Is Puerto Vallarta Safe? Tips to Stay Secure While Enjoying Paradise

Puerto Vallarta is a popular tourist destination located on the Pacific coast of Mexico. With its beautiful beaches, rich culture, and vibrant nightlife, it’s no wonder that so many people flock here for their vacations. However, the question of safety always comes up whenever traveling to a new place, especially one with a reputation for drug violence. News headlines often depict Mexico as a dangerous country, which can be concerning for travelers. So, is Puerto Vallarta safe? In this post, we’ll explore the safety concerns in Puerto Vallarta, including crime rates, natural disasters, and safety tips to help you enjoy your vacation worry-free.


Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful and popular tourist destination located on Mexico’s Pacific coast. However, some travelers might be concerned about the safety of the area due to news reports and rumors spreading online. In this article, we’ll provide you with accurate and up-to-date information regarding safety concerns in Puerto Vallarta so that you can make an informed decision before planning your next trip.

It is important to note that like any other destination, there are certain areas in Puerto Vallarta where visitors should exercise caution. While violent crime is relatively rare in the tourist areas, petty crimes such as pickpocketing, purse snatching, and theft from parked cars do occur. Visitors should keep their valuables secure and avoid flashing expensive items or large amounts of cash.

In addition to petty crimes, natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes can also pose a threat to travelers. Hurricane season occurs from June to November, and visitors should stay up-to-date on weather alerts and have a plan in case of an emergency. Earthquakes can also occur in the region, but they are typically minor and don’t pose a significant risk to tourists.

Overall, while there are safety concerns to be aware of when travelling to Puerto Vallarta, visitors who take basic precautions should have a safe and enjoyable vacation. In the following sections of this article, we’ll provide more detailed information about crime rates, types of crime, and safety tips for travelers.

Crime in Puerto Vallarta

Crime Rate in Puerto Vallarta

Crime Rate in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. But like any other city, crime is an unfortunate reality. Understanding the crime rate in Puerto Vallarta can help travelers make informed decisions to ensure their safety while enjoying their stay.

According to statistics from the Mexican National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), the overall crime rate in Puerto Vallarta has been decreasing in recent years. In 2018, there were 2,542 reported crimes, which is a 19% decrease from the 3,148 crimes in 2017. The majority of these crimes were related to property theft or robbery.

However, it’s important to note that many crimes in Puerto Vallarta go unreported. This is due to a variety of factors, including fear of retaliation, language barriers, and mistrust of law enforcement. Tourists can also be targeted specifically, as they are often seen as easy targets for petty theft and scams.

To stay safe in Puerto Vallarta, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid isolated areas and don’t carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you. Be cautious when using ATMs, and only use ones located inside buildings or banks. When walking around at night, stick to well-lit areas and travel in groups whenever possible.

In conclusion, while the crime rate in Puerto Vallarta may be decreasing, it’s still important for travelers to take precautions to ensure their safety. By staying aware and taking simple steps, tourists can have a worry-free and enjoyable trip to this beautiful destination.

Types of Crime in Puerto Vallarta

Types of Crime in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a relatively safe destination, but like any tourist hotspot, it still faces certain types of crime. Understanding these types of crime can help you take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your belongings while enjoying everything that this beautiful city has to offer.

Petty Theft

Petty theft is the most common type of crime in Puerto Vallarta. It involves stealing personal items such as wallets, purses, cameras, and phones from unsuspecting tourists. These thefts usually occur in crowded areas such as beaches, markets, and public transportation.

To avoid becoming a victim of petty theft, keep your valuables out of sight, avoid carrying large amounts of cash, and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Don’t leave your belongings unattended on the beach or in restaurants, and use hotel safes to store your valuables when possible.

Armed Robbery

While armed robbery isn’t common in Puerto Vallarta, it does happen, particularly in more isolated areas or at night. In these situations, criminals may use weapons such as guns or knives to threaten or harm their victims.

If you’re traveling in Puerto Vallarta, it’s important to be cautious and avoid wandering around alone at night. Stick to well-lit areas and busy streets, and if you have to walk alone, consider using a taxi service to get around.

Drug-Related Crimes

Drug-related crimes are also a concern in Puerto Vallarta, especially for those who frequent bars and clubs. Criminals may target tourists who appear intoxicated or vulnerable, and attempt to sell them drugs or rob them.

To stay safe from drug-related crimes, it’s important to be aware of your alcohol consumption and avoid accepting drinks from strangers. Stick to reputable bars and clubs, and avoid going out alone or with people you don’t know well.

In conclusion, while Puerto Vallarta is a relatively safe destination, tourists should still be aware of the types of crimes that occur in the city. By taking precautions and being vigilant, you can enjoy your trip to Puerto Vallarta without worrying about becoming a victim of crime.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Puerto Vallarta

Traveling to Puerto Vallarta can be a wonderful experience, but like any destination, it’s important to take some precautions to ensure your safety. Here are some valuable safety tips to keep in mind:

  • Avoid isolated areas: When exploring the city, it’s best to stick to well-lit, populated areas. Avoid alleys or isolated streets, especially at night. If you do find yourself in an empty area, keep moving and stay aware of your surroundings.

  • Don’t carry large amounts of cash: It’s always a good idea to carry only the cash you need for the day and leave the rest in a hotel safe. Make use of credit cards instead of carrying around large amounts of cash. If you must carry cash, keep it in a secure place like a money belt or a hidden compartment.

  • Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and pay attention to what is happening around you. Keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior or people following you. Trust your instincts and if you feel uncomfortable in a situation, remove yourself from it as quickly as possible.

By following these safety tips, you can better enjoy your time in Puerto Vallarta without worrying about potential dangers. Remember to be cautious and take necessary precautions to have a wonderful trip.

Natural Disasters in Puerto Vallarta

Hurricane Season in Puerto Vallarta

Hurricane Season in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, located on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, is known for its warm weather and beautiful beaches. However, it’s important to be aware of the hurricane season which typically occurs between June 1st and November 30th each year.

During this period, the risk of hurricanes and tropical storms affecting the region is higher than usual. The most active months are typically September and October, with August and November also having a chance of severe weather.

To ensure your safety during hurricane season in Puerto Vallarta, there are several precautions you can take. First, stay informed about any potential storms by monitoring local news and weather reports. It’s also recommended to sign up for alerts from the National Hurricane Center or other reliable sources.

If a hurricane or tropical storm is forecasted to hit Puerto Vallarta, follow instructions from local authorities and evacuate if necessary. Additionally, make sure to have a disaster preparedness kit ready with supplies such as food, water, and medication.

Even if a major storm doesn’t occur during your trip, it’s still a good idea to be prepared and have a plan in place. Know the location of emergency shelters and medical facilities in case of any unforeseen events.

By taking these precautions and staying informed, you can enjoy your time in Puerto Vallarta during hurricane season while also ensuring your safety and well-being.

Earthquakes in Puerto Vallarta

Earthquakes in Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is located in a region that is prone to earthquakes due to its location along the Pacific Ring of Fire. While major earthquakes are rare in the area, it is still important to be prepared in case one does occur.

Frequency of Earthquakes in Puerto Vallarta

Earthquakes are relatively infrequent in Puerto Vallarta, with most measuring between 3 and 4 on the Richter scale. However, there have been several notable earthquakes in the past few decades, including one in 1995 that measured 8.0 on the Richter scale and caused significant damage throughout the region.

Preparation for Earthquakes in Puerto Vallarta

If you are traveling to Puerto Vallarta, it is important to be prepared for the possibility of an earthquake. Here are some tips to help you stay safe:

  • Before your trip, research the emergency procedures for earthquakes in the area. Know where the local shelters are and how to get to them.
  • When you arrive at your hotel or rental property, locate the emergency exits and make sure that they are easily accessible.
  • Pack an emergency kit that includes basic supplies such as water, non-perishable food, first aid supplies, a flashlight, and a battery-powered radio.
  • During an earthquake, drop to the ground and take cover under a sturdy piece of furniture or against a wall. Stay away from windows, mirrors, and other objects that could fall and cause injury.
  • After the earthquake has passed, check yourself and others for injuries and follow the guidance of local authorities regarding evacuation and recovery efforts.

By being informed and prepared, you can minimize the potential risks associated with earthquakes in Puerto Vallarta and enjoy your trip with peace of mind.



In conclusion, while there are some safety concerns to be aware of when traveling to Puerto Vallarta, it is still a relatively safe destination for tourists. By taking some simple precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas, not carrying large amounts of cash, and being aware of your surroundings, you can greatly reduce your risk of becoming a victim of crime.

It is important to note that natural disasters, such as hurricanes and earthquakes, can also pose a risk to travelers in Puerto Vallarta. However, with proper preparation and awareness, you can stay safe during these events as well.

Despite these potential risks, millions of visitors travel to Puerto Vallarta every year and have enjoyable and safe vacations. The city has much to offer, from beautiful beaches and exciting nightlife to cultural landmarks and delicious cuisine.

Ultimately, travel safety is about being informed and prepared. By doing your research, taking necessary precautions, and exercising common sense, you can have a safe and memorable trip to Puerto Vallarta.
Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful destination that attracts millions of visitors every year. While safety concerns may be on your mind, it’s important to know that the city has taken measures to ensure the safety of its residents and visitors. By being aware of your surroundings, avoiding isolated areas, and taking precautions such as not carrying large amounts of cash, you can minimize your risk of becoming a victim of crime.

In addition to crime, natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes are also a concern when traveling to Puerto Vallarta. However, with proper preparation and knowledge of the risks, you can still enjoy all that this paradise has to offer.

Overall, while there are potential safety risks associated with traveling to Puerto Vallarta, it’s largely a safe destination for visitors. By staying informed and taking necessary precautions, you can have a wonderful vacation experience without worrying about your safety. So go ahead and plan that trip to Puerto Vallarta – you won’t regret it!

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