Need help with a proposed trip to Mexico.

Jun 27th, 2010, 10:28 PM
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Need help with a proposed trip to Mexico.

Ok here are the details
Time: The last week in September
Budget: For hotel and air we would like to stay under $2,000

Mrs. Sun and I want to go somewhere tropical for a week and Mexico seemed to be a logical choice. What I am having a hard time with is finding a place that feels right. We have never been one for party scenes, some of you may recall that from my hesitation to go to New Orleans during our honeymoon. However we went and we feel in love with the city, it was more than just Bourbon St. (which is and always will remain tacky in my mind) and would not trade our time there for any of the more elaborate trips we had planned for that time.

I have said all of that to say that I think I may be misjudging Mexico the way I did N.O. but when I look at some of the info on some of these cities all that comes to mind is horny high school grads and their college counterparts IE Cancun.

Here is what we are wanting, we are looking to get away and relax sit on a beach and take in sun, I plan to start a drink umbrella collection. I had thought it would be wonderful to take in the Mayan ruins but I don’t think we will have enough time seeing as we are only going for a week. While I don’t mind being in a more touristy location I want to be able to experience more than that, visit small towns take in the culture etc. I want to AVOID cities that thrive on the drunken party and night life that is not our idea of a good time. I don’t know if I am making any sense but I am hopeful that some of you that know me will be able to help us along.

Thanks in advance and if you have any questions I will do my best to answer them.

Sunflowerguy03 is offline  
Jun 27th, 2010, 11:05 PM
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Please be aware that this is the height of hurricane season on both Mexican coasts. You may miss hurricanes but the weather may well be iffy. The last time I went to the Yucatan (not by choice) at this time it rained- a lot- the 10 days we were there.
If this isn't an issue for you, where are you coming from?
welch is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 06:09 AM
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Look at resorts in the Riviera Maya of Mexico outside of Playa del Carmen; Valentin Imperial Maya, Iberostar Grand Paraiso, Secrets Capri, Secrets Maroma, Zoetry and Catalonia Royal Tulum to name a few.

These hotels are within day trips to the Mayan Ruins of Tulum, Coba and Chichen Itza. With a weeks vacation you'll have plenty of time to see at least one.

I have been to many resorts in Mexico and yet to see drinks with umbrellas.

September is the height of hurricane season. We've been several times in an August/September. It's very hot and humid, but we never experienced rain, a tropical storm or a hurricane, but you never know. We found that the first 2 weeks of November is better for weather, price and lesser crowds.

If you do choose to go in September, buy the hurricane/trip insurance that you can cancel for any reason, and not just if your hotel closes or your flight is canceled.
KVR is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 07:29 AM
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September is not really a good month. August & September are the worst for heat, humidity, and rain. It's the middle of rainy season in most of the coastal resort cities both on the Caribbean and the Pacific side (and hurricane on the east coast).
Can you wait until sometime November thru May? Those are the nicest months. When it will be mostly sunny, 80 degrees, breezy, and beautiful.

I've been to Puerto Vallarta (19 x), Cabo San Lucas (1 x), and La Paz (1 x). I love Mexico dearly. Although the cities I've visited to have tourist ammenities, none of them are spring break central or have I ever put up with drunken type mentality there. I think that depends more on your choice of hotel/resort than the specific town or city.

I can definitely help you plan this trip, but is the September date set in stone? That's the first thing I'd hope you can change in your planning. Everything else you mention is extremely doable.

(Except I agree I've never seen umbrellas in the fruity cocktails, that's more a Hawaiian thing!)

buena suerte, Suze
suze is online now  
Jun 28th, 2010, 10:20 AM
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If you don't want to go the AI route, consider a hotel in Playa Del Carmen. The town is loaded with great restaurants, shopping and nightlife. The rowdy crowds got to Cancun. PDC is also close to Tulum and Coba (mayan ruins). They have public Colectivo vans that go to the ruins for next to nothing. Out last visit, it cost my daughter $10US for transportation and entrance fee to Tulum. An organized tour would be much more, and include a stop or 2 in some tourist store, etc.

The main drag of PDC, 5th Avenue, is touristy, but still has a Mexican feel. And if you walk a couple blocks away from 5th, it becomes much more 'real'.
MFNYC is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 10:46 AM
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volcanogirl is online now  
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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The good news is that prices will be cheaper since that is prime hurricane season, the bad news is it is prime hurricane season. That being said, I can recommend the Barcelo complex about 20 minutes south of Playa Del Carmen. We have been there twice and love it. Can be as relaxing or as busy as you want it to be. Arguably the best resort beach in Riviera Maya. Food was good to very good. The place is spotlessly clean. Check out this website for tons of info.
gmoney is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 12:04 PM
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Are you looking for a resort? Don't care for them myself, much prefer small, more local properties with some character.

If you just want to relax and chill, consider Isla Mujeres. Not far from Cancun, but a world away. The entire island is only five miles long. There are a couple of resorts, but mostly small hotels and apartments.

Lots of restaurants. Beautiful beach. Beautiful water. Some ok snorkeling.

Really a nice little town that still retains a bit of its Mexican flavor.

Or, if you don't want to be 'stuck' on an island, look at Puerto Morales.

As for hurricanes, I travel to Belize fairly frequently in September, it isn't far from the Mayan Rivieria, weather is similar. We've always had nice, but hot, weather.
JeanH is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 02:22 PM
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Thanks all for the advice and ideas I have some looking to do. A few things unfortunately the dates are set in stone, location is up for debate (we are not committed to Mexico) we just want warm and tropical.

We were concerned about the weather as it was hurricane season but as it seems to rain any time we travel we figured it why break a winning streak.

As far as major resorts I have to say I have always shied away from them. While we have stayed in large hotels we have never really been to a resort of the scale of some of these.

Thanks for the ideas I am off to do my homework.
Sunflowerguy03 is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 04:41 PM
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I have one word for you my friend... Hawaii.
suze is online now  
Jun 28th, 2010, 06:27 PM
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If the Pacific coast is a possibility, consider a place like San Pancho (aka San Francisco) 1 hour north of Puerto Vallarta. Some lovely small places with no party types, although you could find umbrellas on the malecon in PV. San Pancho has really good restaurents and is a small town (although they have polo contests each Saturday). Good place we have stayed is Bungalows Lydia, right on an isolated beach above the crashing waves. On the east coast, if you are up to an adventure, drive 5 hours south of Cancun to Xcalak, small beach town, near jungles, nature preserves and ruins and no people. You go through Playa del Carmen and Tulum to get there. Tripadvisor has lots of info on these places. Vaya con dios.
beaker is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 10:12 PM
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We really enjoyed our first visit to Zihuatanejo this year. Take a look at some of the small properties overlooking the bay. We loved, loved La Casa Que Canta!
I have to say it was probably the most wonderful place we've ever stayed (and that's saying something!).
Do a Flickr' search for photos and you'll see what I mean.
welch is offline  
Jun 28th, 2010, 11:47 PM
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I would really suggest to stay in Merida, caapital city of the Yucatan in the Yucatan Peninsula.

It is a very clean, pleasant and calm in spite of the hundreds of visitor it receives.

In the summer, Merida weather is very warm and you can enjoy a lot of public entertainment on many city squares in the evenings.
Here you can learn a lot about Mayan history and it is the ideal starting point to reach countless travel attractions like Chichen Itza, Uxmal, the Puuc Route, Ek Balam, and other interesting archeological sites.

You will also be able to visit Cenotes and Caves, as well as Colonial Haciendas, the Celestun Biosphere Reserve Rio Lagartos and other very interesting colonial cities like Izamal.

You will find countless Merida accommodations in every price range and Merida hotels also offer a variety of tours to the surrounding areas. Tours usually include two or three places to visit in a day.

So, you will be able to visit more than what you think you can see in one week, as well as to rest.

It is also very easy to travel from Merida Mexico to Cancun
or the Riviera Maya, in case you would go to the beach for the weekend. Prices in Cancun and Maya Riviera are expensive.

If you want to go to the beach and rest, you could find an all inclusive Hotel in Cancun and take a tour and visit the archaeological sitea of Cobba,Tulum and Chichen Itza.

You can also take a one day trip and take the ferry to Cozumel island.
You can also vissit Isla Mujeres.

There are so many things to do in the Yucatan Peninsula, that if you ask your Hotel personnel for tours in Merida or Cancun, they will help you.

Don´t worry for hurricaines during this season (they start in September). It might rain(a light rain), but it is very refreshing...nothing to worry won´t spoil your vacations at all.

Hope it helps!

Nuuky is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 07:17 AM
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If you want to avoid hurricanes, Puerto Vallarta is the place. In over 60 years only one has come close, Kenna in '02.
cabron is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 07:26 AM
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I love every single suggestion on this thread. I'm partial to the west coast myself, PV, San Pancho, Zijuat, all good ideas. As long as you're OK with vacationing in hot temps with possibility of some rain.

But if you want to see Mayan ruins (yes one week is enough to include this) then you want the other side, the Caribbean. For that I think the stretch of coastline around Playa del Carmen and including Tulum, Akumal could be perfect for you.

I really dont' think you need to be concerned about drunken crowds in these places, at this time of year.
suze is online now  
Jun 30th, 2010, 06:16 AM
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If you're looking for soft sand beaches and turquoise water, San Carlos, Sonora is perfect. There are no vendors bothering people on the beach and the party crowd is at a minimum -- just people there to relax, fish, scuba, snorkel and eat at the many excellent restaurants.

For more information on San Carlos, check out
Christa1 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 02:10 PM
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San Carlos sounds great - where did you fly into?
sunbum1944 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Alright here is another question I am coming across a number of resorts that are labeled ‘adult only.’

So is this ‘adult only’ meaning no kids allowed or is it ‘adult only’ like an ‘adult bookstore’? I just want to make sure.
Sunflowerguy03 is offline  
Jun 30th, 2010, 05:25 PM
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Could be either one. Most of the time it just means no kids under a certain age (like 16 or 18). But on the Caribbean side there are some 'clothing optional' places. I think from the websites you should be able to tell which is which.
suze is online now  
Jun 30th, 2010, 05:39 PM
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Thanks Suze, I have a few more questions while we are at it.

Would you book an airport to hotel shuttle before you go or just wait and get one once you are there?

Would you book activities before you get there?

I am asking because as I look into booking this trip I keep getting offers for tours etc. and have read your posts it seems that we could book them locally and it be far cheaper.

Thanks in advance.
Sunflowerguy03 is offline  

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