We know that you’re excited about your trip and you have every reason to be! Puerto Vallarta is by and large a safe destination, and the issues you’ll encounter here are more likely to be minor nuisances than serious sources of danger.
That being said, we still want you to be aware of any and all potential problems before they even have a chance to occur. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy your Puerto Vallarta experience to the fullest possible extent.
Let’s not sugarcoat things - if you’ve been following the international headlines over the past decade, you know that Mexico faces its fair share of problems. Beyond government corruption, the country also battles a number of drug-trafficking cartels whose turf wars occasionally spill over into civilian casualties.
The good news is that Puerto Vallarta has remained almost completely uninvolved in these conflicts. There have been a few instances of violence - an early-morning attack against a police chief in 2012, for example - but the few victims of such attacks are widely suspected to have been previously involved with the cartels in some way.
The bottom line is that, as of May 2015, no foreign tourists have been involved in cartel violence in Puerto Vallarta.
The truth is that cartels are businesses. The people who run them are ruthless, but not stupid. They know that tourism is the foundation of the Puerto Vallarta economy - and if the tourists go away, so do their customers. As such, you can be virtually guaranteed that Mexican cartel violence, so often exploited for ratings by the international news media, will form no part of your Puerto Vallarta experience.
Now that that’s out of the way…
The actual crime rates in Puerto Vallarta are very low, significantly lower than those of major tourist cities in the United Stateslike Miami, Las Vegas, and New Orleans for example. Violent crime is something that any visitor using common sense shouldn’t have to deal with. Provided that you take the most basic of travel precautions, the threat of violent crime needn’t even cross your mind.
The reality is that any crime likely to befall you in Puerto Vallarta will be petty in nature - and mostly crimes of convenience. For example, if you leave your valuables unattended on the beach or a wad of cash sitting on your hotel nightstand, there’s a decent chance that they won’t be there when you return! But of course, in a country where the minimum wage is less than the equivalent of five U.S. dollars a day, it becomes more difficult to blame potential thieves.
In the city of Puerto Vallarta, the general rule of thumb is that basic, standard travel precautions are all you’ll need to avoid becoming the victim of a crime. Keep your wits about you and you’re sure to have a fantastic vacation experience.
Safety for Women
Just as Puerto Vallarta is an exceptionally safe destination for travelers in general, it’s also widely recognized as a safe destination for woman travelers. But this being said, it’s an unfortunate fact of life that criminals often view women as potentially easier targets than their male counterparts.
Here are a few tips for women looking to stay safe in Puerto Vallarta:
Walk with confidence and a sense of purpose. If you project that you’re lost or confused when out on the street, you may be seen as an easy target. Simply walking like you know where you’re going - even when you’re not 100% sure - will deter the vast majority of potential criminals, scammers, and con artists.
When possible, travel with a group. As the saying goes, there’s power in numbers. Even a small group of women appears much less vulnerable than a woman walking alone - so when possible, do it
Be prepared for the occasional dose of Mexican machismo. Though Puerto Vallarta is a major tourist destination with a decidedly international flair, it also remains very traditional in a number of ways. Though most of these traditional characteristics are charming, for many women, one is not. We’re talking, of course, about typically Mexican machismo the attitude that men, in any number of ways, are inherently superior to women.
If you’re a woman, please don’t expect all Mexican men to look down on you or otherwise treat you poorly this is so far away from the case! In reality, machismo will more likely be manifested in things like open staring or potentially the occasional catcall on the street. Though annoying and quite possibly offensive, the best thing to do on such an occasion is simply to ignore the perpetrator. The unfortunate truth is that you won’t be changing a centuries-old aspect of Mexican culture during your week in Puerto Vallarta.
Source: World Nomads
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