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The People's Guide To Mexico

Puerto Vallarta

Letters from Our Readers
About Puerto Vallarta

•Renting In PV for a Month?


We are planning a trip to PV area for about a month this winter and would appreciate any helpful tips you could give us as far as rental properties in the area. We have always stayed in the Manzanillo area and have steered away from PV because of the big city atmosphere, but your website has sparked an interest.

Could you direct us to a website or other means to find rental properties? We do not feel like spending $1500/month for a one bedroom. Enjoy your

We live in Glenwood Springs and need to get away from the winters, as you well know. Thanks in advance,

Carole and Stan

Carl Responds

Thanks for writing... we'll be adding some new material on Puerto Vallarta to our website soon, so as they say, "keep coming back".

As for your question about renting there: my best advice (since we don't live in PV right now, but on Lake Chapala) is to check the ads at the local supermarkets when you arrive. That is where you'll usually find the best rental deals, last-minute vacancies, etc. Also, consider renting a condo instead of a house. There are thousands of condos in PV, and some of them are a bargain for "walk ins".

Here are a couple of URL's for Puerto Vallarta websites. I'm sorry that I can't sort the good and the bad from the ugly, but we've been too busy for our own good!

Also, if you should find something useful here, please let us know -- there's too much information out there for any one human to sort through.

Dave's Puerto Vallarta Site

Puerto Vallarta Mexico Access

Carl: P.S.!

I've been searching the internet and have come up with a couple of leads.

First of all, there's a discussion thread you ought to read at this URL:

Also, visit the website,

They've just started a discussion forum area that includes one on rentals. I think you might get some good leads if you post a message there, tell them what you'd like to pay, and cross your fingers.

I was shocked to see how high rents have gone in that area. If you're looking for less expensive, you might consider La Manzanilla (north of Barra de Navidad), or even further north of PV -- Rincon de Guayabitos, Sayulita, Lo de Marcos.

I hope this helps.

•Bus from PV to Guadalajara?


Could you please provide information regarding travel between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara? Is it possible to do on your own by bus? If so what is the cost and how often do the buses run? What would the time of travel be?

I will be vacationing for 5 days in Puerto Vallarta and am interested in seeing Guadalajara.

Thank you for the information.


Lorena Responds

It is an easy, comfortable bus trip from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara -- takes about five hours, and most of it is freeway. I don't recall the exact cost, but it is probably about $20 or $25 dollars.

There's a new bus station outside of Puerto Vallarta, but you won't have any trouble getting there in a cab. Drop into the tourist office and ask for a bus schedule -- ETN is a good company; they run frequent excellent luxury buses, complete with snacks and working bathrooms. You'll enjoy it!

•Puerto Vallarta in January?

Hello Carl and Lorena,

I've been exploring your website and have thoroughly enjoyed what I've read. My husband and I are planning our first visit to Puerto Vallarta.

We are budget travellers (I'm a writer of literary books, my 5th, an adult novel, has just been released. Troy works in the maintenance department of a hospital) and we're looking for experiences outside the typical hotel experience. We want to see as much of the city and surrounding area as possible, and really only need a bed to sleep in each night. Do you know of anyone who might be willing to offer a room in their home for a few nights (for a nominal fee, and no meals necessary) to two fit and friendly Canadians? (We're leaving our teenagers at home.)

I speak mediocre Spanish but have some difficulty understanding it when it's spoken (rapido!) to me. We have myriad interests and enjoy meeting people of all ages and cultures.

If you could pass this information on, we would be very grateful. To find out more about me and my books, you can visit /index.html

We hope that our visit to your city is not a once in a lifetime experience, but we want to make the very most of it, just in case.

Muchas gracias

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Carl Responds:

Thanks for writing -- we're also pleased that you've visited the People's Guide website and found it useful. We rely on our readers to keep us on our toes, so any suggestions, criticisms or "wishes" you might have would be most welcome.

About Puerto Vallarta: first of all, we don't live in PV, but we do know PV fairly well, and have many friends there. (We currently live in Ajijic, on Lake Chapala.) I've done some magazine articles on Puerto Vallarta but I'm not familiar with current hotel rates. It is wise to have reservations, however, within the Mexican Xmas high season, when rooms can be very tight. (The Azteca is a cheap favorite of mine, on the south end of town.)

As for rooming with a Mexican family: I have two thoughts. First, it wouldn't hurt to drop into the local tourist office and ask them. The quality of their info depends on who is behind the desk, but it is worth a try. My guess is that so few gringos make such a request, that you'll probably have to be persistent. In a more traditional Mexican town there's always someone who takes in boarders.

I haven't yet had a chance to visit your website, but it's on my "to do" list.

•Tattoos in Puerto Vallarta?


My husband and I will be travelling to Puerto Vallerta in the near future, and are tattoo afficianados. We are interested in getting a tattoo there, and wondered if you had any information on 1) local parlors, 2) the safety thereof, and 3) the quality involved.

Thank you for your time,

Mouse and Eleni

Carl Responds:

Well, you've stumped me, "big time", with that question. Some months ago I saw an article in the Guadalajara newspaper about a tattoo convention in Mexico, and now I kick myself for not clipping it.

Have you tried an internet search? If you don't speak Spanish, a keyword would be "tatuaje".

I guess the best I can do is to suggest a couple of Puerto Vallarta websites. You could email them and hope for a lead.

By the way, if you do find what you're looking for, I'd be grateful if you let me know. And, if I should come across anything on tattoos in Mexico, I'll pass it on.

•You're my Folk Heroes!

Hi Steve, Carl and Lorena,

You are some of my folk-heroes.

It never occurred to me you might have a web page until tonight after two beers ( which I rarely drink except in Mexico)

I've read your book back in '93 before I went ot Oaxaca for a month. I read it again when I went to stay with Mexican friends in a little village La Curva near Tepic and when I went to stay with my Mexican boyfriend who is now growing organic produce and shipping it to the states,

I just picked it up again as I'm planning on spending three whole months in the Puerto Vallarta area near my boyfriend -- farmer -- maybe 165 km down in Chamela at the Biological Research Station.

When I get homesick for the "pais" I read your book -- it is so exactly on target with every last detail....

Thanks again for being who you are!!!! Viva Mexico!

Jeanmarie, Port Townsend

PS I hope to write about Mexico, I had a garden column for 6 or 7 yrs here in PT and now am editor of a newsletter for a local metaphysical bookstore.

I am an amateur naturalist, botanist ethnobotanist -- maybe the tropical dry forest will be my venue, quien sabes?

Carl Responds:

Folk heroes, huh? Well, I appreciate that, even as I wonder if we're quite up to filling the role. Do we get to wear capes and Spandex pants?

Steve would have loved the compliment -- I'm sorry to tell you, however, that he's gone now. Steve died of a rare cancer last July, after a brief illness.

Lorena and I really enjoyed your email, being fans ourselves of Port Townsend and gardening. In fact, we sailed our boat to PT in the early 70's and almost ended up living there.

If you've explored our website a bit you may have noticed that we're hosting ACA, a community gardening project on Lake Chapala. We're quite interested in permaculture, and even though we don't have a garden right now ourselves, we love to hear about projects in Mexico.

You say that you'd like to write about Mexico... well, here's an opportunity!

Would you like to tell us more about your own experience, and your boyfriend's work?

Chamela is also one of our favorite places... we may well end up in that area ourselves this winter, so if you're still there....


•Driving from Laredo to PV?

I found your web address in Access Magazine which is delivered with my daily paper.

We have been planning a Nov. 11 trip to PV for quite some time and found your site very helpful. We have our passports, FMT ( from the Orlando Mexican Consul ) and auto insurance in hand but still haven't decided which route to take to PV from Laredo.

We plan an overnighter some place in MX to and from PV but can't make up our mind which of 3 routes to take, 57, 54 or across using the toll roads. About the only thing in common with all the reading we have been doing concerning routing is that mountain driving in MX is not fun.

Which route do you recommend we use?

Thank You for your time,

Del and Nancy

Carl Responds

Thanks for the message -- if our address appeared in Access Magazine, that accounts for the sudden avalanche of email we've received! We're very pleased that you find our website useful.

As for your driving question: I gather that this is your first major driving trip into Mexico. In any case, my recommendation is that you take the most direct route: Laredo to Zacatecas, then to Aguascalientes, Guadalajara, Tepic, and Puerto Vallarta.

When in doubt, stay on the tollways; they are easier on your car, your tires, and your nerves.

Have a good trip!

©1972-2002 by Carl Franz & Lorena Havens