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Bottom Line Up Front Summary: The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is from the middle of April through late June and then from September until late November.
Have you thought about a place to go ease off either privately or with your family? Or somewhere you could go spend the vacation together?
Puerto Vallarta is a location in Mexico where you can have such experience. The spot has a distinctive humid climate and experiences almost a persistent humidity and temperature all through the year. From the beginning of June, there is a continuous supply of rainfall which lasts until about the middle week of October.
After this period, you wouldn’t get any precipitation again till the year ends. At times at night, the rainfall in short torrents meanwhile, the weather is still dry and hot. This offers little or no hindrance to the normal fishing trips and tours which are often done in Puerto Vallarta.
When you consider coming to spend some time in Puerto Vallarta, you should consider the period between the middle week of April and June. October is another great time you could arrive at the spot for vacations too. In these months, you are sure of getting lower and cheap rates and having excellent weather.
It works in such a way that you will find the excellent weather when you arrive from April to June; the hotel rates are affordable and cheap in May and June while you are sure to explore some activities like diving and snorkeling in October. This is due to the perfect water nature October offers.
However, ensure you do not arrive in Holy Week, i.e. the week leading up to Easter, if you are trying to cut down the cost or prefer quiet holidays. This period is a very special one of Mexican families as they take vacations and fill up everywhere (e.g. might not be a good idea to travel from North America during this time).
Nevertheless, you can still decide to come to partake in their fun but you should endeavor to make your reservation in advance so that they do not book out everywhere.
Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta for Good Weather
December through May is your best time to visit if you are after Puerto Vallarta’s good weather. Average highs are less than 30 degrees Celsius during the day while the evenings are cool.
Sea temperatures at this time are cooler than the Summer month temps. However, the average is in the mid-20s degrees Celsius. The water is very good for surfing and swimming. February to May is especially dry with mainly clear skies.
In March, there is a gradual rise in temperature as daytime could rise up to 30°C while the nights feel colder. If you are going to take a walk in the night time, sailing on the sea or journeying to the mountains, you should endeavor to put on your sweater or a light jacket so that the cold does not hit you. At this month of the year, it is almost impossible to find rainfall.
Your sunscreen will also need to be right beside you because you will find some sun eventually. The temperature of the ocean drops to its coldest although it won’t hinder you from engaging yourself in some water activities. You would surely enjoy surfing in this month and the baby humpbacks would still be visible.
Nevertheless, the whales gradually leave the surroundings as the month comes to an end. The average high at this period of the year climbs to 29°C just as the average low also climbs upward to 17°C. The sea temperature stays at 24°C while the rainfall is at 5mm.
July to September is the wettest period. As a result of the shield offered to the city by the Banderas Bay, hurricanes rarely occur here.
Best Time to visit Puerto Vallarta for Families and Kids
The best times for family vacation are from April to June and from the middle of October to the middle of November.
April and May are especially great months for tourism. It comes immediately after tourist Spring Break when the crowd is disappearing and before the summer wet season and the high Mexican tourist season. Tourists who travel these months enjoy sunny, warm days, cheap accommodation and a quieter period.
May and June have the warmest water temperatures for late spring family vacation while June offers the best snorkeling visibility. There are many kids around for entertainment at kids’ clubs or poolside. October and November are equally good times for a family visit, although the days are normally hotter.
Best Time to visit Puerto for Avoiding Crowds
The low season in Puerto Vallarta or the best time to avoid large crowds is between July and September, immediately after the Mexican vacation season and prior to the beginning of the tourist’s high season. Because this period has fewer tourists, to cost airfares and accommodation is commonly cheaper.
The Busiest and Least Crowded Months
The busiest tourist month in Puerto Vallarta is January, then February, followed by March. Hotel rates and airfares a dearest at these times but you can save some funds when you book months in advance. Tourists are less likely to visit Puerto Vallarta in May but this least crowded month is very affordable.
Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta for Great Deals
The best bargain time to visit Puerto Vallarta travel is close to the low season. However, it is not in the middle of the low tourist season.
The airfares rate drop between July and September. However, a lot of hotels shut down or minimize their room numbers for yearly repairs in July and August. Therefore, there are fewer travelers. For the best time for travel deals chose any of these months- May, June, September, and October.
Best Time to Visit Puerto Vallarta for Surfing
Surfing can be done nearly throughout the year, particularly in Sayulita. However, the best time to ride the waves is between December and April, when the north swells occur.
Waves are big enough for newbies to maintain sufficient speed on their boards to avoid tipping and at the same time, it is not too overwhelming. Veteran surfers will delight in the faster and larger waves of the Sayulita Beach’s north end and at many other adjoining breaks.
Best Time to visit Puerto Vallarta for Whale Watching
Humpback whales start emerging in November and disappearing by early April. The best time to catch a glimpse of large numbers of whales if from the middle of December to the middle of March. December is the best time to view adult whales when males are competing for females to mate. The first baby whale is born in January. They get more active and stronger in February and March.
Best Time to visit Puerto Vallarta for Snorkeling and Diving
June to October is the best time for snorkeling and diving because of great water conditions, whereas December to February provides the best atmosphere for encountering with manta rays and whale sharks. The temperature of the water is warm and the waves are a little calm throughout the year.
August and September are especially warm with an average surface temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. November to May features cooler water but it is not very clear due to plankton blooms. Nevertheless, plankton attracts additional manta rays to the surface and this makes it a good time for snorkelers to see them very close. In the winter months, from December to February, divers and snorkelers may catch a glimpse of migrating whale sharks.
Best Time to visit Puerto Vallarta to Explore the Jungle
December to March is the best time to visit the Mismaloya jungle, either to hike the Botanical Gardens or ziplining via the canopy. These are the coolest months with average high roughly 27 degrees Celsius. The majority of the days are clear in February and March even in the rainforest. The worst time to visit the jungle is July to September when the summer rains result in the emergence of hordes of mosquitoes.
Best Time to visit Puerto Vallarta for Sportfishing
While you can do sport fishing in Puerto Vallarta any time of the year, the fishes you catch can differ by season. The largest type of fish is present between September and December, when blue, black, and striped marlin is nearly plentiful, together with mahi-mahi, sailfish, and wahoo. If you want tuna and grouper fish, the warmer months of June to September is the best time.
Best time to Visit Puerto Vallarta for Festivals and Events
- Vallarta Cup – A race competition organized by Vallarta Yacht Club every Saturday in January, the Vallarta Yacht Club hosts a race in Banderas Bay.
- Festival of Our Lady of Peace (La Virgen de la Paz)
- Sayulita Festival
- Day of the Mexican Flag (February 24)
- Charro National Championship
- Mardi Gras and Carnaval Parade – A March celebration that marks the last party day prior to the Lenten season.
- Vallarta Wine Fest
- Banderas Bay Regatta
- Dama Juana Raicilla Festival – Raicilla Event, equally known as Mexican moonshine.
- Benito Juarez Day (March)
- Puerto Vallarta Taco Festival .
- Bucerías Oyster Festival (Feria de Ostiones) – Yearly celebration of local oyster divers.
- Semana Santa (April)
- Children’s Day (El Día del Niño)
- Vallarta Azteca International Folklore Festival (late April through early May)
- Vallarta Pride
- Puerto Vallarta International Sports Classic (May)
- Historic Center Art Walk (October to May)
- MayoFest Puerto Vallarta – 5-day Puerto Vallarta’s anniversary celebration.
- Restaurant Week – A two-week late May gastronomy event in Mexico’s top foodie destination.
- Historic Center Art Walk (October to May)
- Navy Day (El Día de la Marina) – June 1st event of first all-Mexican crewed ship to honor past and present naval servicemen and women.
- RHA Festival – Two-day electronic music festival
- Banderas Bay Fishing Tournament – International marlin and tuna fishing tournament.
- NIIJIMA Mexican Surf Open – Surf competition at the main beach in San Pancho
- Cristo de Los Brazos Caidos (Christ of the Fallen Arms or Christ of the Cyclone)
- Punta Mita Beach Festival – Two-day event at Kupuri Beach Club
- National Charro Day – Charros, the Mexican cowboys’ event (September 14)
- Mexican Independence Day (September 16) – A two-day festival with music, fireworks, food, and parades.
- San Pancho Days – This is a 9-day celebration of the patron saint of San Francisco (also known as San Pancho).
- Día de Muertos (October to November)
- Vallarta Nayarit Gastronómica – This is a top-quality culinary seminar for top chefs and sommeliers.
- Puerto Vallarta Gourmet Festival (November to December)
- All Saints’ Day (Día de Todos Santos) The event merges with the celebration of the all souls day similar to the Halloween celebration.
- Día de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead, All Souls Day)
- Festival Gourmet International
- Festival Gourmet International (November to December)
- International Fishing Tournament
- The Feast of the Virgen de Guadalupe Processions (December)
- Christmas Posadas
- New Year’s Eve celebration
Best time to visit Puerto Vallarta by Season
Spring (March through May)
The humidity and temperatures of this season together make the weather warm. The average high ranges from 30.6°C to 26.4°C. There is no rain this time and this season is the second popular tourist season.
Summer (June through August)
The weather of middle-year months feels very comfortable and average highs are really warm. The greatest amount of rainfall is recorded at this time. June to August is the lowest tourist season in Puerto Vallarta. Therefore, room rates are rather cheap at this time.
Fall (September through November)
The daily highs in the Fall run from 32.4°C and 28.7°C. This feels very nice as a result of the humidity and wind. It only rains a little and roughly zero days a month. This period is characterized by fewer crowds and cheap room rates.
Winter (December through February)
The winter weather is a great time to visit Puerto Vallarta especially if you love warm weather as the average temperature high range from 28.2°C to 26.1°C. It rarely rains or snows and the period is high tourist season.
Puerto Vallarta Travel Seasons Explained
The high season in Puerto Vallarta falls between December and mid-April.
This is the busiest time to visit Puerto Vallarta mostly due to its good weather. The average daily high temperature of this time is normally less than 29 degrees Celsius. The Skies are very clear this time.
As the day gets cooler from December to February, humpback whales start to migrate. It is a great time for fishing, and surfing due to the north swells. Holy Week (Semana Santa), the week before Easter, is the peak travel time for natives. A visit to Puerto Vallarta in winter or early spring is costly due to the increased cost of airfares and hotel rates.
July to September marks the low season in Puerto Vallarta. The humidity is generally high during the day and temperature is hot and roughly 33 degrees centigrade. It equally rains more than 50 percent of the days. The skies are not clear and surfing at this time is not the ideal.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of great deals on flights and hotels in the summer months. The rainy season is the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta for the warmest ocean temperatures and the clearest view of the underwater. The low season is a great time for snorkeling, swimming, and scuba diving.
The Shoulder season in Vallarta falls in the late spring (May and June) and fall (October and November). These months feature good weather, with much less rain and fewer clouds than in the summer months.
However, these months are hotter and the humidity is higher than those of early spring and summer. The average high during this period is roughly 31 degrees Celsius.
Rooms and flights are affordable, especially in May and June when many hotels offer sales after the high season officially ends. Room rates are still fairly low in October through the middle of November, with prices beginning to creep up at the end of November in preparation for the holiday season.
Puerto Vallarta Weather Consideration
If you are planning your vacation according to the months when it will fall in, then you could pick a month when you feel the weather suits your desires and arrive at Puerto Vallarta.
Normally, the weather in Puerto Vallarta is not cold as it is a humid region. Even the coldest month is only mildly divergent from the mean.
However, there are some months when the weather normally experiences some modifications. Some of these weather changes might not be suitable for you or could affect your health. You wouldn’t want to arrive at such time.
There are little variations in the Puerto Vallarta’s average temperatures. Since the environment is humid, there will be some rise in temperatures for almost 6 months in the year. If not, then the atmosphere will be cool with only a little rainfall till the year’s end.
The region has slightly clement weather— in the 55th percentile for nice weather — when you compare it to other tourist sites all over the world. August, July, and June are the months when you will find the weather at its hottest at Puerto Vallarta.
Towards, the middle of August, the weather begins to get lighter and there is warmth everywhere. August isn’t as hot as June or July as it has an average temperature high at about 91.1°F (32.8°C) while at night, you rarely find the temperature going lower than 76.8°F (24.9°C).
Humidity and Wind
In Puerto Vallarta, you will find September to be the most humid month (75.7%) and May to be the least humid month at 66.9% relative humidity.
Usually, you will discover that the wind blows calmly at Puerto Vallarta even in May when the wind is at its worst, it blows at an average wind speed of about 5 knots (5.8 MPH or 9.3 KPH). Usually, people call this “a light breeze” in some areas. The wind continues at this speed till the first week of June when it climbs up to14.3 knots.
Precipitation (Rain or Snow)
At Puerto Vallarta, there is precipitation in the last week of June though it is not doesn’t stay very much. If you do not enjoy the snow periods, you could as well go for other months like January, February, and March when there is very little chance of having precipitation.
One of the periods, when you will find Puerto Vallarta at its coolest, is in January. At this time of the year, you will find the afternoon highs in the upper 20s°C, very little or no rain, and the clearness of the sky is very noticeable. It is this period the whales, sharks, humpbacks and their newborns begin getting attractions to the oceans due to their low-temperature sides.
However, it is still a great time to swim or surf the sea though you shouldn’t forget to carry along your jacket. It is necessary at nights when the temperature experiences a drop to an average high of 28°C and an average low of about 16°C. The temperature of the sea is at 25°C and rainfall comes at 23mm.
In February, there is a steady average temperature range as the daytimes are normally warm while there is a considerable amount of cold at night. The average high and low temperatures remain steady at 28°C and 16°C respectively. The sky gets clearer and you will find some days sunny while others are partly cloudy. The rainfall comes only once in February as the year approaches dry season. There is also a -1 drop in sea temperature and is a perfect time for surfing too.
If you are at sea at this moment, you could catch a glimpse of the baby humpbacks which are now most active as they come out frequently in the open. The average high and low remains steady once more at 28°C and 16°C respectively. The rainfall arrives at 12mm while the temperature of the sea remains like in February.
FAQ’s About Puerto Vallarta
The rainy season in Puerto Vallarta runs from June through Mid-October, with almost no precipitation the rest of the year. And when it does rain in the rainy season, the rain lasts a little while and frequently at night leaving most days warm and dry.
The High Season in Puerto Vallarta runs from December through mid-April. It is a very busy period filled with crowds who gather around for the good weather. The mean daily highs are normally less than 29°C during this time and the skies are very clear.
It is safe to travel to Puerto Vallarta so long as you would stay close to the beach area. The best travel safety tip for you as a tourist is to stay in well-traveled tourist areas.
Puerto Vallarta actually does not suffer from hurricane season as such, thanks to its location at the center of the Banderas Bay wrapped around by mountains. When hurricanes do pass occasionally, it affects only the sidelines.
The most affordable time to visit Puerto Vallarta is around April and June when you will equally enjoy lovely weather besides the affordable accommodation. It equally rains a little within these periods.
Conclusion: Timing Your Visit to Puerto Vallarta Mexico
The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta depends on your individual preference. If you are after good weather and affordable rates, visit between April and June.
It also rains a little lesser these months and the crowds are fewer than when you visit in the high season of winter.
Nonetheless, if you’re after whale watching, the best time is from December to March but you must be prepared to pay exorbitant rates.
Bottom Line Summary: The best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is from the middle of April through late June and then from September until late November.
Further Reading on Similar Vacation Destinations:
- Cancun vs Cabo San Lucas: Which is Better for Vacation?
- Cancun vs Tulum: Which is Better for Vacation?
- Best Times to Visit Puerto Rico [Travel Guide]
- Best Times to Visit Jamaica [Travel Guide]
- Best Times to Visit Aruba [Travel Guide]