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First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

Minneapolis...
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First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

Hi All,

This will be our first time to Mexico and will be travelling with my wife and 20 months old. We've narrowed down to Puerto Morelos on the Riviera Maya side and Puerto Vallarta on the west coast. Got some good deals in all inclusive at both the places. We are unable to decide which one to go go for.

Puerto Morelos - Azul by the beach hotel

Puerto Vallarta - Garza blanca hotel

We are just looking for a relaxing vacation - spend most of the time at beach and may be venture out for a day or two for couple hours for sightseeing and get a feel of Mexico. Not looking for anything adventurous. We are planning a 6 day trip.

Can you please provide your insights and suggestions as which one might work well.

Thanks a lot!

Seattle
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1. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

I love Puerto Vallarta and have been going there for years. I know Garza Blanca is a very nice place to stay. And the trip would not be too adventurous. But I haven't ever been to the other side to make a comparison. But PV offers what you describe. It's an easy airport and easy transportation to the surrounding resorts (by taxi if it's not included in our package).

suze

Vancouver BC
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2. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

PV is closer to the airport and has a vibrant downtown. PM is quieter perhaps even dozy, 25 miles from the airport and has better beaches. Weather usually favors PV. I'd save PV for when the little one is bigger so you can get around a bit.

Oregon Coast, Oregon
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3. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

Completely different kinds of places. As a "first experience" I'd recommend Peurto Morelos. The resort you mention is a great one. However, you might want to also consider nearby Playa del Carmen, which has the Fifth Avenue area as a great place to explore - shopping, restaurants, people watching, etc and outstanding side trips to Mayan ruins, cenotes, etc.. You should also post the question on the Playa del Carmen Forum - all of the forums are loaded heavily with the preferences/biases of the respective posters.

Shawnee, Kansas
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4. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

The difference between Puerto Morelos and Puerto Vallarta are like night and day. Also as far as getting off resort to do things outside PM is farther away and more expensive if you want to go by cab ....for example going to Playa del Carmen from PM. Going to PV from Garza is much faster and cheaper. We're talking 20 minutes vs. 45 minutes to PDC.

In terms of going to town.....PV is a vibrant place that offers all kinds of options and settings for restaurants, walking, shopping. Puerto Morelos is a quiet small place. They each offer something totally different. One good thing is you can inexpensively go to small towns around PV though.

I've been to Azul Sensatori, is that what you're speaking of when you say Azul Hotel in Puerto Morelos? If that's the place you're asking about and it sounds like it is........

The depth of the beach at AS is very thin, there are football sized rocks completely covering the bottom, and seaweed, but you can walk a long ways on the beach. The beach at Garza Blanca is one of the best in the PV area and the bottom of the ocean is sandy, no seaweed, but you can't walk a long ways.

So, if the water is important and you decide on the Mayan side....look for another place to stay.

Shawnee, Kansas
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5. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

And as far as kids, I don't see any reason why one locale is better than the other. All of Mexico is great for parents who travel with children.

Minneapolis...
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6. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

Thank you so much all for the detailed response. We are looking at Azul Beach Hotel by Karisma..We plan to spend most of the time in the beach and want to take the kid out may be to a zoo and very little sight seeing..

Any other suggestions for hotels in PV or Nuevo Valarta side that favors us? Many thanks!

Edited: 04 January 2014, 18:57
Poland, Ohio
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7. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

I love pv and will tell most people to go there---actually almost everyone--and for the op, I would rather spend all my time in pv--but for you and what you want--I would go with Puerto morelos.

the fact that you want all relaxing, very little sightseeing, beachtime and with a little one makes me favor pm.

the beach is beautiful there and for a quick diversion there is the little town to visit.

check out ocean turquesa there---I did not stay there but I was looking into this resort at one point.

whatever you decide---have a blast

Shawnee, Kansas
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8. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

I don't know if there is an actual zoo near Puerto Morelos. There is one in PV near Garza Blanca.

I don't understand why people think PM is any better for families or parents traveling with kids. All of our kids were raised on Puerto Vallarta and all it offered, and now the grandson is coming for his second visit on his 4th birthday. The only thing I can think of is the water may be gentler and clearer where you stay on the other side of Mexico.

You can do the things you're looking for in Nuevo, Puerto Vallarta and Puerto Morelos....and they all have a small town nearby for a diversion and a feel for Mexico. Possibly you would want to decide by where it's the most effective to fly to?

Garza Blanca south of PV and is near both....a larger town which is Puerto Vallarta, and the small village of Boca de Tomatlan and Mismaloya Beach. But the last two are smaller than Puerto Morelos. Garza is on a stretch of coast that is lush with jungle and is mountainess.

Nuevo north of PV and is much like the Mayan side in that there are no mountains, and there are a lot of resorts and there is the town of Bucerias to explore.

Edited: 04 January 2014, 20:03
United States
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9. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

I've been to Puerto Morelos. I went last March. It was really pretty and the town small and it gave me a "beachy feel." We were only there for a day and visited the Jungle Spa for massages and then did the town as much as we could, including eating at Tacos.com (awesome family restaurant/small), visiting the biggest local bookstore there (but still small), all the little shops, walking the streets, pier, and long stretch of beach. The town reminded me of Marthas Vineyard. Just a beachy type town. The day we were there it was quite windy. Kansas is right, if you want to take any little side-trips, you will need to take a taxi or ADO/whatever. Little towns or places you might want to visit are not at your fingertips as PV would be. It all depends if you want to do it that way. No problem there, just if you don't mind taking a taxi for an excursion or whatever. But if you just want to stay in Puerto Morelos, it was very fun for me and I do wish I could have stayed a couple days. It's a very relaxing small city/beach feel/ho hum kind of town. I do remember saying to my husband, "the beach is so long and so big over here compared to PV! It's huge in general and of course you have the Caribbean blue water and white sand to go with it. I would love to go back there some day.

We stayed in Playa del Carmen. That might be a choice as well for you. Loved it. Absolutely loved it. The beaches were long, its a little more active and upscale than PM and there are no vendors on the beach at all. Not allowed. You could even take a day trip to PDC from PM. When we went to PM we rode the colectivo from PDC to PM and then on our way back to PDC we rode the ADO. Wanted to experience both modes of transportation.

While I have not stayed at Garza Blanca in PV it gets wonderful reviews. I love PV and all it has to offer. The great Mexican culture/city/easy transportation to take/easy to reach outlying areas in a short time/the food....... is just the best. But that is the way I like to experience it. I prefer to immerse myself as much as I can and I like to keep busy with a few relaxing days in-between. So if you choose Garza Blanca and use it for relaxation that is great! Then if you decide to go into town for something, it will not be a long distance away and you can get there faster/shorter time.

I do feel it is ok to take your "little one" to either place. Doesn't matter what age they are to decide if it's ok here or there (location). Just pick what location/hotel will suit your needs and then go for it. You will have a great time wherever you choose with your "little one" as well.

Minneapolis...
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10. Re: First time to Mexico - trying to decide the place

Thank you all for the wonderful feedback..both PV and PM looks appealing though I'm tending to lean towards PM. Cost wise for 5 nights that we spend in PM, I could spend 6 in PV...

I still can't decide :( ..

I'll keep you all posted...

Thanks again!