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Why should I move to Puerto Vallarta in the Summer?

Thirteen years ago when I first moved to Puerto Vallarta there was a very distinct time frame for both “high-season and low-season”.  The high season started at the end of October and lasted until the end of April.  The low-season spread across the remaining months.  This is no longer the case.  As the years have gone by and Puerto Vallarta has grown, the low season has shrunk and so have the low money-making months.  In this blog, I´ll focus my attention on the shrinking low-season in Puerto Vallarta but also explain why the slower months are a great time to make your move.

As a recruiter, I speak to at least 5 people a week who want to know the best times of the year to make money in Puerto Vallarta.  The candidates who ask are typically commission-based salespeople, but the topic often comes up for anyone looking to relocate.  As I mentioned, this used to be a very clear-cut answer and the easy response was to say November through April, however, this has changed in the last 5 years.  I no longer tell candidates the best months are November through April.  I generally say there are vacationers here year-round with a big dip at the end of August through the end of October. 

Many of the people I speak with have genuine fears of moving to a new location based on tourism with the fluctuation of high and low season. Recently, I spoke with a woman from Vancouver who had intentions of relocating but feared moving to Puerto Vallarta in April based on her belief that we were entering a slower time of the year.  These are legitimate concerns for any economy based on tourism, however, there is good evidence to suggest the summer months are a popular time of year for Puerto Vallarta.  According to the Puerto Vallarta Hotel Association, Puerto Vallarta hotels maintained above an 80% occupancy rate in the months of June, July and August, showing there still plenty of travelers in a traditionally slower part of the year.  Despite this bit of information, let me share with you why the summer months are a great time to relocate to Puerto Vallarta.

Great Time to Negotiate – During the higher-season in Puerto Vallarta, condo owners tend to increase their rental rates and are less likely to sign a long-term lease.  With the introduction of owner-direct sites like AirBnB and VRBO, owners don´t see value in renting long term.  They make far more money increasing nightly rates and renting in the short-term, making it difficult for long term renters in the area to find a good rental property.  This makes the summer months a great time to relocate to Puerto Vallarta because there are more vacancies and owners are more open to renting long-term and securing an income for the entire year, rather than risk being vacant a couple of months.  Renters have more bargaining room and can often find a great deal or make an offer that owner wouldn´t accept in the higher-season.

Local Discounts in the Summer – For many local patrons, there is a lot of value living in Puerto Vallarta in the summer months.  Restaurants can be less busy, and many restaurant managers or staff will recognize the locals who frequent these establishments.  In many cases, there is a 10% discount on the bill for locals who visit in the summer.  This clearly varies by restaurant and all have their own way of verifying local status, but it’s a great way to visit different restaurants, get to know the staff and receive a small gesture in return.  For people relocating to Puerto Vallarta it’s a great time to check out the local culinary scene which can be quite diverse.  You may have to show a local driver´s license to receive your discount, but that can be easily obtained from the Transportation Secretary of Jalisco with a proof of address and other official government ID.

Learn the Surrounding Area – If you´ve never visited Mexico or Puerto Vallarta in the summer, let me tell you, it can get hot.  Temperatures hover around 90 F (32 C) with 90% humidity.  Some people love heat, especially if you are coming from a climate that you have to shovel snow to get your car out of the driveway.  I don´t enjoy the heat but I do love visiting the magical towns within a few hours drive of Puerto Vallarta.  To name a few, San Sebastian, Mascota and Tequila are great examples of weekend escapes.  San Sebastian and Mascota are within a 2-hour drive or Puerto Vallarta and are recognized as “Pueblo Magicos” (magic towns) by the Mexican government.  These small towns will take you back 100 years and allow you to try authentic local dishes coupled with local batches of Mezcal.  Tequila is near 3 hours away but is the home to genuine Tequila making and offers high-end boutique hotels and a wide range of tours related the famous spirit with the same name.  Above all these attributes, each of these towns offer temperatures in the 60´s F (16 C).  At least 30 degrees cooler than Puerto Vallarta.

The Rainy Season – I´ve mentioned the heat in the summer months in Puerto Vallarta, but I haven´t spoke about the rain.  Beginning in June, the rainy season in Puerto Vallarta starts.  This may seem like a negative to many, but the rain brings in a lot of good.  Quite often, it hasn´t rained since October so the vegetation is quite dry.  As imagined, the rain transforms the landscape and Puerto Vallarta is turned into the lush, tropical jungle it´s known for.  The backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains turns dark green and the diverse plant life come to life.  In addition, its quite impressive to sit on an outside terrace or balcony and watch the lighting shows that cover the Bay of Banderas.

Learning the Language –  If you are considering a move to Puerto Vallarta, Summer is the best time to fine tune your Spanish skills.  During the Summer months, many of the ex-pats and snowbirds go North to the US and Canada and the Mexican Nationals begin to visit the city.  This is the perfect time to saturate yourself in the language and learn from Native Spanish speakers.  Many of the Mexican people love to speak with foreigners who try to speak the language in their beautiful country.

Learn your Craft – Although the summer can still be busy, it won´t be busy as the real high season.  Whether it be commissioned sales or new business venture, summer is the best time to learn your craft and make adjustments before the very busy season.  You have time to work out kinks, speak with others in your industry and practice whatever you choose on samples of people rather than a larger volume of visitors who will be in the city in the upcoming months.

I hope anyone looking to relocate to Puerto Vallarta in the summer months finds this helpful.  If you have any questions or comments, don´t hesitate to contact me by email at josh@ventesmexico.com

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