Today we are going to be discussing more about what to bring and what to expect when you get to Puerto Vallarta, namely the airport and transportation to your hotel, resort, condo, timeshare…must I go on? Well…yes…
……..and if you missed the last episode, we discussed some of the basics. What to pack, the very important issue of exchanging money, cell phone and data plans and so forth so if you missed any of that, I suggest you give it a listen or read the blog at www.puertovallartatravelshow.com. That was very important information so I suggest you go back and do a little catching up.
In the old days, well, it was not too long ago, you didn’t need a passport to enter Mexico from the USA, but times have changed and all of you foreigners will need passports when visiting Mexico. So if you don’t have yours or it isn’t up to date, best get that done before you decide to book a trip okay? Same applies to those of you sailing in on a cruise ship. Get your papers in order first off.
Then we talked about the best time of year to come to Puerto Vallarta and what to pack so I would like to bring in a local expert, JR in PV to give us a lesson on what are the best times to come to PV, and what it’s like during times when tourists are in short supply lets join in on the conversation….
And thank you JR for the boots on the ground experience and information. Keep in mind that the water is warm, the weather is almost always humid here. You can feel it when you get off of the plane and that brings us to the tropical nature of well, the tropics like mosquitoes and other biting bugs. Now you can and should bring some insect repellent with you. We all have our favorites so bring um if you got um, but if you forget to bring the bug spray, don’t worry, you can buy it just about everywhere from farmacias to little tiendas/ stores, the local OXXO that you will find almost on every corner. Mexico’s version of the 7/11 franchise. You can find insect repellent at any of the big supermercados, even Walmart, Costco, no shortage of very familiar looking shopping venues to choose from here in Puerto Vallarta.
So with bug spray in mind, let’s go right back to our favorite man on the beat, JR in Puerto Vallarta and ask him, what kind of bugs we need to be worried about here in Puerto Vallarta Mexico?
Listen to the Mosquito Interview with JR
Watch the Video Of What to Expect When you Arrive at the Puerto Vallarta Airport! Click Below!
Click the Image For The Video
Okay, so now we are all packed. We know what to bring. Passports, pack light, think cool, review what to do about money and your cell phone and internet needs in episode 2. Now you have arrived at the airport. What happens next?
After getting off the plane you will follow the signage to the immigration line. Depending on how many planes arrive at the same time, the longer the line of course. You will need the immigration card the flight attendant had you fill out, and you have it entirely filled out, even on the bottom where you didn’t notice you needed to fill out but need to anyway, and your passport.
By the way, I got an email from Brett from Seattle Washington who reminded me about a tip regarding filling out those immigration forms that we talks about in show 2 and 3. You know, the one you get from the flight attendant before you touch down in Puerto Vallarta, they are called FMM’s which stands for Forma Migratoria Multiple. Anyway, he says in his note…Barry, Listening to your second podcast and noticed you didn’t mention that you can complete the FMM online. It’s so much easier, and you don’t have to worry about a pen and writing small enough to get everything in the tiny boxes. When printed, fold it several times so they can separate the ‘top’ part from the ‘bottom’ like the pre-printed ones. I occasionally have to tell them it’s ‘nuevo – en linea’. Big time saver! Here’s the site: https://www.inm.gob.mx/fmme/publico/en/solicitud … there’s an ‘ES’ and an ‘EN’ button you can click for Spanish or English.
It’s at this point where the immigration person after looking you up and down and checking your mug against the mug in the passport photo, maybe even asking you a question or two, will stamp your passport. You will be waived on through another long walkway to a place with luggage carousels, money exchange windows and even places where you can buy cigarettes and booze. There is also a veterinary
room where you check in with Fido or Tigger. After you collect your luggage you will be asked to proceed to the customs lines where you will work your way up to the front where you will hand over your declaration card and you will be asked to press a button. If you are lucky, most people are, you will get a green light and will proceed to the next part of your journey. If you get a red light, you will be asked to proceed straight ahead of you to some tables with customs agents where they will ask you to open your bags for inspection. I have, in the many, many times I have been here over the last 33 years never been asked to open my bags. Not once. Call me lucky, but that has been my personal experience.
Now. This is the moment you have all been waiting for. This is it ladies and gentlemen. If you listen to all of my podcasts and get absolutely no information from any of them, this is the part that you must listen to. After you escape the customs room you will go through some glass sliding doors and you will find yourselves in a place, nicknamed in a most loving terms of endearment, The Shark Tank. You will be walking through a corridor where on either side counters and tables and very official looking people nicely dressed, some in uniforms will try to be getting your attention. They will ask you if you need a taxi. They will say to you that they will arrange a taxi for you. They will ask you where you are staying and try to strike up a conversation with you. They will attempt to offer you things. Do Not Stop. Do not Engage These People. They are attractive, they are smiling big white toothy smiles. They look so harmless…they want to help me with my trip? They want to help me with a ride. DONT STOP!
They are there to sell you a timeshare. They are there to rob you of your greatest commodity. Your time. Time is precious Folks, and your vacation time is sacred. Don’t let these sharks rob you of one single moment of your hard earned vacation. Please, push through. Smile and say no thank you. Tell them you already have a condo, tell them you are not interested and walk on by.
You may be asking why would they let people in the airport that could ruin your vacation from the get-go? When I first came to Puerto Vallarta in the mid 80’s, everywhere you turned there was someone, usually a young gringo manning a booth along the Malecon or along one of the streets in Old Town hounding everyone to take a timeshare tour and sit for a presentation. Today there are fewer traps like that in town, but I will tell you about where they are now and how to avoid them, but for some reason, the powers that be figured it would be all right to put the timeshare folks right there in the airport. I’m sure they have a deal worked out between the airport commission and the timeshare companies. Just do yourself a favor and just say no.
Now I’m sure there are going to be those of you out there who will walk right up to one of these guys who offers to get you a taxi or give you a ride and just forget everything I just told you. All I can say is I told you so. Now you are asking me Barry, what can these people do to me that can be so bad? So you’re the curious type huh? Willing to tempt fate?
That reminds me of a story from way back on my honeymoon. Debbie and I had just gotten off the Star Ferry From Kowloon to Hong Kong Harbor. When we got off the ferry I told her not to look at the rickshaw drivers. Don’t look them in the eye I warned her before she got off the ferry, don’t give them the slightest hint you are interested in a ride. Well, what do you think she did when she got off the ferry? That’s right, she looked at a rickshaw driver and that’s all she wrote. He rolled his cart right behind her and pushed her into the seat. Then he ran to the front and grabbed the handles, like the handles of a wheelbarrow and lifted up, making sure his passenger, my new wife was forced back by gravity into her seat As she tried to stand up in protest, he would lift the rickshaw handles up, spilling her back into her seat. She was looking back at me and I’m sure she was expecting a different reaction from me besides laughter. I had already resigned myself to the fact that I would be paying this rickshaw driver for his services. I figured I might as well take some pictures.
Okay, that episode cost me about $5 and about 5 minutes of my time, but these guys, they want much, much more. I’ve heard stories about people who were practically held from their hotel till they agreed to go on a timeshare presentation and much worse. If you have a timeshare horror story to tell, send me your story by going to www.puertovallartatravelshow .com and clicking on the contact us page, and send us your story.
So go straight do not stop in the Sharktank. Instead plow straight forward to the exit lobby where you will see some booths where they are selling tickets for rides from the airport to your hotel, condo etc. This will probably be the most expensive taxi ride of the trip unless you hire one to take you to a far away place. The airport taxis are regulated and prices are fixed and you pay in pesos if you have them, in your own funny money if you don’t just remember you get the best exchange rate at Bank affiliated ATM machines.
You tell the nice lady behind the window where you are headed and she will charge you accordingly. If there are 1-3 people in your group, you most probably be taking a taxi, 4 or more passengers will be taking a van. The person behind the window is not charging per person for the taxi ride, but for the taxi itself. She is going to ask you what zone you are going to.
I have a list attached with prices of zones and what hotels are in what zones but they are as follows….
Wow, seems like we’ve gone a too little long, next week we will talk with JR about taking buses in Puerto Vallarta. Just join us and let us be your guides.
Until then, remember, this is an interactive show where I depend on your questions and suggestions about all things Puerto Vallarta. If you think of something I should be talking about, please reach out to me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending us your message.
And if you would like to purchase a copy of Alberto Perez’s song, Samba da Puerto Vallarta, or any of his other fine tunes you can click on my links page at www. Puertovallartatravelshow.com and you will find a link to buy his music as well as links to the La Palapa group of restaurants. And speaking of websites…
if you are considering booking any type of tour while you are in Puerto Vallarta, you must go to Vallartainfo.com, JR’s website and reserve your tour through him, right from his website. Remember the value for value proposition. His experience and on the ground knowledge of everything Puerto Vallarta in exchange for your making a purchase of a tour that you would do anyway, you’re just doing it through him as a way of saying thank you. It costs no more than if you were to use someone else so do it. Really. And when you do take one of these tours, email me about your experiences. Maybe you can come onboard and share with others what you liked or didn’t like about the tour. Again contact me by clicking on the Contact us tab and sending off a message.
And one more favor please, if you like this podcast, please take the time and subscribe to my podcast and give me a good review on iTunes if you would. It would be so appreciated if you would just take the extra time to do that for me. That way we can get the word out to more and more people about the magic of this place.
So, thanks to you for listening all the way through this episode of the Puerto Vallarta Travel Show. This is Barry Kessler signing off with a wish for you all to slow down, be kind and live the Vallarta lifestyle. Nos Vemos amigos!