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Puerto Vallarta or Playa Del Carmen - advice please

Puerto Vallarta or Playa Del Carmen - advice please

Old Mar 13, 19, 7:45 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by ITakeItDeep View Post
Ok, I write this at the risk of sounding like a real downer to vacation with - but I swear I’m a seasoned traveler and am not that demanding…

So I went to PDC last month for about 5 days and I did not like it. The trip started off bad on arrival to the Cancun airport (which I haven’t been to for a while). All of the international flights arrive at the same terminal which is basically one long hallway with escalators at the very end that go down to immigration. Downstairs it was a huge unorganized massive mob of hot frustrated people with no discernable line. Ahead of me, there was almost a bad accident on the escalator because the room was so packed that people could not get off the escalator. Luckily someone had the smarts to find the emergency button. Anyways – it took me about 2 hours just to make it to the first immigration counter. So I’ll stop about the airport already.

So I was with a straight friend so didn't do anything gay (except be myself, of course) - but there is really not a gay vibe there at all. I didn’t see many GLBT nor were there any festivities. There were a lot of western restaurants aspiring to be fine-dining that resulted in just so-so food that was expensive. I did take a food tour on the 'Mexican' side of the town - and that wasn't that great either.

For entertainment there's this big long street full of shops all selling the exact same tchotchkes reminiscent of what you would see in the French quarter in New Orleans. For outdoor adventures, like sailing on a boat -- you had to either go all the way back to Cancun or Cozumel – though there were a couple of eco-theme parks close by. We did stay in a nice hotel that was great value for the money – the pool came right to our back door – so we could walk out of our room into the pool.

Finally we all like a nice margarita in Mexico – and trust me, I tested out a lot of places and can tell you the best place to go – Jimmy Buffett's Margaretville at the Cancun airport.
I have always wanted to know how you spell " tchotchkes" ...thanks.
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Old Nov 29, 19, 8:36 am
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I’d say that PV is the winner, although I never made it into town in PDC, I have been to Miami Beach — PV wins over MB by a long shot. I can’t imagine that PDC would win over MB.

There’s plenty of nightlife and hotels that cater specifically to gay men (I’m not sure about the lesbian scene there). There’s shopping that appears to be targeted to LGBTQ travelers too.
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Old Jan 20, 20, 2:10 pm
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Pv is so much fun

Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
Hi All. I'm looking at options for the above two resorts, for a week at the end of May with my boyfriend (after a week in Peru). We're in two minds about these resorts. We'd like to kick back and enjoy some beach time and some R&R - including enjoying the sea (BF enjoys snorkelling). Some gay life would be great but it doesn't have to be party central. We're not interested in all-inclusive resorts.

Both seem to offer good things but I'd like some advice from those who've been. Appreciate it's a personal preference in the end, but all thoughts welcome!
hi
try mantamzr beachclub and hotel Almar
try spartacus gay sauna late night
try a vichy shower at aqua spa
try ‘hamam PV’ next to spartacus for areal hamam and massage and more ;o)
have drinks in La Noche with dragqueen Superwendy, then go to Paco’s around midnight
and last but not least : do a daytrip with ‘jet’s nake boattours’, you find him on facebook

these are our favorites !!
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Old Feb 3, 20, 7:38 pm
  #19  
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I think PV is good if you are looking for a chill vacation at the beach or at your condo-with-terrace, and like to have tons of nightlife options.
However, If you like doing lots of outdoorsy things and explore inland, then the Caribbean side of Mexico is better.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 9:57 am
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I just came across this 'ole thread, that I must admit I forgot about after we booked our trip. A very belated thanks to everyone who posted!

We went to Puerto Vallarta in the end. Stayed at the Almar. We had a good time, but all-in-all, not a massive fan of PV. Not a very attractive resort, the beach was okay but not great, and getting decent food was more of a challenge than we thought it would be. The gay life was fun overall - some places great, some others patchy.

We enjoyed using the Mantamar beach club - and the standard of food there was consistently good. That said, the constant offers from beach hawkers trying to sell all manner of things was tiresome. Around the pool, we realised the best way to deal with the attitude of some of the other guests is to sit back, order another cocktail and watch the show .

We had a great time on the day trip cruise (the one run by Diana - not the other one ) and met some great people.

Overall, glad we went, but not on our list of favourites.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 1:32 pm
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Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
...the beach was okay but not great
what was not great about the beach?
what does a beach have to have to be great?

just curious
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Old May 2, 20, 12:59 am
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Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
I just came across this 'ole thread, that I must admit I forgot about after we booked our trip. A very belated thanks to everyone who posted!

We went to Puerto Vallarta in the end. Stayed at the Almar. We had a good time, but all-in-all, not a massive fan of PV. Not a very attractive resort, the beach was okay but not great, and getting decent food was more of a challenge than we thought it would be. The gay life was fun overall - some places great, some others patchy.

We enjoyed using the Mantamar beach club - and the standard of food there was consistently good. That said, the constant offers from beach hawkers trying to sell all manner of things was tiresome. Around the pool, we realised the best way to deal with the attitude of some of the other guests is to sit back, order another cocktail and watch the show .

We had a great time on the day trip cruise (the one run by Diana - not the other one ) and met some great people.

Overall, glad we went, but not on our list of favourites.
Glad you had a good time overall. I am really surprised at your comment about the food. No idea what kind of food you are used to, but I have found Puerto Vallarta has some of the best food of anyplace I travel, including here in Seattle. The one exception would be beef. Not a fan of steak in Mexico, but love some of their Italian, Swedish, and especially seafood. I do understand people not liking the beach. It is not flat, sugar white sand, crystal clear turquoise water. It is Pacific Ocean beach. Beach hawkers can be tiresome, but depending on how long you stay, how many times you return, it gets to where you do not notice them. They remember people, and will stop bothering you after a few polite "No Gracias". I have more of an issue with taxi drivers yelling at me if I stop walking rather than beach vendors.

PV is not a sophisticated Miami style beach town. From your comments it makes me think maybe that is more of what you were looking for. PDC probably would have been better in that aspect, but you would not have had the gay nightlife. Like None. At all. Nothing like Diana's cruise there. No rainbow flags.

That said, come back sometime and try PDC, then compare the 2. I know people that swear by both. Neither are wrong. I am much more of a PV person.
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Old May 28, 20, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
Glad you had a good time overall. I am really surprised at your comment about the food. No idea what kind of food you are used to, but I have found Puerto Vallarta has some of the best food of anyplace I travel, including here in Seattle. The one exception would be beef. Not a fan of steak in Mexico, but love some of their Italian, Swedish, and especially seafood. I do understand people not liking the beach. It is not flat, sugar white sand, crystal clear turquoise water. It is Pacific Ocean beach. Beach hawkers can be tiresome, but depending on how long you stay, how many times you return, it gets to where you do not notice them. They remember people, and will stop bothering you after a few polite "No Gracias". I have more of an issue with taxi drivers yelling at me if I stop walking rather than beach vendors.

PV is not a sophisticated Miami style beach town. From your comments it makes me think maybe that is more of what you were looking for. PDC probably would have been better in that aspect, but you would not have had the gay nightlife. Like None. At all. Nothing like Diana's cruise there. No rainbow flags.

That said, come back sometime and try PDC, then compare the 2. I know people that swear by both. Neither are wrong. I am much more of a PV person.
For the food in PV, we ate (dinner) in several places that were good (i.e. good but not more than that) and several places that were mediocre. These were all on research and recommendations, rather than just seeing what was about. We didn't think it was a bad place for food, but didn't come away thinking it's a place you go to for the food.

Funny you should mention Miami. Went there a few years ago, as part of a bigger Florida trip. Didn't live up to the hype! Too cool for school and lacking the kind of soul it sells itself on. Although the strip on South Beach was great to see, as was Little Havana. Enjoyed Fort Lauderdale much more than expected, and Key West was fab. Can only dream of international travel right now...

Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
what was not great about the beach?
what does a beach have to have to be great?

just curious
Lots of things! Clean water is one of them. A nice atmosphere mainly from the others around. Don't mind hawkers per se, but fewer pushing the hard stuff would've made it a bit more relaxing. Admittedly we were in PV at the back-end of high-season (spring break-time), so accept that if we'd have gone for New Year (say), it could've been a different experience.
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Old May 28, 20, 12:19 pm
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Originally Posted by London_traveller View Post
Admittedly we were in PV at the back-end of high-season (spring break-time), so accept that if we'd have gone for New Year (say), it could've been a different experience.
You don't want to go to PV during New Years.
Sure, it is a festive time and lots of bar hopping if that is your thing, but in reality PV is completely overrun during the high season. I was there last December during New Years week and it was crazy crowded. Lines at the airport (waited for HOURS for a cab), lines for breakfast (get up early or forget about it), lines for dinner, etc. And not cheap either. Food prices were almost at the level of mainstream US (not surprising considering the crowds). I agree with London_traveller that the quality of the food was "meh". The weather was a mixed bag. Had a couple of days of rain, some days of sun. What also should be said is that PV seems to attract more of a "LA Party Crowd". Trying to sleep quietly at night is neigh impossible.
In the end, I cut my 7 day trip short to 5 days as I was starting to get unhappy about everything. Was glad when I got home.

I am planing to check out Costa Rica this coming winter. Curious about it as I have never been. Perhaps the beach in Manuel Antonio is a bit more relaxed then in PV.

Last edited by Dieuwer; May 28, 20 at 12:25 pm
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Old Jun 5, 20, 1:32 pm
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Funny, I was there a couple years ago during NYE, and was surprised it was not busier. Don't get me wrong, it was busy, but I expected it to be worse. I did not have any issues with waiting for anything. It was comparable to when I normally go at the end of January, with the exception of the actual NYE night. I have heard the same complaints as from Dieuwer though, from a LOT of people.

As far as sleeping at night, that depends on where you stay 100%. I stay at the Tropicana, and it is never noisy at night. Like never! I stayed in the hotel zone once, and it was the noisiest hotel I have ever stayed in. It was so bad as far as food in that area, the noise, and the beach and water quality, I might never had gone back to PV (it was my first trip) had I not found Playa Los Muertos and the hotels along it. The only noise at night are the waves. Inland you are going to have a lot of noise though.
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