The Elusive Vallarta Tour Bus

Have you seen them? I haven’t, but friends that have spotted the new double-decker buses traveling through Puerto Vallarta claim they are traveling without passengers. This is not surprising, considering the lack of promotional efforts on their behalf.

You didn’t know they were coming? Double-decker sightseeing buses have been extremely successful in tourist destinations throughout the world, from Manhattan to Mexico City to Cartagena and so forth. And now they’ve arrived in Puerto Vallarta. Mind you, this is not the first attempt to launch a successful sightseeing bus program in town. If you were here some 10 years ago, you might remember unsuccessful tree trimmings along Basilio Badillo or Insurgentes Sts. in Emiliano Zapata to allow for the buses’ height!

Here’s what we know:

The official launch was last month, August 16, to be exact, according to Reporte Diario and other local sources. They indicated that the service would offer 21 stops along a route that travels from Marina Vallarta to Mismaloya. Four buses travel the route every 45 minutes and a ticket price of $340 and $170 per adult and children, respectively, allows for unlimited stops (in a 24-hour shift, I imagine, although this was not specified in the source article).

No information was provided about the company behind this project.

One month later, another writeup, this time in Vallarta Opina, reminded me of the service, but I don’t know what bums me out the most: either the newspaper’s sketchy reporting, the lack of marketing foresight by the company offering the service, or both!

The article mentions promotion being done on an Instagram account, ‘vallartatourbus,’ but the account doesn’t exist.

The article also mentions that promotion is also being done on Facebook, but a search for ‘vallartatourbus’ on the social media platform didn’t reveal anything useful. A search for ‘vallarta tour bus’ did place Superior Tours Vallarta, the wonderful tour company run by Astrid Van Dam, on top of the search results (Astrid, enjoy the ride while you can, pun intended!).

Lastly, Vallarta Opina publishes an Instagram screenshot that shows the website www.vallartatourbus.mx, but the website doesn’t exist! And let us not forget that the service supposedly has been in operation for a month.

Good idea, questionable execution. How unfortunate it is when this takes place in our destination, or anywhere else, for that matter. You’d think they would have:

  • Built kiosks with information along the way.
  • Informed about points where tickets can be purchased.
  • Placed well-marked maps of the route at all the stops.
  • Published their website, Instagram and Facebook pages in English and Spanish for all (or most) to understand.

Do you know anything further about the service? Please feel free to share your comments, below. And apologies for the image used here. The Puerto Vallarta tour bus is so elusive, I had to use an image from the Mexico City service!

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6 Comments Add yours

  1. John Russell says:

    Hola Paco ! bet the cruise lines aren’t too happy about this service, they make a lot from their City Tour sales, including all the money they get from stores and restaurants on those tours.

    Like

    1. Paco Ojeda says:

      Hola JR, thanks for chiming in!

      I think both options could easily co-exist, as they serve two different but overlapping purposes. Also, considering the fact that this is a four-bus operation, I think the impact it would cause for the cruise lines would be negligible.

      Like

  2. MARILYN GRANDE says:

    THEY ARE CHARGING DOUBLE THE PRICE THAT THE SAME COMPANY CHARGES IN MEXICO CITY< AND GUADALAJARA!!!!

    Like

    1. Paco Ojeda says:

      That doesn’t surprise me, Marilyn. Thank you so much for chiming in and for reading me! 🙂

      Like

  3. Inge McGuinness says:

    Paco, the correct website is vallartourbus.com. Bad choice in my opinion because everyone will make the mistake and think it’s Vallarta.

    Like

    1. Paco Ojeda says:

      Thank you for the update and for reading me, Inge! Good to know.

      Like

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