Mayan Riviera or PuertoVallarta?

Old Nov 30th, 2010, 03:23 PM
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Mayan Riviera or PuertoVallarta?

Hi
Will be travelling in February to the caribbean with my girlfriend. Since we are on a budget, out agent recommended either Cuba, the Mayan Riviera, Puerto Villarta, or Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic for the best deals.

For Mexico we have narrowed our choice to either the Mayan Riviera or Puerto Villarta


My primary hesitation with any Mexican trip are
1- the reported drug related violence

2- most images of resorts, seem to show very rocky and inaccessible beaches
If pristine sandy beaches are a #1 priority, should we opt for another destination, ie Dominican republic?

Can anyone who has visited either the Mayan Riviera or Puerto Villarta offer their tips, advice, and hotel recommendations?

Thanks in advance!
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Old Nov 30th, 2010, 05:13 PM
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I love Puerto Vallarta and have been there many many times (19 I think it is). There is no "reported drug related violence" in the area, never has been. It is a fabulously vibrant lively Mexican town, with the friendliest local people I have ever met anywhere I vacationed. Restaurants are fabulous. There's tons to see & do. There are plenty of accessible beaches, but it IS the Pacific ocean not the Caribbean so you don't get the turquoise water, white sand like on the other side. I have lots of recommendations of hotels and resorts, there are literally 100s of possibilities, if you do decide to go to PV.

Santo Domingo (the capitol city) is a *horrible* recommendation and honestly makes me wonder about your travel agent. It's a huge city, doesn't have much in the way of beaches or resorts. If you do decide to go to the DR, you want Punta Cana, Puerto Plata or Sosua up on the north shore.

I have never been to the Mayan Riviera side of Mexico, but that will get you the "pristine beaches" you are seeking. Somewhere outside Playa del Carmen would be good. Or the island of Isla Mujeres.
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Old Nov 30th, 2010, 06:27 PM
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Suze knows what she's talking about. Are you looking for an all inclusive resort experience? If you just plan on hanging at the resort, it doesn't make as much difference where you decide to go. Make your choice based on price and resort amenities.

The water and beaches are prettier on the Caribbean side of Mexico. I never knew water could be so blue until my first trip to the area about 10 years ago.

That said, I just made my first trip to Puerto Vallarta last month. It was awesome. Loved the hills and mountainous terrain. Just a beautiful city, with a small town feel. Wonderful restaurants.
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Old Nov 30th, 2010, 06:40 PM
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Ditto to suze in that the Caribbean side probably has the more "classic" turquoise and white you're looking for. The good thing about Isla Mujeres is that you can walk across the island in a few minutes or rent a golf cart to go anywhere else you want to go. It's safe and quiet. IM is, well, an island while PV isn't. They're just different. From IM you can still do the Tulum thing if you want.
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Old Dec 1st, 2010, 12:05 PM
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I just got back from the Mayan Riviera and have never been to Puerto Vallartes but I have to tell you that the beaches were spectacular and it was very safe, wherever we traveled. We stayed at an all-inclusive but we ventured out a few times and never worried.
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Old Dec 1st, 2010, 12:08 PM
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I really do think the Mayan Riviera (no contest really) will give you the most bang for your buck and has the largest selection of reasonably priced All-Inclusives to choose from.
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Old Dec 1st, 2010, 08:26 PM
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Thanks for all your replies!!
I feel much safer considering Mexico based on your responses. suze, have you by any chance stayed at
http://hotelbuenaventura.com.mx/location.php in PV?
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Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 07:59 AM
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I haven't stayed at the Buenaventura, but I have walked thru it to look around a couple times. It's a nice hotel and a good value imo.

Why I haven't tried it is mostly because I prefer to stay on the "south-side". If you are looking at a map of PV that is south of the downtown area ("Centro") on the other side of the Rio Cuale (river). It's sometimes called "Zona Romantica".

Where Buenaventura hotel is is up just to the north of the beginning of the Malecon (a seawall promonade in the downtown area) at what would be considered 'south Hotel Zone'.

It's all good. Just a little bit different part of town.
suerte, suze
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Old Dec 2nd, 2010, 12:13 PM
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As far as the safety in Mexico~use common sense. Don't do anything you wouldn't do in a US city, don't wander off alone in isolated areas......
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