Smartphones can be a necessary and effective tool when traveling abroad nowadays. Here are some of the must-have apps to have that can make your trip to Mexico go a little bit smoother.
WhatsApp Messenger, or simply WhatsApp, is a freeware, cross-platform centralized instant messaging and voice-over-IP service owned by Meta Platforms. It allows users to send text messages and voice messages, makes voice and video calls, and share images, documents, user locations, and other content. WhatsApp is used by most businesses and individuals in Mexico and is a must-have to make your trip run easy and smooth if you plan on communicating with locals or businesses. Available on both Android and iPhone. (Free App)
The Google Translate app can translate dozens of languages, either through text or voice; just type, write or speak into the app. It even allows you to point your smartphone at a sign or menu written in a foreign language to view a live translation. It can be super helpful in many parts of your trip and is a must-have if you feel rusty on your Spanish. Available on both Android and iPhone. (Free App)
Maps.Me formerly named MapsWithMe, is a mobile app for Android, iOS, and Blackberry. It is a free, open-source mobile app that provides offline maps using OpenStreetMap data. Furthermore, it is a map with direction and navigation that can be used for walking or driving directions. Travelers love Maps.Me because you do not need phone service to operate the pre-downloaded maps, so if you have your data turned off and are not connected to the internet, you can still use Maps.Me to navigate around Puerto Vallarta or wherever you happen to be! Maps.Me is free to download.
Uber is excellent if you are already in Vallarta, especially if you are down by the romantic zone as there are typically plenty of drivers. Prices are fair, and drivers generally are very friendly. Uber drivers are unfortunately not allowed to do airport pickups, so you can either walk out of the airport area with your bags or take a taxi to your destination from the airport. If you will be in the Nuevo area or have to cross into Riviera Nayarit, you may want to consider another driver app as the rules of Uber drivers and their access to Nayarit seems to be continuously changing. Uber is free to download, and you can register a credit card to pay for rides. Available on Android and iPhone.
inDriver has grown in popularity recently in Vallarta and has emerged as an alternative to Uber. One of the main differences between inDriver and Uber is with inDriver, you can set a price you are willing to pay to get to a particular destination, and a driver can choose to accept the ride and pick you up or not. If you set a price too low, you may need to hike it up a tad, but the number of inDriver’s in the area has undoubtedly increased. inDriver is available on both Android and iPhone and is free to download.
Another transportation app growing in popularity is Didi. DiDi is an app that allows you to request a car to your location, and you can pay in cash. Many have praised Didi for their prices and have suggested it is better for long trips around greater Puerto Vallarta. Like inDriver, the number of DiDi drivers seems to be steadily growing. Didi is free to download and is available on both Android and iPhone
Rappi is certainly growing in popularity, especially for extended tourists to help with deliveries of groceries or even snacks from Oxxo. Rappi will also do pickups at your favorite restaurants or the pharmacy. It is super helpful if you do not have a car to navigate the area but need to complete some brief errands. If you’ve spent any time in Vallarta, you’ve surely seen the motorcycles with the Rppi packs on their back cruising around. Rappi is available on both Android and iPhone and even has a website that allows you to order items.