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Puerto Vallarta is said to be a very safe area with an unusually low crime rate. The area makes most of its living through tourism, so there is a definite interest in keeping tourists (and residents) safe and secure. There are even special “ tourist police,” who wear white safari-esque outfits with black shoulder pads, are bi-lingual and will offer directions and assistance to those who need it, in addition to general security. Additionally, most hotels and resorts have their own security.
One thing to be careful of Puerto Vallarta is crossing the street, as drivers here tend to be on the aggressive side. However, some street crossings in the center of town are also manned by police.
Some people are concerned about kidnappings in Mexico, and this is a growing problem. However, tourists are not targeted by anti-government sentiment, and foreigners are not the targets of these kidnappings. Many people say they feel safer walking in Puerto Vallarta at night than they do in their home cities.
Puerto Vallarta is also said to have the safest drinking water in all of Mexico.
As in any other beach area, visitors should take normal safety precautions around the water, especially as the ocean can be a bit rough in the area.
It should be noted that the USA Travel Warning is for areas far away from Puerto Vallarta (the closest is several hours) so should not be seen to be in any way a discouragement for those considering a trip to this very safe tourist area.