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Puerto Vallarta - which area to stay?

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We are visiting Puerto Vallarta for 6 days and could use some help in deciding where to stay and how to spend our time. We are a couple in our early 30's traveling with our 4 year daughter. We travel very regularly and are interested in everything in equal parts, i.e. we like to soak the culture of a city, combined with some natural attractions and some time lazing around on the beach. What we absolutely cannot stand is spending 3-4 days constantly lazing around the beach. We like to move around and do things.

With that out of the way we are thinking the AIs of neuvo vallarta and the big resorts north of the old town and the Marina would not be a right fit for us. Are we better off staying in the Zona Romantica? On the other hand we do often like to stay in a nice resort but it looks like from my preliminary research if we wanted to do that we would have stay away from the old town area. For example, the CasaMagna Marriott or the Fiesta were appealing to us but looks like we would have to catch a bus to get into town from those resorts.

The other option we are contemplating is to spend say 3 nights in the old town and then two nights to relax in a resort like the Royal Decameron which I read is right next to a nice village - Bucerias. Or would it be better to just bus there for a day trip from the old town. Any advise or pointers will be much appreciated.

For activities we are thinking of doing a whale viewing expedition, visiting the rhythm of the nights and perhaps the zoo or the botanical gardens. Anything else you recommend that would be fun for a 4 year old?

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