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P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

Timmins Ontario...
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P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

Hi - I would like your help deciding - which would be better to see for a first time Mexican getaway. We are planning for December 2005 - our 20th anniv. We would like to go for approx. 10 days.

We love to learn about the places we go - visit the countryside - try new adventures - and of course - romance ( its our anniv.)


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for Riviera Nayarit
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1. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

Hi, Since you are in the East, I would say go for Playa del Carmen. Beaches are better and water blue. Shorter flying time for you too.


Puerto Vallarta...
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2. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

Hi Carole: It depends on what you want. If your priority is white sand and turquoise water, at least in December, go to the Mayan Riviera. However, if you want to explore a very neat city, you might like Puerto Vallarta. There are literally hundreds of great restaurants and things to do. (Check out www.allvallarta.com or www.puertovallartaonline.com for example).

I haven't been to the Mayan Rivera so I can't speak for the various side-trips you can take, but I know that in Puerto Vallarta you can go to all sorts of neat off-the-beaten track places either as part of a tour (www.vallartaadventures.com) or on your own (foot, bike, bus or rental car).

We always come back from Canada (we're from Oakville, Ontario) to celebrate our anniversary, and we always find a new romantic place to celebrate it.

This is not knocking the Mayan Riviera in any way. It's just our perspective.

Best wishes,


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3. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

We have been to both Puerto Vallarta and Mayan Riviera and both are wonderful, but different.

Mayan Riviera has more beautiful beaches/water, can be a great place to kick back and relax, most resorts seem to be in or near small towns (really nice, more authentic mexican type smaller towns, not like right in Cancun where everything is very modernized and busy) / some resorts are more secluded, surrounded by jungle. You can find night life in the towns or some resorts have their own nightclubs/nightly entertainment. There are also lots of adventures available/things to see and do in this area. Check out www.aktunchen.com and also www.xcaret.com , do a web search on: tulum , mayan ruins, chichen itza , XelHa, for lots of websites/info re: the area. In or near Playa Del Carmen is a good choice. Very easy to catch a ferry over to Cozumel and spend a day exploring there. We stayed at Caracol Village just outside of Playa del Carmen, very nice resort, thoroughly enjoyed it.

Puerto Vallarta is a very busy authentic Mexican city with lots to see and do. The beaches in town are not as nice as on the Mayan, but you can find nicer beaches on the Bay just outside of town in places like Bucerias or Punta Mita which are easy to get to by bus (still, they probably don't really compare to the beaches on the Mayan, the ones we saw there were really beautiful). Puerto Vallarta has many activities and tours to offer and a very busy night life, lots of restaurants and shops and flea market. The Malecon boardwalk downtown has many beautiful statues to see and also sand sculptures on the beach. PV seemed busier, more fast paced/more crowded, its a city atmosphere whereas Mayan seems more like a countryside atmosphere. Although, I think you could also stay outside of PV, somewhere near a smaller town like Bucerias or Punta Mita, and maybe have the small town/countryside atmosphere there, and then travel into PV for busier city action if desired. For PV check out www.vallarta-adventures.com and also www.puertovallarta.net or www.vallartaonline.com If you would like to see some photos and notes on someones personal vacation in PV a couple has posted some on their own website at www.svedish.com look for puerto vallarta vacation on this site. Also, you could check out : www.buceriasmexico.com

For a look at the resort we stayed at in PV go to www.cantodelsol.com - we were very happy with the location, food, accomodations and service here.

Loved both experiences, I think it depends what you're looking for. Would advise doing both if possible/eventually!

Hope this helps. Either way - Have a great vacation!

White Rock, B.C.
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4. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

East coast vs. west coast, considering the devastation that the Mayan Riviera has suffered, this may be pointless, however, when the M.R. has been restored to where it was last year before hurricane Wilma. I would like to offer my opinion, having been to the M.R. twice and travelled down to the Costa Maya as well, when people say that the water is bluer and the sand whiter, they are absolutely right, it's stunning. Also, what that area has to offer is the spectacular Myan ruins which should not be missed. The reason I like the west coast however is the people and the customs, somehow to me is seems more like the real Mexico which I love. The Mariacchis are from that area, the M. R. is more of a Caribbean influence. If you live on the West coast of Canada or the U.S., you will probably feel more at home on the west coast because there are a lot of people from there whereas I noticed that on the M.R. you will meet more people from Europe and the Eastern states of the U.S. Lastly both places have great sea food, however to me the western cuisine is better, I am not too fond of the Mayan cuisine which is a big influence on the M. R.

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5. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

The Mayan Riviera was pretty much untouched by Hurricane Wilma. Cancun and Cozumel got hammered, but areas further south like Tulum are in very good shape. Don't let the hurricane deter you from visiting this area - it's where everyone is going now that used to go to Cancun (well, those that don't go to Puerto Vallarta!)

Mayan Riviera offers ruins, great water and beaches, great resorts, eco-parks, and not much else really.

Puerto Vallarta offers old-town romance and real Mexican culture in a friendly atmosphere. Excellent resorts, excellent dining options, romantic restaurants abound. A sunset sail is magical in Puerto Vallarta.

The two are totally different - just depends which is more your style.

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6. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera


We went to the Mayan Riviera last year in February. Went for 10 days and it was very relaxing and very nice. In the past we had been to Cancun and to Punta Cana. This year to P.V. Would not go back to Punta Cana,but would to Mayan Riviera. People were very nice. For our 1st.time to Mexico we went to Cancun.(southern part)Very nice,relaxing and away from the "Hotel Zone".

Oshawa, Canada
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7. Re: P.V. vs Mayan Riviera

Haven't been to the Mayan Riviera yet, but this year will be our 3rd trip back to Puerto Vallarta.

The beaches are better north of the city in Nuevo Vallarta - we enjoyed our stays at the Grand Marival and the Royal Decameron.

There is a ton of stuff to see and do in Puerto Vallarta itself. A cruise to Las Caletas Island is very romantic. Make sure to book any spa appointments on the island early in the cruise, otherwise you may wind up with an undesireable time slot (like during lunch).

By far, the best thing we've done is the Pirate Ship cruise. We hadn't laughed so hard in a very long time. The night cruise is 3 hours, includes supper, and a brilliant pirate show. At the end, they shoot fireworks off the ship for a spectacular finish. www.marigalante.com.mx