Day trips from Puerto Vallarta

Oct 20th, 2006, 09:59 AM
  #1  
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Day trips from Puerto Vallarta

My husband and I will be visiting PV Dec.9-23 and need advice on activities. We are in our early 50's and enjoy exploring small towns and getting off the beaten path. Nice beaches, local people, culture and history, wine and good food. Also wanted to do the zip line and whale watching. We were thinking of renting a car and traveling north from PV or possibly finding a driver? I have looked at tours, which are not out of the question, but wonder if we would be better off exploring on our own. Any good thoughts or research links would be greatly appreciated.
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Oct 20th, 2006, 10:27 AM
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You should go to Yelapa for the day, whales often come into the bay there, 2 waterfalls to hike to, great restaurants, cool little town, no cars, you reach it by boat, they only recieved electricity 3 years ago.
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Oct 20th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Sayulita is also an option, neat little surf town. To get to yelapa the "Non-Tour" way, catch the green local bus (.25 cents PP)on the corner of Constitution and Basillo Badillo(sp.), you then go to Boca de Tomatlan and catch the panga(boat) to go to Yela, it's about $9 US PP one way. Confirm before you get in and pay one way only.This is the most scenic route as it hugs the shoreline, the other boat from PV proper is further from shore and not as scenic.
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Oct 20th, 2006, 10:36 AM
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I took a bus from PV (which I was not impressed with) to Guadalajara which showed how isolated PV seemed to be. It was the start of a Mexico tour and I didn't go back to PV until I returned home. It is easy to get around Mexico by bus, though the air-con can be a bit cold at night. Flying is expensive in Mexico.
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Oct 20th, 2006, 10:52 AM
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The bus we took was a simple, local, quirky, no-frills bus. The drive is only 1/2 hr. MAX. and it served the purpose and you can't beat the price! Yelapa is fairly "off the beaten track" as the OP suggested, it has absolutely everything in their criteria except the zip-line.
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Oct 20th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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I don't think you need tours in Puerto Vallarta to see what you describe.

Either by bus or by rental car you can go north to Bucerias, Punta Mita, San Pancho, Sayulita, San Blas. Or go south down to Boca, and on to say Barra de Navidad (but that's far enough you'd want to stay overnight).

I think going on your own via water taxi out to Yelapa for the day is also an excellent suggestion.

Another fun thing is to hire a taxi driver for 1/2 day and have them take you around.
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Oct 20th, 2006, 11:48 AM
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What do people think about the San Blas area for day trips or extended bird photo trips?

Bill
(haven't been north of the airport)
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Oct 20th, 2006, 01:02 PM
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Yes, already have thought about going to Yelapa for the day. Thanks for the tip on how to get there! Also, the places north were on my list. Do you know of any reliable drivers that might take us around for a day? And, do you think I should book whale watching or zip line tours now? Thanks!!
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Oct 21st, 2006, 08:26 AM
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I would definitely book ahead, these popular tours fill up rapidly, plus you''ll get a discount booking on-line.
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Oct 21st, 2006, 01:15 PM
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I know of two drivers. My favorite it "Benny." He charged us $100.00 for a day trip in his car. We went to Punta Mita, Sayulita, Lo de Marcos, Guayabitos, and La Penita. La Penita being about 55 miles north of PV. We have ended up buying property in La Penita. Along this route also is Bucerias, Los Ayala and San Francisco (also called San Pancho). I recommend this northerly route because there are so many small quaint towns, and you could go all the way to San Blas. If you rent a car you could spend the night along the way wherever you chose. The second place to hire a driver is Vista Travel, Roger Vogt. But he charges $200.00. Both are dependable and both are in Old Town. To find Benny either go to the Ticket sale cabin on the edge of Langostinos beach restaurant or go to the Old Town pier and with your back to the ocean walk about 20 feet forward and a bit to your left and you'll see Benny's ticket booth. He does not deal with Time Shares, only tickets. Ask for Benny at either place, they'll find him for you. Outside of La Penita is some hot springs that I have yet to explore.
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Oct 22nd, 2006, 07:01 AM
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Thanks, Blondlady!! Sounds like Benny could be just who we are looking for! Is there a way to contact him before we get to PV? Email? Are the roads north hard to travel? Are car rentals more expensive than in the US and would we need to reserve in advance? I love the idea of spending the night along the way. Would love to get as far as San Blas!! You have wonderful info, thanks!!
Will book the whale watching ahead of time...possibly through Ocean Friendly Whale Watching Adventures?
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Oct 22nd, 2006, 11:18 AM
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Yes I do have an email for Benny:
[email protected] I have never tried it, but it is on one of his cards. He does sell a lot of tours so you might ask about whale watching though him also. I rent cars through the internet prior to going to Mexico. One thing doesn't seem to get mentioned though and that is there is a mandatory $11.00 per day insurance tacked on. The cars are cheap until they tack on the insurance. But it is worth it. You can go farther by renting a car, but it is nice for someone else to drive so you can enjoy the scenery. And, if you want to do the canopy tour you can get a discounted rate through Benny that is better than on-line. Tell Benny you want the "Plaza Dorada discount plus $1.00." He will know where that came from. I came across a very interesting site about getting out of PV with airport pictures and about Chacala. This is above La Penita about 50 miles. At the end of the site they talk about Petroglyphs at Alta Vista. I hope to check this out some day. I found the site though Gretchen's posting on Jaltemba Bay Folk, it is: Chacalanayarit.blogspot.com/
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Oct 22nd, 2006, 08:14 PM
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I tried Benny's email and it didn't go through. He has a phone listed of 011 52 (322) 222 2367. I leave for PV Nov. 8, and will be back from PV on December 5th. I will get more information from him and come back on this post for you. If you don't mind driving, it would be nice to be able to stay in one of the towns going north and then driving back the next day. The road is OK for driving, just narrow and winding and can be slow, but then you see more, right? Regards, and best wishes.
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 04:42 AM
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Oh..wow..Blondlady!!! I am overwhelmed with your info!! Thank you so much; just what I am looking for. The Chacala site is awesome and I deff want to go there. I think to rent a car and stay the night along the way is the ticket. Does Benny rent cars too? Will it be too late to contact him and make arrangements for other tours if you get back the 5th and we leave the 9th? Deffinitly want to do the ww and zip line. Any thoughts on which small town to stay the night?
Again, thanks for all your help!! This is awesome and want to reread the Chacala site.
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 06:44 AM
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OK, now I want to go to Chacala as well!!!
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 07:49 AM
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Blondlady...found the post you sent to Kitkat26 about the car rental agencies. Love the Aurinko Bungalows in Sayulita! Could be an overnighter there on our quest. Thanks so much!! Do you have an idea of how far it is to Chacala from Sayulita?
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Oct 23rd, 2006, 02:19 PM
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Hi again, I think Chacala is about 75 miles north of Sayulita. I think you will get there B4 me and I certainly have it on my list of "to do's." Benny does rent cars, but I don't know if it is more economical or not. Will ask. I will try to get on this post from PV. I use the internet cafe and I wasn't able to post before, but I think I didn't have my password for this site with me at the time. Dec. is high season so tours go fast, but if you reserve right when you get to PV and early in the day you'll be fine. Aurinko Bungalows are very cute, but not on the Beach, so you may want to search for a beach unit, but I think you'll like the town (surfers, young preppy kids,and old alike) . My other choice for overnight (unless you try Chacala) would be Guayabitos because it is a bigger town. For Restaurant info on Guayabitos look at the posts on the Jaltemba Bay Folk site on the web. I agree that that Chacala site is intriguing.
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Oct 24th, 2006, 10:10 AM
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Bill H: San Blas is definitely the place to go if you are interested in birds and bird photography. We'll be spending four nights there in February (after four in PV.) I've heard that the boat trips up the river are fantastic for photography...you can get really close to the birds. We've got birding guides pre-arranged--bird photography is my specialty. An overnight is definitely advisable. Anyway I'll let you know how it goes!

Janet Zinn
my bird and travel photography
www.jczinn.com
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Oct 30th, 2006, 05:58 AM
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Hi blondlady told you we were going to be having dinner at Daquiri Dick's and already I forgot your name.
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Oct 30th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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San Blas is definitely the place to go if you are interested in birds and bird photography

Janet, thanks for the link to your site, I checked the CR bird photos and they are excellent!


At SB are you staying at the Hotel Garza Canela, and did they arrange the birding guide(s) for you? Did anyone mention the possibility of going to Isla Isabel for nesting frigatebirds and boobies? If we go it will be 2nd week in December ...

We've got birding guides pre-arranged--bird photography is my specialty.

We are not specialists but have a few bird pics posted ... here are some from our "backyard" (within 30 minutes of home) ... http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/desert/ ... and we photographed about 75 birds on these two trips to Tanzania earlier this year ... http://members.aol.com/bhilton665/africa/

Thanks for the info on SB and if we don't go this Dec I'd appreciate if you could post about your experiences in Feb when you return ...

Bill
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