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Puerto Vallarta or Zihuatanejo?

Old Feb 24th, 2010, 06:34 AM
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Puerto Vallarta or Zihuatanejo?

Planning a trip to Mexico at the end of April. We originally were going to book PV and do some of the adventure-type stuff (waterfall rappelling, etc), but I also wanted good beaches. So Ixtapa/Zihua seems to have good beaches, but not that much else to do...

We've been to Cabo, Cancun and Riviera Maya, but never PV, Zihua or Acapulco.

Any suggestions?

(We were going to DR or PR in the Caribbean, which would mean beautiful beaches and water, with some hiking, etc, but my husband didn't want to spend too much time travelling, he wants to stay closer to the west coast...)

Thanks!
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 08:06 AM
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I've only been to PV (many times). It is quite developed these days. It really feels like visiting a "city" now. Yes there is more to do there because the tourist infrastructure is also so well developed (hotels, resorts, loads of activities like ziplines, parasailing, cruises, etc.)

Zijuatenejo is smaller and a more sleepy place with much nicer beaches (i've yet to get there but it's definitely on my list!)
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Old Feb 24th, 2010, 05:59 PM
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PV Lots of great hotels, action, great restaurants, Bars, booze & hundreds (it seems) of Timeshare Ghouls. While I love it the literally (& I mean literally) constant interruption by beach peddlers is very annoying. There are oasis's of calm but they are getting harder to find. I love wandering the Island, Old Town & some of the "Mexican" neighborhoods.
Zihua is far more peaceful but plenty of bars for most people. Virtually no time sharers except in Ixtapa where they legally confined to a few booths on the main drag
It is Illegal for peddlers to sell their wares on the beach. A few sneak on but on average less than a dozen a day were s in PV it is more like a dozen a minute.
Great day trips & overnighters from Zihua. Patzcuaro/Uruapan. Morelia is a most marvelous experience an area I have visited 8 or 9 time but have yet to See it all. At least one night i required. Day trips include Troncones with Miles & Miles of empty beaches except for an occasional Inn & surfer. Barra de Potosi a lovely dirt road fishing village with a 9 1/2 miles of mostly empty beach, a wildlife preserve, a kayaking lagoon & a number of excellent beach cafés. Also a visit to one of Mexico's few gold cities in petatlan. A nice village with several dozen Gold Tallers (makers) where you can buy already gold items or have your own designed.
Many great cafés in Zihua from The Rico-mar where for $3 US you can get a full meal up to $100 a plate places but on the average a good restaurant's entrées run about $10 US. Good Scuba, sailing & cruises complete the area just not as many as PV with a lot less pressure.
So either city is fun but after 15 straight years in PV & 10 in Zihua I chose to establish a residence at Zihua.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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While I love PV dearly, I agree, the timeshare sales has gotten WAY out of hand to the point of being a REAL inconvenience and a detriment to the city as a vacation destination imho. Beach vendors are thick as well, but personally I have a fondness for them so don't mind talking to those folks (but I also spend plenty of time at my hotel pool, instead of the beach, where it's quiet and no one bother you).
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 10:40 AM
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Depends very much on what parts of PV you go to. There are no timeshare guys on the beach, go 2 blocks away from the tourist areas and you wont find any there either.
If you stay at a place like Dreams south of town, there's only two vendors on the whole semi private beach.
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Old Feb 25th, 2010, 11:05 AM
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Of course the difference Carbon is in Zihua it is not necessary to stay a captive at your hotel or a specific area/beach. The Beach at The Lindo Mar is also mostly peddler free but I do not wish to spend every beach day there. I do not understand why the Merchants on the land side of The Malacon put up with the Ghouls as I along with many others avoid that side of the street like a plaque.
Again I state PV in spite of the many problems it is still in my top 5 Mexico beach cities.
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