Whether you plan to retire in Puerto Vallarta, purchase a
vacation home for your family or an investment property
you can use to get a tan, there are a lot of things you need to
know. Let's take a look at some of them.
Puerto Vallarta is a vibrant city with 21st century lifestyle
mixed with old world values and traditions. The city's
population is made up mostly by the Mexican baby
boomers, young adults of 30-35 years or younger, educated
and capable with good work ethics.
The city is also home to a large number of American and Canadian expats and snow birds of the baby boomers
generation. They are thriving and loving their local lifestyle. But there are things to learn of course. Speaking
Spanish is desirable, but speaking a little would be good. An important must for Americans is to learn the metric
system. It's easy to learn and makes food shopping and understanding recipes much easier. There are excellent
charts available on the internet you will learn it in no time.
Make sure you check out our
Retiring in Vallarta
Activities in Vallarta
pages. More great info.
Shopping for food is not much different then back home.
Costco, Walmart, Mega, Soriana, Le Lay and Chedroui are the
major food stores with everything from food to clothing,
footwear, sporting goods, automobile items, cosmetics, bakery,
special import items, wine, patio and small size furniture,
liqueur... If I have forgotten to mention something you can be
sure you can find it in one of these outlets. At the till you'll see
the cashier and a person packing the merchandise for you. The
packer is a convenience for you but they are not paid by the
store. Shoppers show their appreciation for the service with a
tip. Most cashiers will greet you with a smile and a simple hola.
The smile will make parting with your money a pleasant
Stores are mostly self serve but friendly clerks are walking the aisles, ready to help you find what you're looking
for. You'll also find Home Depot and other building supply stores. You will find small family owned tiendas
(corner grocery stores) and OXO - Mexico's version of 7-11 everywhere. There are many elegant shopping centres
in Vallarta with large department stores. They sell everything from fine furniture to china, decorator items, the
latest fashions for women and men, just like in the US or Canada. Elegant boutiques, footwear and handbags
stores, spas, restaurants and many other businesses offer convenient shopping for locals and visitors.
Bus service is very organised. In the hub stops dispatchers
keep everything on time and organized. They are also
responsible to help the passengers with directions and all
they need to know to get to their destination. Buses run about
every 5-10 minutes depending the route. The fare inside the
city is 7.5 pesos but as you travel longer distances outside of
the city the fares increase. You can ask the dispatcher or
driver what the fare will be.
Taxis are everywhere and very inexpensive. The rates are fixed
by destination in the city, you let the dispatcher or the driver
know where you're going and they tell you how much will it
cost. The price is fixed and tips are not allowed.
Most doctors and dentists speak some English and some are
fully bilingual. Visit prices are a far cry from US or Canadian
doctors. A private visit is longer than 30 minutes and cost
$25.00 on average. Charges for lab work and dental work are
also very reasonable. Upon receiving your resident status and if
you are 6o years of age or more you are eligible to apply for health care and other benefits. For detailed
information read our "Best place to retire in 2017." You will be surprised at the number of benefits that are
available to you.
They are available in neighbourhoods stores and shopping centers. Spas offer manicures, pedicures, gel nails,
brow and lash tinting and all of the other services you are used to. You may choose from modest locations to
elegant pamper me spas for a day of service. Prices are 40-50% less than what you are used to paying.
Hair Dressing Services
Just like the spas, they are found in the same locations and offer the same services as you required in the past.
Dry Cleaning and Laundry
Called a tintoria and lavanderia in Spanish, they are usually found in locations with groups of small stores.
The best information is by word of mouth. Ask your new friends or your neighbours.
They are on almost every corner and they range from
taco places, modest priced to elegant dining, beach side
bars and sport bars to street vendors. Food is safe and
delicious regardless of whether it is a taco stand or fine
The water in Vallarta is safe to drink and is very soft. It
is considered to be among the best in Mexico but
depending on where you are living and how much pipe
it has gone through, it might not taste so good. Unless
you have filtered water in your home buy the water. You
can get delivery to your door or you can buy it in most grocery stores. Tap water is good for cooking but I use
bottled water for cooking and for coffee. It tastes far better than tap water, even if you boil it.
Garbage Pick Up
This is usually three times per week in the suburbs, but if you live in a condo ask the property manager and also
ask where you will get your utility bills.
First you need to know the name of the banks in the US and in
Canada that is affiliated or working with a local bank In PV if
any. To open a bank account you must be a temporary or
permanent resident. You need to take your card to prove your
status, your passport, your phone number, and a gas or electric
bill with your name and address on it. If you are renting then you
can prove your address by any utility bill. You will also need to
take your lease. Take pesos or a cheque given to you in pesos for
your initial deposit. You will receive an ATM card and you will
pay 120 pesos for a second card for your spouse if necessary. You
will need to immediately activate your card at the ATM. It is that
simple but plan on spending up to two hours to open your bank
Purchasing a Car
The buying part is same as back home, buying from the dealer of
your choice. All of the major manufacturers have dealerships
here and the prices are much less than what you are used to.
Some used dealers will offer a three month warranty, but not all.
Dealers won't bargain on the price but you can sometimes get
extras added in. In Mexico, the price must include everything so
unlike back in Canada and the US where you have to add
delivery charges, local and state taxes etc., the price you see is
what you pay. I love that.
For the transfer of the ownership you will need the following:
bill of sale from the dealer, permanent or temporary residents
card, passport and an electric or any other utility bill with your
name on it to prove your residency. Your dealer will take care of the licence plate and registration. Your drivers
license from home is valid until it expires. If you're a resident after your license expires, you will need to get a
Mexican drivers license
Traffic flow and speed is monitored and if you run a red light or
drive too fast or any other infraction, ,you will be sure to be
stopped. The traffic cop will greet you very politely, but you will
be given a ticket and your drivers licence will be confiscated. But
don't worry. You'll get it back when you pay the ticket. You will
have to personally go to pay you're ticket but there is a silver
lining. If you pay the fine within 5 or 10 days (it varies by the
municipality where you received the ticket) you will only pay 50%
of the fine. Please do not offer money or try to pay the ticket on
the spot. There is no mordita and won't get any points, just
Glenn Ferguson local cell - 322-197-1306