Arriving in Puerto Vallarta
If you’re arriving in Puerto Vallarta for the first time, it’s good to know what to expect. This is a foreign country where a different language is spoken and customs are most likely not similar to your own. On the airplane, you’ll be given two forms to fill out. One is your Immigration information and it’s very important to fill this out correctly. There are two parts and both have the same blanks, though one is a tiny duplicate at the bottom, which will be returned to you when you check in upon arrival. An irritating hold-up is caused by those who’ve had too much fun on the airplane and you must wait your turn behind them while they complete the form, leaning against a wall or fellow traveler. Be sure to have your passport in hand. Once you’re stamped and herded through, put the returned piece of immigration form in a very safe place. You must have this to avoid delays in your departure.
We travel in and out of Puerto Vallarta a great deal and changes occur at the airport often enough to encourage us to be careful of unconsciously following the path we think is correct. Directions change and we aren’t fond of getting barked at my the authorities. We also don’t expect the “people-movers” (the rolling walkway) to work, because they never do.
The baggage carousels are to the right once the immigration challenge has been completed. It’s a good time to use the facilities, since we never know how long it will be before we have another chance. Inevitably, your bags will not be on the snaking conveyor belt that has been designated, so don’t be alarmed. (And if it’s not there? They will get it to you; we met someone this week whose luggage was delivered to her in the jungle.)
Customs is legendary in Mexico. The sophisticated method of punching a button to see what light you are blessed with is used at every port of entry. If you get a red light, don’t fret. Be polite, smile and allow the officials to rummage through your belongings. The more you complain, the longer it will take. It’s a random process and there are no spies watching through peepholes.
Once you are cleared or if you get the green light, you’re ready for the assault of the time-share sales brigade. Keep walking. This is NOT where you catch your taxi or bus, so if you see a sign for your destined resort, that’s all it is…a sign. It you stop to investigate, you will be roped into a presentation (90-minute/free-gift/takes-a-lot-longer-than-90-minute presentation.) You’ll be offered tequila shots by a handsome young man in a mariachi costume; ignore him and everyone until you make it to the terminal. There you will find your transportation and your escort into the sunshine.
Que es cómo es.
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article! (Opinions expressed are his own…)
About Vacation Villas of Mexico Founder, Vanessa Cole
The founder of the company, Vanessa Cole, lived in Puerto Vallarta for 10 years and in Cancun for 2 years. She has worked in Luxury Vacation Villa Rentals since 2001.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Vanessa earned a degree from the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in International Business and Latin American Studies. Fluent in Spanish, she has worked and traveled all over Mexico and South America.