Getting Here and Around

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TRAVEL TIPS

Getting Here and Around

For an effortless excursion, go on a tour through Vallarta Adventures. It has excellent day trips ($80) to San Sebastián by bus or jeep, depending on the number of passengers.

To have more flexibility or to spend the night in a cozy, no-frills hotel or a refurbished hacienda, charter a twin-engine Cessna through Aerotaxis de la Bahía in PV. For one to seven passengers the rate is about $700 split among them to San Sebastián, $750 to Mascota or Talpa de Allende. Add to these fares 15% sales tax and $20 per person for air travelers' tax. The return flight is usually free if you fly back with the pilot within three hours of arrival.

ATM (Autotransportes Talpa–Mascota) buses depart from the bus station in PV three times a day around 9 am, 2:30 pm, and 6:30 pm, stopping at La Estancia (11 km [7 miles] from San Sebastián; 1½ hours), then Mascota (2 to 2½ hours) and Talpa (3 to 3½ hours). The cost is about $5 one way to San Sebastián (La Estancia); $9 to Mascota; and $10 to Talpa.

Buses also depart several times a day from Guadalajara's new bus station (Entronque Carretera Libre a Zapotlanejo, modules 3 and 4). Note that the bus doesn’t enter San Sebastián; you'll be dropped at a small rest area, where taxis usually are available to transport you to town. The cost for the short drive is a bit steep at about $12. Share the cab with others on the bus to split the cost; or get a lift with a local and offer to pay (note that many will decline or ask just a small amount to help out with gas).

From Puerto Vallarta the road to San Sebastián is paved now, but those going to San Sebastián still have to get off the bus at La Estancia and take a taxi those last few miles. A suspension bridge was inaugurated in early 2007 to cover the last 8 km (5 miles) of the road to Mascota, which used to get washed out regularly in the rainy season. (Note that this road still may become dangerous or at least frightening during the rainy season, when landslides can occur.) Lago Juanacatlán is an hour from Mascota on a rough one-lane road of dirt and rock.

Taxis hang out near the main square in Talpa, Mascota, and San Sebastián.

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