Naya Homes
Homeowners     04 Nov 2022

Living in Puerto Vallarta | 6 Things You Must Know

Where is Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is a picturesque beach town located on Mexico’s pacific coast. It is in the state of Jalisco and just about a five-hour drive from the state’s capital, Guadalajara.

Why live in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination, with world-class hotels and resorts. Its airport, Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, is conveniently situated close to downtown Puerto Vallarta. It welcomes numerous direct flights from major North American cities every day. Its accessibility, hot weather, laid-back lifestyle and low cost of living make living in Puerto Vallarta ideal for many internationals.

Are you considering living in Puerto Vallarta? Keep reading for the ten things you need to know about living in Puerto Vallarta.

1. Cost of living in Puerto Vallarta

If you are thinking about living in Puerto Vallarta, it is important to consider the cost of living. Although day-to-day costs are much lower than in major North American cities, the overall cost of living is still slightly higher than in other Mexican cities due to its high tourism rate. 

If you are thinking of renting a condo in Puerto Vallarta, shopping at the local grocery store and eating out a couple of times per week, you can live comfortably on US$2,000 to 3,000 per month.

2. Visa requirements

Most countries (including Canada and the United States) do not require a visa to enter Mexico. You will be granted a tourist visa upon arrival that will be valid for six months. You are allowed to exit and enter the country as many times as you’d like.

When you arrive, you will be given an immigration form. Remember to hold onto this, as it will act as your physical travelers visa. If you lose your immigration form, you can have it replaced at any immigration office for a fee of approximately $500-600 Mexican Pesos.

Photo: Nicole Herrero
Photo: Mario Mendez

3. The best neighborhoods in Puerto Vallarta to live in as an expat

Puerto Vallarta is a medium-sized city with a population of over 200,000 citizens and an area of 1,301 km². This makes the city slightly smaller than other large tourist cities like Cancun and Acapulco, with just a few neighborhoods heavily populated by expat communities. Most expats live in the neighborhoods that border the coast, making it easy to hop over to watch the sunset or go for a quick swim. These are the top five neighborhoods to live in as an expat in Puerto Vallarta:

Downtown: If you are looking to be amongst the hustle and bustle of Puerto Vallarta’s tourism scene, downtown is for you. Noisy, yet exciting, Downtown has easy access to the main Malecon (boardwalk), the Zona Romantica neighborhood and it is just about a ten minute walk to the 5 de Septiembre neighborhood.

Zona Romantica (Old Town): Known for its charming cobblestone streets, vibrant art scene, and lively atmosphere, Zona Romantica is a favorite among expats. This neighborhood offers a mix of traditional Mexican culture and modern conveniences, with an array of cafes, bars, and boutiques to explore.

Marina Vallarta: With its upscale marina, golf courses, and waterfront restaurants, Marina Vallarta offers a luxurious lifestyle for expats. This neighborhood boasts beautiful views of the marina and easy access to amenities such as shopping centers and spas.

Conchas Chinas: Nestled between lush hills and the sparkling ocean, Conchas Chinas is known for its exclusive villas and stunning scenery. Expats seeking privacy and tranquility often choose this neighborhood, where they can enjoy secluded beaches and panoramic views.

Hotel Zone: For expats who enjoy being in the heart of the tourist action, the Hotel Zone offers an abundance of entertainment options and resort-style living. With easy access to beaches, restaurants, and nightlife, this area is perfect for those who want to immerse themselves in Puerto Vallarta’s vibrant atmosphere.

Photo: Cinthia Aguilar

4. Puerto Vallarta weather

Similar to the rest of Mexico’s coastal towns, Puerto Vallarta is hot all year around, making it the perfect destination for beach lovers. You can expect a lot of humidity and rain during the hurricane season (June to mid-October) and dry, slightly cooler weather between November and May. If you are planning on living in Mexico for half of the year, the dry season brings the highest amount of tourism, as people escape the cold and bask in the city’s clear-blue skies.

Also read:

What is the Hottest Month in Puerto Vallarta?

What is the Hottest Month in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful city to visit all year round. However, it’s important to stay safe and cool during the hot months!

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5. Puerto Vallarta safety

Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest tourist destinations in Mexico, however international visitors should always exercise caution, just as they would in their own country. Always keep a portion of cash and important belongings like passports tucked away in a safe place at home and only leave the house with your essential items (one or two payment cards and enough cash to last you the day). When walking around alone, stick to heavily-populated areas and avoid dimly-lit streets at night.

Naya Homes at Orchid in Puerto Vallarta Mexico

6. Investing in property in Puerto Vallarta

If you are planning on living in Puerto Vallarta, you may want to consider investing in property there. Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for retirees and real estate investors looking to purchase a second home that they can enjoy for parts of the year and rent out when they’re away.

Puerto Vallarta’s high rate of international tourism makes it the perfect location for real estate investors looking to host a short-term rental on Airbnb or other online vacation rental booking sites. In comparison with long-term, month-to-month rentals, short-term and vacation rentals in Puerto Vallarta can generate up to twice the monthly income. 

There are multiple property management companies in Puerto Vallarta like Naya Homes who will manage all of your property’s cleaning, maintenance, finances and guest services for a small percentage cut — while maximizing revenue. 

If you are already living in Puerto Vallarta or thinking about moving to Puerto Vallarta, these 6 tips are a great place to start. We hope you enjoy your time in Mexico. If you are interested in renting your home with a local property manager, fill out this form to see if your rental property qualifies.


Do I need a visa to move to Puerto Vallarta?

If you are a citizen of the United States or Canada, you can stay in Mexico for up to six months without a visa. However, if you plan to stay longer, you will need to obtain a temporary or permanent residency visa.

What is the healthcare system like in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta has a good healthcare system, with many private clinics and hospitals offering high-quality medical care. However, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate health insurance coverage before you move, as healthcare can be expensive.

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