Yes, it’s definitely safe in Puerto Vallarta. They don’t report the crime rates here like they do in the States, so you just have to go by what you sense or how you feel. Obviously, just like anywhere else in the world, Puerto Vallarta is now becoming a major city so you still have to have common sense. Don’t be walking around at 3 in the morning drunk and falling asleep on the side of the road. That is usually when you hear about somebody getting mugged. The crimes that happen here are almost all crimes of opportunity. So if you leave your car window open and you leave your laptop in there, it’s going to get taken. Apart from that, we don’t see any violent crimes or anything like that.
I have lived in a lot of places in the US like Miami, Chicago, and Atlanta but I feel safer here in Puerto Vallarta. When I lived in Atlanta, I lived in downtown because I like urban living a lot. Here in Puerto Vallarta, you just don’t feel unsafe. I have a friend who came here from Atlanta and his wife said that it was amazing that we lived here because they were scared.
We kept telling them to go to various beaches maybe just an hour away, which they did. They were on the beach in this little town and they think to themselves that it looks a little weird. Then they realize that everyone is smiling and waving at them. Their guard went down and they realized that these people are so nice.
Obviously, you keep your guard up a little bit like anywhere in the world but you won’t sense anything bad to happen to you here in Puerto Vallarta. My wife is from Portland but she feels safe walking around by herself without me. I don’t think I would want her walking at midnight but I wouldn’t want her to do that in Chicago, either. She goes out with her friends and comes home on her own and it’s totally fine.
We do have bars on our windows. I don’t know if that is just the way it is or if there was a purpose for setting up the windows that way but everyone else has bars on their windows too so maybe that’s how they do it. In the States, there are home invasions that are a little more violent in nature but in Mexico when a home gets broken into, usually there is nobody home. They come in and grab whatever they can that has value. It is more of a crime or opportunity.
When we first moved here, we moved to the second floor so I didn’t think anybody could go up and get in but they managed to get in through the window. They took the money out of my wallet (but left the wallet) and left through the same window. It’s usually things like that but you wouldn’t hear about any crime that is violent in nature. The bigger cities have more issues with crime obviously just like any big city but here in Puerto Vallarta, as long as you keep everything locked, and you are always aware of your surroundings, you won’t worry about crime.
(Three story house in Perto Vallarta, Mexico, pictured.)