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if it was your first time ever to Mexico would you go..

if it was your first time ever to Mexico would you go..

Old Jan 24th, 2002, 03:28 PM
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if it was your first time ever to Mexico would you go..

to Puerto Vallarta or Cancun and why. I am researching a possible trip for 4 couples (early 40's) to Mexico. It is the first time there for all of us. We are interested in snorkeling, shopping, the beach (for the view, taking walks and possibly swimming) and exploring ruins or the jungles of the area. Which of these two locations would you choose for such a group and why. Also what is the difference if any in the general cost of things in these two locations. Thanks so much in advance for any replys. I really want imput from people who have been there.
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 04:48 PM
d motl
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Cancun--but it is a little more expensive than PV. Cancun has better water and ruins
Old Jan 24th, 2002, 06:25 PM
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Beautiful Jungles
Great Sunsets
Fabulous Restaurants / Shopping!
PV is on the pacific and might not have the crystal clear blue water of Cancun, but there are beautiful beaches here as well.
There are many wonderful activities both on land and sea.
And Vallarta has charm!!!!
Cobblestone streets in the downtown area and very friendly locals. The boardwalk for an evening stroll - maybe a live dance or music concert!
There is the new area as well but, my preference is old town.
Great Art Galleries!
We don't have ruins though but we have the JUNGLES.
Please feel free to write me if you have any other questions about PV.

Old Jan 24th, 2002, 08:58 PM
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Tricia hit it on the head!
I've been to both cities at least 6 times each and PV is the pick for me.
Everything Tricia said was accurate, but an additional point would be the average age of the bar crowds. Cancun can get a little young unless you feel like chaperoning a high school drunken mixer!
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 05:52 AM
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Another vote for PV for all the reasons already mentioned.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 06:44 AM
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Been to Cancun twice, PV 7(?)or so times, and leave for PV again in the morning (can't wait!). I MUCH prefer PV, no question. Cancun has it's strong points--beautiful blue waters, nice beaches. The downtown area is very Americanized which is what I don't like about it. Lots of bars and nightlife and American type of shopping, which is not why I go on vacation. PV has a downtown area that is very unique and still holds some of its original charm. More American influences have come in (Hooters, Planet Hollywood, etc) which is a big disappointment to me, but the south side of town is still wonderful. Great restaurants are in PV. Had some good food in Cancun, but PV is superior in my opinion. To get to the ruins in Cancun takes a very long hot bus ride, so I did not even go see them. Certainly you will have fun either way, but it depends on what kind of vacation you want. I have heard Cancun described as "Las Vegas on the beach without the casinos", and that is pretty close. If you do go to Cancun, I did enjoy the hotel we stayed at, fyi, the Fiesta Americana Condessa. Great except for if you do the all inclusive plan, the only meals there we enjoyed were breakfast. Lunch & Dinner were not so hot.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 07:19 AM
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My vote's for Cancun. PV is on the Pacific side so the water/beaches remind me of Lake Michigan. Cancun is on the Caribbean side, the water is crystal clear blue and warm. We took a snorkeling excursion in PV and my husband said to not even bother getting in the water, not much to see. In Cancun, there are great snorkeling spots, we recently went to Isla Mujeres and snorkeled from there and off the coast of Akumal where we saw a big turtle.

I'm not sure if there are any ruins accessible from PV but from Cancun you can visit Chichen Itza (about 2 hours away), Tulum and Coba. I thought Chichen Itza was amazing, Tulum has a beautiful setting and can be combined with Xelha easily in a day, Coba is only for die hards. They have greatly improved the roads so you can rent a car to visit these places instead of the long bus ride with a tour group.

As far as the notion that Cancun is a big giant party, certainly parts of Cancun have a party like atmosphere but the hotel strip is really long and a lot of the hotels are away from it (like the Fiesta Americana Condesa). There's a bus that goes up and down the strip and into downtown Cancun so you don't need to have a car for that. If you go during March, you are likely to hit the Spring break crowd in Cancun, not sure if they also go to PV. You might also check out Playa del Carmen, it might be a little less commercial than Cancun.

In either place I would not recommend an all inclusive, at least not for the food. There were great restaurants in both places.

Cancun will probably be a bit more expensive for food and shopping but we found the less touristy restaurants in Cancun to be reasonable.
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 10:33 AM
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Neither: www.mexicomexico.info
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 11:53 AM
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O.K. Dan I just gotta ask...Where would YOU go.
As for everyone else thanks for the great info. It's really a dilemma because on the one hand I hear Cancun has better snorkeling and ruins but I know someone who rents the most beautiful beach house near Puerto Vallarta that I know the accomodations can't be beat anywhere. Oh, such hard choices!
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 12:49 PM
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Maybe you should check out Playa del Carmen which is right by Cancun. I really wish I would have checked it out when I was in Cancun! It is supposed to be a little less "touristy" than Cancun, but I can't speak from experience, only hearsay. I think if I ever go back to that area, I will research Playa Del Carmen as an alternative. Anyone have any feedback on how it compares to Cancun and/or PV?
Old Jan 25th, 2002, 04:53 PM
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I've been all over Mexico and depending on what you like to do they both have their advantages. The beaches are far superior on the Caribbean side (Cancun, Playa del Carmen) but Puerto Vallarta is much more authentic Mexico. Also the food in PV is some of the best I've had anywhere in the world.
The one good thing about Cancun is you can easily go to Cozumel, Playa del Carmen and Cancun in the same trip.
If you like shopping things are cheaper in PV. Snorkelling can be done in both but the water in clear blue in Cancun.
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 02:40 AM
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I would also go to neither Cancun nor PV. I would go to the colonial cities. Depending on how much time I had, would go to a combination of Queretaro (see 1/17/02 NY Times), San Miguel, and Guanajuato as first choice. Also Oaxaca is great.
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 04:47 PM
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Have you considered Cozumel? It has lots to offer, ruins, world class diving and snorkeling, wonderful restaraunts, and the people are extremely friendly. The little town of San Miguel is quaint and charming and they have fiesta every Saturday night in the town square.You can rent a house for a very reasonable price and depending upon your mood, you can find lively nightlife or a quiet evening watching the sunset. Just a suggestion!!!!
Old Jan 26th, 2002, 05:52 PM
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Hi-I have to agree with Mike's posting..PV for authenticity, great food, shopping, nightlife and at one hotel, yes... a great beach-water is not as clear of course, but at the Camino Real(south end), the hotel has it's own "private" lovely beach(Los Muertos-think I have the name right-in town, truly does not compare-we found it dirty, although lots of activities going on here. Have been to Cozumel/Cancun/PDC-all have beautiful clear water for swimming/snorkeling, but didn't care for Cancun beaches-had to walk around alot of fenced off hotel areas. Cozumel is great to tour by jeep, lots of little beaches scattered around here. Of these three, I would pick Playa, for the wide stretches of beach for walking, in fact, right into town. You can take a jungle tour in PV or ruins in PDC..either one, you can't go wrong. Good luck! Monica

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