How to Get to San Blas from Puerto Vallarta

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November 29, 2023
6 min read

The Underrated Charm of San Blas, Mexico

San Blas, Mexico is a small coastal town located in the state of Nayarit. While not as popular as other destinations in Mexico such as Cancun or Cabo San Lucas, San Blas has its own unique charm that attracts visitors seeking an off-the-beaten-path Mexican experience. 

With its beautiful beaches, lush tropical forests, and rich history dating back to pre-Hispanic times, San Blas is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. The area here is home to the origins of the Aztecs and it’s very remote which is great for adventure seekers.

If you are traveling from the capital of Jalisco, be sure to check out our article on how to get to San Blas from Guadalajara.

The Importance of Planning Ahead for Transportation

When it comes to traveling to San Blas from Puerto Vallarta, planning ahead for transportation is crucial. The journey can be long and sometimes arduous if not planned properly.

It's important to research and choose the best means of transportation that suits your budget and schedule. Depending on your preferences and budget, there are multiple options available including buses, taxis or rental cars.

Additionally, the weather can impact travel conditions in certain seasons so it's important to take this into consideration when planning your trip. By planning ahead, you can ensure a smooth journey and maximize your time exploring all that San Blas has to offer.

Get to know more about this charming remote coastal town in by visiting our San Blas city guide.

Transportation to San Blas, Nayarit

Before we get into the different modes of transportation from Puerto Vallarta to Tepic, it's important to plan ahead. San Blas isn't a major tourist destination in Mexico and transportation can be limited, so it's best to map out your route ahead of time. Now let's talk about how you can get there from Puerto Vallarta.

The most common options for transportation are: buses, private cars, and taxis. If you're traveling on a budget, the bus is an affordable option. However, if you prefer more privacy or have a large group with you, private cars and taxis might be more comfortable.


The bus is the cheapest option for getting from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas. Buses run frequently throughout the day and depart from the main bus terminal in Puerto Vallarta. These will take you to Tepic, where you’ll need to switch vehicles at the bus station.

Expect a travel time of approximately 4 hours and tickets cost around $12 USD per person.

Car Rentals

There are plenty of car rentals available at Puerto Vallarta international Airport. The typical charge per day is around 1,000 pesos, so a little over $50 USD a day.

If you are looking for flexibility in your plans and a quicker route, this may be the option for you. Driving between the two cities cuts about half the time that it would take by bus. It’s a straight shot up the coast before you arrive in San Blas.

Taxis or Private Cars

Private Cars: If you prefer more privacy or have a large group with you, hiring a private car may be a better option.

A private car will give you more comfort and flexibility than taking public transport. A typical one-way fare for a private car from Puerto Vallarta to Tepic costs around $150 USD.

Taxis: Taking a taxi is another alternative method but can be expensive, about the same as a private car. You'll need to negotiate with the driver before settling on the price of your journey as there are no fixed rates when taking taxis in Mexico.

Overall, both options offer their own unique benefits so it really depends on your travel preferences and budget. Just remember to plan ahead and confirm all details before setting off on your journey! You don’t want to get stuck there.

Estimating Travel Time and Cost

As mentioned earlier, getting from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas takes approximately 4 hours by bus or car depending on traffic conditions. If you're driving or taking a private car, the travel time may be slightly shorter.

Depending on your budget and comfort preference, the estimated cost for this journey can vary. If you're traveling by bus, expect to pay around $12 USD per person while a private car or taxi costs approximately $150 USD one-way.

How Far is San Blas from Puerto Vallarta?

The direct distance from San Blas to Puerto Vallarta in Mexico is roughly 160 kilometers (approximately 99 miles) if you were to measure it straight. The estimated driving distance between San Blas and Puerto Vallarta is approximately 250 kilometers (around 160 miles),and will take you about 2.5 hours to drive.

Be aware, the actual travel distance may differ depending on the chosen route and mode of transportation. If you opt for taking a bus, the real travel distance could be lengthened due to road conditions and the specific route taken (i.e. via Tepic). 

The estimated driving distance between San Blas and Puerto Vallarta is approximately 240 to 270 kilometers (around 150 to 168 miles), and should take between 2.5 and 4 hours depending on your mode of transportation.

Things to Consider When Traveling to San Blas

Weather conditions during different seasons

San Blas, Mexico experiences a tropical climate with two distinct seasons: the dry season and the rainy season. 

The dry season runs from November to April, while the rainy season lasts from May to October. During the dry season, temperatures are generally warm and pleasant with low levels of humidity.

The rainy season, on the other hand, sees high levels of humidity and frequent rain showers. It is important to keep these weather conditions in mind when planning your trip, as they can greatly affect your outdoor activities.

Accommodation options

San Blas offers a variety of accommodation options that cater to different tastes and budgets. If you're looking for a budget friendly experience, consider staying downtown where prices are lower.

For those seeking luxury accommodations, there are several boutique hotels that have beachfront access.

Local attractions and activities

There are plenty of things to see and do in San Blas that cater to all interests. One of the main attractions is La Tovara National Park, where you can explore mangrove forests by boat or hike through lush jungle trails.

Another popular activity is crocodile farms – there are a couple around the city and they are interesting to see up close and in person.

If you love sea life then you’re in for a treat. There are many ecotours that take you out to do whale watching and it is spectacular to see! Between November and April the whales have their young here before going north.

When traveling to San Blas, it's important to plan ahead so you can make the most of your visit. 

You’ll want to consider the weather conditions during different seasons so you can pack accordingly and prepare for outdoor activities accordingly.

Make sure you check out all the local attractions and activities before arriving so you can make the most of your time in this beautiful Mexican destination.

Insider Tips for a Smooth Trip

If you're planning a trip from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas, it's important to prepare well in advance. Here are some insider tips to help you have a smooth and enjoyable journey:

Packing Essentials

When visiting San Blas, make sure to bring comfortable clothing and shoes suitable for outdoor activities. Remember that the area is known for its hot and humid climate, so pack light and breathable fabrics. You may also want to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat or sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

Insect repellant is an absolute must! The mosquitos here are notorious, no seriously they even have them on T-shirts as souvenirs. Make sure to bring long sleeves and pants for the cool mornings and evenings to protect you as well. 

Recommended Stops Along the Way

During your trip from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas, take some time to stop at some of the local attractions along the way. One highly recommended stop is La Tovara National Park in San Blas, where you can go on a short eco tour ride through mangrove forests and see exotic birds and wildlife up close. You also get the chance to take a swim in the super clear water and it’s so worth it!

I highly suggest you make your way back through Tepic. On your way out you will cross a tunnel and just about exactly 2 kilometers from there on your left you will see 3 mounds in the distance. Those are the 3 original Aztec pyramids! Larger than the one’s built in Mexico City. It’s such a site to see.

Safety Precautions

Of course traveling in Mexico can be safe and there are a couple of precautions that should be take into consideration:

  • Avoid walking alone at night or in unfamiliar areas.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of cash or wearing expensive jewelry.
  • Don't leave valuables unattended in your hotel room.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times and trust your instincts.
  • Always have some  identification with you at all times. Pictures work

Overall San Blas is very safe, there are Mexican marines that protect the port and it’s really a low key place to be at. There are some expat social clubs but overall this is an off the map destination. So pack your bags, grab your sunscreen, and get ready for an amazing adventure!


Traveling from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas requires planning and research. There are various modes of transportation available such as buses, private cars, and taxis. 

The estimated travel time and cost fluctuate depending on the mode of transport that you choose.

It's important to consider the weather conditions during the different seasons, accommodation options, local attractions and activities when planning for your trip.

Plan Ahead for a Stress-free Journey

Planning ahead is crucial for a stress-free journey. This includes making transportation arrangements in advance and packing essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, comfortable shoes and clothes suitable for different weather conditions.

Don't forget to research recommended stops along the way and follow safety precautions while traveling. Traveling from Puerto Vallarta to San Blas provides an opportunity to explore beautiful scenery and experience Mexican culture.

With careful planning, it can be an enjoyable journey that creates lasting memories.


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Written by:

I consider myself a world-travelling nomad and a foodie at heart. Born in Germany and raised in East Tennessee, my passion for exploration has taken me all over the planet - exploring unfamiliar lands and cultures is what truly inspires my soul!
I live outside of Doha and consider myself an inside expert on all things Qatar. I love exploring all the country has to offer and look forward to giving you valuable insights of where I call home!
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