Having seen all the travel warnings and sensationalism from the press I feel, as a permanent resident of Puerto Vallarta, it is my obligation to let people know about life here in Paradise as I see it.
First of all I feel we do not have a rampant drug war and it seems to me that we also do not have a rampant, out of control criminal element in our city. We do of course have some of the same problems with bad people here that you have in any vibrant, bustling tourist destination as do our neighbors up North. We have seen the odd person get killed, robbed and scammed, again the same as other cities in the world. We see people selling and using drugs, just like we do in other countries.
Remember that Puerto Vallarta is a long way from Tijuana, approximately 2200 km/1364 miles, 1680 km/1040 miles from Nogales and 2500 km/1550 miles from Brownsville, TX. These are the border towns you hear about in the news everyday. We are 1000 km/620 miles from Mexico City… another well reported trouble spot. The above areas are some of the favorite cities that the news media loves to tout on the dangers of travelling to Mexico.
This is much like saying “do not travel to Winnipeg, Manitoba because there was a killing Vancouver, BC.” What the news media does not tell you about are the generous, beautiful, honest, hardworking and family oriented people that make up most of Mexico. This would simple not make any headlines and it would not sell newspapers and garner many hits on any webpages at all. They are after all in the News “Business”, and yes it is a very big business.
My personal experience with the Mexican Nationals and others here in Mexico has been nothing but positive. Oh sure there may be the odd person I do not really like or trust but on the whole life here is very good and I feel very safe.
We have had some tourists run into problems here however you must take into account the sheer number of people that come to visit us here in Paradise. I have read that we have over a Million visitors to Puerto Vallarta each year. I have personally seen people do things here on vacation that they would never ever do in their home towns. Some people and they are the minority, come here and seem to leave their brains at home. These are most often the people of whom you read about in the media at home. Yes innocent people can run into problems and get hurt here too… just like at home.
I feel that if you come here and treat people with the same respect you would expect to do in your home town, you will have a safe and fun vacation.
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