Puerto Vallarta Excursions--How Rough?

Dec 19th, 2003, 04:17 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 161
Puerto Vallarta Excursions--How Rough?

We will be in Puerto Vallarta for 6 days starting 12/24 with a diverse extended family group of 10 people, ages 17-82, including one with recent surgery so she can't do a really rough boat or truck trip. The 82-year old can't do real strenuous walks. At least one of us is susceptible to seasickness. We would be interested in doing a one-day or half-day excursion, either jungle-related or whale watching or Las Caletas or something else you would recommend.

Specifically with respect to the whale trips, do you know how rough the zodiac rides are? (In some places this is a natural roller coaster, and in others it is very calm; we would need calm.) Any recommendations on particular companies or trips?

Many people on the board have recommended the Las Caletas trip. How rough is that boat trip re seasickness and/or getting shaken up? I know we are tourists, but does it seem extremely "touristy?"

I have read good things about the Vallarta Adventures Sierra Madre trip, but one book said the truck trip is very rough. Is this true?

Do you know whether any of these trips would require us to take malaria pills?

Thanks very much!

RCLCOLPB is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 06:11 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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If anyone gets seasick tell them to forget going on a boat tour. I tried to go to Los Animos had to take a motor boat to a floating dock climb about 80 steps to street level then take a cab wouldn;t recommend it if motion sickness is a problem. as far as tour I recommend the city tour it takes you all ove and you can appreciate all the views you might not see. It takes about
a few hours getting back to your hotel around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. Good Luck just got back 2 weeks ago going again in March love it. Happy HOlidays!!!
butsey is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 06:14 AM
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re: boat trips. It all depends on the wave conditions on the bay, which can change day to day, but seldom rough at this time of year.
The Vallarta Adventures - Sierra Madre tour goes on unimproved road and you may have to hang on, the trucks are set up for this.
Malaria is not a factor here.
JRinPV is offline  
Dec 19th, 2003, 09:44 PM
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Having done both the Las Caletas and the Sierra Madre, I would say they are both excellent tours. The boat going to Las Caletas does not go fast but as JR said, it depends on the water. Perhaps the person prone to seasickness could take a Dramamine or similar med prior, but this is no guarantee. This is a good trip for all of the ages you're including. The Sierra Madra tour is riding in the back of Mercedes all-terrain trucks and the dirt roads are very rough in parts. The tour also includes about a 45 minute walk through the jungle and though not strenuous, does have some up and down terrain. The city/jungle tour offered by several different companies is good in that you see some of the area and go to one of the jungle restaurants for lunch (not included in price of tour). That would be a pretty comfortable tour for about anyone. Perhaps your group might want to split up one day and go in smaller groups to different tours, based on their limitations or desires. Then you could all share your experiences when you came back together. Good luck and enjoy!
dp is offline  
Dec 20th, 2003, 09:12 AM
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Butsey's post brought back memories! I used to go to PV back in the early 80's and on one of my trips took a boat tour. I don't remember even where we were going - but it was dreadful! The floating dock thing - I laughed later when I pictured myself crawling across the dock to get to the stairs. My husband laughed at the time (very nasty of him, considering it was our honeymoon!). I also remember that there wasn't a lot of shade on the boat. There was a canopy but a few of the passengers wanted sun, so we had sun - way too much sun. I'm not that keen on dramamine - it makes me drowsy, but I wished I had taken it.

I guess it all depends on the tour company!

SusanInToronto is offline  
Dec 20th, 2003, 01:32 PM
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Thank you for all of the suggestions.

We may end up deciding that the jungle/city tour is the only one we can all do, and that we want to something all together.

Does anyone know companies that do good jobs of this, without focusing on stopping at stores or restaurants where they get commissions? Is this incredibly touristy?


RCLCOLPB is offline  
Dec 21st, 2003, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You might look into hiring a van/taxi for a 1- or 1/2-day independent trip of your own. I'm not sure how many people they can fit in one vehicle, but I've seen groups of people organizing like this with the help of the hotel front desk staff.

I've done it with a friend, when our hotel desk person turned out to own a taxi with his brother, and they would do small, unoffical tours (we went south to Chico's Paradise, El Eden, Boca de Tomalatan).

Or you could head north thru Bucerias, Punta Mita, Sayulita, and the other small towns along the coastline.

I wouldn't do this at the booths along the sidewalk (as they are most likely timeshare sales in disquise), but by asking at your hotel or a restaurant you frequent.
suze is online now  
Jan 5th, 2004, 11:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 8
The Pirate Boat Adventure was a nice trip that I took while in PV. It lasted about 7 hours. The boat takes you to a secluded beach where you can swim, snorkel, play volleyball, banana boat ride, snorkel or tan. Breakfast and lunch are served on the boat. While on the boat we saw a school of dolphins. The ride to the beach is about an hour so the crew who are dressed like pirates try to put on a show. Eventhough at times the show was a little lame it was still fun. They had us do all kinds of dances and stupid stuff.

The boat ride is pretty smooth although it has to dock a distance from the beach and you have to get on a smaller boat in order to ride out to the beach.
iam1wthee is offline  
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