NUMBEO

Pollution in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Pollution in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Air Pollution
65.52 High
Drinking Water Pollution and Inaccessibility
38.89 Low
Dissatisfaction with Garbage Disposal
50.00 Moderate
Dirty and Untidy
60.19 High
Noise and Light Pollution
74.04 High
Water Pollution
55.77 Moderate
Dissatisfaction to Spend Time in the City
65.18 High
Dissatisfaction with Green and Parks in the City
44.23 Moderate

Purity and Cleanliness in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Air quality
34.48 Low
Drinking Water Quality and Accessibility
61.11 High
Garbage Disposal Satisfaction
50.00 Moderate
Clean and Tidy
39.81 Low
Quiet and No Problem with Night Lights
25.96 Low
Water Quality
44.23 Moderate
Comfortable to Spend Time in the City
34.82 Low
Quality of Green and Parks
55.77 Moderate

Contributors: 29

Last update: November 2017

These data are based on perceptions of visitors of this website in the past 3 years.

If the value is 0, it means it is perceived as very low, and if the value is 100, it means it is perceived as very high.

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12 Comments so far

#Sunny on Mar 31, 2017 :
My husband, me, and a friend from Hawaii went to PV for a week. On the third day, we all came down with bronchitis. My friend and I just couldn't shake it and had to take antibiotics. I am presently on Day 9 and am still in bed with no appetite and deep fatigue.

When we were in Mexico City last month my husband and I both caught colds. Mine hung on for weeks.

Is it the air quality? I certainly suspect so!
##anonymous2 on Mar 22, 2017 :
It's too bad. We just returned from PV and as we flew in I saw 3 huge trash fires, so was not surprised to awaken to a nasty smog bank crawling across the bay towards the ocean at Nuevo Vallarta. Yep, reminded me of the view from the Pasadena freeway - when I was a girl you could actually see the Pacific from up there - not any more. Back to PV - the place is beautiful and we were generally treated well, but between the car noise and the smog, I don't think I'm going back. Such a opportunity for Mexico to install solar panels, introduce some closed system energy producing trash burners, and show the rest of the world how it is done. Apparently California hasn't been able to figure out how to do this - even with brains and money (more like greed "Trumps" common sense). It will require a tax base. Those people serving your drinks and cleaning your room are getting a $1-2 an hour. No taxes coming from those guys is going to get the job done. Are the tourists willing to help pay for that through increased prices? How do the profits of these big international hotels chains fall into this? Their business is heavily contributing to the issue, shouldn't they be part of the solution? Very sad - ignorance and bullying are the order for humanity. Are we like yeast? Doomed to die in our own effluent?
#wendy noble on Feb 11, 2017 :
This the 5th year in PV area for me and the smoke, which also smells like trash being burned, is 100% worse than last year. I moved out to Nuevo the last 2 years as I couldn't handle the exhaust stench in downtown PV. I have to close my doors and windows every evening and only open them up later in the morning. I definately won't be returning here to holiday next year unless, by some miracle, it clears up. Do the not realize that they are suffocating the goose that lays the golden egg?
#Susan on Feb 09, 2017 :
We are staying in Nuevo Vallarta now for the second winter and we are thinking twice about returning because of the air pollution! Such a beautiful place but we now have to close all doors and windows by 8pm and keep them clos d till 8 am. There is garbage being burned and we can see the plumes of smoke from our condo balcony. It is so smoky at times that we cannot see the beautiful Sierra Madre Occidental mountains! What a shame. Some mornings we cannot even see the ocean and our condo is right on the beach. The smoke stinks and it catches in our air passages. We agree with the other people commenting here that the vehicle pollutions is bad in Puerto Vallarta but out here in Nuevo the incinerators are causing most of the problem.
#Adam on Dec 04, 2016 :
I just got back from 2 weeks in Old town. Last year went down for the same 2 weeks for the first time. I lucked out last year as it was still rainy season (Hurricance Patricia just missed PVR 3 weeks before I arrived and another tropical storm came and it rained 2 days). Rainy season I heard the pollution isn't as big of a problem as it rains and is windier so the pollution doesn't sit all day over the town and bay area as much. This year was less humid, not as windy and no rain (assuming the normal weather for the peak tourist season). The air quality was much worse and Day 3 I came down with a sinus infection. Luckily I wasn't staying in a place with A/C and had lots of fresh fruit juice and tea and was over the worst of it in 4 days but effects still lingering. I was a bit run down before I left this year which also contributed to getting sick.

The worst sinus infection I got was on a bus tour in Europe (triggered in Barcelona, similar topography to PVR) and the A/C on the bus kept me sick for 3 weeks.

I loved PVR (food, people, sights & activities) but will definitely hold off on going back I think.

I agree with Jeff about the buses and cabs. PVR has similar topography to Los Angeles and Barcelona where the air sits all day long. According to Numbeo the PVR air pollution is similar as those two cities. What the main difference is with PVR is the population isn't even 1/4th of either of those cities and half the economy is tourism based. I would guess the per capita # of cars on the road in PVR is also less than LA or Barcelona. I didn't see any big industrial areas flying into the city so part of the problem must be poor emission controls or regulations on the cars and buses (especially the buses!). Now these controls would drive prices up which could keep tourists away but so will the smog for those who are affected by it. All the buses are probably 30 years old and a lot of the cabs are 10-15 years.

It would be great if a small hotel or airport tax is introduced to pay to get these upgraded.

Especially for the residents of the city who live there year round.
#jeff on Mar 20, 2016 :
Puerto Vallarta officials wake up,
This city is dying from pollution,
I Just got back from six weeks stay near downtown,
Having been to Vallarta many times over twenty years ago
It was really heartbreaking to see and breath the heavily polluted air
Definitely reminded me of being in mexico city and Los angeles
Thanks doctor adams for documenting this.
the only days one could see across the bay were after a big rain storm.
I hiked up to the hill where the cross stands and you could see the heavy haze
Walk down the streets of downtown for a couple hours and you taste it for a whole
Day. Only when tourism and property values in vallarta plummets will maybe be something done
How bout start with mandatory emission controls on all taxis and busses?
Straight piped diesels in this day and age??
In canada even off road sump trucks have emission controls.
Shame on you mexican officials for trying to buy off doctor Adams results...
Vallarta tourist businesses its in tour best interest to pursue this before all your businesses
Fail once enough people sick of the pollution vote with their feet and find somewhere else...
#Dr. Martin Adams on Jan 23, 2016 :
I hold a Doctorate in Chemistry and a have Master's Degree in Engineering. I have worked for the United State EPA for 26 years before I recently began teaching as a University Professor. I was told about the Heavy Air Pollution in Puerto Vallarta Mexico by some US Citizens who have visited Puerto Vallarta numerous times over the years. They told me about the Puerto Vallarta Air Pollution concerns.
I was asked to visit Puerto Vallarta as their special guest several times last year. They wanted to know the Truth about the Air Pollution in Puerto Vallarta. While I was in Puerto Vallarta I completed numerous Air Pollution tests. The Good news is that the Air Pollution is not as Bad as Mexico City. The Air Pollution test results did indicate very clearly that the Air Pollution in Puerto Vallarta today is nearly as bad as the Air Pollution in and around Los Angeles California today.
I showed my Puerto Vallarta Air Pollution results to several city & several state Politicians
in both Puerto Vallarta and in that state Capital. I also showed them my US EPA Credentials.
I was treated with a great deal of Respect. I was also offered a Nice Cash Reward by several Mexican politicians if I would discard my Puerto Vallarta Air Pollution test results. I said I would think about it. I then quickly departed Mexico with all my test results. My advice to every one who lives in Puerto Vallarta today, is relocate to another city in Mexico ASAP where there is NO serious air pollution, if you can find a city in Mexico without any serious air pollution. The Air Pollution in Puerto Vallarta is extremely unhealthy and dangerous to all humans visiting or living in Puerto Vallarta. It will get much worse as time goes on.
#JasmineinNM on Dec 29, 2015 :
I am a newbie here to PV and I can confirm....this city is heavily polluted
with exhaust fumes. I gag every time I get in a taxi who then drives up behind
one of the hundreds of buses and tourist buses belching out black smoke.

In the two months I have been here this is how it has affected me. The second week
I got here I got a really really bad bronchitis. I felt like I would choke to death.
I had to go find a doctor who then gave me 4 prescriptions. I felt like I was literally
drowning in fluid in my lungs. Well, even with the antibiotics that lasted 3 weeks.
I then had a "spell of wellness" for two weeks and it all came back again. I have
dark circles under my eyes. This is not good! The endless coughing just wears one out.

I had thought about moving from my little apt. up to Nuevo Vallarta but wanted to find out
about air quality so I started searching and that is how I found this thread.

I did notice right away under my arrival in PV that there is a constant grey haze that
never disperses. I knew that was not good. I asked several people about the haze and they
were dumber then dumb about it. I guess no one looks up.

I am up a hill with some 130 steps to ground level but I can smell the horrible exhaust pollution
from the highway wafting up the hill.

I have allergies and apparently living here is not going to be good for me.

I am disappointed and now have to look to live elsewhere but where is the question.

Honestly, I don't know how the locals survive here working everyday in the many little shops
along the bus route from Old Town/Romantic Zone up to the Hotel Zone. Their lungs must be black
with soot. I feel sorry for them because at least I can leave and most of them can't nor do they
connect the bad air with sickness.

I didn't know anything about the PV curse until this thread but I am very glad to have found out
about it. Now I know what I have to do...............MOVE.
#Rick from MN on Jan 31, 2015 :
Robert, I have to agree with your assessment of the air quality in PV. I have been coming to PV for over 15 years and I believe that the air quality is getting worse. Previous to last year, I never had health problems here.

Last year I got a bad cough and bronchitis, had to see a doctor. This year it only took me about 2 weeks to get what appears to be a cold, runny nose and a cough. Then it disappeared, only to re-appear again two weeks later.
#Joe on Jan 18, 2015 :
It's sad that the only time the air is clear is in the rainy season......we may stop coming due to this....I remember when you could see Punta Mita from old town, every day.....
#Teri on Mar 22, 2014 :
I totally disagree with this being a polluted area. I'm however from the Willamette valley and if you want allergies and smoke with watery eyes almost all year around your in the right place. But every ones tolerance level is different. I go to PV every year and have for about 15 years now and have seen some smoke from the fires to control jungle and brush in the hills that can be bothersome, but I don't see such a problem as some people are reporting. The traffic is not good however and of course contributes. I guess living in the valley of death the air seems much better to us! Viva la Puerto Vallarta
#Karen on Dec 26, 2013 :
Hi Robert
I agree totally and have been searching the internet looking for any information. I am here this year and much the same thing you cannot even see the mountains some days as we drive into town.
Hard to believe not more people are noting this since there are many of us here for long stays.
Karen