The People of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay

The people of Puerto Vallarta: Beach Vendor Selling Candy in Sayulita Mexico
Beach Vendor in Sayulita, Mexico


Visitors to Puerto Vallarta quickly find out that the people of Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay are warm, cheerful, outgoing, and very gracious. Most locals are more than willing to assist tourists with directions and other requests. In fact, many Puerto Vallarta taxi drivers will tell you that international tourists call Puerto Vallarta the Friendliest City in the World!

In addition to the local population, there are large numbers of expatriates living in Puerto Vallarta and neighboring areas in and around Banderas Bay to include Sayulita, Punta de Mita, La Crux de Huanacaxtle, Bucerias, and Nuevo Vallarta. The whole area is a bit of an international melting pot. And while expats in Puerto Vallarta hail from various countries all over the globe, the largest number of expats in the area continue to be from the United States and Canada.

Many foreigners have have not only fallen in love with the stunning natural beauty of Banderas Bay, but also with the local people. After vacationing around the world they have chosen to put down roots in this marvelous destination and have purchased vacation, retirement and rental homes in and around the area. Further adding to what makes Puerto Vallarta so special is that these transplants have brought an incredible array of various skills and unique talents with them, beautifully integrating and infusing their own cultural offerings and special expertise within the region by opening a variety of businesses and restaurants in their new hometown, as well as volunteering and fundraising for a number of local charities. When speaking with groups of happy expats you will find that they absolutely love this place, but universally there is one main thing they’ve all found to be especially challenging: accepting and adapting to the “manana syndrome” which is a prevalent part of Mexican culture. Things will in fact get done, but not always on the same timetable that foreigners expect. These expats will also tell you that once they finally were able to adjust to the more relaxed and slower pace of life in Mexico that the level of stress in their daily lives greatly diminished.

Although Spanish is the national language in Mexico, visitors to Puerto Vallarta will discover that English is widely spoken. Most merchants, contractors and realtors in Puerto Vallarta are accustomed to interacting with foreigners on a regular basis and their English skills range from basic to completely fluent. The people of Puerto Vallarta genuinely enjoy interacting with visitors and tourists, and can be most accurately described as happy, honest, courteous, and relaxed.