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There’s never a bad time to visit a city as wonderful as Puerto Vallarta, but depending on what types of activities you want to do (and your heat tolerance), the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta depends on you!
Whether you’re searching for a party, want to relax on the beach and work on your tan, or head out into the ocean to look for humpback whales, this article will help you determine the best time to go to Puerto Vallarta.
Puerto Vallarta Weather
The weather in Puerto Vallarta is warm year-round, making it a perfect beach destination for those looking to escape the cold winters in the northern hemisphere.
With temperatures that never get colder than 72 degrees °F, gorgeous beaches, and endless water sports, there’s a reason so many snowbirds flock to Mexico!
October to April is the high season which coincides with the most pleasant (driest) weather and popular activities like whale-watching.
The weather is excellent until late spring when temperatures become hot, humid, and rain starts to fall.
July and August are the hottest months, with an average temperature of 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius), but the humidity can make it feel much worse. Rain becomes increasingly more intense until October when the dry season starts again.
The Puerto Vallarta rainy season isn’t all bad, however. The thundershowers usually only last a few hours and can be quite spectacular to witness as long as you’re inside. Plus, it usually rains in the late afternoons and evenings, so you can still get some beach time in the day.
There’s also the potential for hurricanes from June through November, although Puerto Vallarta’s prime location in a bay surrounded by mountains offers some natural protection. Sadly, Puerto Vallarta was hit by a hurricane in September 2021.
Temperatures in Puerto Vallarta are at their lowest in January/February, varying between 61.3-83.8 (°F). After that, they go up by about a degree each month, peaking at a high between 73.4-92.7 in August.
Puerto Vallarta High Season
The city is full of charm all year long, but the high season in Puerto Vallarta from October to April is when it truly comes alive.
The cold winters in the northern hemisphere attract thousands of tourists, particularly Canadians and Americans.
It’s lovely to see the streets full of people from different cultures, hear dozens of languages, and see parties on every corner.
The bay’s population will multiply, and you’ll get to hang out with people from every country you can imagine. The bars will be packed, and the good times will flow.
The high season is the best time to go to Puerto Vallarta if you want to have lots of fun adventures and make new friends.
Plus, the high season is when you can enjoy the best weather and scenery in Puerto Vallarta. It’s not that hot or humid, just the perfect amount to enjoy the beach and get the tan.
The high season offers the perfect condition to go on the many outdoor adventures Puerto Vallarta offers.
However, the trade-off of visiting Puerto Vallarta during the high season is that prices are at their highest, particularly for accommodation.
The high season starts in October and ends in April around Semana Santa, which is also a very popular time for Mexicans to visit Vallarta.
Whale watching season in Puerto Vallarta
Conveniently, humpback whales migrate to Puerto Vallarta’s Banderas Bay at the same time as the high season, from December to March. Adult whales can be spotted earlier in the season, and as it goes on, you may be lucky enough to see some baby humpbacks swimming along with their mothers.
Witnessing whales breach out of the ocean is a fantastic wildlife experience, so don’t miss out if you’re visiting Puerto Vallarta during the whale-watching season. You’re almost guaranteed to see them if you go on a boat ride in the bay, and if you’re lucky, you may even spot some from shore!
During December and February, you may also be lucky enough to see migrating whale sharks if you are snorkeling or diving.
Best Time Of Year to Visit Puerto Vallarta
Here are the pros and cons of each season, so you can decide what is the best time to travel to Puerto Vallarta according to your needs.
Winter (December, January & February)
Winter in Puerto Vallarta coincides with the high season, so expect things to be busy during this time. You’ll enjoy perfect weather conditions, whale watching opportunities, and many events.
If you don’t mind busy crowds and higher prices, this can be a great time to visit. However, if you’re averse to party crowds, avoid visiting Puerto Vallarta in February when spring breakers come and during Easter Weekend in April.
Spring (March, April, and May)
The heat starts to intensify during the spring season, but it’s not that humid yet, so it’s still a great time to visit Puerto Vallarta.
Rain is scarce, and there are fewer tourists compared to the winter high season, so you can score great room rates while still enjoying warm and dry weather. In my experience living in Puerto Vallarta until mid-June, I only saw it rain a handful of times.
Events not to miss during Puerto Vallarta in Spring:
Semana Santa (Easter weekend): Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular destinations for Mexican travelers to visit during Easter. The city becomes a giant party with locals and international visitors. It’s a lot of fun, but if you don’t like crowds, avoid coming until after easter weekend when the city begins to empty.
Pride: For all the LGBTQ+ community travelers looking to experience gay tourism in Puerto Vallarta, May is the best month to come, as this is when pride happens.
In 2022 Vallarta Pride will be celebrated from May 24 to May 30 for the eighth consecutive year. Vallarta Pride celebrates the sexual diversity of PV in a 5-day festival offering arts and culture, concerts, entertainment, and lots of parties.
Summer in Puerto Vallarta (June, July & August)
The summer months from June to September coincide with the low season in Puerto Vallarta, as this is when the heat and humidity start to skyrocket along with the rain. On the other hand, the low season has the cheapest prices on flights, accommodation, and tours all year.
If you don’t mind heat and humidity, summer can be a good time for people who want to visit Puerto Vallarta on a budget. Plus, the storms are a real spectacle to see with massive thunder and lightning!
Another good reason to visit during the summer is if you love snorkeling and diving, as this is when the water conditions are warmest and have the best visibility.
Events not to miss:
Restaurant Week: Try out the hottest restaurants in the city as they offer innovative three-course menus at a reduced price. It is a great time to support local businesses after the low season and try delicious Mexican cuisine. The 2022 event starts May 15th and ends June 15th.
Independence Day on September 16th. Mexicans love to celebrate, so expect parades, fireworks, and lots of parties all around the bay!
Fall (September, October, and November)
While September is the wettest month in Puerto Vallarta, moving into October and November the humidity starts to drop, and the temperatures become more manageable.
Crowds begin to pick up again by November, so you’ll get better deals if you come before this.
Events not to miss:
Día de Muertos (Day of the dead): From November 1st-2nd, you can witness one of the most enchanting and mysterious traditions in Mexico, with altars and offerings, catrinas, and costumes around every corner.
The International Gourmet Festival: Try different menus from the best restaurants in the city at a fixed price. In 2022 it will be open from November 10 to the 20th.
When is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta?
If good weather is your goal, then the best months to visit Puerto Vallarta are December through May, but you’ll be sharing the city with lots of other tourists.
If you want to avoid the crowds or are visiting Puerto Vallarta on a budget, then the best time to visit is June through October, after the Mexican vacation season and before the high season.
The rain season starts in June and goes through Mid-October. The rain falls in short bursts, usually in the late afternoon or at night, so you can still enjoy warm days at the beach.
The coldest month in Puerto Vallarta is in January, with an average temperature of 72°F (22°C)
June is the warmest month in Puerto Vallarta, with an average temperature of 81°F (27°C)
Planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta?