Cabo, Playa, or PV?

Old Mar 7th, 2017, 09:44 AM
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Much better restaurant options in PV and far more scenic with the jungle covered mountains coming down to the beach.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 10:14 AM
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"hmmm... If sunsets is all you think Vallarta has to offer, you haven't spent enough time there."

That's not what I said. Oh, and at least I've been to both places.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 10:48 AM
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>

Playa del Carmen was NOT "built for tourists." They have a lot now but PV sure does, also. In fact, you are hassled less in PDC in terms that you aren't harrassed about time shares every step you walk like you are in the center of PV, seems to me. I was hassled by some authentic handicrafts shop owners in PV, when I just walked into a downtown shop to buy some local beadwork or something (she immediately started in out of the blue trying to sell me a timeshare). This kind of thing has never happened to me in Cancun or PDC.

Playa del Carmen has really grown but it has a long history, and began as a smaller fishing village. When the ferry to Cozumel started and a lot of diving/scuba, it really grew, this was in the 70s, about a decade after American/Canadian tourism started growing in Puerto Vallarta.

They are just different, PV is much larger and has an attractive bay but I think the Gulf Coast has better beaches and is more accessible for most people (by air) and has easier day trips to Mayan ruins, etc. Not to mention good snorkeling, and it is smaller.

This may come as a shock to some, but PDC is also a "real" Mexican town with locals who live there going about their lives.

I think Cancun was specifically built as a tourist destination, though, but PDC was not.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Christina is absolutely correct. It is Cancun (not PdC) that was developed by the Mexican government as a tourist destination.
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Old Mar 7th, 2017, 01:21 PM
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I've been to all three (20 times plus to each PV and the Mayan). AT that time of year I would choose the Mayan. The weather is perfect. We choose to go to the Mayan in fall/spring and PV in the winter to maximize the best weather of both. There are so many places along the Mayan which are not touristy like Cancun or Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Morelos, Tulum, Akumal. You don't need to have touristy if you go to that side of mexico. There history is thousands of years old (Mayan ruins, centoes, etc). Accommodation recommendations will depend on whether you want AI or not.
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 08:57 PM
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Sorry to leave everyone hanging! Several things came up...flooded basement, surgery, and most importantly, I found out that my free airline ticket is only good for domestic travel.�� THANK YOU all for your comments and suggestions while I was "away".

After additional consideration, we decided to make the trip anyway! I decided on PDC, because the flight times are better and I discovered that an acquaintance has a beautiful condo there that we can rent.

If you'll forgive me for abandoning you, I would love suggestions for activities, restaurants, tours, etc. Big question – should we rent a car?
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 11:21 PM
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You will love that area.. I prefer the east coast( Riveria Mayan) of Mexico.. gin blue clear water and white sandy beaches win me over every time. Cenotes ( you must visit some!! google photos of Dos Ojos.. amazing.. and there are many many others.. they dont have them on west coast ) and Mayan Ruins.. Coba and Tulum are closest and easiest to get to.. but of course there are others ..

Plus.. we were in Cabo once in December and it wasnt very warm.. its pretty north .. if I was to do west coast that time of year I would go further south.. like Huactalco( sorry bad spelling)
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Old Jun 14th, 2017, 11:53 PM
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If you are in a condo you have to go to carboncitos. It is one block west of 5th Ave closer to the ferry and the best Mexican food of any place I've been in Mexico . Have fun!!!
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 03:37 AM
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Great choice, the Riviera Maya has so much more to offer than many other destinations mentioned. The list is endless for outings and entertainment and restaurants...
Yes, for authentic Mexican food, Fogon is real popular especially with the locals...
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 10:31 AM
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Do we need to get a rental car or is it easier to use taxis?
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 10:40 AM
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Taxis are expensive down there, if you do take a taxi, pay in pesos as almost all taxistas give you a lousy 10-1 exchange rate (right now the rate is about 18-1).
If the condo comes with a garage or parking space I would rent a car for all or part of the time. A small sedan should cost about $40 per day with full insurance, maybe $5 per day more to add tire and glass coverage. I have rented with both Easyway and America Car Rental with good results. If you do rent, book directly with a local car rental agency, do NOT use a third party like Expedia or Kayak.
Avant also gets good reviews.
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 11:17 AM
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Your stay is for 1 week, if you stay in Playa, no transportation needed. Car rentals are easy and popular now with all kinds of choices available. If you plan on seeing pyramids and the like, all you need is a good touring company, again, no car needed.
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Old Jun 15th, 2017, 11:01 PM
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If staying in Playa I wouldn't rent a car, there's a bit of a learning curve there ( watching out for stuff like getting ripped off at gas stations ), and you just don't need it in town . From playa it's easy to grab a collectivo ( public bus) to various sites . Cheap as chips , clean and air condioned etc .
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Old Jun 16th, 2017, 06:32 AM
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We haven't rented a car there. There is a clean bus to/from cancun to downtown playa and there are plenty of taxis. I haven't figured out the collecivos but they are also an option.
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Old Jun 16th, 2017, 08:35 AM
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Collectivos only go up and down the highway ( and many sites are located on highway or just off highway.. Xcaret, Xel ha, Tulum ruins, Xplor and even Akumal Bay ( bit of a walk in but easy) etc

You simply stand on highway and they will stop.. there are collectivo stops ( like a bus stop ) but they will pull over almost anywhere they see people standing.

Cost varys from 30-45 pesos depending on your start and end point , when you board you tell the driver where you want to go ( if going to the ruins of tulum be sure to say " Tulum RUINS" not just "Tulum" as the ruins are outside town and if you just say Tulum they will pass the ruins and take you into town ) and they will quote you a price. Pay as you get off the bus.

The collectivos are white van like buses that seat about 15-20 people, they have seatbelts and air conditioning.

We have used them exclusively for last 4 visits, and not had any issue with them.

If however you want to go to a less accessible site you would have to take a taxi or rental car.
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Old Jun 16th, 2017, 05:26 PM
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Thanks for the info! I think we'll skip a rental car this time around. It sounds like we can get everywhere we want to go without the hassle. Between taxis, buses, and collectivos, I think we'll be fine.
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Old Jun 17th, 2017, 07:47 AM
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I know there would be benefits to car rental but for me (this is PV) part of what I love about a Mexican vacation is not having to deal with a car, drive in traffic, etc. For me it is so much more relaxing - mostly walking but also using buses and an occasional taxi is part of the charm.
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Old Jun 17th, 2017, 06:27 PM
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For the Mayan, colectivos are so easy to use and we do it all the time with the kids, no issues. Cheap and easy. WE also take the Maya B bus which will stop on the highway as well or the ADO which only stops at actual bus stops (Cancun, Playa, Tulum, Coba, etc). Again all are very cheap and easy to use.
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Old Jun 18th, 2017, 07:58 AM
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Good point, Suze! Thanks for all the tips, everyone!
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Old Jul 6th, 2017, 04:18 AM
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In PDC the place for authentic Mexican food is El Fogon. Went there for the first time last month and it was fantastic and very reasonably priced.
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