How to Be More Like a Local When Visiting the Puerto Vallarta Area of Mexico

By: Team Fuber

How To Be More Like A Local When Visiting the Puerto Vallarta Area of Mexico

10. Take off your closed toed shoes; let your toes breathe and feel the fresh air (and get rid of that winter sock tan)! Seeing somebody walk down the beach in shoes is a dead giveaway that you are visiting.  I was shocked to discover recently, I no longer own any socks!

9. Learn to love the term ‘ahorita’.  Literally, the term translates to ‘right now’; however, it is actually used to mean ‘not right now’.  When locals use the term ahorita, it could signify right now, two minutes from now, or tomorrow.  Learn to love this phrase! And, I recommend even trying it out in your own conversations; it is very liberating for me as a recovering time-worried North American.

8. Greet others with a simple Buenos Días/Buenas Tardes/Buenas Noches or better yet, say Buen Provecho (enjoy your meal) as you walk past another person who is eating.  People may look up at you a bit puzzled, but will deeply respect this endearing acknowledgement.  Use these greetings when you walk into a small ‘tienda’ (store) or whenever you approach somebody with a question or comment.

7. Enjoy a splash in the ocean followed by a beer on the beach during sunset.  Get a cold beverage at a nearby 'tienda' (store) and sit in the sand rather than under an umbrella at a restaurant.  Sundays are popular days for local families to hang out together at the beach; picnic style.

6. Bypass the beach braids; unless you would rock this style at home.  In my opinion, this is the worst faux pas committed when traveling to a tropical destination; yes, even for a sweet, adorable seven year old child.  See multiple reasons why, here.  Locals don’t wear braids.

5. Only pay a bribe if you are in serious trouble and it is a last ditch solution to going to jail.  Otherwise, offer to go pay the fine at the office (traffic police will want your driver’s license; give it to them and it is most likely they will give it back, once they see there is no bribe coming).  Trust me.

4. Research the Mexican holidays before you arrive.  Talk to locals about events which are happening in the area.  The Mexican culture is deep in traditions and they really know how to celebrate! The majority of locals are happy you are interested in their culture and more than willing to share their knowledge with you.

3. Ditch the taxis and group tours; take local transportation.  The buses are easy and cheap; traveling along the coast of the Bay of Banderas (both big public buses and small white shuttle vans cost only several pesos, are fast, and stop frequently).

2. Eat at taco stands, as often as possible; and eat at the tables along the cobblestone streets while people watching (La Tia's Mariscos in El Centro in Puerto Vallarta, Fish Tacos at the main plaza in Bucerias, and Las Sillas Rojas in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle are my favorite).

1. Slow down, smile, and be happy! The locals move slower, enjoy life for what it is, value personal relationships and know how to celebrate!

¡Viva Mexico!

About the author

Expat Blog ListingTeam Fuber is an American expat living in Mexico. Blog description: Adventures Living & Teaching Abroad; along the Pacific Coast of Mexico
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Contest Comments » There are 46 comments

Kathy Selitzer wrote 5 years ago:

Those are rules to live by, you gotta go local to enjoy the whole experience. Ditto on the braids.

Joshua Ronding wrote 5 years ago:

To the Fuber team,friends, family. I truly love that you take time to write and give us a real live ongoing book to read. You too are a true example of One Love, One People. Thanks for sharing. It gives me a escape from my daily grind. Forever a friend, fan, and most importantlylike FAMILY! Again thank you for your words!

Judy Farrell wrote 5 years ago:

Enjoy the "deadpan" humor (that's a good thing); plus, the writer's ability to write in a clear, concise, and insightful manner adds immensely to the impact the words have. Well done!

Kathy wrote 5 years ago:

What a fun blog! Gives you great information on what to do, where to go and what it feels like to be enjoying life in the Vallarta area. I think I'll take a vacation!

Sammy wrote 5 years ago:

Interesting and humorous perspective of how to get off the beaten path while visiting Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding area.

Hanna wrote 5 years ago:

Team Fuber is worth following- the adventure and advice they offer is funny and useful!

Jill Brinkman wrote 5 years ago:

What a great blog, Team Fuber! I loved your description of the different sense of time and the use of the term "ahorita." It reminds me of the changed sense of "African Time" I experienced, and the Namibians' use of the terms "now," "now now," and "just now." Patience building at its best! This all makes me really want to come and visit Puerto Vallarta! I don't think I'm alone in really wanting to come experience this for myself after reading your lovely blog! :)

Jackie wrote 5 years ago:

What a great blog!! Reading this blog provides a nice and vivid mental vacation while I'm working away in my boring, non-tropical office. So inspiring and entertaining!

Pat Winegar wrote 5 years ago:

I've never been to Puerto Vallarta in real time but truly love the Team Fuber blog visits. I can feel, taste and appreciate the beauty of it through the honest expressions of Team Fuber!

Drew wrote 5 years ago:

Team Fuber makes it seem so simple…yet they also show just how important it is to take time and get to know the culture (why else would someone travel there?). Sock tans are a definite giveaway - let the piggies enjoy the sights as well.

Linda Downing wrote 5 years ago:

Love this blog. Each one I read makes me remember why I'm here & gets me moving out my puerta to another great day in Bahia de Banderas! Mil gracias.

Rebecca Anderson wrote 5 years ago:

Team Fuber! Love your blog, makes me want to leave my own beach paradise and head to yours! Someday I will head North and check out all your advice on best surf spots, things to do and places to see but most importantly best local taco shops!

Robyn wrote 5 years ago:

Buenos Dias y buenos noches! I'm inspired to live a little slower today and visit Mexico soon. These guys are great writers. All of their posts are witty and a pleasure to read.

Jill SLC wrote 5 years ago:

Can't wait to come for a visit and test some of these out! Especially 10, 7 and 2!

Ryan Kociszewski wrote 5 years ago:

Love these two so much. They are definitely some of the best around and they know what's up. Vote Team Fuber!

Mira wrote 5 years ago:

You really don't own any socks? I'm ready to ditch the down coats and come visit. Great reading about your adventures.

Marimarz wrote 5 years ago:

I wonder how much Team Fuber deals with "ahorita" in the classroom setting. It's definitely part of a youngsters arsenal when dealing with parents and teachers.

Jerry wrote 5 years ago:

I've lived in Mexico as an expat for 40 years. Ahorita is something most Americans just don't ever get. Good job.

Robert wrote 5 years ago:

I've actually been to La Tia's taco stand. She is right, it is one of the best. Check it out.

Patrick G. wrote 5 years ago:

Reading the Team Fuber blog on a regular basis has me yearning for yet another trip to Puerto Vallarta and the surrounding areas. Their blog features captivating pictures and entertaining anecdotes highlighting the beautiful landscape and local community. Furthermore, Team Fuber's life experiences teaching abroad and their keen ability to connect with others, allows them to provide valuable insight into the Mexican culture. Their skills and knowledge are on full display here in the Top 10 list of "How to Be More Like a Local When Visiting the Puerto Vallarta Area of Mexico." In closing, I fully endorse Team Fuber and look forward to continue to follow their journey on a variety of platforms. Peace

Sally wrote 5 years ago:

Best blog, EVER! I came to visit and loved the suggestions!!! They made my trip!!!

Nicole wrote 5 years ago:

After visiting Mexico, I agree 99%! The remaining 1% is saved for the 2 gray-haired old ladies I saw in braids at the airport. They obviously had a great time partying it up, and I say, more power to them! Though they are the only exception to your braids rule.

Kevin McClure wrote 5 years ago:

Great write up team fiber. I guess I have to cut my braids :-).

Jordan wrote 5 years ago:

This blog is great. Pragmatic, useful tips on how to get the most out of your expat experience, all wrapped up in a entertaining and very humorous package. If you want to laugh while learning about life abroad read Team Fuber.

Carol wrote 5 years ago:

Fun to track sunny Vallarta from snowy Colorado. Makes me want to plan a mid-winter get away and try out those surf boards!

Bill wrote 5 years ago:

Very special to follow the Ubers adventures with such great teaching opportunities. Thanks for keeping us posted!

Aldo wrote 5 years ago:

Always fun to read of the adventures of the Fuber's!

Becky Kirkby wrote 5 years ago:

I absolutely love readin Jen & Sam's blog... some of their experiences in Mexico have been true to my own.. so it is always an enjoyable read. Keep on bloggin' friends! :)

Nicole Sanchez wrote 5 years ago:

I always look forward to the next post from TeamFuber! I love Jen's sense of humor and her fresh, honest outlook on life in another country. And also, the recipes.

Jen wrote 5 years ago:

I love reading Team Fubers blog! And I just visited them, and did ALL of the above (except have to bribe any officials, thankfully)!

Marge Ellis wrote 5 years ago:

I've been to this area of Mexico many times but I'd never thought about the braids at all. These two have really captured the soul of the locals.

Felicia Lacapa wrote 5 years ago:

Goo team Fuber! Love ur posts on the blog. Hope to visit soon.

Bob wrote 5 years ago:

This blog is great! Have followed this couple for a few years now - they've had some awesome adventures. Wish I could tag along!

Adam Crain wrote 5 years ago:

Awesome blog written by amazing people. I find myself checking in daily. Keep up the great work!

Kate Ketcham wrote 5 years ago:

Love the Blog, love La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Go Team Fuber-Uber.

James Lanz wrote 5 years ago:

Great blog. Funny and interesting, culturally aware and sensitive. Worth multiple visits.

Ryan A. wrote 5 years ago:

Awesome blog guys! Funny, interesting, and informative. Keep up the great work!

Kelly wrote 5 years ago:

Jax is even more good looking in Mexico. Buen provecho amiga.

Ellie wrote 5 years ago:

So inspiring to see a couple making their living abroad. I mean, who wouldn't want sun and surfing every day? The tips on how to be more like a local are hilarious...and much needed. Buena suerte!

Carolyn Nukaya wrote 5 years ago:

Enjoyed the read, Jen. I can picture you (sans braids) with your beer, sitting in the sand, and would love to be sitting there with you! Hugs!

Nancy Coates wrote 5 years ago:

So true about the braids...just not really a look that anyone pulls off well (well...maybe Bo Derek in 10. Great blog!

Churpa wrote 5 years ago:

Agreed on all counts, but especially regarding the tacos and the braids.

Julie Jorling wrote 5 years ago:

Great advice and I do love tacos!! Hmmm... think I'll take this advice this week while we are in Baja!! I'll loan you some socks when you visit SLC this spring! xoxo

Bob wrote 5 years ago:

Have followed this blog for awhile. Really get some good ideas on what to do when in their area.

Danielle T wrote 5 years ago:

This is fantastic! I wish more tourists would read blogs like yours! I know one thing for sure, I will be booking a trip soon! Go Team Fuber!

CB Puerto Vallarta Bucerias wrote 5 years ago:

Agree 100% great ideas and an even better read! Eat local, live local.

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