Ah, yes. I love Puerto Vallarta in the good old summertime. I am back from a short jaunt to my hometown of Chicago and looking forward to the upcoming hot and humid summer season.
People often ask me, “How on earth can you live in a tropical climate all year long? Aren’t the summers terribly hot?” Like most of the U.S. Southeast, summer can be uncomfortable.
Although we are currently enjoying the coolest spring that I can remember in recent history, May and June are usually the months of the year when the weather starts to get warm and humid (or warmer and more humid!). The rain begins arriving in mid-June, which means we will be enjoying spectacular summer storms until the beginning of October. The temperature will hover in the low 90s but rain showers do cool things off in the late afternoon and evening. Our tropical rainstorms put on a fabulous show with thunder, lightning and gorgeous clouds. The mountains become green again and the streets and buildings seem clean and refreshed.
Summertime is also a great time to get to know the true locals, nationals and expats who make Puerto Vallarta their home or visit our wonderful beaches during the summer. There is a special camaraderie amongst those of us who “tough it out” during the summer season. If the truth be told, we kind of like having the town and beaches to ourselves. No waiting in lines at the bank or at the store, restaurant reservations are a breeze and there are plenty of taxis.
Comparing Puerto Vallarta to other cities that have hot and humid climates, I think that a summer in Puerto Vallarta is very doable, especially if you live in an area that captures the daily sea breeze. Like anywhere you move in the world that is different from where you came from, you just have to learn to acclimate. You learn to change your schedule and habits: no walking around town in the heat of the day; shop, exercise and do your other outdoor activities either early in the morning or later in the afternoon; and, swim instead of jog. And, of course, it helps that most offices and restaurants are air-conditioned.
Schools in Mexico generally start their summer vacations the first or second week in July, so places like Puerto Vallarta are filled with families and young people enjoying their – unfortunately – short time off. Schools start up again in late August so these poor kids only get 4-5 weeks of holidays. For expats, it’s a nice way to see Mexico as Mexico, and to share time with the locals and national visitors. It’s a perfect time to brush up on your Spanish!
Finally, summertime is also a time when many expats and others are involved in construction or remodeling projects. Many condominium developments limit construction to low season times in order not to affect high season visitors and rentals. I am currently involved in my own remodel this summer. I’ll tell you all about remodeling a home in Puerto Vallarta in my next blog.
Hasta la proxima!