First off let me say this, I absolutely love Puerto Vallarta and used to spend time living there as a snowbird during the winter. In the last three years though, things have changed and it hasn't been for the better. With a sad heart we decided to move on from Puerto Vallarta and traded it in for Mazatlán. Here are the top 5 reasons why we made the change.
1. Cost of Living
‘Gringoed' – A foreigner (usually from Canada or the USA) who has grossly overpaid for an item or service in Mexico.
The word “gringoed” must have been invented in Puerto Vallarta. It happens so often that high season rental prices are beyond ludacris and continue to skyrocket.
Everyone knows that Airbnb is the highest cost rental platform but for comparison, let's break down the numbers.
The below figures are in USD.
On Airbnb, the average price of a vacation rental in Puerto Vallarta for the month of February is a jaw-dropping $7419.
On Airbnb, the average price of a vacation rental in Mazatlan for the month of February is $2241.
That is a 331% higher cost of vacation rentals in Puerto Vallarta.
We found a new and modern, 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom oceanview condo with pool and gym in the Golden Zone of Mazatlan, one block from the beach for $1200 a month.
In the Mazatlan Expats Facebook group, their are dozens of posts from snowbirds looking to make the switch to Mazatlan over cost alone.
2. It's Still Mexico
We like to go right when everyone else goes left. In Puerto Vallarta during the high season, it's so full of Gringo's (Canadian and American tourists) it's hard to tell you're even in Mexico at times. With the exception of old town Puerto Vallarta, most of the city has been converted to luxury condo towers and each year it's losing more of its charm. Mazatlán mixes domestic and international tourism with an actual working city to combine for a more authentic Mexican experience.
3. The Mazatlán Malecon
Mazatlán's seaside boardwalk, or malecón, is the longest in Mexico and the second longest in the world. Gorgeous views of the beach, ocean, and nearby islands greet you on one side, while a stream restaurants, bars, and boutiques offer endless distractions on the other. The seafront walkway is 13 miles (21 km) long and safe to walk during the day or night.
Mazatlan has gone through a huge overhaul funded by the state of Sinaloa. A newly built 12 mile malecon, the newly paved old town cobblestone streets and a new modern state of the art mall have been added to the city in recent years. The city has great infrastructure and even blazing fast internet to attract more business travelers and digital nomads
The new hospital has been completed and getting around the city on the smooth roads is easier than ever. It appears Mazatlan knows it's on the radar for a huge increase in tourism and it's definitely prepared for the challenge. A mix of old, new and modern luxury give the city charm.
5. Not being just another number
The people of Puerto Vallarta have been swamped with gringos for years. They have gotten used to foreigners always being in the community and know they bring a lot of money. We started to get the feeling in Puerto Vallarta that we were just another tourist. When mass tourism reaches that point where the locals become complacent and start to treat tourists like dollars, is when it's time to move on.
When we arrived in Mazatlan it was refreshing to not be instantly ripped off at the aiport by a taxi mafia. If you have arrived at the Puerto Vallarta airport, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. A taxi is five times the price just to leave the PV airport. Once you arrive it's non stop hustling, timeshare sellers and street vendors hawking their goods. It gets old fast and the genuine happy folks that use to love seeing tourists arrive now take it for granted.
Mazatlan is working hard to let everyone know that it's now safer and they are willing to do what it takes to win the hearts of snowbirds back.
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