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Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 11:00 am   

Joined: Fri 05 Mar 2004 11:30 am
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Location: WX, Utah
Here's a question for all who wish to play along...

If you were going to vacation down south in Mexico and had these two choices, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta, which would you choose and why? Consider beaches, weather, things to do, etc. This would just be a trip with my wife and I. I have heard that Cancun is a major tourist trap but maybe that is the case with both locations? Our goal would be mainly to relax but we do enjoy sightseeing, etc but not much interested in the nightlife aspect.

Also, what time of year is the best at your choice of either one?

Thanks for any input.

Carl

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 11:34 am   

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I prefer Cancun because of the snorkeling--never did find any in Puerto Vallarta. I also loved the ruins and the other tourist attractions. If you just like to lay on the beach and relax you will be very happy with Puerto Vallarta.

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 12:13 pm   
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I prefer Cancun because of the snorkeling--never did find any in Puerto Vallarta. I also loved the ruins and the other tourist attractions. If you just like to lay on the beach and relax you will be very happy with Puerto Vallarta.


I agree totally with beacgnin5. I love to snorkel, so Cancun is a must. Cancun just seems to have the best balance of relaxation, excitment and adventure!

Cancun was hit pretty hard by a hurricane, last year I think? Does anyone know if the city is back to 100%?

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 12:28 pm   
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Location: Galt, California
Cancun hands down. More of a tropic environment, water is blue, sand is fine (I think because of the coral reef), I love Cancun!! Can you tell... We were there last Nov, all the mess is cleaned up, the sand isn't as nice as it was a few years ago but still better than PV or NV in my opinion.

Very easy to get trades into the Royal Resorts. I would recommend any of them except the Club International, it is older and not as nice. If you search in II for Mayan Rivera a place called the Royal Hacenidas is usually available as a studio. This is a REALLY nice place, south of Cancun a few mile at Playa del Carmen. If I ever can get into at least a 1 bedroom I will be doing an exchange there.

We have a request first right now for the three royal resorts that are together in Cancun for late Nov 08. I already have one 2 bedroom and I am trying to get another.

Have fun!!

Fred

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 1:38 pm   

Joined: Fri 06 Jan 2006 7:47 pm
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Location: Depends on the day!
Definately Puerto Vallarta for me. I have been to both several times and really like the Mexico feel of Puerto Vallarta. I don't like the feel of Cancun and the shopping is bad there. IF you don't like nightlife, I suggest Puerto Vallarta. Although, I really like the Royal resorts in Cancun. Cancun is better for water sports if you are into that. For site seeing, I personally prefer the more tropical side of Puerto. Let us know what you decide. :lol:

OH! also Cancun is more expensive than Puerto Vallarta and is more of a tourist trap, but there may be more resort trading oportunity in Cancun.

Go Nov-Feb

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 2:05 pm   
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So funny to read different peoples opinions!! I don't do nite life but still love Cancun. For me PV is way... more depressed. I am sure it isn't any different in Cancun, you just don't see it as much around the hotel zone. I think there are great exchange opportunities at either.

I have an idea!!! Do a week at both!! Then you can decide :mrgreen:


Fred

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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 6:43 pm   

Joined: Wed 04 Jan 2006 2:22 am
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Cancun is very americanized. Almost as bad as Alcapulco for that.

Puerto Vallarta is still very mexican.

So, if you want to get the weather and see stuff that's in mexico but have the feel of miami, cancun or alcapulco are where you want to go.

If you want the true 'mexico' feel, try puerto vallarta.

I've also noticed, on my trips at least, that puerto vallarta has a lot of european tourists, and cancun is mostly american tourists.

Not saying either is 'better' but they do have a very different feel to them.


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 PostPosted: Fri 27 Jul 2007 11:56 pm   

Joined: Sun 27 Mar 2005 6:13 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
Re Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta, it depends on many things. Frankly, since I've spent a lot of time in both --- I would go to the one that's easier to get to from where I live. For me, that's PV. I'm spending most of November there this year, on various RCI exchanges, relaxing and exploring.

I own a TS in Cancun but don't go there anymore as every place is All-Inclusive these days. All the Cancun resorts went that direction after I bought 12 years ago. They've brought in the fancy chefs and put all the little mom-n-pop restaurants that I used to love in the mid-90's out of business. It's sad.

Both locations have nightlife and both have culture and art and history, but PV is a more "real" Mexican town, still maintaining the aura of the old fishing village in the Zona Romantica. Cobblestones and all. And, because "All-Inclusive" is not as pervasive, there are still many wonderful restaurants all over town.....not just within the confines of a resort.

Cancun was developed by FONATUR (the Mexican tourist bureau) beginning in the 70's. The water is beautiful (for snorkeling and eco-activities) and the Mayan history is fascinating but there is no "real town" there. The ciudad de Cancun (downtown) was built recently also, at the same time as all the mega-resorts, so that the workers in the tourist industry have a place to live.

Cancun is NOT to be beat if you are into Mayan history, and have an urge to explore the ruins. Also, if being in the water is important.

My favorite is still PV. As far as where you and your wife would have a great time, it all depends on what you want to do, see and eat. Fortunately, there is a ton of information on the Internet to help you sort out what it available. VirtualVallarta and MEXonline and many other websites can help you choose. A Google search will reveal a wealth of information.

Have fun, wherever you decide.


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 PostPosted: Sat 28 Jul 2007 7:24 am   
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The Royal Resorts when done on an exchange through II are not all inclusive. And I think there are many others that are not. Also the town is new as you mentioned, but there are plenty of small Mom and Pop places and GREAT food downtown.

I will agree about the feel of the downtown in PV vs Cancun, it is the old original with the real deal cobble stone streets etc. Many years ago on our first trip there we went to a Bullfight, we found ourselves in the minority cheering for the bull....

You will enjoy either place they both have there own charm!!


Fred

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Just Exactly Who Is Harvey Rabbit??

Duh.... A 6' Pooka!!!


Bass Lake, Angels Camp X lots, Clear Lake X lots, SF, Leavenworth, Coral Baja X2, Las Vegas X3, Spencer Street X2, Rosarito Beach, Indio X2, St George, Kehei, Marriott Maui, Hawaiian Princess Oahu, Polo Towers LV, Mayan Palace PV, Royal Carribean Cancun, Moon Palace Cancun, Coral Mar Cancun, Playa Del Sol PV, Royal Mayan Cancun, Royal Sands Cancun, Royal Haciendas Cancun plus more to come!! Oh yea INDIO X LOTS LOL!!

Check out my blog @ http://fredsfriendlyblogspot.blogspot.com/

Fred


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 PostPosted: Sat 28 Jul 2007 1:57 pm   

Joined: Sun 27 Mar 2005 6:13 pm
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Location: SF Bay Area
harvrbt wrote:
The Royal Resorts when done on an exchange through II are not all inclusive. And I think there are many others that are not. Also the town is new as you mentioned, but there are plenty of small Mom and Pop places and GREAT food downtown.

I will agree about the feel of the downtown in PV vs Cancun, it is the old original with the real deal cobble stone streets etc. Many years ago on our first trip there we went to a Bullfight, we found ourselves in the minority cheering for the bull..


I'd do the same (rooting for the bull). =D> Having also been to Spain several times, I've never seen a bullfight, intentionally. Did the bull win? Probably not. :(

There are definitely places in Cancun and elsewhere in Mexico where they are rampant, where you don't have to do AI. The Mayan Palace system for one.

What bothers me is that I bought in Cancun nearly 12 years ago (since I'd traded into Cancun twice before on my WM membership) and there was no such thing as All-Inclusive then. The last time we went to my home resort in Cancun, they made us wear a wristband saying we were NOT AI. AI was optional there then (and I've been grandfathered into the "optional" program). You can't take that wristband off (there is a fine if you do) and the folks downtown will know exactly where you are staying. It was bothersome. I'd rather be able to wander around and explore without wearing a dumb wristband.

Don't get me wrong. Cancun is wonderful (otherwise I wouldn't have bought there, after owning WM for 3 years before that), but it's changed a lot since I started going there in 1995. All-Inclusive is pervasive and people all over town are wearing wristbands, whether they are in an AI program or not.

Really glad to hear that many mom-n-pop restaurants in Cancun haven't gone bust. I love Perico's downtown (who doesn't? :mrgreen: ), and there was a fantastic little downtown restaurant that had pozole, near the park.

When I go to Mexico, I go to practice my Spanish and meet the local people and learn about the culture in addition to relaxing. I started going to PV 24 years ago, so I guess I'm prejudiced. :D

Everyone is different in what they want in a travel experience to Mexico. I like this thread so we can actually discuss two awesome places South of the Border. 8)

Lynne

PS: If anyone else is in PV in November, PM me. I'm staying at RCI resorts within walking distance to the Malecon downtown.


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 PostPosted: Sat 28 Jul 2007 10:53 pm   
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I love traveling throught Mexico. We did alot of it when I was a kid. We even camped thruout it. The resorts we stayed at we're mainly the ones the rich Mexicans stayed at vs the Americans.

I've never been to Cabo or Cancun and it's been years since I've traveled to Puerto Vallarta. I want to go to one of those but can't make up my mind. I think we'll rent a car especially if we go to Cabo. There's alot of the countryside I'd love to see.

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 PostPosted: Sun 29 Jul 2007 7:04 am   
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egglady wrote:
I love traveling throught Mexico. We did alot of it when I was a kid. We even camped thruout it. The resorts we stayed at we're mainly the ones the rich Mexicans stayed at vs the Americans.

I've never been to Cabo or Cancun and it's been years since I've traveled to Puerto Vallarta. I want to go to one of those but can't make up my mind. I think we'll rent a car especially if we go to Cabo. There's alot of the countryside I'd love to see.


I have been to Cabo a few times and each time we rent a car. As you say their is a ton to see. One day we drive up the Sea of Cortez side, one day up the Pacific side, one day the interior, and every day going to the little town of San Jose to find a great place to eat.

I as you love Mexico...

Fred

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Just Exactly Who Is Harvey Rabbit??

Duh.... A 6' Pooka!!!


Bass Lake, Angels Camp X lots, Clear Lake X lots, SF, Leavenworth, Coral Baja X2, Las Vegas X3, Spencer Street X2, Rosarito Beach, Indio X2, St George, Kehei, Marriott Maui, Hawaiian Princess Oahu, Polo Towers LV, Mayan Palace PV, Royal Carribean Cancun, Moon Palace Cancun, Coral Mar Cancun, Playa Del Sol PV, Royal Mayan Cancun, Royal Sands Cancun, Royal Haciendas Cancun plus more to come!! Oh yea INDIO X LOTS LOL!!

Check out my blog @ http://fredsfriendlyblogspot.blogspot.com/

Fred


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 PostPosted: Sun 29 Jul 2007 8:30 am   
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I prefer Puerto Vallarta. I like Jalisco (Mexican State) culture, the origin of Tequila and Mariachi music. :) Marietas Islands off the coast is great for snorkeling (they have tour boats from PV). If you dive, El Morro should not be missed. Puerto Vallarta is driving distance to Guadalajara, a truly magnificent cosmopolitan city. I also like the terrain of PV with the Sierra Madres and tropical jungle in the background. The food is terrific. Take a drive to the Four Seasons Resort at Punta de Mita for lunch/dinner. They have a very nice private beach and the sunsets there are fantastic.

If you go to Cancun and plan to tour ONLY Cancun, you might as well go to Miami. Same feel but at least with Miami you can choose whether you want to be in a "touristy" area or not. Cancun was built with American tourists in mind and it is just too homogenized for me. You can find some culture outside of the Zona Hotelera.

That said, about 30 -60 minutes south of Cancun is Playa del Carmen and Tulum. I love these areas. Diving and snorkeling is great and you can even take a ferry to Cozumel (I'm going there in Feb 08 for a dive trip!). The Mayan Ruins at Tulum and Chichen Itza should not be missed. If you go to Chichen Itza, make sure to take a tour that stops at the Cenotes for a refreshing swim. While very touristy, the Xel-ha Water and Xcaret Eco Theme Parks are worth every peso.

There is so much to see and do in both destinations you will not be bored or feel you made a bad decision with either choice.

Have fun with with whatever you decide!

- G

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 PostPosted: Sun 29 Jul 2007 10:12 am   
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I'll just add two more destinations to the mix: Belize and Costa Maya are both further south on the Yucatan Penninsula. I went to both for day trips off a cruise a few years ago. Costa Maya is still largely undeveloped and has ruins within about 40 min of the coast. Belize is more developed and has excellent diving in the area. Decisions, decisions.

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 PostPosted: Sun 29 Jul 2007 12:37 pm   
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egglady wrote:
I think we'll rent a car especially if we go to Cabo. There's alot of the countryside I'd love to see.


harvrbt wrote:
I have been to Cabo a few times and each time we rent a car. As you say their is a ton to see. One day we drive up the Sea of Cortez side, one day up the Pacific side, one day the interior, and every day going to the little town of San Jose to find a great place to eat.

I as you love Mexico...

Fred


I drove to La Paz from Cabo to see the Sea of Cortez side. Lots of fun with a pueblo (Todos Santos) to stop at along the way. Just don't get caught on those roads at night. Very treacherous as they are completely dark with cows, horses and other animals that like to walk along and graze at the side of the road at night. Saw many more animals at night then during the day! Very scary, even when driving slow.

- G

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