One of the most fun and adventurous way to reach Puerto Vallarta is by road.
Puerto Vallarta is an ideal road trip destination for those traveling from the United States or Canada. All that is necessary is a sense of adventure, sufficient time and a dependable vehicle.
With a little bit of pre-planning, by talking to those who have made the trip and surfing the internet, can answer many questions about such things as border crossing requirements, hotel accommodations and points of interest along the way. The trek can be tailored however one wishes, from leisurely day drives, stopping frequently for sightseeing to a hard-core truck diver’s schedule.
A safe place to cross the USA/Mexican border is Nogales, Arizona an hour south of Tucson on USA Highway 19. Other safe crossings can be Googled. From there Vallarta is 1,000 miles due south, which can be driven in approximately 24 hours.
Follow Mex Hwy 15 to Tepic then continue on Mex Hwy 200 to Puerto Vallarta. A good road map is indispensable and can be purchased at most OXXO stores or Pemex gas stations along the way. The toll roads (or cuotas), are well worth the approximate $100 USD cost. They are safe, well maintained, avoid many of the small towns and offer plenty of rest stops and gas stations.
However, if one is really adventurous and wishes to enjoy the more rural route and smaller communities, the free roads (or libres) are quite interesting.
Another handy word to know is “Periferico”, which is the peripheral, or bypass road, circling around the center of large cities.
It is widely advised not to drive at night in Mexico, mainly due to livestock that wander freely and potential pot holes and road construction.
To know how to get to Puerto Vallarta.