Puerto Vallarta is our home away from home and we’ve been there more times than any other destination on the planet. The culture of the romantic zone, the perfect beaches that wrap around the bay and the great infrastructure keep drawing us back time and time again. The one problem though is the ability to find cheap Puerto Vallarta condo rentals. The city is popular with retirees, snowbirds, expats and vacationers creating that perfect storm for high prices. We have created this guide to help you find the best prices and avoid being “Gringoed“.
How To Find Cheap Puerto Vallarta Condo Rentals
In order to get the most affordable price on rental housing in Puerto Vallarta, it’s going to take more than just pulling up a few booking comparison websites. We’re going to cover all the different ways to find houses and condos for rent in Puerto Vallarta. Booking using cheaper methods can also have risks associated with them so we’ll go over the pros and cons of each method. After spending hundreds of hours searching for that perfect Puerto Vallarta rental, we’ve created this guide to arm you with all the tools to get a great deal.
Understanding High Season in Puerto Vallarta
High Season starts in November and runs through until the end of March.
Peak season prices even jump higher through January and February.
ULTRA Peak season is Christmas and New Years. The price of a 4 or 5 star hotel room will cost around $500 a night. All inclusive resorts average $800 a night and vacation rentals start at $300 per night.
Semana Santa which means Holy Week. It falls in April and is an extremely busy time for Puerto Vallarta. Prices will be higher during this time as well.
Long Term Rentals In Puerto Vallarta
Scoring a deal on a 6 month rental lease in the high season is harder than you think. There are thousands of snowbirds and digital nomads planning to escape a cold winter and have that exact same thought. They are all scouring the English websites looking for a great deals on long term Puerto Vallarta rentals.
There are still deals out there but it’s going to take more than 5 minutes in front of your computer! That is why we put together this guide to help you get the cheapest Puerta Vallarta condos and vacation rentals. We’re giving away our own secrets! (I bet rental owners aren’t going to like this blog!)
During our searches we found that North Americans who have purchased properties in Puerto Vallarta often charge the highest prices for their rentals. They use rental management companies to manage their listings which drives up the prices even more. There is even a dedicated Facebook group for property owners to maximize rental prices in Puerto Vallarta.
We created this blog to help even the playing field! It was created to help vacationers, snowbirds and digital nomads find rental owners who aren’t greedy and are willing to provide fair rental prices.
Basic Tips To Help Get Your Affordable Puerto Vallarta Condo Search Started
- Search for prices in Mexican pesos. Condos listed in U.S. dollars are directly targeted at tourists that overpay. Convert pesos to U.S. or CDN.
- The longer you book a vacation rental, the lower the price
- Full year leases will not be affected by “high season” and are the cheapest
- Monthly Puerto Vallarta rentals usually offer discounts
- Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate
- Your bargaining power will be higher in the low season
- Rentals in high demand areas like the Romantic Zone can be more expensive
- Decide if you can go without being oceanfront
- Decide if you can go without an ocean view
- Make a list of your minimum requirements and amenities
- Compare multiple websites
- Create a list to compare possible rentals
- Research multiple rentals using different methods to find average market rental prices
How to Find Cheap Puerto Vallarta Condos and Vacation Rentals
Below are the different methods we’ve used to find Cheap Puerto Vallarta condo rentals. We rated each method based on ability to find great deals.
$ Best bang for your buck! Almost “local” prices
$$ Great deals with low prices
$$$ Some deals with fair prices
$$$$ Very few deals with high prices
$$$$$ “Gringoed” Frequently overpriced with almost no deals
1. Facebook Group - Puerto Vallarta & Beyond Expat Rentals & Sales
We found this smaller Facebook group for expats to have some reasonable deals. Watch the fine print as many of the listings are minimum 6 months or even a year. We found some great deals for as low as $700/month for a modern standard apartment with a pool. Contacting people on Facebook groups comes with risks. Do not send money to people you don’t know and trust.
2. Facebook Group - Renta De Casas Departamentos Y Locales en Puerto Vallarta
This is a locals Facebook Group that is almost entirely in Spanish. The group definitely had the best deals for cheap housing rentals in Puerto Vallarta. Many of the rentals are more traditional Mexican homes and may not have some of the modern standards you’re used to. This group would be great if you were already in Puerto Vallarta with a chance to tour the rental first. You either need to speak Spanish, have a translator or use Google translate. We found 1 bedroom basic apartments starting at around $250 a month.
Warning: Do not send money online to people you don’t trust!
3. Airbnb - Online peer to peer Vacation home rentals
The largest online market place in the world for vacation rentals is Airbnb. You’ll find a huge selection of modern housing to suit your needs but usually at higher prices. The perks of booking through Airbnb are a secured online payment system and ability to read guest reviews on the properties. The problem with Airbnb is it’s one of the most expensive way to rent vacation homes in Puerto Vallarta. There are a few ways to combat the higher prices. The first one is to always negotiate. Send a message directly to the owner to see if they will offer a deal. Be sure to start looking early as many snowbirds will book up to a year in advance. You can also save $25 off your first booking by signing up to Airbnb here.
4. Boots On the Ground - Watch for "Se Renta" (For Rent) Signs
This will be by far the most effective method to find a cheap Peurto Vallarta condo rental. This is the old fashioned method of determining your favorite location and then walking around looking for signs that say “Se Renta” or “For Rent”. Take a photo of the property and record the phone number. There is a good chance the owner may only speak Spanish so be sure to have someone who can translate on the phone for you. Many of these rentals will not be listed online and will be priced at a fraction of the cost. Of course you will already have to be in Puerto Vallarta to score a deal.
5. Hotels Combined & Booking.com
Hotel Booking platforms also have serviced apartments for rent. We also found hotel rooms for less than the cost of a condo rental. On Booking.com we found 2 and 3 star hotels with a pool starting at around $700 a month. Hotels Combined is a great website we use to compare all the hotel booking engines at once to get the best deal.
Bonus! Find out which two Puerto Vallarta hotels made our Affordable 5 Star Hotels in Mexico List!
We decided to add HomeAway to the list as a “just in case”. It’s always good to have a quick glance to to check for deals but I wouldn’t waste too much time on this booking platform. It received our “Gringoed” rating so there is a very high chance you will over pay for your property using this website. The cheapest monthly deals we could find started at $2000 a month for the most basic accommodations.
Mexican websites that are completely in Spanish usually offer much better deals. It’s easy enough to right click your mouse and “translate to English” We found some amazing deals on Vivanuncios. Prices will either be in Pesos or USD. We were able to find modern furnished apartments in decent locations starting at $750
Another website we’ve had some luck with is Trovit. They are a rental comparison platform and that pull rentals from multiple websites. The Mexican version of the website is in Spanish so you’ll have to translate the pages. (Remember right click your mouse). Since they are pulling from multiple websites there are a lot of results offering both great deals and not so great deals. It’s the fun of the hunt!
9. Inmuebles en Mexico
Many of the properties listed on Trovit will have been listed on Inmuebles24 FIRST. Since great deals are taken quickly, it’s a good idea to check out this website as well during your search. I really like how easy it is to use and the way it sorts and displays properties.
10. Vistalegre Puerto Vallarta Vacation Rentals
Usually these types of “English” websites targeted at foreigners make my skin crawl with the high prices. In the case of Vistalegra I did find some good deals such as a studio with an ocean view, roof top pool and was in old town, one block from the beach! The cost was only $21 a night or $650 a month. Yes there are many overpriced rentals listed but you might just find the odd gem that suits you!
Your cheap Puerto Vallarta condo rental is out there!
Be patient, keep negotiating and you’ll find your perfect Puerto Vallarta condo. With demand continuing to increase every year, the earlier you start your hunt, the better. Know what you want, stick to your budget and research what comparable condos are renting for.
This blog is based on our personal experience searching for Puerto Vallarta Condo rentals. It is not intended to serve as legal or real estate advice. There is a level of risk with any foreign rental. Use common sense and have fun in Puerto Vallarta!