Vallarta Culture: Would You Take The Bus?

06 December, 2018

We do a lot of walking in Puerto Vallarta and for long distances, we find the taxis quite reasonable. They are everywhere, easy to flag down and not difficult on price negotiations. Lawfully, they should have a price chart in their car, in case you have any questions.

We do, however, appreciate a good bus ride when the dogs start to bark (feet get tired.)

Buses can be entertaining and we highly recommend them. If you miss one bus, you wait only a few moments before another comes along. At midday, when shifts change in shops and hotels, we wait for a full bus to pass by. There’s always another one, often within short view. The writing on the front, painted on in what looks like nurse’s shoe polish, will tell you where the bus is bound. If you aren’t sure, ask. Most bus drivers are friendly and helpful. You don’t need to be exact. You want to head to town for the Saturday market? Just say Olas Altas or Zona Romatica and they will either nod or shake.

A special treat on buses in Puerto Vallarta is traveling musicians. You aren’t obliged to give them money but we do, if we have coins. It’s hard to ignore the outstretched hand of someone who is trying to make an honest living. The entertainer commonly stands at the front of the bus while singing their piece and then shuffles to the back door, collecting pesos. They often hop on a following bus or catch one in the opposite direction. This can often be a blessing, especially considering that oftentimes, the instrument of choice is an empty water bottle and a stick.

Deaf people travel buses in much the same way minstrels do, popping in the front door and treating the aisle like a gauntlet. They drop key chains, packs of gum or trinkets into passengers’ laps. If we have the spare 20 pesos, we like to collect stocking stuffers for the end of the year. A business sized card with the sign language alphabet and a message in Spanish is part of the deal and they will need these back, unless you insist on keeping them. If you decline the purchase they will snatch it up quickly and move on.

Hang on to the flimsy tissue ticket the bus driver gives you in exchange for your fare. It’s not a transfer like those handed over in most northern cities. It is your boleto (ticket) and it does happen that inspectors board buses occasionally to check all commuters for evidence of payment. More importantly, if the bus has an accident, it’s your proof you were on board and all your expenses could be paid by the bus company, if you’re injured.

Que es cómo es.

 Thanks to our Guest Blogger Adam Garcia for this great article!


Mexico is moving in the right direction, working to raise the real estate standards to protect buyer and seller interests. AMPI (our National Real Estate Association) plays a key role in the real estate industry in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, working closely with local, state and national governments. Our local AMPI Association is leading the country in developing and implementing real estate standards.  To become members of our local AMPI Association Real Estate professionals sign our Bylaws that require our members to follow our Ethical Code of Conduct;  to use our contract forms which have been legally vetted to protect buyers and sellers; to participate in and comply with our MLS Rules and Regulation along with using the shared database. Our Bylaws, Code of Ethics, MLS Systems, Contracts and our other systems are constantly improved on through the expertise and experience of our members.  Find a Committed AMPI Professional Here

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