The water purification company of Puerto Vallarta has received certification of water purity for human consumption for the past 9 years.
This means that the water in Puerto Vallarta meets US standards for drinking when it leaves the purification plant; it is unclear if the pipes carrying the water away from the plant are of equally high standards. Or, for that matter, the cistern or water tank, through which water flows atop almost every residence in Vallarta, just in case the water is turned off to fix those aforementioned pipes.
Besides using purified bottled water and ice cubes, most hotels also have a secondary water filtration systems to further purify the water used by guests.
Even though Puerto Vallarta's water is tested regularly and is safe, tourists and locals alike drink a lot of bottled water. Every store that sells either beer or soft drinks, also sells bottled water. From the little “tiendas” on the corner to the biggest supermarkets, you'll never be more than a block or so from an ice cold bottle of purified water. Many places also carry imported water, for those with designer label tastes.
Ice machines are a rare sight in Puerto Vallarta. Only a few of the larger hotels have them. Most places get their ice, delivered daily, from one of the water purification plants in town. Almost everywhere you go you'll find "ice tubes". They are crystal clear, cylinder shaped, and have a hole in the middle. If you need ice, you can also buy it at many stores for just a few pesos per bag. Just look for a white upright freezer with the word "HIELO" (Spanish for ice, pronounced like "yellow"). It's made from the same purified water that goes into bottles.
Drinks with Ice
Almost every bar and restaurant in Puerto Vallarta receives daily deliveries of large bags of ice, produced by one of the water purification plants in the area. The drinks you are served will contain "ice tubes", which are completely safe. Depending on your drinking habits, and your tolerance level, having too many tropical tequila drinks can leave you with a terrible pain in the morning. Just don't blame it on the ice.