You have probably read my prior blog post about my visit to Puerto Vallarta when I was scouting places in Mexico for relocation.
But this blog post is about why I think Puerto Vallarta is a perfect place Fly 40+ Solo Travel.
Puerto Vallarta is a perfect combination of being a tourist destination while retaining a very Mexican cultural aesthetic. It is a tourist location that also feels very Mexican IMHO which is why I love it.
If you’re a solo traveler looking for a destination that’s both safe and exciting, Puerto Vallarta is a perfect choice. Located on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta offers a mix of stunning beaches, cultural experiences, and delicious food. In this blog post, we’ll explore why Puerto Vallarta is a great place for solo travelers and highlight some of the best things to do, places to eat, and areas to stay.
Things to Do
When it comes to things to do in Puerto Vallarta, there’s no shortage of options. The city’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, with crystal-clear waters and soft sand. Playa Los Muertos is a popular choice for both locals and tourists, with plenty of restaurants and bars nearby. Other beaches worth checking out include Playa Mismaloya and Playa Conchas Chinas.
Beyond the beaches, Puerto Vallarta offers plenty of opportunities for cultural experiences. The Malecon boardwalk is a must-visit, with its stunning views of the ocean and outdoor art installations. The Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe is another popular attraction, known for its iconic architecture and ornate interior. For a taste of local culture, consider taking a cooking class or visiting one of the city’s many art galleries.
Things to Eat
Puerto Vallarta is a food lover’s paradise, with a wide range of restaurants and eateries serving up delicious cuisine from all over the world. Whether you’re in the mood for fresh seafood, Mexican specialties, or international flavors, you’ll find plenty of options to satisfy your cravings. In this blog post, we’ll highlight some of the best places to eat in Puerto Vallarta, including Maria Baja, Freddy Tucans, Oregano, The Blue Shrimp, and Cafe de Olla.
Maria Baja Located in the Romantic Zone, Maria Baja is a popular spot for both locals and tourists. This restaurant serves up amazing affordable seafood tacos and tostadas. Their Tuna Tostadas are amazing. They are also famous for their poke bowls. The atmosphere is low key and they only accept cash but it totally worth it if you love fresh Mexical seafood dishes.
Freddy Tucans If you’re looking for a great breakfast spot, Freddy Tucans is a must-visit. This casual restaurant serves up classic American breakfast favorites with a Mexican twist, such as huevos rancheros, chilaquiles, and breakfast burritos. The portions are generous, and the prices are affordable, making this a popular choice among locals and visitors alike. Cash only.
Oregano Located in the Versalles neighborhood, Oregano is a popular choice for traditional Mexican cuisine. This family-run restaurant serves up Mexican food with a Caribbean twist like oxtail tacos and oxtail tostadas. The atmosphere is casual and laid-back, with colorful decor and friendly service.
The Blue Shrimp For seafood lovers, The Blue Shrimp is a must-visit. This restaurant serves up a wide range of seafood dishes, including ceviche, grilled octopus, and shrimp cocktails. The highlight of the menu is their famous garlic shrimp, served in a sizzling skillet with a side of rice and beans. My favorite is the seafood soup.
Café de Olla is a popular Mexican restaurant in Puerto Vallarta that specializes in traditional Mexican cuisine.
The menu at Café de Olla features a wide variety of classic Mexican dishes, including tacos, enchiladas, mole, and ceviche.
One of the standout dishes at Café de Olla is the mole, a complex sauce made with chili peppers, spices, and chocolate. The restaurant’s mole is made in-house and is a customer favorite. Another must-try dish is the ceviche, a refreshing seafood dish made with lime juice, cilantro, and diced vegetables.
The atmosphere at Café de Olla is cozy and welcoming, with colorful decor and traditional Mexican motifs. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating, including a rooftop terrace with beautiful views of the city. The service is friendly and attentive, with staff who are happy to make recommendations and explain the dishes to customers.
Where to Stay
When it comes to accommodations, the Romantic Zone is a popular area for solo travelers. This neighborhood is known for its charming cobblestone streets and colorful buildings, and it’s within walking distance of many of the city’s top attractions. Popular hotels in the area include the Casa Dona Susana and the Hotel Mercurio. There are also many great Airbnb options which is usually my first choice.
Climate in Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate, with warm temperatures and high humidity throughout the year. The city experiences two distinct seasons: the dry season, which runs from November to May, and the wet season, which runs from June to October.
During the dry season, temperatures typically range from the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit (24-30°C), with very little rainfall. The skies are generally clear and sunny, making it the ideal time for outdoor activities such as beach-going, hiking, and exploring the city’s many attractions.
The wet season, on the other hand, brings higher temperatures and more rainfall. Temperatures can reach the mid-90s Fahrenheit (35°C) during the day, with heavy rainfall and thunderstorms occurring in the afternoons and evenings. While the wet season can make some activities more challenging, such as hiking or exploring the city on foot, it can also be a great time to enjoy the lush vegetation and cooler temperatures in the surrounding hills.
The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta depends on personal preferences and the type of activities you plan to do. For beachgoers and outdoor enthusiasts, the dry season from November to May is the ideal time to visit, with clear skies and comfortable temperatures. For those who don’t mind a bit of rain and prefer to avoid the crowds, the wet season from June to October can be a great time to visit, with lower prices and fewer tourists.
If visiting in wet season I highly recommend packing your favorite mosquito repellent and for all year round bring sunscreen. Here are my top favorite mosquito repellent and sunscreen that keep me covered:
- Face: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Non-Greasy Sunscreen Stick for Face & Body, Broad Spectrum SPF 70
- For my arms, back, and legs: Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry-Touch Sunscreen Lotion, Broad Spectrum SPF 55
- Insect repellent. I recommend a combination of wipes and a spray. My favorites are:
- OFF! FamilyCare Insect & Mosquito Repellent Spritz, Unscented Bug spray with Aloe-Vera, 7% Deet, 9 oz and Cutter All Family Mosquito Repellent Wipes, 15 Wipes.
When it comes to getting around in Puerto Vallarta, there are several options available.
- Taxis: Taxis are readily available in Puerto Vallarta and are a convenient way to get around the city. They are easily identifiable with their red and white colors, and most are equipped with a meter. It’s always a good idea to confirm the price with the driver before getting in the taxi. Taxis are also a great way to travel to nearby towns or attractions.
- Ride-share services. Ride Share services such as Uber and Lyft have become increasingly popular in Puerto Vallarta. These services offer a convenient and reliable way to get around the city, especially if you are not familiar with the local transportation system. You can easily download the Uber or Lyft app on your smartphone, and the service is available 24/7. One of the benefits of using ride-share services in Puerto Vallarta is that you can easily get a price estimate before booking your ride, and you don’t have to worry about negotiating with the driver. Additionally, ride-share services are usually safer and more comfortable than traditional taxis, as the drivers are required to pass a background check and maintain a certain level of vehicle cleanliness.
- Public Transportation: Puerto Vallarta has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and mini-vans known as “colectivos.” The buses are cheap and operate on a fixed route, making them a great option for those on a budget. The colectivos are shared taxis that operate on a similar route as the buses, but are slightly faster and more expensive.
- Car Rentals: Renting a car is another option for getting around Puerto Vallarta. Several car rental companies have offices in the city, and rates are generally reasonable. However, driving in Puerto Vallarta can be challenging due to heavy traffic and narrow streets. It’s also important to note that parking can be difficult to find in some areas.
- Walking: Many of Puerto Vallarta’s attractions are located within walking distance of each other, making walking a great option for getting around. The city’s malecón, or boardwalk, is a popular destination for walkers and joggers, offering stunning views of the ocean and nearby hills.
- Biking: Biking is becoming increasingly popular in Puerto Vallarta, with several rental companies offering bikes for rent. Biking is a great way to explore the city at a leisurely pace, and there are several bike-friendly routes throughout Puerto Vallarta.
Safety and Security
As with any travel destination, safety and security are important considerations for solo female travelers visiting Puerto Vallarta. While the city is generally safe and welcoming, there are certain precautions that solo female travelers can take to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.
One of the most important things that solo female travelers can do is to stay aware of their surroundings and exercise caution when out and about. This includes avoiding walking alone at night in isolated areas and taking taxis or rideshare services instead. It’s also a good idea to dress modestly and avoid wearing expensive jewelry or carrying large amounts of cash, which can make you a target for theft or robbery.
When it comes to accommodation, solo female travelers should choose reputable hotels or hostels in safe and well-lit areas. It’s also a good idea to inform the hotel staff of your itinerary and check in with them regularly, so they can keep an eye out for your safety.
Puerto Vallarta also has a number of women’s-only transportation options, such as the Pink Taxi service, which can provide an extra level of safety and comfort for female travelers.
Another important safety consideration is drinking responsibly and being cautious when accepting drinks from strangers. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your drink and to avoid leaving it unattended, as well as to trust your instincts and remove yourself from any uncomfortable situations.
Overall, while it’s important to be aware of safety concerns when traveling solo as a female, Puerto Vallarta is generally a safe and welcoming destination. By taking basic precautions and staying aware of your surroundings, solo female travelers can have a safe and enjoyable trip to this beautiful city.
As with anywhere you solo travel, it is important to exercise situational awareness and common sense as a female solo traveler. Grab the BaldGirlWillTravel: A Guide to Travel Safety and Security for Solo Female Travelers and ensure you follow the safety tips to ensure a safe solo travel experience.
Here is a YouTube Short featuring some of my favorite things about Puerto Vallarta!
Catch the Sunset!
Sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are truly magical and one of the city’s most popular attractions. With its stunning location on the Pacific Coast, Puerto Vallarta offers some of the most breathtaking sunsets you’ll ever see.
There are many great spots to watch the sunset in Puerto Vallarta, but one of the most popular is the Malecon boardwalk. This pedestrian walkway runs along the city’s waterfront, and it’s lined with restaurants, shops, and art galleries. As the sun begins to set, people gather along the Malecon to watch the sky turn into a beautiful mix of colors, from soft oranges and pinks to deep purples and blues.
Another great spot to watch the sunset is from the top of the iconic Puerto Vallarta Cathedral, located in the city’s historic center. From the cathedral’s rooftop, you can enjoy panoramic views of the city and the ocean as the sun sets over the horizon.
If you’re looking for a more secluded spot to watch the sunset, you can take a short boat ride to the secluded Las Caletas beach. This beautiful beach is only accessible by boat, and it’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset in peace and quiet. You can relax on the beach, sip on a cocktail, and watch the sun go down over the ocean.
For a truly unforgettable sunset experience, consider taking a sunset cruise along Banderas Bay. Many companies offer sunset cruises that take you out on the water for a few hours, where you can enjoy music, drinks, and appetizers while watching the sun set over the ocean.
In conclusion, sunsets in Puerto Vallarta are a must-see for anyone visiting the city. Whether you choose to watch the sunset from the Malecon, the top of the Puerto Vallarta Cathedral, Las Caletas beach, or on a sunset cruise, you’re sure to be mesmerized by the beauty of the sky and the ocean as the sun sets over the horizon.
Thank You For Reading!
Check out these solo travel blog posts:
This post may contain affiliate links to things like tours, hotels, Amazon associates, and products. These help me earn a small commission at no additional charge to you.