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Suggestions for a Pacific Coast destination in Mexico

Suggestions for a Pacific Coast destination in Mexico

Nov 3rd, 2008, 06:44 PM
  #1  
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Suggestions for a Pacific Coast destination in Mexico

I'm looking for some suggestions for a Jan/Feb trip we're planning to Mexico. The past 2 years we have spend in Playa del Carmen. We love it there but want to try some place different. We're traveling with our 4 year old daughter and mother. We do not want an all inclusive and really do not like the big resorts, we prefer to experience the local culture when we travel. We would like to find an area that is safe, has good beaches (clean and kid friendly), offers a variety of restaurants, has mexican shops and/or market (more for browsing and trinket shopping). My husband and I visited Puerta Vallarta 10 years ago. I was thinking of possibly using it as a safe base to spend a few nights but maybe venture on to some smaller towns. I also was considering Mazatlan but I read several posts on here that were not very positive. I'm still in the early planning stages so I don't have many specific questions...any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
mllajoie is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 08:15 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2005
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List of my choices in Order
1. Zihuatanejo
2. Manzanillo
3 Puerto Vallarta
4. Acapulco
5. La Paz
6.Mazatlan
Stewbear is offline  
Nov 3rd, 2008, 08:21 PM
  #3  
 
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Stewbear: My DH is planning a trip to Colima with his Rotary Club for late January. They will be working there for about a week drilling wells for small communities. Can I pick your brain about logistics? Can I e-mail you? You seem to be our resident expert here on Fodor's regarding this area.

Thanks,

MY
MichelleY is online now  
Nov 4th, 2008, 03:59 AM
  #4  
KVR
 
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Have you considered Isla Mujeres? It's a short ferry ride from Cancun. Appears to have everything you are looking for, and definitely not as busy or crowded as Playa del Carmen. Also, beaches will be much nicer than Pacific Coast Mexico. We are headed there this weekend. Also check out Cozumel. It's our most favorite Island and we loved snorkeling at Chankanaab Park.
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Nov 4th, 2008, 05:54 AM
  #5  
 
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I think Puerto Vallarta fits exactly what you describe. It is more developed than 10 years ago, but still mostly has managed to keep it's heart & soul imo.
suze is offline  
Nov 4th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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"Stewbear: My DH is planning a trip to Colima with his Rotary Club for late January. They will be working there for about a week drilling wells for small communities. Can I pick your brain about logistics? Can I e-mail you? You seem to be our resident expert here on Fodor's regarding this area.

Thanks,"
Feel free to write however I am not an expert on Colima having spent less than 48 hours there.

Stewbear is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 07:01 PM
  #7  
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Thanks all for the input.

Stewbear - what do you like about your top 3 picks (I think I'm leaning more toward Puerto Vallarta but I've also considered your other top two options).

KVH- We did Isla Mujeres last year and though we really, really like that side of Mexico we're looking for something on the Pacific side this year.

Suze - Reading some of your posts, you seem to know a bit about the PV area. What are the smaller towns north like (such as Nayarit, Sasualita (SP)?. I get a feeling they are very laid back and very undeveloped but still welcoming to tourists. Are you familiar with these towns and any lodging options they offer?
mllajoie is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 08:49 PM
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I've been to Puerto Vallarta 19 times (if I'm still counting correctly!). But I love the downtown area and spend all my time in El Centro and the south-side (Zona Romantica). I'm not all that familiar with the smaller towns to the north or south.

But I can help clarify... the spelling is Sayulita, it's a town popular for surfing to the north. Nayarit is actually the name of a state. PV is in the state of Jalisco, and the newer resort district of Nuevo Vallarta to the north is in the state of Nayarit. Tourist developers are using the new name of Riviera Nayarit just recently to designate this stretch of coastline development to the north of PV.
suze is offline  
Nov 5th, 2008, 08:51 PM
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Oh, and Bucerias is just ~1/2 hour north, and a small town in it's own right with hotels, condos, restaurants, shopping. If PV seems too large for you maybe that might be a better fit?
suze is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 03:02 AM
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I would not go to Mexico these days with all the kidnappings.
Riobound is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 06:33 AM
  #11  
 
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No one's kidnapping tourists out of the beach resorts in Mexico.
suze is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 06:37 AM
  #12  
KVR
 
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mllajoie, I know what you mean. We've been to the Caribbean side of Mexico 7 times and then decided last year to try the Pacific side. We chose PV because it was one of the less expensive destinations and seemed to have more things to see and do. Though we liked it OK enough, it really wasn't for us. We missed the white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters. We were harrassed everywhere we went by time share and street vendors to no end. The worst of any destination we've been to. If we ever decide to try that area again, I would look into Cabo or Ixtapa, and just have to bare with the fact the beaches are not all that great.

This will be our first trip to Isla Mujeres. We've done Cancun, Playa and Cozumel. How did you like it? Any tips? We are staying at the Avalon Reef Club.
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Nov 6th, 2008, 08:12 AM
  #13  
 
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You might want to look into Hualtuco, which is in Oaxaca. IT has some really beautiful resorts that come with room rates that are a fraction of more well known spots.

The Camino Real Zaashilla hotel is spectacular.

There is a small town nearby that has a small market and several restaurants. The key feature of the area are several bays, some if which are swimmable.

The only way to get there is via Mexico City, though perhaps at various times of the year you can get a direct flight from parts of the West Coast.

Ryan is offline  
Nov 6th, 2008, 12:03 PM
  #14  
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Thanks Suze for the clarification and your suggestions on the specific area of PV. Bucerias looks like a great place, I'd like to check out.

Riobound - Seriously!

KVR - We spent 2 nights on Isla Mujeres. I would recommend renting a golf cart and exploring the Island. It has a nice family friendly beach, you may be staying near or on it. I can't remember the name of it. We enjoyed the area but really I think we saw everything in the 2 days we were there...what can I say we we're exicted to get to Playa!

Ryan - thanks for the suggestion, I did look into Oaxaca. I'm trying to avoid any connections and again Puerta Vallarta fits our need since we can get a direct flight.

Based on the feedback I've received and some additional research I would say it looks like Puerta Vallarta will be our destination this year...thanks everyone for your input.
mllajoie is offline  
Nov 7th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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I love PV but I can't think of a less kid friendly beach than that. I watched many an adult knocked @ss over teakettle from that powerful surf and wouldn't let a four year old anywhere near it.
Safety first!
BTW we spent two wks on Isla Mujeres last year and it was great!
ontariogirl is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 12:53 PM
  #16  
 
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As of last year Continental flew to Huatulco direct from Houston.
PatrickSch is offline  
Nov 10th, 2008, 06:31 AM
  #17  
 
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We don't have big waves all the time, like everywhere else, it comes and goes. At Los Muertos beach on a Sunday the water is full of kids.
cabron is offline  
Nov 11th, 2008, 07:21 AM
  #18  
 
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You might also consider Punta de Mita. Fly into PVR and travel north. It's a smaller community on the point of the Bay and Pacific Ocean. Beaches are gorgeous and not as crowded as PVR.
wyoming_girl is offline  
Nov 12th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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What places would you suggest they stay in Punta Mita? I didn't know there were hotels there besides the 4 Seasons?
suze is offline  

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