We've been to PV dozens of times...she's like our second home!
When there…we take the bus when we can…cheaper, more fun and you meet interesting people!
Here's some info on the local buses and taxis.
These buses run from near the large sports stadium, just south of the Sheraton all the way to Nuevo Vallarta and back again. The route is slow with many stops, but the price is very reasonable compared to other modes of transportation. The fare is approx 10 pesos and the buses run about every 15-25 minutes.
There is only one bus route to the Marina and all the hotels located within the Marina area. The buses that go here will say Marina, or Marina Vallarta on their windshield or destination display on upper front. The fare is about 4 pesos and can take up to 35 minutes from the bus starting point at Plaza Lazaro Cardenas, south of the Rio Cuale, to the Marina area.
Many of the buses run along the hotel zone. Make sure the bus says CENTRO on the display which means it goes along the hotel zone to the Malecon and over the Vallarta Bridge. If it says TUNEL, it will take the Libramiento Rt. and the tunnel avoiding the downtown area but will get you to the southern part of downtown PV aka Zona Romantica.
Federal Zone Taxis
Taxis at the airport and at the cruise ship dock are Federal Zone taxis. These taxis have set prices by zone and are generally more expensive than a yellow city taxi. A good rule of thumb for tipping the taxi drivers is about $1.00 to $2.00 USD per bag.
City taxis in Puerto Vallarta are typically yellow. These are usually a Nissan sedan with a four passenger maximum limit. If you are a party of five people, by law, you will need to take two taxis. Taxis are just about everywhere, on almost every street corner. Most Taxi drivers speak good English. But, if you have an uncommon destination, it may help to have the address to show the driver.
It is not expected to tip a taxi driver unless they transport your luggage or go out of their way to please you.
Taxi prices are set by zone, but always set the price before you take off. Taxis in Vallarta do not have meters. Always ask how much (cuánto?) before getting in and going. You can usually barter a better price.
It is also a good idea to make a note of the number on the taxi cab in case you leave something behind. Most taxis are individually owned, and there is not a central taxi company, station or lost and found. While most taxi drivers are very honest and will do whatever they can to return a lost object, they cannot return it if they cannot find you.
The same rules and tips above apply for taxis in Nuevo Vallarta/Nayarit, except they are usually white in color and have "Nayarit" or "Nuevo" painted on them.