Puerto Vallarta and environs, non-tourist style

Old Aug 4th, 2008, 03:39 PM
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Puerto Vallarta and environs, non-tourist style

A friend of mine and I are headed to PV on Thursday (last minute not so expensive tickets). Since I'm a grad student, I'm generally a really budget traveler (my last trip to central america was a 6 day trip to Costa Rica, totaling about $200 in expenditure not including airfare), so I'd like some advice on keeping costs down.

Generally, we're really not into guided tours or things built for tourists (e.g. resorts aned drinking on a boat cruise with other travelers is completely unappealing); we're more of the rent a car, and drive up into the mountains and wander through the jungle type. The city is certainly interesting on its own accord, but we're probably not going to be spending that much time in the city proper.

We're wondering if anyone here has any recommendations for good adventures that we can either do on our own (wikitravel, for example, mentions a hike from Yelapa to a nearby waterfall), or that are interesting enough to warrant paying someone to show us around (horseback riding or rafting for example).

Also, my impression from Trip Advisor is that cheap hotels are more available in Old Town. My experience elsewhere has been that the cheapest places had no web presence, and that we just had to show up and book there. Is that likely to be the case in PV? (We just need a place to sleep. No TV or phone or room service or anything like that).
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 03:53 PM
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One other question: Is renting a car a good idea for independent excursions?
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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(For reference, car rental appears to be about $18 a day after tax and "other mandatory charges")
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Old Aug 4th, 2008, 04:59 PM
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I would not rent a car myself if you are on a budget (& I don't think that price sounds correct).

You can go by bus to towns north of Puerto Vallarta such as Bucerias, Punta Mita, San Pancho, Guyambitos, Sayulita, and San Blas.

You can get to Yelapa either by taking a water taxi from Playa Los Muertos pier, or from the beach at Boca de Tomalatan.

Yes you are correct about the hotels in PV, that the cheapest are not on the internet. The website www.vallarta-info.com has a very comprehensive list so you can get the addresses.

The least expensive hotels mostly are along Madero (a street name, parallel to and just south of the Rio Cuale, south of El Centro/downtown). Hotel Azteca is a nice one there, also Ana Liz and Villa del Mar. Believe me there's no room service (lol!).
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Old Aug 5th, 2008, 07:40 PM
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There's a couple other nice budget hotels on B. Badillo/Olas Altas... Yasmine and Posada Lily.

I stay at Posada Roger because I like the atmosphere, pool, restaurant, but it's higher priced of the budget choices.

Assuming you're not packing much(?) you can take the bus from the airport by exiting out to the highway for 5.5 peso (instead of a $23 taxi fare). If you have big backpacks or anything, never mind the suggestion.

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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 03:19 AM
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I second the buses.the city ones are a bit scarrey,but the one going to different area like up north to the pristine beaches are nice.we went to punta mita a few years back and also to another surfer town.About 3 years ago the feul was really cheap,but it may have gone up in price.You can do your own tour to liz taylor place,check out the church,lots of things to see. They do have gators there,but haven't heard of anyone having any trouble.There is a nice beach not to far out of town. Not sure of the spelling but sounds like mismaloya.The water is questionable in pv for swimming.not there it is nice.There is also a sam's club and maybe a costco,s.My aunt wouldn't go to either but prices might be good.have fun and stay cool
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Old Aug 6th, 2008, 05:13 PM
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Thanks for all of your help everyone. I'll let you guys know how it goes.
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