Vacation Rentals

Vacation Rentals In San Pancho, Mexico


Since 2005, we’ve been offering the best villas, apartments and houses for rent in beautiful San Francisco (San Pancho), Mexico. We represent all types of vacation homes and properties, from modest apartments to exclusive luxury villas. We’re certain to have the key ingredient to your dream vacation, the perfect accommodation! We are experts in the vacation rental field and have been bringing our customers the finest houses for rent in the area just north of Puerto Vallarta known as the Riviera Nayarit. Get in touch and see for yourself!

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Frequently Asked Questions When Vacationing in San Pancho, Mexico


Will I need a passport to travel?

Yes, all foreign citizens (including American and Canadian) and newborn infants must have a valid passport to enter Mexico (driving or flying). There are no exceptions.


Should I consider travel insurance for my trip?

Travel Insurance is strongly recommended. There are numerous companies, we suggest starting with your current insurance carrier to see what your travel options are. In most cases you need to purchase within 10 days of making payment for your trip.


Do I need a minor consent letter if travelling as a single parent?

No, Mexico does not require a consent letter for a single parent to travel with a minor. However, when your child is traveling with a grandparent or with another family member, they may be at risk of being denied entrance to Mexico.  You can find a special form at This form has been reviewed by attorneys and has been accepted worldwide without incident. The form gives permission from the non-traveling guardian for the travel, authorizes a very limited medical power of attorney, outlines the itinerary, and includes emergency contact information. It is recommended that this form be notarized and the ORIGINAL be carried with your travel documents. To be safe, we also recommend several photocopies of the form be packed in your suitcase.


Can I take a bus to San Pancho or do I need to take a taxi or rent a car?

Yes, however, the bus station is not at the airport and the bus drops you at the entrance to San Pancho and taxis are not always there waiting to take you in to San Pancho. We suggest getting dropped off at the entrance to Sayulita and taking a taxi to San Pancho or organizing a local taxi in San Pancho to be at the entrance and take you to your house.


Is Uber available in San Pancho or surrounding areas?

The short answer to the question is no, not in San Pancho. The long answer is that while Uber is permitted in the state Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta is located), it is not permitted in the state of Nayarit (where San Pancho is located). You can take an Uber ride from Puerto Vallarta to San Pancho, however, you cannot call for an Uber ride to pick you up in San Pancho or anywhere in the state of Nayarit. Therefore, if you would like to take an Uber ride from the airport you will need to go out and take the foot bridge that leads you over the highway from the airport to meet your Uber driver. This may be an inconvenience when traveling with multiple items or large groups.


Should I rent a car or a golf car when visiting San Pancho?

We don’t recommend golf cars for multiple reasons. The main reason is they cost just as much, if not more at times, than a car rental and you can only use them around town. A car rental usually includes transportation to and from the airport as well as getting you places around town and if you feel like checking out surrounding areas, the car provides this as well. Another reason we don’t recommend golf cars, is that they are not very comfortable and/or practical. If the rain comes, there is very little protection and they can not handle the slick and/or muddy roads. We strongly recommend car rentals to people with back issues or small children. The roads in San Pancho are very bumpy and you do feel each and every bump in a golf car. Most do not have seat belts and with the bumpy ride, it can be dangerous for small children.


Can I rent a car in San Pancho?

Unfortunately, there are no car rental companies in San Pancho. While there may be available car rentals in Sayulita, we believe that it would be a nuisance to deal with during your trip because you would still need to be responsible for your transportation to and from the Puerto Vallarta airport. We recommend deciding prior to your trip if a car rental is what you would suit you best and renting one in Puerto Vallarta if need be. For hillside house rentals with steep driveways, we would suggest a car rental for convenient transportation to and from town and the beach.


Are there Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in San Pancho?

Yes, there are ATM’s in San Pancho, all dispense Mexican Pesos. Here are some locations in San Pancho:

There are also ATM’s in the town of Sayulita, just an 8 minute drive south of San Pancho and at the banks in Bucerias, mentioned below. Please note that the local San Pancho ATM’s have been known to:

  1. Run out of money (especially around holidays)
  2. Have limits of how much cash you can pull out per day and
  3. The ATM cash dispensed will be in MXN (Mexican Pesos).


Are credit cards and travellers checks accepted in San Pancho?

No, most restaurants and stores in San Pancho do not accept credit cards nor Traveller’s checks. We advise that use bring your ATM card to obtain cash. Please note, ATMs are in MXN currency.


Do I need to report my upcoming trip to my bank and/or credit card companies?

Yes, it is extremely important to advise the fraud department at your bank and/or credit card company that you will be vacationing in Mexico before you leave your country of origin. If you do not do this, some banks and credit card companies put a freeze on cards after they are first used here in Mexico and guests’ have been unable to use them, therefore they had no way of acquiring cash. Guests have also experienced that their ATM and/or credit cards did not work at all in Mexico because they had not made prior arrangements with their bank and/or credit card companies.


What time do I need to leave San Pancho to get to the Puerto Vallarta Airport on time?

When you are ready to depart, you should leave San Pancho 3 hours earlier than your scheduled flight to leave time for a minimum one hour drive (not factoring in traffic) and 2 hours to be ready for your flight.


Why does my cell phone think San Pancho is on a different time zone?

San Pancho is on the same time zone as Puerto Vallarta. San Pancho is actually in a different state, Nayarit, than Puerto Vallarta, which is in Jalisco. These two states are on different time zones and we (being San Pancho, Bucerias, Sayulita & Punta de Mita) all used to be on different time zones. Because these areas have had increased tourist attractions and the Puerto Vallarta airport services these surrounding areas, the time zone difference became a huge inconvenience for travelers. The time zone was changed many years back and these areas mentioned above, which include San Pancho, are the same as Puerto Vallarta. To really confuse you, your cell phones clocks stray you wrong when you are down here if they are set to automatic or satellite time, because they are picking up the state of Nayarit time. We suggest you keep your watch and/or cell phones manually set on or Puerto Vallarta time and all will be good! Please also note, that Daylight Savings does not take place in Mexico.


Is it customary to tip in Mexico?

Yes, it is customary and greatly appreciated to tip in Mexico, especially the restaurant servers and housekeepers. A suggested minimum gratuity at a restaurant or in house dining is 15%. A suggested minimum gratuity for housekeeping “per couple/bedroom” is approximately $5.00 USD per day the housekeeper cleaned. Please keep in mind the house was cleaned prior to your arrival and after you depart. As for tipping the House Administrator and gardener, this really depends on your experience and what you feel comfortable with.


Will I get cellular reception in San Pancho?

San Pancho has cellular phone reception in certain areas. Both AT&T and Verizon do work in certain areas of San Pancho. Please check with your phone carrier as they are now offering very affordable data plans so you can stay in touch with wireless internet/data packages.


Is the town named San Pancho or San Francisco?

The official name of this pueblo is San Francisco, if you are looking on maps or road signs this will be the name used, however, the town is affectionately known to locals as San Pancho. “Pancho” is a nickname for the name “Francisco.”


What do I need to know when driving in Puerto Vallarta and San Pancho?

If you plan on doing even a small amount of driving, you should be aware of how the driving conditions are and how the road conditions in Mexico can vary from street to street. The roads in Mexico are far different from the roads in other countries because they aren’t government protected in many ways. For example, in the United States public roads and Interstates have to fit a certain criteria and they must reach specific standards; while in Mexico the road you are driving on may not have been updated in several years. Driving in Mexico isn’t as dangerous, as many people would tell you, but it also isn’t the safest place to drive either- it’s just more challenging. Another thing that new drivers should be aware of is the livestock factor. Livestock isn’t fenced-in nearly as much as it is in the other countries. In fact, most farmers just neglect to put fencing of any sort around the fields, even the highways, literally Free Range! Without fencing, the livestock is free to move about the roadways and because of this, nearly 40% of all car accidents in Mexico, include livestock in some way (according to Lonely Planet – Mexico). We advise that you do not drive at night since unlit vehicles, rocks, pedestrians and animals on the roads are common; as well as hijacks/robberies, which although unlikely, could also occur.

Remember that along the highway in this area of Mexico, it is customary that when you make a left turn you PULL OVER TO THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE HIGHWAY. Please wait and make sure there is no traffic in either direction then continue and make your left turn.  PLEASE NOTE: In this area when you put your left turning indicator on, this could mean that you are saying, or the driver in front of you is saying, that it is “safe to pass,” not that you are turning left! Please make sure that it is safe before you pass! Do not trust indication signals!

Please drive with caution relax and take your time, you are in Mexico!


What does a yellow painted curb mean?

Your car may be towed and or license plate removed without notice if you park in yellow-curbed zones, specifically in Sayulita. The result is a very long day in Mezcales and/or a $300 USD fine. If this does happen, you may want to notify your rental car company first before anything else.


Are there grocery stores, meat and fish markets in San Pancho?

There are a handful mini grocery stores, vegetable stands and tortillarillas located in San Pancho, as well as a butcher and a fish market. El Indio Mini Super & Mini Super El Morro are the most well stocked in San Pancho and is located on Calle America Latina near the corner of Ave. Tercer Mundo (the main street corner in San Pancho, you can’t miss it).

For major super markets with a larger variety of groceries there is a Mega and La Comer (Super Markets) in Bucerias (approx. 25 minute drive north of the airport or south of San Pancho), both right off the highway on the right hand side when headed north to San Pancho from the Puerto Vallarta airport. Mega is open until 12pm, however, hours of operation are subject to change during specific time of the year and over holidays, so do check their websites.

Also, if you have a Mexican cell phone number, you can pre-order groceries at La Comer, use this link here to make your order and pick it up at La Comer in Bucerias on your way to San Pancho if headed from that direction.


Will there be spices and/or cooking oils at the house?

Unfortunately, we never know what kind of spices are at the vacation homes and cannot keep them on stock because they do go bad down here with the humidity. El Indio Mini Super & Mini Super El Morro in San Pancho are the most well stocked with spices.


What is supplied with my vacation rental (i.e. linens, towels, purified water, hair dryer, soaps)?

The Premises, unless otherwise noted on, is equipped and set up as a fully furnished property that will include bedspreads, linens, blankets, pillows, towels and cooking utensils. In addition, a starting supply of purified drinking water, toilet paper, hand soap and dish soap will be available. If the house is not equipped with a water purification system, water will be supplied in five gallon bottles. Not all vacation rentals supply shampoo, you may confirm with your rental agent whether this will be stocked or not.


What sort of appliances will be in my vacation rental (i.e. coffee pot, blender, iron)?

Most vacation rental homes represented by San Pancho Rentals & Real Estate will be stocked with common kitchen appliances such as, a coffee maker, blender and toaster. Other personal appliances, such as, hair dryers and an iron/ironing board are not commonly stocked. If you have a specific appliance in need, please contact your rental agent to confirm whether it is stocked or not.


Can I hire a cook?

Yes! Some of the houses are staffed with wonderful cooks for hire. Sometimes this service already included in the price of the rental. If there are no cooks on staff, we know and can recommend many local chefs and cooks for hire. The cost varies greatly depending on breakfast, lunch, dinner, chef, local cook, etc. The cost of local, private cooks ranges anywhere from $8-$10 USD per person, per meal for breakfast, $10-15 USD per person, per meal for lunch and $15-25 USD per person, per meal for dinner. The cost of food is normally not included, grocery receipts are provided. Rates will be higher for a chef.


What should I pack and or not pack?

Flashlight (now-a-days this is an app on your smart phone), comfortable walking shoes and long, light clothing (such as long sleeve shirt and light pants) for cool winter evenings and bugs. These are items that would be difficult to purchase in San Pancho. We highly recommend not bringing expensive items, i.e. computers, jewelry, etc., that you may not need.


Do I need an adapter for the electrical outlets?

All of the vacation rental homes represented by San Pancho Rentals & Real Estate have three prong outlets (same as in the U.S.). If they do not, an adapter is supplied.


What is the most convenient way to communicate if I am having an issue at the house?

WhatsApp!! We suggest you take the time to download WhatsApp on your smart phone or tablet before arriving. This is a communication application that we use along with most of the house administrators. WhatsApp will give you quick and responsive communication with the house administrators and us in case you have any questions or there are any issues with the home. To find out more about the app and for downloading go to: Note: It is very important to enter country codes when dialing within the app. For example, here in Mexico would be +52 and the 10 digit cell phone number from a foreign phone.


Is the Wifi Reliable in San Pancho?

All of our vacation homes have Wifi and the majority now have fiber optic internet which works quite well. It is not unheard of to have internet outages at times or experience slow internet at the houses and businesses. If you find yourself staying in a home without Wifi, please be patient and enjoy what you are here for… vacation! Keep in mind that there are places in town that offer Wifi, such as Entreamigos Community Center. In some areas of San Pancho, particularly in town, there is cellular reception and there are international phone companies now offering great Mexico data packages if you do need to be connected. You will want to check with your phone carrier prior to arriving and may want to check with us to see if there is cellular reception at the house you will be staying at.


What are the best weather months for San Pancho?

November through May are the “dry” and “cooler” months in San Pancho. June is when the season changes, July through October are the rainy months with sporadic rain and a higher chance of tropical storms. The summer months are hot and humid with heavy thundershowers and incredible sunshine. It can be a very tropical experience.


Is the San Pancho beach swimmable?

The main San Pancho beach is located right off the Pacific Ocean, there is no protective cove therefore, good swimming changes with the swell, which changes throughout the hour, day and week. At times the ocean can be very calm and at other times the waves are heavy with breaks on the beach, which can be dangerous for small children or unsure swimmers.


How is the surf in San Pancho?

The main surf spot tends to be on the far south end of the beach and depending on the swell, direction and sand bar, the surf can be great! With the right conditions the waves can have great shaped, rip-able lefts with decent ride time.


Where can I find local services and activities?

Check out San Pancho Life and follow @sanpancholife on Instagram.


How do I dial home or locally when calling from my foreign cell phone?

To make a local call when dialing from a foreign cell phone, it is important to use the “+” sign and the country code. A lot of times this can be done by holding down the “0” button until it turns to a “+” sign. When calling a Mexican landline or cell phone from your foreign cell phone you would dial +52 and the last 10 digits of the phone number. An example would be calling our office, you would dial +52 311 258 4066. If you are trying to call the U.S. or Canada from your foreign cell phone, dial “+1″ and the 10 digit phone number.


Have we answered your questions about travelling in San Pancho?

If you have more questions, contact us direct at Please note, detailed arrival instructions including more detailed San Pancho travel information will be provided upon receipt of your final payment.


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