About the Area: Puerto Vallarta is the dream couple’s travel destination; it has everything you could ever ask for. Expect perfect weather, beautiful beaches, crystal clear water and snorkeling, cultural activities, amazing culinary experiences, open bars, endless ocean views, and the BEST guacamole you will ever have. AND it’s fairly inexpensive! Whether you just want to travel together for fun or you’re celebrating a special occasion, you should definitely consider planning a romantic getaway to Puerto Vallarta.
Booking your Romantic Getaway:
Although they’re great options online for booking travels, we decided to use our most trusted Travel Agent: G’s mom. Especially in this tough time for the travel industry, we recommend using a travel agent in case of unforeseen circumstances. They are WAY more helpful and have so much more expertise than online platforms. For those of you based near LA or Santa Barbara, feel free to reach out to Jill to plan your next vacation via firstname.lastname@example.org. If not using a travel agent, our favorite online platform to use is Kayak.
We bought our round-trip plane tickets 4 months in advance. We bought our flights in November for our trip in the first week of March after monitoring when flights would be the cheapest. Our anniversary is also in February, so we thought it would be nice to avoid Valentine’s Day crowds and prices.
Best Time to Go:
When we asked the locals, everyone definitely recommended planning your romantic getaway to Puerto Vallarta around late February/Early March. Their reasoning was that the winter is too cold for the beaches, but summer can get too hot and crowded. The weather at this time is super similar to Santa Barbara for comparison. If you are into the party scene, the spring breakers arrive in late March.
Budgeting Your Couple’s Getaway:
We’ve talked about this before, but Stephen and I like to split our romantic getaway expenses 50/50. We always use our travel credit cards to make big purchases like our flights, Air Bnbs/Hotels, and transportation rentals. Doing so, we can accumulate cashback and some future travel benefits since we travel often.
In terms of budgeting, we saved up for our trip for about a month before we bought everything. That way, we could buy each aspect of our travel at a separate time so that it’s not an all-at-once burden for either of us. We recommend doing so if you would rather spread out your expenses. For example, purchasing your flights first, your accommodations your next pay period, and your activities later. We like to ball on a budget.
Exchanging Your Money for Pesos
Although we got a steeper exchange rate for Pesos at the Airport, we still got a fairly good exchange rate. The more money you take out, the better the rate there. We were there for 5 days and withdrew about $150 each, so $300 in total. This turned out to be the PERFECT amount for miscellaneous expenses like tips, taxis, the bus, and more. We used the last of our money at the airport so we knew that we had budgeted well. FYI, all ATMs at the airport only deal out US dollars. You can use dollars in Mexico, however, it’s just easier for most vendors and workers to work in dollars.
In terms of transportation, the bus costs 10 pesos each, and the bus driver will only accept exact change so make sure to be aware of that. Taxis usually cost about 80-100 pesos to get from our Air BnB to the Malecon (where most restaurants were). Make sure to budget cash accordingly. When talking with vendors, always make sure to negotiate! Never ever take their starting price. Stephen and I haggled down our Margarita glasses and guacamole bowl down quite a bit. We also recommend taking out cash for shopping for items like this.
Romantic Getaway Activities: Tour Company or Solo Exploring?
When planning your getaway to Puerto Vallarta, you can’t help but get excited at all there is to do. This city is a tourist’s dream with endless food and adventure tours. After heavily researching Trip Advisor, Yelp, Instagram, as well as reading other blogs and the city’s tourism site, we had a great idea of what we wanted to do when we got there.
So, we compiled a list of activities we wanted to do by beaches we wanted to visit, outdoor activities, places to eat, and cultural areas to explore. After the insanely positive reviews of Vallarta Adventures and the amazing 2 for 3 deal they were running, we pre-booked several experiences through them.
Our itinerary included their Outdoor Zip Line Adventure, Luxury Yacht and Snorkel Tour, and the Rhythm of the Night Dinner and Savia. All of the activities did not disappoint. We will definitely use this company again when we plan out our next romantic getaway to Puerto Vallarta. Keep an eye out for our future reviews of their activities! I have also used Canopy Adventures for ziplining the last time I went to Puerto Vallarta and they were a lot of fun as well.
We opted for 1-2 days of meandering by ourselves so that not every aspect of our trip was planned out. It was really nice to have some days of planned activities and some days for a spontaneous adventure. We felt super safe exploring the city alone and took the public busses to get us around which were very easy to navigate. Everything is also relatively close together, so you can also sightsee by walking everywhere if you want to get your steps in. This is also a much cheaper alternative than consistently getting around by taxi.
While we are all navigating this unprecedented time together, take some time to plan out your next romantic getaway to Puerto Vallarta! You won’t regret it! Keep an eye out for our future guides to Puerto Vallarta on where to eat and what to do! ¡Adiós!