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Taxis are plentiful wherever you go in Puerto Vallarta. If you're hailing a taxi from your resort, the Bell Boy will assist you. If you are hailing a taxi on your own, be sure to negotiate the price before getting into the taxi. Prices are set throughout town and the taxis are not metered. The only variance is when taking a taxi from the airport, which is more expensive than going to the airport because it is a Federal Zone and there are increased taxes and airport fees for the Federal Zone Taxis and they have to return to the airport empty as they are prohibited from picking up customers in town.
Generally the standard fare is 50 - 60 pesos if you are staying in town with the fare going up to $80 -100 pesos if you are staying at one of the northern hotel zone hotels. Cab drivers are very nice and the cars (usually Nissan Tsurus) are clean. Puerto Vallarta is a great walking town with lots to see but cabs can be necessary when trying to make a reservation for dinner or getting across town quickly. The cabs are nothing like the $40 each way fares in Cabo. Seriously 60 pesos is the average.
Below is a link showing Taxi Rates for February 2016 from Zona Sur (Rosa): Basilo Badillo, Olas Altas, Amapas and Malecon Sur to areas around Puerto Vallarta and to the Airport.
Taxi drivers drive very aggressively, but you'll find that almost anywhere that you visit.
Always enter and exit the taxi from the sidewalk side (non-traffic side) of the cab and look for traffic or people before opening the door.
Try to have your money ready to pay right away when at your destination. Taxis will often stop in traffic to let you out, thus stopping traffic, so pay and exit as quickly as possible.
Seat belts are often tucked down in the backseat. While it is not required to wear one, in case you have an infant seat, you may have to dig them out.
Taxi usually do not carry much change, so try to have smaller bills. Taxi drivers may accept U.S. Dollars but typically at a poor exchange rate.
A lot of people recommend using the efficient bus system, but for a few pesos more you can take a cab.
Renting a car in PuertoVallarta can be a fun experience - but often isnt very cost effective as cabs are relatively cheap and the city is rather compact so getting around is easy. Do though beware of Multi-National car rental companies, they don't quote all mandatory insurances on their websites and the rate will double or even triple when you get to the counter - and then go up another 20% when dropping the car off. For example, a quote of $250 for a week online will turn into $600 at the counter and $700 when you drop it off. The major corporate outlets are your best bet as they are not " franchises " and their rate on the contract is what you pay with no surprises. Avis is right beside the airport and is well known for being a trusted car rental company and even though their initial quote may be higher than other companies - the end rate will be 30% less than you will pay using a car companies located across the main drag from the airport such as budget, ace and thrifty who all have bad reputations for hidden costs.
Also keep in mind any car insurance you have outside of Mexico will not cover you in Mexico on a rental car - so check with your credit card company to make sure you have proper insurance for driving in Mexico. Mexican Liability insurance is mandatory.
Whilst the major car rental companies will use their age-old sales tactics to
lure you to their office.(Remember it costs money to have a booth at the
airport.) An alternative company is Gecko Rent A Car who will do a
pick-up and drop off at the OXXO parking lot outside the airport doors.
They will quote you an "all-in" price which includes insurance, give
you a discount for cash and is the only company that has not had any complaints. They do the paperwork in the car with you. Initial contact is by e-mail and continuous e-mails coach you all the way.
Areas of interest are a bit spread out and if you want to go out and see all the little villages and country side a car will change your enitre trip (for the better).
The driving here is not as bad as most people make it out to be, you just have to know a couple of things before you hit the road: at intersections, the left turn lane is on the lateral road (the lanes on the right side of the highway) and on two lane highways a left signal light can idicate to the person behind to pass. But, keep in mind, they also may be taking a left hand turn, so pay attention as to what the driver ahead is telling you.
If making a left turn on a two lane highway pull off to the right side of the road wait for traffic to clear then make the left; you pretty much always have to make a right to make a left... it sounds funny but will make sense when you see it in action!
Parking is hard to find in downtown PV. They opened an underground parking lot that always has space--it's your best bet. The south side of PV has a lot better parking and you can find a spot pretty easily.
Another tip for a pain-free driving experience is to use the SYGIC GPS app for your tablet. This voice directed GPS has 3D maps and get's you to where you want to go effortlessly. Just one point, use a GPS along with common sense and follow the traffic when you see road works in progress.