Puerto Vallarta or Cancun in late October

Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 11:03 AM
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Puerto Vallarta or Cancun in late October

I'm thinking about putting together a last minute trip to P.V. or Cancun at the end of October. Considering the Marriot for both locations. Can anyone advise what they consider to be the pros and cons for each area? We will probably spend 5 days - looking for relaxation on this trip, but also enjoy snorkeling, etc. We also enjoy great meals. Not necessarily fancy, but love simple, fresh and flavorful. Thanks.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 12:05 PM
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I strongly favor PV.

Puerto Vallarta has an authentic and charming El Centro (downtown) area, pop. 250,000. It has wonderful tourist ammenities but is also a "normal" Mexican town. I can't say enough good things about it and have been there many many times. Excellent restaurants of all kinds in all price ranges.

Cancun (never been myself) is a resort area built up by the Mexican government awhile ago (although there is a central downtown, not many visitors seem to go there besides the backpacking crowd). The white sand beaches and turquoise water are more beautiful then the rougher coast of the Pacific.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2005, 03:52 PM
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I don't think you can go wrong with either personally, they're both fantastic places...
Cancun has great beaches, I am always amazed at how beautiful the water is. And the Marriotts there are wonderful properties. If you like to snorkel, it's easy to go down the coast a bit to Akumal, or take a ferry to Isla Mujeres for snorkeling, or to go to Cozumel.
There is a bit more to do on the Cancun side, but Puerto Vallarta offers a lot too -- great restaurants, maybe a little more culture...
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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PV con: The snorkeling is not very good. Even for some not-great places you have to go out on a boat cruise, not just swim from the beach.
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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Suze and Frankie thanks for your insight. It looks like we are leaning toward Cancun (mainly for the beach situation). It is a tough call, though, because Puerto Vallarta definitely seems to have the charm that I prefer. I was all set to book at the Marriot Casamagna, but the only rooms that appear to be available are smoking. I'm not sure that I want to do the J.W. with my kids in tow. Any suggestions? Thanks again.
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 11:48 AM
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I've taken my kids (teens) to the JW and we all loved it...the nice thing about it is that though it's upscale, it never felt pretentious to me. Also, the Casa Magna looks nice and is less $$. But the JW is pretty special.
Another plus for Cancun is that I think the Marriotts there are slightly better located...the PV one looks very nice, and I hope to stay there one day, but it isn't in my favorite part of Puerto, the older part of town. It's in the marina, which is nice, but maybe a 15 minute taxi ride to the more interesting parts of town...
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Old Sep 24th, 2005, 12:19 PM
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I adore PV - but my family has discovered Playa del Carmen - which is not too far from Cancun - and they will never stay anywhere else in the sun! And it is so tr that the water in that area is much more delightful for snorkeling and diving.

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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 09:06 AM
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Having never been to Playa del Carmen, I'm still going to agree with the poster above!

If I can ever tear myself away from PV, it's my next stop. They seem almost "sister cities" in that people who like one, like the other.
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Old Sep 25th, 2005, 10:49 AM
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I'd love to hear what you think of Playa, Suze!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:39 AM
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We are all set to stay in Cancun. Based on good reviews, we are going to try the Fiesta Americana Coral Beach. It looks like it is within walking distance to many restaurants, shops, etc. We did not want to do an AI, because we like to explore and try a variety of food. Do you have any restaurant recommendations?

Thanks for the snorkeling locations - we will definitely check them out. Also, we are thinking about doing a day trip to Tulum. Any advice on the best way to do this? We will have five full days in Cancun. Thanks for all of the advice.

Suze - where do you usually stay in P.V.? I would be interested to know for our next trip.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 07:57 AM
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Las Habichuelas is the don't miss restaurant, but there are other good ones...check out this site's restaurant section.
Tulum is wonderful. It's an easy drive if you rent a car...as soon as you get away from Cancun traffic! There are lots of tours, too, I'm sure your hotel will have tours, and/or private drivers for hire. We went on our own, which we really enjoyed!
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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Have stayed at the Fiesta American GRand Coral Beach and must say one of my favorite hotels in Cancun, they have 2 great restaurants there, even though I prefer P.Vallarta also, this was a great place to vacation, I too hope to go to Riviera Maya in April will let all know about it.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 06:26 PM
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Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach is fabulous. Everything about it is great. If you go to PV, do not stay in the hotel zone. Forget the Marriott in PV. Stay in Old town, Los Muertos Beach. Also known as the Zona Romantica. Many, Many great restaurants. Walking distance to the Malecon by walking along the ocean over the new Malecon extension bridge. Old town Puerto Vallarta is alive with entertainment, activities for families, beautiful sunsets, great beach area, River Cuale flea market just steps away. It's just fun fun fun. A great place to relax. Los Arcos on the beach is very popular. There are condo's you can rent beach front.
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Old Sep 26th, 2005, 09:28 PM
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I haven't been to PV, but have been to Alcapulco, and the beaches and water are so-so, which I imagine they would all be on other cities on the Pacific Coast. I've heard great things about PV culture and atmosphere, but not much good about beaches. I've been to Cancun a couple of times. The main strip reminds of an almost "Las Vegas" feel .... the marketers are very aggressive and offer to "rip you off just a little bit". (A tip is to grab a bus, go to where the locals shop, walmart, sams club and by your take homes there)....but I must admit while at the hotel my accomodations have been nice and the beaches and waters are beyond words. I can lay or walk on the white sand beaches and float in the beautiful blue waters for a week and never get bored. So I guess it depends on what type of vacation your looking for .... more americanized beach vacation .... or a cultural adventure. I'm sure either way you'll have a great time.
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