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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

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The Legendary Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta sits on the shores of one of the world’s most beautiful bays, the Bay of Banderas. Puerto Vallarta transitioned into a modern tourist destination during the 1960s. Today it’s a legendary resort town and a favorite spot for weddings and honeymoons.

Puerto Vallarta is a sophisticated resort towns (and the second biggest tourist destination), with more cachet than Mazatlan and more chic than Cancun. Though it’s a major cruise ship destination, with ship arrivals almost daily, the massive influx of tourists (over 2 million visit each year) hasn’t lessened Vallarta’s appeal for those thinking about staying on longer term.

The Cost Of Living In Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

As a retirement destination, Puerto Vallarta offers top-notch shopping, fine dining, a wealth of activities, convenient communications with the United States, plenty of English speakers for socializing, and a beautiful location on the Pacific.

Apartment Or House Ownership Budget (For A Couple)

 
Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Mortgage N/A N/A
HOA Fees MXN$3,000 to MXN$4,000 N/A
Property Taxes MXN$3,500 to MXN$4,000 Annual charge. MXN$275 to MXN$325 per month.
Transportation MXN$1,200 to MXN$1,500 Local bus: MXN$10 per person per trip.
Taxis: MXN$60 to MXN$100 per trip.
Gas MXN$500 Cost for one large tank for heating water and cooking that lasts a month. In most condos, this is included with the HOA fees.
Electricity MXN$600 to MXN$700 Electricity cost including reasonable AC use. Using no AC, electricity costs MXN$150 to MXN$200 a month.
Water MXN$200 to MXN$250 20-liter jugs cost MXN$30 to MXN$35 each.
Cell Phone MXN$300 to MXN$400 N/A
Internet MXN$400 to MXN$700 N/A
Cable TV MXN$300 to MXN$700 N/A
Household Help MXN$1,200 to MXN$2,000 MXN$40 to MXN$70 per hour.
Entertainment MXN$5,000 to MXN$6,100 Eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant: MXN$2,500 to MXN$3,000 (MXN$300 to MXN$400 per meal for a couple).

Local drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole: MXN$2,000 to MXN$2,500 (MXN$35 to MXN$40 for a beer; MXN$80 to MXN$100 for a cocktail).

Movie theater trip twice a month: MXN$500 to MXN$600 (MXN$100 to MXN$150 per ticket).

Groceries MXN$8,000 to MXN$10,000 Including a Costco or Sam’s Club trip.
Gym Membership MXN$1,000 to MXN$1,200 N/A
Medical Appointment MXN$40 to MXN$50 MXN$40 to MXN$50 for a visit with a local doctor; MXN$750 at English-speaking clinic.
TOTAL MXN$25,240 to MXN$32,100

Apartment Or House Rental Budget (For A Couple)

 
Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Rent MXN$15,000 to MXN$20,000 For a furnished two-bedroom apartment in a desirable location.
Transportation MXN$1,200 to MXN$1,500 Local bus: MXN$10 per person per trip.

Taxis: MXN$60 to MXN$100 per trip.

Gas MXN$500 Cost for one large tank for heating water and cooking that lasts a month. In most condos, this is included with the HOA fees.
Electricity MXN$600 to MXN$700 Electricity cost including reasonable AC use. Using no AC, electricity costs MXN$150 to MXN$200 a month.
Water MXN$200 to MXN$250 20-liter jugs cost MXN$30 to MXN$35 each.
Cell Phone MXN$300 to MXN$400 N/A
Internet MXN$400 to MXN$700 N/A
Cable TV MXN$300 to MXN$700 N/A
Household Help MXN$1,200 to MXN$2,000 MXN$40 to MXN$70 per hour.
Entertainment MXN$5,000 to MXN$6,100 Eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant: MXN$2,500 to MXN$3,000 (MXN$300 to MXN$400 per meal for a couple).

Local drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole: MXN$2,000 to MXN$2,500 (MXN$35 to MXN$40 for a beer; MXN$80 to MXN$100 for a cocktail).

Movie theater trip twice a month: MXN$500 to MXN$600 (MXN$100 to MXN$150 per ticket).

Groceries MXN$8,000 to MXN$10,000 Including a Costco or Sam’s Club trip.
Gym Membership MXN$1,000 to MXN$1,200 N/A
Medical Appointment MXN$40 to MXN$50 MXN$40 to MXN$50 for a visit with a local doctor; MXN$750 at English-speaking clinic.
TOTAL MXN$33,740 to MXN$44,100

Penny-Pincher’s Budget (Bare Minimum Costs, For A Couple)

 
Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Rent MXN$4,000 to MXN$6,000 Cheapest part of town; basic one-bedroom rental.
Transportation MXN$400 to MXN$600 20 to 30 bus rides at MXN$10 per person per trip. No taxis rides.
Gas N/A Included in the cost of rent.
Electricity MXN$150 to MXN$200 No AC use.
Water MXN$200 to MXN$250 N/A
Cell Phone MXN$200 to MXN$300 Cheapest monthly plan with minimal data.
Internet MXN$300 to MXN$400 N/A
Cable TV N/A N/A
Entertainment MXN$2,200 to MXN$3,000 Eating out: MXN$1,200 to MXN$1,500 (taco trucks, tortas, menu del dia; usually MXN$60 to MXN$80.

Local drinks: MXN$1,000 to MXN$1,500 (local beers and happy hours).

Groceries MXN$5,000 to MXN$6,000 Shopping at local markets and avoiding imported goods.
TOTAL MXN$12,450 to MXN$16,750

Click here for currency conversions at today’s exchange rates.

Despite Puerto Vallarta’s international appeal and glamorous cachet, it remains surprisingly affordable, including the cost of its real estate. This city offers the best choice for a fully appointed Pacific coast retirement that is also affordable. In Puerto Vallarta, you aren’t buying for someday, you have the opportunity to buy a world-class lifestyle in a region with world-class beaches and ocean views that is supported, right now, by world-class golf courses, marinas, restaurants, and shopping.

Infrastructure In Puerto Vallarta

This stretch of Mexico’s Pacific coastline has already been developed to a high level. Roads are well-maintained. You can drive here from the United States without difficulty.

The recent Jala-Puerto Vallarta Highway provides an easy link with Guadalajara. Developments like this continue to make Puerto an important strategic city for both trade and tourism.

The Pacific coast in and around Puerto Vallarta has been invested in, over decades, not only by developers and speculators, but also, importantly, by the Mexican government.

The government has supported private investment in this region over time, and now it has refocused its attention here, specifically on the stretch of coast running for about 100 miles north from Nuevo Vallarta.

Everyday life within the Puerto Vallarta is well-appointed. The government has been spending money to renovate and renew large parts of the city. Tourist areas are constantly being modernized.

Climate In Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta has a hot, tropical cimate. Cold weather is not something you will have to contend with here.

The dry season lasts from October to June. It peaks from January to April, this is when you can find the best weather. The sea breeze appears most days during the dry season to take the edge off the heat. There is also much less humidity during this time.

The rainy season lasts from July to September. Temperatures are hot and extremely humid. This is fine for lying by the pool or on the beach, but you won’t want to do much else.

Evenings in Puerto Vallarta are when the tropical climate really shines. The temperatures are warm enough that you can sit outside for hours.

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