First trip to Mexico

Mar 1st, 2007, 04:33 PM
  #1  
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First trip to Mexico

We're two adults and one teenage boy considering a first trip to Mexico. We've traveled frequently to Kauai and Maui, love both but are looking for a new experience. We like good snorkeling and beaches, but prefer smaller resorts to large, all-inclusive ones. On Maui, we like Napili, on Kauai, Poipu. Condo resorts also preferred, because we cook in at least half the time. Any advice on locations, airport to fly into and transfers much appreciated!
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Puerto Vallarta, Ixtapa/Zijuat, or Playa del Carmen?
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:17 PM
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Thank you, Suze. Playa del Carmen and Puerto Vallarta are two I've been considering based on reading this board and research on the internet. Which in your opinion would be the least hectic, most tranquil? Or is Ixtapa a better choice? Our trip would be in December. I appreciate your help.
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 03:32 PM
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Zijuat/Ixtapa would be less hectic.

I love Puerto Vallarta dearly and have been there many times, but its a normal Mexican city with a pop. of 250,000+ and is very lively, festive, fun, crowded, full of people, traffic, etc. at least downtown.

Zijuatenejo is the older part a fishing village, and Ixtapa is the new resort development nearby. These two areas share the same airport and you can bus between them.

Hopefully others will chime in because perhaps something like Manzanilla is ever closer to what you seek?
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Mar 2nd, 2007, 04:34 PM
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Agree with Suze about PV. We love it, but it is a large city and might be too hectic, especially in December.

Not a big fan of Ixtapa - too manicured and resorty, but we love Zihuatenejo, much more authentic.

Another great choice on the Pacific is Sayulita, where you can rent beach bungalows. Our boys loved it there - good surf beach in a cute, laid back town (with an ever-increasing gringo presence) one hour north of Puerto Vallarta.

For excellent snorkeling, you might prefer the Carribean side:

- Akumal (lots of condos, near Tulum)
- Playa del Carmen (former funky beach town, now with some development but way more character than Cancun, fun for teens)
- Isla Mujeres, quiet island, everyone rents golf carts, nice town, kids love it.

Also, you might decide you don't need a condo. Restaurant prices are much more reasonable in Mexico than Hawaii and you might not need/want to cook.

For virtual tours of small Mexican resorts in relatively unspoiled areas, check out www.differentworld.com. Site is run by a UK travel agency. We normally book everything ouselves, but have gotten great deals and ideas from this site.
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Mar 3rd, 2007, 09:33 AM
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Prices can vary greatly in Playa Del Carmen depending on where you eat. If you choose to eat off 5th Ave you'll do much better price wise. There are so many choices both in price and type of food that you could easily eat in a different place every night and never tire of the choices.
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Mar 4th, 2007, 05:31 PM
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Thank you to everyone; these are all great ideas. I appreciate the help.
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