Puerta Vallarte

Old Dec 16th, 2006, 06:19 AM
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Puerta Vallarte

I am planning a trip to Puerta Vallarte. A travel agent recommended either the Mayan Palace or the Mayan Sea Garden in Nuevo Vallarte. Anyone with any thoughts about either?
Ayla
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Old Dec 16th, 2006, 07:59 AM
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Reports I read say that you will be hounded heavily by the Time Share Ghouls there. I would avoid those like the Plaque which IMO it is!
Consider something in the hotel zone just North of Downtown PV or even The Los Muertos beach area in the heart of old town.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 07:44 AM
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Personally, I would recommend doing some more research on your own to find a nice place to stay. Travel agents sell specific places that benefit themselves financially (obviously).

Ayla, The first thing I suggest people do who are planning a first trip to Puerto Vallarta is get a map of the area. Nueuvo Vallarta is a Cancun-style development that is ~30-45+ mins. north from downtown. For me personally because it is the town and people of PV that I love so much, staying out in Nuevo would not be anything I was interested in doing.

I like El Centro (downtown), or the Old Town (zona romantica), or even The Hotel Zone or The Marina would be better than Nuevo. Just my opinion.

Also check over on Trip Advisor. You can read hotel reviews, but better yet go to the Puerto or Nuevo Vallarta forums (a seperate section from the reviews) for lots of discussion about places to stay, from people who regularly travel to PV.
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Old Dec 17th, 2006, 09:06 PM
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I am staying at the Mayan Sea Garden the middle of January only because a friend is giving me a time share week. They advertise a kitchenette, but the papers they sent me say "no kitchen" and also the Mayan Sea Garden may not use the pool of the Mayan Palace which is odd. Depending on what you expect on your vacation--this is out of central/old town Puerto Vallarta. Traffic is heavy in PV and taxi fare if you frequently go to Centro/old town can add up. Again I am only staying there because it is a gift. Ditto to Suze above except I heartily urge you to stay in old town or around centro for your first trip.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 04:43 AM
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Thanks for your help. This is my first trip to Mexico. I will be with my husband and two teenage daughters. Is Puerta Vallarte a good choice or is there somewhere else that we should look at?
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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Puerto Vallarta is a wonderful place to go they have everything avail that you can possibly however I would not stay in Nuevo try the Mayan Palace in the Marina it would be much more convenient it is a nice area and you will be able to go into town in about 15-20 minutes. Nuevo is as Suze stated it is ok if you like to stay in one spot and not venture out.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 07:26 AM
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I agree with Butsey, PV's great, but downtown or the Marina is the place to stay. The area south of the river is where you'll find the most character.
I stayed in Dreams when it was the Camino Real a few years ago, and I loved it then, nice hotel, excellent location. I don't know how much it's changed since it's become an all inclusive, but it's still popular.
The problem with allinclusive though, is that PV is blessed with so many wonderful places to eat out that an all inclusive would be redundant.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 11:07 AM
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PV was my first place in Mexico (21 plus years ago) & a great choice for the first trip. While I still stop by & love much of PV I basically headquarter in Zihuatanejo which is much like PV say 30 years ago. from there I explore adjoining states.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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I think Puerto Vallarta is the perfect place for a 1st trip to Mexico. It is still an "authentic" working city, but safe, clean, with good tourist infrastructure so as not to be too much of a culture shock for the average traveler.
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Old Dec 18th, 2006, 02:39 PM
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Look at the opening page of this forum right now. Fodor's has an article with some very nice photos of PV featured. But don't let their choice of (expensive) restaurants and hotels scare you off.

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Old Dec 19th, 2006, 10:59 PM
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I'm definitely in the minority here but I love the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta. It's lovely - modern, elegant, spacious, great pools that never feel crowded, a great beach that is clean, uncrowded and peaceful. I think watching the sunset, limonda in hand, from this beach is one of my greatest pleasures!

Guests really are not hounded by time share sales people at the resort. I do own a time share there but this year have "rented" weeks to seven couples and although each couple was asked when they checked in if they were interested in attending a sales presentation, when they declined, they never heard another word about it from sales people at the resort. In town it is certainly a different story as there are Mayan Palace sales people on every corner. I know many tourists feel harrassed by them - I just smile and keep walking. They're a great source of information if you're trying to find a specific restaurant or a barbershop... I've heard that this Vallarta institution is being outlawed and soon there will be no time share guys on the streets in town. Again, I'm in the minority, but I'll miss them.

I've also enjoyed staying at the Marina and in the Zona Romantica but find the Grand Mayan a peaceful retreat and my husband loves the golf course just outside the front door.

We head into town for dinner most nights. Puerto Vallarta is a great high cuisine town but also has great street food. Carboncito is our favorite taco stand. In Puerto Vallarta we drink the water, eat salads and use plain water to wash the fruit and veggies we buy at the grocery store (Commercial Mexicana near the Marina has a great deli with fresh salsa and guacamole but get there early as they sell out by 10 AM). The bus ride from Nuevo to Puerto Vallarta is 12 pesos and takes about 30+ minutes. Bus service back to Nuevo ends at 10 PM so we often take a taxi back to the resort.

While the resort is lovely, we always take day trips. Sayulita, about an hour north of Nuevo by bus, is a regular day trip destination. It sure was crowded this year, not a sleepy little town anymore, but has great waves for body surfing. Yelapa, Las Animas, and Quimixta are good towns to visit via water taxi. Bucerias, just north of Nuevo, has a good beach, great resturants and a smaller-town vibe. Last year we took a road trip over the mountains to Talpa, Mascota and San Sebastian - beautiful scenery, lovely colonial towns and not many people who speak English.

I think that no matter where you stay in Puerto Vallarta, you'll have a great time.

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Old Dec 20th, 2006, 02:27 PM
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My husband and I have been spending winters in Puerto Vallarta for the last two years (we are recently retired educators).
With two teen age daughters I suggest staying in Puerto Vallarta, skip Nuevo Vallarta as it is quite a distance from PV. To go to PV from Nuevo Vallarta is very expensive and time consuming. Nuevo Vallarta is like Cancun - lots of sunning but not much else to do. Puerto Vallarta is loaded with things to do.
A compromise would be the Marina area - you can hop a taxi (reasonably) or a bus(cheaply) and get into town in about 30 minutes. At the Marina area many of the places have man-made beaches (lotsa sand) and typical "beach" activities. We stay in the town and prefer Old Town/Centro area as it is near all the action but if you are "beach people" the beach isn't as nice here. Don't stay at an all inclusive. There are too many places to eat and you don't want to be held to one location. PV is noted for his international food options (Chinese to Brazilan and all inbetween).
We leave this Saturday to visit our family for the holidays and then fly from Tampa to Puerto Vallarta on January 7th. If you have any further questions, feel free to contact us. Another option of location would be the hotel zone. It is closer to town than the Marina so getting into PV is either a short bus/cab ride or a nice walk.

Enjoy! Kathy
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