Frequently Asked Questions

About the condo...

Q: How does renting from the owner work?

A: We are very thorough in the information we send, with detailed directions for locating the building. Once there, you will be assisted by a front desk agent (24 hours!) who will provide the key but all paperwork and payments are handled directly by us prior to your stay. Our building is all privately owned, so they do not handle rental transactions on location.

Q: We are very choosy with our vacation accommodation. We usually stay in American-style hotels and like the ambiance, but the family would like to spread out and have the comforts of home. How does your condo compare?

A: Obviously we do not have the benefits of a large hotel, such as room service, concierge, activity director, etc. However, we do have a wonderful on-site restaurant and bar, gorgeous views, and those wonderful conveniences your family will appreciate like a full kitchen stocked with condiments and staples (remember, this is a Mexican-style condo, without dishwasher and some other luxuries standard in North American condos), large private deck, etc. Guests are very pleased when they have adjusted their expectations to appreciate the Mexican way of living. This is different than an American-style accommodation, but very charming, spacious, clean and relaxing. We would be happy to address any concerns you may have about changing from your usual vacation lodging pattern. We feel confident that you will thoroughly enjoy the private condo experience.

Q: What about noise?

A: We are in the heart of Old Town, with restaurants, shops, galleries and plenty of activity. So, plenty of noise comes with the territory. If you want simply a quiet secluded beach, this is not it. On the other hand, if you like being right on the beach but walking distance to all the best places, coping with some noise is well worth it. Personally, we love being close to everything and if necessary use ear plugs for sleeping.

Q: What about maid service and linens?

A: Maid service is everyday but Sunday or Mexican holidays. They make beds, clean bathrooms, mop floors, and generally tidy up each day. Sheets are changed every few days. Bath and beach towels are provided in the unit and restocked regularly.

Q: Do I get a better value by renting from a private owner?

A: Absolutely- in so many ways. First, there are no booking fees like on VRBO or AirBnB. Also, since we enjoy vacation time at our condo, there are more comfortable extras like food staples, condiments and spices in the cupboards and refrigerator, ample kitchen equipment, videos, books and games. This is truly a vacation home!

Q: I've seen advertisements for condos cheaper than yours. Why the difference?

A: As they say: Location, location, location! This is a well-known building in the favorite part of town on the best beach and you can walk to just about anyplace from there. It is a private building that does not advertise or solicit tourist business, so the only way to rent here is directly with an owner prior to your arrival. This particular unit has a 5th floor ocean view (higher views are significantly better) and has been beautifully maintained and customized. Our rates reflect all these things. After being there and comparing, our guests have quickly recognized the value of this particular home and have been very pleased and eager to return.
About Puerto Vallarta...

Q: Are there a variety of restaurants?

A: We can speak from experience on this one! Choose from great restaurants in a wide variety of styles, such as: Cuban, American, French, Italian, German, Swiss, Austrian, Greek, Argentinean, Brazilian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Filipino, Middle Eastern, Australian, BBQ, Vegetarian and of course, Mexican. Seafood is beautifully prepared and very fresh- prawn lovers will be in heaven! Purified water and ice is plentiful and personally we have never had a problem at ANY restaurants and we've tried lots of them.

Q: What about money exchange?

A: Your ATM card will work fine here and there are many machines around town. They will give you your best rate, depending on what your bank charges for an International withdrawal. By withdrawing your maximum, usually about $300 you get the best exchange rate including your bank charge. When arriving at the airport, if you turn left after exiting customs, you will find a bank and an ATM machine on your left. This is the best place to make your initial peso exchange.

Q: Will I need to rent a car?

A: For normal transportation- no. Buses are plentiful and part of the official Vallarta experience. No longer do you share your ride with live chickens, at least we haven't seen any lately. But you may have live entertainment, all for 4 Pesos!
Just look for a crowd of people on the street and, since the busses run very frequently, it will be easy for you to spot the stop. When heading back to La Palapa, look for "CENTRO" written on the windshield or ask the driver- "CENTRO?" Busses into town from the north eventually turn up at the 'Terminal' by Park Lazaro Cardenas. Ones to points south start from the South Terminal at Constitución and Basilio Badillo. (See Map )
Taxis are inexpensive and are priced by zone. Fares range from 22 Pesos for local areas to 62 Pesos to the airport. Before entering the taxi, ask the driver what the fare will be to your destination. Tips are not required, unless you feel it is warranted. Suggestions from drivers on where to eat etc. are not reliable (they will be getting a kickback).

Q: What is the weather like?

A: The climate in the high season - October-May - is warm 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, 27 degrees to 29 degrees Centigrade. There may be 1 or 2 days when it might rain a little in that whole period. After April and until about June or July it will become increasingly warmer, to about 90 degrees F or 32 degrees C, and more humid. Around June the rains begin. In the rainy season the humidity will increase during the day until the rain comes. Normally, it will rain for about 2 hours - very heavy with thunder and lightning - in the late afternoon, in the evening or sometimes in the middle of the night. It hardly ever lasts long unless there is a weather system off the coast. PV rarely has hurricanes since they give the bay a wide berth. At the stormiest, expect the rain to continue into the night and perhaps the next day. The rain comes as a relief from the humidity and, although it is wet, it is still warm. Rainy season is June to October. If you like drama, this is for you!

Q: Any tips on local customs?

A: Siesta is from 2:00PM to 4:00PM and you will find many businesses (not bars & restaurants) closed during those hours, but they will stay open after siesta till 8:00 or 9:00PM. Siesta is becoming far less common in town.
After sundown on Sunday families, groups of boys and separate groups of girls, dressed in their best, will promenade up and down the Malecon (sea front walk), the groups of young people will be making eyes at each other as they pass. This is also a time for families to get dressed up and go meet their friends, sit , chat and watch others walk by. There will be vendors selling anything from roasted corn on the cob to brightly coloured windmills and balloons. There is also, on weekend nights, usually some event going on at the small amphitheater at the end of the Malecon by the three arches.
All over town you'll find free English language newspapers which list the week's arts events, festivals, performances, tours and more. Check them out! Puerto Vallarta is full of wonderful shops, art galleries, eateries and people-watching.

Q: What about crime?

A: There is very little crime in Vallarta. The local police do a good job. It is a very safe place to stroll, even at night. There is even a special force of male and female "Tourist Police" recognizable by their uniforms of white shirt, shorts and white safari helmets (the ones in the grey safari helmets are traffic police and in the black baseball hat are city police). The members of this force all speak English, so if you need any help, even just directions, they are there to serve you.

Some information adapted from The Insider's Guide to Vallarta

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