Puerto Vallarta‘s International Airport (Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz [Code: PVR]) is well connected to North America’s major airports’ hubs both in the US and in Canada.
Scheduled flights operate from several U.S. cities: Chicago, Dallas/ Fort Worth, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and more (for a full list: airline routes) and some of Canada’s main cities (Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton).
Within Mexico, there are regular flights to and from Guadalajara, Tijuana, Toluca, Mexico City, Cabo San Lucas and others (see complete list).
From Canada, many direct flights are operated by charter services. Otherwise, flights can be booked through Air Canada or USA-based airlines.
Air travel time from Puerto Vallarta to select destinations in the USA and Canada. You can also use the Travel Calculator.
The airport is served by many major airlines and countless charter companies: Aeromexico, Air Transat (Charter), Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Canada 3000 (Charter), United, Delta Airlines, among others.
Pto. Vallarta Airport Data
Landing in Puerto Vallarta
We offer a video by Eduardo M showing a landing on an Interjet flight at Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Airport, arriving from the NE side. There’s a diagram below that shows different points along the way and some places are shown in the video.
The main level (street level with free access) of the Puerto Vallarta Airport offers several small shops and small fast-food restaurants and bars. A post office, bank, currency exchange, and several magazine bookstores are also located on the main level. It is here that you’ll find the check-in counters for the various airlines that serve this city.
At the end the escalator to the second floor and access to gates
Telephones at the airport accept credit cards, but we recommend you use the Telmex public phones, these give a better rate, go into one of the airport shops and buy a “Ladatel” telephone card (30, 50 or 100 pesos depending on your needs – for international the minimum amount left on the card must normally be 20 pesos).
Flight check-in, plus domestic and international flight arrivals are all on the main level. International and national departure passengers must all go to the upper level to get to the departure gates, you go through security and then have access to stores, restaurant-bars, duty-free shops and the gates themselves.
International and National Flight check-in counters on the ground floor
The second level of the Airport, before entering the security checkpoint, offers a few fast-food restaurants and shops, including souvenirs. You’ll find better food and drink prices here than past security. You get to the second level by elevator, mechanical stairs on the SW side or normal stairs at various points within the main level.
Puerto Vallarta Airport video playlist
Duty-Free Stores at the PV Airport
Once past the passport and security check-in area, there is a large lounge/waiting area with duty-free shops (liquor and perfumes), this is Hall A. There are some bars, cafes, and restaurants in the lounge area as well. You can wait for your boarding call here, check the arrival and departure screens from time to time and confirm your gate.
Passengers on flights to most destinations within Mexico depart from a small group of gates on a level below (down a short flight of stairs from the main lounge), there’s a small waiting area with seats, that you can use before boarding your flight, sometimes it’s stuffed, so you can wait above (better air and there are restaurants and stores) and go down when the time comes to board the plane.
Passengers on international flights depart from the newer gates in Terminal B that you’ll find at the end of a long corridor that goes NE from Terminal A. It has 8 gates on both sides of the Terminal building, there is a duty-free store there and a few restaurants and fast-food stands.
Coming out to the airport lobby from customs
Entering customs (old photo)
Note to visitors arriving in Puerto Vallarta:
In customs you’ll put your luggage through a scan and will be asked to press a button, one person per family, if you get a green light (I always have) you pass without a review, if you get red, all your luggage will be checked.
Once you are on your way out of customs you’ll go through an area full of timeshare salesmen/women (also known as OPCs) before you are able to get to the airport hall outside. Unless you want to waste your time, try to get out as soon as possible, you’ll be offered free taxis, tours and maybe even money, it’s all TS BS if you ask me… so better keep your sights set on your goal, to get out of there ASAP!
Once you are out, go to the taxi stands by the door out to the parking lot and pay your taxi fee there, unless you’re being picked up, or you want to go take the local bus/normal taxi to the left by the highway.
The step by step process out from the airport would be:
- Get off the airplane, into the terminal
- or on to the tarmac into the bus and then into the terminal.
- Go to the immigration booths, choose the one for tourists or Mexican nationals depending on which category you are in.
- Go to the baggage claim carousel, get your bags, if any.
- Go to customs, pass luggage through an X-Ray machine and press the stop/go button when asked to.
- If green walk straight out, do not stop to talk to the TS sellers, don’t even look them in the eye (unless you are very brave).
- Walk out the automatic glass doors to the left and into the main lobby (a large open hall).
- Go to the Official Taxi counters, buy your ticket to your zone.
- Head outside and someone will point you to your taxi.
- Enjoy your stay in Puerto Vallarta!
View from the hall into customs (old photo)
View going out from customs (old photo)
Puerto Vallarta International Airport Gustavo Díaz Ordaz is located in the northern section of town, just North of the Marina Vallarta area.
Transportation to and from the airport is mostly done by taxi (Aeromovil) or combi bus (colectivo minivan). Taxi and combi bus charge rates based on zones of travel. Taxi and combi minivans are paid for before entering the vehicle at a small kiosk located just before leaving the terminal building exit. Once you have obtained your ticket, you’ll be escorted or directed to your vehicle. The ticket is then handed to the parking attendant at the parking lot exit and you are on your way.
Charges for taxis at the airport are more expensive than regular taxis as it is a Federal zone with extra taxes and higher rates. If you are adventurous, or on a strict budget, you can walk some 150 yards to the pedestrian bridge over the highway, cross to the other side and flag down a normal taxi (there are some there already), that’ll save you about $5-10 dollars US. For those that are traveling light, you can even catch a local bus for US$0.50 dollars, airport side for Marina and Downtown Vallarta, cross the bridge for the ones heading to Nuevo Vallarta and further north.
Where is the airport located?
The International PV Airport is flanked by the Ameca river and Jarretaderas to the north, Las Juntas to the East, the Pacific Ocean to the West and Marina Vallarta to the South.
How to get a cheap taxi out of the Airport
If you are not traveling too heavy, without too much luggage, a great tip for saving on the Puerto Vallarta Airport taxi rates is to go catch a normal taxi on the other side of the highway.
Airports and harbors, among others, are Federal areas and taxis there have to have special permits and pay extra taxes and licenses, so they charge more than the normal taxis around town.
The following video shows you how can leave the area and catch a normal PV taxi from the airport to the rest of the city and surroundings.
If you cross the highway, you’ll also be able to Uber into town, as Uber will not pick you up on the airport premises, not only because it’s illegal, but they can also get a big fine and maybe even get detained.
I talked to the taxi drivers and they provided a phone number to call them (it’s at the end of the video) and they guaranteed that they would charge half of the Puerto Vallarta Taxi rates or what the PV Airport taxis had quoted you.