Is Puerto Vallarta Safe? Travel Advisory 2023

Puerto Vallarta is considered a safe destination for tourists but crime rates are quite high. Even though tourists are not usually the target, it’s important to keep safety precautions.

The city of Puerto Vallarta is largely considered to be a tropical Mexican paradise. It is known for its delicious food, picturesque coastline, and deep roots in Mexican culture. It is situated along the Pacific coast in the Jalisco state of Mexico, and it is a popular tourist destination not only for people from the United States but also for individuals and families visiting from Europe as well.

At the same time, given that Puerto Vallarta is located in Mexico, many people are wondering whether this tropical resort destination is safe to visit.

Right now, Puerto Vallarta is safe for people to visit, but like anywhere else, it is important for travelers to use common sense and be aware of current conditions before they go.

Suggested: Is Cancun safe to visit?

LATEST UPDATES / NEWS from Puerto Vallarta:

May 25 – Puerto Vallarta experienced a surge in tourism in the first quarter

During the first quarter of 2023, Puerto Vallarta experienced an unprecedented surge in tourism. The destination has achieved remarkable milestones in terms of hotel occupancy, passenger arrivals at Puerto Vallarta International Airport, and cruise ship arrivals at the National Port System Administration of Puerto Vallarta.

In terms of hotel occupancy, Puerto Vallarta hotels have reached historic records with an average rate of 83.6 percent, marking a substantial increase of 10.9 percent compared to the same period in 2022, where the occupancy rate was 72.7 percent.

Moreover, Puerto Vallarta International Airport has witnessed a continuous influx of passengers who arrive to indulge in the wonders of this tourist hotspot. From January to March 2023, the airport recorded 652,077 passengers, showcasing an impressive growth of 29 percent compared to the same period in 2022, which saw 505,536 passengers.

Similarly, the National Port System Administration of Puerto Vallarta has experienced a significant rise in cruise ship arrivals. In the first quarter of 2023, the port welcomed 221,593 cruise passengers, exhibiting an extraordinary increase of 113.8 percent compared to the same period in 2022, when 103,644 cruise passengers were registered.

May 9 – The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Mexico informe about a new form of timeshare scam 

U.S. citizens should take caution when thinking about buying a timeshare or real estate in Mexico because some vendors can employ dishonest tactics. Americans should speak with a Mexican attorney about pertinent real estate rules and legislation before making an investment or acquisition.

Timeshare fraud comes in many different forms, however, they frequently involve the following steps: When timeshare owners accept an unsolicited offer from a third party who claims to have interested buyers, the con artists demand upfront payment of fees and taxes with the promise of a refund at closure. However, timeshare owners discover after a number of payments that the offers were fictitious, that there were no buyers, and that their money was gone. It’s crucial to keep up with these tactics if you want to safeguard yourself against timeshare fraud.

April 5 – Puerto Vallarta to Deploy 150 Security Officials 

Puerto Vallarta has begun deploying 150 security personnel to patrol popular tourist areas.

The security officers, who will be assisted by Puerto Vallarta’s Civil Defense and Fire Protection Unit, will work in several shifts with different tasks.

The surveillance region will focus primarily on popular beaches, urban areas and nearby highways likely to be used by travelers.

As the weather warms, beaches are expected to become more crowded, increasing the likelihood of becoming a victim of crime.

Beachgoers can expect a strong security presence at the most popular beaches, as well as dozens of lifeguards to ensure swimmers’ safety.

Puerto Vallarta and Crime: What To Know

Many people are concerned about crime and Puerto Vallarta. Fortunately, this city is widely considered safe for tourists. For example, according to multiple indices, Puerto Vallarta has a significantly lower crime rate when compared to the rest of Mexico, and even the crime rate in Miami, located in Florida.

While petty theft is common from time to time, tourists can reduce the chances of getting pickpocketed by taking a few standard precautions. For example, tourists should try to keep their most important belongings in a safe in the hotel room, and they should try to avoid traveling alone. 

In addition, Puerto Vallarta has a very heavy police presence, which reduces the chances of someone falling victim to a crime. The police are even out at night, and they use headlights and flashlights to make sure their presence is known. While tourists should certainly still try to avoid traveling alone at night, Puerto Vallarta has a relatively low crime rate when compared to the rest of Mexico. 

Hurricanes and Natural Disasters: Storms Can Roll Through

puerto vallarta promanade

Another important safety issue that tourists need to consider involves hurricanes and natural disasters. Given that Puerto Vallarta is located on the coast, it is critical for tourists to pay close attention to hurricane forecasts. Mexico certainly gets its fair share of hurricanes, but Puerto Vallarta rarely gets struck by a hurricane.

Because Puerto Vallarta has a handful of mountains that protect it on most sides, it is difficult for a powerful hurricane to reach Puerto Vallarta. Most storms that approach the area are going to be weakened by the mountains of Mexico before they reach the city. 

There are still storms that can roll through from time to time, but a Hurricane hasn’t caused significant damage to Puerto Vallarta since 2002. The weather is much more predictable during the summer, which is one of the reasons why it is the most popular time of year for tourists to visit the area. 

The Safest Neighborhoods To Explore

One of the main advantages of visiting Puerto Vallarta is its cosmopolitan culture. There are plenty of neighborhoods to explore in Puerto Vallarta, and each of them has its own feel.

For example, the Romantic Zone is one of the most popular places for people of all backgrounds, but it is particularly friendly for people who are members of the LGBTQ community. There are lots of art galleries, cute hotels, delicious restaurants, and energetic bars.

The Marina Vallarta neighborhood is another popular location to explore. Many people compare it to Acapulco and Cancun, but it isn’t nearly as crowded. There are lots of luxury yachts and sailboats that park on the marina, and it might even be possible to rent one of them for a day or two. There is a very large ex-pat contingent that lives in this neighborhood, so international tourists typically feel very comfortable visiting this area.

Overall, Puerto Vallarta is a very safe place for tourists to visit. 

Update Archives:

March 6 – Americans Warned to Reconsider Travel to Puerto Vallarta

With violence and kidnappings on the rise in the region, the State Department is advising Americans to reconsider or even avoid travel to regions of Mexico, particularly the state of Jalisco, which is home to the popular LGBT destination of Puerto Vallarta.

Just before spring break, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs issued a series of advisories regarding the ongoing violence in Mexico.

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