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Wondering what the pros and cons of living in Puerto Vallarta are? After years of traveling, I’ve decided to make Puerto Vallarta my home base! But even paradise has its downsides.
Puerto Vallarta has become an increasingly popular destination for expats, digital nomads, and retirees living in Mexico in recent years.
With its warm climate, stunning beaches, and friendly community, the city offers a unique blend of natural beauty and modern amenities.
However, as with any destination, living in Puerto Vallarta has advantages and disadvantages.
In this post, we will explore some of the pros and cons of Puerto Vallarta so that you can decide whether PV is right for you.
Summary: pros and cons of living in Puerto Vallarta
|Year-round warm weather
|Access to nature
|It can feel like a small town
|Growing digital nomad scene
|Expensive for Mexico
|It’s always a party
|Can be crowded
|You can get residency
|Foreigners can do business
Pros of living in Puerto Vallarta
Year-round warm weather
The climate in Puerto Vallarta is warm and tropical, with temperatures that range from 75 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year.
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy non-stop sunshine and spend time outdoors, you’ll love living in Puerto Vallarta. The warm weather is perfect for enjoying the many outdoor activities, such as surfing, swimming, and diving.
The best time for weather in Puerto Vallarta is during the dry season, from October to March. However, by May, the temperatures start to climb rapidly and become humid, which some may find uncomfortable.
The rainy season starts at the end of June; however, it typically only rains for a couple of hours during the day at a predictable time, so you can still enjoy the beaches.
The expat community and Mexicans of Puerto Vallarta are known for their warm hospitality and friendly nature, which makes it easy to make friends and settle into a new life after moving to Puerto Vallarta.
The friendly community is one of my favorite parts of living in Puerto Vallarta.
I made one of the best groups of friends of my travels during my first year here, and it feels like I am constantly meeting amazing people that I connect with. There are many Canadian and American expats living in Puerto Vallarta.
Having such a lovely community you can depend on makes living abroad much more manageable – because it’s not always sunshine and rainbows.
Growing digital nomad scene
Puerto Vallarta has become an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads in recent years.
While PV first became popular with retirees and expats, many digital nomads are now discovering the magic and moving to Puerto Vallarta.
Aside from its natural beauty, the city has high-speed, reliable internet and plenty of coworking spaces and cafes, making it an ideal place to work and live for those who can work from anywhere.
Regular events for digital nomads are organized in the PV digital nomad Facebook group, making it easy to meet and connect with other nomads.
Access to nature and outdoor adventure
Puerto Vallarta is a city surrounded by nature.
From the lush green Sierra Madre mountains to the beautiful beaches and clear blue ocean, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the area’s natural beauty.
Some activities you can do in Puerto Vallarta:
Affordable (compared to Canada)
Compared to many other coastal cities in North America, the cost of living in Puerto Vallarta is relatively low.
While prices have risen in recent years, you can still live a great lifestyle for a more affordable price than many places in the United States and Canada.
Housing, food, and transportation are all reasonably priced, which makes it an attractive destination for retirees, expats, and digital nomads.
Puerto Vallarta is known for its beautiful beaches, which are some of the most stunning in Mexico. It’s home to one of the most unique beaches in the country – hidden beach, which you can visit on these day tours.
I feel so lucky every day that I can go to the beach after work and watch the sunset directly over the Pacific Ocean. While there are many beaches directly in the city center, they get even better if you go further down the coast to some of the nearby towns.
Puerto Vallarta has an international airport (PVR) with direct flights to many major cities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
This makes it easy to travel and stay connected with family and friends in other parts of the world.
You can get residency
If you fall in love with Puerto Vallarta like me and decide you want to stay longer, you can!
It’s possible to obtain residency as a foreigner under the temporary residency visa, which allows residents to stay in the city for up to four years.
After four years, you can apply for permanent residency, which makes PV an attractive option for those looking for a long-term place to live.
I just got my temporary residency, which is such a good feeling.
Puerto Vallarta is known as the gay capital of Latin America, with a long history of being a welcoming destination for LGBTQ+ travelers.
The city offers a vibrant and inclusive community. Zona Romantica (Old Town) is the official gaybourhood of the city, with many businesses and attractions that are LGBTQ+ friendly.
During May, the city celebrates this community with a week-long gay pride celebration.
Foreigners can do business
One major advantage of living in Puerto Vallarta is that foreigners can start businesses and own real estate property, making it an attractive destination for entrepreneurs and investors.
I have many foreign friends here who own bars and restaurants, and I am currently trying to buy an apartment.
Cons of living in Puerto Vallarta
Expensive (for Mexico)
Compared to other cities in Mexico, it can be expensive to live in Puerto Vallarta, especially when it comes to apartments and going out.
While the cost of living is still lower than in many cities in the United States or Canada, I’d be lying if I said it was the cheapest place to live in Mexico. There are many luxury accommodations in Puerto Vallarta, so if that’s what you’re looking for, this may be a pro.
There are many places in Mexico with much lower costs of living. However, I believe Puerto Vallarta’s stunning natural beauty and lifestyle are worth the extra cost.
It can feel like a small town
While Puerto Vallarta is a relatively large city, it sometimes feels like a small town.
This can be both a pro and a con, depending on what you’re looking for in a city.
While you may enjoy the tight-knit community, sometimes it can feel like everyone knows your business. After living here for a while, you’ll probably run into someone you know every time you go out.
Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate which is wonderful for most of the year; however, it does rain during the summer months and becomes quite humid, which some people may find uncomfortable.
Puerto Vallarta is located in an area prone to hurricanes and tropical storms during the summer and fall months.
While the city is somewhat protected by the Bay of Banderas and has a well-developed emergency management plan, it is important to be prepared and take precautions during hurricane season.
It’s always a party
Puerto Vallarta is known for its nightlife, and there’s always something happening in the city.
While this can be a pro for those who enjoy a lively social scene, it may also be a con if you prefer a quieter, more relaxed lifestyle.
I love how lively Puerto Vallarta is, but it often feels like there’s always an excuse to go out, which makes getting any work done difficult.
It can be crowded during peak season
Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination in Mexico. During the peak tourist season, the city can become crowded, and traffic can be heavy.
On the other hand, it means the city is lively with many events. Still, you may find the influx of tourists annoying when trying to live day-to-day life.
While many people in Puerto Vallarta speak English, the primary language is Spanish. This can make it challenging for those who do not speak Spanish fluently to communicate and navigate daily life.
However, this can also be a pro as it presents an excellent opportunity to learn Spanish with many language classes and exchanges available. If you plan to live in Mexico, I do recommend learning Spanish.
Many people have safety concerns when moving to Mexico. However, Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest cities in Mexico to live in.
Still, like in any city, there are occasional incidents of theft, robbery, and petty crime. It is important to take precautions, such as avoiding certain areas of the city and not walking alone at night.
While Puerto Vallarta is a rapidly growing city, it is still experiencing some growing pains.
The city’s infrastructure, such as roads and public transportation, can be inadequate, especially during peak tourist season.
There may be occasional power outages, water shortages, and slow internet speeds during the rainy season. While these issues are not common, they can be frustrating.
If you are planning to buy a property or start a business in Puerto Vallarta, there may be challenges in obtaining permits or licenses for businesses, and the city’s bureaucracy can be slow and cumbersome. It’s important to remain patient and hire professional help as this will make the process a lot easer.
As Puerto Vallarta continues to grow and develop, there is a constant stream of new construction projects.
While this can be seen as a positive sign of growth, it means there is a lot of noise pollution and traffic disruptions. When choosing where to live in Puerto Vallarta, it’s important to be mindful of construction noise around you.
DON’T FORGET HEALTH INSURANCE!
If you’re moving to Puerto Vallarta, it’s important to protect yourself with travel and health insurance.
I use and love SafetyWing, which is insurance for remote workers that works on a subscription basis, so you pay monthly and can stop it any time.
Final thoughts: Pros and cons of Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta’s warm climate, natural beauty, and thriving community make it an ideal destination for expats, digital nomads, and retirees.
With its high quality of life, good internet connection, and the ability for foreigners to do business, there are many pros to living in Puerto Vallarta.
However, there are also some challenges to consider. The cost of living can be higher than in other parts of Mexico, and the city can sometimes feel like a small town. Additionally, the city’s growing pains and hurricane season are factors to consider.
By weighing the pros and cons of living in Puerto Vallarta, you can decide whether this city is the best fit for you.
Overall, Puerto Vallarta offers a vibrant and welcoming community with beautiful landscapes, making it a top choice for those looking to live and work abroad. After all, I visited 70+ countries and chose Puerto Vallarta as my home base.
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