Skip to Content

Top 5 Reasons Snowbirds Should Trade in Puerto Vallarta For Mazatlán

Share The Article

Last Updated

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

Mazatlan Sinaloa VS Puerto Vallarta
Mazatlán, Sinaloa

‘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. 


Puerto Vallarta aerial view
Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco

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. 


4. Infrastructure

Mall Mazatlan
The new mall in Mazatlan

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

Mazatlan Beach

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. P.S If you are looking for a private Mazatlan airport transfer or day trip contact our private driver Alex as she is awesome! 

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. 

Have a travel related news story you want us to cover? Contact us

Follow us on Facebook below for all the latest travel tips and news! 


Friday 24th of July 2020

Overall the reasons are weak in this article. The cost of living is comparable but OV is a little more. The Malecon in PV which they don’t even mention, is twice the size. There are certainly areas in PV that let you know where you are and untouched by tourism. The biggest thing is tropical beauty. PV is to Mazatlan as Hawaii is to Myrtle Beach. It’s scenic but one is much more beautiful.


Sunday 10th of October 2021

@Jay, I too find Pv’s tropical beauty breathtaking. I find your response helpful and am curious to hear more as I’ve never been to Mazatlan but have family insisting on going there this holiday season. Could you elaborate on why one should choose one over the other for long term or short term visits? Thanks in advance.


Friday 15th of November 2019

Your right I said that on our last trip and the wife told me to mind my business but really everything in this article is on point