Is it safe to travel in Mexico?
YES! It is unfortunate that the media hype has deterred people from visiting this beautiful country. Are there dangerous parts of Mexico? Certainly. But flying in and out of Puerto Vallarta is very safe. I tell people that not attending a Mexico SPL Retreat because of “the danger” would be like not visiting New York, because you heard there was gang violence in LA.
Which airport do I fly into?
Puerto Vallarta (PVR).
Do I need a passport to fly into Mexico?
YES. A valid passport is required to travel into Mexico.
Do I need a visa?
You will receive a tourist card on board your flight to Mexico. The card will be stamped at customs/immigration in the Mexico airport, showing you are in the country legally. It is VERY IMPORTANT to keep it in your passport – you will be asked to show it upon exit of the country.
Arriving at the airport (PVR) in Mexico:
Customs: At the Puerto Vallarta airport you will de-plane, grab any checked baggage, and arrive at Customs. Here is your first fun Mexican game… you will push a button that will give you a RED LIGHT or GREEN LIGHT. Red means the agent looks through your bags. Green means you can pass without inspection.
After you have passed inspection, proceed through “The Gauntlet” – a walkway with people trying to sell you taxis and timeshares. Say “NO GRACIAS,” and keep walking out of the glass doors where Shanti will be greeting you with a huge SMILE!
**PLEASE DO NOT WALK OUT OF BUILDING WITHOUT SHANTI – She does not want to miss you!
Are the electrical outlets the same as the US?
YES. You do not need to bring a converter or adapter for charging your devices unless you are coming from countries other than the USA.
Are the rooms air-conditioned?
YES – unless otherwise specified.
What is the weather like?
On the Nayarit Peninsula, the dry/high season runs from November to end of March with the coolest temperatures (70-80 degrees) in December and January. The wettest months of the year are August and September where you may encounter an afternoon shower or 3-5 hours of rain overnight. April, May, and October are great months with warm weather, warm water, and less crowds.
What should I pack?
Sayulita and Punta Mita are casual surf towns where bikinis and board shorts are the uniform – you may be able to get away with just a carry on. Days and nights are warm but there is always an ocean breeze! All meals are tropical casual.
Breathable t-shirts/tank tops
sports bras/camis (women)
long pant – for travel
super light jacket/sweater – for evening
camelback or small backpack/waist pack
re-usable water bottle
cross-trainers or trail runners
small flashlight (please bring if you have one)
**Marijuana of any kind in NOT LEGAL in Mexico – even with a prescription or doctor’s note. Please do not attempt to fly into Mexico with any marijuana/cannabis products.
Is there internet access?
Can I eat the vegetables?
YES. At group meals, all of the fruits and vegetables are carefully washed in purified water and all necessary precautions are taken when handling food. We will recommend “safe” restaurants and food stands for meals eaten on your own.
Can I drink the water?
YES. All of the accommodations provide filtered water for you to fill your re-usable drinking container. And some even have filtered water running throughout the property! At group meals, all of the water, ice and beverages are prepared using filtered water and are completely safe.
Is there laundry service?
YES, for an additional fee.
Is there alcohol served?
YES & NO. Welcome margaritas will be served the first evening. Additional alcohol is not included in the trip price, but will be available to purchase at most lunches and dinners.
Are there bugs?
MAYBE. All this Mexican beauty comes with a small price. Depending on the month of your retreat, you may encounter mosquitos. Generally the greener months of April, May, and October. We will have bug repellent, but if you know you have that special “sweet” blood that attracts mosquitos, definitely bring your own little weapon (bottle).
Do I have to be super fit?
NO. Retreat activities are designed for all levels, although to get the most enjoyment out of your trip we recommend arriving with a moderate level of fitness: 45 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, 5 days a week. 30 minutes of total body strength exercise, 2-3 days a week. Regardless of your fitness level upon arrival, you will leave feeling lighter and stronger in both mind and body!
Do I have to participate in all the activities?
It is your vacation after all, but we hope you do!