Latin America

Is Puerto Vallarta Safe for Travel in 2022? Best tips to stay safe!

Updated on:  
October 23, 2022
Reading Time:  
Grace Reveley
Grace Reveley
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, offers dazzling beaches, electric nightlife, and entrancing sunsets. And don't forget the mouth-watering Mexican food! But is Puerto Vallarta safe? Here's everything you need to know before you travel.

Whether you're traveling to Puerto Vallarta for its restaurants, heart-racing watersports, or thriving nightlife, it's a destination suitable for every type of traveler. 

Puerto Vallarta is a great, safe area for travelers. With tons of activities and great transport links, it's the perfect destination for first-time backpackers.  

But before you jet off to this tropical paradise, there are a few things you need to be mindful of while you're there. 

Explore what to avoid, where to stay, and the hazards to travelers before you hop on a plane!

puerto vallarta mexico
Image courtesy of Chris McQueen from Unsplash

Is Puerto Vallarta safe?

Located in the large bay called the Bay of Banderas in the state of Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta is a hub for backpackers and tourists. With over 5 million visitors in 2019, this area of Mexico attracts people from all over the world.

But with the millions of visitors each year, tourists are still hesitant to visit this beautiful area of Mexico. Many people want to know if Puerto Vallarta is safe before they travel! 

The good news is, it is safe! It's actually one of the safest areas in Mexico!

Crime rate in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta's crime rate is very low for tourists. Most trips to this beautiful area of Mexico are incident-free. Travelers return home with huge smiles, plenty of memories, and a belly full of tacos.

One of the reasons why the crime rate is so low is because of the Mexican National Guards. They patrol the streets 24/7, 365 days a year! Not only does it make you feel safe, but their patrolling also keeps the crime rate very low.

However, there are a few things that do affect tourists in Puerto Vallarta, even with the low crime rate.

Here are a few potential issues to be aware of: 


Pickpocketing isn't very common in Puerto Vallarta compared to other places in Mexico. But it does still happen. Pickpocketers tend to target tourist hotspots: on the beach, at the airport, and bus stations.

Make sure you always keep an eye on your belongings. Another great way of stopping pickpockets and bag snatchers is having a secure bag with lockable zips and chest straps. 

Non-Registered Taxis

If you can avoid using non-registered taxis, then do! Make sure you either catch an uber or an official taxi to travel around the local area. This will reduce your chance of paying high prices for short journeys.

Natural Disasters

Like CancunTulum, and other areas in Mexico, Puerto Vallarta can be prone to natural disasters. 

Hurricanes and flooding are likely to happen between June and October. However, this type of weather is rare if you travel outside of these times.

puerto vallarta boardwalk
Image courtesy of Nicole Herrero from Unsplash

Tap Water

If you're traveling to Puerto Vallarta, make sure you avoid drinking tap water. It can make you ill while traveling. 

A simple solution is to buy bottled water from your hotel or local supermarket. If you're trying to travel more sustainably, why not buy a water filter to purify your water as you travel?


Like in any other popular tourist destination, some people will try to sell you fake attraction tickets. And unfortunately, this often happens to tourists. 

Ensure you're always buying tickets from reputable sellers or purchasing local tours in advance. If you're buying locally, check if the vendors have brochures and posters of the activity you want to buy. This is a great sign that they're legit. 

Is Puerto Vallarta Safe for the LGBTQ+ Community?

Puerto Vallarta has been recognized as a safe community for LGBTQ+ travelers. With a welcoming and accepting approach to travelers, this tiny part of Mexico has won many awards within the LGBTQ+ community for being a safe and vibrant place to vacation. 

Is Puerto Vallarta Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

The simple answer is yes. This tourist hotspot welcomes many different types of travelers with open arms. There are many travelers on solo adventures visiting Puerto Vallarta, which makes it a great place to meet people.

Thanks to Mexican National Guards patrolling the streets, many female solo travelers explore this area at night safely. However, make sure you avoid leaving the tourist areas and stick to well-lit streets!

Even though traveling in Puerto Vallarta is safe, make sure you don't forget to use common sense. Avoid putting yourself in harm's way, and make sure you buddy up with other solo travelers you can trust. 

women in puerto vallarta
Image courtesy of Alonso Reyes from Unsplash

Safe Places to Stay in Puerto Vallarta

This city has great accommodation options. From buzzing hostels to relaxing all-inclusive resorts, there's a place with your name on it.

But some areas are safer than others:

  • Downtown: The best area to stay on a budget.
  • Zona Romantica (Romantic Zone/Old Town): The best area to stay for first-time visitors.
  • Zona Hotelera: The best area to stay for all-inclusive vacations
  • Conchas Chinas: The best area to stay for groups of friends

What Should you Avoid in Puerto Vallarta?

Avoid Swimming in No-Swim Zone Areas

The currents and tides in this city can be very strong. Luckily the lifeguards mark out the safe spaces to swim. So keep an eye out for their flags on the beach. 

If you stick to these safe marked areas, you're sure to cool down peacefully from the hot Mexican sun. 

Avoid Mosquitos

These little insects will be a real pain in the butt if you don't use good mosquito spray! Make sure you spray yourself before leaving for a night out to avoid getting bitten!

Avoid Exchanging Currency in Puerto Vallarta

If you want to avoid hefty charges, make sure you do all your currency exchange before you fly! You'll get a better rate back in your home country and reduce the risk of being scammed.

Avoid Drugs

This one is simple, avoid them! You can endanger yourself, your mates, and the locals. 

Avoid Temporary Tattoos on the Beach

You may be tempted to get a cool temporary tattoo when you're relaxing down at the beach. As tempting as they look, make sure you avoid them!

Lots of tourists have had severe reactions to tattoos that resulted in hospitalizations. Now, that's not a good way to end your vacation. 

puerto vallarta beach
Image courtesy of Tyson Downs from Unsplash

So, is Puerto Vallarta Worth it?

Puerto Vallarta is one of the safest cities in Mexico. With its low crime rate and friendly locals, millions of travelers visit this gorgeous city without any issues.

That being said, don't let all your common sense fly out of the window. Make sure you save this blog for later so you can refresh your memory before you travel!

By staying in safe tourist areas, avoiding scams, and staying clear of drugs, you can have a trip packed full of fun activities and new friends! You could be tasting the wolds best tequilasnorkeling with amazing marine life, and partying the night away. Sounds good, right?

So get those bags packed, book a plane ticket and head off to the beautiful area of Puerto Vallarta with confidence. 

Fiesta, Siesta, Tequila, Repeat

Join Pilot Travel Planning App

Now that you know Puerto Vallarta is safe for every type of traveler, it's time to plan your trip. But where to start? That's where Pilot comes in. 

Pilot is your brand new trip planner that helps you discover and build travel itineraries connecting you to resources everywhere. Make the planning experience more fun by collaborating with your travel buddies! 

Pilot makes it fun and easy to share and relive your favorite travel memories with many useful features!

Did we mention that it's completely free? Try it out now!

Published on:  
October 20, 2022

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