Info & Tips - Getting Around Banderas Bay
This is the best way if the distances aren't too far this way you'll get to see the town, meet the local people, enjoy the views, take photos, breathe and really live the experience. It is still possible to walk almost anywhere in downtown areas of each city in the bay. Make sure you have the right shoes. It is very safe to walk around and there are sidewalks everywhere however beware of uneven roads and cobblestones as they sometimes can be tricky. If you get tired along the way, there is always a bus right around the corner.
Be very careful when crossing the streets around the bay. Although the cars, taxis, and buses always feel like they have the right generally they are very courteous and will let you cross but do not just assume that they will stop for you. You will really enjoy walking the streets around the cities of Banderas bay and be sure and say hello to the many locals hanging out all throughout the bay. They are super friendly and proud people that enjoy their country and the people that visit.
Taxis are everywhere in Vallarta and throughout the bay and you will rarely ever have a problem finding one. It really does not matter where you are or which town or what time of the day or night it is, just step outside onto any street curb and wave and they will come and get you. Taxis are very convenient and cheap to use, and you generally won't have any problem using them however be sure and negotiate your price before you get in or they overcharge you especially if you are a gringo. If in doubt, ask your hotel what the going rate is for your destination.
What are the rates? Good question because even locals are not sure of until we ask. Taxis do not have meters around the bay but have an exact tarif that they are supposed to charge but many just pull a number out of the air and give it to you. Over the last years, the Taxi Syndicate has worked towards having established rates for all areas. In most cases, the driver will give you the correct fare They do not go to overboard with the overcharging and to most people, the fare sounds pretty good based on the cost of taxis elsewhere however, ask before getting in the cab and not at the end of the trip when it's a little more difficult to negotiate. Generally in town rates run 40-60 pesos($2.5 or $3.5 dollars).
If you are planning to go to a restaurant or tour, do not let the taxi driver talk you into going to some other "better" place, he's probably taking you to one he'll receive a commission from and generally not as good.
That is right, Uber is here and although the taxi drivers are very unhappy, it has changed the attitude toward customer by the taxi drivers, they are giving much better service and asking if you want AC.
Uber works perfectly here and they pick you up anywhere you are however some hotels have blocked them because of the taxi unions.
The app works without a hitch and the drivers were all very calm, friendly and it was, all in all, a great experience, plus prices were roughly half those I'd pay in taxis, it's a combination that's very hard to beat.
The buses are great around the bay and a very easy and affordable way to get around Banderas Bay. At first the buses can be intimidating, but you get the hang of them and know the routes very quickly. Many of the buses here are privately owned, and some look a bit funky, but they always do get you where you want to go and you will get to experience the true Mexican lifestyle during your journey as this is how most of the Mexican national population moves around town, when not walking. Recently with the explosion of tourism to the area, many of the buses are brand new and very comfortable. Some of the most comfortable buses were the ATM buses that move from Jalisco to Nayrit. These buses depart from the Walmart and take passengers to the many cities to the North of Puerto Vallarta such as Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, Lacruz, Punta Mita and Sayulita.
On many trips on any of the local buses, don't be surprised if some type of entertainer leaps on board to sing, dance, clown around or some just get on to sell candy or collect for charities. I noticed that many Mexicans tend to tip a few pesos whether the entertainment is good or not.
In many areas you can just wave at a bus and they will pull over but to be sure, look for bus stop signs which are generally on every corner on the main roads, smaller streets do not have bus stop signs, the bus will stop as needed at street corners. Banderas bay has 3 different bus companies that run to different areas.
Blue buses run north and south along the main hwy. The routes are displayed on the front of the bus. Green buses run to the communities and neighborhoods around the bay. Orange buses run from old town to the southern towns of the bay. ATM white buses run to all towns to Nayarit.
Fares on all buses in Puerto Vallarta are 10 pesos. ATM buses run 10 pesos to 25 pesos depending how far you are taking the bus.
The most important thing to remember when planning your trip is to move around in the bay area. Explore and see what this area provides and why so many people are flocking to vacation and live somewhere along BANDERAS BAY!