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my first solo trip to PV

Vancouver, Canada
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my first solo trip to PV

I'm going solo for the first time (in my life) - for two weeks last week in May and first week in June. Not all inclusive. Last year I went once with my daughter and once with my husband. I'm rather excited about travelling alone for the first time. Does anyone have any advice for me on what to do or any other tips? I'm a very young 69 year old. I would appreciate any comments or suggestions. I will be staying in the old town and I'm on a budget.

Puerto Vallarta...
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1. Re: my first solo trip to PV

lots of nice, clean budget hotels on Calle F. Madero, the Azteca for example.

A little more up-scale but still very good value is the Hotel Belmar, on the corner of F. Madero and Insurgents.

Vancouver, Canada
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2. Re: my first solo trip to PV

Thanks JR. I've already booked my hotel.

I supposed I'm thinking along the lines of safety, where to eat, etc., perhaps from other females who have travelled to PV solo.

Puerto Vallarta
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3. Re: my first solo trip to PV

I traveled many times to Vallarta alone, before I moved here (alone too) and you will fine it is a VERY safe and friendly place. I am sure you will meet some people at your hotel and out and about... it's pretty easy to meet others at little local restaurants, bars and coffee shops. Have fun!

Puerto Vallarta...
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4. Re: my first solo trip to PV

Safety is a non issue here.

There are so many good places to eat, it would take a long, long time to list them all. I suggest Google and the reviews here.

Seattle
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5. Re: my first solo trip to PV

I most often am in PV solo. It's a great vacation. Bring sneakers for lots of walking. You can do whatever you want to do, depends on your interests, not about being alone.

I'm not big on tours and organized activities myself and my days mostly go like this: get up early, go to zumba class, go out to breakfast, take a walk around downtown, head to either the hotel pool or the beach for some R&R, take another walk around, siesta, cocktails, head to the beach or somewhere up high to watch sunset, have dinner, get ice cream, head back to the hotel. Other favorites I do most days in no particular order include watching whatever novella is running on TV, stroll the Malecon, stop in and visit the church, go grocery shopping.

My personal favorite restaurants on the south-side where I am most comfortable eating alone include: el Mole de Jovita, Fredy's el Tucan, Cafe de Olla, Joe Jacks Fish Shack, Coco's Kitchen, to name just a few.

suze

San Francisco...
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for Sacramento, Puerto Vallarta
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6. Re: my first solo trip to PV

Good for you, lovesto!

I've been going to PV for 30 years and *sola* on most trips since 1994. Actually, I often prefer to travel by myself as it is more relaxing. You don't have to plan anyone else's time or cater to their interests. You can just do your own thing. Freedom!

I'm a little younger than you (but not by a whole lot). Not being a beach or pool person, I generally only visit them a few times briefly on my trips (which are between 2 to 4 weeks --- multiple times a year). Most days, I'm out-and-about from about 10am to 8pm.

For activities, I like to walk so I wander the malls (Plaza Caracol mostly) and the neighborhoods (5 de diciembre, Versalles, Marina, Centro and southside) and go in shops and eateries and just talk to people. Happily, I have met people over the years who I'm still friends with ---- who I met either in my hotel or in a local restaurant. A few years ago, I met a couple at a restaurant on Basilio Badillo (who noticed I was dining alone) and they evidently were concerned about me so they struck up a conversation. We remain friends until this day. I will see them soon down in PV.

I usually have a massage (or two) and get a pedicure while there, and have made friends with the people who do that for me. Very nice people. Some of the restaurants I go to each year welcome me back as if no time has gone by.

As far as safety, I do leave my jewelry at home and walk around with most valuables in very deep pockets. I've wandered around with 4,000 pesos on me at times (coming from the bank) and because I don't flash and tend to carry things like that in a regular plastic bag or ugly shopping bag, I've never had any trouble. I blend in and never feel like I'm a target. Most locals think I live there since I guess I'm so used to some of the colonias that I don't stand out or look lost.

My safety issue is that I tend to trip and fall if I don't watch my feet (went splat on Fco. Medina A. in front of Fiesta Americana on my last trip due to missing a slight rise in the pavement -- some friendly vacationers picked me up) so I do tend to look down a lot, to avoid that, so I probably miss some things in my wanderings. That's one of the reasons I take my time and wander into shops, so as not to disconnect from the area I'm walking in.

I've taken tours by myself and usually take Spanish classes while down there, though it's difficult to do on a 2-week trip. Met a lot of people that way though. One of my favorite recent trips alone was on the El Tuito bus to the Botanical Gardens. Loved it. Great place to spend a few hours and have a lovely lunch.

As for where to eat, it's back to wandering. When alone, I usually don't eat out late but I eat anywhere that looks like it welcomes singles. All over town. Let's face it --- some places tend to attract couples but you can usually tell. Last long trip, I ate at Blake's Sports Bar (lunch or early dinner) three times. Very friendly and not too crowded. Being a sports fan, it was comfortable to sit there and watch sports while eating. Literally, any place (except for the fancy, expensive ones) is fair game for me before 6pm-ish. Too many favorites to mention.

Since you've been to PV before and you know it's "solo-traveler-friendly," you'll be fine. Just pick up copies of the English-speaking newspapers/magazines like Bay Vallarta and Tribune, etc. (with Things to Do) and get out and move around and take the normal traveler precautions (especially female-traveler precautions) in addition to taking the bus and taking plenty of pictures.

Enjoy.

PS to edit: Suze and I were writing at the same time so two veterans (sola females) writing to you at the same time. I completely agree with her restaurants. Have eaten sola at El Mole de Jovita many times. Same with Tony's Please (not open for lunch). There are so many more. We don't know where you're staying though --- and it's always nice to find some KEY places near your lodging. Good luck.

Edited: 11 May 2012, 19:31
Great Neck, NY
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7. Re: my first solo trip to PV

OK - I'll chime in a little here - i'm a bit younger than both of you & have gone sola 2x & stayed at Playa Los Arcos - oh and once for one week at friend's condo until my husband joined me the second week - this is besides having lived in PV for 2 years many moons ago - anyway, i digress - staying at Playa Los Arcos, I tend to go to restaurants that i'm familiar with & like & who greet me with hugs & chat of how everyone is - one of my faves is El Bacalao on Basilio Badillo - sit by the window & people watch - the food & service are great!! It's my "go to" place for seafood ceviche & shrimp burgers & escargots - if i get hungry late at night (around midnight) i'll go out to practically across the street from PLA for some late night tacos at Takos Pancho - wonderful & cheap eats - again, Mara, the lady that does most everything there except for cooking, always greets me with hugs & friendly exchanges before i dig in to their wonderful tacos!! Most of my walking around is done during the day - on the malecon & all over town - and i agree with Marly about being careful with the walking - i, too, took a fall one time & thankfully only a scraped knee but it was mostly because i was rushing from the pharmacy to meet my husband at the restaurant - also, a lot of the flooring in condos & hotels are tile & really slippery when wet so do be careful - hubby took a bad fall one trip (on the day we were going back to NY thankfully) & broke ribs - so have a great time & enjoy!!!

Pinellas Park...
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for Acapulco
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8. Re: my first solo trip to PV

I also travel solo in Mexico and find PV one of the more friendlier places for solo travelers. You are staying in a great location. I walk everywhere and have never worried about safety. Restaurants are always welcoming. The only restaurant issue I ever had was at Cafe de Olla and I will never eat there again. They tried to stick me way in the back on a night when the restaurant wasn't even half full and was not happy when I voiced my displeasure. This was a restaurant where I had eaten many times in the past and was known by the owner and staff. Too many better spots to eat at. So they are off my list. Enjoy your time in PV.

Shawnee, Kansas
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for Puerto Vallarta
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9. Re: my first solo trip to PV

I haven't traveled solo to PV but I do walk around alone, have traveled the bus alone south and felt very comfortable.

I've also had lunch alone at Cafe Vayan on the sidewalk, great people watching and Page in the Sun as another comfy place alone....sandwiches, soups, simple foods...sidewalk or inside. Both will fix you up with to go boxes too.

Another suggestion where you would be super comfortable alone....is Bzy1's (PV Destination Expert) Mango Cafe for breakfast, lunch and I think she closes at 5, so you can still take advantage of daily specials for dinner as she also does to go boxes... Nobody could ever feel uncomfortable alone in place. :-)

Edited: 11 May 2012, 20:17
Seattle
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10. Re: my first solo trip to PV

marly touched on something that i do when she mentioned eating at the same place several times.

when I find a place i like, i may eat there almost every day. it only takes twice in many restaurants, cafes, or bars to become a "regular". especially when you are alone, the wait staff always bends over backwards to make me feel welcomed. if you come back the 2nd time AND compliment the food... you'll be an honored guest.

as far as age, i'm in my 50's now but i've been going to PV since my 30's and hope to continue... well as long as i live! suze