Skip to Content

Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen – Which is the Better Vacation?

Last updated on January 27th, 2023 at 09:28 pm

Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del CarmenPuerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen are both top tourist beach destinations in Mexico. Puerto Vallarta is located on the Pacific coast and is known for its beaches, colonial architecture, and lively nightlife. Playa del Carmen, on the other hand, is located on the Caribbean coast and is known for its beaches, clear turquoise waters, and various activities such as snorkeling and diving.

Both Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen have a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels, and plenty of dining and shopping options. The choice between the two ultimately depends on personal preference and the type of vacation you are looking for. Let’s compare Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen in this post.

Table of Contents

Comparing Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is also a smaller and more compact town compared to Puerto Vallarta, which is a larger city with more developed infrastructure. Playa del Carmen is known for its bohemian and relaxed atmosphere, while Puerto Vallarta is known for its upscale and sophisticated atmosphere.

Both destinations offer plenty of beach clubs and bars and nightlife options, but Playa del Carmen is known for its 5th Avenue (Quinta Avenida) where you can find a lot of restaurants, bars, and shops.

Both Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen have their unique charm and appeal. If you prefer crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches and a more relaxed atmosphere, Playa del Carmen may be a better option. If you prefer rougher surf, darker sand beaches, and a more upscale atmosphere, Puerto Vallarta may be a better option.

RELATED TRAVEL GUIDES:

SIM CARD AT PUERTO VALLARTA AIRPORT – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

I wouldn’t recommend you to buy a sim card at Puerto Vallarta airport. If you wish comfort you can buy eSim online and if you aren’t in a hurry just go around phone shops in the city and compare prices to buy the cheapest sim card in Puerto Vallarta. Read here best Mexico eSim and best Mexico sim card for tourist

You can buy the cheapest eSim in Mexico with Nomad eSim Mexico prepaid for $8 USD with 1 GB data valid for 7 days. And with Airalo eSim Mexico prepaid with similar data packages (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%).

BUY AIRALO ESIM MEXICO (USING DISCOUNT CODE GAMINTRAVELER 10%)

Holafly Mexico eSim for less than $60 USD if you use our code GAMINTRAVELER you will have unlimited internet in Mexico for 30 days for just $2 USD per day.

BOOK YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

You can read Heymondo Vs Safetwing cheapest travel Insurance. You can get for $135 USD your Heymondo Travel Insurance with Heymondo discount code valid for 90 days. Read our full Heymondo Travel Insurance Review

You can get Safetywing Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads valid for 28 days Safetywing for $50 USD per month with kids until 10 years old included

Beaches in Puerto Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Puerto Vallarta, located on the Pacific coast of Mexico, is known for its beautiful beaches. Some of the most popular beaches in the area include:

Los Muertos Beach

Located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, this beach is popular with both tourists and locals. It offers a wide range of activities, including swimming, sunbathing, and jet skiing. The beach is also home to a number of restaurants, bars, and shops, making it a great place to spend the day. There are many hotels and resorts located near Los Muertos Beach, such as Casa Velas, Hotel Tropicana, and Hotel Mercurio.

Playa de los Camarones

This beach is located just north of Los Muertos Beach and is known for its clear waters and great snorkeling opportunities. The beach is also home to a number of restaurants and bars, making it a great place to spend the day. Some of the popular places to stay near Playa de Los Camarones include Hotel Casa Velas, Hotel Tropicana, and Hotel Mercurio.

Playa Conchas Chinas

This beach is located south of Puerto Vallarta and is known for its beautiful scenery and secluded location. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. There are few restaurants and bars on the beach but it’s a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. Some of the top places to stay near Playa Conchas Chinas include Casa Velas, Hotel Tropicana and Hotel Mercurio.

Playa Mismaloya

Located south of Puerto Vallarta, this beach is known for its beautiful scenery, clear waters, and great swimming opportunities. It’s a popular spot for snorkeling and diving. There are many restaurants and bars located near the beach, making it a great place to spend the day. Some of the top places to stay near Playa Mismaloya include Casa Velas, Hotel Tropicana and Hotel Mercurio.

Playa Las Animas

This beach is located on the southern end of Banderas Bay and is known for its beautiful scenery, clear waters, and secluded location. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. There are few restaurants and bars on the beach but it’s a great spot for swimming and sunbathing. Some of the top places to stay near Playa Las Animas include Casa Velas, Hotel Tropicana and Hotel Mercurio.

Other Top Things to do in Puerto Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Visit the Malecon

Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen - Which is the Better Vacation? Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta
Malecon in Puerto Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

The Malecon is a seaside promenade that runs along the coast of Puerto Vallarta, starting from the Los Muertos Pier to the Hotel Rosita. It’s a great place to take a stroll and take in the sights and sounds of the city. Along the way, you’ll see a variety of sculptures, street performers, and vendors selling souvenirs.

Explore the Old Town – El Centro

Puerto Vallarta’s Old Town, also known as El Centro, is located in the heart of the city, just a short walk from Malecon. It’s a charming area filled with cobblestone streets, brightly colored buildings, and a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. It’s a great place to explore and get a sense of the city’s history and culture.

Take a boat tour

Boat tours can be taken from the Los Muertos Pier or from the Marina Vallarta, which are both located in the heart of the city. There are many boat tour operators that offer a variety of tour options, including sunset cruises, snorkeling trips, and whale-watching excursions.

Hiking and rock climbing in the Sierra Madre Mountains

The Sierra Madre Mountains provide a beautiful and rugged landscape for outdoor enthusiasts. The mountains offer a variety of hiking trails for all skill levels, with some of the most popular routes leading to scenic overlooks and waterfalls. For those looking for more of an adventure, there are also opportunities for rock climbing, with several guided tours available.

Visit the Los Arcos National Marine Park

This marine park is located just a short boat ride from Puerto Vallarta and is known for its beautiful coral reefs and diverse marine life. Visitors can snorkel or dive to see a variety of tropical fish, sea turtles, and other marine life. You can take a boat tour to reach the marine park.

Visit the Botanical Gardens

The botanical gardens are located on the outskirts of Puerto Vallarta and can be reached by taxi or bus. The gardens feature a wide variety of plants, flowers, and trees, as well as a number of walking trails, waterfalls, and a lake.

Take a Zip-Line tour

Zip-line tours are typically located in the mountains surrounding Puerto Vallarta, and can be reached by taking a tour or rental car. It’s a great way to experience the area’s natural beauty and get a different perspective on the surroundings.

Visit the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe

This beautiful church, Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, is located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, just a short walk from the Malecon and Old Town. Visitors can take a tour of the church to learn more about its history and significance.

Festivals in Puerto Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Festival Cultural de Mayo

This annual event takes place in May and features a variety of cultural activities, including music, dance, and theater performances, as well as art exhibits and food fairs. The event is held in various venues throughout the city, including the main square, the Malecon, and the Teatro Vallarta.

Day of the Dead Celebration – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

In November, Puerto Vallarta celebrates the Day of the Dead, a traditional Mexican holiday honoring deceased loved ones. The celebration includes traditional music, dance, and food, as well as processions and altars decorated with flowers and candles. The event takes place in various locations throughout the city, including the main square, the Malecon, and the Teatro Vallarta.

International Gourmet Festival

This festival is a gastronomic event that takes place in November and features a variety of gourmet food, wine, and spirits. The event is held in various venues throughout the city, including the main square, the Malecon, and the Teatro Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta International Film Festival

This festival takes place in November and features a variety of films from around the world. The event is held in various venues throughout the city, including the main square, the Malecon, and the Teatro Vallarta.

Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata

This is a festival of Colombian folklore music and takes place in November, it features a variety of music, dance, and theater performances, as well as art exhibits and food fairs. The event is held in various venues throughout the city, including the main square, the Malecon and the Teatro Vallarta.

Vallarta Pride

This annual event takes place in May and celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, with a week of events including parades, parties, and cultural activities. The event is held in various venues throughout the city, including the main square, the Malecon, and the Teatro Vallarta.

Are there any ruins in Puerto Vallarta?

Puerto Vallarta is not known for having ancient ruins like some other parts of Mexico such as the Mayan ruins in the Yucatan Peninsula or the Aztec ruins in Mexico City. However, there are a few pre-Columbian archaeological sites located near Puerto Vallarta that you can visit:

The archeological site of Cuale Island

Located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta, Cuale Island is home to the ancient ruins of a pre-Columbian settlement. Visitors can explore the island’s ancient pyramids and see the remains of an ancient civilization.

The archeological site of Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas

This hacienda is located about 50 km (31 miles) from Puerto Vallarta and is home to the ancient ruins of a pre-Columbian settlement. Visitors can explore the hacienda’s ancient pyramids and see the remains of an ancient civilization.

The archeological site of Ixtapa

This ancient settlement is located about 50 km (31 miles) from Puerto Vallarta and is home to the ancient ruins of a pre-Columbian civilization. Visitors can explore the ancient pyramids and see the remains of an ancient civilization.

Please note that these sites are not as extensive or as well-preserved as some of the ancient ruins in other parts of Mexico. Additionally, keep in mind that access to the sites may be limited or closed due to the current pandemic situation, so it’s best to check with the local tourism board or the site management for the most up-to-date information and availability.

Top Day Trips from Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a great base for exploring the surrounding areas, and there are a number of popular day trips that visitors can take from the city. Here are some of the top options:

Sayulita

This charming surf town is located about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta and is known for its laid-back vibe, great surf, and beautiful beaches. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and shopping for crafts and souvenirs. The town is about 60km (37 miles) from Puerto Vallarta and can be reached by car, bus, or by taking a tour.

RELATED READ: How to Get from Puerto Vallarta Airport to Sayulita

San Sebastian

This small colonial town is located about 130km (81 miles) from Puerto Vallarta and is known for its charming streets, colonial architecture, and beautiful church. Visitors can explore the town’s historical sites and enjoy traditional Mexican food. San Sebastian can be reached by car, bus, or by taking a tour.

The Marietas Islands

These islands are located about 15km (9 miles) from the coast of Puerto Vallarta and are known for their beautiful beaches and clear waters. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and scuba diving. The islands can be reached by taking a boat tour from Puerto Vallarta.

Yelapa

This small fishing village is located about 40km (25 miles) from Puerto Vallarta and is known for its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibe. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and hiking. Yelapa can be reached by boat from Puerto Vallarta.

Guadalajara

This is the second largest city in Mexico, located about 300km (186 miles) from Puerto Vallarta, known for its rich culture, history, and traditional Mexican architecture. Visitors can explore the city’s historical sites and enjoy traditional Mexican food. Guadalajara can be reached by car, bus or by taking a tour.

Please note that the travel time and distance may vary depending on the traffic, mode of transportation, and location of the final destination. It’s best to check with the local tour operators or transportation providers for the most accurate information.

Nightlife in Puerto Vallarta – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Puerto Vallarta is known for its vibrant nightlife scene, with a wide variety of options for visitors to choose from. Here are some of the top places to experience the nightlife in Puerto Vallarta:

The Malecon

The Malecon is a seaside promenade that runs along the coast of Puerto Vallarta and is home to a number of bars and nightclubs. Visitors can enjoy a variety of live music and dance the night away. Some popular places to check out include La Bodeguita del Medio, La Vaquita, and Mandala.

Old Town

Old Town, also known as El Centro, is home to a number of bars and nightclubs. Visitors can enjoy a variety of live music, traditional Mexican music and dance. Some popular places to check out include Bar La Playa, El Arrayán, and La Piazzetta.

Zona Romantica

This neighborhood is known for its romantic ambiance and is home to a number of bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Visitors can enjoy a variety of live music, traditional Mexican music and dance. Some popular places to check out include Bar La Playa, El Arrayán, and La Piazzetta.

Marina Vallarta

This neighborhood is home to a number of bars, nightclubs, and lounges. Visitors can enjoy a variety of live music, traditional Mexican music, and dance. Some popular places to check out include The Palm Cabaret & Bar, Andale, and The Red Room.

Top Beaches in Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen is known for its beautiful beaches and clear waters, here are some of the top beaches in the area and the activities you can do there, as well as the top hotels to stay in:

Playa Mamitas

This beach is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and white sand. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are also a number of beach clubs and bars located along the beach, making it a popular spot for nightlife. Some popular hotels to stay in include The Fives Beach Hotel & Residences, and The Royal Haciendas All Suites Resort & Spa

Playa Paraiso

This beach is located about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its crystal clear waters and stunning natural beauty. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. Some popular hotels to stay in include Playacar Palace, and Grand Palladium White Sand Resort & Spa.

Playa Xpu-Ha

This beach is located about 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and white sand. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are also a number of beach clubs and bars located along the beach, making it a popular spot for nightlife. Some popular hotels to stay in include Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, and Iberostar Paraiso Maya.

Playa Xcaret

This beach is located about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and white sand. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. There is also a nearby eco-archaeological park, Xcaret Park, which offers visitors a chance to explore the area’s natural beauty and rich Mayan culture. Some popular hotels to stay in include Hotel Xcaret Mexico, and Occidental at Xcaret Destination

Playa del Carmen

This beach is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and white sand. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling. There are also a number of beach clubs and bars located along the beach, making it a popular spot for nightlife. Some popular hotels to stay in include The Reef 28, and Rosewood Mayakoba.

Other Top Things to Do in Playa del Carmen – Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

Explore ancient Mayan ruins

Playa del Carmen is located near a number of ancient Mayan ruins, including Tulum, which is known for its well-preserved coastal fortress and is located about an hour south of Playa del Carmen. Another option is the Coba ruins which are located about an hour and a half west of Playa del Carmen. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about Mayan history and culture, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area.

Visit Xcaret Park

Xcaret-Mexico-Riviera-Maya, Xcaret - Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen, Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta
Xcaret – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Xcaret Park is an eco-archaeological park located about 15 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. Visitors can explore the park’s natural beauty and rich Mayan culture through a variety of activities such as swimming in the underground rivers, snorkeling in the inlet and watching the traditional Mexican performances.

Shop and dine on 5th Avenue

5th Avenue, also known as Quinta Avenida, is a pedestrian-only street located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and is known for its shopping, dining, and nightlife. Visitors can shop for souvenirs, clothing, and crafts, and enjoy a variety of international and traditional Mexican cuisine.

Go scuba diving or snorkeling

Playa del Carmen is known for its clear waters and diverse marine life, making it a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling. Visitors can explore the area’s coral reefs and underwater caves, and see a variety of marine life such as colorful fish and sea turtles.

Visit the cenotes

The Yucatan peninsula is famous for its cenotes, which are natural sinkholes filled with crystal-clear water. Visitors can explore the cenotes and enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. Some of the most popular cenotes to visit include Cenote Cristalino and Cenote Dos Ojos.

Cenotes in Playa del Carmen

Cenote Cristalino

This cenote is located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear, blue water and colorful fish. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The cenote can be reached by car, or by taking a tour.

Cenote Dos Ojos

This cenote is located about 30 minutes north of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and underground caves. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The cenote can be reached by car, or by taking a tour.

Cenote Chaak Tun

This cenote is located about 40 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and underground caves. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The cenote can be reached by car, or by taking a tour.

Cenote Calavera

This cenote is located about 20 minutes north of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and underground caves. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The cenote can be reached by car, or by continue taking a tour.

Cenote Jardin del Eden

This cenote is located about 20 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and beautiful natural surroundings. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The cenote can be reached by car, or by taking a tour.

Cenote El Eden

This cenote is located about 30 minutes south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its clear waters and underground caves. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities such as swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The cenote can be reached by car, or by taking a tour.

Playa del Carmen Ruins – Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

Tulum

This ancient Mayan city is located about 110 km (68 miles) south of Playa del Carmen and is known for its well-preserved coastal fortress. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about Mayan history and culture, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Tulum can be reached by car, which takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes, by bus, which takes about 2 hours or by taking a tour, which usually takes about 4-5 hours.

Coba

This ancient Mayan city is located about 120km (74 miles) west of Playa del Carmen and is known for its well-preserved pyramids and temples. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about Mayan history and culture, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Coba can be reached by car, which takes about 2 hours, by bus, which takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes or by taking a tour, which usually takes about 5-6 hours.

Chichen Itza

This ancient Mayan city is located about 180km (112 miles) east of Playa del Carmen and is one of the most famous and well-preserved ancient cities in Mexico. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about Mayan history and culture, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Chichen Itza can be reached by car, which takes about 3 hours, by bus, which takes about 4 hours or by taking a tour, which usually takes about 8-9 hours.

Ek Balam

This ancient Mayan city is located about 120km (74 miles) northwest of Playa del Carmen and is known for its well-preserved pyramids and temples. Visitors can explore the ruins, learn about Mayan history and culture, and enjoy the natural beauty of the area. Ek Balam can be reached by car, which takes about 2 hours, by bus, which takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes, or by taking a tour, which usually takes about 5-6 hours.

Comparing Digital Nomad Scene – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta are both popular destinations for digital nomads, but they each have their own unique characteristics and appeal.

Playa del Carmen has a vibrant and growing digital nomad scene, with a variety of coworking spaces and cafes that cater to remote workers. The city is known for its bohemian and relaxed atmosphere, and there is a strong sense of community among the digital nomad population.

Playa del Carmen also offers a wide range of activities and attractions, making it a great place for a work-life balance. The cost of living is considered reasonable and affordable compared to other places in Mexico and some other parts of the world, and there are a variety of accommodation options available, including short-term rentals and serviced apartments.

Puerto Vallarta is also a popular destination for digital nomads, with a variety of coworking spaces and cafes catering to remote workers. The city is known for its upscale and sophisticated atmosphere, and there is a strong sense of community among the digital nomad population.

Puerto Vallarta offers a wide range of activities and attractions, making it a great place for a work-life balance. The cost of living is considered reasonable and affordable compared to other places in Mexico and some other parts of the world, and there are a variety of accommodation options available, including short-term rentals and serviced apartments.

Both Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta have good infrastructure and internet connectivity, which makes it easy for digital nomads to work and live there. Both places are also known for their welcoming and friendly communities, making it easy for digital nomads to integrate and make new friends.

Ultimately, the choice between Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta will depend on personal preferences and what you are looking for in a digital nomad destination. If you prefer a more relaxed and bohemian atmosphere, Playa del Carmen may be a better option. If you prefer a more upscale and sophisticated atmosphere, Puerto Vallarta may be a better option.

Coworking – Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen

Here are some of the top coworking spaces in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta:

Playa del Carmen:

The Jungle Collective: This coworking space is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and is known for its bohemian atmosphere and friendly community. It offers a variety of private and shared workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and event spaces.

The Koolhaus: This coworking space is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and offers a variety of private and shared workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and event spaces. It is known for its modern and minimalist design and friendly community.

The Corner: This coworking space is located in the heart of Playa del Carmen and offers a variety of private and shared workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and event spaces. It is known for its modern and minimalist design and friendly community.

Puerto Vallarta:

The Boardroom: This coworking space is located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta and offers a variety of private and shared workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and event spaces. It is known for its upscale and sophisticated atmosphere and friendly community.

The Hub: This coworking space is located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta and offers a variety of private and shared workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and event spaces. It is known for its modern and minimalist design and friendly community.

The Office PV: This coworking space is located in the heart of Puerto Vallarta and offers a variety of private and shared workspaces, as well as meeting rooms and event spaces. It is known for its modern and minimalist design and friendly community.

Cost of Travel for one person for a week in each please detail with an estimate

The cost of travel for one person for a week in Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta can vary depending on your travel style and budget. Here is an estimate of the costs for a basic budget in each destination:

Playa del Carmen:

Accommodation: $200 – $400 for a basic budget hotel or hostel for a week
Food: $150 – $250 for basic meals and snacks for a week
Transportation: $50 – $100 for local transportation for a week
Entertainment: $50 – $150 for activities such as visiting beaches and cenotes, or going to bars and clubs.
Total estimate: $450 – $800

Puerto Vallarta:

Accommodation: $300 – $500 for a basic budget hotel or hostel for a week
Food: $150 – $250 for basic meals and snacks for a week
Transportation: $50 – $100 for local transportation for a week
Entertainment: $50 – $150 for activities such as visiting beaches, going to bars and clubs.
Total estimate: $550 – $1000

Best time of the Year to visit Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta experiences a tropical climate with high humidity and temperatures averaging around 80-90°F (27-32°C) throughout the year.

The peak tourist season in Puerto Vallarta is from November to April, which is also the dry season. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry, making it ideal for activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and hiking. This is also the best time to attend some of the festivals and events.

The summer months from May to October is considered the rainy season, during this time the city can experience heavy rain, thunderstorms, and higher humidity. However, the rain usually comes in short bursts and it’s still possible to enjoy the many activities that the city offers. Also, it’s a great time to find deals on hotels and flights.

It’s worth noting that the Caribbean coast of Mexico can be affected by hurricanes during the months of June to November. While it’s not a common occurrence, it’s always good to check the weather forecast and be prepared for any potential disruptions to travel plans.

If you prefer sunny and dry weather, the winter months are the best time to visit. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the summer months can be a great time to find deals.

Check the accurate weather here for Puerto Vallarta

The Best Time to Visit – Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta vs Playa del Carmen - Which is the Better Vacation?

Without much of a temperature difference throughout the year (the average temperature lingers around 83 degrees F), it’s the rainy hurricane season that most travelers need to pay attention to.

Check here for the weather in Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo

January – April: Weather in Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

Perfect weather-wise, but sees the highest influx of tourists. If you are not a people person, consider this.

May – October

The hottest and most rainy month of the year but still plenty of sunshine and fantastic warm water for snorkeling & diving. Also, the hurricane season peaks in September and October so keep an eye on the forecasts and definitely get travel insurance just in case. Fewer tourists mean you can typically expect lower rates at hotels, resorts, and tour companies during this time.

November – December

The autumn-winter months are considered by many to be the best times to visit Playa del Carmen. The hurricane season has passed by this time and the humidity is low. Can be a little “chilly” in the evenings.

Hope you got all the information you needed for a visit to Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta! Stay tuned to more of our Mexico series and find out which places you can visit when in Mexico.

CASH IN MEXICO – Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

Mexico has its own currency called the Mexican Peso. A $1 USD=19 MXN. There are lots of ATMs and exchange currency in many parts of the country. And you have to know that dollars is very common and well-accepted in the country.

Click here to know more about the exchange rate in Mexico – Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

Feel free to use our links for discounts. By using our links, you will help us to continue with the maintenance of the website and it will not cost you anything. Thanks for the love guys. 

Final Thoughts – Playa del Carmen vs Puerto Vallarta

While Playa del Carmen has Caribbean beaches and the ruins, Puerto Vallarta is a much better beachtown, and we choose it as our winner. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Between the two, Puerto Vallarta gives the traditional Mexican vibe versus Playa del Carmen where everything is just modern. Puerto Vallarta has more things to do when it comes to town activities like El Centro, architectural buildings and churches and hiking trails. While Playa del Carment has the ruins and the cenotes.

Let us know which one you ended up choosing!

Ruben Arribas is the co-founder of Gamintraveler and a Spanish traveler who has traveled to more than 100 countries around the world. He is now a full-time digital nomad.