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Living as an Expat in Puerto Vallarta

Posted by Oliver Weickardt on 2015-11-26
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Did you visit Puerto Vallarta in a few occasions and are considering a definite move? Are you a snowbird, a retiree, a single woman, a thrill-seeker or adventurous lad on the lookout for a cosmopolitan getaway in tropical latitudes? Do you need a bit of encouragement to take a leap of faith? We give you here some brush strokes to help you picture what this beach town has to offer.

Puerto Vallarta was good enough for Liz Taylor and John Huston in the 60s, and I was sure it would be great for me too. When I moved here, I had been soaking in Mexican culture for a year in the highlands of Guanajuato and was ready for a bigger, younger and more hectic place. First things first, Puerto Vallarta is one of the most expensive cities in Mexico but finding the ideal accommodation was a piece of cake. Vacation rental companies are the main source of business in touristic towns such as PV, but if you are staying here long-term, chances are you can find a nice apartment from $400USD per month.

The charm of Puerto Vallarta lies in its interesting mix of Mexican pace and a fresh expat crowd with a marked LGTB influence, which gave origin to its nickname as the San Francisco of Latinamerica. For a city with a population of 250,000, getting 4,000 snowbirds descending from the North every winter is an event that affects every aspect of the local scene. Over 600 rated restaurants cater to them with every international cuisine represented across the whole price range. You can have the tastiest fish tacos in Tacon de Marlin, go Irish in front of the ocean at Murphy’s Pub in the Boardwalk, chill in style at Vista Grill, celebrate your own beerfest at Hacienda Alemana, have the best steak at La Vaca Argentina, or go all the way to the top and book a table at Bistro Teresa.

And yet, my biggest guilty pleasure is to get fresh oysters from the stalls in front of the Drunken Monkey, a beachfront bar serving cocktails from $2, and sit on the beach to lunch in front of the crashing waves. Or have a ceviche with my feet on the sand at one of the restaurants lining Los Muertos beach. Simply because this is something you can only do at a laid-back beach town.

Puerto Vallarta can be peaches and cream, you can make it as affordable or expensive as you want, and its people are certainly the friendliest people in the world. My take about PV is that it combines the best of London’s Soho, Ibiza’s festive spirit and Mexican hospitality, with the perfect climate and the tempting waves of Hawaii to top it up. Brush up your Spanish and talk with the locals, they are more than happy to strike a conversation with a new face in town. And if you are a girl, saying goes that you won’t be alone for too long here, if that’s what you want!

Villa Experience founder is German born but loves all thing Mexico! He has lived in the country since 2003 and has experienced Mexico´s premier destinations at first hand. His favorite destinations are the Yucatan Peninsula, Baja California Sur, and Puerto Vallarta.