A popular resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Puerto Vallarta is generally considered a safe travel destination for international tourists.
Puerto Vallarta is known for its beaches, shops restaurants, and thriving nightlife. Though it is known as a beautiful area to visit, it’s important to note that local crime rates are high and a travel advisory is in effect for the entire country of Mexico.
The US Department of State includes the state of Jalisco, where Puerto Vallarta is located, in its 2023 Mexico Travel Advisory at a level 3, due to specific instances of crime and kidnapping. Tourists are not considered the target of most crime in Puerto Vallarta, however, it is recommended to exercise caution while visiting and be aware that violent crime and gang activity have taken place in areas visited by tourists (specifically in Guadalajara) to the state of Jalisco.
Visitors to Puerto Vallarta often travel from the United States or Europe and the local population is welcoming to tourists. Police are frequently present at tourist spots and visitor safety is a high priority of the local government.
Millions of people come to the beachside town each year to take in the scenery and explore its history. The population of the city is relatively small and most crimes there are considered to be non-violent. Violence between rival gangs accounts for most of the violent crime in the state of Jalisco, but injuries to bystanders remain a remote possibility.
When visiting Puerto Vallarta and the nearby areas, the Department of State recommends using care and taking common-sense precautions such as sharing travel itineraries with friends and family and making a list of local hospitals and US Embassies. While visiting any destination, it may be dangerous to wear expensive jewelry or carry large amounts of cash. Tourists are also frequently the target of scams, so caution should be exercised to avoid common traps.