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October 26, 2015By: Adam Leposa
|View from Costa Sur Resort & Spa // Photo by Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board|
Puerto Vallarta has returned to normal following the impact of Hurricane Patricia over the weekend, with the Puerto Vallarta International Airport (PVR) and cruise port open and operating at 100 percent capacity, the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board said in its latest update in the situation.
Additionally, the destination's hotels, restaurants, marina and Convention Center are all back in operation, as well as buses, taxis and other ground transport companies.
Southwest Airlines scheduled two recovery flights from PVR to Houston (HOU) and Phoenix (PHX) to help with getting people home.
No changes to the cruise schedule have been made. Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Wonder will arrive in Puerto Vallarta as scheduled on Monday, October 26, and Norwegian Cruise Line’s Norwegian Jewel, as well as the Ruby Princess, will make their scheduled call on Wednesday, October 28, as planned.
The Riviera Nayarit Convention and Visitors Bureau likewise reports that the airport in Tepic is open. The Riviera Nayarit sustained minimum damage to homes and no damage to roads or bridges. Hotels in the area did not sustain damage or lose power.
All roads in the Riviera Nayarit are open along the coastline, as well as main highways, including those through the mountains to Tepic and Guadalajara. Seaports, beaches and all other facilities and services are again functioning normally.
After it was determined the storm would not be touching the city and was no longer a threat, authorities for the state of Jalisco and Puerto Vallarta hotels began to transfer tourists and locals back to the city from the shelters to which they had evacuated during the storm, which was downgraded to a tropical storm shortly after making landfall.
Travel Impressions reports that its Customer Service team was able to stay in touch with travel agency partners with vacations scheduled in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit to provide assistance with altering vacation plans as requested. The company has waived change fees for modifications due to the hurricane.
Amstar dmc, the representative of Travel Impressions in the region, had representatives standing by at each hotel to assist passengers in rescheduling their return flights. Travel Impressions has secured special distressed hotel rates should passengers need to extend their stay extra nights. Extra hotel nights will be paid by the passengers directly to the hotel upon checkout.
In Manzanillo, local phone lines are down, but cellular service is working. Amstar dmc is reporting minimal cosmetic damage to outlying areas of the destination.
According to experts interviewed by USA Today, quick evacuations and Mexico‘s mountainous terrain played a big role in the few deaths and little damage that resulted from the hurricane, which at the time it made landfall was the strongest ever to hit Mexico's Pacific Coast.
The storm, which had an eye just five nautical miles across, fell apart after moving over Mexico and crashing into the mountains. Additionally, the storm wound up hitting a sparsely populated stretch of coast, away from Puerto Vallarta to the north and Manzanillo to the south.
“This could have been far worse,” Dennis Feltgen, a meteorologist with the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami, told USA Today. “A little jog to the left, a little jog to the right and we’d be having a different conservation.”