Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
CanWeGoYet?

Botanical Gardens in Puerto Vallarta

Recommended Posts

Trying to gather info on visiting the Botanical Gardens on my port day in PV.    Any advice on do it yourself transport?  How difficult to catch the bus, distance / cost etc, or is a taxi much more convenient?   One bus ride within walking distance from the pier would be great, probably not wanting to have to transfer or take multiple buses.    Would not want to linger too long & have a hard time getting transport back to the ship.  Thinking of spending at least a few hours there, gardening & exotic plants a big interest for us - then having lunch at the restaurant.  Any feedback from past visitors much appreciated.    There is no shore excursion for this offered from my cruise line.  Plus if we could do this inexpensively on our own, & have more freedom from being part of a group tour - so much the better.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I will give you a quick answer but with the new bus fares would have to get back to you on the latest fare.  You cannot do it on a single bus from the port.  You would first need to catch a bus to town (it will say "Centro" in the window) which will cost you exactly 10 Pesos per person (one way).  Since we are currently changing to a new buses, how you pay the fare might differ so its best to have Pesos (the drivers may not accept dollars) and its wise to have the exact change because of the new electronic cash boxes used on some of the new buses.  Once you get into town you need to continue over the Riu Cujale into the Old Town/Romantic Zone.  You will then have to catch a 2nd bus from a bus stop on Cardenas (near Insurgentes) and I am not sure of the fare on this 2nd bus although I would guess it is about 15 Pesos.  There will be others waiting for various buses and you can ask them for help pointing out which bus....but it should say Botanical Gardens on the front window.  You would also likely need some help in knowing where to get off the bus so ask the driver when you board and you might also want to ask a passenger for help.   This is a pretty long trip via bus and I would guess it will take you at least 45 min one way from outside the port to the Botanical Gardens.

 

Another option would be to simply use Uber or a taxi (Uber will be cheaper).   The Uber fare will vary depending on Surge Pricing but will likely be 175 - 200 Pesos one way.  Getting an Uber for your return might be difficult but you could always use the bus to get back into town (and then use Uber or a taxi to the port) or use the two bus system to get all the way to the port area.  As to the taxi cost....I would guess the Yellow taxis (not always yellow) outside the port will want at least 300 Pesos and will likely ask for 400...one way.

 

Keep in mind that the bus will drop you along the main road and you will have to walk up the long driveway to get to the Garden entrance.

 

Hank

P.S.  When Ine sees this thread she may be able to provide more detailed info 🙂

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just an update and a slight correction.  The best place to get the bus from the Old Town to the Botanical Gardens would be on the corner of V. Carranza and Aguacate (there is an Oxxo Store close to this bus stop).  The bus will likely say, on its windshield, Et Tuito/Botanical Gardens.  The fare might now be up to 25 Pesos (+ or minus 5 Pesos).  I would again emphasize that with the current modernization of our bus system you can no longer count on drivers to take US Dollars or even make change.  When we arrived in PV in early January I used 4 buses in the first 4 days.   One was an old bus where the driver took the money (they give you a small paper ticket which you must keep in case a ticket inspector boards the bus) and would make change.  Two were new buses with the new modern electronic coin boxes (exact change or you must overpay)….but the drivers had those new boxes covered and continued to make change and personally take the fare.  And then we get on the 4th bus where the driver pointed at the electronic coin box (which actually was working) where we had to insert our coins (there is also a plastic bin where one could drop a bill (a 20 Peso Bill would be good for two fares....within PV).    But the buses that go from the Old Town to the Botanical Gardens are run by a different company so who knows :).   Odds are that the driver will make change (not guaranteed) but the acceptance of US Dollars is a big question.  It is always best to have some Pesos when you are in Mexico.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The botanical garden is far south of Puerto Vallarta. The drive itself going there is nice along the ocean. Since you have limited time I would advise you to take Uber or a cab going there. It saves you a lot of time. On the way back you might opt for the bus. I have seen cabs waiting there for their passengers in the gardens, but that will cost you a bit more. Always make your price before entering a cab. As mentioned by Hank you need 2 buses and a short walk between buses.

Maybe you can find some more passengers who want to join you on this through your rollcall and then you can prebook a private tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the information Hlitner and Ine!   I really appreciate it.  The taxi fare isn't bad if it is per cab, not passenger.  I will be certain to pin down any fare before the ride.  I am one of the few I guess who has not used Uber, probably not a good idea to start this learning curve in Puerto Vallarta when I only know a few words of Spanish.  

Edited by CanWeGoYet?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, CanWeGoYet? said:

Thank you so much for the information Hlitner and Ine!   I really appreciate it.  The taxi fare isn't bad if it is per cab, not passenger.  I will be certain to pin down any fare before the ride.  I am one of the few I guess who has not used Uber, probably not a good idea to start this learning curve in Puerto Vallarta when I only know a few words of Spanish.  

Be aware cabs at the cruiseerminal are more expensive, they charge per person. Regular white cabs charge per ride. Many cabdrivers speak some english.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

To find a taxi at a lower price walk OUTSIDE of the cruise terminal to the main cross street.

There will be a gas station to the right. That is where we find our taxis.

They charge one fare (not per person). I don't know what they will charge to go to the gardens.

We have paid $6-8USA to go to the beginning of the malecon in town and about $10 to get back from farther into town sooo going to the gardens which is about 1hr south of town will be more!

I have wanted to do that but we have never managed it.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did post an approximate taxi fare in the previous post.  But one needs to understand some issues with PV taxis.  As Ine mentioned, the taxis that are located inside the Port area are specially licensed taxis that can only take folks one-way from the port (they are not permitted to pick-up fares in town or anywhere outside the Federal Zone at the Port).  Those taxis do charge by the passenger and they can often cost nearly double the cost of a regular taxi (which you can find outside the port).  If you walk outside the port it is relatively easy to find regular taxis (some are yellow and others are white).  But PV taxis do not have meters and are supposed to use a government regulated zone system.  These regular taxis charge by the taxi...not by the passenger (like the taxis inside the Port),  Our own experience with local taxis is that many drivers are not completely honest, especially if they think you are off a cruise ship.  They know that cruisers tend to be uninformed about dealing with the local taxis and will often charge higher fares to cruisers.   So if you use a regular taxi be sure to negotiate your fare before you get in the taxi.    And cruisers that love to wear their cruise cards around their neck (yes, we see them walking around PV) can be sure that showing that you are a cruiser is likely to result in some higher prices :(.  Some here in PV call it "Gringo Pricing"  but we think that "Cruiser Pricing" is even higher then Gringo Pricing :). Welcome to Mexico.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We intend to take the bus to the Botanical Gardens from the corner of V. Carranza and Aguacate. Where would be the best place to get off the bus which comes to Centro from the Cruise Port? Roughly how long will it take us to walk between bus stops? I'd be grateful for guidance, since I have not been able to determine where the bus from the port stops along the way. Thanks!

Morven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scotswoman said:

We intend to take the bus to the Botanical Gardens from the corner of V. Carranza and Aguacate. Where would be the best place to get off the bus which comes to Centro from the Cruise Port? Roughly how long will it take us to walk between bus stops? I'd be grateful for guidance, since I have not been able to determine where the bus from the port stops along the way. Thanks!

Morven

This is easy for those of us who know the city, but somewhat difficult to explain :).  You are going to want a map of PV which you can download or likely pick up (for free) on the ship or at the port.  Your bus will come into town, go to a street called Calle Morelos (which is the one way street through town that is 1-2 blocks inland).  You can stay on the bus all the way through  Centro (down town) and then the bus will go up a  slight hill and cross a small bridge (over the Rio Cujale) which brings you into the Old Town,  Viejo Vallarta, Romantic Zone, Zona Romantica or Southside (this is all the same district just south of the Rio Cujale.   Once you cross that bridge you would want to get off after about 2-3 blocks.  This will leave you with a relatively short walk.   However, many folks might opt to get off a lot earlier (even in Centro) so they can take a nice walk along the Malecon (literally means Seawall and is our version of a boardwalk).    As to the bus stops in the old town, you really cannot go wrong since all are within a few blocks of your next bus stop.  If you stay on too long, the bus eventually goes around the block (up to Insurgentes) and starts back on the reverse route.  The drivers will usually stop before that happens and kick everyone off :).

 

The key to all this is to make sure you get any bus (that runs on the main road in front of the port) that has "Centro" on the front windshield.  It is also best to AVOID any bus that has a windshield sign that says "Tunel" which would take you on a round about route to the Old Town area.   All the buses that say "Centro" will get you to the same part of Centro and the Old Town area.

 

I want to stress that there are thousands of Americans/Canadians living here in PV and we are everywhere on the streets and often on the buses.  Most of us are pretty friendly and want others to love this city as much as we do.....so if you feel lost, need directions info, etc...do not hesitate to ask anyone (except another cruiser).

 

One other important suggestion.  We do not have a mosquito problem in PV because the government does a good job spraying early in the season.  In fact, I have been bitten once in the past 3 weeks....and we always have our balcony doors wide open (day and night).  But the Botanical Gardens are way outside the city (essentially in a jungle area) and mosquitoes can sometimes be a problem.  It might be a good idea to take some mosquito repellent with you....just in case.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Hank, for your brilliant reply!! If you ever want to travel to Scotland or Bavaria, Germany where we now live, I hope I can help you with such good information!

Morven

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will definitely walk outside the cruise terminal to find a taxi, and confirm the rate before  hand.  I am already fairly well versed in the gringo or cruise rate from prior bad experience in Cabo.  Got a taxi to a beach restaurant with my son & parents, confirmed the rate before hand.  Did not think to ask though how much the return  trip would be, it was the same route.  Well lo and behold it was double the rate to get back to the cruise ship.  And I was so mad I stopped and checked with so many of the dozens of other taxis sitting empty & waiting - same for all.  They were all in on it.  Finally accepted we could either pay the inflated rate or miss the ship.  Never forgot though.  When its time to leave the Botanical Gardens will do so in mid afternoon, to allow time to find an expected rate back, or take the bus if need be.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A question to all the "erudites" of PV:

We´ll be docking between 7am and 4pm, meaning we have between 7 hours total. NO question we want to go to Botanical Gardens:

a) How much would a yellow taxi cost - from outside the port to BOTANICAL GARDENS?

b) I assume that we should be there for about 3 hours, just walking and hiking: Is that a correct approximation?

c) Do we have enough time to go into the  center? Or is it just not worth the pressure?

Thanks everybody

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • Q&A: Cruise Insurance with Steve Dasseos of TripInsuranceStore.com
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...