Planning to move permanently to Puerto Vallarta

Greetings: I'm a journalist, photojournalist and former East Africa bush guide. I am planning to move from Seattle, WA USA, to Puerto Vallarta, primarily because of my attraction to Mexican culture and history, and secondarily, my desire to live in a warmer climate on the Pacific Ocean.

Although I have visited PV, studied Latin American culture in Mexico City, and spent a lot of time in Los Cabos, I am unfamiliar with expat life in PV. My concerns are mostly the cost of living a comfortable but not luxurious lifestyle, the opportunity to immerse myself in the culture (taking local arts courses, eg,), and volunteering wherever I can make a difference.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone now living in PV, or who has lived there in the recent past who can offer me advice about making the change, where to rent (what area), what to look for and what to avoid.

Please see my website: for more information about me. I'm a longtime expat, but anxious to learn from others' experiences.  Many thanks!

Do you have your Resident Visa?

Hi, first here is the link for the lastest cost-of-living in PV. … obile=true

Also like "sparksmex" said what will be your status Visa wise.

And finally, a visit of the various areas around PV could be good before settleling in one area. In our case, my wife and I have travelled Mexico for 13 years and have now settled ourselfves in La Peñita de Jaltemba which is about 80km from Puerto Vallarta.

But even that can change if we can't stand the summer weather and move inlands  (ie: Patzcuaro, Michoacan).

Buena suerte, GyC.

I do not yet have a permanent residence visa. I was planning to apply for the 180-day visa, return to the US for 5 days, then return to Mexico on another 180-day visa. This would, I reason, give me time to decide if Puerto Vallarta, or anywhere in Mexico is definitely where I want to live permanently. Does this seem reasonable to you. Do you have other suggestions? Thanks

Thanks for your reply, which I found encouraging.

Do you think my earlier comments about 180-day visas for the first year make sense?
Thanks, Skye

SkyeMoody :

Do you think my earlier comments about 180-day visas for the first year make sense?
Thanks, Skye

Personnaly, yes, I think the 2 times 180 days would be very great since you would be visiting PV and other areas outside the winter tourist season. See if you like the summer weather in PV. Encounter more easily the fulltime expats. Also be able to find a suitable house/apartment and neighborhood (barrio).

And you would be able to visit the inland portion (nearby Lake Chapala, Tlaquepaque) of Mexico but some places could require a bit of travelling (SMA,QUERETARO, PATZCUARO, GUANAJUATO).

Finally, once you decide to move, the first request is made at your local Mexican embassy or consulate and the help from a good mexican accountant is helpfull in regards to self-employment with the RFC.

Buena suerte, GyC.


Thank you so very much for your helpful comments. I now feel that I'm on the right path to begin the process of moving to Mexico. Your advice really helped.  ~ Skye

One thing I’d like to say from my experience coming from San Miguel de Allende to PV, there doesn’t seem to be as much culture. It’s very Americanized. I do love it none the less but you have to travel out of PV to see genuine authentic culture.

Hi Skye,

I thought I should point out a couple of things you should be aware of. One would be that some border areas may make a fuss about a fast 5 day turn around, Belize in my case made a major fuss. They felt that I was using them only to renew my Mexican visa. The Mexican border crossing there also got into that. So you may want to rearrange your time frame.

The other thing is that PV becomes very isolated with serious weather issues preventing flying. That and floods do happen there. On two trips I had to rearrange my trip to avoid PV. Unless there has been major construction since I last went that way there is only one semi-paved little road leading to PV.

Travellight and I are about 2 years behind on this thread.  Perhaps I got lucky, but have flown into PV twice in the last year, spending 2 weeks and 1 week, respectively.  I have no opinion on the roads nor on the flooding. 

For me, I believe it's just to hot and humid in the summer.  I was there the 1st week of December and it was quite uncomfortable--in early December!


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