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Where should we go for a family vacation in Mexico?

Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:46 PM
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Where should we go for a family vacation in Mexico?

Every year we try to go somewhere and this year I want something a little different! I am looking into a family vacation in October, good time to go or bad? We are a family of 5, the kiddies are young (4,4, and 2). Their b-days are in late Oct. and Dec. so they will be closer in age to 5,5 and 3. Anyway, they are good little travelers so the flight distance isn't really a concern. What is, is I would like a place that has shuttle service from airport to hotel because I don't want to take their car seats on this vacation! Obviously, looking into Mexico because I want nice beaches, the kids would be perfectly happy sitting on the beach for 5 days. I wouldn't mind seeing some ruins one day, but the majority of time spent will be on a beach. The DH and I spent our honeymoon in Cancun (9 years ago) and have talked of returning because we didn't visit any ruins. However, I wouldn't mind going someplace new. Oh, also of importance is bus or shuttle service on any excursions (because of the car seat thing), do most places have these? The areas I am considering are Mazatlan, Cabo, PV (are there ruins nearby PV?), or back to Cancun. I guess as long as we had a nice beach, nice hotel with pretty grounds and perhaps something close by that the kids would enjoy we would be okay. Suggestions?
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:54 PM
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There aren't any ruins in PV, but it is a great destination anyways, although the beaches aren't the greatest. I also love Cancun and Playa del Carmen, both have great beaches and lots of wonderful hotels. Cabo would come in 3rd on my list -- not really any good swimming beaches, & no culture.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 01:57 PM
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There's no ruins near Puerto Vallarta, but someone did recently post about an airport shuttle with a car seat!

I love Puerto Vallarta, but the beaches are nicer in Cancun (that white sand turquoise water Caribbean thing).
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 04:43 PM
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I have never been to cancunm and I have no children, so my opinion may not be similar to yours. Cabo is new and ritzy. Lots of high rises - not to my taste but some love it. Mazatlan is a dump by comparison to your other choices - don't consider it, IMO. PV is lovely and has some charm and culture. My rule is go someplace different for every vacation - but I admit that I like PV enough that I have returned several times and would not hesitate to do so again.
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Old Apr 25th, 2006, 07:31 PM
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Look into Dreams Resort in Puerto Vallarta for the most fabulous family vacation ever. This all-inclusive property has wonderful food, a great kids club and the best beach in Puerto Vallarta.

In October the weather should be absolutely perfect, in terms of not being too hot. There's always the risk of a hurricane, but I can't remember hearing of one hitting the Pacific coast in recent years, although I could be wrong. There are no ruins nearby, but I suspect you wouldn't mind spending all your time at the resort once you take one look at the place.

The rooms in the new tower are huge (easily the size of 2 regular rooms put together). There's 24 hour complimentary room service and a mini-fridge in the room stocked with juice, sodas, water and beer. Take a look at tripadvisor.com and you'll see that the place generally gets stellar reviews.

They provided a large van for transport to and from the airport. Your two almost-5 years old would be fine with just using the regular seat belt in the van. You might consider, however, bringing a one car seat for your youngest.

This is one of the very few hotels I would go back to in a heart beat. I'm similar to jkgourmet in that I don't generally like to visit the same place twice. Dreams, however, is the exception.
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Old Apr 26th, 2006, 06:36 AM
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Hurricanes are very rare on the Pacific side and the Bay of Banderas where PV is located (like one every 50 years, and one hit PV not that long ago so I don't think that's a worry).
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Thanks everyone. I checked out the Dreams Resort, it does look very nice. However, it says that it is "all-inclusive", do you know if I "have" to book it this way. The problem is that on Expedia, it says they only allow 4 people per room, and I can't really fudge that at all if it is completely all inclusive. I'll have to check with the hotel directly I guess, but it does look great. I am leaning towards PV, thanks for all of your help!!
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Old Apr 28th, 2006, 08:25 PM
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it's definitely all inclusive, you can't book Dreams any other way.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:06 AM
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Here is a conversation about traveling with a family of five....hope it helps:

http://www.locogringo.com/forums/tm....1&key=&#238113
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Old May 1st, 2006, 06:48 AM
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We were in Playa del Carmen recently and walked to Las Palapas for breakfast one morning. Check it out. It is on the most beautiful, quiet beach in PDC. The grounds are lovely. It is within walking distance to town and there are many organized daytrips to ruins, etc.
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Old May 1st, 2006, 02:34 PM
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pepper, thank you SO very much for that article, I have put it in my favorites and will read more on it later. This does seem to be a hassle everywhere we go, we have a little one and usually I just say it is 2 adults and 2 kids, but when it is all inclusive or even the free continental breakfast I obviously can't do this. It is very hard to find a hotel room that will take 5 people, glad to see that it is bringing a new awareness!
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:11 AM
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Forget the ruins. You can see them another time, when the kids are a bit older and will appreciate them more. I say PV all the way. It has SO many excursions, boat trips, ecological things to do available. There is purified water in all food establishments. This means the ice and food prep is done with it too. There is a big pirate ship cruise in an exact replica. This does day and evening with meals and entertainment. Kids would love it. There are also jungle (not deep jungle, just foothills) with a short hike to beach with lovely bbq lunch. My fave was to San Blas with the old Spanish fort and river canoe through crocodile and bird sanctuary.(Keep a tight grip on the kids and bring a camera) Includes snacks and lunch. One trip I did through the crop fields and small villages will probably bore the kids, although interesting for the adults. There is a sea turtle eco program where you can assist the baby sea turtles to the ocean. (Not sure what time of year.) There is a Swim with the dolphins, or just watch park. The city itself has a beautiful beach walkway called the Malecon with lovely bronze sea creature statues and cafes. Lots of markets and shops in PV too. There are some Mexican Fiestas that the kids would love with dinner and great entertainment too. Although the beaches are a bit grainy, there are short trips or bus rides to north or south PV where the sands are lovely. Also some of the day excursions stop off a some really nice beaches. Good food everywhere. What more can I say? Kachinw
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Old May 2nd, 2006, 06:40 AM
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Check out pools thoroughly before letting kids into them. Check for filter covers into drains, light fixtures inside pools. Are they covered with the proper materials? Sometimes alluminum is used, which rusts, so check for rust and if anything looks suspious... keep the kids at the beach area and watch out for the big waves and occasional undertow.
Mexicos saftey standards are different to ours, as with their health system. Make sure that you are well insured before your trip. It's lovely, it's fun but when kids are involved you can never be too careful. K.
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