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San Pancho Info


Puerto Vallarta is in a time zone one hour earlier than San Pancho. San Pancho is two hours earlier than the East Coast.

Directions to San Pancho

If you're coming directly from the airport in Puerto Vallarta, head north towards Tepic and Compostella. The highway is four lanes for a ways (you'll pass Nuevo Vallarta and Bucerias), with quite a few stop lights, several inspection places, several speed bumps, and then it turns into a two-lane road when you enter the hills. This is a beautiful drive. After another 15 kilometers or so, you'll see the left turn-off for Sayulita, and then in another 4 kilometers is the left turn-off for San Francisco (San Pancho). Remember, if there's any traffic behind you, pull off to the right!!! Once you enter San Pancho, or any town in Mexico off the highway, there are speed bumps galore.

There's a very nice, large supermarket right next to the airport if you want to stock up on supplies. Head out of the airport as if you're going into Puerto Vallarta (which is to the south of the airport), but before you even get on a bigger road, there's a stop light and you make a right into the Villas Plaza Vallarta Commercial Center. (And a couple of kilometers further to the south are a Sam's Club and Walmart, on the left side of the highway. When you see them, get off the highway to the right, go up to the light, then make a big U-turn over to the other side road and you'll find the entrance.) All the markets (big and small) have liquor and beer and wine, but the wine selection isn't great. If you really want good wine, look for a real wine shop in Puerto Vallarta.

When you turn off the highway you will be on San Pancho's main Street called Avenida Tercer Mundo, which means Third World Avenue. It goes straight down to the beach.

What to Bring to San Pancho

The average temp in San Pancho is in the high 70's, low 80's at day time with evenings in the sixties. You might want to bring a pair of long pants and a light fleece for the evening. Remember to bring good walking shoes or sneakers - dirt roads and cobblestones aren't that easy in flimsy sandals There are a host of activities you may want to pack for such as surfing, golfing, fishing, bird watching, horseback riding, kayaking, hiking, shopping, snorkeling, doing yoga, and playing soccer, just to name a few. You will need a flashlight for getting around when it's dark.

Batteries are hard to come by in San Pancho so stock up. San Pancho uses the same electrical power voltages as the U.S., and the outlets are the same although they don't all have the third hole for grounding. (The electric, however, is much flakier than in the U.S., so unplugging appliances or laptops when not in use is a good idea.) To check out what is allowable to bring into the country, see Customs Allowance in the Tips for Traveling in Mexico section.

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