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BigJon

My day in Puerto Vallarta: city bus to Malecon

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I was in Puerto Vallarta less than 2 weeks ago for our first visit, and we had a great time. Me and my wife walked out the front of the cruise facility (facing Wal-Mart) and turned right, and walked up the side walk about 50 yards to the bus stop. As we approached the bus stop, a city bus pulled up with CENTRO in the windshield. We got on and I gave the driver $2. When using american dollars, you won't get any change, and the driver gave me 2 blue tickets. Later, after a couple more stops, another guy came around and checked to see if we had tickets. After paying the driver, make sure you get a seat quick, because he doesn't wait for you to get a seat. Yeah, the seats had some tears, and yes, there was a dog laying in the floor beside of us (he didn't bother anyone), but come on, we rode to town and back for a total price of $4. That's a great deal, and there's no doubt I would do it again. We got off the bus near the Malecon, and checked out the shops, the sculptures and the great view from the Malecon. At the end of the Malecon, we crossed over the bridge and walked down Olas Atlas. We stopped at the Sea Monkey and had a coke and some nachos. We mainly went there for the free Wi-Fi, so we could "face time" with our kids. After the Sea Monkey, we walked down Basilio Badillo and then took another left at Aguacate. We walked to the end of that street, and took a right on Aquiles Serdan. We walked about 50 yards and turned left and crossed a swinging bridge. There were kids crossing the bridge when we did, and they were shaking it, and me and my wife laughed, because it was shaking alot. The bridge led us to Isla Cuale, where we took a left and walked to Insurgentes. We then took a right and walked over the bridge and went to the Mercado on the left. After the Mercado, we walked back toward the Malecon, to the Guadalupe Cathedral. Took some pictures there and walked a little farther north, and caught a city bus. Great day! Loved Puerto Vallarta!

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I was in Puerto Vallarta less than 2 weeks ago for our first visit, and we had a great time. Me and my wife walked out the front of the cruise facility (facing Wal-Mart) and turned right, and walked up the side walk about 50 yards to the bus stop. As we approached the bus stop, a city bus pulled up with CENTRO in the windshield. We got on and I gave the driver $2. When using american dollars, you won't get any change, and the driver gave me 2 blue tickets. Later, after a couple more stops, another guy came around and checked to see if we had tickets. After paying the driver, make sure you get a seat quick, because he doesn't wait for you to get a seat. Yeah, the seats had some tears, and yes, there was a dog laying in the floor beside of us (he didn't bother anyone), but come on, we rode to town and back for a total price of $4. That's a great deal, and there's no doubt I would do it again. We got off the bus near the Malecon, and checked out the shops, the sculptures and the great view from the Malecon. At the end of the Malecon, we crossed over the bridge and walked down Olas Atlas. We stopped at the Sea Monkey and had a coke and some nachos. We mainly went there for the free Wi-Fi, so we could "face time" with our kids. After the Sea Monkey, we walked down Basilio Badillo and then took another left at Aguacate. We walked to the end of that street, and took a right on Aquiles Serdan. We walked about 50 yards and turned left and crossed a swinging bridge. There were kids crossing the bridge when we did, and they were shaking it, and me and my wife laughed, because it was shaking alot. The bridge led us to Isla Cuale, where we took a left and walked to Insurgentes. We then took a right and walked over the bridge and went to the Mercado on the left. After the Mercado, we walked back toward the Malecon, to the Guadalupe Cathedral. Took some pictures there and walked a little farther north, and caught a city bus. Great day! Loved Puerto Vallarta!

 

Big Jon --- I think you followed my footprints in PV with one exception !! I had beer at the Sea Monkey:D:D

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Fantastic post. Nice to hear of your great day in PV.:) Some are afraid to take the public transportation but it really is just fine from the cruise terminal to the Malecon.

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We always love to take the bus. It is a fun and cheap way to get around.

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Where is a good place to catch the bus in old town heading back to the terminal?

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Where is a good place to catch the bus in old town heading back to the terminal?

Almost all buses stop and depart at Plaza Lazaro Cardenas.

And also near the famous church near the Malecon.

Take the blue/white bus with hoteles, Walmart/Sams etc. on the window.

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We would just add that the proper bus fare is 6.5 Pesos or about 50 cents. Many drivers will happily take a US Dollar since they profit from the 100% mark-up. We love using the PV buses (we normally spend about 2 months a year in PV) and riding those vehicles can be a real adventure :)

 

Hank

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If you give the driver a dollar and wait a few seconds, he will give you some pesos in change. I do that, then give the pesos back as a tip.

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We are going to be in PV on the 16th of January and wanted to do some shopping and then hang out at a resort for the rest of the day. Any ideas of how we should plan our day?:)

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I was in Puerto Vallarta less than 2 weeks ago for our first visit, and we had a great time. Me and my wife walked out the front of the cruise facility (facing Wal-Mart) and turned right, and walked up the side walk about 50 yards to the bus stop. As we approached the bus stop, a city bus pulled up with CENTRO in the windshield. We got on and I gave the driver $2. When using american dollars, you won't get any change, and the driver gave me 2 blue tickets. Later, after a couple more stops, another guy came around and checked to see if we had tickets. After paying the driver, make sure you get a seat quick, because he doesn't wait for you to get a seat. Yeah, the seats had some tears, and yes, there was a dog laying in the floor beside of us (he didn't bother anyone), but come on, we rode to town and back for a total price of $4. That's a great deal, and there's no doubt I would do it again. We got off the bus near the Malecon, and checked out the shops, the sculptures and the great view from the Malecon. At the end of the Malecon, we crossed over the bridge and walked down Olas Atlas. We stopped at the Sea Monkey and had a coke and some nachos. We mainly went there for the free Wi-Fi, so we could "face time" with our kids. After the Sea Monkey, we walked down Basilio Badillo and then took another left at Aguacate. We walked to the end of that street, and took a right on Aquiles Serdan. We walked about 50 yards and turned left and crossed a swinging bridge. There were kids crossing the bridge when we did, and they were shaking it, and me and my wife laughed, because it was shaking alot. The bridge led us to Isla Cuale, where we took a left and walked to Insurgentes. We then took a right and walked over the bridge and went to the Mercado on the left. After the Mercado, we walked back toward the Malecon, to the Guadalupe Cathedral. Took some pictures there and walked a little farther north, and caught a city bus. Great day! Loved Puerto Vallarta!

 

 

Do you know how often the busses come by (either way?)

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Buses go by about every five seconds - there are many, many buses. Just check that they either say Centro or Tunel. You usually want to get the bus that has Centro in the window and WalMart or Sam's for the stop near the cruise ship terminal.

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Be aware the price for a busride went up to 7,50 Pesos per person.

On the way back take the blue/white bus with Walmart/Sams in the window. The green bus with Walmart goes to a different Walmart.

Edited by Ine

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I was in Puerto Vallarta less than 2 weeks ago for our first visit, and we had a great time. Me and my wife walked out the front of the cruise facility (facing Wal-Mart) and turned right, and walked up the side walk about 50 yards to the bus stop. As we approached the bus stop, a city bus pulled up with CENTRO in the windshield. We got on and I gave the driver $2. When using american dollars, you won't get any change, and the driver gave me 2 blue tickets. Later, after a couple more stops, another guy came around and checked to see if we had tickets. After paying the driver, make sure you get a seat quick, because he doesn't wait for you to get a seat. Yeah, the seats had some tears, and yes, there was a dog laying in the floor beside of us (he didn't bother anyone), but come on, we rode to town and back for a total price of $4. That's a great deal, and there's no doubt I would do it again. We got off the bus near the Malecon, and checked out the shops, the sculptures and the great view from the Malecon. At the end of the Malecon, we crossed over the bridge and walked down Olas Atlas. We stopped at the Sea Monkey and had a coke and some nachos. We mainly went there for the free Wi-Fi, so we could "face time" with our kids. After the Sea Monkey, we walked down Basilio Badillo and then took another left at Aguacate. We walked to the end of that street, and took a right on Aquiles Serdan. We walked about 50 yards and turned left and crossed a swinging bridge. There were kids crossing the bridge when we did, and they were shaking it, and me and my wife laughed, because it was shaking alot. The bridge led us to Isla Cuale, where we took a left and walked to Insurgentes. We then took a right and walked over the bridge and went to the Mercado on the left. After the Mercado, we walked back toward the Malecon, to the Guadalupe Cathedral. Took some pictures there and walked a little farther north, and caught a city bus. Great day! Loved Puerto Vallarta!

 

Thanks for the roadmap! Even at 7.5 pesos it is a great deal!

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We were on that bus again last week, and for the ride from the port to downtown I offered $2 US and received 7 Pesos change with our two tickets.

 

On the return I offered $1 and held out my palm with the 7 Pesos. He took 3 and gave me my tickets.

 

We had lunch at the Cheeky Monkey, trying the Hot Wings (spicy) for 59 Pesos. We got eight, along with a dipping sauce, and they were very tasty. Several $ beers helped wash them down.

 

gary

 

p.s. Weave, never occurred to me to return the change as a tip, but will do in the future. Thanks!

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Had to dig up this older post for PV information. Have not been there for many years but will be there in Nov 2013. Thanks for the refresher on buses and fares. No WalMart last time we were there, had to look for Marina signs on the bus.

 

Any snorkel tour recommendations, also looking for a day in the water.

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Yes. We felt safe, and if our kids were that age again (they're now 20 and 22), me and my wife would do it. We felt perfectly safe. And yes we made a few stops before the Malecon, but the savings was absolutely worth it. On our cruise, we stopped at Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Cartegena and Costa Maya, and our favorite was Puerto Vallarta. Great place.

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Would a bus ride be safe for a family with a 3 year old and 6 year old?

 

The biggest danger of a 3 or 6 year old getting on a PV bus would be the high step to get into the bus :). I have to tell you that these PV buses are real killers....and we live in constant fear of those big steps. And you also need to consider the other true horror of our buses (we are in PV now) which is they have no air conditioning! As I type this from my PV condo, our front door is open, our balcony doors are open (the way they remain for our entire multi-month stay...and I am constantly shaking in fear of those darn local buses. My goodness, they recently had the nerve to raise our bus fare to 7.5 Pesos (about 60 cents). Oh the horror!

 

But seriously, bring your family down here to sunny Mexico (it was truly cloudy for part of today) and just enjoy all the charms of this wonderful city.

 

Hank

Edited by Hlitner

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Had to dig up this older post for PV information. Have not been there for many years but will be there in Nov 2013. Thanks for the refresher on buses and fares. No WalMart last time we were there, had to look for Marina signs on the bus.

 

Any snorkel tour recommendations, also looking for a day in the water.

 

We will complicate your life further because we now have not 1....but 2 (yes 2) Walmart Superstores (along with a Sams Club and a Costco) in Puerto Vallarta. And only one of those Walmarts is near the cruise port. And remember, the bus fare is only 7.5 Pesos (after last month's fare increase) which is about 60 cents. Most drivers are fine with making a nice profit if you give them $1 since you are overpaying by about 60%..

 

Hank

Edited by Hlitner

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So nice to see such a great msg re taking the bus in PV. We too love taking the bus here and have always had a very good experience. And yes hold on. We have been able to chat with the locals for advice on where to get off, where to go to certain sites, etc. My favorite is when someone comes on and sings and then politely goes by and you are free to tip if you wish. Then if they get enough money they pay for their fare.

 

We have also taken the bus in the other direction to a few different locations. Once to Punta de mita, once to Bucerias, and even once to Sayulita. Sorry about the spelling.

 

We will be back in late March and not sure where we will go but it will be sure to include a bus ride, a great meal and some beautiful scenery.

 

here is a link to my blog post from our last visit to PV just over a year ago and it recounts the bus trip.

 

http://vickieandbernietravel.blogspot.ca/search/label/Puerto%20Vallarta

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I hear theres 2 sides of PV one is the nice beaches and on the other side is the jungle where they filmed a movie. what nice resorts do you recommend (walking distance from port) is it worth paying for a resort excursion or just walking to one?

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If a family of 5 (2 adults and 3 kids) offered $4 for the bus would that be about right?

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I hear theres 2 sides of PV one is the nice beaches and on the other side is the jungle where they filmed a movie. what nice resorts do you recommend (walking distance from port) is it worth paying for a resort excursion or just walking to one?

 

That would be an oversimplification. We have about 60,000 Canadians and Americans who live around the Bay of Bandaras (the Bay that fronts PV and cruise port) and we are in a pretty extensive area (far beyond where you will go on a cruise day). Yes, there are jungles (or at least the Mexican version of jungles) and there is a city, old town, Miami-like hotel area in Nuevo Vallarta, etc. We have 2 Walmarts in PV, a Sams Club and a Costco. Some of the beaches are OK, and some are not very good, but none of the beaches (and water) come close to what they have on the East Coast of Mexico and the Caribbean. PV has wonderful restaurants (and even great food from street stands), interesting shopping (be sure to look at some Huichol art work), many excellent art galleries, interesting arts and crafts at our flea market or in some local shops, etc. And yes, for cruisers that prefer to miss all that is Mexico and Puerto Vallarta there is always the option to just going to a resort hotel and sitting in a sterile chair on a sterile beach or at a sterile pool.

 

We recently came to PV on a cruise (this past November) and took our 6 tablemates (none of whom at ever been to PV) on our own version of a tour. We brought them from the port (marina) on a PV local bus (an adventure in itself) which only cost about 60 cents per person. We then walked them from one end of the Malecon (starting near McDonalds) to the other end (southside or Romantic Zone) pointing out some of the world-class art work, taking them in some shops, letting them browse Huichol Art, etc. At the end of this tour we stopped at the Sea Monkey to enjoy $1 beer and Margaritas and then took them a bit further along the beach to a "beach club" where they had more beer and margaritas and got to swim in the bay.

 

Is this the ideal day for everyone? Nope and even some of our friends would not want to do spend their day doing this stuff. But the thought of a cruise ship visitor spending their day at some local resort and not experiencing what PV is about...is almost heart breaking. So, do you think we like this place?

 

P.S. I guess we should explain that we our now enjoying our 8th consecutive winter in PV.....but we are also avid cruisers and love watching the ships (from our condo balcony) as they arrive and depart.

Edited by Hlitner

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But the thought of a cruise ship visitor spending their day at some local resort and not experiencing what PV is about...is almost heart breaking.

 

I don't get it either. PV has so much to offer.

 

To each their own, I guess.

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