Unlike Playa del Carmen or Tulum, there are no conveniently located tents for Covid-19 testing in Puerto Vallarta for visitors to use when they need tests for travel purposes.
As I have been in and out of Puerto Vallarta several times this year, I have seen the tent right outside of the airport several times and decided to try it out earlier this week as I needed a PCR-RT test to enter Brazil.
The primary purpose for the station right outside of the airport, but still on the airport grounds, is to provide fast antigen tests for travelers to the United States that they promise will be ready in 30 to 45 minutes.
They promise to have the PCR-RT test results in 48 hours, but mine arrived early the following morning. I did the test in Puerto Vallarta to have the test ready by the time I board the flight to Sao Paulo in Mexico City two days later.
You should preregister for the test as it will save time, especially if there is nobody in the line, as you can simply walk in to pay for the test.
The pricing is quite interesting. Nobody asked if we were traveling. You pay a significantly higher price if you are doing the test and have no plans to travel.
The line on Tuesday morning was perhaps 20 people deep and took 30 minutes to get through.
The bottleneck was the registration and payment process. The cashier asked a few questions about possible previous Covid-19 infections and jabs. You then pay for the test (credit cards ok).
They have several testing stations, and they take swabs of your throat and nose.
The test results arrived roughly 21 hours later at 7 AM the following morning.
The email contained the results in both Spanish and English.
My most recent previous test was at the Arts Hotel in Barcelona in May:
I also did a test in Mexico City in late April at the Hilton Reforma hotel:
Playa del Carmen and Tulum had numerous testing stations:
My experiences of having Covid-19 in Brazil and various tests I have done:
The test was one of the least painful “nose” cleanings that I have had and the first time someone swabbed my throat.
The stated 48-hour turnaround time is not good, but at least in my case, the results arrived in less than a day. It is probably dependent on what time you do the test and whether it is during the weekend or weekdays.
There was quite a bit of drama in the queue because of American tourists who thought that it was a good idea to turn up 90 minutes before the flight. The line takes 30+ minutes and another 30 to 45 minutes for the results and it resulted in missed flights (and extra revenue for the airlines).
I wish that we could soon end these tests for at least those who are fully vaccinated or prove that they have previously had Covid-19.