Vallarta’s water taxis serve the beautiful beaches on the southern side of the bay, some of which are accessible only by boat. Departing from the Playa de los Muertos pier, they head south around the bay, making stops at Playa de las Ánimas (25 minutes), Quimixto (40 minutes) and Yelapa (55 minutes); the round-trip fare is M$320 for any destination. Boats depart Puerto Vallarta every hour or two between 10am and 4:30pm, returning from Yelapa (the end of the line) with the same frequency between 7:30am and 3:45pm daily. Water taxis to the beaches also depart from Boca de Tomatlán.
Private yachts and lanchas (motorboats) can be hired from the southern side of the Playa de los Muertos pier, starting from around M$350 per hour. They’ll take you to any secluded beach around the bay; most have gear aboard for snorkeling and fishing.
Local buses operate every five minutes from 5am to 11pm on most routes, and cost M$7.50. Plaza Lázaro Cárdenas near Playa Olas Altas is a major departure hub. Northbound local buses also stop on Insurgentes near the corner of Madero. Southbound buses either pass through the center or loop round via a tunnel to the Zona Romántica.
Northbound buses marked ‘Aeropuerto,’ ‘Ixtapa,’ ‘Mojoneras’ and ‘Juntas’ pass through the city heading north to the airport and Marina Vallarta; the ‘Mojoneras’ bus also stops at Puerto Vallarta’s long-distance bus terminal.
White-and-orange 'Boca de Tomatlán' buses (M$8) head south along the coastal highway through Mismaloya (20 minutes) to Boca de Tomatlán (30 minutes). They depart from the corner of Badillo and Constitución every 15 minutes.
Cab prices are regulated by zones; the cost for a ride is determined by how many zones you cross. A typical trip from downtown to the Zona Hotelera costs M$120; to the airport or the long-distance bus terminal it's M$160 to M$180; and to Mismaloya it's M$175. Always determine the price of the ride before you get in. Hailing a cab is easy in the city center along Morelos. There are several taxi stands, including one on Insurgentes and Cárdenas, one on Rodríguez at Matamoros and one on Olas Altas at Plaza Lázaro Cárdenas.