A First TripTo Puerta Vallerta

Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 01:08 PM
  #81  
 
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<crosscheck:
You said you stay at villas. Is that a better option for a family of 4?>

Short answer is it depends on your family and the amount of amenities/togetherness you want.

We travel with a group of 3-4 families - 13-17 people - always during Christmas week. We are going on our 13th year together (8 villas in various parts of Mexico, the rest in Hawaii, Turks&Caicos and Costa Rica). For our group, villas are infinitely better than impersonal crowded hotels. We love our common hang out spaces and not having to deal with stressful logistics for restaurants.

Villas are usually more spacious and reasonably priced than hotels (if you factor in how much you save by not eating out every meal), in residential areas with emptier beaches. They come with a staff who cooks, cleans and arranges activities - these locals become friends for the week. PV perfected the villa experience and we've always had great luck in town and nearby - Sayulita (my fave), Punta del Burro, Punta Mita. We used to use a broker, but lately have found everything through vrbo. For four people, you might have to go with a condo, although I've seen some very cool smaller houses listed.

Hotels are a better choice if you want onsite water sports/activities, as well as social interaction for your kids. We usually take a more ambitious trip every year with just the four of us (lucky that our 20-something kids still want to travel with us) and we usually rent airbnbs rather than stay in hotels - because we like to our own home/living like locals (and we stay in hotels a lot for work).

If you do decide to rent a villa/house/condo in PV, I recommend lower Conchas Chinas on the beach within walking distance of town. You should also consider Sayulita, a laid back surf village (much more chill than PV, which is a large city) - has many expats/Europeans but has retained its charm. An ideal west coast Mexican destination for families. If you go there you can rent a bungalow that's part of a hotel - a good compromise.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 01:52 PM
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"Do you have any recommendations for things to do in PV?"
reply for BarbaraS:

-Stroll the Malecon on an Sunday evening
-Visit the church with the crown on the top
-Tues AM walking tour of the Malecon sculptures
-Go to a municipal or farmer's market
-Gallery walk
-Home tour
-Ziplining
-Pirate Ship
-Botanical Gardens
-Golf
-Salsa dancing
-Cooking classes
-Fishing
-Snorkeling
-Banana boats
-Parasailing
-Watch sunset from the Pier
-Go out to dinner
-Take a yoga class
-Go see live music
-Attend a play
-Take a panga to Yelapa
-Go to San Sebastian
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Old Jun 3rd, 2017, 07:53 PM
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Suze, for the Selva, it was in my contract that kids with "swimmers" on wouldn't be allowed in the pools, no toys for the kids in the pools, etc. One poster on TA who posts now and then actually pm'ed me a few years ago to tell me that he was thankful we had changed our mind as it's not what the owners really like and they will complain, so that's why we cancelled that booking and went elsewhere. One day when we don't have the kids I would like to try it though.
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Old Jun 4th, 2017, 06:50 AM
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Just saying I have never seen it in writing or any rules anywhere that says Adults Only or No Children Allowed at Selva Romantica. I have stayed there 3 times.

And as I've also already said it's not a place kids would like anyway regardless of the rules or the preference of owners in residence.
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Old Jun 7th, 2017, 09:16 AM
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Suze, I see I have replied on two threads. I will follow one or both. I have printed out the maps and am also looking into the condo rental companies you suggested. Love the list of activities also.
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Old Jun 7th, 2017, 01:05 PM
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Hey the Mexico branch needs some action - I don't mind checking both threads!

I'm sure I can think of some more (activities that is) even though I confess I do almost none of those things myself. My point was if anyone thinks there's nothing to do in Vallarta they are sadly mistaken -hahaha.

My daily schedule looks more like this: 8am Zumba class in the plaza, out to breakfast somewhere, a little shopping or run errands around town, spend the rest of the day reading a book in the pool and getting a bit of sun, feed the iguanas, take a siesta, go out again to watch sunset, take the 7:30pm Zumba class at Fit Club, change clothes and go out to dinner somewhere nice, get an ice cream, go home and watch the novellas (soaps) in Spanish on TV.
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Old Jun 8th, 2017, 09:01 AM
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We will surely do all of that except the Zumba - replace that with long walks on the beach. But DH really enjoys being out on the water, sailboat excursions, so we will look into that also. I like a little excitement so will look into ziplining and/or ATV. The rest of the time will be similar to your day and soaking up some local culture. We also love food tours.
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Old Jun 8th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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<ziplining and/or ATV>

https://www.vallarta-adventures.com/

http://superiortoursvallarta.com/

are two well respected activities and transportation providers
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Old Jun 9th, 2017, 07:28 AM
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Thanks for the tour providers... looking for stuff for our trip in November
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Old Jun 9th, 2017, 07:34 AM
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Also use www.vallartainfo.com for excellent maps and more ideas for activities.

It's a great website kept up by an expat Brit who's lived 'forever' in PV and loves it dearly.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 09:08 AM
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Suze, I'm checking out the resources you've suggested, looks like lots of fun things to do. Also, do you know anything about the condos in these complexes - Sunscape Resort, Casa Cielo & Beach Condos Nadia? Thanks again for all your help & information.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 11:31 AM
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hi slw~~

Sorry I don't know anything about resorts in the Hotel Zone (Sunscape).

I checked a couple different website and can see that Casa Ceilo is way up high on the hills on the "other" side of the highway so not convenient for walking places. Says it is in a "gated community" also not my thing. It may well work for you, I would not stay there because of the location.

Nadia is a place I've looked at for myself. The location is on the beach called Playa Camarones. It gets good reviews. A few complaints about noise from the beach bars/restaurants below or nearby. Also the pool is teeny up on the roof. If I were picking for myself from only the 3 you asked about, this is definitely the one I would choose.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 11:54 AM
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Thanks Suze, great information. I'll keep Nadia on the list but keep looking. But I think I will shelve it for a while, got another trip that takes precedence coming up in Sept. I'll be back.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 12:32 PM
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I'm always around (unless I'm in PV) & happy to help...
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