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Local Bus From the Airport
Taxis from the airport are set at a fixed price and this price is very inflated, costing over 300 pesos. If you want to save some pesos the bus will cost you only 8! The bus stop is located directly outside of the airport, on the main road. Once you exit the airport turn left and walk to the highway, on your left hand side you will see an overpass, the bus stop is located next to the overpass stairs. Buses are frequent and easy to navigate, most likely you will get on the one that says Malecon on the windshield. The Malecon is in the heart of the old city and full of budget accommodation.
- Wild Tip: If you don’t want to take the bus, Uber is available in Puerto Vallarta or you could walk across the overpass, to the other side of the highway, for a cheaper taxi. Uber to the Malecon is around 90 pesos, taxi is 150.
Stay in the Romantic Zone
Not only is the Romantic Zone located on the Malecon it is apart of the Old City, the more traditional area of town. The Romantic Zone is where you will find some of the best activities in Puerto Vallarta, it’s also the cheapest area to stay in, so that’s a win win!
- Wild Tip: On both ends of the Malecon are free water fountains where you can fill your water bottle with fresh clean water!
Enjoy a Drink on the Beach
Seriously, beach drinks are the way to go in Puerto Vallarta! If you are staying along the Malecon on the southern end you will find rows of bars on the beach. Normally bars on beaches are expensive but here they compete with each other for cheap drink prices. Like 16 peso Margaritas or 100 pesos for a bucket of 6 beers!
- Wild Tip: Avoid eating at these restaurants, the drinks are cheap but they make up for it by overcharging for food. Also to save extra pesos you could just grab beers on your own, at any OXXO, and enjoy on the beach.
Hike to the Cross
Hiking to the Mirador Cerro de La Cruz is a must do when trying to experience Puerto Vallarta on a budget. From here you not only get a great view of Puerto Vallarta you also get a nice workout in! Plus there is some fantastic food along the way back and finishing the hike makes for a great excuse to enjoy a cheap beer on the beach!
Hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Playa los Animas
The main beach that stretches along Puerto Vallarta is less than desirable for swimming. It is over crowded, there are constant big waves and boats dotted along it. If you want to enjoy time on top notch beaches for cheap then the hike from Boca de Tomatlan to Los Animas is a must!
Final thoughts for Visiting Puerto Vallarta on a Budget
Puerto Vallarta on a budget is possible and after visiting here a few times my favorite parts about the city aren’t actually located in the city but nearby. For me there are more interesting places to visit around this part of Mexico, but if you have never been, this list will save you Pesos and keep you busy for a few days!
Make sure you visit the Destination Mexico page for more great information about Puerto Vallarta and this fantastic area of Central Mexico.