Changes in Customs’ Custom
Arriving in Puerto Vallarta is always such a delightful feeling. Flying in over the rippling ocean below, followed by cruising low above the mountains… this represents what might be similar to the gates of heaven. Sweeping down on the approach, over mango orchards, the winding rivers that flow to the sea and the ubiquitous Pepsi and Pemex ads finds us relaxing after what can amount to a stressful time on the north side of the border.
Checking through Immigration, hanging on to passport and papers until we reach baggage claim, listening to the excited chatter of fellow travelers… this always puts us in a good mood.
And then after retrieving our luggage, we face the daunting Red light/Green light traffic signal that will determine our fate; will we quickly cross the line into Puerto Vallarta? Or will we be held up while someone rifles (rifle, an old French term that is equivalent to “stealing while frantically looking for the goods”) through our precise packing. There is really no reason to be anxious in Puerto Vallarta; we’ve never heard of anyone having something stolen right from under their nose. However, the entire process is archaic and nerve-wracking.
It won’t be long that we will be able to say goodbye to this outdated form of custom inspections! We couldn’t be happier to bid it farewell. Though we have learned to smile and nod a lot during the process, and never have been apprehended with alleged contraband, it is wonderful to know that the Mexican government feels time has come to replace the glaring stoplight. X-ray scanners will inspect baggage while in transit from the airplane to the terminal once this system is in place. This may slow down the process of bag arriving on carrousel but it will speed up the entire procedure all together. The Federal Police will oversee this updated business of inspection.
Mexico City is the site of the trial; travelers arriving at Terminal 2, where one arrives from abroad, will experience the pilot program. This system will make its way to Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz International Airport, our local airport in Puerto Vallarta, eventually, as we are a main port of entry.
In the future, inspections will be imperceptible to tourists, a switch from the intimidating and often confusing process that many of us have become accustomed to and are no longer bothered by, but newcomers will never know the difference. This improvement in service will make the red light days of the past legendary, along with so many changes in Puerto Vallarta. This, however, will be a welcome modification.
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.