Is Puerto Vallarta Safe for Tourists?

by Craig Zabransky on May 13, 2011

Last month the State Department’s travel warning to Mexico expanded and included the states of Jalisco, Nayarit and others. Puerto Vallarta resides in Jalisco and to the north tourists find the luxury resorts on the Riviera Nayarit. Officially the warning did not cover Puerto Vallarta, but with the constant coverage of warnings in Mexico and the inclusion of these states, do travelers to Puerto Vallarta need to be worried?

security with a machine gun is a common sight in the US too

My 2 pesos – no, they don’t.

I understand drug related violence exists in Mexico, but it is concentrated in the north of Mexico at the border, some 1,200 miles away from Puerto Vallarta. Hypothetically, if you were worried about the drugs in Miami, would you avoid traveling to New York? Probably not.

But why the increased warnings? Some violence has been cited in other cities 300 miles from Puerto Vallarta. With so much to do and see in the Vallarta area, do you really think you might travel 300 miles outside the city? Or in a hypothetical comparison again, might concerns about Detroit make you avoid Chicago? Again, probably not.

So then is Puerto Vallarta safe?

I can’t answer that for you, but instead of offering more facts and figures that often fall to a deaf ear, let me tell you about my recent trip to Puerto Vallarta. I never felt threatened. I walked downtown Puerto Vallarta both day and night, took late night taxis for transportation, walked the sculpture filled Malecon at sunset, took a full day excursion via a guided tour, and met many tourists from Canada, the US and local Mexicans, some with families having a great, safe, vacation.

No incident. Never a concern. No worries.

do I look worried or concerned?

Over a million visitors come to Puerto Vallarta every year and love the destination. Are you one of them? Do you want to be? Well either way, I am curious about your thoughts? Do you think Puerto Vallarta is as safe as I do. Why or why not?

photos: Police Officer is via Flickr dream2life and the Hammock is by Craig Zabransky.

Craig travels around the world to write tales of travel aimed to encourage and inspire others to take and make adventure in their life. And after calling Mexico home for over a year, it secured a special place in his heart. He continues to return often and often considers it his second home. You can find more of his travels on his Stay Adventurous site and follow him on his Twitter: @stayadventurous..
Craig Zabransky
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