that includes buses and taxis, but there have been incidents of theft on buses and taxi scams. To avoid being a victim of theft on a bus, keep your valuables close and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Additionally, be wary of taxi scams, which often involve drivers taking longer routes to inflate the fare or overcharging tourists. Only take licensed taxis, which are marked with official logos and have meters.
For added safety, consider using ride-sharing apps like Uber and Lyft, which operate in Puerto Vallarta. These apps provide transparency in terms of route and fare and reduce the risk of being scammed by a taxi driver. Overall, while public transportation in Puerto Vallarta is relatively safe, travelers should remain vigilant and take precautions to avoid any potential risks.
Is Puerto Vallarta A Safe Place To Drive?
Puerto Vallarta is a relatively safe place to drive compared to other parts of Mexico such as Tijuana. However, it’s important to exercise caution and remain alert while driving in the city. Road conditions can vary, and drivers should be aware of potholes, narrow streets, and uneven pavement.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal and strictly enforced in Puerto Vallarta. It’s essential to follow all traffic laws, wear seatbelts, and avoid distractions while driving. Many roads in Puerto Vallarta are well-lit and well-marked, but some rural roads may not be. Drivers should be especially cautious when driving at night and should stick to well-traveled routes.
It’s worth noting that parking in Puerto Vallarta can be a challenge, and parking violations are strictly enforced. When parking on the street, be sure to follow all parking regulations and watch for signs indicating restricted parking areas.
If you’re not comfortable driving in Puerto Vallarta, there are other transportation options available, including taxis, Uber, and public transportation. However, if you do choose to drive, be sure to have proper documentation, including a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance.
In summary, while Puerto Vallarta is generally a safe place to drive, it’s important to exercise caution and follow all traffic laws. Keep an eye out for road hazards, avoid distractions, and be aware of parking regulations. By taking these precautions, you can enjoy all that Puerto Vallarta has to offer while staying safe on the road.
Is It Safe To Live In Puerto Vallarta?
Puerto Vallarta is not just a popular tourist destination but also a place where people live year-round. Many expats from the United States and Canada choose to retire in Puerto Vallarta due to its pleasant weather, friendly locals, and relatively affordable cost of living. Safety concerns, however, can be a major factor when considering moving to a new place.
Fortunately, Puerto Vallarta is generally considered safe for both locals and expats. The city has a lower crime rate than other major Mexican cities such as Mexico City, Tijuana, or Juarez. Violent crime is rare in Puerto Vallarta, and most incidents involve theft, pickpocketing, or non-violent crimes. Expats report feeling safe in the city and say they rarely encounter problems.
As with any place, there are certain precautions that residents need to take to ensure their safety. Avoid walking alone at night in deserted areas or poorly lit streets, especially in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Lock your doors and windows at night and when you leave your home. Don’t leave valuables in your car and be cautious when using ATMs. Keep a low profile and don’t flaunt your wealth or expensive items.
Puerto Vallarta has a large expat community, and it’s easy to connect with others through social clubs, activities, and events. Expats can also find reputable local real estate agents, doctors, lawyers, and other professionals to help them navigate life in Puerto Vallarta. Most locals are friendly and helpful, and many speak English, making it easy to communicate.
Is Airbnb Safe To Use In Puerto Vallarta?
Airbnb is a popular option for travelers visiting Puerto Vallarta, especially for those who want a more authentic experience by staying in a local’s home. While Airbnb has safety measures in place to protect its users, it is important to exercise caution when booking a rental in Puerto Vallarta.
One of the main concerns when using Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta is the issue of property theft. There have been reports of thieves posing as Airbnb guests and stealing from the property owners. It is important to research the listing and the host before booking to ensure that they are legitimate and trustworthy. Look for reviews from other guests and pay attention to any red flags in the host’s profile or communication.
Additionally, it is important to take safety precautions when staying in an Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta. Make sure the rental has a working lock on all doors and windows, and keep valuables stored securely. It is also recommended to let someone know your itinerary and location while staying in an Airbnb, in case of an emergency.
Overall, using Airbnb in Puerto Vallarta can be safe as long as you do your due diligence and take appropriate safety measures. As with any type of accommodation, there are risks involved, but with the proper precautions, you can have an enjoyable and safe stay.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe For Tourists?
Puerto Vallarta is generally considered a safe destination for tourists. The local government and tourism industry have made significant efforts to improve safety measures and reduce crime rates in recent years. However, as with any travel destination, tourists should always exercise caution and be aware of their surroundings. It is recommended to stay in well-lit areas, avoid isolated locations, and not display expensive items in public.
Tourists should also be cautious when interacting with strangers, as there have been reports of scams targeting tourists. These can include fake tour guides, overcharging for goods and services, and theft. Additionally, it is important to research any excursions or activities beforehand to ensure they are reputable and safe. Overall, as long as tourists take necessary precautions and use common sense, Puerto Vallarta can be a safe and enjoyable destination.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe For Families?
If you are planning a family vacation to Puerto Vallarta, you may be wondering if it is a safe destination for your loved ones. The good news is that Puerto Vallarta is generally considered safe for families. The city has a strong focus on tourism, and the authorities are committed to keeping visitors safe.
The beaches in Puerto Vallarta are some of the best in Mexico and are a major attraction for families. Many of the beaches have calm waters that are perfect for children to swim in. However, it is important to supervise your children at all times, as the currents can be strong in some areas.
There are also plenty of family-friendly activities in Puerto Vallarta, such as the dolphin and sea lion shows at Vallarta Adventures. You can also take your family on a boat tour of the bay or visit the Aquaventuras Park, which has a range of water slides and attractions.
It is always a good idea to take some basic safety precautions when traveling with your family in Puerto Vallarta. For example, make sure your children are wearing life jackets when they are in the water and keep a close eye on them at all times.
In addition, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and to avoid walking alone or in isolated areas at night. Stick to well-lit and busy areas, and use licensed taxis or public transportation rather than unmarked taxis.
Overall, Puerto Vallarta is a safe destination for families, but it is always wise to exercise caution and common sense when traveling with children. By following a few basic safety tips, you can ensure that your family has a fun and enjoyable vacation in Puerto Vallarta.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe For Female Travelers?
Yes, Puerto Vallarta is generally safe for female travelers. However, like any other destination, female travelers should still exercise caution and take necessary safety measures to avoid potential risks. Here are some tips for female travelers:
- Dress Appropriately: It’s best to dress conservatively and avoid drawing unwanted attention. Avoid wearing revealing clothing or flashy jewelry, as it may attract unwanted attention.
- Avoid Walking Alone At Night: As with any city, it’s safer to walk in groups or take a taxi when traveling at night.
- Use Official Taxis Or Uber: It’s important to only use official taxis or Uber to avoid potential scams or dangerous situations.
- Stay In Reputable Accommodations: Choose reputable accommodations that have good reviews and are located in safe areas.
- Be Aware Of Your Surroundings: Pay attention to your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something feels off, it’s best to remove yourself from the situation.
Overall, Puerto Vallarta is generally safe for female travelers. Just be sure to take the necessary precautions and use common sense to avoid potential risks.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe For Solo Travelers?
Solo travel is a growing trend, with more and more people choosing to explore new places on their own. If you are planning to travel to Puerto Vallarta as a solo traveler, you may be wondering about the safety of the city. While no place is 100% safe, Puerto Vallarta is generally considered a safe destination for solo travelers.
Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for tourists, which means that there is a lot of support for visitors. Many hotels, all-inclusive resorts, restaurants, and attractions cater to tourists and provide a safe and friendly environment. However, as a solo traveler, you should take some precautions to ensure your safety.
One of the most important things to keep in mind is to be aware of your surroundings. Don’t walk around with your head down or with your eyes glued to your phone. Instead, be aware of who and what is around you. Avoid walking alone in areas that are deserted, especially at night. Stick to well-lit and populated areas, and if possible, walk with a friend or group.
Another important aspect to consider is your mode of transportation. Avoid taking unlicensed taxis, especially at night. Instead, use registered taxis or Uber, which is available in Puerto Vallarta. Also, if you’re renting a car, make sure it’s from a reputable agency and keep the doors locked when driving around. When it comes to socializing, it’s best to use common sense. Avoid drinking too much or accepting drinks from strangers, especially if you’re alone. Keep an eye on your belongings at all times, and don’t flash expensive jewelry or electronic devices.
Is Puerto Vallarta Safe For Americans?
Puerto Vallarta is generally safe for Americans and other foreign tourists. The Mexican government has taken steps to enhance security in the area, and local authorities work to ensure the safety of tourists. That said, it is important to exercise caution and remain vigilant, particularly in crowded areas and tourist hotspots. Petty crime, such as pickpocketing and theft, can occur, so it’s essential to keep your valuables close and secure.
Additionally, Americans should be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution when venturing outside of tourist areas. Avoid traveling alone at night and take taxis or other forms of transportation when possible. The U.S. Department of State has issued a Level 2 travel advisory for Mexico, including Puerto Vallarta. This advisory indicates that travelers should exercise increased caution due to crime in the area. In summary, Americans can feel relatively safe traveling to Puerto Vallarta, but it’s essential to exercise caution and take necessary safety precautions to ensure a pleasant and enjoyable trip.
Is It Safe To Do Drugs In Puerto Vallarta?
The short answer is no. The use, possession, or distribution of drugs in Puerto Vallarta is illegal and can result in serious consequences. The city has been cracking down on drug-related activities and has a strong police presence to prevent it. In addition to legal repercussions, using drugs can also lead to dangerous situations such as overdosing, getting robbed, or becoming a victim of violence. It’s best to avoid any kind of drug activity in Puerto Vallarta to ensure your safety.
It’s important to note that some criminals in the area may attempt to sell drugs to tourists. Be cautious and do not engage in any drug-related activity. If you encounter this type of situation, it’s recommended that you contact the police immediately. Overall, it’s best to avoid any type of drug use while in Puerto Vallarta to ensure your safety and abide by the law.
Common Scams To Look Out For In Puerto Vallarta
While Puerto Vallarta is a relatively safe place to visit, tourists are advised to be aware of the common scams that are prevalent in the area. Here are some of the most common scams to look out for:
- Timeshare Scams: This is one of the most common scams in Puerto Vallarta. Scammers lure tourists with the promise of freebies or discounts, and then take them to a timeshare presentation, where they are pressured into buying a timeshare.
- Taxi Scams: Some taxi drivers in Puerto Vallarta are known to overcharge tourists or take them on longer routes to increase the fare. To avoid this, it is best to agree on the fare before getting into the taxi or use a reputable taxi service.
- Street Vendor Scams: Some street vendors may try to sell fake or low-quality products at a high price. Tourists should always be careful when buying from street vendors and should try to haggle for a lower price.
- ATM Scams: Skimming devices and cameras are sometimes installed on ATMs in Puerto Vallarta to steal credit card information. To avoid this, it is best to use ATMs inside banks or hotels.
- Petitions For Money: Scammers may approach tourists and ask for money under the guise of a charity or cause. It is best to verify the authenticity of the charity before donating any money.
By being aware of these common scams, tourists can enjoy their time in Puerto Vallarta without falling victim to any fraudulent activities. Remember to always use common sense and be cautious when dealing with strangers.
Puerto Vallarta Emergency Numbers
In case of an emergency, it’s essential to have access to the correct Puerto Vallarta emergency numbers. Here is a list of important numbers you should keep on hand:
- Emergency Services (Ambulance, Fire, Police): 911
- American Consulate: +52 322-222-0069 or +52 55-5080-2000 (after hours)
- Canadian Consulate: +52 322-293-0098 or +52 800-706-2900 (toll-free in Mexico)
- Puerto Vallarta Tourist Police: +52 322-290-0507 or +52 322-290-0515
- Civil Protection: +52 322-222-2211 or +52 322-223-9476
It’s important to remember that if you’re in a situation where you require emergency services, stay calm, provide your location and any necessary details to the operator. If you’re traveling, it’s also a good idea to keep copies of your passport, travel documents, and insurance information on hand, as these may be needed in an emergency situation.
The Bottom Line
Puerto Vallarta is generally a safe place to visit, with the majority of tourists experiencing no issues. However, as with any destination, it’s important to exercise common sense and be aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone in dark or isolated areas, and take precautions when using public transportation. Using reputable services like Uber and Airbnb can provide added safety. Be wary of common scams and carry emergency numbers with you at all times. Overall, by following basic safety guidelines and using your best judgement, you can enjoy all that Puerto Vallarta has to offer with peace of mind.