Basics of Puerto Vallarta


Puerto Vallarta is composed of over 30 colonies, with Conchas Chinas, Amapas, Emiliano Zapata, Centro, 5 de Diciembre, and Lazaro Cardenas make up the bulk of the tourist zone.

The main colonies of the most-known areas in Puerto Vallarta are as follows:

Southshore Vallarta: All colonies from Conchas Chinas and south to Mismaloya.

Old Town/ Romantic Zone: Amapas, Alta Vista, Emiliano Zapata.

Centro: Centro, 5 de Diciembre

Hotel Zone: Las Glorias, Lazaro Cardenas, Hotel Zone North

Time Zone

Puerto Vallarta is on Central Standard Time and as of 2023 the area does not observe Daylight Savings Time, meaning we don’t set our clocks up one hour in Spring and back one hour in Fall.

International Visitors and Arrivals from Abroad

Visitors to Puerto Vallarta from outside of Mexico may need a visa to enter the country. In most cases, these are issued in-flight and only a passport is needed while additional papers will be completed at the airport. Crossing the border into Mexico by land will require a passport and visiting the immigration offices at the border to obtain a tourist visa.

Local Laws

If you’re headed out for a night on the town, you should know that the drinking age in Puerto Vallarta—and throughout Mexico—is 18. Remember, once you enter Mexico, you live under Mexico’s laws and legal system.

Useful Phone Numbers

Here are some important phone numbers to keep handy during your NYC visit.

  • Emergencies (police, fire or ambulance): 911
  • US Consular in Puerto Vallarta: (+52) 33-3268 2100
  • Canadian Consular in Puerto Vallarta: (+52) 322 293 0098


In Puerto Vallarta and throughout Mexico, the Mexican Peso is the standard currency. This converter allows you to determine the value of other currencies compared with the Pesos. While the USD and CAD are widely accepted in Puerto Vallarta, you will receive a sub-par exchange rate, so you will get a better bang for your buck withdrawing money from the ATM machine in pesos and leave your dollars at home.


Puerto Vallarta is Mexico’s safest tourist city, but visitors should still use common sense to protect themselves and their property. Be aware of your surroundings, and make sure to always use licensed, reputable businesses for any services you need. Common sense is always encouraged, don’t walk streets alone at night, take a taxi at night even if you think you can walk the few blocks. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, being understated in a poor country is always the best option. Keep your phone in your pocket, snap your photo and put your phone back in your pocket. Women with purses, use traps over the neck and under the arm. No clutches. These are all tips that should be used anywhere you travel, not just in Mexico.

Jalisco State

Puerto Vallarta is in the Mexican state of Jalisco on the central west coast bordered by Nayarit to the northwest, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes to the north, San Luis Potosí, and Guanajuato to the east, and Michoacán and Colima to the south and by the Pacific Ocean to the west.