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Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta (2024 Update)

Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta (2024 Update)

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Every day is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta.

Ok, maybe I’m biased since it’s my favorite beach town in Mexico. There are so many amazing things to do in Puerto Vallarta, a ton of stunning Puerto Vallarta beaches, and you’re not far from great food in Bucerías or Sayulita.

Of course, there are some times that are better to visit than others, depending on what you’re looking for while you’re here.

Just know that Puerto Vallarta has year-round beach weather. If you are concerned that it ever gets too cold there to swim in the ocean or lay on the sand, fear not. It is incredibly rare for temperatures to dip below 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 Celsius) and that usually only happens at night. 

Hurricanes and tropical storms are another story. However, cold is not something you’ll have to contend with when considering the best time of year to visit Puerto Vallarta.

That’s what we’ll cover in this guide to the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta. When the crowds arrive, when the prices are lowest, and when the weather is warmest (and wettest!).

High Season in Puerto Vallarta

High season in Puerto Vallarta is much like high season in Cancun or Tulum. It starts around November and lasts until after spring break in mid-April.

Just as the temperatures drop in the US and Canada, snow birds head south to stay warm in Puerto Vallarta where temperatures remain a balmy 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit (23-26 Celsius) for most of the winter months.

The absolute busiest times to be in Puerto Vallarta are the week between Christmas and New Year and then again in March when families come down for Spring Break.

It doesn’t get the college parties like in Cancun or Cabo, but it does get very busy with families, groups of friends, and couples who are here to get a little bit of Vitamin D.

This is when you absolutely need to make a reservation for the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta (and even many of the bad restaurants in town).

You need to book your hotel well in advance and you need to make sure you book a car rental before you arrive if you are planning to take some day trips from Puerto Vallarta.

This is also one of the most expensive times to visit Puerto Vallarta, especially Christmas and Spring Break when occupancy is at its highest.

You can still find plenty of relaxing and quieter beaches to check out during this time and there are more than enough taco spots and great bars to enjoy away from the busy Romantic and Hotel Zones.

This is usually the time of year I come to Puerto Vallarta. Sometimes I base myself in the Romantic Zone, other times in Playa Gemelas, and if I really want to get away from the crowds, I’ll book a place in San Pancho.

puerto vallarta cathedral with a crown on the top.

Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to visit almost all year long.

Low Season in Puerto Vallarta

Low season in Puerto Vallarta starts when the last of the spring break crowd and the snow birds board their flights at Puerto Vallarta Airport.

This usually happens in mid-April, depending on when Easter falls that particular year. If Easter is late, you may have a few stragglers hanging on until the end of April.

But from May until October, you can expect heat and humidity, lower prices, and far fewer tourists around.

This is when the hotel prices go down, especially in July and August when temperatures can be well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37+ Celsius).

But if you snag a great deal at a place with a pool or with beach access so that you can cool down whenever you want, you’ll have a great trip to Puerto Vallarta at a fraction of the cost.

Unlike tourist towns in some parts of the world, you don’t have to worry about restaurants or hotels closing for the low season. Puerto Vallarta, and most other Mexico beach towns, are open year round.

This is not my personal favorite time to be in Puerto Vallarta. The humidity is a little bit too much to handle. If you also don’t love humidity, you can just about manage in May or late-September when the weather isn’t quite so extreme.

Hurricane Season in Puerto Vallarta

Hurricanes are not unheard of in Puerto Vallarta. In fact, the city has experienced quite a few in recent years.

Hurricane Lidia made landfall in October 2023 as a category 4 hurricane. There was Hurricane Roslyn in 2022 and in 2021 it was Hurricane Orlene.

The season tends to run from June to November, with the majority of hurricane action happening late in the season – usually in October or early November.

If you want to have the best changes of avoiding hurricanes, early on in the season is best. It’s very rare to experience hurricanes or tropical storms in June or July, but you can expect a little bit of rain due to the build up of humidity.

beach with golden sand and turquoise water and lush green trees along the sand.

Beaches in Puerto Vallarta are some of the best in Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta by Month

Let’s really narrow down when it’s the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta.

For a full list of all of the events mentioned in this article, you can check them out here.

January

Average temperatures: Highs of 81 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) and lows of 62 Fahrenheit (16 Celsius).

Events in Puerto Vallarta in January: Dia de los Reyes, Aguachile Festival, and Chocolate and Vanilla Festival.

This is one of the best time of year in Puerto Vallarta for weather. There is almost no rainfall and most days you’ll wake up to sunshine.

You can expect a few cloudy days in January, but the weather is still warm and dry. This is the best time of year in Puerto Vallarta to see humpback whales. Head out on a whale watching tour to see these majestic mammals up close.

February

Average temperatures: Highs of 81 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) and lows of 62 Fahrenheit (16 Celsius).

Events in February: Constitution Day.

February is a great time of year to visit Puerto Vallarta. The Christmas vacation crowd is gone and the spring break groups have not yet arrived.

You can expect similar prices for hotels, but more availability as long as you book at least 2-3 months in advance.

The weather is excellent with plenty of sunshine, little-to-no rainfall, and fewer cars on the road to compete with when exploring the different towns and beaches nearby.

humpback whales jumping out of water.

Don’t miss out on whale watching in January and February when you are most likely to see them.

March

Average temperatures: Highs of 82 Fahrenheit (28 Celsius) and lows of 64 Fahrenheit (17 Celsius).

Events in March: Banderas Bay Regatta, Carnival, and Food and Wine Festival.

Every March, sailboats from around the world converge on the Puerto Vallarta Marina for the Banderas Bay Regatta. If you love sailing, this is one of the best times to visit Puerto Vallarta.

Carnival is also a fun and exciting time in Puerto Vallarta. This usually falls the week before Lent begins which means sometimes it can be in February and other years it may fall in early March.

The weather is starting to warm up, but temperatures and humidity levels are still pleasant and perfect for a day at the beach.

April

Average temperatures: Highs of 85 Fahrenheit (29 Celsius) and lows of 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius).

Events in April: Semana Santa and Easter.

April is the start of the hot days. No more cool nights once the sun goes down, no more cool breeze from the chilly Pacific Ocean.

This is usually when Easter falls and you can expect larger than usual crowds in the week leading up to Easter, known as Semana Santa or Holy Week.

This is a holiday across all of Mexico and when most Mexicans take their family vacations. Prices are higher and hotel occupancy is at a maximum during this time of year in Puerto Vallarta.

May

Average temperatures: Highs of 88 Fahrenheit (31 Celsius) and lows of 68 Fahrenheit (20 Celsius).

Events in May: Fiestas de Mayo, Mother’s Day, Restaurant Week.

The heat gets turned up in May which is why most of the snow birds head back to milder spring temperatures in the USA and Canada.

It’s a little bit quieter around Puerto Vallarta at this time of year, but plenty of things are still going on.

You can enjoy Restaurant Week which is never just a week, offers you the chance to try unique and innovative dishes at some of the best restaurants in Puerto Vallarta.

Mother’s Day is a huge holiday in Mexico and you can expect restaurants to be packed with families. Mother’s Day is always on May 10, regardless of what day of the week it falls on.

Don’t come to Puerto Vallarta expecting 5 de Mayo celebrations, although you may find some gringo-friendly bars offering tequila shots and margaritas at a discount.

Instead, consider the more cultural Fiestas de Mayo event which takes place for a few weeks in May and includes Mexican music, artists, and live theater.

boardwalk along the coastline with palm trees on one side and ocean on the other side.

The Malecon in Puerto Vallarta is a great place to stroll.

June

Average temperatures: Highs of 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and lows of 75 Fahrenheit (24 Celsius).

Events in June: Restaurant Week.

Restaurant Week usually continues into June, so if you missed out on some of the restaurants in May, you will want to get a reservation for this month before it ends.

June is one of the best times of year to visit Puerto Vallarta if you want low prices and fewer people. June is one of the quietest months for tourism in Puerto Vallarta, so you can usually snag a deal at an all-inclusive or a cute Airbnb with a rooftop pool at a fantastic price.

It’s definitely hot, but not yet unbearable. You may have to put up with occasional rain, but the chance of a big storm or hurricane is minimal.

July

Average temperatures: Highs of 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and lows of 76 Fahrenheit (24 Celsius).

Temperatures get steamy and the town goes quiet. There are little to no events taking place in July in Puerto Vallarta, which means you’ll have to make your own fun.

Book a cooking class with Cookin’ Vallarta, take a food tour with Vallarta Food Tours, explore Sayulita, take a boat to Islas Marietas, swim around Los Arcos. There are endless things to keep you busy in this bustling beach town.

August

Average temperatures: Highs of 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and lows of 75 Fahrenheit (24 Celsius).

Temperatures level out, but humidity is at an all time high in August. Much like July, you’ll find the beaches, restaurants, and hotels a little bit quieter than during peak season.

There is a small peak in August before schools go back and you can expect more families on vacation here for a week or so at a time.

The resorts are particularly busy during these months, so if you want to stay away from the crowds, opt for a hotel or Airbnb away from the Hotel Zone.

You’re also more likely to experience rain during your trip in August. While chances of rain in January are about 7%, they go all the way up to 80% during August.

main beach in puerto vallarta with hotels along the back of the beach and umbrellas along the sand.

The main beach in Puerto Vallarta’s Romantic Zone is a busy spot during December and January.

September

Average temperatures: Highs of 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and lows of 75 Fahrenheit (24 Celsius).

Events in September: Charro Day and Mexican Independence Day.

September is a fun time to be in Mexico. September 16th is Mexican Independence Day, but most celebrations start the evening of the 15th when the Grito is made by the local politician of choice (in Mexico City it’s the president, but elsewhere it tends to be governors or mayors).

Charro Day is specific to the state of Jalisco and can easily be combined with an Independence Day celebration trip because it falls on the 14th of September. Expect parades, cowboys, horses, cattle roping and plenty of music and dancing.

October

Average temperatures: Highs of 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and lows of 72 Fahrenheit (22 Celsius).

Events in October: Return of the Art Walk and Halloween.

October is the low of the high season. It’s still a bit too hot and too early for the snow birds to head south, but things are starting to pick up again.

The Art Walk, which takes place every Wednesday from late October to March in the Centro Historico, is a fun way to explore the art scene in Puerto Vallarta.

November

Average temperatures: Highs of 88 Fahrenheit (31 Celsius) and lows of 66 Fahrenheit (18 Celsius).

Events in November: Day of the Dead and Puerto Vallarta Art Festival.

November is my favorite time of year in Mexico. Cempasuchil, marigolds are everywhere for Day of the Dead.

While it’s not as popular a celebration in Puerto Vallarta as it is in Mexico City or Oaxaca, there will still be things all along the Malecon to commemorate Dia de Muertos.

It’s also one some of the best weather in Mexico at this time of year. The rain is mostly gone, the skies are clear and bright, the temperature is cool in the evening, but still hot during the day. This is when humidity is at its lowest.

rocky beach with clear blue water at the best time of year in Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta is best for beaches during the winter months when it is dry and warm.

December

Average temperatures: Highs of 90 Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) and lows of 72 Fahrenheit (22 Celsius).

Events in December: Dia de Guadalupe, Christmas.

The most popular month of the year for visitors to Puerto Vallarta. Snow birds have arrived and so too have the families, couples, and friends who want to spend the holidays in the sun.

The weather is exceptional with crisp mornings, hot days, and cool evenings. The water is warm for swimming, albeit a bit rough at this time of year.

If you are here for December 12th, don’t miss Guadalupe Day celebrations which usually include fireworks, parties that go from morning until well into the next morning, and plenty of food and family time.

So When is the Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta?

Like I mentioned earlier in the article, the best time of year to visit Puerto Vallarta depends on your travel style.

Do you want to come when the weather is best? The high season is perfect for you. You can escape the winter up north and enjoy perfect beach days from late-November until late-March.

Personally, November is my favorite time of year to visit Puerto Vallarta, but I also love coming at Christmas time when the tree is up along the Malecon and the weather is hot, but not too hot.

Shoulder season in May and June is a good time to visit. It’s not yet too swelteringly hot and there are far fewer tourists.

There are fewer tourists in September and October, but there is a higher risk of hurricanes at this time of year, so it’s really the worst time to visit Puerto Vallarta in my opinion.

Whichever time of year you go for, be sure to check out what events are taking place, and enjoy all that this beautiful beach town has to offer.