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Guadalajara is the capital of Jalisco and one of the best cities to visit.
Getting from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara is easy, with several different options I’ll explain in this guide.
How far is Guadalajara from Puerto Vallarta?
Guadalajara is 209 miles (336 km) from Puerto Vallarta, so it takes about 4-5 hours to get there by car, or an hour by plane.
Each mode of transportation has its advantages and disadvantages, which I’ll go through.
Flights from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara
The quickest way to get to Guadalajara from Puerto Vallarta is by flying via one of Mexico’s regional airlines. The three airlines below offer non-stop flights:
It’s a direct flight that takes approximately 50 minutes, and prices are around 50 USD each way if you book at least a week in advance.
To find the cheapest flight, search on Google flights and compare the options.
It’s a scenic flight passing over the Bay of Banderas, the Sierra Madre mountains, and into Guadalajara.
While the actual flight time is quick, you also have to factor in that you have to show up at the PVR airport at least an hour in advance, the time to disembark the plane and collect your bags, and the time to get into Guadalajara from the airport.
While Puerto Vallarta’s airport is just a 15-minute drive to downtown and even closer to some hotels on the beach, Guadalajara’s city center is much further.
It’s about 20km/12 miles from the airport to the city center, but traffic here is notoriously awful, so it may take up to an hour to get there.
In total, flying may end up taking up to three hours. Driving takes about five hours, so it’s not a huge difference.
Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara Drive
A road trip is one of the most enjoyable ways to get from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara! Renting a car from Puerto Vallarta is relatively cheap and can be a safe and enjoyable way to see more of the country.
Is it safe to drive from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta?
Yes! I drove from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara with some friends in 2021, and we had no issues. It was a fantastic road trip and gave us the flexibility to stop and see more places, like the pueblos magicos in Jalisco.
If you’re driving, don’t miss the town of Tequila, the birthplace of the famous Mexican drink. There, you can take tours of Tequila factories and wander through the agave fields and historic towns.
There are two main routes you can take from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara.
The first is the toll freeway (highway 200/15) which heads up the coast through the state of Nayarit before heading back into Jalisco.
The freeway is the faster route and a good option if you want to visit some beach towns along the coast, like Sayulita, as well as Tequila. On the downside, you’ll pay about 650 pesos in tolls (30 USD).
The other route is the old highway (544/70) through Mascota and San Sebastian del Oeste. The road is slow and curvy but has spectacular mountain scenery.
There are three pueblos magicos to see along the way, so this is a good route if you want to turn it into a fun road trip!
Another cheap option for getting between the two cities is joining a BlaBla car. It’s a ride-sharing service that connects you with people already driving from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta with a spare seat in their vehicle.
It’s not guaranteed that you’ll find a ride when you need it, but it can be a good option if you have some flexibility in your travel plans.
Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara Bus
One of the most affordable ways to get to Guadalajara from Puerto Vallarta is by taking the bus.
You don’t have to book in advance unless it’s a public holiday; you can just show up at the bus terminal, as the buses leave almost every hour.
There are several bus stations in Guadalajara, but the best place to catch a bus to Puerto Vallarta are the two terminals in Zapopon, on Avenida Vallarta and Avenida Aviación. There, you can find buses departing regularly for PV.
There are several options for luxury buses from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara.
One of the main bus companies is Vallarta Plus – they have a timetable on their website. The bus costs 612 pesos (30 USD) and takes about five hours. Other bus companies are Primera Plus and ETN.
You can also book and search for buses on Busbud.
The buses from Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara are very comfortable with AC. The seats are clean, spacious and even have TVs and WiFi for entertainment.
One of the most relaxing ways to get between Puerto Vallarta and Guadalajara is by organizing a private transfer.
This way, you don’t have to worry about driving but don’t have to deal with the bus. Instead, you can sit back and enjoy the scenery in the comfort of a private ride!
Puerto Vallarta to Guadalajara Tours
A great way to visit Guadalajara from Puerto Vallarta is to join this two-day tour which combines culture and sightseeing through Guadalajara, Tequila, and Tlaquepaque from Puerto Vallarta. A great option if you’re short on time!
What to do in Puerto Vallarta
After arriving in Puerto Vallarta, you may be wondering what to do! PV is a fantastic city with many exciting activities.
If you’re coming from Guadalajara, the first thing you’ll probably want to do is head to the beach.
PV is a hub for outdoor adventure and water-based sports. You can rent a jet ski and explore the coastline, go snorkeling, diving, or spend the afternoon relaxing in one of the beautiful waterfalls.
To complement your time in Puerto Vallarta, choose from one of these fabulous boutique hotels.
Things to do in Guadalajara
Guadalajara is a great weekend city break. As the capital of Jalisco and the second-largest city in Mexico, there’s a lot going on here.
The best way to start your trip in Guadalajara is by walking through the Historical Centre. Here you’ll find beautiful cathedrals, tree-lined plazas, and bustling markets. If you want to get acquainted with the city’s history, you can join a free walking tour.
Guadalajara has one of the best food scenes in Mexico. It was named by Eater as one of the top food cities for 2022! It’s famed for taquerias, fondas, and street food, as well as Jalisco’s agave spirits from nearby Tequila.
Speaking of Tequila, Guadalajara is also known for its lively nightlife and party scene. Be sure to spend one night exploring Avenida Chapultepec, a trendy street full of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
Where to stay in Guadalajara
I recommend spending a few nights in Guadalajara to make the most of your time there.
There are many hotels and vacation rentals to choose from, and prices are typically lower than what you pay in Puerto Vallarta.
Selina is a great option if you’re a digital nomad in Mexico or looking for a place to connect with other travelers.
Hilton 1970 is a charming boutique hotel with a central location for exploring Guadalajara. Each of the rooms features tiled floors and dark wood furniture.
Guadalajara is one of the best weekend trips from Puerto Vallarta, so make sure to add it to your Jaliso itinerary!