Time in Puerto
Vallarta, Time Zones, and 'Mexican Time'
ZONES: Puerto Vallarta is in the State of
Jalisco, and in the CENTRAL time zone, the same as
Chicago and Dallas.
Vallarta and the State of Nayarit are in the MOUNTAIN
time zone, the same as Denver, Phoenix, and Salt Lake
NOTE, however, that many
hotels, resorts, and tourism businesses in Nuevo Vallarta,
Bucerias, La Cruz, and Punta Mita operate on “Jalisco
Time”. When talking about the time when you
are in Nayarit State, it is wise to confirm what clock
they are using…ask “Jalisco time or Nayarit
time?” This is ESPCIALLY important when arranging
transportation back to the Puerto Vallarta International
Airport, which is on “Jalisco time”, an
hour earlier than “Nayarit time”. Fail
to confirm this, and you might miss your flight home!
SAVING TIME: Puerto Vallarta observes daylight
saving time, but not always on the same schedule as the United States (especially since the U.S. seems to keep changing the dates every couple of years).
If you’re from Arizona or Indiana, you are aware
that parts of these states do not observe daylight
savings time – during the months when the rest
of North America is observing daylight saving time,
the time difference between Mexico and those areas
will be increased by one hour.
24-HOUR CLOCK: Time in Puerto Vallarta
is often referred to by the 24-hour clock (known as
‘military time’ to some). This is especially
true when in writing, such as in printed advertising.
It’s easy to discern: Any time posted as 13:00
or higher is in the 24-hour clock. Simply subtract
“12” from the number of hours displayed.
For example, if a soccer match is advertised as being
broadcast at 17:30, it will be shown at 5:30 in the
afternoon. 18:00 means 6pm, 20:00 means 8 pm, etc.
“MEXICAN TIME”: Puerto
Vallarta is no stranger to ‘Mexican Time’,
even though it is a city which caters to tourists
who are more or less used to the idea of being on
time for any appointment or meeting. This is referred
to as “Mexican Time”. “Five Mexican
minutes” means up to 10 or 15 minutes. The Mexican
culture is not nearly as obsessed with promptness
as the rest of North America or the rest of the planet,
for that matter. This is a laid-back culture, where
the word “mañana” (which literally
means ‘tomorrow’) ACTUALLY means “some
day other than today”.
Your best advice is to NOT FIGHT IT. You are in Mexico
now, and Mexican Time applies to you no matter where
you come from. Whereas being 15 minutes late for an
appointment in the rest of North America might be
considered rude, in Puerto Vallarta (and the rest
of Mexico) being as late as half-an-hour or more is
just considered ‘the way it is’. “Go
with the flow” is the way to regulate your vacation
This can be wildly annoying
to people who move here and expect things to work
the same way as they are familiar with back home.
Remember that Dorothy duly noted “We’re
not in Kansas anymore, Toto”. Mexico is not
Kansas, nor anyplace else for that matter, Toto, except
Mexico. Relax and adapt, or forever be resigned to
an aggravation you can not change.
LEARN MORE ABOUT "MEXICAN TIME": Click HERE.