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Saturday December 16 2017
Vallarta Heat: Year Round Living in the Tropics
Robin Noelle

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Many first time visitors to Puerto Vallarta are deterred from spending the summer months in Mexico by overheard complaints of the oppressive heat. This is unfortunate because the rainy season has a special charm unavailable during the cooler winter months. While the humidity and heat can be intense during the day, the rains come in the afternoon and night, bringing a refreshing coolness with them along with impressive light shows during the near daily thunderstorms.

These storms can be tremendous, shaking the earth and filling the nighttime sky with brilliant streaks of electricity. They rarely last more than a few hours, bringing a breath of fresh air without limiting recreational activities. Along with the storms comes a renewal of the local foliage, turning the hills, fields and jungle an emerald green that simply doesn’t exist after several dry winter months. The rivers are swollen, the flowers burst into color and with them the tropical birds and butterflies appear in abundance. Puerto Vallarta and the Bay of Banderas -like much of Mexico- reach their apex of beauty in the summer months.

Despite the heat, there are still plenty of outdoor activities to partake of in the summer. The waters of the Pacific take on a bath-like quality, allowing for comfortable swimming, snorkeling and scuba diving, even at great depths. For surfers, the swells come in May and June, creating great conditions in surf spots like San Blas, home of the Guinness Book of World Records longest wave.

The days are made for sitting beneath your favorite palapa on the beach or snoozing in a hammock in the shade. When the temperature gets to be too much, there are plenty of air conditioned venues to while away the hours such as the local movie theaters where $4 can get you two hours of cool comfort. Some restaurants, bars and internet cafes also offer a respite from the heat if your home or rental doesn’t have AC.

For those who need a break from high temperatures, summer is a wonderful time to explore the mountains around Puerto Vallarta, visiting quaint, historic towns like San Sebastian, Mascota, and Talpa. You can explore these nearly deserted towns at your leisure as many of the residents will be vacationing at the beach. The days will still be hot but the nights can get downright cold.

There are other advantages to visiting in the summer or choosing to live year round in Puerto Vallarta. With the exception of holidays like Semana Santa, the beaches and hotels are less crowded. Deals abound from special summer menus in restaurants to deeply discounted rentals, allowing the frugal traveler or resident to stretch their dollar farther in the summer. Even the most posh resorts can be affordable, especially early in the week, making for a nice getaway, even for full time residents.

Summer is when the Mexican nationals take their vacations, offering a whole new cultural experience to those used to spending only winter months in Mexico. It is an opportunity to meet people from all parts of Mexico, especially during the holidays when the beaches are filled with camping families and take on a full-time party atmosphere. This is a great time to brush up on your Spanish and really get to know the residents of the country in which you reside. It is also a great time for RV travelers, as hotels may be full but the RV parks are almost always empty.

Potential residents wondering if they will be able to survive the summer heat will find that is not as bad as they expected, and its benefits outweigh any mild discomfort. For visitors, the best time to visit is in late June through July, when the rains have started and the countryside has come back to life. Whether you plan on living in Mexico full time or simply enjoy spending the colder months visiting, a trip in the summer will give you a whole new perspective on this wonderful country.


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