How Safe Is Puerto Vallarta for Travel?

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Safety Index:

Puerto Vallarta is a city and popular vacation resort, located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

The city has a vibrant pace, with numerous restaurants offering a variety of cuisines and lots of good art galleries and bars and clubs and excellent shopping venues.

There is also a mix of residents, with most Mexicans speaking some English (if not fluent), many part-time or full-time residents from the US and Canada, and the Romantic Zone is very gay-friendly, which adds to the nightlife.

It is a walking town, with unexpected delights around almost every corner.

The beaches are varied, but all are largely protected and safe to swim at most days, compared to ones directly on the Pacific outside the bay.

Warnings & Dangers in Puerto Vallarta

Overall Risk


Puerto Vallarta is a gorgeous vacation spot, with high levels of security. You can relax here, but keep your wits with you. Just in case, you should apply all possible precaution measures, to minimize the chances of anything going wrong.

Transport & Taxis Risk


If you choose to get into public transport, you should be very careful as this is one of the primary places where pickpockets operate. You should always try to call your reliable taxi driver (or an Uber) instead of hailing one on the streets.

Pickpockets Risk


Pickpockets and bag snatching is a very common issue in Puerto Vallarta, especially in public and crowded places like bus and train stations and airports. Keep your belongings by your side at all times and try to leave all your valuables in a security deposit box of your hotel.

Natural Disasters Risk


As for natural disasters, the biggest risk for tourists lurk in such natural disasters as flooding, earthquakes, fire or hurricanes.

Mugging Risk


Muggings and kidnappings haven't been known to happen in Puerto Vallarta, and they are very rare occurrences. But just in case, avoid empty and deserted streets and areas.

Terrorism Risk


There haven't been any terrorist attacks in Puerto Vallarta's recent history, but they shouldn't be ruled out. Remain vigilant at all times and aware of your surroundings.

Scams Risk


In Puerto Vallarta, you'll encounter people trying to trick you and scam you into paying them, and since this is a top tourist destination, the chances are all the higher. You should be very vigilant, decline all drinks sent by strangers, double-check all information and negotiate everything in advance.

Women Travelers Risk


Many women have traveled safely to Puerto Vallarta, without having any problems. However, many women will have a problem with being cat-called on the streets, while they might find whistles and comments directed at the offensive.

So... How Safe Is Puerto Vallarta Really?

Puerto Vallarta is mostly a very safe city, but don’t consider it to be a crime-free zone. It still has its dangers.

Tourists are advised to stay in populated areas, avoid poor neighborhoods, and if they do visit them, not to go out at night.

Having said that, the locals who live in Vallarta rely heavily on the income that tourists put into the economy, and the locals are quite antagonistic against criminals who would jeopardize that.

Even though this particular city isn’t known for violent crime, in general, there have been reports of vicious beatings at Mexican resorts by people who have traveled alone.

You have a couple of options as far as staying in Vallarta goes: you could stay in the city proper, the coast around the outskirts of the city, and in an all-inclusive resort.

If you are planning on staying in the city proper, you are going to be very safe, but always keep your wits about you and going out at night on the streets may not be the smartest idea – which is true in any city.

The coast around the outskirts is glorious and safe, with zero chance of crime out in the country.

Useful Information

  • Visas - Legally entering Mexico is fairly easy: all nationals receive a traveler's permit upon entering Mexico, and it costs 15 USD, while there are still some countries do need to acquire a visa. If you are not sure about your visa status, contact your local Mexican embassy for further information.
  • Currency - The Mexican peso is the official currency in Puerto Vallarta. ATMs are widespread throughout the country, and while credit cards are accepted in most top-end hotels, restaurants and stores, Mexico is considered largely a cash economy.
  • Weather - Puerto Vallarta has a tropical climate characterized by two distinct seasons: a long and dry period from November to May and an intense and wet period from June to October. The dry season is slightly cooler than the wet season.
  • Airports - Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport is an international airport located at Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco in Mexico, and serving this region.
  • Travel Insurance - Just like anywhere else, we recommend getting travel insurance when traveling to Puerto Vallarta, since it covers not only the costs of medical problems but also theft and loss of valuables
Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Puerto Vallarta Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 22° C
Feb 22° C
Mar 22° C
Apr 24° C
May 26° C
Jun 27° C
Jul 27° C
Aug 27° C
Sep 27° C
Oct 27° C
Nov 25° C
Dec 22° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Where to Next?

8 Reviews on Puerto Vallarta

  1. Love Puerto Vallarta

    Been coming to Puerto Vallarta for 35 years. Best in the West!

    1. Driving

      Do you drive down? If I drive with my RV is there RV parks?

  2. PVR

    Excellent well developed.
    Enjoyable board walking specially early morning hours when not crowded. Watching Brown Pelicans diving for fish is natures best

  3. C
    Cynthia says:

    I always feel safe walking around PV. We stay a month at a time in the romantic zone, never ever a problem. I even feel safe at night without my husband.

  4. S
    Stephen says:

    Safer here than where you live

    I’ve been coming here for 30 years. I’ve been horseback riding in the mountains and have walked the back streets at night. I’ve never had a problem. That said, there are pickpockets about. One of our group was pickpocketed from her purse several years ago while downtown. They got what they thought was a wallet but was actually a birth control vinyl case. Apropos when you think about it.

    In short, I feel safer here than in most cities in the United States. People are friendly and family-oriented. If you come, get out of the city and see the countryside. Remember Xtapa is a 20min bus ride away (silver) and the fishing is fantastic.

  5. Paradise on Earth

    I have vacationed in Puerto Vallarta so many times, I’ve lost count. It is my favourite place on earth, & yes it’s safe to say it’s “paradise”. I have had the privilege of meeting so many lovely people. My bestie & I have mostly stayed in the hotel zone, but for the past 2 yrs we’ve stayed right down on the Malecon. There were two occasions that I stayed in Puerto Vallarta for
    a week by myself. I must say, I was very comfortable, & had no worries at all, but during the times alone, I did not venture out at night. Preferrably, I’d rather vacation with a friend.There are so many restaurants from which to choose, & they’ve all provided delicious meals, AND the prices can’t be beat!
    I’m hoping this whole Covid-19 fiasco clears soon or it becomes safe for us to travel to P.V. for Christmas/New Year vacation. I can’t recommend PV highly enough. As mentioned, it’s ‘paradise’.

  6. B
    Bev Fulmore says:

    In February, 2020, I was hit by a taxi on the sidewalk on calle Allende. I felt a crunch on my head and that is all I remember. The driver, according to witnesses, got out and looked at me and then took off. I had moved to PV permanently and walked every day. The police filed a report and said they sent a letter to the taxi driver to come in. A worthless attorney wasted my money saying the license number was no longer in the system. The DA has not followed through, no surprises there. PA is lawless and dangerous

  7. We’re can i get a rental car at Puerto Vallarta

Rated 3.75 / 5 based on 8 user reviews.

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