A Tourist’s Guide to Vallarta Style Food

Visiting a place and not getting to know its specialties may not sound like the best tour. Vallarta is considered as one of the most popular tourist spots worldwide for spending the vacation. As for cuisine, it comprises an exceptional mix of International and Local Mexican foods. Being near to the bay city, P.V. offers a variety of Seafood. So, gather around food lovers because we are going to give you a list of all the finger-licking food serving places here:

1.Gaby’s Restaurant 

This place in town run by the great locally raised chef Julio Cesar Castillón Pérez is most famous for its award-winning delicacy called ‘green and dark mole.’ When paired with Tequila, it’ll give you the taste of a lifetime.

This restaurant has a garden-like atmosphere that’ll make you feel closer to nature while having the food of your choice.

2. Cevicheria El Guero 

The name of this restaurant pretty much describes what their specialty is. It goes by the name Ceviche. This dish is made of raw fish and was originated in Peru. The said restaurant serves freshly prepared Ceviche cured in lime. Most notable is the Mahi Mahi ceviche.

3. Local Taco Stands 

Taco is a traditional Mexican dish that consists of tortilla that may be of corn or wheat and is filled with either grilled meat, veggies, or Seafood. You name it. Two taco stands in Vallarta are worth checking out.

  • Tacos Robles – Starting in 1986, this stand is run by a Family and is still very popular among the locals and tourists equally. 
  • Tacos El Cunado – This stand is a bit older as it opened in 1968. It’s known for its authentic taste and is located on Francisco Rodriguez. 

4. The Blue Shrimp 

Located on the most popular beach in Puerto Vallarta, this restaurant gets all its seafood raw materials, including fish, shrimp, and lobsters freshly delivered.

This was one of the first restaurants that opened on the Banderas Bay, and therefore, it is trendy among the residents of the town.

5. The famous ‘Tuba’ Drink 

After all that tasty and delicious food, you must be thinking about what kind of drinks can I get in Vallarta to beat the heat. La Tuba is a Mexican drink, and its main ingredients are coconut cream and apple vinegar, which gives this drink a sweet and sour taste. In Vallarta, You can find this drink in the El Malecón area.

For those who have a Sweet Tooth

Tempting sweets are an excellent gift to take home for your close ones as a souvenir. Here are the places you can get traditional sweets of Vallarta:

  • The Vallarta Factory 

They serve everything chocolaty. From rolls to bars. They are famous for organic gourmet coffee and their Lavender chocolate. Do try it peeps. 

  • La Azteca Candy Store 

The most renowned sweet ‘Caramel Fudge’ that is known to have originated in Mexico can be easily found here. Additionally, you can get flavored pecans as well as other nuts from this store.


Internet, Mobile & TV

There are a variety of choices for internet, home phone, cell phones and television.

Internet

Our internet provider is Telmex and is the main internet provider in Mexico and Puerto Vallarta. Telmex works well for all the high volume of communications we have with expats. Fiber optic is being installed constantly in Vallarta. We have lost the Internet twice for short periods, as Telmex was installing fiber optic equipment in nearby areas. There are also other minor providers in certain areas.

Home Phone & MagicJack

Our residential phone is part of our Telmex Internet service and normally works to call from anywhere in or outside of Mexico. We have two-line residential phones to also keep a Minneapolis phone number for family and friends. We also have a US number with a MagicJack for our home and cell phones, allowing us to locally call to the US.

Cell Phones

Telcel is the main provider of cell phones in Vallarta, which we had for years until AT&T arrived in Puerto Vallarta two years ago. After we started hearing good reports, we switched to AT&T and we could not be happier with it. We constantly had to pay to put more minutes in our Telcel service every 3-4 weeks and the service was regular. Our service with AT&T costs us 2,443 pesos (approximately $132 US dollars) per year for each of our phones. We can call and receive service to and from Mexico, the United States and Canada. The service has been impeccable.

Television

The main TV provider in Vallarta is a traditional cable company called Izzy. It is a Mexican company and most of the channels and programs are in Spanish, but they also have a variety of channels in English. The other service is DirectTV Mexico, which also has most of its programs in Spanish, but also has many channels in English. In addition, there are other Internet and satellite options available mainly for English channels.


Banks and other Financial Considerations

Puerto Vallarta has a highly developed banking system with a large number of Mexican banks,
as well as branches of US banks (Banamex, a Citibank branch) and a Canadians banks
(Scotiabank), as well as several Spanish banks and other international banks.


Here is a list of the banks in Vallarta:
• Actinver Banco
• Azteca Banco
• BanamexBank
• BanBajio Bank
• Banorte Bank
• BBVA Bancomer
• HSBC Bank
• Inbursa Bank
• Intercam Banco
• Santander Bank
• Scotiabank


Most banks in Vallarta provide a wide range of financial services that include checking accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, insurance and credit cards. If you are going to spend even several months a year in Vallarta, you may want to open a bank account to simplify your financial life in Vallarta. Non-Mexican citizens must provide the following forms of


Identification when opening a bank account:
• Passport
• Tourist visa, Permanent or Temporary Resident Permit
• Driver’s license
• Utility bill from the local address
• Tax ID if on a tourist visa
• CURP Mexican tax ID number (RFC) if a resident


Puerto Vallarta Relocation Guide
Page 36
Social Security and Other Home Country Deposits
Most expatriates in Vallarta keep their bank accounts in the US. and Canada and keep their


Social Security payments and others in their US and Canada accounts. Then, they simply write


A Canadian or American check to deposit into their Mexican bank account or transfer funds to their Mexican account. Although it is not used by a large number of expatriates, it is also possible to set up your Social Security payments to be deposited directly into your Mexican bank account by working online with the US Consulate in Mexico City, but not with the US
Consulate in Vallarta.


Using Cash or Debit / Credit Cards


This is a totally personal matter that everyone will need to decide what is best for them. It must be done, however, several restaurants, stores and even some service stations only accept cash in pesos. In addition, some stores, such as Costco, accept credit cards but have a higher price than cash. By the way, Costco in Vallarta takes most credit cards, not just Costco cards like in the US, but their prices are lower in cash.


Bringing Pets into Mexico

Mexican rules can change often, so we suggest you contact your nearest consulate to confirm that the guidelines below are still valid.

Personal opinion / suggestion: We brought our small dogs to Mexico once in transporters under the seat on an airplane and three times in the car and we had no problems on any of those trips. However, that was a few years ago and, according to current reports, the inspections of pets at the border when driving are still much more informal than the strict inspections at the airport.

These rules are formulated and sometimes changed frequently, by the Agricultural Health Inspection Offices (OISA), whose staff operates a registration office in the Arrival Area of ​​the Puerto Vallarta International Airport. It is likely that they are also located at the border crossing in Nogales, but we have never seen them; Sometimes border agents ask to see the dog’s health certificates and sometimes they just want to pet them. A certificate is required for each pet and you should have it with you.

We suggest that you carry a ring binder for your pet with all the information and health records of your pet. That way, if you forget something for the OISA agent, you can easily find it.

Present a certificate of good health, preferably in English and Spanish, and typed or printed VERY legibly, with the following information:

  • Issued by an authorized veterinarian, with official letterhead of the company, with the number of your professional certificate printed or a photocopy of the included certificate.
  • Name and address of the exporter (you) and importer (your destination address in Mexico)
  • Last date of the rabies vaccine and its validity (pets under 3 months of age are exempt).
  • Verify that at the time of the pre-trip inspection, the pet is clinically healthy.
  • The pet must be treated internally (endoparasites) for worms and externally

(ectoparasites) for fleas, ticks, etc. within the previous six months.

According to the numerous recent personal accounts (mainly at airports), as of 30/6/2017, OISA requires that the brand of the drug, the name of the product, the lot number and the date of administration are clearly indicated on health certificate.

• If you do not comply satisfactorily with the above, you will need to wait while the OISA agent contacts a local veterinarian who will come to the OISA office to issue the health certificate and apply any required treatment at your expense. That can be expensive and take 1-2 hours.

  1. The rules establish that your pet must enter Mexico in a transporter or container, that is clean, without bedding, without implements or accessories (ie, toys, candy, etc.). Otherwise, they will be removed for destruction. The carrier or container will receive preventive treatment. When we entered once by air, the portable carrier of the puppies had only the standard pad. Their blankets, a small sack of dog food and goodies were in our luggage and we had no problem. When crossing in Nogales we also had a bag of dog food and they did not care either.
  2. You can enter Mexico with enough pet food for the trip.
  3. If you want to send your pet documented as cargo, check the airline’s requirements. As Vallarta is in the tropics, be sure to ask if it will be too hot to send the dog in the shipment because many dogs die because of the heat. There are many horror stories like that in the news.
  4. Also ask what your policy is with respect to dogs with short snouts, such as English bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, boxers, etc., since they may have much greater respiratory problems and a possibility of death. Also, ask if they have a policy on small dogs in the cabin.
  5. Finally, ask if you can claim your pet before claiming your luggage in Vallarta. You can usually

If the inspection goes well, the OISA will issue an import certificate for your pet.

Other Animals

If you have an animal that is not a dog or a cat (ie, a parrot), it’s likely that there is still a way to bring them to Mexico with you. There is an online module called Zoosanitary Requirements Consultation Module for Import (MCRZI): enter the type of animal you are importing and it will give you the detailed requirements. Otherwise, ask the Mexican consulate in the United States. We have heard that if you bring a bird to Mexico, you may not be able to return to the US when you return.

Additional Strong Suggestions for Your Pet

The most important thing is to have identification tags on your pets at all times. You must have the name of the pet, your name, local address and a
telephone number. Almost all veterinarians have the
ability to make these identification tags in their office and they are cheap.

Microchips are great but very few vets have the capability of reading them.

Always have several current photos of your pet in case it decides to wander off.

If your pet is missing, make many brochures with the image and the name of your pet, your name and a contact phone number. Distribute them immediately and stick them in the windows of companies. It’s amazing how useful people are when a pet is lost. Our dog was found wandering in Marina Vallarta after 2 to 3 hours and we were able to find it thanks to the help of people here.

Also post it on Facebook in the pages of missing animals.


Amazing Medical Care in Puerto Vallarta

Medical care in Puerto Vallarta, where most doctors speak English, is probably the same and better, much faster to receive (especially for Canadians) and cheaper than in your hometown of the north.

7 Modern Hospitals in Puerto Vallarta

In the Puerto Vallarta area, there are 7 modern and fully equipped hospitals and many more excellent health care centers of all kinds, so finding what you need will never be a problem. These modern hospitals and support facilities in Puerto Vallarta have excellent doctors/ specialists who speak English, use the latest laboratory technology and X-rays, have a staff that speaks primarily English and hospitals will accept some health insurance issued in the US.

International Health Insurance

Now there are a large number of expats living in Vallarta with many more in the process of moving or thinking of moving to Vallarta. Some live here full time and others live part-time. Some are of Medicare retirement age and others are younger. Some are from the United States and others from Canada and other countries. Some are in good health and others have chronic health problems, so there is a need for a wide variety of international health insurance options.

Fortunately, There Is!

Since there is such a wide variety of options, we can not present in detail in this publication all the details and variations because they are personal. However, what we can do here is give the following introduction to the type of programs available. We are not in the health insurance business, but we can recommend reputable insurance professionals who can answer all your questions and offer coverage options.

  • International health insurance: Several insurance companies provide a wide range of health coverage for when you are outside of your country of origin.
  • Travel medical insurance: The policies are adapted to short international trips and there is no subscription to these policies, although the pre-existing conditions may be relevant in case of a claim.
  • Medical evacuation insurance: This coverage provides air ambulance service. Some will take you to the city of your choice, others to the nearest city for your type of attention.
  • Travel cancellation insurance: Depending on the policy, you can recover the cost of your unused flight, unused hotel costs and a certain amount of emergency medical treatment.

General comments:

  • Since there are so many international health insurance options, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable person so that you can buy the right policy for you. We can direct you to a competent and professional agent for Vallarta if you request it.
  • Insurance is generally not accepted for outpatient services, such as doctor’s appointments, X-rays, laboratory tests, etc.
  • When admitted to any hospital, the hospital will require a deposit with a credit card in an amount of between 10,000 and 50,000 pesos, depending on the situation. You can request that the deposit not be executed but retained until more information is known about the insurance, the condition, the expected treatment costs, etc.
  • If you have health insurance for Mexico, you must notify the hospital at the time of admission and request to contact the insurance company immediately to obtain a prior certification of coverage to demonstrate that the procedure such as surgery, MRI, etc. is a medical necessity. This starts the process by which the hospital will contact the insurance company to obtain a guarantee of payment, fewer deductibles or items not covered so that you can know the charge of your credit card. In addition, you or a representative should contact your insurance company immediately if you are hospitalized.

Medical Coverage outside the US is Limited

In general, the medical care you receive while traveling outside of the United States is not covered by regular Medicare. However, Medicare Plan F covers costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, including reimbursement of international medical expenses required up to 60 days after leaving the US. You pay the portion of the charge you would normally pay for covered services. This includes any necessary medical and ambulance service that you receive in a foreign country as part of a covered hospitalization for inpatients. It also pays the coinsurance, copays, and deductibles you would normally pay if you had these same services or supplies in the United States.
Because Medicare has very limited coverage outside the US you can choose to buy travel insurance or an international health insurance policy. If you have a policy of this type, you should check with your insurance provider to see what is covered.

Mexican National Health Insurance IMSS

The Federal Government of Mexico provides medical
care to its citizens as guaranteed by its Constitution.
In addition, the Mexican government, through the
Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), offers affordable health insurance for all Mexican residents regardless of their nationality if they qualify and are willing to pay the fee. The IMSS is what ordinary health care employers buy for their workers while they have private insurance for themselves and their families.

The IMSS insurance is cheap, around $700 a year, but, like all government services everywhere, it is very bureaucratic and long waiting times and limited services are normal. Also, if you have a pre-existing condition, it will not be approved. Some expatriates have IMSS, but many still return to the US for Medicare or Veteran’s Medical due to important medical problems.
We have heard good things about the IMSS doctors, who sometimes also practice in private hospitals. But the system has long waiting times, lacks adequate capacity, technology and supplies to meet minimum US standards. So it does not really provide the quality medical care that most expats require.

Medical Tourism

Everyone was more than satisfied with the results and it was much cheaper than doing it in the states. In addition, they could enjoy a wonderful vacation in PV while they recovered. Dental implants, bridges, etc. They are much less here and there are several highly qualified dentists here. Even continuing education is taught to dentists around the world. Its offices have state-of-the-art equipment. People with older spouses, brothers, etc. They have found wonderful care and care for loved ones here. Some have caregivers 24/7 in their residence and others have placed them in homes that specialize in providing excellent hospice care. All this is a fraction of what the price would be in the United States.

Pharmacies

All the large supermarket chains in Mexico have pharmacies in their stores and several even have medical offices attached if you need to see a doctor to get a prescription. Virtually all medications available in the US are also available in Mexico, and mostly at a fraction of the cost. Chains of independent pharmacies such as Farmacia Guadalajara, Ahorro Farmacia and others are everywhere, and many are open 24 hours a day. Your doctor will give you a prescription for everything you prescribe, but only antibiotics require it here. It is very difficult to obtain an opioid-type medication in Mexico because they simply do not use much and only in special situations, apparently not like the United States.


Driving to Puerto Vallarta

There are two main cities that cross the border of the United States to drive to Mexico if you’re going to Puerto Vallarta, Laredo, Texas and Nogales, Arizona. We have driven north and south through both routes several times and, for this description, we will only focus on our preferred route through Nogales.

A brief description of our reasoning, we simply got tired of the “police officers” of Nuevo Laredo charging us for “apparent infractions” and creating “large fines”. At later junctions, we drove west from Laredo to the Columbia crossing, without passing through Nuevo Laredo, but we still had to drive the highway back very slowly in the hope of avoiding these “police” on that highway as well. Other people have also had that annoyance around Nuevo Laredo. We have never had any of that on the route from Nogales to Vallarta, so we simply avoid the Laredo route.

Another reason to choose the Nogales route is its geography. Vallarta is on the west coast of Mexico. That makes Nogales the obvious choice anywhere in the western United States. The distance is very similar, and the Nogales route is simpler to travel.

To calculate how much you will pay in tolls while driving, go to this government site http:// ttr.sct.gob.mx/mappir/ and write Nogales, Sonora (from) and Puerto Vallarta, Jaliso (to) and it will give you the amounts you’ll have to pay in pesos.

Crossing the Border at Nogales

Driving south from Tucson to Nogales, we suggest you take Exit 4 Mariposa Road approximately 2 miles north of downtown Nogales and follow it approximately 3 miles west to the truck border crossing. Anyway, if you’re heading south from Nogales, this crossing simply bypasses all downtown traffic and takes you to the Cuota (toll) Hwy 15 southbound. We suggest you stay on Highway 15, the 4-lane toll road, until you reach Tepic. You’ll pass through a green light red light inspection indicator. If the light is green, you can proceed. If the light is red, they will guide you to an inspection lane. Then follow the signs to the control point of KM 21 where there is a large parking area. This is where all the paperwork is done.

Have your passport stamped. Provided you either have a Temporary Resident Visa or are then obtaining a Tourist Visa.

If you have or will soon be applying for a Permanent resident Visa, read the section below, Entering Mexico With a Foreign Plated Vehicle

Entering Mexico with a Foreign Plated Vehicle

If you have a temporary resident visa or a tourist permit, you can enter and drive the vehicle in Mexico.

With a Temporary Resident Visa

Holders of a Temporary Resident Visa can import their vehicle to Mexico using a Temporary Importation Permit (TIP) and their vehicle will remain legal in Mexico as long as their Temporary Resident Visa is valid.

With a Tourist Permit

If you are obtaining a tourist visa while driving through the port of entry of Nogales, you must also obtain a temporary import permit (TIP) at the border. Both the Tourist Visa and the TIP are valid for 180 days (approximately 6 months) and both the person and the vehicle must be out of Mexico before they expire.

With a Permanent Resident Visa

If you have a Permanent Resident Visa, you can not bring your vehicle with a foreign license plate to Mexico with a Temporary Importation Permit (TIP). It is possible that you can import the vehicle, but the ages of the vehicles eligible for import vary from one moment to another, as well as the import tariffs (which can be very high), so, if you want to try it, you will need to research the fees at a Mexican Consulate at the time you wish to bring the vehicle to Mexico. In addition, if you already have a plated vehicle abroad in Mexico you must permanently withdraw the car and you can obtain a Permit of Safe Return to do it in Vallarta as we did some time ago.

Driving From Nogales to Puerto Vallarta

Normally we try to cross the border early in the morning, just before dawn, so we can pass through all control points on daylight. We always drive in the light of day and starting very early gives us the opportunity to travel a long way to the south, staying on Highway 15 until we reach Tepic. We have always driven with two small dogs, so it limits our hotel options. Two hotels in Navojoa that accept pets are the Best Western and the Fiesta Inn, which are next to each other. The Fiesta Inn is newer, so we usually stay there and walk next to the Best Western for dinner in its pleasant dining room.

Once we cross the border late in the afternoon, we stay at the Elba Motel in Santa Ana, where they have a good restaurant on the other side of the parking lot.

After Navajoa, we usually stay in Mazatlan the next night in some adult hotel where security is excellent, with high walls, security bars and closed garages for our dogs. Many also have a lazy susan window where you can order food and drinks directly in your room.

The next day, starting early in the morning, we drive to Tepic on Hwy 15 and then onto Hwy 200, the Coast Road, the rest of the way into Vallarta and we normally arrive in Vallarta from 1:00-2:00 in the afternoon.

Puerto Vallarta Relocation Guide Page 26

If you don’t have pets, your trip will be easier because all the towns south of Santa Ana such as Hermosillo, Guaymas, Ciudad Obregon, Navojoa, Los Mochis, Culiacan, Mazatlan and Tepic have many attractive brand hotels on the highway. There are some guides available that identify hotels that accept pets. We have not used them, but we have heard good and bad, so I suggest that you also contact the hotel directly to confirm. The last time we did this route, the total tolls were 1120 pesos, but we understand that they are now around 1300 pesos (around $70- $75US).

Mexican Vehicle Insurance

From the moment you cross the border into Mexico, you will need Mexican vehicle insurance because Mexico does not recognize foreign vehicle insurance. If you ever stopped by a Mexican police officer, you are likely to apply for your driver’s license, immigration document and proof of your vehicle insurance. You can buy a Mexican vehicle insurance at the different insurance offices in a border city like Nogales or online, but it will surely be much better if you buy it in advance from an agent in Vallarta, where you will get the best prices. We will be happy to refer you to our Vallarta agent when the time comes.

In the unfortunate event that you have a vehicle accident anywhere in Mexico, in addition to the police, you should call your insurance company immediately. In Mexico, the fault is assigned to the site, so the adjusters of the insurance companies involved go to the accident site. If someone does not admit guilt, all vehicles are seized. Normally, even admitting guilt does not affect the renewal of your policy, but that is another question you should ask to a reputable agent. We always carry in our cars copies of our insurance policy and the toll-free number of the insurance company. Since the responsibility is assigned at the scene in Mexico, most people would first call the 800 number of their insurance company and then the police.

Check Your Vehicle Before a Long Trip

Before starting a long trip, but especially when crossing the border, completely inspect your vehicle and do whatever is necessary to get it in the best shape before such a long cross-border trip. Things can still happen anyway and once we came across something on the road (very rare) and a tire exploded. Our SUV was loaded on the roof and the spare was flat. Really silly! We got a repair guy from a small store to inflate and install the spare and he only wanted 100 pesos, but we gave him more. Also, a Federal Police officer stopped behind us with the lights on shortly after the problem and stayed there until we left; We gave him a cold Coke and sincerely thanked him.

Green Angels

We said before that your vehicle must be in the best condition before your trip, we did it, and we still had a problem. We received help from a guy who had a small store nearby, but there is a group that patrols the highways in Mexico called Green Angels that are there to help motorists in trouble

They have fully equipped trucks, operate on two-man teams, speak English and are trained in auto repair and first aid. You can take a note of Mexico’s 078 emergency number and the tourism hotline 01-800-903-9200.

Gas Stations

The Pemex Mexican gas stations are practically located everywhere.

They have both regular (called
Magna) and premium. As Pemex is
no longer a monopoly, other service
stations are also emerging throughout the country. However, it is always a good idea to never let your tank go below half. All have bathrooms, and some require some contributions of pesos for the people who take care of them and clean them. Most have food and many even have restaurants. When you leave the car to go to the bathroom, always leave someone there to see it, don’t leave it alone. And make sure all your valuables are locked, hidden and out of sight. If you leave your car to go to a restaurant, be sure to park it where you can see it through the window.

All Passengers Hide Your Wallet, Money, Valuables

It may seem obvious, but it is absolutely necessary that everyone pay special attention to the way they pack the luggage in the vehicle. Separate your valuables and your money in different places of the vehicle or different luggage and always remember the location. We recommend that you take enough CASH IN PESOS for your entire trip in case your credit cards are compromised or lost. First, spread it around the vehicle and luggage. Then, each one should carry a FOLDER with 1 or 2 expired credit cards and 150-200 pesos in cash. This is exactly what you want to give in case one of those “cops”, like the ones we encounter around Nuevo Laredo, stops you for some strange charge. There is a good chance that, if you tell them that that’s all you have, they’ll ignore you and move on. Otherwise simply tell them to give you the ticket. They aren’t all around Mexico, but you must be careful.

Amazing Medical Care

Medical care in Puerto Vallarta, where most doctors speak English, is probably the same and better, much faster to receive (especially for Canadians) and cheaper than in your hometown of the north.

7 Modern Hospitals in Puerto Vallarta

In the Puerto Vallarta area, there are 7 modern and fully equipped hospitals and many more excellent health care centers of all kinds, so finding what you need will never be a problem. These modern hospitals and support facilities in Puerto Vallarta have excellent doctors/ specialists who speak English, use the latest laboratory technology and X-rays, have a staff that speaks primarily English and hospitals will accept some health insurance issued in the US.

International Health Insurance

Now there are a large number of expats living in Vallarta with many more in the process of moving or thinking of moving to Vallarta. Some live here full time and others live part time. Some are of Medicare retirement age and others are younger. Some are from the United States and others from Canada and other countries. Some are in good health and others have chronic health problems, so there is a need for a wide variety of international health insurance options.

Fortunately, There Is!

Since there is such a wide variety of options, we can not present in detail in this publication all the details and variations because they are personal. However, what we can do here is give the following introduction to the type of programs available. We are not in the health insurance business, but we can recommend reputable insurance professionals who can answer all your questions and offer coverage options.

Puerto Vallarta Relocation Guide Page 29

  • International health insurance: Several insurance companies provide a wide range of health coverage for when you are outside of your country of origin.
  • Travel medical insurance: The policies are adapted to short international trips and there is no subscription to these policies, although the pre-existing conditions may be relevant in case of a claim.
  • Medical evacuation insurance: This coverage provides air ambulance service. Some will take you to the city of your choice, others to the nearest city for your type of attention.
  • Travel cancellation insurance: Depending on the policy, you can recover the cost of your unused flight, unused hotel costs and a certain amount of emergency medical treatment.General comments:
    • Since there are so many international health insurance options, it’s important to work with a knowledgeable person so that you can buy the right policy for you. We can direct you to a competent and professional agent for Vallarta if you request it.
    • Insurance is generally not accepted for outpatient services, such as doctor’s appointments, X-rays, laboratory tests, etc.
    • When admitted to any hospital, the hospital will require a deposit with a credit card in an amount of between 10,000 and 50,000 pesos, depending on the situation. You can request that the deposit not be executed but retained until more information is known about the insurance, the condition, the expected treatment costs, etc.
    • If you have health insurance for Mexico, you must notify the hospital at the time of admission and request to contact the insurance company immediately to obtain a prior certification of coverage to demonstrate that the procedure such as surgery, MRI, etc. is a medical necessity. This starts the process by which the hospital will contact the insurance company to obtain a guarantee of payment, less deductibles or items not covered, so that you can know the charge of your credit card. In addition, you or a representative should contact your insurance company immediately if you are hospitalized.

Medical Coverage outside the US is Limited

In general, the medical care you receive while traveling outside of the United States is not covered by regular Medicare. However, Medicare Plan F covers costs not covered by Medicare Parts A and B, including reimbursement of international medical expenses required up to 60 days after leaving the US. You pay the portion of the charge you would normally pay for covered services. This includes any necessary medical and ambulance service that you receive in a foreign country as part of a covered hospitalization for inpatients. It also pays the coinsurance, copays, and deductibles you would normally pay if you had these same services or supplies in the United States.
Because Medicare has very limited coverage outside the US you can choose to buy travel insurance or an international health insurance policy. If you have a policy of this type, you should check with your insurance provider to see what is covered.

Mexican National Health Insurance IMSS

The Federal Government of Mexico provides medical
care to its citizens as guaranteed by its Constitution.
In addition, the Mexican government, through the
Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS), offers affordable health insurance for all Mexican residents regardless of their nationality, if they qualify and are willing to pay the fee. The IMSS is what ordinary health care employers buy for their workers while they have private insurance for themselves and their families.

The IMSS insurance is cheap, around $700 a year, but, like all government services everywhere, it is very bureaucratic and long waiting times and limited services are normal. Also, if you have a pre-existing condition, it will not be approved. Some expatriates have IMSS, but many still return to the US for Medicare or Veteran’s Medical due to important medical problems.
We have heard good things about the IMSS doctors, who sometimes also practice in private hospitals. But the system has long waiting times, lacks adequate capacity, technology and supplies to meet minimum US standards. So it does not really provide the quality medical care that most expats require.

Medical Tourism

Medical tourism has become a big industry in Puerto
Vallarta due to the high quality of doctors, equipment and
first-line facilities and it is much less expensive. A friend
Expat in Vallarta has had 4 different groups of people who
have come this past winter for different types of elective
surgery. Everyone was more than satisfied with the results
and it was much cheaper than doing it in the states. In
addition, they could enjoy a wonderful vacation in PV
while they recovered. Dental implants, bridges, etc. They
are much less here and there are several highly qualified
dentists here. Even continuing education is taught to
dentists around the world. Its offices have state-of-the-art equipment. People with older spouses, brothers, etc. They have found wonderful care and care for loved ones here. Some have caregivers 24/7 in their residence and others have placed them in homes that specialize in providing excellent hospice care. All this is a fraction of what the price would be in the United States.

Pharmacies

All the large supermarket chains in Mexico have pharmacies in their stores and several even have medical offices attached if you need to see a doctor to get a prescription. Virtually all medications available in the US are also available in Mexico, and mostly at a fraction of the cost. Chains of independent pharmacies such as Farmacia Guadalajara, Ahorro Farmacia and others are everywhere, and many are open 24 hours a day. Your doctor will give you a prescription for everything you prescribe, but only antibiotics require it here. It is very difficult to obtain an opioid-type medication in Mexico because they simply do not use much and only in special situations, apparently not like the United States.


Mexican Immigration and Types of Visas

There are three ways to enter Mexico:

Visitor Permit

The first time you enter Mexico, as well as subsequent trips for less than 180 days, as long as
you do not have a lucrative business in Mexico, you can use a Visitor’s Permit. Below is the
link to download the form before your trip to save time: https://www.mexicotouristcard.com/

You will complete the immigration form that you downloaded before arriving at the border and
then you will get your Visitor Permit at the airport if you travel or at the border if you drive.
You can stay up to 180 days, but you can not work.

Temporary Resident Visa

Apply at the Mexican consulate near your home, not in Mexico. There are several types of Temporary Residency Visas depending on your purpose in Mexico and if you want to be in Mexico more than 180 days a year. You can apply for a temporary resident visa for one, two, three or four years. After four years with this visa, you must leave Mexico or change to a Permanent Resident Visa.

However, the four years that you spend with the Temporary Residence Visa automatically you him for the Permanent status. We will focus on the permanent visa, because it is the most common. To qualify, you must bring copies of bank accounts and investment statements to show that you can support yourself in Mexico with the funds you have earned or are earning elsewhere.

The minimum monthly income requirement is approximately $1,500 to $1,600 . Another way is to show the bank or investment statements of the last 12 months that show an average total balance of around $25,000- $26,000. Another way is to prove that you own a property in Mexico that has a value of at least around $210,000.

NOTE: The above amounts are shown as estimates for two reasons: first, the Mexican rules may change and the amounts are also affected by the current exchange rates; Second, expatriates who have visited different Mexican consulates in their general areas have seen some differences or interpretations of the rules that result in somewhat different financial requirements.

Permanent Resident Visa

Apply at Mexican consulate near your home, not in Mexico.

If you know that you want to live in Mexico for a prolonged period of time, you can apply for the Permanent Resident Visa and simply skip the temporary step. The permanent resident visa is open because there is no expiration date. It also gives many of the rights and responsibilities of a Mexican citizen, including the right to work but not the right to vote. It does not make you a Mexican citizen because that is another separate process. You must also show higher income or investment . You can show investment balances during the last 12 months of approximately $105,000 or an average monthly income or retirement income (pension or social security) of at least approximately $2,500- $2,600.

General Guidelines

Whether for a temporary or permanent residence
visa, the Mexican consulate near your home will
place a special “exchange” stamp on your passport
that forces you to go to the INM immigration office
across the street from the terminal. Cruises in
Vallarta, where they will finish Process and issue
your Temporary or Permanent card.

NOTE: this process must be completed within 30 days after your arrival in Mexico, so you should start the process as soon as you arrive in Vallarta. The immigration office is open Monday through Friday 9:00-1:00 and we suggest you arrive 45 minutes early to get a number because it is a very busy place and you will have to wait. After speaking with someone and organizing the paperwork and finding out the copies you will need, you should go to the bank and they will ask you to deposit the money to cover the fee; Be sure to keep
the receipt. You should also go to a photography store to take your immigration photos in a
certain size and we recommend the Kodak store in the Plaza Caracol shopping center, near
the mattress store, where the photos will be ready in about 30 minutes.

VERY IMPORTANT: When you cross the border into Mexico, either by car or airplane, you MUST stamp your passport. For a temporary or permanent residence visa, the box must be marked as “exchange” and write 30 days and not 180 days as for the regular tourist visa. If you don’t do it, you will not be able to continue with your immigration process and you must leave Mexico and start the whole procedure in your country of origin.


Moving to Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a coastal city of the Mexican Pacific located in the Bay of Banderas, it is the second largest city in the state of Jalisco, after Guadalajara, which is the second largest city in Mexico. The city of Puerto Vallarta comprises the city, as well as the areas outside the city that extend from Boca de Tomatlán in the south to the Ameca river on the border of the state of Nayarit in the north. To the east it borders the towns of Mascota and San Sebastián.

It was Named Once The Friendliest City in the World.

  History

Six influences in the sixties and seventies made Puerto Vallarta an important tourist destination. First: the Mexican government resolved the centuries-old communal land disputes that the federal government had appropriated from the Union mining company in Cuale to be parceled out as community farms. The state of the communal title (ejido) of the land had stifled development in the city for much of the twentieth century. A significant transition from communal lands to private property within the current limits of the city of Puerto Vallarta was carried out in 1973 with the establishment of the Vallarta Land Trust (Trust) to supervise the sale of government lands in private hands, and the use of sales revenue to develop the City’s infrastructure.

  Second: American film director John Huston filmed his 1964 film “The Night of the Iguana” in Mismaloya, a small town south of Puerto Vallarta. During filming, the US media provided extensive coverage of Elizabeth Taylor’s extramarital romance with Richard Burton, as well as covering the frequent confrontations between Huston and the film’s four stars. Subsequent advertising helped put Puerto Vallarta on the map for American tourists. Huston’s cook opened a now busy restaurant in the Romantic Zone of Vallarta and part of the beach land of the South Bay of Huston is used heavily on a daily basis.

  Third: The Mexican government invested significantly in transportation improvements, making Puerto Vallarta an easy travel destination. The government re-developed the airport. Road transport improved significantly as the government invested heavily in road infrastructure and public services. Another vital improvement for the city in 1970 was El Salado pier, where the current cruise terminal is located, which makes Vallarta the first port city of Jalisco. The current 3-year construction of the new 167,000-square-foot Magic Harbor terminal with public spaces and stores, a large parking ramp and the largest aquarium in Latin America is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

  Fourth: In 1968 the municipality of Puerto Vallarta was elevated to City status. The elevation in the state reflected the interest of the Mexican federal and state governments in developing Puerto Vallarta as an international tourist destination that has since also attracted a very large and lively expatriate community.

  Fifth: The city showed its new image in August of 1970, when the president of the US, Richard Nixon, met with the then president of Mexico, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, in Puerto Vallarta for the negotiations of the treaty. That visit showed the newly developed international airport and the infrastructure of the Vallarta resort. The presidential visit contributed significantly to the name of Vallarta appearing in the news as a top-level international tourist destination.

  Sixth: The development of a resort hotel in Vallarta had its peak since the 1970s. Before 1973, hotels in Puerto Vallarta used to be modest establishments with a medium price. There were only two large luxury hotels. Today, approximately 2.5 million people from the United States and Canada come to Vallarta annually as visitors and residents, while Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit now have more than 34,000 hotel rooms.

• Boca de Tomatlan – An authentic Mexican fishing village approximately a 30 minute drive south of downtown Vallarta accessible by land or water.

• Mismaloya – A fifteen to twenty minute trip south of downtown Puerto Vallarta. Home of the famous Mismaloya beach.

• Amapas – A hillside area located on the mountainside of the Romantic zONE with stunning views from the hills.

• Conchas Chinas – An hillside community southeast from Los Muertos beach.

• Alta Vista – At te southeastern part of Puerto Vallarta just south of the Rio Cuale, a hillside community with beautiful jungle and bay views.

• Emiliano Zapata – South of the River Cuale

• Caloso and Canoas – East of Emiliano Zapata and north the Rio Cuale.

• Centro – The oldest town – north of the River Cuale to Hidalgo Park.

• 5 Diciembre – Just north of the Center, and with Zapata among the first neighborhoods.

• Lázaro Cardenas – Which houses a large recreation complex and the city’s largest fish market.

• Versalles – The old pink Zone, prior to the development of the North Hotel Zone.

• Bugambillas and Ramblases – Located on the northwest slopes of the hills east of the city and relatively poor areas that receive service mainly by dirt roads, except hillside areas that have good views and, therefore, attract residents with more resources.

• Pitillal – It was once a small town and now it’s populous neighborhood straight east of the harbor.

• Bobadilla – Just north of Pitillal and also an important residential area. • Marina Vallarta – An upscale development located just south of the airport and a few miles north of Puerto Vallarta itself.

• Jarretaderas and Las Juntas – Located between the Ameca River to the east and Nuevo Vallarta to the west, the 200 highway to the north. Two small Mexican communities with low-priced housing.

• Nuevo Vallarta – A planned residentialcommunity located fifteen minutes north of Puerto Vallarta’s Airport.

• Mezcales – A small village of 4,000 people about 20 minutes north of the airport.

• Bucerias – A charming Mexican fishing village with 17,000 residents located just north of Mezcales.

• La Cruz – Located between Punta de Mita and Bucerias and approximately 30 minutes from Puerto Vallarta. This area has become more relevant as part of the larger tourist development called Riviera Nayarit.

• Punta de Mita – A luxury area at the tip developed with luxury homes, The W Hotel that was just named to the Top 10 in the world, Regis Hotel, Four Seasons Resort, hotels, golf courses and Bill Gates huge development.

Condos, Townhouses and Beautiful Homes

There are literally thousands of homes throughout the

Vallarta area from the far north to the far south. New constructions, old properties, some remodeled and others not yet. Prices go from high to low. Some are available for rent, others for sale. Honestly, you should allow 2-3 days to drive your rental car, or hire a taxi or Uber to take you through all the different areas until you get to the point of saying “this is good” a few times and “no way” a few times.

Realtors

There are several dozen real estate offices and many dozens of real estate agents in Vallarta. Most of them are very

professional, they tell you the truth and they help yousincerely to find the perfect property for you. Obviously, allreal estate expats work with excellent English and manymoved to Vallarta several years ago from the United States orCanada. Unfortunately, there may be some bad apples among real estate agents in Vallarta. Our strongest recommendation is never to rent or buy real estate without first seeing them and evaluating the location, etc. We are not real estate agents, but once you explain what type of property you are looking for, price range, rent or purchase, and schedule, we will be happy to direct you to some honest and reputable real estate agents who have helped many expats .

Attorneys

Due to the constant and rapid growth rate in Vallarta, there are also many lawyers in Vallarta. All legal documents here are in Spanish, perhaps with partial translations into English. Definitely, you should hire a lawyer if you are not comfortable with any part of any real estate transaction to make sure you understand everything. We recommend that you hire a lawyer to purchase a property instead of a lease. We hire a lawyer when we buy our house. We can also direct you to an excellent lawyer, specializing in real estate, if you wish.

Property Insurance – Buyers/Renters

As part of any real estate purchase, or lease for more short term, we suggest you buy property insurance as usual in the United States and Canada. It’s the same in Mexico. There are many insurance offices in Puerto Vallarta, so you can shop around, but ask the agents if you can have at least the first pages that show coverage in English because some offer that and others don’t. If you wish, we can refer you to our agent.

Bringing your Personal Belongings to Vallarta

When you move to Vallarta, you have the option to take everything with you when you drive, hire a carrier or take it on the plane as luggage. If you drive, you can pack your car, trailer and luggage rack if you wish. Border agents may ask you to see your luggage, but in general they don’t ask you that. There are also excellent trucking companies that we can recommend that do this all the time and always arrive on time, but they are not cheap. You can also bring a large number of extra suitcases such as luggage when you fly. This can also be expensive, but you have everything with you. Obviously, it depends on your situation. A precaution about bringing all your furniture, works of art, etc. to Vallarta. First, most condos and houses that you can buy or rent come furnished. Also, some wooden furniture in the north is not termite-proof like tropical wood. In addition, the tropical style furniture can be different. There are options and they are all personal.

Another option that people have when they move to Vallarta is to acquire some or many of the quality Mexican elements for their home. There are stores in Vallarta that offer some of them, but it is also fun to go shopping in the towns of Tonala and Tlaquepaque, located east of Guadalajara. That is the central distribution area for Mexican art, ceramics, furniture and other probabilities and purposes.


Advantages of Living in Puerto Vallarta

When we first arrived in Vallarta, it was clear that there were many expatriates who lived here, few compared to the current amount, but it was still a large crowd. So we started asking them how long they had lived here and we started listening for 10-12-15 years. Also, they had no intention of leaving. The people here were very relaxed and took the time to talk to us. They certainly were not in any hurry. We liked that because we were looking for stability.

Professionalism in Real Estate

After watching and talking with many people for a week or more, we began to get very excited to maybe live in Vallarta, so we contacted a couple of real estate agents and observed some properties. In a short time, we both noticed a great deal of professionalism that we had not noticed in Panama, the only other place we had searched.

When we requested the procedure to make an offer, we were shown a blank purchase agreement, explained how to use an annex, explained that the initial payment was made with a deposit, etc. It was a big difference with respect to Panama, where real estate agents said that the first step was to issue an advance check to the seller and then, if he accepted and kept the money, we had to hire a lawyer to draft a purchase agreement and we would have to pay for the lawyer. This was something we would never do, so we never went through the negotiation stage.

Excellent Medical Care

When we lived in Minnesota, we went regularly to the Mayo Clinic to perform physical exams. Every year, Sara complained of a sinus problem, and several times she had the problem while we were in May, and even then they could never find the problem and they were never able to help her. Shortly after arriving in Vallarta, she had another episode.

We were surprised to make an appointment the same day with an ear, nose and throat specialist. After a 10-minute test, he said: “I think I see the problem, but I’m going to need an MRI to be sure.” Sara asked how long it would take. His response was “follow me”.

He took her to the X-ray department, she had an MRI and he explained the problem and told her how he could fix it. He underwent outpatient surgery the next morning and has not had a single problem in the last 10 years.

We both had other medical problems, including cancer, that were taken care of so well that the Chief of Surgery at MD Anderson in the United States was very impressed with the work done by Vallarta specialists. Withso many expats here now, we hear of all sorts of medical issues that are dealt with quickly and professionally in Vallarta and for a fraction of the cost in the US.

Tropical Climate

When we were sailing, we traveled north, to Alaska, and then south, to South America, to find the ideal tropical place to live where it was not too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer. We believe that we found it in Vallarta and we have lived here for approximately 10 years. Usually, we only use the air conditioning in our room for a few hours at night in the heat of summer and close the windows at night for a month or so in the winter.

We believe that this is as close to perfect as we can find. Specifically, Vallarta’s climate is tropical and humid, with a high average daily temperature of 86 ° F, a low average daily temperature of 70 ° F and an average humidity of 75%. The rainy season is from mid-June to mid-October.

Even during the rainy season, the rain tends to be in large storms. Hurricanes rarely come close to hitting Vallarta but they have arrived on some occasions. The last to cause damage was Hurricane Kenna in 2002, where that hurricane could not reach land due to the Sierra Madre mountains. Winter is the driest season of the year.

Speaking Spanish Is Not Necessary

There are many Spanish teachers in Vallarta and many expats attend. We have not attended any of them and we just learned Spanish for most situations. I am sure that if we had more fluency, we would feel more comfortable in more situations. However, we must bear in mind that many Mexicans have also taken English classes because there are many expats here now and more are moving here all the time. A little fluency in Spanish makes living here a bit more comfortable.

Clean Water

Year after year, Puerto Vallarta’s drinking water is among the purest in Mexico. Puerto Vallarta uses well water with advanced purification and distribution systems. We drink water in our house and many people we know also do it. Most condominium buildings have modern purification systems as backups, just like we do in our home, so it really depends more on the plumbing system of the house or condominium than on Vallarta’s water. In addition, companies like Coca Cola distribute large bottles of water for home dispensers, so it’s up to you.

Shopping

From our experience in the United States, we believe that buying in Vallarta is the closest thing to the United States that we have seen anywhere, except in Panama City, which has three main supermarkets, but none like the Comer chain in Vallarta. They just opened their second big new supermarket, right next to Costco. Mega y Soriana are other great, excellent Mexican grocery chains and merchandise in general. But, in addition, Vallarta also has Costco, 3 Walmarts, 2 Sam’s Clubs, Home Depot, and many excellent stores that sell all kinds of things we had in the United States. The other very beautiful cities, countries and islands that we visited had much, much less.

Lower Living Cost than in Other Places

From our many conversations with expatriates who have moved here much more recently, and from our regular visits to the United States, we believe that the overall cost of living here is significantly lower than in the United States and Canada. But it’s really hard to put a percentage because we all live differently. Some people spend much more than others. However, we believe that the overall costs here are much cheaper.

It’s a Safe Place

We feel very safe here. We walk and drive everywhere at night and don’t worry about anything. And we are not alone feeling that way. Many people walk at night without problems. We have heard from many expats and we agree that in general it is safer than many places in the United States. Every time we are outside and anywhere, we try to keep our “smart brain” turned on and not slip into the “holiday brain” anywhere today.

It’s Really Easy to Get Here

It is very easy to get to Vallarta either by air or by car. All major US and Canadian airlines fly a large number of flights to PVR, as well as AeroMexico (image) and many other Mexican airlines and now even some European airlines.

PVR is a very modern and busy international airport with all the shops and restaurants that could be found at any major airport. We have also driven back and forth five times, crossing both Laredo and Nogales. Both are approximately the same distance from Vallarta and both take two days driving from the border. We are in favor of crossing through Nogales and heading south on the highway. Vallarta is also a reasonable placefor visits from family and friends and it is definitely a place they will love to come to.

The construction is now completed, after several years, in the first and hardest section of the highway that crosses the mountains between Vallarta and Guadalajara. That new 4-lane section is located between Jala, NW of Guadalajara on Highway 15 through some beautiful mountains up to Compostella on the coast side. There is a shorter section and a longer section that are still under construction. When completed, it’s projected that the new highway will cut the current 5-hour trip to Guadalajara to 2 and a half hours. We have driven that route several times.


7 Things You Can Strike Off Your Bucket List By Visiting Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is one destination with breathtaking views, strong cultural inclinations, and limitless areas to explore. Let’s say it is one of the coolest places in Mexico, a place you should visit.

That being said, the next question would be what those fun, breathtaking experiences associated with Puerto Vallarta are?

Listed below are seven things you should consider doing in Puerto Vallarta.

Swim with dolphins

Aquaventuras Water Park offers its visitors the chance to swim with dolphins for that unforgettable experience. You get to enjoy the sight of incredible acrobatics by the dolphins. Swim with the dolphins; get on a boogie board and let the dolphins glide you along the surface of the water. Engage in the belly ride; let the dolphins glide you along the water surface in exhilarating maneuvers.

Go on a pirate ship cruise

Pirate Land Adventure offers you a whole day cruise in an authentically styled wooden pirate ship, the Marigalante Pirate Ship. On board the ship, you a treated to pirate shows, provided fantastic food and engage in fun activities. Enjoy breathtaking sceneries like Majahuitas Island for that unforgettable holiday experience.

Zip lining in the Los Vernos Canopy

Zip lining is fun. Get to enjoy the view of the Los Vernos Canopy on on some amazing zip lines. The highest zip line being nearly 500feet(152 m) in the air and the most extended stretching 1,400 feet(426 m). What makes zip lining in Puerto Vallarta unique is that you get to enjoy breathtaking views of the mountains and raging rivers of the canopy.

Go on ATV or UTV adventure rides

Go on off-road tours on ATV or UTV rides over the landscapes of Puerto Vallarta. Explore the desert all the way to the subtropical forest in a unique way. Get your adrenaline levels up as you ride your vehicle on the Jorullo Bridge, a 1,542 feet long bridge that hangs 492 feet over the Cuale river while also enjoying the beautiful scenery.

Visit the Las Caletas Beach

The Las Caletas Beach is one of Puerto Vallarta’s most secluded and untouched destinations. It was originally the private home of Hollywood movie producer, director and actor John Huston. Go and relax on its white sandy beaches while enjoying panoramic ocean views. You can also experience what the sea has to offer through snorkeling it the clear marine-life-rich waters surrounding the beach. Go deep into the beautiful jungle full of orchids and enjoy the scenery.

Visit the Hidden Beach

You’ve probably heard of the Hidden Beach right? This unique phenomena is located in the uninhabited Marietas islands of Puerto Vallarta. Once you are on the island, you can also choose to observe and marvel at what marine wildlife has to offer as you swim for 200 feet to the Hidden Beach.

Visit the Viva Tequila Museum

For tequila enthusiasts, the visit Viva Tequila Museum is one place you should visit. Get to learn about the history, cultivation and the distillation process of tequila. Afterward, you are given a chance to taste the various types of tequila available. Experience Mexican culture first hand as you get entertained by the mariachi bands an the charros and eat conventional Mexican foods. Experience Mexican culture in one roof.

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