Puerto Vallarta-Any Advice?

Sep 2nd, 1998, 08:16 AM
  #1  
Sid
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Puerto Vallarta-Any Advice?

We are planning a trip to Puerto Vallarta for the second week in December. Staying at the Westin Regina. Need advice on activities, worthwhile excursions,dining,etc.
 
Sep 2nd, 1998, 11:53 AM
  #2  
Laura
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Sid, the best of Puerto Vallarta is found south of the massive, all-inclusive hotels. In old town P.V. you will find the authentic Mexican restaurants with cafe seating upon the omnipresent cobblestone streets. It is also in the old town where you will find quaint shops, street vendors selling giant burritos and a strolling guitar player or two. A must in this area is the Cafe del Olla for jumbo margaritas and enchiladas or sizzling fajitas. Be prepared to stand in line; however, it is so worth the wait. Another wonderful thing to do in P.V. is a sunset cruise. I've been to quite a few spots on the globe and I must tell you that P.V.'s sunset is incomparable. The snorkeling is not too hot but I am comparing it to snorkeling in the coral reefs of Key West, Fla. So, perhaps my view of snorkeling here is skewed. I found it cloudy and no cool fish were seen other than a baby shark and an eel - and, believe me, I wanted to spy neither. Taking a bus ride in P.V. means risking your life; however, it may be the cheapest way of travel up and down the coast so cross your fingers. If I could offer one key piece of advice, it would be to stay downtown and not in a white-bread resort. To get the true feel of this place, it's nice to be able to step out of your hotel onto the bustling streets, alive with the hum of artists, vendors and a runaway bus perhaps!
 
Sep 3rd, 1998, 07:59 AM
  #3  
tricia
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The Westin Regin is a Beautiful hotel and you will enjoy it! To get to town you will need to take a taxi or bus - taxi about 35 pesos and bus 3 pesos.
Downtown is where all the culture is both in the old town and along the Malecon (boardwalk). Sunday nights are wonderful for people watching along the Malecon, everyone is out! Activies in PV include: horseback riding, fishing, whale watching, snorkeling, mountain biking, hiking, surfing, bus tours, ATV tours, home tours, dolphin encounters and plane trips. There are beautiful jungles to be explored and beautiful beaches too. Just depends on what exactly you like to do. Restaurants: hard to find a bad meal in PV. A few of my favorites are - Archies Wok! oriental food in a beautiful atmosphere. Trio is international food and very delicious. Cafe de Olla for Mexican or Fajita Republic for fajitas. Chaianti or Dolce Vita for italian. Karpathos for Greek.
Art Galleries on Calle Morelos - Galeria Uno and the tequila factory and cafe just a block down from that is worth seeing. A drive up the coast to Sayulita, Bucerias, Punta de Mita or the beach club at Veneros. A drive south to Mismaloya or Boca de Tomatlan for the day to have frest fish on the beach if fun too. Well, I hope this helps and if you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to write to me. PV resident of 10 years.
 
Sep 4th, 1998, 10:19 AM
  #4  
Ron Hussey
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We just got back from P.V. last Sunday. Stayed at Club Regina at the Westin. It's a great hotel with excellent facilities. Played lots of tennis. We were amazed at the high quality of the restaurants. The best was Cafe Des Artistes (downtown) with great ambiance and outstanding presentations. PiPi's, also downtown, has very good fajitas. For a superb view it's hard to beat El Panorama (downtown). Closer to the Westin, there's Rincon de Buenos Aires in the Marina. One of the best filet mignons I've had in a long time (Texas meat). In addition to eating we spent some time haggleing with the local vendors for jewelry. There's a number of them on the beach at the Westin and you'll find some good buys. Our target was approximately 60% of asking price but we weren't "hard-core" hagglers. Enjoy !
 
Sep 4th, 1998, 10:26 AM
  #5  
Cheryl Z.
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Our favorite restaurants in PV for food, views, ambiance - El Set, La Palapa, Le Bistro, Dacquiri Dicks, Bogarts, Cueza, Cafe de Artiste. For breakfast on the beach with incredible view - El Setito, right below El Set. For another exquisite and unique view and ambiance, go South of Mismoloya to Le Kliff for afternoon drinks or early dinner with sunset (very dark later after sunset). It may be called La Quebrada again now too. You'll have a great time in PV.
 
Sep 5th, 1998, 09:36 AM
  #6  
Kathy
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I have been to PV at least 15 times and just love it. I'll be there during Thanksgiving. All the sugesstions I have seen here are great. I would do a day on Mismaloya Beach. Just take the bus, it's lot's cheeper. There are several cruise's that are good. Yalapa is great. I was there in Feb. and met an English couple that swam with the dolplins and they loved it. I think it's by the marina. Make sure you hit Roxys at night for live music. Odobe Cafe is wonderful for a nice dinner. You will have a great time!!
 
Sep 6th, 1998, 08:19 AM
  #7  
Kelly and Deanna
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Some other recommendations: Casa de Hotcakes for breakfast, Roberto's Puerto Nuevo for Seafood, El Dragon Rojo for Chinese, Gigante's (grocery store) for pastries.

Be sure to take a day cruise that will take you to Quimixto. Ride the donkeys to the waterfall. We did this 5 years ago and still talk about it to this day - one of our most treasured vacation memories.

Explore the old town - we eat dinner each evening and walk around eventually ending up on the Malecon or one or another of the 'parks' or 'squares' and then take a taxi the rest of the way to the hotel. We even walked the entire way back to the hotel zone one night - very safe, but some of the areas were not well lit and kind of creepy, but I am just paranoid. I feel safer walking the streets of PV than my own home town.

You will love PV - it's the best. Explore, enjoy!
 
Sep 7th, 1998, 06:39 PM
  #8  
Sid
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Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions. I have two more questions: 1)We're thinking about renting a car/jeep for 2-3 days. Are there some nearby (within 1-2 hrs. by car) destinations worth the trip? 2) What about golf in PV. Should I bring my clubs or leave them at home?
 
Sep 12th, 1998, 06:53 PM
  #9  
Cheryl Z.
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Sid - there are three golf courses I believe. I'm not a golfer but friends have golfed there and enjoyed it, and so you might consider it.
We've rented a jeep and driven as far South as you can go, stopping along the way, wherever we wanted. Have also taken the bus and taxis (both are adventures!) South, and then also North to the end of the Bay - Punta de Mita. It might be fun for you to rent a jeep for a day to go to the places that Tricia mentions, but it's not necessary. The buses are fun!
 
Sep 13th, 1998, 04:52 PM
  #10  
Tricia
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There is one golf course in Puerto Vallarta - located in the Marina and I am sure that they have clubs to rent.
The other is Flamingos which is Nayarit - which is about a 30 minute drive north of PV and they too should have rental clubs.

Hertz/Avis/Dollar etc. are all here in PV and I think they all run about the same prices. Jeeps / Jettas / Bugs or vans are available. We have a local daily paper called Vallarta Today and they have alot of the telephone numbers and address of these businesses or a Lifestyles magazine or map.
As for where to drive to - I would say drive south to El Tuito an old colonial town about 45 min. from PV. Or north to Sayulita. If your real adventurous you can drive to San Sebastian! 3 hr. but, I would stay the night. Mismaloya, Boca de Tomatlan, Punta de Mita are all easily accessible by bus and yes this is another adventure!
 
Sep 20th, 1998, 04:39 AM
  #11  
Pamela
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Hola...Looks like you have alot of answers but will go ahead and give you my 3 pesos worth! I have lived here for 7 yrs and manage a medium sized tour company. You can email me direct for further information on the tours, as we "are not supposed to advertise" here! Anyway, Vallarta is fantastic, thus my living here this long! The Westin Regina is a beautiful hotel with great restaurants, service and staff! Dont think all of PVR is like the marina area though! Definitely travel to the southside of town, over the bridge in to Los Muertos area, past the flea market. Prices drop once you cross the bridge and so does the ambiance. You will find the people here extremely friendly! Definitely "do the malecon" one night and plan on staying up to watch the sunrise! You could eat at different restaurants each night and probably never hit a bad one! The emailed suggestions are all very good, but I would highly suggest definitely going to LAS BRISAS. It is located on the river, in front of Richard Burton park and is like being up in a treehouse! FANTASTIC. Many of the suggested restaurants from others are quite price, Cafe des Artistes, etc. Great food and service but pricey and not very typical Mexico! Please email me for further info. You will be coming at a great time for the $$$$. Exchange rate right now is 10 pesos for the dollar. TERRIBLE for us that live on pesos but fantastic for the tourists! Hope to hear from you!
 
Nov 2nd, 1998, 08:29 AM
  #12  
Lisa Rothstein
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I went last year with my family and we loved it. The horseback trips are good; they take you up in the mountains and you swim in a waterfall; the day includes a good lunch at the"ranch". I also loved the Dolphin Adventure--expensive, but unforgettable, if you have never swum with dolphins before. Great snorkeling, too. There were a million things I wanted to do but didn't have time for. Have a great time!
 
Nov 6th, 1998, 09:25 AM
  #13  
JR
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Hi Sid, If you need a map of the main town area, you can get at
http://www.vallarta-info.com/puertovallartamap.htm
Have fun,
JR
 
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