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The Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta for Weather, Prices, Events, and More

If you are not too sure when it’s the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta and you are planning a trip to the vibrant Mexican city on the Pacific Coast, you have landed in the right place.

In this post, I will share when is the best time to visit the city for weather, family vacations, events, prices, and more. I will also give you an overview of what Puerto Vallarta is like each month.

At the end of this post, you will know exactly when it’s the best time for you to visit Puerto Vallarta, for your ideal vacation.

With a huge variety of experiences to offer, Puerto Vallarta is a gorgeous beach destination in Mexico where you will find both the hip upscale vacation and the authentic Mexican charm in one place.

But the kind of experiences you can find here vary depending on the time of the year, so knowing what to expect for each time of the year will make your trip even more memorable.

In this post, I’ll also lay out the different seasons of Puerto Vallarta based on how much tourist activity it gets, and the month-by-month weather of this dream destination. But before that, I’ll tell you about the town itself.

Puerto Vallarta beach at sunset - The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta
Puerto Vallarta Playa de Muertos

Puerto Vallarta is one of the most famous destinations in Mexico.

Stunning beaches, a rich marine life, thriving nature, a vibrant historical center, great hiking trails, lots of shopping, and one of the most charming traditional Mexican-town vibes—Puerto Vallarta has it all.

These features, combined with underwater adventures, exploration, food, and luxurious beach-city vacation experiences, attract thousands of tourists to Puerto Vallarta every year.

So, with that being said, it’s time to get on with our main topic for the post without any more delay. Let’s start with the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta for the specific kinds of vacation experiences you can find here.

🌡 🌧️ 🌞 I suggest you get to the end of the post for interesting stats on weather, temperature, and more!!

The best time to go to Puerto Vallarta at a glance

Many things change in Puerto Vallarta throughout the year, including the prices for hotels and flights, the kind of experiences offered during a vacation, and definitely the weather.

What’s more, the best time for different kinds of vacations changes with them as well. Such being the case, it’s hard to know which period of the year would be best to plan a trip to Puerto Vallarta to get the best of it.

You can find out the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta for the kind of vacation you have in mind below.

Puerto Vallarta Playa de Muertos

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta for families

Visiting Puerto Vallarta with your family is a fun experience, and it’s even better if you do it during the right time of the year. The best months for it would be between April and May.

This is when Spring Breakers have left and the rain season is still a month or so away.

The weather is excellent, and you can find lots of amazing deals on lodgings as well. The best part about it all is the fewer crowds, which means a more intimate and memorable experience for you and your family.

If you want to enjoy a family trip with lots of snorkeling and water sports, you can also plan your trip between May and June.

The best time to travel to Puerto Vallarta when you’re on a budget

The low season (July through September) has the cheapest room rates and flight options, but it’s not necessarily the best budget option.

If you’re looking for affordable prices without compromising on the fun, I recommend planning a trip right before the low season begins (May and June) or ends (September and October).

This is when there are still plenty of lodging options easily available, the weather is decent, and there are lots of things to do as well.

Puerto vallarta south coastline

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta for surfing

Puerto Vallarta is big on surfing, so much so that many tournaments and events take place around it in this town.

Pro surfers come to the town all year round, but the majority of them visit here between November and March. That’s the best surfing season in the Puerto Vallarta area, from Banderas By through the Riviera Nayarit, when the North Pacific swells hit the bay.

However, from Punta Mita and Sayulita area, just an hour away, surfing is pretty much available all year round, especially for intermediate and beginner surfers.

The best time to go to Puerto Vallarta for whale watching

Whale watching is another popular activity in Puerto Vallarta. If you want to enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of seeing these majestic creatures, December through March is the right time.

If you are passionate about whales as I am you can check out my full post on Whale Watching in Mexico for further details on all the top places where to see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat.

Sunset from the beach
Puerto Vallarta Beach at sunset

The best time to go to Puerto Vallarta by season

The Mexican tourist seasons are usually three main ones based on weather and climate. Puerto Vallarta similarly has these three seasons, the High Season, the Low Season, and the Shoulder Season.

Every season has its advantages and drawbacks, so I have listed an overview of each one in this section.

High Season (December through mid-April)

High season in Puerto Vallarta means the most number of tourists you will see in town in the entire year. Everything from the weather, activities, and exploration is perfect during it, so it’s no surprise that so many people visit here during the high season.

The peak seasons within this time of the year are Easter ) Semana Santa and Christmas. Semana Santa is the most important holiday in Mexico, so besides the high numbers of international tourists, you also have huge growth in local tourism at this time of the year.

As a result of this, hotel prices are at their peak, it’s very difficult to find a place so you need to book in advance, and you will have bigger crowds in every popular tourist spot.

You should keep that in mind and if you really want to travel at this time of the year, make sure you book your flights and hotel room way in advance.

Puerto vallarta sunset - Puerto Vallarta Safety

The weather in Puerto Vallarta from December through April

Humidity and temperatures are pleasantly lower. The skies are clear, with little to no chance of rain. Both the watersports activities and party scene of Puerto Vallarta thrive during the high season as well.

The best encounters with marine life are also offered from December to February, and the latter half of the season brings students vacationing for their spring break and then local families celebrating the Holy Week (Easter) to the town.

Pros:

  • Great weather.
  • Lots of fun activities, partying, and vibrant nightlife.
  • Plenty of opportunities to see majestic marine creatures including migrating humpbacks.

Cons:

  • Higher rates on pretty much everything, including lodging options and flights.
  • More crowds, especially during the later days when spring breakers flock to Puerto Vallarta.
  • Fully booked hotels and lodgings (which makes it important to reserve room months in advance to avoid dealing with availability issues).
Sayulita beach
Sayulita beach

Low Season (July through September)

With the highest temperatures and humidity of the year and more rainy days, the low season doesn’t see as many tourists as in the winter season.

However, this is when kids are out of school, so expect an increase in family vacations.

Prices are definitely lower than in winter but they are not at their lowest. However, you may find a good deal at this time of the year.

There is more chance of rain and although hurricanes are not so common on the pacific coast, they are still likely to hit, most likely in the form of tropical storms, but they can still affect your vacation.

Pros:

  • warmer water
  • More affordable prices.
  • surf is possible

Cons:

  • Lots of families and kids.
  • Hotter and more humid compared to the high season.
  • Overcast weather and rainy days
  • chances of hurricanes
Puerto Vallarta aerial town overview

Shoulder Season (May through June)

Shoulder seasons are the best to find great hotel deals and better airfare.

The gaps between the high season and the low season comprise the shoulder season of Puerto Vallarta. This is when you can find the best of both worlds.

The weather isn’t as hot and rainy as the summer months, but also not as dry and cool as the winter months.

You can find great lodging options, and the ocean temperatures and underwater visibility are excellent during this season, which makes for the best snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving experiences.

The water temperature starts to get warmer in March when we have the lowest water temperature of the year.

Pros:

  • Cheapest flight and hotel rates.
  • Warmer ocean temperatures.
  • Best visibility underwater.
  • Little to no crowds.

Cons:

  • The water temperature is still chilly compared to August temperatures
  • The rainy season is starting
Puerto Vallarta Sunset
Puerto Vallarta Sunset

Shoulder Season (September through November)

In September and October, you may find some hotels and tourism-related businesses of the town partly close up for annual repairs and maintenance work.

But you can still find a lot of lodgings available.

This time of the year is probably the best to find hotel deals and great airfares. The higher chance of rain and tropical storm discourage most people from traveling and that is why if you want to take your chance you may find amazing deals.

At this time of the year, the water is warmer but there is less visibility for snorkeling and diving.

Pros:

  • Cheapest flight and hotel rates.
  • Warm ocean temperatures.
  • Little to no crowds.

Cons:

  • Hotter and more humid weather (September and October)
  • More chance of rainy and overcast days.
  • The water is murky when it rains before.

The best time to go to Puerto Vallarta by month

Puerto Vallarta is warm throughout the year, but there are variations in the weather each month. These include things like the humidity, rain, and temperature highs and lows.

Below is a breakdown of the Puerto Vallarta weather for each month.

Also, I have included the major events that take place in a given month in case you need some fun things to do for your bucket list.

Puerto Vallarta Sailship - the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta
Photo from Canva

Puerto Vallarta in January

January is one of the months when the weather in Puerto Vallarta is at its best. The temperatures are very pleasant, with clear skies and only two rainy days on average.

The afternoons are perfect for lots of exploration and excursions, but you might need a layer at night because the temperatures sometimes drop a little.

The water temperatures are also great in January, so you will see lots of exotic marine life in the ocean, including humpback whales and whale sharks.

Puerto Vallarta events in January

Vallarta cup

The Vallarta Cup is held during January, with daily races in Banderas Bay followed by parties in Nuevo Vallarta.

La Virgen de la Paz Festival (Our Lady of Peace)

Also, you can go see the festival of La Virgen de la Paz (Our Lady of Peace) in the nearby village called Bucerias during January—a 9-day celebration with lots of cultural activities, food, and entertainment events.

Puerto Vallarta in February

The cool temperatures of January carry over into February, so you can expect warm afternoons and cool evenings.

Skies are even clearer in Feb, with very little chance of rainy days or even overcast weather. If you want to see some baby humpbacks, this is the best month for it.

Puerto Vallarta events in February

Mardi Gras and Carnaval Parade

The Mardi Gras and Carnaval Parade take place near the end of the month. It’s a grand celebration that begins with a parade from the Hotel Zone, going through the Malecon and Centro, and ending near the Los Muertos Pier.

The town, especially the Zona Romantica, is vibrant with parties and special events for many days after this parade.

Sayulita Festival

Just keep in mind that the parade sometimes takes place in March, but there is also the Festival Sayulita in February that you can attend in the small town of Sayulita less than an hour’s drive north of Puerto Vallarta.

Puerto Vallarta malecon
Photo from Canva

Puerto Vallarta in March

March is the first month marking the onset of the dry season in Puerto Vallarta. The temperatures start rising from here onwards, so you won’t need any warm clothing unless you’re going on a hike or sunset sail.

The water temperatures, on the other hand, are their coolest but still comfortable enough for water sports.

March events in Puerto Vallarta

Banderas Bay Regatta

Speaking of water sports, the Banderas Bay Regatta takes place during March as well. This event includes sailboat races and lots of parties, live music, dancing, and food.

Just make sure to book a place to stay well in advance, because hotels are filled with locals and tourists visiting the town during this time.

Dama Juana Raicilla Festival

The Dama Juana Raicilla Festival is a two-day celebration of the liquor called Mexican moonshine (raicilla). You can attend tastings, mariachi music, and dances, and find lots of other fun events.

Carnaval Day

Also, the first Tuesday of the month is Carnaval Day, which is celebrated with kids’ parades in the streets and everyone wearing party masks.

Puerto Vallarta historical center
Photo from Canva

Puerto Vallarta in April

The driest month of the year, April brings warm days and some humidity with it. There are no chances of rain, and the sunlight starts getting a bit intense (especially towards the end of the month), so it’s not a bad idea to bring sunscreen.

Puerto Vallarta Events in April

Puerto Vallarta Taco Festival

Luckily, April has lots of amazing events to make up for the warmer temperatures. The town’s taco restaurants come together for the Puerto Vallarta Taco Festival to offer the best of this Mexican delicacy.

El Dia del Nino

El Dia del Nino (Children’s Day) is also celebrated during April, and you can participate in it by handing out toys and candies to children.

Vallarta Azteca International Folklore Festiva

To top it all off, the Vallarta Azteca International Folklore Festival takes place near the end of April and lasts until early May. People from all over Latin America participate in it with dance troupes to perform traditional dances at different places in town.

Puerto Vallarta in May

The hot and balmy weeks progress onwards in May. Average temperatures also rise up along with the ocean temperatures, making them perfect for water sports and surfing. The chances of rain are fewer, but they still might be a day or two of rain.

Puerto Vallarta Events in April

Vallarta Pride event

The Vallarta Pride event takes place in May. If you don’t already know, this town is popular for its inclusive community, so this 9-day festival is a huge event of the year.

The activities include parades, beach parties, dance and music events, and film festivals. You will find most of these in the Zona Romantica (also called the Old Town).

Puerto Vallarta anniversary

The Puerto Vallarta anniversary celebration also comes in May, with the MayoFest bringing 5 days of concerts including all kinds of music, lots of entertainment events with sports activities and parties, and a huge fireworks show at the end of the festival.

Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week is also celebrated in May, usually in the last week of the month. You can enjoy the unforgettable culinary delights of Puerto Vallarta in the participating restaurants all across town.

Puerto Vallarta Puente de muertos
Photo from Canva

Puerto Vallarta in June

The dry season comes to an end with May, which means June brings overcast days and more rainfall with it. The heat and humidity also increase during it, but the water is excellent around this time of the year.

Watersports activities like swimming, surfing, and snorkeling are great with warm temperatures and better visibility.

Lots of festivals on the beaches and docks, and tournaments on the sea, take place during June as well, with the month’s first day celebrating El Dia de la Marina (Navy Day) when boats are launched into the Banderas Bay for the opening ceremony to lay out flowers on the water.

Puerto Vallarta in July

July precipitation levels are almost at their peak in July, but not yet.

The ocean temperatures rise even higher so for those of you who can’t bear cold waters this is the time for you to go swimming!

Puerto Vallarta July events: baby turtles releasing

Many hotels have turtle release programs, and these usually begin in July and go on until as long as December.

You can attend one of these events to see adorable little sea turtles being released into the sea. You can also participate in one of these programs and help release sea turtles into the sea.

Puerto Vallarta Sunset
Photo from Canva

Puerto Vallarta in August

The rainy season peak continues in August, with half of the month’s days raining and higher temperatures. Humidity is also pretty intense during August and ocean temperatures are the warmest they will be all year.

Puerto Vallarta Events in August

There are no particular events scheduled for August but make sure you check with the hotels that organize turtle releases on the beach.

Also, read the full article on Puerto Vallarta in August for more detailed info.

Puerto Vallarta in September

September is when the rainy season of Puerto Vallarta starts to decline a bit. The temperatures also decrease, but not much so it’s still hot and humid.

The days are usually overcast with chances of rain, but it’s not as frequent as in July or August.

Puerto Vallarta Events in September

National Charro Day

September 14 is the National Charro Day. Mexican cowboys (charros) dress in their finest and ride down the streets of Puerto Vallarta on this day, which is followed by a parade at night.

Mexican Independence Day

Mexican independence day is celebrated on the 15th of September all across the country, so you will see lots of fireworks and parades on this day as well.

View in Puerto Vallarta from one of the luxury hotels in the old town

Puerto Vallarta in October

The first half of October is pretty much similar to September when it comes to the weather. It’s hot and humid, and the temperatures are only slightly lower than in the previous months.

But the latter days of the month have fewer rainy days and clearer skies.

Puerto Vallarta Events in October

Halloween

Halloween is celebrated in Puerto Vallarta on October 27th a few days before the Day of the Dead which is the most important event in all of Mexico.

Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica Conference

The Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica Conference takes place earlier in the month and includes workshops, cooking demonstrations, special dinner events, and food and wine tastings.

Down Town Puerto vallarta
Down Town Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta in November

The best weather in Puerto Vallarta starts to show by November. The temperatures start lowering, and humidity is also noticeably lower by the end of the month. Most of the days are dry and clear, but you can still expect some rain.

Puerto Vallarta Events in November

Day of the dead

In Puerto Vallarta, the Day of the Dead is a week-long festival that includes Art exhibitions and displays of pretty colorful shrines in town squares and along the Malecon (boardwalk).

Read about the Day of the Dead in Oaxaca as well.

Festival Gourmet International

The Festival Gourmet International is a 10-day festival in which local chefs invite international chefs into their kitchens to create unique and delightful culinary experiences for the people of the town.

Fishing tournament

The other international event in November is a fishing tournament that lasts for three days.

Puerto Vallarta Overview
Photo from Canva

Puerto Vallarta in December

The best weather of the year starts in December. The town is breathtaking this time of the year, and the temperatures are a comfy warm.

The humidity is lower as well, and the chances of showers fall down to twice in the entire month.

Puerto Vallarta Events in November

December is when most of the days in the month are occupied with festivities and events.

Processions to Guadalupe

The first 12 days of the month see processions to Guadalupe. These processions are to celebrate Virgin Mary’s appearance to Juan Diago centuries ago. Dances, music, traditional cuisines, and fireworks are part of the festival.

Christmas Posadas

The Christmas Posadas is another significant event of the month. It starts 9 days before Christmas and goes on until Christmas Eve.

During it, the participants remember and reenact Mary and Joseph’s search for an inn. When they finally reach the designated spot, the party is officially started. On the last day, a mass with special fireworks is held at the church.

New Year’s Eve

New Year’s Eve is also celebrated very remarkably in Puerto Vallarta. There are fireworks, concerts, and parties throughout the town, and you can participate in most of them without any fees.

The fireworks show over the bay is breathtaking. You can best see it from the Los Muertos Pier or the Zona Romantica.

Daily Chance of Precipitation in Puerto Vallarta by month

Daily Chance of Precipitaiton in Puerto vallarta

Humidity levels in Puerto Vallarta by month

Humidity in Puerto vallarta

Average Ocean Water temperature in Puerto Vallarta by month

Water temperature in Puerto vallarta

Average wind speed in Puerto Vallarta by month

Average wind speed in Puerto vallarta

Hours of daylight and twilight in Puerto Vallarta by month

hours of daylight and twilight in Puerto vallarta

The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta: the best weather

As you could see there is no one best time to visit Puerto Vallarta. It all depends on what you are looking for.

However, I can tell you when is the best weather in Puerto Vallarta.

It comes during the high season—particularly between December and May. This is when the skies are the clearest, the average daily highs fall below 85°F (30°C) and the water temperatures are perfect for swimming and surfing.

The marine life of the region truly comes alive during these cooler months as well, which means you can see the humpback whale migration and lots of other undersea creatures.