We have found it doesn’t make a great deal of difference whether it’s high or low season in Puerto Vallarta. As with any city, anywhere in the world, we must take protective measures. There’s a myth that thieves target tourists and are more plentiful in the months we have a higher visitor count. This simply isn’t true. Desperate people work year round to support their habits and laziness. They can be very devious and manipulative. You usually expect a crook to appear bedraggled and distressed, but that’s the first mistake.
One of the most likely places to be a victim in Puerto Vallarta is in one of the big box stores, such as Wal-Mart. A nice-seeming person might distract you for a moment, asking if you speak Spanish or English or some other innocent question. They may also try to assist you with a heavy item you want to purchase or to tell you there is something on your back they are willing to help you with (like a bee or a glob of mustard.) It only takes a second. Before we go any further, let’s point out that this is standard practice in any large city and quite a few smaller ones… everywhere in the world. Without disparaging US cities, there are many where your life will be in more danger than your wallet.
Losing a wallet is a very exasperating experience. Here is what we recommend, in any season, as precautions: Don’t take more than you need when you are out and about. Carry a simple form of identification (best a photocopy) and the amount of cash you need for that given day. Some of us use credit and debit cards when shopping at places like Mega and Costco. If so, only carry the one you plan to use. Don’t take the whole kit and caboodle. We knew someone who had to cancel their Gap, Macys, Nordstrom, etc. You have no use for those in Puerto Vallarta so leave them at home. Use a small purse. Make sure it has a zipper or tight clasp and keep it closed. With a long strap, keep it on your shoulder and close to your body at all times. Gents, carry your wallet in a front pocket. Don’t ever, ever, ever plop your purse or personal items in the child carrier of the shopping cart, where it is prime prey. If you are stopped by someone who wants to chat, whether you know them or not, make sure you have your hand on your bag at your side. It’s simple, but many fail to follow these tips. Be smart; be secure.
Que cómo es 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.
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