Puerto Vallarta is somewhat of an isolated community. It is a 4-5 hour drive to the nearest large city (Guadalajara) with winding, small mountain roads separating it in all directions from the rest of Mexico.
The International Airport is very convenient and often an economical method of travel. It is serviced on the ground by an exclusive, rather expensive taxi system (typically twice the price of other local taxis) and by a very inexpensive local bus system.
The Port is the entry point for many cruise lines, and the associated private Marina is home to many international sea travelers. There are similar private Marinas nearby in Nuevo Vallarta and La Cruz.
Along the coast there are water taxis for transport to small bays up and down the nearby coast. This system uses small open pangas that typically hold between 12 and 24 passengers. They run regularly between Nuevo Vallarta, Marina Vallarta, Los Muertos Beach, Boca de Tomatlan and the smaller coves to the south such as Las Animas and Yelapa.
The local taxi system is extensive and provides moderate cost in town travel. The local bus system, though very basic, is very inexpensive and extensive.
The long-distance bus system in Mexico is inexpensive and of a very high quality if the first class buses are chosen.