Some suggestions,

when traveling in Mexico.

 

THINGS TO BRING

  • Long pants & a long sleeve shirt for cooler nights
  • Windbreaker or sweatshirt for the boat  ride to Yelapa
  • A  small flashlight to maneuver at night or in a mine
  • Zip lock bags for wet bathing suites & dirty clothing
  • Don’t over pack! Bring enough clothing to last a week.
  • Remember all the Colonial Towns have laundry service !
  • Three ounce containers for all carry on liquids

 BASIC TIPS

  • After going through customs, speak to sales people, only if you want to buy a condo
  • Put your passport, extra cash & tourist card in the safety deposit box at your hotel.
  • Best exchange rate is at the local ATM.
  • Avoid taking too much sun the first two days. Best 8-11  am & 2-6 pm .not mid day
  • Eating at taco & fruit stands. We’ve never experienced Montezuma’s Revenge.
  • If you have an AT&T cell phone, they provide free unlimited calling to & from Mexico .
  • Nicknames are very common in Mexico. Ask if they have one. Tiene un apodo ?
  •  Having the same name of a person like “Mary & Maria” is called tocaya , for men “John & Juan” is called  tocayo.
  • Crossing any street Look Both Ways even on one way streets
  • Have a good meal before any long bus ride or boat trip. It prevents motion sickness
  • When traveling by car or bus take a roll of toilet paper.You never know when you might need it.

RESTAURANT TIPS

      ♦  If you want the check,  just say “La Cuenta, por favor

      ♦  Usually they only bring you the check when you ask for it.

♦  If you want to leave a tip, it’s best to  leave cash in PESOS not US dollars

       If you like Cabernet Sauvignon, I’d suggest buying or ordering RESERVADO  2019 from Chile

  • If you’d like some lemon for your seafood, ask for limon pronounced“Leemon” por favor. It will be a lime not the yellow lemon that you see back home
  • If you buy beans in bulk to cookyouself, chew them slowly since on occasion you might find a stone.

HOTEL TIPS

  • If you are a light sleeper, ask for a quiet room away from the street and families.
  • In Mexico & other Latin countries small hotels are called Posadas,
  • When you see netting above the bed, use it. It’s not for decoration.
  • If your traveling independently, pay one day at a time in case you get inspired to move on .
  • If  your pillow is too hard or soft, roll up a towel, in a pillow slip to the height & softness you like.

 CLOTHING TIPS

  • Anytime you’re inland or near vegetation, wear long pants & long-sleeved shirts. This protects you from the local gnats commonly called No Seeums.
  • Leave your fine jewelry and watches at home.
  •  In small towns ,if you’d like to blend in, men should wear long pants.

TAXI TIPS

  • Always settle on the price before getting in. Ask a local or front deck what it costs.
  • Use small bills to pay. NEVER a 500 peso bill
  • If the driver offers to wait or return for you, make sure you settle on the price.
  • Most cab drivers speak a little English.  Asking their name, nickname or apodo & where they’re from . Its shows them your interested in them & Mexico.
  •  Drivers are very accommodating. They will gladly adjust the music or A/C.
  • Official taxis are always yellow, and only take up to four passengers. It’s the law.
  • If you’re a group of five or more, they’ll call for a larger taxi or van taxi.

DRIVING TIPS

  • When renting a car, it is required to take Mexican insurance.
  • The flashing green light appears just before the red light comes on.
  • To make a left turn, on the road from Old Puerto Vallarta to the airport, go to the right lane and wait for the green left turn signal.
  • When you see the word “Tope”, on a road sign, it indicates a speed bump ahead.
  • Never drive at night. Animals love to cross roads after dark .
  • If you have to drive at night, make sure to follow a car with brake lights to give you advance warning of up-coming obstacles & Topes “the silent police bumps” in the road
  • When traveling by car or bus take a roll of toilet paper.You never know when you might need it

BUS TIPS

ATM Public Buses to San Sebastian, Mascota & Talpa leave from a small bus terminal on Calle Lucerna #128. near Plaza Las Glorias.They leave Vallarta at 6:30 am,9:00 am,2:40 pm,4:30 pm & 6:30 pm. One way fares & travel times To La Estancia 1.5 hours for 100 pesos (nearest stop to San Sebastian then take a taxi for 120 pesos to San Sebastian,about 5 miles or hitch a ride)  To Mascota 165 pesos,2.45 hours & To Talpa 190 pesos,3.5 hours.Their PV  phone # is 322-222-4816 operators speak only Spanish.

  • Another way to & from San Sebastian,Mascota or Talpa is using the LANUTRAN VAN Company.
  • They  use 10-14 passenger Vans..The 6am driver is Adan who speaks English.
  • San Sebastian (the nearest stop is La Estancia,120 pesos in 1.15 hours, then you can take a Taxi for about 5 miles 120 pesos to San Sebastian or hitch a ride.
  • Mascota is 180 pesos in 2.15 hours & leaves you off in the main plaza near hotels & restaurants
  • Talpa 200 pesos in  3.15 hours leaves you at their terminal across from San Rafael Church  then 40 pesos via taxi to any part of town.
  • Lanutran Vans leave Puerto Vallarta to Talpa  at 6 am & 2 pm.
  • Lanutran Vans leave Talpa to Puerto Vallarta  at 6 am & 12:30 pm. They offer clean  7- 14 passenger vans. Call to make your reservation Tel. 388-101-0052
  • Lanutran Vans  pickup  location  in Puerto Vallarta is at the entrance to SAM’S near the Cruise Ship Terminal.
  • Public Buses to San Pancho, Punta de Mita, Sayulita  & San Juan leave from the  bus stop at HSBC Bank, across from the Coppel Store, every half hour between 7am- 8 pm and take about 45 minutes to 1.5 hours for 22- 62 pesos depending on your destination. Public Buses return to PV about 9 pm.
  • Puerto Vallarta public buses are 10 pesos per person. Always use the 10 peso coin.
  •  The front row seats marked in Yellow are for people over 60
  • If you’d like to see the coastline  sit on the right facing forward going south and on left  traveling north.
  • If you are traveling long distances, use the bathroom prior to boarding  & have a good  meal to help prevent motion sickness.
  • When you pay the bus driver in Mexico, they will give you a receipt that proves you where on the bus in case of an accident. Yes, they have insurance.

HITCHHIKING TIPS

  • You can’t choose who is going to stop, but you can choose not to get in. The smell of alcohol is a clue. The only danger we’ve encountered in our hitching for 10 years, was climbing into the back of pickups.
  • Hitching as a couple works best.  
  • Hitch from a place where it is safe for them to pull over. That’s  obvious.
  • Take your sunglasses off and make eye contact.  Smile even if they pass you by.  People have often turned around to pick us up.
  • When the driver asks where you’re are going?  It’s best to say” wherever your going” or the name of the town you’d like to go to .  That guarantees you a ride to that town & further depending on the driver’s destination.
  • The person who speaks the best Spanish should sit next to the driver to converse
  • It is not unusual to get rides from women & families.

LAUNDRY TIPS

  • Every town has drop-off laundry services. They charge by the load or weight.
  •  Average cost is about $3  to $4 US for washing ,drying & folding.
  • Your laundry will usually be ready the same day if you deliver it before 12 noon.
  • To avoid  any inconvenience, make sure you know the days and hours of operation.
  • If you are sensitive to chemicals, request organic soap or bring your own.

 SPECIAL TIP… if traveling to San Sebastian, Mascota or Talpa . Before you cross the long Main Bridge, just before San Sebastian ,stop at Panadoria Carmen’s Bakery  Their open 7 am- 3 pm weekdays( closed on Tuesdays ) On Fri, Sat. & Sun. 6 am- noon. They have great  freshly made muffins of all flavors plus coffee or hot chocolate. They’re  relaxed garden atmosphere is just a few feet to the spectacular bridge. Try their unique Mexican Caviar. If you have a group, best to call ahead to order your muffins ,since they often sell out. Ask for Carmen or Jesus Tel.322-132-0620