Once you decide on a holiday in this Pacific Ocean resort the question is when is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta Mexico? The weather is warm all-year round with the average 24-hour temperature never falling below 70F (21C). There is a rainy season starting during June and it lasts until mid-October in most years.
There are obvious restrictions to the time of year that some people can take holidays. Families wanting to go away for a week or more are restricted to school holidays unless their children are very young. Similar restrictions exist for those working in the education sector.
Work commitments can also be a factor; last-minute breaks are also a modern-day feature of life. Clearly, the question of the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta involves more than climate.
Seasonal Features to Consider
If you have little interest in any attractions other than the beaches and the Pacific Ocean, you will want to avoid the rainy season even if there are many days when it does not rain at all. With high temperatures, you are unlikely to want to do much in the way of activities because of temperatures touching 90F.
High Season is cooler although even at night you will need little more than a light jacket outside, even if you are dining and therefore sitting in one place for some time. The downside is that prices are high, accommodation, dining, and tours.
Once it gets to April, crowds tend to diminish rapidly even though it remains warm and dry. It is not until mid-June that things begin to change. It is worth looking at these weeks for a holiday break in Puerto Vallarta.
High Season – November to March: Best Time for Good Weather
- Avoiding cold and wet weather at home spurs tourists to visit places such as Puerto Vallarta during its high season.
- It is not the only thing that is high. Prices are too.
- If you are interested in whale watching which is one of the resort’s major attractions, you need to go there between December and March. Seeing humpback whales close up is an unforgettable experience.
- The weather is dry so this is also the best time to be out on the golf course, unless you get frustrated by slow play because you will not be alone.
- You may not be able to find a room in your first choice accommodation if you try to make a last minute booking
- Popular restaurants are very busy and you may need to make an advance reservation to avoid disappointment
Shoulder Season – April to early June
- The crowds will have gone, but the whales are gone too.
- The weather is still good and rain is a rarity.
- Prices fall and this is also the time when golfing is comfortable with fewer players on the courses.
- Seasonal flights will stop so you will be restricted to scheduled flights or domestic connection from Guadalajara or Mexico City
- You should have no problem making late minute bookings for accommodation
- Restaurant reservations are usually unnecessary, even at the most popular restaurants
Low Season – mid-June to October: Best Time to Avoid Crowd
- While the rains are not huge, you can expect rain half of the days from mid-June until September. To be fair, they are slowly disappearing in October when prices have yet to reach those of high season.
- Season flights are suspended during these months so you need to look at the scheduled flights in order to get there. Domestic routes to and from Guadalajara and Mexico City are an option to link with scheduled flights if you need an alternative.
- There is plenty of accommodation availability. You can even walk into places for a bed the very same night and find no problem.
- Restaurants are fairly quiet so you can expect just to walk in anywhere on the spur of the moment and find a table without a problem.
- If you check the weather forecast, you can plan your itinerary based upon whether rain is expected or not. Remember a dry day during Low Season will be very hot if you are thinking of anything strenuous.
FAQs on Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta
When Is the Cheapest Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta?
The appeal of Puerto Vallarta is its coastal location with fine beaches, warm waters and a range of attractions. The cold winter weather in North America and across the Atlantic in Europe means the high season is during the Northern Hemisphere winter. As a result, that is the high season and the most expensive time to holiday in Puerto Vallarta.
It follows that the cheapest time to visit Puerto Vallarta is during the time when the weather elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere is good. Prices fall in the spring and reduce even further as the rains begin during June. They last for the next few months until October.
When Is Puerto Vallarta Rainy Season?
You should not think of the rainy season and immediately think of monsoon-type weather found in other parts of the world, either side of the Equator. Rain in Puerto Vallarta is rarely too intrusive.
Between November and May, inclusive, you should never have more than a couple of days of rain and even then, the amount is insignificant. It will not stop you enjoying any activities.
Rainy season begins in June when you can expect rain for about 10 days during the month with around 2.5 inches falling in the 30 days. The next three months bring more rain with falls averaging every other day. In terms of the amount you can expect in the month, it will be just over 6 inches maximum and a little above 4 inches minimum.
It will still rain during October but far less frequently; perhaps on just 5 days with a total of 1.5 inches or so.
What Are the Coldest Months in Puerto Vallarta Mexico?
The coldest months are during the High Season but everything is relative. Daytime temperatures still average around 80F (26C). The average low temperature at night goes down to 62F (16C).
It means that you will need a jumper if you wish to sit outdoors and dine but not much else. Remember this is the driest part of the year so at worst you will only need a light jacket.
Is October a Good Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta?
The month of October is when the rains begin to recede. With only around 5 days of rain in the month, you will suffer little disruption. Temperatures may be starting to fall yet at night they should still be in the mid-70s F.
Regular flights run around the year but some are just seasonal. The seasonal ones are unlikely to run until later in the month. If that is an inconvenience, wait a while for your trip.
Is August a Good Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta?
You can expect rain on an average of 15 days during August in Vallarta. It is the middle of the rainy season with anything up to 6 inches in the month.
In case you find it difficult to imagine in terms of volume, here is an illustration. This is a couple of inches more than you would expect in the wettest months in California. However, it is nowhere near the amount falling in typical monsoon climates.
When air temperatures are high, rainfall can take the edge off the temperatures you are experiencing.
Low season means lower prices and fewer crowds so that is a plus for traveling at that time. Seasonal flights however will not be available in August.
Is September a Good Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta?
September is still the low season with cheaper prices and fewer crowds. Seasonal flights are not available if that poses a problem. However, there are the regular flights and domestic links with Mexico City and Guadalajara if that helps.
There will be less rain than in the immediate couple of months but the number of days when it will rain stays broadly the same.
Puerto Vallarta is a resort that offers something throughout the year. The High Season corresponds with the winter weather typical of other parts of the Northern Hemisphere. That weather can be cold and depressing, hence the wish to escape it.
High Season means crowds and the highest prices in the year. It is also the time when many seasonal flights provide more access to this Pacific Ocean resort.
In contrast, Low Season, mid-June into October sees lower prices and fewer crowds. The downside is that this is when the rains fall and temperatures are at their highest. Sometimes those temperatures are so high, you will not be keen to get involved in activities.
Given the choice, the weeks through from early April into early June have several advantages and minimal drawbacks. Temperatures remain good, day and night, with accommodation and tours becoming cheaper.
It’s up to you to decide based on your personal situation though.