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Destination similar to Puerto Vallarta

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Nov 20th, 2016, 06:53 AM
  #1
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Destination similar to Puerto Vallarta

Hi,

I travelled in march 2014 to Puerto Vallarta and stayed directly in the old town part of the city... It was a great vacation for me because the city was directly on the sea which I love, but I could wander around with tons of restaurants, shopping, malecon, sightseeing, etc. I also went by bus to the more modern section around the Vallarta shopping mall and Walmart section... And I even did a few easy cheap day trips by bus to Sayulita and Boca de Tomatlan which I both enjoyed... I always felt safe.

I'm trying to find a destination similar to Puerto Vallarta but not necessarily in Mexico... I know that there's Playa del Carmen which from what I read is more "Americanised" and feels less Mexican than Puerto Vallarta, but still offers interesting walks, beach/sea feel, restaurants, and interesting excursions such as the Mayan ruins... One day I will definitely go, but I'm trying to find another new country than Mexico for this time...

I know that places in the USA on the east coast such as in Florida can offer such experiences, but coming from Canada what I liked about Puerto Vallarta is that it was still a little bit exotic with the different architecture of the houses, cobbled streets, you feel that you are somewhere different than Canada/USA...

What destinations that you've been give a similar experience to Puerto Vallarta and are also beautiful and picturesque, and can also offer a few easy day trips? The 2 that are coming to my mind are Cartagena and Havana... Havana intimidates me because I read that there's a lot of poverty and people bother you a lot, but not sure what to think... Cartagena seems very interesting inside the Walled City but I wonder if it's big enough to warrant a 1 week stay with some easy day trips, also if it's too expensive to eat there... What other suggestions? There's also Panama City but feels maybe less interesting, but maybe I'm underrating it...

P.S: Swimming and beaches are not necessarily must-haves, but if the destination is sea front it feels more like a "vacation" in my opinion... lol Anyways I loved my trip to Puerto Vallarta and I'm trying to have a somewhat similar relaxing but exciting exotic vacation spot somewhere in central or south America, or the Caribbean...

How would the destinations that I mentioned (Cartagena, Havana, Panama City) as well as easy day trips from there compare to the Puerto Vallarta area, and what other suggestions do you have? Thanks!!!!
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Nov 20th, 2016, 02:05 PM
  #2
 
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You might consider Manzanillo a day south of PV for a similar but bit more relaxed place that is diffidently more Mexican in Favor.
A Working port with a real downtown it also has lovely beaches & lots of Tourist attractions in the area. Great cafes, safe & picturesque.
Of the West coast towns it is in my top 2.
You might also consider Zihuataneo, much slower od pace then PV & smaller but excellent beaches, cafes & some night life.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manzanillo,_Colima
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Nov 20th, 2016, 02:20 PM
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Hi there,
Are you thinking about Central American or Carib countries only or would you consider places in EU?
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Nov 20th, 2016, 02:30 PM
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I see you've also posted in the Colombia forum. But since you went ahead and posted here in the Mexico forum too, I'll suggest Veracruz. Unlike PV however, Veracruz is rich in history and has a colonial center, with a decidedly French influence. The region has it's own unique culture called jarocho. It has 2 of Mexico's classic cafes, known for their endless pours of cafe con leche, or lecheros. There are ruins nearby, the San Juan Ulua fort, and Mexico's largest coral reef. While the beaches in the immediate port area are not the best, there are others nearby that would be virtually deserted during the week. If you came from Mexico City, stopping in Coatepec, Xico and Xalapa would be good options.
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Nov 20th, 2016, 03:44 PM
  #5
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Thanks guys for the suggestions of other Mexican destinations... They sound interesting and I will look more into them... But I gotta also check if it is cheap to get there from Montreal as they probably are not as frequent and cheap as more famous and touristy destinations...

cybor, when you say EU, you mean Europe? I would love to go to Europe but if I do it will definitely be more than 1 week and several destinations, so more like a trip to tour several cities instead of a laying back in 1 spot for 1 week... It's because the cost of the plane would be bigger so might as well stay there longer, as well as the different time zone and changing sleep habits, it's better to make it longer... But did you have particular suggestions in mind?
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Nov 20th, 2016, 08:19 PM
  #6
 
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The first place i thought of was Cinque Terre in Italy but as you say and I agree going there is a bit of a different type of trip.

Not exactly like P Vallarta but we have some pretty decent architecture and culture here in Merida, Mx We're also 30 minutes to the gulf beaches and many natural preserves on the ocean. You can see anything from places where the flamingos migrate to ancient ruins.
There are also many other interesting colonial cities on the Yucatan Peninsula. You can fly into Merida or Cancun. I imagine that flying into Cancun would be less costly than flying to many central American countries.
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Nov 21st, 2016, 06:12 AM
  #7
 
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San Juan Puerto Rico might also be a good choice for what you are looking for. Old San Juan has shopping, lots of restaurants, history, culture and would be an easy base for some day trips (Bacardi Rum Factory, El Yunque Rain Forest, Camuy Caves, among other things).
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Nov 21st, 2016, 11:45 AM
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Havana is a ONE OF A KIND destination and I would strongly suggest you try it. The people are very very friendly and most certainly helpful but at the same time very curious. They want to learn and educate themselves more on the goings on outside their country. Security is a non issue here. Yes, there are some that will bother you for all kinds of trinkets but are not badgering or overzealous. What I did dislike about the city is the polution, both from the smog and the noise. That said, there are many short and long term trips available from Havana to fantastic blue waters and beaches nearby...
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Nov 21st, 2016, 02:32 PM
  #9
 
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I haven't found any place that feels to me similar to Puerto Vallarta.

But I am only comparing it to limited travels (Puerta Plata and Sosua in the Dominican Republic; Negril Jamaica; La Paz and Cabo San Lucas in Mexico).

That's why I return to PV year after year and hope to live there part-time before too long.
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Nov 22nd, 2016, 05:50 AM
  #10
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Thanks guys... It looks so far that I will try next either Cartagena or Havana, mainly because I want to visit a new country, unless I decide for a bigger trip in Europe... But I will definitely return one day to Puerto Vallarta cause I really loved the vibe and the very nice combination of town & beach... and I will look into the other destinations in Mexico that have been mentioned here and see what kind of deals I can find...
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Mar 7th, 2017, 05:07 AM
  #11
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I ended up going to Playa Del Carmen and stayed in an apartment in Playacar for 3 weeks. It was an awesome vacation. The weather was amazing, enjoyed the beach, the town is fun to wander around (yes 5th avenue is touristy but when you get away from that area, you feel that it becomes a real town with mostly Mexicans). I'd say Puerto Vallarta as a city is more interesting in terms of vibe and architecture, but what I also liked about the PDC vacation is that it allowed me instead for great day trips. I did Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza all on different days by Ado bus (no tour), and I went to Cozumel for the parade. All in all, this is my 2nd trip to Mexico and I love the country. I hope to be back many more times.
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Mar 7th, 2017, 09:39 AM
  #12
 
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Hooray. Thanks so much for posting about your trip! Great to hear about Playa del Carmen. If I ever get over to that side, it's definitely where I would stay.
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Mar 12th, 2017, 04:10 PM
  #13
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It's always nice to visit new places. It's a different experience from Puerto Vallarta (and the whole Pacific coast) because of the Caribbean sea & beaches as well as the many Mayan ruins sites that you can visit as day trips. Also there are a lot of cenotes to visit in that area. You should try it.
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Mar 13th, 2017, 07:56 AM
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Cuba, including Havana, is not quite ready for anyone between the backpackers and the rich. Lower your expectations if you stay outside of the resorts that attract Canadians or a $700/night 3-star Havana hotel. Food in all but a few restaurants, and lodging in casas particulares, are not at the level of Mexico or Brazil (just for 2 examples) for an equivalent price.
Also, it's an "experience", not a must-see/do, destination. The reason for a trip would be to get to know Cuban people.
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Mar 15th, 2017, 03:54 AM
  #15
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Yeah the hotels in Havana that look good are so expensive... Also it seems that if I do find an apartment, things like grocery are complicated there... Maybe somewhere like Cartagena would be an easier experience?
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Mar 15th, 2017, 12:29 PM
  #16
 
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I just had clients come back from Cuba and it is not hard to get around at all. They spent 4 nights in Havana at the Hotel Deauville (great location, clean, but no fancy) and they spent those days mostly exploring and then bussed to Varadero and spent a week at a resort on the beach. Best of both worlds
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Mar 19th, 2017, 05:06 PM
  #17
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The hotel Deauville is over a 100-200$ per night and is getting overall bad reviews on the net, that's the problem with hotels in Cuba, they are expensive and few are great. lol Although I trust that they enjoyed their stay, it's still hard to book hotels with such mixed reviews out there.
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Mar 20th, 2017, 08:13 AM
  #18
 
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My clients paid$84 Canadian per night including all taxes
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