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Getting to San Pancho - Luxury Cars, Taxi, Car Rental and Bus

 including luxury cars, buses, taxis and car rentals:
San Pancho sits on the Mexico Pacific coast along Highway MEX200, 33miles (53kms) north of Puerto Vallarta airport in the state of Nayarit, about a 45-minute drive. There are several methods of reaching San Pancho depending on your preference and your budget.
We suggest that if you didn't change money before arriving, you visit one of the ATM machines in the airport. When you exit customs turn right and head down the hallway toward the checkin area. On your far left you will see ATM machines. All are moderately cheap, about 40 pesos, though fees vary slightly. They are definitely cheaper than the ATM's in San Pancho.

There are a number of Limousine companies available to make your transfer to San Pancho a comfortable one. Though slightly higher-priced, you are transported in a large Suburban or other SUV in extreme comfort. They provide air conditioning, drinks of your choice, and will stop at the Mega grocery store en route so you can stock up on food and drink for your stay. In our opinion it is well worth it, particularly if you are traveling as a family or group, as they will seat 7-8 people and luggage. They all speak very good English as well.

We recommend the following companies:

Airport Transfer to San Pancho           

http://sanpancholife.com/business/discovervallarta.htm    Tel:   +52-322-108-3151

Versa Premium Tourist Transportation       

http://sanpancholife.com/business/VersaPremium.htm      Tel:   +52-329-298-8931


TAXIS to San Pancho can be taken directly from the airport.  Haggling will sometimes get you up to a 40% discount. Taxis from the Puerto Vallarta airport to San Pancho cost around $1000-$1500 pesos, or about $700 pesos if you walk across the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the highway. Make sure to ask the driver for the price in advance, and they may haggle a little.


All major car rental agencies are represented at Puerto Vallarta’s airport and reservations may be made prior to arrival (recommended) through your travel agent or when booking online (usually the best deal) and vehicles may of course be rented on arrival, providing availability. The major companies are recommended - their prices are higher but their quote is the actual price. The smaller companies appear very cheap, but when you pick up the car they tack on insurance costs, whether you try to refuse the coverages or not. We recommend:

Gecko Car Rental:     

sanpancholife.com/business/gecko.htm       Tel:  011-52-329 298 0339

Take Hwy 200 north. You will pass Nuevo Vallarta, Mezcales and Bucerias, then north of Bucerias the divided highway will turn into a 2-lane road. It winds up over a small pass - this is the most beautiful part of the drive, through lush jungle vegetation, often seeming like a tunnel. This portion can move slowly at times - pay attention, as you will usually at some point come upon a 'train' of traffic, following a truck that labors slowly up the hill. Locals put their emergency flashers on here to signal traffic coming up behind that traffic is slowing. Enjoy the beautiful scenery to pass the time! Once over the top, speed will pick up on the way down. You will pass San Ignacio, where traffic also slows due to a series of speed bumps, then shortly thereafter the turnoff to Sayulita. About 3 miles past Sayulita you will see a green highway sign for 'San Francisco', the official name for San Pancho. As you approach the turnoff you should get off on the right side, then wait until it is clear to turn left across the highway and onto the main street of San Pancho.

Driving tip: It is best to take your time and not try to pass, as it is narrow and there are few stretches long enough for passing. And watch carefully when driving this highway for oncoming cars passing other ones - they do this regularly. 

BUSES TO SAN PANCHO:  For those who like to travel closer to the ground or are on a budget, San Pancho can be reached by bus - if you don't have a lot of luggage it is a nice local experience, with school kids getting on and off as well as people going to and from work. It's also very cheap.

Exit the airport building and take the pedestrian bridge over the main highway and the buses stop right there. Watch for a green “COMPOSTELA” line bus with a sign in the front window saying “San Pancho”. There is about 1 bus every hour; and the passage is about $50 pesos. Alternatively, one can catch a bus to the neighboring village of Sayulita (2 buses every hour; cost about $40 pesos) and take a taxi from there to San Pancho. Note: Not all Compostela buses go to San Pancho or to Sayulita. Be sure to ask or look at the sign.
Make sure you tell the driver that you wish to get off at San Pancho. The bus will drop you on the side of the main highway at the San Francisco (San Pancho) turn-off. Once again, we suggest taking a taxi from the highway if available.

Although the bus to San Pancho is more direct, it drops you on the side of the highway at the entrance to town. This means crossing the highway and a walk with your luggage, so unless your accommodation is close to the highway it can make for a fairly long walk - as much as a mile. There are occasionally taxis available out by the highway, but there is no guarantee. The Sayulita option is better in our opinion, if slightly more expensive. Taxis wait by the bus stop and will take you to your door in San Pancho. They cost about $200 pesos - make sure you have changed money, as they generally only accept pesos.

BUSES FROM SAN PANCHO TO PUERTO VALLARTA:  From San Pancho to Puerto Vallarta or towns in between such as Bucerias or La Cruz, Pacifico and Compostela buses may be flagged down on the main highway 200. Times are approximately 20 and 50 minutes past the hour.

Major airlines flying into Puerto Vallarta include: Aeromar, Aeroton, Aeromexico, Alaska, America West, American, Canada 3000, Delta, Frontier, Mexicana, Mexicana Aviacion, United, Southwest, Sun Trips and WestJet.

Our “Links Section” of the SanPanchoLife website lists phone numbers for all major airline carriers that fly to the Puerto Vallarta airport.

Aeromexico – 322-224-2777 / 221-4030
America West – 322-221-1333
Air Canada – 01-800-719-2827
Alaska – 322-221-1350
American – 322-221-1799
Aeroton – 322-221-1921
Aeromar – 322-221-0815
Aviacsa – 322-225-8744/46 / 01-800-006-2200
Delta – 322-221-1032
Frontier – 322-221-1426/35
Mexicana – 322-225-8744/46
United – 322- 221-3262/64