Puerto Vallarta finally has made an attempt at a unified bus system. They still do not provide a printed "tourist friendly" version, so here is a summary with the new route map. Please note, this map is only for "in town" buses. Buses going to or coming from outlining areas like Nuevo Vallarta or Boca de Tomatlan remain unchanged. Scroll down for info on those routes.
Vallarta Tribune reports the following on the new bus routes:
In order to alleviate increasing traffic problems in Puerto Vallarta’s downtown area, the city implemented a pilot program last weekend to decrease bus numbers in town by up to 50 percent. Puerto Vallarta is served by almost 30 different bus routes.
Given Puerto Vallarta’s layout, most if not all routes converge in the city’s downtown area. However, whereas buses usually begin their routes full of passengers, by the time they reach downtown, many are traveling back to back, with only a handful of passengers each, even when up to 9,000 people take the public bus downtown on a daily basis.
In the past, locals have been reluctant to consider downtown as a pedestrian-only area, and they have been equally disinclined to consider having to take more than one bus to reach their destination. As part of the new pilot route program, some of the routes covering the northern outskirts of the city would only travel as far as the stadium (across from the Sheraton hotel) at which point, passengers would have to take a free transfer to another bus that would only circulate through the downtown area. In doing so, the number of buses going through downtown Puerto Vallarta would decrease.
The pilot program will continue, moving forward with additional transfer spots considered at Parque Hidalgo and Parque Lazaro Cardenas, until the new transfers are fine-tuned and made official.
A FEW TIPS TO REMEMBER:
Each bus fare is one-time use only.
There are no round-trips available.
Before the bus arrives have the correct change ready for the driver.
The two seats directly behind the driver (sometimes marked in yellow) are reserved for pregnant women, the elderly, and the physically challenged.
ROUTE: FROM NUEVO VALLARTA TO DOWNTOWN PUERTO VALLARTA (CENTRO/MALECON) Take an ATM bus to Puerto Vallarta. Bus fare is $15 pesos. ATM buses arrive at bus stops in Nuevo Vallarta every 20-30 minutes.
Get off the ATM bus in Las Juntas (just north of the airport) from there you will have to transfer to a Vallarta bus.
ROUTE: FROM DOWNTOWN PUERTO VALLARTA (ROMANTIC ZONE) TO MISMALOYA, VALLARTA ZOO & BOCA DE TOMATLAN Take an ORANGE & WHITE bus at the corner of Basilio Badillo & Constitution (by the OXXO convenience store). These orange & white buses only go as far as Boca de Tomatlan, do not get on the Orange bus if you are going to the Botanical Garden. These buses stop at Conchas Chinas, Dreams Resort, Presidente Intercontinental, Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlan (Photo) Orange and white bus from downtown PV (Romantic Zone) to Mismaloya, Vallarta Zoo, and Boca de Tomatlan.
ROUTE: FROM DOWNTOWN PUERTO VALLARTA (ROMANTIC ZONE) TO THE BOTANICAL GARDENS AND EL TUITO Bus fare is $20 pesos. Take a BLUE bus at the corner of V. Carranza & Aguacate. The windshield of the bus should state: El Tuito / Botanical Gardens Buses come by every 20-30 minutes It will take approximately 50 minutes to get to El Tuito.
(Photo)Blue bus from downtown Puerto Vallarta (Romantic Zone) to the Botanical Gardens and El Tuito.
ROUTE: FROM PUERTO VALLARTA TO NUEVO VALLARTA This route used to originates at the Walmart. The ATM buses are no longer allowed into Vallarta. You will have to take a bus to Las Juntas (north of the airport) and transfer to ATM buses that say Nuevo Vallarta (for southern NV) OR Riu for locations in Flamingos (northern NV). The Flamingos section of NV includes Villa Estancia on the northern end down to the Peninsula condo complex at the southern end of the neighbourhood.
If you’re heading to the Flamingos area, it’s important to know that the bus indicating “Nuevo Vallarta” does NOT service the “Flamingos” section of the neighbourhood. To get to resorts and condos in Flamingos you MUST take a bus indicating “Riu” on its front windshield.
The bus fare is $15 pesos. The last buses available to Nuevo Vallarta / Flamingos leave by 9 p.m.
ROUTE: FROM PUERTO VALLARTA TO BUCERIAS This route also used to originate at Walmart. You can now only board an ATM bus from Las Juntas (north of the airport). Choose the one that says Punta Mita (this bus will stop in Bucerias on its way to Punta Mita), the cost is $15 pesos.
ROUTE: FROM PUERTO VALLARTA TO SAYULITA This bus route originates at Walmart and Sam’s Club, walk to the larger bus waiting area on the left. There is usually a man with a clipboard stationed there to direct passengers to the correct bus for their desired destination. Board a green-and-white Compostela bus with the word Sayulita written on the windshield. The bus fare is $35 pesos.
HELPFUL SPANISH WORDS – BUS TRAVEL Bus: Autobus Driver: Chofer Passenger: Passajero Schedule: Horario Route: Ruta Fare: Tarifa Seat: Asiento Destination: Destino
Please also check out the charity event "What A Drag" Straight Men Standing Up Against Domestic Violence. This yearly event raised over a million Pesos last year for the Banderas Bay Women's Shelter. If you can't attend this years amazingly entertaining event, think about contributing. Thanks!