Local Customs and Resources

Tourist Card

When you arrive in Mexico you will require an Immigration document called a “Tourist card”. You don’t need to carry this document with you, but you will need to present when departing the country. ($75 fee if lost)

PuertoVallartaairportArrival/Departure

The Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (code PVR) is located four miles north of downtown (centro). There are frequent taxi or van transfers from the airport at reasonable rates, or, Casa Corona can arrange personalized services for you. Proof of citizenship is necessary to cross the border into Mexico. A current passport is necessary.

Electricity

Mexico operates on the same 110/120 volt current as the United States so no electrical adapters are needed.

Legal Drinking Age
18 years is the legal drinking age. It is illegal to drink in public. Drug laws are harsh.

Siesta time
2-4pm, many businesses close during this time.

kaiser-maximilian-restaurant-cafe8Restaurants
You may wonder why it takes so long for someone to bring you the bill. In Mexico it is considered rude to bring the bill until you request it. To local culture it infers that the client is being asked to leave. So when you are ready to leave, you should ask for the bill. “La quinta por favor.”

Tipping
Similar to Canada & the U.S. 15% – 20% in restaurants & bars.

Money

Exchange rates
Exchange rates are usually best in the banks, slightly less in the Money Exchanges (Casas de Cambio) & businesses. Passports are required to exchange money in banks.

Currency is in Pesos, although U.S. dollars are widely accepted in businesses throughout town. Major credit cards are also accepted in most establishments.

*Travelers Checks are no longer used in Mexico*

Bank Machines / Automatic Teller Machines – See Map
ATM’s are bilingual & easy to use, you can access money directly from your account or specified credit card. They usually give an exchange rate as good or better then the banks. Normal service charge is $1 – $2 depending on your bank and accessible 24 hrs/day. For the best rate, we have found you can order pesos through your bank, give your bank 2 weeks notice prior to your trip.

Coins
There are 100c (centavos) in one ($1) peso. Since some coins have such a low value you may not get exact change in some stores. They do not accept foreign coins.

Water

Puerto Vallarta ‘s water purification system has been certified safe by International standards since 1992. However we still recommend you use only purified bottled water (Agua Purificada) for drinking and making ice. Casa Corona has a purification system for water and ice through the refrigerator and kitchen sink.

Ice Cubes – in restaurants & bars are made from purified water.

IMG 3599 AR02tFruits & Vegetables – any fruits or vegetables not being cooked or peeled should be treated with MICRODYN (a bacteria killing treatment). All staff in restaurants and villas will follow this procedure.

  • Wash the fruit or vegetables
  • Soak for 20 minutes in a non-metal container in tap water with 1-4 drops of Microdyn for every litre of water
  • Rinse with purified water

Long Distance Calling

Casa Corona provides free international calling to our guests, within Mexico, the United States and Canada.

For calls outside Mexico, the USA and Canada you can purchase international long distance calling cards in most convenience stores (OXXO) and pharmacies.

Mail

The mail service in Mexico tends to be rather slow. It will take aprox 2 weeks for mail to reach the U.S. or Canada . The post office is located downtown on Mina Street just off the Malecon. Hours are 9am – 7 pm Monday – Friday & 9am – 12 noon on Saturdays. Mexico post offices do not look like U.S. post offices and can be difficult to find.

Stamps to the U.S. & Canada are about 55c USD. You can also buy stamps in many of the shops & there are mail boxes conveniently located around town.

Grocery Stores and Shopping – See Map

The fine art of Bargaining is only for beach & street vendors or in the flea Markets. The recommended system is to start at about 60% of the asking price and go from there. Boutiques & stores frown on bargaining, but will often accept diplomatic requests for discounts (especially for cash purchases). 

IMG 3602 AR02tLey Supermarket is the closest large supermarket to Casa Corona, located on Avenida Mexico.

Municipal Markets in Colonia Emiliano Zapata (Old Town) and Colonia 5 de Deciembre have great fresh produce, butchers and fish markets and are a great cultural experience.

Los Mercados (Calle Aquiles Serdan in Old Town) has a great deli.

Farmers Market every Saturday 10am-2pm during high season. Located in Parque Lazaro Cardenas in Old Town

Other large Grocery and Box stores can be reached by bus/taxi:

Costco

Walmart

Sam’s Club
You can get a free day pass to shop if you are from out of town, known for their selection of USDA beef. You will need to show ID to prove your out of town address.

Church

M&D-ULG-177The Cathedral in the center of town is a Catholic Church “Our Lady of Guadalupe”. Located just a few blocks from Casa Corona. Services are:

Monday – Friday: 7:30 am , 12 noon , 7pm & 8pm

Saturday: 7:30 am , 12 noon , 7:30pm & 8:30pm

Sunday: 6:30am, 8am , 10am , 12 noon , 6:30pm , 7:30pm & 8:30pm

Dress appropriately. There is also a Baptist Church, Kingdom Hall & other denominations.