Pv Puerto Vallarta - Did We Miss Something?

Sep 6th, 2007, 07:56 AM
  #1  
leavingsoon
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Pv Puerto Vallarta - Did We Miss Something?

Hola!

Thanks for your assistance. Just wondering how everyone in the real world and here on line seems to loooooove it in PV and we found it kind of boring and just ok?

What did we do wrong?

The beach at Mismaloya, which we had read was so pristine and gorgeous was chock full of hawkers and boat guys and filthy water. Driving into it was just a huge wall of the hotel grounds and then a polluted looking stream with a dilapidated bridge. Was there a different part of the beach that we missed?

We had high hopes for Saylita, the expected tranquil little surf town was also chocked with beach vendors, the streets totally torn up by bulldozers creating mud-filled lakes where the street should have been. The fish tacos on the square were nice. Were we on the wrong streets?

The beach restaurants at Anclote or is it Mita were not shacks, but full-on giant tour bus sized places. The food was abundant and nice, but the views just brown water and rocks and trash and those beach erosion things, I forget what they are called, and more tractor marks and more construction vehicles.

The Red Cabbage had nice tortilla soup but had run out of everything by 8pm except for veggie tacos.

The streets were flooded despite dry weather in the walking around area. The malecon was nice and breezy on one side, but looked like any honky tonk tourist land on the other. Hooters by the sea? How is that quaint?

We spent so much time looking for the thing that makes everyone love it here- but we so obviously missed it. Enlighten me, kindly.

We much prefered the beach towns about 3 hours South of PV: Melaque, Barra La Navidad. They have visitors, but they seem more "real" less trinket oriented.

I'm posting this in part to give future travelers a better idea of what to expect and to suggest that if any of this sounds unappealing they might want to reconsider.

But, as I said, I probably missed something as PV is sooooo popular. What did we miss?

I am sure we just didn't see it. PV lovers, spill your secrets to help the next hapless travelers!

 
Sep 6th, 2007, 08:29 AM
  #2  
leavingsoon
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P.S.

What are these bites I have that didn't itch when I was there, but are killing me now? Are there disease-carrying insects there or are these just mosquito bites? They are smaller and red.

A fellow passenger on the plane who had stayed at the Four Seasons said she had 140 of them and had consulted their on-site doctor!

Any 4-1-1 on that much appreciated!
 
Sep 6th, 2007, 09:53 AM
  #3  
 
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No doubt everyone is waiting for Suze to respond

Meanwhile ...

What are these bites I have that didn't itch when I was there, but are killing me now? Are there disease-carrying insects there or are these just mosquito bites?

Probably the dreaded jejenes (aka 'no-see-ums), which are particularly bad on the beach at sunset. Just keep lotion on them and try not to scratch ... some say alcohol works, especially if applied internally.

everyone in the real world and here on line seems to loooooove it in PV and we found it kind of boring and just ok?

I kind of like it there but never 'loved' it ... part of the problem with your trip was the timing, especially with the rainy season leading to silty, poor water conditions. Part of the 'problem' is that you seem to like quieter towns like Barra better

Some of the things you complain about, like the beach vendors, are unfortunately part of everyday scene on touristy Mexican beaches and Vallarta is probably one of the top three most touristy beaches with Cabo and Cancun.

We spent so much time looking for the thing that makes everyone love it here- but we so obviously missed it. Enlighten me, kindly.

I think the people who 'love' it, like Suze, like the Old Town area downtown. Once you get out of that area Vallarta is too touristy for many people though, with all the generic American chain hotels (Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Westin etc) and restaurants and even shopping centers.

We much prefered the beach towns about 3 hours South of PV: Melaque, Barra La Navidad.

We have been to Barra and Melaque and the people who like these sleepy, more genuine Mexican resorts generally don't like the mega-touristy resorts like Vallarta, so you were just in the wrong place. I agree Barra has a lot of charm but for many it's too 'sleepy'.

Hooters by the sea? How is that quaint?

I was last in Vallarta Dec 2006, flying in for one night and picking up a rental car to drive a couple hours north to a smaller, 'genuine' fishing village ... the three things that really made it seem like Vallarta has gone to the dark side were first the time-share vendors trying to sucker people at the airport, like they do in Cabo ... weren't there a few years ago, and this is a sure sign the resort has lost it's Mexican soul. Second was the big US store, I forget if it was a Wal-Mart or Costco, but that struck home too. Where's the Gigante when you need one? Third was walking on the malecon (seawall) and seeing the HQQters near the zocalo ... nothing says "Tourist Mexico" louder than a HQQter's on the malecon

Anyway, hope you find a smaller, less touristy and more charming place in Mexico on your next visit. They do exist.

Bill







Bill_H is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 11:29 AM
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leavingsoon
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Thanks for your hilarious reply, "alcohol applied internally" indeed the solution to all of our "woes."

I really do a very good whinge when I get going, don't I?

No tremendous loss in time or effort, fortunately. The costs were low for everything, and yes, perhaps had it all been set against a backdrop of those sparkling waters from the hotel website this would have been a different post, indeed.

From now on, prior to purchasing airline tickets I shall Google "Hooters" make sure it is not in evidence and then book.

Thanks for the chuckle, and the info on these itchy bites!

Hawaii, we shall never stray again!


 
Sep 6th, 2007, 12:26 PM
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So Sorry it wasn't what you expected, I have been going for 18yrs and now go twice a year have been to many other places always go back here yes it has become quite touristy I once went to Mismaloya stayed one night went back to the Hotel zone, What do I love? I love the people, love the climate, love the restaurants even though I live close to one of our biggest cities I think the restaurants in P.V. are wonderful. I only go in the Winter once in Nov & again in March. I guess it's all a matter of opinion. We actually have become friends with a Mexican family since 1990 and have seen a whole generation grow up, they welcomed us in their home and treat us as family. This is my response of why I love it and one more thing it is so affordable. Can't wait to go back.
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Sep 6th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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leavingsoon
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Thank you for your reply, too, butsey.

I kept thinking "had we only turned left" or "taken that stairway" it would lead to this Shangri-La, but it seems that without a lane leading into the past we would never have found the magic that you residents and long-time visitors see and hold dear.

 
Sep 7th, 2007, 04:21 PM
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I like the area south of the River, the romantic zone, visiting the church, walking up the hill where Liz Taylor and R. Burton once lived. We loved the Camino Real before it was turned into an all inclusive (Dreams) because it was in such a beautiful spot, and was a truly gracious hotel on a lovely little beach. We loved Sayulita on our first visit, but it had changed 2 years later, and lost much of its charm, IMO.

I'm in no hurry to return to PV because it really doesn't have any great hotels, and the 4 Seasons Punta Mita is just too isolated for me.
Little_Man is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:02 PM
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Well I only stay on the south-side (recently dubbed Zona Romantica) so can't comment to much of what you didn't like.

I don't have any tips to give... it's OK for people not to like Vallarta. It's not for everyone. Some people should stick with Hawaii. PV's getting way to crowded anyways!!!

suerte, Suze
suze is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 05:24 PM
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Seriously, what I love most about Puerto Vallarta are the PEOPLE... friendly local people along with tourist Mexican families who visit.

I do love the Old Town. I like to practice my Spanish. I don't really do anything that is a tourist activity.

Puerto Vallarta is as "real" as it gets. I, for one, never said it was "quaint". It's gritty and real and the smell of diesel fumes in the air, always reminds me of being there.
suze is offline  
Sep 8th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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LeavingSoon-THANK YOU. I recently got back from Mexico and Puerto Vallarta, and I'm not posted here, because I'm always on the Europe board, but I'd like to comment: If I never see PV again in my life, it will be no great loss to me AT ALL. You pretty much mirrored my sentiments -except that I could expound further in a negative way on the subject, but no need to type out the words-it's not that important to me.

I ate at every supposedly splashy restaurant-the absolute WORST margueritas/mixed drinks I've had probably anywhere in the world (do they ever put alcohol in the drinks in PV, I wonder? I asked them to pour a double in front of me, I SWEAR it's about a 6 ounces less than whatever a full shot is, nothing plus nothing equals just that!) Everywhere was the same, it wasn't just a few places, either.

You can have the place, with my compliments-I'll take Quintana Roo, Playa del Carmen, Acapulco, Puerto Escondido, Guadalajara, etc., all of these places, anyday over PV!

P.S. And people want to go to Yelapa, FOR WHAT, may I ask????
Girlspytravel is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 09:08 AM
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Like I already said, it is not the place for everybody (thankfully).

But I do wish when people complain they would name names, seems only fair. To say "every supposedly splashy restaurant" and "everywhere was the same" pouring short drinks "the worst in the world" is not particularly helpful for people trying to plan a trip and avoid these terrible places.

suze is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 10:54 AM
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Hooters! When I see the place, I'm disappointed. I walk past quickly. It automatically subtracts points for me. Took a double take when I saw it in Interlaken, Switzerland last year and disappinted me when I saw it in Puerto Madero, in Buenos Aires last month.
annetti is offline  
Sep 9th, 2007, 11:19 AM
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There's also a Walmart and Sam's Club some people complain deeply disappointed them.


suze is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:49 AM
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Hmmm. Suze....? Complain "deeply disappointed". Why I've been in therapy ever since. That hurt you deeply that I was suprised to see a Walmart didn't it? Not the 1st time I've seen you refer to it, lol.
faithie is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 04:51 AM
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But I DID love Yelapa, and the poster with such dramatic opinions above can simply do a search for a report to see WHY I went and loved, we really liked parts of PV too by the way. Open minds.....
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Sep 10th, 2007, 04:52 AM
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That was meant for Gipsy.
faithie is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Faithie~ On my trips in PV I often talk to visitors about their impressions of the city and at home Fodor's is not the only travel forum I participate in. You might be surprised to know you are not the only person who complains about finding a Walmart in Vallarta!
Suze
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Sep 10th, 2007, 08:55 AM
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leavingsoon
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Just wanted to thank everyone else for reading and replying.

Girlspy...reading your line about yelapa made me so relieved, I had thought it was 'the" thing that would change my mind, but huge seas prevented boat trips...at least now i won't regret missing it.

To those who like/love PV, please enjoy your next trips...did not mean to cause stress, just to give another perspective!



 
Sep 12th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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To put a different spin on it (you of course didn't do anything "wrong") but it sounds like you really did not spend much time in Vallarta proper. Other than the mention of The Malecon and flooded streets.

What did you miss? Spending enough time in one place to get the feel of the Old Town area, staying long enough to make friends with local people even if it's just your hotel staff, getting to know a neighborhood so you are a "regular" in the shops and restaurants. I stay for weeks at a time, and spend it all within an area probably 1 mile square at best.

That said, I still maintain PV is NOT the place for everyone, and that's OK.
suze is offline  

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