This is a pretty good life

As we head into our last week in Puerto Vallarta we are constantly taking stock of our life here. Traveling the world is our current goal but we want to evaluate and consider each stop as a possible future destination.  Is this a place we want to visit again?  Is it a place we might want to winter in for several months a year?  What are its pros and cons?  Sitting on the deck watching the sunset and enjoying a cocktail we find ourselves saying “this is a pretty good life”.

The weather has been wonderful, sunny and warm, not too hot and not at all cold.   Several Canadian couples we see at the pool come here for 3 to 4 months every year.  Another couple from Chicago we met at the Saturday market had traveled the world and decided to settle down here and open a small business.  As they noted, there is a good mix of locals and expats.  It is an easy flight from the US and easy to live well on a budget.

I mentioned that our budget is $100 a day, which is enough to live well in PV.   I hope you are not annoyed with my recurring talk of budgets and costs but it is a fact of life for us, and I assume others who are considering a life of travel would like to know what it really costs.

Our $5 breakfast, we remembered to take the photo before we ate the pastry this time

Under the watchful eye of his grandfather

Here in PV lunch on the beach for two with cocktails might set you back $25 US.  We spent the day at the Playa Los Muertos, the main beach in PV where we rented lounge chairs for the day, they came with ice water and juice, access to restrooms, a pool and shower, we bought lunch and shared a bottle of Prosecco, our total cost for the day with tip was $50 US.  In town there is a nice micro brewery with great pizza, the lunch special includes a slice of pizza, a salad and a pint of beer for 75 pesos, or about $4 US.

Fresh fish at the market

The local markets are inexpensive, a grocery bag of vegetables will cost $3-$4 US.  A fillet of Mahi Mahi is $5 US per pound.



On the grill

We had some expensive activities while our daughter was in town and a couple more when we were joined by our friends Jim and Amy.  A second cooking class (not as good as our first)

and a great dinner and show called Rhythms of the Night. Think Hawaiian luau Mexican style, it included a boat trip to a secluded beach front with a great meal followed by a Cirque du Soleil type show.

Jim and Amy are cooking

On the boat to dinner

Very entertaining and it didn’t even break the budget as Jim and Amy treated us in return for sharing our apartment with them.  I think we got the better end of that deal.

It is not all rainbows and butterflies, there are some negatives to account for.

Not every day is sunny, but they are warm.

As I mentioned, our current location is a bit far from stores and restaurants and a hike to the beach.  The snorkeling is limited at best.  In Maui we would snorkel almost daily.  And Mexico, like most of the Caribbean, has biting sand flies aka sand fleas.  They don’t bother me much but Kelly’s sweeter personality attracts them and she can end up with dozens of itchy bites.   So DEET and hydrocortisone are a must for her.  The language has not proven to be a problem though we do want to learn more Spanish with so many Spanish speaking countries to explore.  Poverty is always difficult for us, but the people we talk with are all grateful for the tourist dollars flowing in from the US and Canada, they point out that there is no other industry in the area and without tourism most locals could not live here in a place they too see as beautiful.

Greg’s 6th grade art project….ok I did it today, no question who is the artist in the family.

All and all, PV is a good option for a week or a winter.  Great weather, plenty of activities, restaurants, bars, and very budget friendly, we will probably be back.  But there are many more sunny destinations to explore, California, Arizona, and Croatia are all on our calendar between now and September.  We will continue to update you as long as you continue to read.



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  • James McLeod
    January 21, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    Really enjoy your blog! It’s the next best thing to being there.

  • Neil Brundage
    January 22, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Hi Greg and Kelly,

    Jin and I are super enjoying your blog (from budgets to the tastes of food) the balance seems just perfect. We also appreciate the humor and wit embedded in the writing! We are looking forward to your future visit to Nice France.

    • G&K
      January 22, 2019 at 5:49 am

      Thanks, we are looking forward to France and learning all about life in Nice.

  • Genevieve Marshall
    January 22, 2019 at 7:59 am

    LOVE the budget items as it helps with our planning for the future as you are now our beacon for future planning. Keep posting and sharing. It is never enough. Love the “Beach Walk” water color by Kelly.

    • G&K
      January 22, 2019 at 9:32 am

      Thanks G8, glad you like Kelly’s watercolor it took some convincing before she would let me post it, she never thinks her work is good enough to show the world.

  • Linda
    January 22, 2019 at 10:05 am

    Loving your posts and appreciating the practical tips for retirement traveling! Muchas gracias! (Still thinking about Nashville!)

    • G&K
      January 22, 2019 at 10:19 am

      Yes, how is the Nashville planning going we need to plan our return from Europe based on your Nashville plan