Coronavirus in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Jean-Baptiste Belledent
by: Jean-Baptiste Belledent
Coronavirus in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

What you need to know about Covid-19 in the Puerto Vallarta area

Latest Update: July 27, 2020
Initial publication date: March 5, 2020

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So far, there has been no case of Covid-19 in Quimixto, the little town near Xinalani. Our local government of Cabo Corrientes has had 5 cases over a 561 square miles area.

The summer is here, the sky is blue, the sun is high and strong. We had the first couple of storms of the season this month. The jungle turned green and lush in a snap. Xinalani has now been operating on a limited capacity (no more than 35% occupancy) hosting mostly locals and nationals in search of a sanctuary for the weekend. Our social distancing and sanitization measures have played a great role in creating trust with our guests. The lockdown has been so frustrating to some, there is an urgency to get out in nature and enjoy new open air experiences. There is so much space here, upon stepping off the boat on to the beach, one immediately feels overwhelming freedom. Our spectacular Beach Casitas with A/C and jacuzzis have been pretty appealing to those looking for luxurious comfort but the open air rustic chic experience is still possible in the Eco-Chic Suites and their hammocks overlooking the Bay of Banderas. All the rooms are fully sanitized before and after guest occupation. 

While we feel safe in our island haven, the statistics show that the number of cases of Covid-19 in Mexico is still growing. As it turns out, Mexico's national handling of the epidemic has not been optimal. Or at least no better than the United States. A huge part of the Mexican economy is informal, and informal workers simply cannot stop working or work from home. Contrary to most countries, the Mexican government has provided no economic support to the private and informal sector whatsoever. So while the well-off were able to do home office, the blue collar population had to keep on going about their daily hustle.   
Infection clusters however, are very much localized in major urban areas. Residents of our rural community have responded really well to social distancing measures and stay at home recommendations. All the official statistics we publish on this page are sourced on the site Secretaría de Salud - Dirección General de Epidemiología - Datos Abiertos (in English: Secretary of Health - Department of Epidemiology - Open Data). See more here

As of July 27, Mexico has had 432,572 confirmed cases and 45,587 deaths. With 12,121 confirmed cases, The state of Jalisco ranks 29th for the number of cases when in fact it is the 4th most populated state. As a comparison Mexico City and the state of Mexico top the list with a total of 119,000 cases or 27% of the nation's total.

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Previous information

June 29, 2020

The summer solstice is the bearer of good news. We've taken some great steps towards re-opening to a new normal life and Xinalani and will live up to its mission. The beach resorts in the Puerto Vallarta area are now re-opening and airport traffic is resuming gradually. The 3 months lockdown has been really tough and hundreds have lost their jobs and livelihoods. But the morale is better now and we all will get out of this crisis together. There is a growing number of inquiries for future reservations.
Regarding Covid-19 in our area, the epidemic has been under control. Residents have responded really well to the government's stay at home policy. We are thankful to the local police for their support in making sure people stayed home and respected social distancing measures.
All the official statistics we publish on this page are sourced on the site Secretaría de Salud - Dirección General de Epidemiología - Datos Abiertos (en English: Secretary of Health - Department of Epidemiology - Open Data). See more here.

  • As of June 29, Mexico has had 220,657 confirmed cases and 27,121 deaths. 
  • With 6,497 confirmed cases, The state of Jalisco ranks 8th with most cases when in fact it is the 4th most populated state, which shows measures have been more strict and efficient than in other regions.
  • Our local government of Cabo Corrientes has had 2 cases.
  • So far, there has been no case in Quimixto, the little town near Xinalani.
Coronavirus in Puerto Vallarta
Coronavirus in Puerto Vallarta

May 13, 2020

Dear retreaters, apologies on the long silence.
In light of the latest statistics available on the Mexican Health Secretary website, and in local newspapers, I would like to keep our guests informed about the Covid-19 situation in our region.

In the whole Puerto Vallarta area, there has been a total of 114 cases and 10 deceased since the beginning of the outbreak. Fortunately, the populations of the South shore of the bay have not been hit at all according to official statistics and to our people's grapevine. Our community of Quimixto has not suffered a single case so far, nor have the little towns of Chimo, Yelapa, Las Ánimas or Boca de Tomatlán. Isolation and the fact that very few boats are circulating right now must have prevented the virus to spread to our fishermen communities. Also, those towns are very small and only populated by a few families, around 200 people.

The Federal government who was jokingly minimizing concerns of pandemic radically changed course on the last week of March and took necessary decisions, following the trend of other western nations, ordering total quarantine.

The whole Puerto Vallarta / Riviera Nayarit resort destination area has been locked down since March 21, so as the rest of the country. No more flights, no more cruise ships, even our little panga boats are grounded and we have to jump through hoops to get to Xinalani from the mainland.

The economy here relies 99% on tourism and we have been hit really hard with no government financial support whatsoever. Unemployment sky rocketed and revenue is totally absent. The place is deserted yet it remains dreamy, clean and so paradisiac. The weather has been fabulous for the last two months and the spectacular landscape painfully contrasts with the desolation of all those involved in the travel business.

Fortunately, the local Health authorities have done a great job and the population has responded well to quarantine orders. The hashtag #quedateencasa (Stay home) remained a trending topic on social media for a few weeks, and local people took orders seriously even when they had to sacrifice their right to enjoy the ocean with social distancing. Some decisions made no sense and really pissed people off but they were necessary to prevent tourists to come on vacation.

We are now thinking of the future and hoping to resume operations at the end of June, everyone is getting up to date with new health and safety protocols in transportation and hospitality, and even if some are absurd, we're training and adapting. More on this soon.

We are confident our yogis will soon be back retreating at Xinalani, enjoying the freedom of an open air, wide and pure environment where they'll enjoy a huge social distancing while being a 10 min boat ride away from the next hospital. Stay tuned. Stay healthy. We''ll get out of this slump together. Remember Xinalani is your sanctuary. Enjoy the simple things.

March 16, 2020:
In spite of a significant number of last minute cancellations, Xinalani is currently hosting 35 guests (approx. 55% occupancy). At time of writing, the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Mexico has reached 41. The state of Jalisco has just confirmed 2 cases in the city of Guadalajara. The news do not mention any case in the Puerto Vallarta area. The Mexican authorities have decided Easter holidays should start on March 20th instead of April 3rd, so children will go to class this week and then have a full month of vacation. Major international cruise lines have suspended operations. The Puerto Vallarta Airport is operating as usual. The number of passengers decreased. The Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador is still attending public gatherings, hugging and kissing random people in the crowd.

Mexico will keep airports open

As America imposed travel restrictions from Europe to the United States, the travel situation in Mexico has not changed. "Restricting international travel to Mexico is not planned, nor is it being considered. Nor is closing borders or maritime ports" Deputy Health Minister Hugo Lopez-Gatell said at a regular government news conference on Thursday, March 12th.

Xinalani is very conscious of their guests and staff health and we want to keep communication lines open.

To further promote safety, we are providing liquid hand sanitizer around the property and disposable sanitizer wipes in the yoga spaces. In addition to our normal  cleaning processes, we are disinfecting high touch areas. All our staff has received repeated instructions to double efforts on hand and forearms sanitizing. Personnel with cough or flu symptoms is not allowed on property. Xinalani is an outdoors low density resort and contact between people can be limited.

March 9, 2020
Considering the latest health reports in Mexico, we send reassuring news to our guests and upcoming visitors. Mexico remains at a very low level of risk of Covid-19. As we post this, The Mexican health authorities have not detected yet any new case of coronavirus. The total number of infected patients in Mexico remains low, seven as we write. All patients are isolated hundreds of miles from Puerto Vallarta. Their situation is stable. None is in danger.

All our staff is informed of necessary prevention measures such as frequent hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, coughing in elbow, and avoiding contacts. The tourism coordination board has done an excellent job informing residents and visitors about reducing the risks of contagion.

Xinalani retreat center is full tonight with 64 guests, all healthy and smiling, enjoying the outdoors and open spaces. The weather is lovely and the ocean is very enjoyable right now. We haven't had any significant number of guest cancellations as of yet.

We remain on the look for any new official information and government guidelines. Should anything changes in the meantime you will be informed first-hand. Our cancellation policy is available online. For now, the risk of contagion is at its lowest. Let's hope for the best. Our thoughts go the victims and their families.

March 7, 2020
We would like to update our guests as the radiant sun rises over the beach in tranquil Bay of Banderas on this glorious Saturday. Tourism presence remains strong as usual in the winter season. Airport officials are expecting a similar number of seats to arrive today as last year in early March. Other hospitality professionals briefly sounded today reported no significant change to their arrivals list. The beaches are busy with sun-bathers.

Patient number 6 confirmed in Central Mexico

In Mexico, the number of 5 patients had remained the same since last Sunday, March 1st. No casualties have been reported in Mexico as of yet. However, as we write this update, the Mexican authorities have just confirmed a 6th case of coronavirus who was hospitalized near the city of Toluca, Estado de México, a 10 hour drive away from Puerto Vallarta. The patient, a 71 year old male who came back from a trip to Italy on February 21, is now in isolation and his medical team reported that he is stable.

In a press conference last night, Sub-Secretary of Health Hugo López-Gatell, said the man arrived at the hospital with symptoms of coronavirus but he received immediate medical care and could not possibly have transmitted the virus to other people.

López-Gatell insisted that considering the very limited number of cases in Mexico, there is no need to cancel massive events as the governments did in China, Iran or Italy.

The virus may not like warm weather and humidity


Global Rescue | Daniel L. Richards - WTTC Covid-19 Letter.pdf

In a recent letter, Daniel L. Richard, CEO of Global Rescue, explains to travel professionals that researchers consider that the Covid-19 "virus may not like warm weather and humidity".

"Widespread community transmission of the virus is conspicuously absent in warm, humid climates of Southeast Asia, despite the region's proximity to China, significant exposure to Chinese travelers, and challenged infrastructure.", Richard said, although later stated that "these are our observations only and have not been backed by science or research and may not be true"

Puerto Vallarta's tropical climate is characteristically similar to Southeast Asian countries with warm temperatures and high humidity which gives us reasonable hope that should a virus bearing patient visit the area, community transmission might be slower than in a colder regions. So far we observe that all 6 confirmed cases are limited to central and Northern Mexico whereas the tropical coasts including Puerto Vallarta are free of trouble.

At Xinalani we take our guest's health and wellbeing very seriously, and we will keep on informing you about any change on the situation.

Updated: March 5, 2020

In view of the growing concerns regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, we would like to inform our guests on the current situation of Coronavirus in Mexico.

The latest update on coronavirus

As we write that note, 5 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Mexico. The Mexican Secretary of Health quickly took all precautionary measures to isolate and closely monitor all five ill patients. 

What we know for sure about the 5 confirmed cases

All five patients are confined in official institutions. Two patients are interned in Mexico City, one in Torreón Coahuila, a region bordering the United States, one in Sinaloa, a northern Pacific region and one more in Chiapas, the southern end of our country. All these regions are hundreds of miles away and have very limited business with Puerto Vallarta. To date, no cases have been reported in the Puerto Vallarta area.

Limited Potential Risk

Mexico remains at the very lowest risk level possible for all health issues for travelers, according to the experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, it is worth noting that there are no direct flights from China, any Asian country, or Italy to the Puerto Vallarta international airport. Furthermore, there are currently no travel restrictions to Mexico. As a leading resort destination, Puerto Vallarta has several world class hospitals able to quickly detect, analyse, monitor and isolate any individual that could present symptoms. In any case we must stay alert and pay attention to any evolution of the situation.

Travel worries

We understand that some of our guests have legitimate concerns about COVID-19 affecting their upcoming retreats. As you know, Xinalani takes health and wellbeing matters very seriously, the protection of our guests and staff is at the top of our priorities. For that matter, we will keep on monitoring the evolution of the situation within Mexico and look out for the Secretary of Health warnings. We will inform you of any changes that may occur before or during your travel dates. 

Health standards at Xinalani

Xinalani is a 10 acres mostly open air facility, human density is very low (65 guests at most) which limits any risk of contagion. Xinalani operates with the highest hygiene norms. All food is handled with the utmost care, following international health standard. All our facilities are thoroughly cleaned daily. All our staff receives medical attention and guidance. Employees presenting any symptom of cold or flu are not admitted at work until the symptoms have disappeared for 72 hours.

Preventative measures to mitigate risks of Coronavirus

Our staff has been instructed to  follow The World Health Organization standard practices for reducing the chance of catching COVID-19 while traveling. Their advice includes:

  • Cleaning hands regularly using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water. We have placed bottles of 
  • Coughing into a flexed elbow or tissue (immediately throwing the tissue away) and washing hands after
  • Distancing yourself from anyone with a fever or cough
  • Avoiding direct unprotected contact with live animals and surfaces with contact to live animals in areas affected by COVID-19
  • Avoiding eating raw or undercooked animal products.
  • Handling raw meat, milk, and animal organs with care by avoiding cross-contamination and following good food safety practices

Should you have further doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us at

We look forward to welcoming you for a retreat in Paradise.

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