One of the best things I love about living here is how getting around Puerto Vallarta is so easy. We have a large number of transportation options that will not only get you around town, but also other locations around the Bay of Banderas.
Walking is a marvelous way to see everything there is to see while getting in good exercise at the same time. Now, more than ever, people are using walking as a way to get around Puerto Vallarta. Good walking shoes are a must and walking sticks can be a good idea when going up hills or navigating the cobblestoned streets. For those who have difficulties, there are flat, smooth stretches of walkable areas on the Malecon in town, on the new river walks lining the Cuale and Pitillal rivers and, of course, the Marina.
Biking is big everywhere and Puerto Vallarta is no exception. When the new Malecon was built a few years ago, bike lanes were added to the sidewalks throughout town and extending out to the Marina area. There are rental services that rent mountain bikes as well as beach cruisers and there are many bike tours of town that are available. There also are free Wednesday night and Sunday morning rides on the main road into town, which is blocked off from traffic for the benefit of the bikers.
I will admit that I have not taken the bus in a while but they are cheap, plentiful and will take you absolutely ANYWHERE you want to go. These days almost every neighborhood is connected by the municipal bus system and there are regional busses that you can take out to the Botanic Gardens, El Tuito (one hour south), Sayulita and San Pancho (one hour north). The municipal busses currently cost $7.50 pesos, around forty cents, and many now even run all night. The larger “Autobus” is a great way to do intercity and interstate travel with bus lines like ETN and TAP providing luxury fleets with routes to Guadalajara, Mexico City and other Mexican destinations.
Taxis and Uber
Vallarta’s yellow taxis have been around forever and are a convenient way to get around town. The rates are published and should be charged by car, not by person (walk away if they give you a per person rate). The regular- sized taxis can accommodate (legally) four extra passengers besides the drivers. Many taxi stands have vans and suburbans available for larger groups. The newer taxis, painted white instead of yellow, offer more luxurious transport and are often larger vehicles.
Last summer Uber made its appearance in Puerto Vallarta, to the joy of visitors and locals alike. The well-known app is used the same way you would use it abroad with a couple of differences. Right now, only the UberX service is available, which offers mostly smaller, non-luxury vehicles. We have yet to see the Uber Black or UberPool services here.
Uber drivers can take you to the airport or bus station but they are not authorized to pick you up. If you want to use Uber when you arrive, you will need to arrange to meet them outside of the airport. Uber can also take you north of the airport to Nayarit, but they cannot pick you up in Nayarit. The app simply does not function there.
When using Uber, you have the option of paying cash to the driver instead of using a credit card, which can be a nice option for some. Finally, although Uber can often be much less expensive than a taxi, their rates fluctuate depending on the demand. So at high demand times of the day, they can actually cost you more.