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Trip Report Puerto Vallarta Trip Report

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After my planned hiking trip to Peru was cancelled on account of a foot injury, I decided to take a short break to relax in Puerto Vallarta instead. To my surprise, it was one of the few places in the world that I did not particularly like and would not recommend. Granted, I spent a good part of the time with an upset stomach, possibly related to a shrimp fajita, and the weather was cloudy and more like London than Mexico. I hear PV has great sunsets, but all I saw were gray clouds.

The city itself looked like Atlantic City, only with palm trees. It is wall to wall hotels and condominiums, with more under construction. Los Muertos beach is ok, but much of it is taken up by beach clubs. I took a walk south to Conchas Chinas which makes for a nice walk, though there are only a few small spots to swim. The Malecon, which everyone seems to like, is just one long strip of restaurants, bars and tacky souvenir shops.

I spent two days in Bucerias which has a nicer beach and a nice small town feel. But there too, the whole beach is lined with houses, hotels, condominiums and restaurants. It is lined with palm trees but they are all on private property so if you want any shade you need your own umbrella or must pay to eat somewhere and stay in their chairs for the day.

In Bucerias, I stayed at the Hotel Palmeras. It is generally nice, though you need a sense of humor to stay there. The windows did not fit properly in the frame so in the very windy weather, it sounded like a hurricane. And the water stopped working three times in one day.

Back in PV, I was at the Blue Chairs Hotel for one mercifully short day. Rooms are run down, A/C doesn't work and they start blasting music from the beach club at 11AM and then from the rooftop bar at 3PM. Avoid it. I moved to Los Arcos, which is more of family resort with lots of little kids, but the location was good, everything worked properly and I had a nice ocean view.

On the positive side, I will say that the people are all extremely nice and service is always good. Also, it is easy to get away from the tourist haunts and find local places close by. And it is very gay friendly.

Other than that, I'm not sure why everyone raves about it. Next time, I'll go back to Cancun.

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