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loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

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Sherwood Park...
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loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

hi guys, can anyone tell me what was with the beaches? We stayed at Canto del sol at the biggining of January and there was hardly any beach to speak of. Also the flag was red everyday. It was the first time we went to P.V. and other than the beaches we loved it. We have been to Cuba and the Dominican Republic but over all we loved P.V.

We are talking about going back to P.V. at the end of December or the first week in January. It was also quite cool there every morning and evening, I thought it was supposed to be alot warmer. One man told us that it was cooler than it had been in 16 years as he was always down there the first two weeks of January.

We are from Edmonton and the prices are the best for pv but we just don't know. I really enjoyed myself down there and if it wasn't for the beaches it would of been the best vacation. Thanks in advance for your help

Destination Expert
for Puerto Vallarta, Nuevo Vallarta
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1. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

I had friends that were there in January and had been doing it then for several years and they too said coldest by far of any January they saw in PV. Many on this forum said the same.

That being said, I just came back from the last 2 weeks in October and it was hot and humid - more so than any time in October and we have been going since 2001 at that time. Weather is unpredictable.

As for the beaches, that has been discussed numerous times here. It is the Pacific not the Carribean. Water is not clear blue and the sand is brown not white. Those of us that love PV go for other things besides the beach. We love the city and it's people, the mountains and jungle and the variety of things to do and see.

Edmonton, Canada
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2. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

If the beach is really important to your vacation then try a resort in Nuevo Vallarta or Bucerias. It is about 45 minutes from downtown but the beach is far superior to anything in PV.

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3. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

hey, you can't have everything :-)

You're correct, Puerto Vallarta is not known for fabulous beaches. Though certainly some in the area are nicer than others. You could stay at a different hotel next time, maybe one on Playa Los Muertos (the best beach within downtown area).

PV is popular because of the friendy local people, the great restaurants, shops, galleries, and lush setting on the Bay of Banderas. It's not only about the beach, like some other destinations where you've got picture-perfect beach but not alot else to do outside your resort (DR).

Hockeytown USA
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4. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

The beach at Dreams is the best I've seen in PV. I'm there right now, and it is soft white sand and great swimming. I don't love the all inclusive, but I take that so I can get the great beach I love. I still go into town 3-4 nights a week for dinner, and usually once for lunch.

Don't get me wrong though - as all inclusives go, this one is top notch!

So Cal
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5. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

Many of the beaches in PV were hit hard by the storm surge from Hurricane Kenna and have not yet recovered. Canto Del Sol and the Sheraton were areas that were hit particularly hard the way the surge came in. Most of the resorts in the northern hotel zone spent alot of time and money to repair the beaches, others have not. What mother nature decides to change often takes years to re-create. It is what it is and the options have pretty much been stated here...say out in Nuevo....try another resort or sit on a less than pristine beach and enjoy everything else that vallarta has to offer.

walnut creek
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6. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

Puerto Vallarta is not Cancun when it comes to

beaches, but it actually has a lot more to offer than

many people realize--you just have to know where to find some of the different beaches. You can find a pretty comprehensive list at:



Nashville, Tennessee
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7. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

We just stayed at Dreams in October and the beach was fantastic. Water temp must have been 85 degrees. I was pleasantly surprised.

Comox BC
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987 posts
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8. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

We found Zihua generally about 10 degrees colder last year also, both daytime and evening. Understood this to be an effect of the gradually fading El Nina. Hopefully it will have faded fully this coming winter and we'll get back those truly tropical temps. :-))

Marie - that beach info page from ElCantado are amazing. Super Info! Muchas Gracias

Hasta Holly

BC, Canada
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185 posts
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9. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

Hi, we travelled for many years to PV in December/January and usually had weather at least equivalent to a warm Edmonton summer! Last January was the coldest we've ever experienced. As far as the beaches go I agree with the comment about Nuevo Vallarta, Bucerias areas - great walking (miles) and swimming beaches. This area does not have the diving/snorkelling you will find on the Atlantic side. BUT we were in Cancun in May of this year and beaches were a huge disappointment to us. The white sand and clear water are gorgeous to look at, but we found we could not get in the water without treading on huge rough rocks, broken coral, etc. People told us the beaches are badly eroded due to hurricane action down there. Given the latest fall season of hurricanes, I don't think it could have improved much. As far as local "landscape" is concerned, we prefer PV area - mountains, vegetation, etc. Cancun and as far south as Tulum has great sea vistas and great historic sites. The landscape is much like southern florida - flat. Unfortunately, no one can guarantee the weather anywhere - except that it will be warmer here in PV in December than in Edmonton! The ocean is cooler in December/Jan than it is right now. WE've only been on the Atlantic side in December once and it was more humid than we expected. Don't know if that is usual or not. We find PV loses humidity about mid Nov. We prefer PV and area.

Puerto Vallarta
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10. Re: loved pv but what was with the beaches?????

I really don't know what you are implying is wrong with the beaches but oh well, I will give it a go. I live here in Vallarta snd granted, the beaches are NOT as nice as in the Carribean. Depending on the time of the month, the phases of the moon totally affect the water conditions. The red flag is usually seen before, during or after the full moon - every single month and not just January. It is ALWAYS cooler than you would expect it to be here from mid December to early February. You will be able to go and fully enjoy our beaches during the day time, but after sundown you will need a sweater or jacket. Same thing goes for mornings until the sun has had a few hours to do it's job - bring a sweatshirt. The best beaches (in my opinion) are located on the south side of the bay and are accesible by boat only. It is really easy to get a water taxi to any of these from Los Muertos pier. They would be Las Animas, Quimixto, Majahuitas, and Yelapa. I also like the beaches on the extreme north of the bay encompassing all around the point of (kind of redundant) Punta Mita and then extending on up to Sayulita. These are beautiful beaches with some pretty good fishing and if you are a novice, Sayulita is a good place to try and ride the waves.