Puerto Vallarta - is it safe?

Old Dec 9th, 2002, 03:08 PM
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Puerto Vallarta - is it safe?

Hi, I'm a Seattle-ite, heading down to Puerto Vallarta in February for the first time. My brother, a cop in NY, stopped there on a cruise, and now (after I have paid for the trip) is warning me to stay away. Is he just a worrywart? Do I need to 'watch my back' while in PV? I'd love to hear from people who have recently been there. Thanks, Peter
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 05:04 PM
Jean Valjean
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The most dangerous thing about Puerto Vallarta are time-share presentations.

Have a good time!
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 06:59 PM
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Hi Peter

As per Jean advise, yes she is right. have visited and stayed at least 8 times in PV. Like other cities, travel smart, do not wave around large sums of money and keep your nose clean. Otherwise, very safe and have loads of fun.
Old Dec 9th, 2002, 06:59 PM
John K
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Hi Peter,
I vacation in Puerto Vallarta every six months (was just there a few weeks ago) and I can assure you that Puerto Vallarta is perfectly safe. I can't imagine what your brother experienced because I don't know anyone who would say "stay away" from Puerto Vallarta. Get some specifics from your brother and maybe we can help you further.
Old Dec 10th, 2002, 07:48 AM
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I have to agree with the last few posters. PV, is very safe. The natives treat you well if they notice you at all. That's one thing I loved about PV, the tourist and natives frequent the same places and it's entirely peaceful. I saw to hudlum type youths and everyone was very respectful. I can't wait to go back.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 08:12 AM
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I am in PV right now (my 15th trip) and love it. I stay on the 'southside' of town and travel solo female. Never had a problem of any kind. Nada.

As an aside, the area around where the cruise ships come in is *THE* ugliest part of town, and I'm guessing if you were going to get scammed or ripped off...that'd be the place it might happen.

Consider staying downtown or the south part of town instead of The Marina or the Hotel Zone. It's truly a much more charming and friendly neighborhood.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 12:34 PM
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Are you sure he was talking about P.V?
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 11:23 PM
Please Tell Us
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What happened to your brother that he would warn you away from PV. I'm another female who has traveled there solo and walked all over town at all hours of the day and night and never, not once, had any problem. I take all the normal precautions, but have never even had anything happen that made me nervous. So please share what happened to your brother.
Old Dec 13th, 2002, 03:57 AM
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i would definetly be more afraid of living in Seattle than visiting Puerta Vallarta, there is I can guarantee you more crime in Seattle than Im sure there will ever be in Puerto Vallarta. Your brother should worry more about your safety in Seattle!!
Old Dec 15th, 2002, 09:30 AM
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was there in Nov and agree with what is said, but 2 warnings - 1 is hotels that say that taxi fares are higher than the official sheet they have (like our hotel Conchas Chinas - only 10% or so, but its still screwing your guests, Westin hotel porters set me straight), and the ba...d at the airport who was either a Mexicana or airport employee who took the luggage off the conveyor belt. When first load finished he stopped the belt and despite us telling him we had seen our luggage get put on the plane 5 minutes before flying, he kept saying to fill out lost luggage form (he understood English perfectly well). Various expletives got him to put his head outside to see that our luggage had been unloaded with 4 other people and was awaiting for the belt to be switched on again. Either he was just a moronic ba...d or aiming to pinch some luggage.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 04:42 PM
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Hi, this is the original poster. So my brother and his wife went off the cruise ship and were at a public beach. They encountered some rather pushy salespeople of some kind, the one that really freaked them out being some guy who started massaging my sister-in-laws back as she was flying down on her stomach tanning. Thanks for all the replies. I feel pretty good about going, and appreciate all the feedback you gave me.
Old Dec 17th, 2002, 05:16 PM
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From my limited experience in PV, I would say the worst thing that could happen is that you trip on a cobblestone while crossing the street, get angry at a Timeshare Vendor or..more realistically..get hit by a car whilr attempting to cross the street. Don't worry..enjoy!
Old Dec 19th, 2002, 10:24 AM
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well, unless the European Gypsies decide to cross the pond and start throwing babies around you should be ok...never trust a baby throwing Gypsy.
Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 04:52 PM
no problems
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As a PV "regular" who has never been hassled, travel alone and female often... I firmly believe that the beach vendors *KNOW* when the cruise ships come in. And sometimes (don't use those cruise ship color towels for the beach) can even spot the cruise-types.

To get the best of Puerto Vallarta, choose a low-key hotel, to my preference in the downtown, southside area, away from the major high-end resorts and fancy hotels. Very mellow and friendly place.
Old Jan 16th, 2003, 07:38 PM
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THe vendors absolutely do know when the cruise ships land. The itinerary is the same every time, and they bank on that. We were in PV this past summer and absolutely loved it. We had no problems, never felt unsafe, though we are American so sometimes the haggling salespeople can be a bit of a shock. Anyway, when we were asking around for things to do and places to go, our hotel manager told us to avoid the main strip on certain days/times, because the cruise ships come in, which not only makes it a zoo, but all the prices go up when you are looking to barter for something. Another thing to be aware of is that items in shops right along the water are often far more expensive than the same thing a block or 2 away from the coast, because the cruisers never get that far. We realized this after buying a $21 bottle of sunscreen (later saw the same bottle for about $9 somewhere else farther inland). PV is wonderful, you will have fun and the people are very friendly.
Old Jan 17th, 2003, 09:55 AM
cha cha
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Good tips from Amanda above. I'll take the shopping idea a bit further, go to where local Mexicans folks shop, be it the supermercado, pharmacia, etc. rather than a store that is convenient to a hotel where many tourists go. And yes walking inland a couple blocks anywhere in downtown PV will bring you bargains without barter.
Old Jan 20th, 2003, 10:07 AM
PV economy
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Sorry for Nick's bad/potentially bad experiences at the airport and with taxis.

I've spent alot of time in PV and never experienced getting "ripped off" in any fashion. I figure besides (most of) the locals being truly welcoming and honest, they count on a good tourist trade to boost the local economy. So generally want to make things right for & give a positive experience to the people who visit PV.
Old Feb 24th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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Hi, this is the original poster of this message, now returned from PV. It was a great trip, and I felt very safe the whole time. Sometimes annoyed, at the timeshare guys or other sales pitches, but never unsafe. Thanks! Adios, Peter
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