Shoes Are Important
Shoes are important in Puerto Vallarta. You will notice even the beach boys wear flip flops unless they’re hanging out in the oncoming surf. No matter where you’re walking, you should protect your feet. If you’re staying in the jungle and need to use the bathroom at night, keep your flip flops next to your bed and wear them to the toilet. We have a friend who was stung on the toe by a scorpion in this exact manner. It was painful and dangerous.
We advise tetanus shots be up to date when visiting and living in Puerto Vallarta, especially if you plan to be adventurous and head out on horses, go zip-lining, biking or hiking. There are snakes, scorpions and spiders in Puerto Vallarta. Boots are highly advised for heavy outdoor exploration.
Expats with pets? They don’t need shoes but you do if they’re in your yard, use it as a bathroom, and run around in general. Make sure their deworming is kept up to date, for their sake and yours. Keep this in mind where children play, too.
In addition, never sit or lie directly on the beach without a towel under you and don’t sit anywhere in a wet bathing suit without keeping your behind well covered with a towel or pareo (sarong) to prevent contact with infective larvae.
Hookworm infection is common in the tropics, found in soil where there is poor sanitation, garbage and outdoor toilets. If you’re at the beach and you need to use a toilet in a restaurant/bar, have shoes on while you walk through the establishment and onto the concrete floor, which will be wet from bathers and boaters.
When you run around without shoes you are subjecting yourself to infection. Even without a cut or scrape to your skin the threat is higher, and the last thing you want is to ruin a vacation by being disabled by a very avoidable injury or illness.
It’s also important to stay out of rivers that are muddied. Cattle roam in the water upstream and they defecate on the banks and directly in water. Raw sewage is not uncommon in villages where flow can be caught up and find its way down to unsuspecting swimmers and waders.
Shoe stores abound in Puerto Vallarta and a simple pair of flip flops costs under $1US, so it’s folly to put yourself at unnecessary risk.
Que es cómo es.