There’s never a bad time to visit Puerto Vallarta with so many wonderful things to do in the city. But depending on what types of activities you want to do while visiting (and your heat tolerance), there are better times of the year than others to come.
Whether you’re searching for a party and new friends, 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 visit 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 a fun atmosphere year-round, 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 great until late spring when temperatures start to become unpleasantly warm, and rain starts to fall. June is the hottest month, 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 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 your 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.
Average temperatures in Puerto Vallarta
|High Temp||83.8 (°F)||84.2 (°F)||84.6 (°F)||85.8 (°F)||87.8 (°F)||90.1 (°F)||91.9 (°F)||92.7 (°F)||92.5 (°F)||92.5 (°F)||90.1 (°F)||85.8 (°F)|
|Low Temp||62.1 (°F)||61.3 (°F)||62.4 (°F)||63 (°F)||68.4 (°F)||73 (°F)||73.2 (°F)||73.4 (°F)||73.2 (°F)||72 (°F)||67.5 (°F)||64.4 (°F)|
High season in Puerto Vallarta
The city is full of charm all year long but the high season from October to April is when it truly comes alive. The cold winters in the northern hemisphere attract thousands of Canadian, American, and European tourists. It’s lovely to see the streets full of people from different cultures, hear dozens of languages, and see parties on every corner.
The population of the bay 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 that’ll be the envy of your friends.
High season is the best time to enjoy hiking, as the vegetation will lush and green and the rivers and waterfalls more enjoyable due to the heavy rain in the previous months. It’s the perfect conditions to go on the many outdoor adventures Puerto Vallarta has to offer. However, the trade-off of visiting Puerto Vallarta during the high season is that it’s when prices are highest.
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!
Puerto Vallarta by the season: Best months to visit
Here are the pros and cons of each season in Puerto Vallarta, so you can make an informed decision of what is the best time to travel to Puerto Vallarta according to your needs.
Winter (December, January & February)
Winter coincides with the high season, so expect things to be busy during this time. You’ll enjoy perfect weather conditions, whale watching opportunities, and tons of events. If you don’t mind busy crowds and higher prices, this can be a great time to visit. If you’re really averse to party crowds, avoid visiting in February when spring breakers come.
Spring (March, April, and May)
During the spring season, the heat starts to intensify 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.
Events not to miss:
Semana Santa (Easter weekend): Puerto Vallarta is one of the most popular destinations for Mexican travelers to visit during Easter, so 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 LGBT community travelers looking to experience gay tourism in Puerto Vallarta, May is the best month to come as this is when pride happens. In 2021 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 (June, July & August)
The summer months from June to September coincides 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!
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 2021 event starts September 15th and ends on October 10th.
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 start 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. This year it will open its doors from November 12 to the 26th.
When is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta?
If good weather is your goal, then the best time to travel to Puerto Vallarta is 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 prior to the beginning of 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)
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