The calendar says it’s not summer yet, but the heat is on in Puerto Vallarta. Temperatures are creeping towards the 90s as we get ready for the upcoming rainy season, which usually starts in mid-June and runs through early October.
I am one of those people who loves summer because there are fewer people, marvelous thunderstorms and a more relaxed lifestyle. I have found that after nearly 30 summers here, the heat does not bother me nearly as much as it used to. I am one of the few I know who lives without air conditioning, although many people choose to limit their use of A/C for many different reasons.
An important factor is budget. A lot of people who live here full-time are retired and living on a fixed income and unwanted spikes in their electric bill can wreak havoc on their monthly budget. I have an assorted list of ideas and “tricks” that can help you save money while beating the heat.
1. Limit your A/C use to one room, generally the bedroom, and only use it at night when you need to sleep. You will be surprised at how much an evening tropical rainstorm will cool things down!
2. Run your errands in the early morning while it is still cool. Most stores open early enough that you can get what you need to get done before noon.
3. Find a cool place to relax and read your book. Indoor shopping centers like Plaza Caracol or Galerias are air-conditioned and have seating areas where you can just relax, even without buying anything. Plaza Caracol even has free wifi.
4. How about taking in a movie? Movies are a good value and most of the first-run movies (with the exception of children’s movies) are in English with Spanish subtitles.
5. Enjoy the biggest reason why most people live in Vallarta or visit: the beach. Even on the hottest days, the ocean breeze makes the beach (in the shade of course) one of the coolest spots in town, in or out of the water. The ocean is much calmer with fewer big waves in the summer and is a welcome respite from the heat.
6. Have lunch in an air-conditioned spot. You don’t need to break the bank to have an occasional meal out and most restaurants are now air-conditioned. Costco has a killer hot dog and there are food courts in all of the malls.
7. Take some time off and go to the mountains. San Sebastian, Mascota and Talpa are nearby and great weekend getaways. They are less than a two-hour drive from Puerto Vallarta but 20 degrees cooler.
The one thing that makes dealing with summer heat in Puerto Vallarta easier is the consistency of the day-to-day temperatures. Rather than the crazy swings of summer temperatures in most places, in Vallarta the temperature generally stays the same all summer long, with highs in the low 90s and lows in the 70s.
And yes, with the heat there is humidity. The combination of the summer tropical rainstorms, living by the water and higher temperatures can make things a bit sticky during the summer. Just remember, like most other places you’ve lived, you acclimate and get used to it.
For all of you weather-lovers, here is a link to all of the climate information on Puerto Vallarta in our Cities section.