Here is our Cheap Puerto Vallarta Accommodations, Restaurants, and Transportation information we gathered during our visit.
These links are everything we have on Puerta Vallarta!
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Puerto Vallarta Romantic Zone Walking Tour
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Best Cheap Restaurants in Puerto Vallarta
#1 Rated Restaurant in Puerto Vallarta: Salud Super Foods: We both love super healthy foods so we had to go eat here. It is rare to see a healthy food restaurant get the #1 online restaurant ratings. I had a Pachamama (vegetarian) burger and it was the best veggie burger I have ever had, anywhere in the world. That is after more than 3 decades as a vegetarian. Qiang totally loved her Thai-Chicken Super Bowl. The bill was $11.50 (230 Pesos). Crazy cheap for the highest-rated restaurant in the city. We are going back tomorrow.
Best Family Style Italian Restaurant: L´Angolo di Napoli: I am a big fan of finding family-owned smaller Italian restaurants with great food and prices. If they are focused on the food and service and know-how to make great Italian food, I don’t mind sitting on plastic chairs. This is one of those places. For the two of us with dinner, a shared salad, and drinks, the bill was 500 Pesos ($25 USD).
Planeta Vegetariano: They have a great breakfast buffet. They also have a great lunch buffet. For breakfast, they have vegetarian versions of a few traditional Mexican dishes, along with fruits, juices, coffee, pancakes, granola, tortillas, and much more. It is all you can eat for about 80 Pesos per person ($4 USD).
Best Portobello Burger: La Cervecería Unión: I had a delicious portobello burger here. Qiang Hui had an oyster starter and octopus tacos. It faces the water on the Malecon and had reasonable prices for the location.
Best Oysters Served on the Beach: Ostiones Puerto Vallarta “Cachorras”: Below the Malecon on the beach, toes in the sand, Qiang Hui found a family selling fresh oysters on the beach every day from 10am to 2 pm. They are 120 Pesos for 12 oysters. They have salsas they make in front of you there and a long table where their customers eat. They crack the oysters for you. Qiang went back twice.
Best Street Food on Malecon at Night: Every evening there are stalls selling all sorts of food and drink on the Malecon just south of the Dancing Dolphins Water Fountain. The food stalls start at about 100 feet south of the dolphins. The second stall going south has sausages that Qiang Hui loved. She went here twice. They cost 35 pesos ($1.60 USD).
Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: I love to cook. Plus I am a vegetarian. We bought groceries here and cooked at least one meal at home per day. Our Airbnb apartment was $25 USD per night and it had a functional kitchen with a full-size refrigerator. The link to our Airbnb apartment is below.
Best Cheap Accommodations in Puerto Vallarta
I recommend staying in the Romantic Zone of Puerto Vallarta. That is where you can immerse yourself in Mexican culture and life. If you stay in an all-inclusive hotel or in a huge hotel in the Gringo areas, you won’t really get to taste the true flavors of Mexico. Try to stay in the area I have marked in red in the below Google map of Puerto Vallarta:
The following are a few great places that you should consider depending on your budget. They go from most to least expensive, and then I show you where we stayed.
Casa Kimberly: (5500 Pesos, $265 USD) This is arguably the most romantic place in Puerto Vallarta. This is the boutique hotel where Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor fell in love during the filming of Night of the Iguana in Puerto Vallarta. Check out the pictures, reviews, and prices. It was $265 USD per night on the day we searched.
La Palapa 306: (1800 Pesos, $90 USD) In case you want to be on the beach with a view, this one is a good choice. Check out the pictures, reviews. This was $90 USD on the date we searched. This is an apartment with a full kitchen and sleeps up to 4 people.
Garlands Del Rio: (900 Pesos, $45 USD) This one is full of personality right across from Gringo Gulch. Check out the reviews, the pictures, and the price. Hard to get more romantic than this especially at $45 USD per night on the day we searched.
Alexandros Hostel: (600 Pesos, $30 USD) This is a bed in a hostel dorm for $30 USD per night on the day we searched. This is right in the Romantic zone walking distance from everything. Check out the reviews and pictures. It was $30 per night on the day we searched.
Airbnb Apartment: Here is where we stayed for a week at about $25 USD per night. It is a 2 bedroom 1 bath, furnished apartment with a functional kitchen. It has a big patio and views of the Pacific Ocean. It is about 6 blocks from the sand right in the Romantic Zone. The pictures are exactly what this place looks like. I would stay here again without hesitation. It is a steep cobblestone street that cars can’t drive up, so think about that before booking. (If you are new to Airbnb, use this code http://www.airbnb.com/c/dbell50 for a big discount).
I started living internationally over 11 years ago. If you would like to learn how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.
Best Flights, Buses, Trains
We have been traveling around Mexico for over a month now. We are looking for the best retire or live cheap in paradise destination. We started in Mexico City, and have visited San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Guadalajara, Chapala, and Ajijic before coming to Puerto Vallarta.
I have been exploring the world since 2007, 65 countries so far.
We took the bus Vallarta Plus Bus from Guadalajara to Puerto Vallarta. Right-click in the Chrome browser to translate into English. It takes about 4.5 hours to get to Puerto Vallarta and costs 550 Pesos or $28 USD per person. We checked three large bags for no extra fees.
You can fly into Puerto Vallarta International Airport (Puerto Vallarta) (Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport). There are a few taxi drivers that really try to take advantage of tourists in Puerto Vallarta. I heard a taxi driver quote $25 USD to a tourist for a destination that should cost $4 USD. So use Uber to get to your accommodations so you don’t have to negotiate directly with drivers.
International Flights: Skyscanner always seems to find the cheapest flight no matter where I am flying in the world. I find that Tuesday or Wednesday departures are typically the cheapest day of the week. When you land in Mexico, get a Mexican SIM card for your smartphone. One of my friends roamed while in Mexico and paid $700 USD for 7 days. Get your phone unlocked if you are from the USA so your phone can accept the chip.
National Flights: If you are flying to Puerto Vallarta from somewhere in Mexico, get your ticket on Skyscanner. They find the cheapest airfares. But check bus prices also if you are within 6 hours of driving of Puerto Vallarta. The bus can be both faster and cheaper in some cases. Plus, you can see rural Mexico when you travel by bus. Check bus prices at ETN or Primera.
Buses: Both ETN and Primera have buses throughout Mexico to Puerto Vallarta. You can visit the English ETN website or right-click any web page from a Google Chrome browser, to translate any website into English. I check bus prices and flights (Skyscanner) before making a decision.
Uber: I use Uber when I am in Mexico. I like the International record of who picked me up and who dropped me, and where. Plus, I know the license plate number when they arrive. Plus, I don’t have to negotiate price or destination in Spanish.
Train: There is just one passenger train still running in Mexico and it does not go to Puerto Vallarta.
If you book my recommended flights, tours or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. If you would like to live cheap or retire early in paradise, learn how to make money online, or how to live internationally possibly with less money than you spend at home, please subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or get a free copy of my Ebook.
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