Puerto Vallarta or Puerto Rico??????

Old Apr 13th, 2008, 12:54 PM
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Puerto Vallarta or Puerto Rico??????

Want to do a mother/daughters beach vacation with my daughers studying Spanish sometime in the next year. WE live in St. Louis. Anyone been to both of these spots and have a recommendation of one over the other? We have no passports.
THANKS
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 01:07 PM
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Puerto Rico requires no passport for you.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 01:46 PM
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I sure wouldn't let the passports be an issue. You have plenty of time to get them and you should.

My personal opinion is that you'll get a lot more "culture and history" in Puerto Rico, especially if you stay IN San Juan. Puerto Vallarta is pretty, but primarily a Mexican "Miami Beach" resort area.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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You can check in the web page of gotopuertorico. There is a variety of activities in all the island. San Juan is beautiful, but the west coast of the island is more peaceful and you can find beaches, museums and nightlife. The airports in that side of the island are Aguadilla in the west and Ponce in the south.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 04:06 PM
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I liked Puerto Rico better than Puerto Vallarta, but I had a great time both places, and would happily go back to either. I might have liked them the same had I gotten to spend more time in Puerto Vallarta (only one day on a cruise). I do think Puerto Rico has warmer ocean water.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 04:24 PM
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Puerto Rico has much more to see/do - esp if you enjoy things other than sitting on a beach and drinking. It has some historical sights, interesting areas to explore - and if you pick the right spot can be more low key.
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 06:17 PM
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Ah! Mi viejo San Juan. Bueno!!

Jet Blue...go now!
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Old Apr 13th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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Puerto Vallarta in a landlside IMO...for a beach vacation it's not even close.

Puerto Rico is nice, but is a bustling city...PV is alot more relaxing and friendlier for a beach vacation.

That's the first I've eveer heard comparing PV to Miami Beach....other than the ocean, they are not remotely similar....again, IMO.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 04:20 AM
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Puerto Rico is a bustling city? Have you ever been there, milemarker? San Juan could be called a bustling city despite its charming old quarter, but it's a very small part of Puerto Rico.
San Juan is NOT the same as Puerto Rico, and many people who go to Puerto Rico never see San Juan unless they pass through part of it going from the airport.

And milemarker, Puerto Vallerta is primarily a beach lined with large condominiums, resort hotels, and apartment buildings. So is Miami Beach. That was my comparison. Sorry you didn't get it. Oh, and the reason I brought it up is that my sister-in-law now lives in California but spends four to five months a year AT her condo in Puerto Vallerta. When she goes, she always jokingly says, "I'm headed to Miami Beach next week". So the comparison came from her.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:06 AM
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By the way, here are just a few pictures typical of the "bustling city" of Puerto Rico:

http://www.elyunque.com/about.html
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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milemarker: "Puerto Rico is nice, but is a bustling city" Huh?

Last time I checked, Puerto Rico was a country, not a city (well, actually a commonwealth - but you get the idea) w/ a LOT more than just San Juan. My hunch is you just changed planes there and have not visited PR. But NP beat me to it . . . . .

Millsy5: Get your passports in any case - you never know when an opportunity might come up and you'd need one in short notice. But I'd definitely choose PR, unless you just want to laze on the beach and drink.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 07:06 AM
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I LOVE Puerto Vallarta. I've been there ~18 times or so, in all months between Nov thru June.

You'll need to get passports obviously for traveling to Mexico. You can read posts about PV on the Latin America forum here on Fodor's (search) also Trip Advisor has a very active PV message board.

There are parts of town that are developed as some people are describing (hotel zone, the Marina, Nuevo Vallarta), but there's also still an authentic "Old Town" area downtown and south-of-the-river. Local people in Vallarta are extremely welcoming, friendly, and proud.

It's interesting... I don't know a single person who saw PV for 1 day from a cruise ship who liked it. And I don't know a single person who spent 1-2 weeks on vacation in Old Town who didn't like it alot!
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 07:09 AM
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Yea. Speaking of passports, a good friend of mine just missed a golden opportunity. Her passport had expired, but she wasn't making any plans to go anywhere so put it off. Then her sister called. Her sister is a coporate executive and was going to Paris for a week. Her "secretary" couldn't go at the last minute, and she had already checked. She could get the plane ticket (business class with a probably first class upgrade) switched for her sister, the deluxe hotel was paid for, and an expense account would take care of everything else. My friend couldn't go because she didn't have a passport -- and felt she couldn't get it done in two days.

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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa....for some reason I thought the OP had mentioned San Juan....obviously, I was mistaken...that is where my bustling city comment came from, my apoligies for lumping San Juan and the rest of Puerto Rico together...
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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No comparison. Puerto Rico all the way.

In Old san Juan alone, you have shops and cafes and history. Take a drive out in the countryside (on a highway just like at home) and you can visit agricultural sites - I think we took a coffee tour, and there were pretty trails and flowers.

Go to the old town square of Ponce and have ice cream and stroll at night.

Then you have the bio bays, great beaches, the Yunque rainforest. If you need a mother daughtertreat, the Golden Door spa!

We hated PV and found nothing to do there. It was hot and unpleasant. We were so sad to leave Puerto Rico!


 
Old Apr 14th, 2008, 08:12 AM
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I spent one week in PV and 1 day in PR. I loved PR (Old San Juan). Am returning to spend a whole week there in (PR) October and can't wait.
PV was really nice but not among my favorites. I don't plan on returning.
Suze - you just met one
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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annikany, I'm confused. It sounds like you fit Suze's description, not the other way around.
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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NP: Read Suze's post again. Then I think you'll get what annikany meant/was referring to . . . .
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 09:21 AM
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OK, maybe I'm just slow today.

Suze said: "It's interesting... I don't know a single person who saw PV for 1 day from a cruise ship who liked it."
annikany was there for longer and still wasn't all that thrilled with it.

and Suze said: "And I don't know a single person who spent 1-2 weeks on vacation in Old Town who didn't like it alot!"
annikany LOVED PR a lot and wants to go back.

So what "person" that Suze had never met does annikany fit? I realize the one day and 1-2 week references are off, but essentially, annikany is agreeing that she liked PR more than PV. NO?
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Old Apr 14th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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She means old town PV not Old San Juan, hence the confusion.
 

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