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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.