Brush up on your Spanish, prepare your taste buds for tantalizing Mexican food, and get ready to bargain your way through an adventurous vacation across the border. Puerto Vallarta, a beach resort, is one of the most popular travel destinations in Mexico. Founded in the same year as Seattle, Puerto Vallarta has a rich history, tropical beaches and a climate to match. Popular amongst both local visitors and American and Canadian travellers, this resort thrives on tourism. Here are tips by Dr Prem Jagyasi and his team members to take note of before you can sit back with your toes in the sand and sip a Margarita:
Like many parts of Mexico, Puerto Vallarta has its fair share of poverty-stricken areas, problematic service delivery, and lack of repairs or road-maintenance. It comes with the territory, but this is not to say you will enjoy your holiday any less. Just be prepared to bargain on prices, make sure you have cash with you and tip people who provide you with good services. It is almost expected of you to bargain with vendors, so do not settle for the first price you are presented with; they are used to dealing with tourists. For cheaper deals, venture outside of the hotel where, unlike inside the hotel, you can bargain and be selective in whose services you accept.
No one wants to be targeted for their money because they are very obviously a tourist. Rather than driving a rental car or flashing dollars and carrying around a big camera in plain view; take local transport, exchange your dollars for Pesos and take in the scenery instead of taking a million pictures. Throw in some Spanish words, phrases, and nuances to show that you are familiar with the language, people, place, and culture. Walk through the airport doors with confidence to avoid being hounded by fake airport officials or taxi drivers ready to rip you off; act like you have been there many times before and that you know exactly where you are going.
You are probably no stranger to the idea of filtered water as much of America’s tap water is not drinkable directly from the faucet. Similarly so, it would be wise to ask before drinking the water if it is safe to do so. Generally, the water served in hotels is safe to drink, but if you are weary of this rather stick to bottled water. The same goes for food: if it looks questionable, dine at the hotel instead. If you are feeling adventurous and wanting to sample ‘the real Mexico’, find street vendors or local gatherings that serve genuine Mexican food.
Locals enjoy lavish festivals, picturesque beaches, and historical landmarks. Greet them and ask if you could tag along; what better way to experience Mexico than from a local point of view? At the same time, be sure to stay safe. Do not wonder off alone or allow people to take you away from the area surrounding your hotel. Stick to the place you know and with people you know so that you are not targeted for being a tourist alone.
Because of the humid climate and the hot, sunny days, be sure to pack sunscreen and a hat. Do not bother with conversion plugs as they use the same outlets in Mexico as they do in America. Read up on events that will be taking place during your stay so that you don’t miss out and write down some emergency numbers so that you are at least prepared if needs be.
Travel smart and travel safe to Mexico’s popular vacation hot spot: Puerto Vallarta. Not just a beach resort, but a cultural fiesta with opportunities for spa-days in the hotel and negotiations at local markets. This is an ideal destination for the cultural thrill-seekers who don’t want the hassle of connecting flights or long trips to find what they are looking for. We have some tips for you to get the most out of your vacation.