Puerto Vallarta, Mexico - We're in that really hot and sweaty time of year here in Puerto Vallarta, so here are some summer survival tips to help you get through the sticky times...
Stay hydrated: Dehydration is one of the main causes of most health problems, not just heat related. To keep everything running efficiently in the body, and keep it cool, water is a must. Remember to continually drink water throughout the day even if you aren't thirsty. Your body needs water way before it tells you through the sensation of thirst. Keep an eye on the consumption of caffeine and alcohol as their intake dries out the body.
Made in the shade: Keep in mind that during the summer months here in Vallarta you can get heat exhaustion just by walking in the sun for five minutes, so stick to the shady side of the street when you're out and about.
Watch the index: High heat coupled with high humidity impairs the body's sweat glands. Therefore, it can't cool itself properly. The heat index takes the moisture and heat measurements into account. It then reports the temperature 'it feels like' outside with multiple variables in mind. There are apps and various websites where you can check the heat index easily.
Dress accordingly: Clothes made from polyester and other synthetic materials stick to you and don't allow your skin to breath. Loose fitting cotton or linen clothing is a much better choice for staying cool and comfortable. This is especially true if you are spending your first summer here. By all means never leave home without a bathing suit so, when given a chance, you'll be ready to jump into the ocean or take a refreshing dip in a pool.
Take it easy: A cool shower and an afternoon siesta can be your best friends in the midday heat. They're best taken during the time of day when the heat is most bothersome; less movement equals less sweating and the shower will give you an all around chiller feeling.
Fans, fans and more fans: Keep the air moving around you at all times. Still air is hot and humid air. Carry a hand fan (habanico), and you will look like a fabulously elegant Mexican lady. At home, use electric floor and ceiling fans in every room.
Chill out: If you do not have air conditioning in your home, and the fans 'just ain't cutting it,' there are lots of public places where you can escape the heat. Movie theaters, shopping centers and many coffee shops have AC, and some are kept so cold that you might need a sweater.Take a road trip: Try a trip to the mountains. San Sebastian is only a couple hours away, and there really is a difference in the temperature. It is noticeably cooler and less humid. It's not too far for a day trip, or you can spend the night.