Beach difference PV/Cancun?

Old Sep 25th, 2002, 07:56 PM
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Beach difference PV/Cancun?

We will be traveling to mexico for the first time in October. Trip is between Puerto Vallarta and Cancun. We prefer our trip to be more romantic and not incredibly crowded. What is the difference between the beaches and area of Cancun and Puerto Vallarta?
Old Sep 25th, 2002, 09:14 PM
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Well I've been to PV 4 or 5 times. I love it! I'm going to Cancun this Sat 9/28 for a week. My thinking is PV would probably be more romantic. However the water is not as clear as cancun cuz pv is in a bay. Cancun is more of a party place, so is PV somewhat, but I don't think it's as wild as Cancun. Do you have a place to stay in PV?
If you want a resort I reccommend Paradise village. They have website. If you want something downtown. (I probably should keep this to myself) Check out They have very reasonable rates. It's an old mansion that was remodeled so they rent out the rooms. I think it would be a very romantic place. The biggest casa overlooks the pool and you can wake up in a canopy bed that overlooks the bay. It's a spectacular view. No AC but the way arctecture (spell?) is. it stays cool. I can give you more info on Cancun when I return. Because of the Hurricanes, I would reccomend PV in Oct. Also if you decide on PV I can tell you what I think are the must sees and to do's.
Old Sep 26th, 2002, 06:04 AM
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I've been to Cancun twice and PV three times and I'm going back again this Christmas. Cancun's beaches and water are beautiful, with the white sands and clear blue water. But PV has more of a Mexican feel. Cancun is like a Miami beach, there are huge malls and shopping centers and overrun with tourists. I personally would recommend PV over Cancun, but it depends on what you like. Have a wonderful time.
Old Sep 26th, 2002, 01:02 PM
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The ocean in Puerto Vallarta (being the Pacific) is more rough and less clear. The beach is narrower and less white. Cancun (being the Caribbean) has that turquoise water, white sand thing down pat!

Having said that... Cancun was BUILT as a resort and is lined with new expensive hotels and all-inclusive resorts.

PV has been a town for a long time, with a tourist industry that naturally grew out of it. Sure you can find a 4/5 star resort in PV out in The Marina or Nuevo Vallarta. Or you can choice a place in El Centro (downtown) or "south of the river" (sometimes called Zona Romantica in the brochures) which is a "normal Mexican neighborhood" with lovely hotels of all price ranges mixed in. The local beach of Playa Los Muertos is used by tourists, locals, and Mexican visitors alike. The streets in this part of town are cobblestone, lots of white washed or brick buildings, wrought iron trim, red tile roofs, bouganvilla vines growing wild.

Puerto Vallarta is incredibly romantic and depending on what part of town you are in or what beach you visit, it can be festive & crowded or peace & quiet.
Old Sep 27th, 2002, 02:44 AM
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PV is much nicer than Cancun. There is a lot more to do in PV and it is not as tacky as Cancun. I would not say that the nightlife in Cancun is any wilder. There may be more bars and clubs to go to but they are tame, boring and full of dull people (I thought). PV has a much better mix of people.

Cancun has what some would call a nicer beach - the white sand is cooler on the feet when on the beach (than in PV) and there are much smaller waves (which I think makes the beach boring).
Old Sep 27th, 2002, 04:33 AM
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Been to Cancun 2x, PV maybe 8x (lost track..) The ONLY thing I liked better about Cancun was the beach/water. PV is my favorite place to vacation, very romantic. Shouldn't be too crowded in October. Stay away from Nuevo Vallarta, an area of all inclusive hotels north of PV, very different. If you want romantic, stay at Molina de Agua in the heart of downtown PV, or Camino Real just a teeny bit south of PV (if beach is important to you, Camino Real has the best beach in town), or at a small privately owned hotel (usually not on the beach). For sure don't go AI in PV, the restaurants in town are wonderful. Try to stay on the south side of town, it is the best, even referred to by many as the "romantic zone".
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 09:23 AM
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Never been to PV but have talked to others who have. The beaches and color of the water in Cancun (which is very important to us) wins hands down. The beaches in Cancun are absolutely beautiful and PV's beaches don't measure up. Also, I don't think Cancun's beaches are overly crowded depending on where you're staying. My advice--if you go there, stay on the long part of the 7 (the newer part of the hotel zone).

If beaches and color of water is not your utmost concern then from what others here have said, PV would probably be perfectly fine.

Both destinations probably have great nightlife and restaurants although Cancun probably has better 'designer' or high end shopping.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 11:08 AM
Cancun vs PV
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Comparing Cancun to PV is like comparing night and day; two completely different places. No question when it comes to white sand (that never gots hot) beaches and clear turquoise water, Cancun and surrounding area have it hands down. That's the plus of the Caribbean. PV beaches generally have tan-colored sand and darker blue water; only a couple of places in the area clear enough to have decent snorkelling. In-town beaches are fairly narrow, but if you go north past Nuevo Vallarta or further to Destilideras, the sand is almost as white as Cancun's and the beaches are very wide.

The biggest difference past the beaches/water is that Cancun is like Vegas on the beach; totally Americanized, very slick and commercial with no Mexican culture except that which is manufactured. PV, while becoming a popular tourist destination, has retained the Mexican culture and feel that it's always had. The area is beautiful with mountains, jungle, rivers, waterfalls and of course the beautiful bay upon which it sits. Every street reflects another aspect of the culture and life that makes the city vibrate. There are endless activities and things to do, should you like and innumerable restaurants and quiet romantic places. But the BEST thing about PV are its people; very warm, friendly and welcoming. Also October is a great time to go; rainy season is ending, everything is green and lush and the high season crowds have not yet arrived.

So you have to decide what you want in a trip. If you want to sit on a beach and hit clubs or bars which could be located in your own home town, or shop at malls or designer stores, go to Cancun. If you want to experience the Mexican culture and get a taste of something different, go to PV.

As for me, I've been to Cancun 5X and PV 5X (6th coming up next month) plus other resort destinations in Mexico and though I won't say I'll never go anywhere else, PV is definitely the destination of my choice.
Old Sep 28th, 2002, 05:19 PM
Best of both worlds
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Just an idea:
Playa del Carmen (1/2 hour south of Cancun) has the white sand & turquoise water of Cancun, and atmosphere thats similar to PV.
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 09:21 AM
You're correct
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'Best of Both Worlds' has it right. If you want more Mexican culture go to the Riviera Maya or Playa Del Carman which are about 45 minutes outside of Cancun. Same beautiful beaches as Cancun but less congestion and Americanization.
Old Sep 29th, 2002, 04:20 PM
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I concur with "You're Correct" and "Best."
PDC has the most incredible beach, and a fun party atmosphere without the slick Cancun deal.
A fun, bohemian place to hang out and party with an international crowd.
Old Sep 30th, 2002, 12:33 PM
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I was wondering if anyone can tell me about the town/restaurants/shopping in Playa Del Carmen? Anything like the charm and character of PV?
Old Oct 13th, 2002, 05:18 AM
William H Chappell
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Hola, I have been going to Mexico for about 15 years now, Cancun, Playa Del Carmen, and the Best, Puerto Vallarta. The Cancun area is flat, not attractive in my opinion. Puerto Vallarta is a small native cultural town with a beautiful bay, and mountains right up next to it, very beautiful. The Mexican people in Vallarta are wonderful..The beaches in Vallarta are not very good so if you want beaches the best place top go is the All Inclusive Hotel section called Playacar which is immediately adjacent to Playa Del Carmen(about 25 miles from Cancun) 15 years ago Playa Del Carmen had 1 restaurant, now it is a wonderful busy community. Vallarta is still by far the best for everything except for the beaches whereas PlayaCar beaches on a scale of 1 to 10 are a "20" Muchas Gracias, Bill Chappell
Old Oct 15th, 2002, 03:30 AM
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What are some of the 'to see' and "must do" activities in PV. Thanks
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