Puerto Vallarta Travel Guide


Each February in odd-numbered years the Regatta Marina del Rey-Puerto Vallarta, a celebrated boat race from California's Marina del Rey to the docks of the Mexican resort, sails by. The anniversary of the resurrection of that Jesus bloke - Semana Santa (Easter week) - is the signal for the beaches and bars of Puerto Vallarta to go into full-on party mode. May is the month of Fiestas de Mayo, when the city celebrates itself via concerts, art exhibits, sports events and carnivals. Festivities also rack the city in early December when Mexico's patron saint, the Virgen de Guadalupe, has her day out on the town.

If you're not a big fan of mariachi performances, the spirited and mostly trumpet-driven renditions of Mexican ballads by sombrero-topped musicians, then avoid town on 22 November when the genre's patron saint is loudly toasted during Día de Santa Cecilia. November is also when deep-sea fishing enthusiasts cruise over for an international Torneo de Pesca, with sailfish, marlin and sea bass high on the sporting menu.

When to Go

It will come as no surprise to hear that Puerto Vallarta becomes a seething mass of relaxation-seeking humanity during the country's peak holiday months of July and August - that's literally seething, as this is smack in the middle of the climatic period from May to September when heat and humidity blanket the coastal lowlands of southern Mexico. Other times you'll find yourself enjoying too much company and stratospheric room prices are from mid-December to early January, and the weeks book-ending Easter.

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