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Getting to San Pancho, Mexico

San Pancho Mexico Transportation - Private Car, Taxi, Car Rental, Bus & Driving Directions

San Pancho sits on Mexico's Pacific coast along Highway MEX200, 33miles (53kms) north of Puerto Vallarta airport in the state of Nayarit. It is about 45 minutes by road from the airport. There are multiple options for transportation, from luxury to budget. Many accept only cash, though some accept credit cards - we suggest asking when making the reservation. If you didn't change money before arriving, you can visit one of the ATM machines in the airport. As you exit customs into the main airport, head toward the checkin area. On your right you will see several ATM machines. All are moderately cheap, about 40 pesos, though fees vary slightly. They are definitely cheaper than the ATM's in San Pancho. The airport is presently undergoing remodeling, so locations of these machines may change.

If you want to travel in comfort, but at a reasonable price, car services are a great option. Not only do they take you to your door in a luxury air-conditioned vehicle, but for utmost convenience, the luxury cars are stocked with complimentary beer and water, and included on the trip from the airport to San Pancho many of them offer a 30-min. stop for groceries at the best supermarket along the way, so that you can stock up on all supplies needed for your San Pancho, Mexico vacation. Most all of the drivers speak very good English. This is the best way to arrive in San Pancho in style and comfort.

Your best options are:
Airport Transfer to San Pancho - http://sanpancholife.com/business/discovervallarta.htm
Amazing Sayulita Transportation - http://sanpancholife.com/business/AmaVer.htm

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 pesos or about $700 pesos if you walk across the pedestrian bridge to the other side of the highway.

All major car rental agencies are represented at Puerto Vallarta’s airport and reservations may be made prior to arrival (recommended) 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. 

San Pancho Life recommends: Gecko Car Rental    http://www.sanpancholife.com/business/gecko.htm They will pick you up at the airport and shuttle you to your car, and drop you off upon your return.

BUSES:  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 $40 pesos. Alternatively, one can catch a bus to the neighboring village of Sayulita (2 buses every hour; cost about $30 pesos) and take a taxi from there to San Pancho. Note: Not all Compostela buses go to San Pancho or to Sayulita. Make sure to ask or look at the sign. There is an employee at the bus stop that can answer your questions and help you get on the right bus.

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, and most are not, 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 a 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 $120 pesos - make sure you have changed money, as they generally only accept pesos.

The other option for a bus to San Pancho is to go to the central bus station, approximately 1 mile north of the airport. Flag down a taxi at the airport and have it take you to the Central Camionera. At the bus station you need to buy a ticket (about $45 pesos) and take a “PACIFICO” line bus heading in the direction of Tepic. Buses leave approx. every half an hour. These buses, however, only stop at the side of the highway, like the Compostela buses. 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.

Buses from San Pancho to Puerto Vallarta:  From San Pancho to Puerto Vallarta or towns in between, Pacifico and Compostela buses may be flagged down on the main highway 200. Times are approximately 20 and 50 minutes past the hour.

Driving Directions to San Pancho Mexico from Puerto Vallarta

Upon exiting the airport you have to make a right turn BUT you MUST immediately get into the left hand lane in order to be able to effectively do a U turn so as to be traveling north on Hwy 200. Follow signs for Compostela and Tepic. Initially you will be on a 6-lane highway which will narrow to 4 lanes and eventually 2 lanes. The highway changes to a two-lane road, and heads up and over a series of hills in a winding and twisting manner with lots of curves. It's when we hit this part that we always, all together, say 'ahhhhh', as this is the most gorgeous stretch of jungle road on your trip as you pass through what feels like a tunnel of foliage. Watch for animals grazing along the road, slow moving vehicles, and cars passing each other. 

At Km marker 118, 3 miles after you pass Sayulita, you will see a large overhead sign pointing left to SAN FRANCISCO (A.K.A. San Pancho). Turn here and you will go over a small bridge and find yourself on the main street, Avenida del Tercer Mundo, leading through town straight to the beach. 

Driving Tip:  
There is no turnoff lane to San Pancho from the highway. When you approach the turnoff, pull off to the right shoulder of the highway, then wait until clear before crossing the highway to enter the village.


 Directions to San Pancho Mexico from Guadalajara

 The route is easily marked with plenty of public road signs to Puerto Vallarta. Head west on the toll hwy towards Tequila. Continue for approximately 2 hours until the turnoff to Compostela. Follow Hwy MEX 200 down the incredibly windy/curvy road to Las Varas and on ahead for another 40 minutes to San Pancho at km marker 118 you will see a large overhead sign pointing right to SAN FRANCISCO. Turn right here and you will go over a small bridge and be put out on the main street Avenida del Tercer Mundo leading through town to the beach.


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.