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Nice comparison. I wasn’t impressed with Puerto Vallarta when I visited. Too small of a city for me and a tourist trap during the high season with swarms of foreigners and many vendors on the beaches. it’s a decent place to visit on vacation, definitely not a place to live.
Yes, I agree that Puerto Vallarta is a tourist trap with Mexicans trying to overcharge foreigners. It is no comparison, Medellin is so much better than Puerto Vallarta. If not for the undeserved reputation caused by Escobar from decades ago, Medellin would likely have many more foreigners.
I’ve lived in both cities and agree with most of your comparison results. Puerto Vallarta is indeed a more expensive place to live than Medellin. Your friend is getting a great deal if he has a 2-bedroom apartment for only US $600. I was paying US $500 in 2016 for a small studio and had to listen to the constant on-going construction of 2 new high rises right across the street in the Old Town neighborhood where the historic character is being destroyed by over-building. The corruption from the Mayor’s office on down the ladder was shocking when it came to divvying out building permits. I love the beach there and met some wonderful Mexican friends, but in the end, living in Colombia is much better value and far more interesting. Thanks for another good article Jeff!
Hi Henry, thanks! Yes, the expat I met in Puerto Vallarta paying $600 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment thought he had a good deal for Puerto Vallarta but he was shocked when I told him I was paying about $450 for a 3-bedroom apartment in Sabaneta with 2 big balconies.
Es que Puerto Vallarta no es un lugar para vivir pero, sí para visitar y planear unas cortas vacaciones. Nunca he ido, pero pienso que es más visitado y, por consiguiente, más conocido por turistas internacionales, que Medellín. Ahora, me gustaría que compararan Medellín vs Guadalajara; Medellín vs Guanajuato; Medellín vs Brasilia o Río de Janeiro; Medellín vs Valparaiso; Medellín vs Montevideo; Medellín vs Santiago de Chile; Medellín vs Buenos Aires.
(in English) Puerto Vallarta is not a place to live, but to visit and plan a short vacation. I have never been there, but I think it is more visited and, therefore, better known by international tourists, than Medellín. Now, I would like you to compare Medellín vs Guadalajara; Medellin vs Guanajuato; Medellin vs Brasilia or Rio de Janeiro; Medellin vs Valparaiso; Medellin vs Montevideo; Medellín vs Santiago de Chile; Medellin vs Buenos Aires.
We have a comparison of Medellin vs Buenos Aires. (Spanish) Tenemos una comparación de Medellín vs Buenos Aires – https://medellinguru.com/medellin-vs-buenos-aires/. We plan to do more comparisons in the future. Planeamos hacer más comparaciones en el futuro.
Yes, a better comparison would be with Guadalajara. Puerto Vallarta is a beach town, so of course there are going to be plenty of tourists. However, there are plenty of areas away from the overpriced tourist zones that are quite inexpensive if you want to live like a local. If you want to be near the ocean, Vallarta is a fantastic small city and a real foodie haven.
I have to disagree with: 11. Restaurants and Nightlife – Medellín vs Puerto Vallarta.
Every restaurant that I tried in Puerto Vallarta has delicious food, even the street food. Finding a restaurant that you want to go back to again in Medellin is somewhat of a task.
I have spent about two years in Medellín and about half a year in the Puerto Vallarta area and I think this is a great comparison of the two cities. However I would also disagree with the opinion on restaurants, especially if you factor in other nearby places in the area like Bucerias and Sayulita. Medellín may have more options just based on size, but food quality and service is outstanding in the Puerto Vallarta area. Most places worth visiting in Mexico are going to be far better than Medellin when it comes to food.