An American in Puerto Vallarta -How secure is it to visit?
by Nyima Bieber
As an expat of the United States living in Mexico it is always refreshing to read accounts from like-minded people, who help to dispel the myths surrounding safety. I moved to the beautiful Puerto Vallarta area in 2008 with my Guadalajara-born husband and our then-2 year old son. If you have children, Mexico is truly the place to be- they are welcomed and doted upon. The local area and Vallartenses (people of Vallarta) welcomed us, and I can’t think of one instance in which we felt unsafe. I also have had the experience of having a vendor chase me to return the 5 pesos I had overpaid him. I must have been distracted by the freshly-fried, carmel-filled churro I was buying in El Centro-delicious!
We have always followed similar precautions as the article’s author: no wandering into strange neighborhoods (stick to the beaten track), be discreet with cash, smile and be friendly and accepting. Puerto Vallarta is thousands of miles away from the border violence. While drugs and violence are part of the dark underworld of any populated area, they are no more visible in Vallarta than in say, my home town of Santa Cruz, California. Visit Vallarta without worries- it is safe, comfortable and beautiful!
As Linda Ellerbee -most known for several jobs at NBC News, wrote on her blog Heart of the Valley Travel:
“I’m a journalist who lives in New York City, but has spent considerable time in Mexico, specifically Puerto Vallarta, for the last four years. I’m in Vallarta now. And despite what I’m getting from the U.S. media, the 24-hour news networks in particular, I feel as safe here as I do at home in New York, possibly safer. (…) I live in Mexico. Among Mexicans.”
Ellerbee continues: “Generalization is risky, but- in general – Mexicans are warm, friendly, generous and welcoming. (…) So come on down and get to know your southern neighbors. I think you’ll like it here. Especially the people!”