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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Puerto Vallarta in 2024

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Puerto Vallarta in 2024

What's the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta?

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between November and March. December and January are busy, but November and March see moderate crowds with better prices. This is the prime time for beaches, whale watching, cultural festivals like Carnaval and Dia de los Muertos, and strolling the shops, bars, and eateries along the beachfront Malecón (boardwalk).

In the shadow of the Sierra Madre mountains and jungles, Puerto Vallarta sits on the west coast of Mexico with its treasure trove of tropical beaches, traditional architecture, and buzzing Malecón (boardwalk) packed with eateries, bars, and shops.

If you’re planning a trip here soon, you need to consider the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta to make sure you’ll get the experience you’re looking for. While it’s considered a year-round destination, we’ve found that some months are much better than others. 

When you’re looking for the right time to visit, think about your travel goals. Are you looking for the months with the best weather and liveliest atmosphere, the cheapest prices on hotels and flights, or the low season when tourist numbers drop? 

This guide highlights the best, cheapest, least busy, and worst time to visit Puerto Vallarta along with all the essential info you need to plan your trip: weather conditions, cost averages, seasonal events and festivals, and things to do.

Keep reading to learn the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta for your trip goals! 

Overall Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

View of the beach at dusk with palm trees on either side during the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta

Diego Grandi/Shutterstock

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between November and March. These months include some less-busy times to visit along with busy peak season months when the beaches, bars, and streets are lively. 

November through March sees the best weather in Puerto Vallarta, period. Average temperatures range from a balmy 71°F to 73°F this time of year, but highs rise into the low 80s in the afternoons for perfect beach weather. 

  • November: 69-86°F; 2 rainy days
  • December: 64-82°F; 1-2 rainy days
  • January: 62-81°F; 2 rainy days
  • February: 62-81°F; 1 rainy day
  • March: 63-81°F; 0-1 rainy day

This period encompasses much of the dry season, which lasts from October to mid-June. Walk the Malecón, or boardwalk, that runs from historic Hotel Rosita to the Cuale River to get acquainted with the city.

Stop to admire the sculptures along the way, pop into shops slinging traditional and kitschy goods, savor a snack or meal from a food cart or restaurant, and have a drink at a beachfront bar at sunset. 

Hit the spectacular beaches to enjoy the splendor of the natural world in Puerto Vallarta, whether you’re heading straight from the boardwalk, taking a panga to a nearby island or cove, driving further out for a more secluded shore experience. 

Remember: Not all Puerto Vallarta beaches are swimmable (like the one at the boardwalk), even when the water feels great due to currents, rocks, or dangerous wildlife. Look for beaches with calmer waters and always obey flags on the beach. If you see a red or black flag, don’t swim. 

Old Vallarta offers all the culture and color you’re looking for in the historic city center with cobblestone streets, shops and markets teeming with traditional goods, restaurants, and impressive architecture (like the Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church).

Walk the La Iguana Bridge in Old Vallarta to Rio Cuale Island. At the Cuale Cultural Center, you can take a dance, theater, or painting class, visit the Archaeological Museum of Cuale, and attend artistic and cultural performances. 

Take a panga over to the tiny Playa Colomitas — a secluded cove surrounded by lush, tropical vegetation with gentle waves that make it ideal for swimming. It’s never crowded due to its small size (a perfect escape during the peak season) and snorkeling is excellent here. 

Whale watching is at its best from December to March. January and February offering the most opportunities to spot humpback and gray whales migrating. Take a whale watching tour (some have hydrophones so you can listen to their calls) to get close to these majestic mammals. 

Take a look at the average nightly hotel price and airfare costs taken from Google Hotels and Skyscanner data:

  • November: $158/night; flights from $258 
  • December: $174/night; flights from $272
  • January: $206/night; flights from $242
  • February: $207/night; flights from $274
  • March: $195/night; flights from $271

It’s a pricier time of year to visit with these months taking 4 of the top 5 spots among the most expensive times to visit (February, March, January, and December). November is cheaper, warmer, and more humid. 

You’ll benefit further from visiting between November and March with so many festive events happening during these peak season months: 

  • Festival de los Muertos (early Nov) brings the record-breaking tallest Catrina in the world to Puerto Vallarta on Dia de los Muertos with decorated traditional skulls adorning the downtown area with live music, flowers, incense, colorful banners, and mini altars 
  • Festival Gourmet International (Nov) brings gastro greats together with 600+ chefs offering samples and meals featuring their best-prepared dishes with local ingredients
  • Puerto Vallarta Christmas Parade (mid-Dec) features 30+ creative holiday-themed floats with some special passengers (like Santa and Mrs. Claus) through downtown 
  • Christmas Walk on the Malecon (Dec 24) is a festive evening jaunt down the boardwalk on Christmas Eve with carols, food booths, and merriment ahead of the big day
  • Chocolate and Vanilla Festival (Jan) at the Vallarta Botanical Garden brings sweet treats and savory eats featuring chocolate and vanilla flavors with vendors set up in the gardens
  • Aguachile and Ceviche Festival (late Jan) celebrates traditional foods from the sea with chances to eat at food carts in Lázaro Cárdenas Park
  • El Carnaval Puerto Vallarta (Feb/Mar) features a huge parade downtown, along the Malecón, and through Old Vallarta with colorful costumes, floats, 4 stages for music, dancing, and crowning of the Carnival Queen and Ugly King 
  • Spring Jazz Festival (Mar) at Cuates & Cuetes jazz house brings days of concerts, discussions, and vendors to the beach around the spring equinox in front of the Los Muertos Beach Dock
  • Sabor en Competencia (mid-Mar) is a cooking competition and festival with chances to sample market-fresh foods and dishes from renowned chefs, listen to live music, and browse markets
  • Damajuana Raicilla Festival (mid-Mar) celebrates raicilla, a Jalisco-born liquor, with cultural performances by folk ballet groups, live music, tastings, and food at the Cuale Cultural Center

Overall, you won’t find a better time to visit Puerto Vallarta than between November and March. Save money by coming in November and note that March may see bigger crowds due to Spring Break and/or Easter. 

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Cheapest Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

People at Playa Las Animas and gorgeous teal water during the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta


May, July, and September are the cheapest months to visit Puerto Vallarta. They offer the lowest combined travel cost when you factor in the average hotel rates and airfare prices. 

This every other month trend is a little perplexing (why are June and August more expensive?), but when you consider what’s going on in Puerto Vallarta during these months, it makes more sense. May is more affordable on the heels of the peak season that ends in April.

July is cheaper because it’s the first month of heavy rain in Puerto Vallarta, driving down tourism and leading hotels and flight prices to follow with lower demand. 

September is a very quiet time in Puerto Vallarta, and many businesses (restaurants, bars, shops, etc.) close down for a week or two, sometimes the entire month, to give employees time off ahead of the increase in tourism come October. 

Each month offers a different experience in terms of weather. May is dry, warm, and humid. July is hot, humid, and rainy. September is hot, slightly less humid, and wet. 

  • May: 71-86°F; 1-2 rainy days
  • July: 76-90°F; 23 rainy days
  • September: 76-90°F; 20-21 rainy days

You can see from these conditions why May, July, and September are cheaper months to visit — they’re not the most ideal in terms of weather. But May offers the best conditions of these lower-priced months with 1-2 days of rain and more comfortable highs in the mid-80s. 

Since cost can be a major factor in trip planning, consider how much you can save by visiting during these months. September is the cheapest month to visit Puerto Vallarta overall (Google Hotels and Skyscanner airfare data below):

  • May: $181/night; flights from $205 
  • July: $171/night; flights from $232 
  • September: $143/night; flights from $256

If you’re savvy about hunting down the cheapest flights, you could enjoy a 7-night visit to Puerto Vallarta for as a little as $1,260 in September, $1,430 in July, or $1,470 in May. 

Check out the Olas Altas Farmer’s Market in Lázaro Cárdenas Park on a Saturday morning or afternoon to browse traditional fashions, crafts, art, organic food, and more through May. 

On the beaches in Old Vallarta (also called the Romantic Zone), like Playa de los Muertos, you can watch fishermen set out and unload their catch at the dock while you lounge in the sunshine or stroll out on the pier.

Playa de los Muertos is a laid-back beach frequented by locals. Grab a seafood lunch from one of the carts on the beach and listen to live music. You can walk out onto the unique knot-shaped pier (lit up beautifully at night) to board a water taxi on an excursion to other beaches south of Puerto Vallarta.

From the Malecón, you can access the main beach. It’s not swimmable, but warm, golden sand and a slew of bars, restaurants, and shops, gorgeous sunset views, and the convenient location in the historic city center make it a great spot to hang out.

Take an ATV tour down the world’s longest suspension bridge, Jorullo Bridge, over the Cuale River and a lush canyon for awesome views of the El Jorullo volcano. Attend one of the many festivals and events that happen during these months: 

  • Festival Fiestas de Mayo Puerto Vallarta (May-Jun) is a 2-week festival at Esplanada Vallarta with live Mexican regional music, competitions, food and craft vendor booths, and games for children
  • Vallarta Pride (late May) is a 4-day celebration of the LGBT community with parades, parties, contests, and people dressed in drag and colorful costumes
  • Sea Turtle Releases (Jul-Dec) begin in July and end in December as sea turtles come to the Vallarta Nayarit beaches to lay eggs, which hatch and are helped out to sea by volunteers
  • Fiestas Patrias Puerto Vallarta (Sept 15-16) is the celebration of Mexican Independence Day with vendors serving up antojitos mexicanos — Mexican street food — and live music, fireworks, and a parade downtown

While these are the cheapest months to visit, the months of April, February, March, January, and December are the most expensive — avoid these months if you’re hunting for deals. 

Least Busy Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

Group of people walking along a sea promenade in Malecon during the least busy time to visit Puerto Vallarta


The least busy time to visit Puerto Vallarta is during April, May, and June. Post-peak season, this period is relatively mild with steadily increasing rainfall that keeps many tourists away. 

Humidity strikes Puerto Vallarta starting in April and only gets worse as the months go on. Highs are comfortable in April, but quickly warm up to sweltering upper 80s in May and June. 

  • April: 66-83°F; 0-1 rainy day
  • May: 71-86°F; 1-2 rainy days
  • June: 76-89°F; 13 rainy days

April is the driest month of the year with almost no rainfall, slightly warmer weather, and ideal conditions for beaches, sightseeing, adventure excursions, and water sports. 

May is somewhere in between with warmer weather than April, but cooler than June with lower humidity and very few rainy days. June sees the arrival of the rainy season, which helps cool the air on hot days, but won’t do you any favors if you’re hanging out at the beach or venturing out for a day trip excursion. 

These can be good months for wildlife watching, kitesurfing, and windsurfing at the quiet Playa Boca de Tomates (Mouth of Tomatoes), where a maze of mangroves brings fish, birds, and crocodiles at the mouth of the Ameca River.

At the southern end of Playa Los Muertos, you’ll find Playa Amapas. It features cool rock formations jutting out into the sea and is shaded with amapas trees for cooler temperatures. It’s a calm beach for swimming and the ocean temperature is comfortable year-round between 75°F and 86°F. 

South of the Hotel Zone, Playa Camarones is Blue Flag certified and extremely clean and well-managed with tons of amenities, like umbrellas and nearby beach clubs, to make your day as blissful as possible. It gets busy during the peak season, but is less crowded this time of year. 

It’s perfect to visit the Vallarta Botanical Garden during the rainy season (when it’s most lush) to see almost 80 acres of tropical plants native to the jungle from a hilltop overlooking the ocean. Cacti, orchids, ferns, tropical flowers, and trees can be seen from footpaths and suspension bridges. 

Check out Marina Vallarta to see giant cruise ships, fishing boats, and excursion boats embarking and returning. A wide array of eateries and bars on its smaller boardwalk, the El Faro lighthouse and its rooftop bar, and a golf course are here if you’re up for a round. 

Enjoy the nightlife around Puerto Vallarta, mostly concentrated around the Malecón, Old Vallarta, and the marina. Nightclubs, bars, and restaurants hosting live music make great options for a fun night out with dancing and drinks. 

While April is the most expensive month to visit Puerto Vallarta, May is one of the cheapest of the year and June is moderately affordable. Here’s what we found in Google Hotels and Skyscanner data about pricing during the least busy months:

  • April: $298/night; flights from $326 624
  • May: $181/night; flights from $205 386
  • June: $205/night; flights from $230 435

There’s the added bonus of some great events and cultural festivals happening between April and June to look forward to. We’ve covered May events under Cheapest Time to Visit (like Vallarta Pride), but here are some in April and June to check out:

  • Vallarta SBK Dance Festival (Apr) is a 4-day festival showcasing  salsa, zouk, kizomba, and bachata performers convening to display their talents with upbeat and traditional music
  • Vallarta Azteca Festival of International Folklore (Apr-May) features folk dance performances from 20 companies in Mexico and countries around the world with food and craft vendors
  • Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Week (mid-May-Jun) is the perfect time to score deals on great food around the city with 60+ restaurants participating, offering special 3-course menus and samples at discounted prices

April through June is ideal if you want to steer clear of peak season crowds, but still have a chance to enjoy nice weather (more so in April and May) and plenty of fun events around the city. 

Worst Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta

Melcon in Puerto Vallarta during the best time to visit

Chris Howey/Shutterstock

The worst time to visit Puerto Vallarta is during the months of July, August, and September. These are the wettest months of the year with sweltering heat and humidity that can make it harder to enjoy time outside. 

While the rainy season lasts from mid-June to September, it doesn’t really ramp up until July. August is the wettest month of the year with almost 25 rainy days on average, but showers tend to be short and occur mostly in the afternoons. 

  • July: 76-90°F; 23 rainy days
  • August: 76-90°F; 24-25 rainy days
  • September: 76-90°F; 20-21 rainy days

Highs reach 90°F or more during these months with muggy air as humidity drapes the coast like a thick blanket. It’s not so bad if you’re spending time at the beach or in the pool, but everywhere else — including jungle hikes and exploring downtown — it can be miserable. 

Your time in the water can be limited by the sheer amount of rain that occurs during these months. While rain isn’t constant, there are anywhere from 20 to 25 days with some rainfall during the late summer months in Puerto Vallarta. 

That makes it harder to plan outings and excursions in advance, because most days will see at least some rain — and sometimes, it does rain all day long. In between showers, you can still visit the beach and do some walking or exploring in town. 

Head to Los Arcos Marine Park to see the incredible Mismaloya Arches rising out of the ocean (you can see them from downtown Puerto Vallarta, but it’s worth getting close). Swimming, snorkeling, and diving are excellent around the arches. 

This is a great time to book a full- or half-day excursion, like hiking in the Sierra Madre jungle, waterfall hikes, horseback riding, snorkeling trips, or zip-line tours through the jungle canopy. 

On the upside, July and September are two of the cheapest months to visit and September is one of the least busy. Some businesses shutter their doors for a week or more ahead of the uptick in tourism come October. 

You can score some great deals on your hotel and flight during these months, especially in September. Here’s what you can expect to pay, according to Google Hotels and Skyscanner data:

  • July: $171/night; flights from $232
  • August: $177/night; flights from $239
  • September: $143/night; flights from $256

We’ve listed July and September events above under Cheapest Time to Visit, but don’t miss sea turtle releases during this period and the Fiestas Patrias (Mexican Independence Day) parade, fireworks, and live music with antojitos mexicanos — Mexican street food — downtown. 

Puerto Vallarta by Month: What to Expect

Visiting Puerto Vallarta offers a different experience by the season. If you’re not quite settled on your travel dates yet, take a look at what you can expect month-to-month to get a better idea of when to go. 


As one of the best months to visit, January is balmy with highs in the low 80s and just 2 rainy days on average. Check out the Chocolate and Vanilla Festival, the Aguachile and Ceviche Festival, and spend time on Playa de los Muertos. Hotels average $206/night with flights starting at $242 round trip. 


Another excellent month to visit, February is a little pricier with average hotel costs around $207/night and flights $274 and up. But with mild highs around 81°F and a single rainy day this month, it’s perfect for sightseeing, attending Carnaval celebrations, exploring Old Vallarta, and soaking up the sun on quiet Playa Boca de Tomates. 


March is the end of the peak season with lots of visitors. With highs up to 81°F and almost no rain, conditions are just right for beachfront bars, farmer’s markets, and snorkeling excursions. Rooms are $195/night on average with flights starting at $271. Check out the 28° Jazz Festival, Sabor en Competencia, and Damajuana Raicilla Festival this month. 


Pricy April is when things get warmer and more humid in Puerto Vallarta. Highs go up to 83°F with little to no rain, so take a horseback ride down the beach or venture out for a waterfall or jungle hike. Hotels average $298/night with flights $326 and up this month. The Vallarta Azteca Festival of International Folklore starts this month along with the Vallarta SBK Dance Festival. 


As one of the cheapest months to visit, you can score hotels around $181/night in May with flights starting at $205. It’s warm and humid with highs up to 86°F. Rainfall happens 1-2 days this month. Vallarta Pride, Festival Fiestas de Mayo Puerto Vallarta, and Puerto Vallarta Restaurant Week happen this month. 


June is a shoulder season month with fewer visitors right as the rainy season begins (but before it gets bad) with 13 rainy days. Highs reach 89°F and hotels average $205/night. You’ll pay upwards of $230 for your round-trip flight this month. This is a good month to avoid crowds. 


Affordable July sees hotel average prices dip to $171/night with flights starting at $232 round trip. With highs that reach 90°F or more, it’s hot and very humid this month with 23 rainy days. Sea turtle releases begin this month and can be a cool activity on the beach in between showers. 


Steamy August sees smaller crowds as the wettest month of the year with up to 25 rainy days. It’s hot, getting up to 90°F or more during the day, and outdoor plans can be difficult to plan in advance this month. Hotels cost around $177/night with flights $239 and up. 


September is cheap for a visit and slightly less rainy with up to 21 days with precipitation. It still sees highs around 90°F with high humidity. Festivals like the Fiestas Patrias Puerto Vallarta (Mexican Independence Day celebrations) happen mid-month and hotels cost about $143/night with flights upwards of $256. 


Moderate across the board, October can be a good month to visit with 9 rainy days as the season wraps up and highs up to 89°F. Events like Puerto Vallarta Historic Downtown Art Walk begin at the end of the month, while hotels cost around $158/night with flights starting at $265. 


The famous Dia de los Muertos celebrations happen at the beginning of the month and bring downtown to life in honor of the dead. With highs around 86°F and just 2 rainy days, it’s a great month to visit and pretty cheap, too — hotels average $158/night with flights upwards of $258. Check out the Festival Gourmet International with chef-prepared dishes this month. 


Mild December is a great month to visit with highs around 82°F and less than 2 rainy days. Christmas events, like the Puerto Vallarta Christmas Parade and Christmas Walk on the Malecon, happen this month. Hotels cost around $174/night and you’ll pay $272+ for a round trip flight during this busy month. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Famous metal sculptures on the boardwalk during the cheapest time to visit Puerto Vallarta


If you have lingering questions about planning a trip during the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta, take a look at the FAQs below to learn more.

What month has the best weather in Puerto Vallarta?

November and December have the best weather in Puerto Vallarta. November is better if you like things to be a little warmer for your visits to the beach with highs around 86°F and just 2 rainy days on average. December is cooler with highs around 82°F and 1-2 rainy days, but sees bigger crowds.

What is the rainy season in Puerto Vallarta?

June through early October is the rainy season in Puerto Vallarta, but July, August, and September are the wettest months of the year with 20-25 days of rain during each month. Storms tend to happen in the afternoon and pass quickly, but sometimes, it rains all day.

What month is hurricane season in Puerto Vallarta?

June through November is hurricane season in Puerto Vallarta. These months see prime conditions for tropical storms and hurricanes to form off the coast, but August, September, and October tend to see more storms form and potentially make landfall in Puerto Vallarta.

What is the coldest month in Puerto Vallarta?

January is the coldest month in Puerto Vallarta, if you consider highs around 81°F and lows around 62°F to be cold. The average temperature in January is 71°F -- just one degree cooler than February, which also sees 62-81°F weather.

What is the busiest month in Puerto Vallarta?

December and January are the busiest months in Puerto Vallarta, according to visitor data from Google Hotels. People tend to visit during these months because they offer mild, warm weather with almost no rainfall and great beach conditions when other areas are still freezing cold.

So, What Is the Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta?

👍 Best Time to VisitNovember-March
💲 Cheapest Time to VisitMay, July, September
🗓️ Least Busy Time to VisitApril-June
👎 Worst Time to VisitJuly-September

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is between November and March. These months offer warm, dry weather that’s not sweltering or humid and the best mix of festivals and activities as the city is wide-open for the peak season. 

Come during May, July, or September for the cheapest prices. September is the cheapest month to visit overall and very quiet with fewer tourists. But April, May, and June are the least busy months to visit with mild weather and the rainy season starting in June. 

Avoid visiting between July and September if you want to steer clear of the heaviest rain — it rains almost every day during this period — but know that you can save some money and avoid crowds during this less-ideal time of year. 

Puerto Vallarta’s gorgeous beaches and laid-back vibes make it such a memorable destination. Its rich cultural tapestry is evident in its festivals, architecture, cuisine, and markets. You’ll never regret coming — but you’ll love it that much more if you travel during the best time to visit.