When it comes to drinking water in Mexico, we’re sure you’ve heard this warning time and again: Don’t drink the water or face Montezuma’s Revenge. Although it’s always wise to stick to bottled water when you’re on vacation in any foreign country, it’s important for visitors to know that Puerto Vallarta has spent more than $6 million on the installation of new state-of-the-art water treatment and purification systems to provide its citizens, visitors, and tourists with fresh, clean, pure drinking water. Puerto Vallarta’s drinking water is held to high international standards and has won numerous safety awards for purity and cleanliness. But in some of the older tourist areas and neighborhoods within Puerto Vallarta and Banderas Bay the pipes are still old. So when the fresh, purified water flows through those old sections of piping, various contaminants from the old pipes can lift off and enter the water stream.
Just as in the United States and Canada the majority of resorts as well as many private homes have their own drinking water filtration systems. And in restaurants with in the city of Puerto Vallarta as well as throughout Banderas Bay the use of bottled drinking water is standard practice. As more than 2.5 million tourists visit Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, Punta de Mita, Sayulita and surrounding areas every year, the restaurant establishments are more than accustomed to meeting the needs of tourists and making reassurances about the quality of drinking water. This is vacation town completely focused on tourism, and getting customers sick is not something any of the restaurants would want to risk as word travels incredibly fast, and not just via word of mouth but online too. All of the area’s restaurants want to satisfy their tourist customers, earn positive reviews on sites such as TripAdvisor, become popular eateries and remain in business year after year. But if you enter an eating establishment and have any doubts whatsoever, by all means ask the owner or server about drinking water purity.
If you are accustomed to drinking bottled water at home and would like to do the same on your vacation, you will have no trouble finding bottled water in the numerous markets and stores throughout the Puerto Vallarta area. When making excursions to rural areas outside the urban city, it is absolutely recommended to drink bottled water only, as these areas do not yet have water purification systems in place. Remember, as ice is also water, do not add ice to bottled or canned beverages in these outlying regions. Also be aware that blended cocktails such as Margaritas also contain ice. When ordering at eateries in these outlying areas, stick to canned or bottled beverages. For further reassurance, ask your server to bring those beverages to you in the can or bottle, not already poured into a glass.
For those still wondering: What is Montezuma’s Revenge? It’s a colorful and convenient catch-all phrase describing traveler’s diarrhea contracted by tourists visiting Mexico. After Montezuma II, the last ruler of the Aztec empire, was defeated by Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés in 1520, it was believed that he delivered his revenge on white men entering Mexico with severe stomach discomfort and diarrhea. Thus the term Montezuma’s Revenge. While water could be the culprit in some cases, many times vacationers in Puerto Vallarta also blame Montezuma’s Revenge for their experiences of an upset stomach due to over indulgence of food and/or alcoholic beverages, heat exhaustion, dehydration, over use of insect repellent, stomach discomfort associated with sunburn, etc.