Transportation to Chacala
The primary International gateway to Nayarit Mexico is Via Puerto Vallarta. Gustavo Diaz Ordaz International Airport (PVR). From the US and Canada, there are many airlines serving PVR. Both scheduled and charters as well. Here are a few of the select companies with regular flights from the USA and Canada.
Driving Transportation to Chacala
(Note that the time in Chacala is 1 hour earlier than Puerto Vallarta. This is IMPORTANT when returning for your flight!)
When you leave the airport from your rental car company, ask them for directions from their lot to Highway 200 North. This is the single highway you will take all the way to Chacala.
As you enter this highway, you will see signs to Compostela and Tepic. These cities are beyond Chacala, but this is the right direction. Leaving the airport you will pass through the cities of Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias, Sayulita, San Francisco(San Pancho), Guayabitos, and La Penita. There are many other smaller towns en route but these are the larger landmark cities.
If you are staying for an extended trip you may want to stop at MEGA in Bucerias and stock up on any favorite foodstuffs or forgotten items. MEGA is a Warehouse store like Walmart. There are many smaller stores in Chacala that carry, Milk Eggs, Tortillas, Bread, Snacks, Sandwich Meats, Beer, etc. Seafood such as Shrimp, Lobster, Filets, Octopus, etc is also available based on the season at the local fish cooperative. We do encourage supporting our local merchants as much as possible. UPDATE-a new addition to the MEGA area is the La Comer Store. This is a great store with an extensive selection of food, spices, liquor, bread, deserts and much more.
After you pass through Guayabitos/La Penita area, Chacala is about 15 minutes North. The landmark before the Chacala turnoff is a large LP Gas on the Left called Global Gas. After you pass this, look for a large string of Fruit stands to the right about 5 minutes north. The Chacala exit is across from these stands. There is also a hotel at this intersection called Dona Maria. You will need to make a left here if you are coming from Puerto Vallarta. Making a left turn is a little different in Mexico versus the US. As you approach the intersection go to the right side nearest the Fruit stands and out of traffic. When it is clear in both directions you can cross over the highway and proceed to Chacala, about a 9 km drive. Do not stop in the center of the highway and turn signal left as this is not the way its done.
A few extra notes, there are often Topes or Speedbumps on the highway especially if you are entering a town, be careful. Also note that highways are usually well maintained and potholes fixed, however smaller roads including the one to Chacala, are not as well maintained. Watch carefully for potholes, especially when driving at night.
For the best rates on rental cars, check Gecko Rental Cars in Bucerias. They pick you up in Vallarta and their rates usually include insurance. Check with them for details.
Private transportation to Chacala from PVR Airport
A pre-arranged airport pickup is a great way to get to Chacala, particularly for people with lots of luggage, surfboards, small kids, or for people with later arrivals who don’t want to arrive in Las Varas after dark, this is a very practical option. Villa Del Mar can arrange for all your transportation needs. The driver is happy to make a shopping stop along the way.
Public transportation to Chacala – Bus
You can take the bus to Las Varas and taxi or combi to Chacala. To catch the Pacifico bus, first, take a taxi and go to the Central Bus Terminal.
When you arrive at the bus terminal enter and go to the Pacifico bus counter and ask for a ticket to Las Varas (V pronounced as B)Nayarit, usually they run every half hour or so. The ticket is about 300 pesos or about $18USD. Ask what gate the bus leaves from and what time. There are restrooms and snack shops located inside the bus terminal.
They load the buses quickly. If you have more stuff than you want to take on the bus with you, you can check your stuff under the bus. It’s probably a good idea to sit on the passenger side so you can watch your stuff during the brief stops on your way north. If they give you a luggage tag, don’t lose it. They will want it when you claim your luggage.
There are taxis to Chacala at the Pacifico bus terminal in Las Varas until maybe 9 pm or so, sometimes later, and the fare is usually about $12 or 150 pesos. There are two collectivo’s going back and forth to Chacala from about 7 am to about 5 or 6 pm for 20 pesos. The taxi drivers may be willing to point out the collectivo stop to you. It’s about two blocks back from the way you came into town and in front of the Taco sign and the Toltec cement sign. Most of the taxi driver’s know their way around Chacala, and the collectivo drivers know everybody in town.
It is a good idea if you are going to use the public transportation available to you, you should have a basic knowledge of conversational Spanish. If you do not speak any Spanish, we do recommend private transportation for your arrival.