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Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Salt Lake City, Utah
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Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

My wife and I will be celebrating our 10th wedding anniversary in August. Some GREAT friends of ours are letting us stay at their condo in Playas Gemelas. I had some questions, and would like any tips anybody might have:

I've read the cab ride from the airport is fairly spendy. I know the Mismaloya bus goes by Playas Gemelas. Is there a good way to get from the airport to the bus? Should we get a cab at the airport to take us to the bus station, then hop the Mismaloya bus, or would it be best to just spring for the cab initially?

The bus should be a decent way for us to get from Gemelas up "to town" and back when we want to, shouldn't it? We plan on spending lots of relaxing time at the condo, but occasionally we're going to want to go in to town for some night life, or the Mercado (on Sunday) or whatever.

Looks like snorkeling should be pretty good right on Gemelas. Is there a better place to go? Should we spring for a boat to take us out somewhere? We've spent a little time in Cozumel, and they'll take you out to where the snorkeling is "better" there, but there's not a reef in Vallarta that I know of, and most of the good snorkeling will be along the rocky shore, won't it?

Our budget isn't very big, but I've read that it can be done decently for $100/day. We're not in it for the typical tourist experience, we're wanting to experience authentic Mexico (I'm fluent Spanish speaker). Any tips on cheap(er) dining, and/or tourist-trap areas to avoid?

Many older Latin American cities were built around the central square which has the cathedral, etc. Does Vallarta have something similar where we can go and experience the "Old Vallarta" flavor, buildings, etc. and walk around?

We're planning on doing most everything on foot/bus. Any problems? Do we really need to consider renting a car?

Thanks!

Puerto Vallarta...
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1. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Well let me start. Gemelas is a great place with a great beach. The wave action on the beach can be heavy for a non swimmer. Taxi from the airport (Zone 3 - $286 Pesos) The bus between Boca and Old Town stops right out front of Gemelas and costs very little. Not recommended to haul your luggage around on those buses but they are fun to ride and a cheap way of getting into town and back. Couple nice restaurants in the neighboring hotels.

Victoria, B.C.
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2. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Hi Michael!

Wow...lucky you having a free condo at Gemelas! Hubby and I will be there next week for our 3rd time in less than a year! Before we went we thought that PV wouldn't be for us and now we can't stay away:)

Don't know about taking the bus from the airport as we stay on the southside of town for a few days where you will find the central square, Catherdral , amazing restaurants etc. We then cab it to the condo from there with our luggage - there isn't an area on the bus for it and I think it is discouraged. Otherwise, bus is easy and we go back and forth to town and further south to Mismaloya, Boca, Etc. Snorkeling was pretty good last July...not as many varieties as we've seen in Hawaii or the Caribbean but enough and calm conditions....not so when we were there in March. There are rocky areas at each end of the beach where you'll find the most sealife. The beach is absolutely gorgeous and the water refreshing...pools are nice too. We have our snorkel gear packed and ready to go:)

The restaurant at the Girosol condo next door is very good and reasonably priced..make sure you buy your wife a Sexy Coffee...you'll enjoy the show! The mini mart there is tiny but has a surprisingly good selection of staples...can't think of anything else but feel free to ask!

Enjoy...you will LOVE it!!!!

Victoria, B.C.
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3. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Hi Michael!

Wow...lucky you having a free condo at Gemelas! Hubby and I will be there next week for our 3rd time in less than a year! Before we went we thought that PV wouldn't be for us and now we can't stay away:)

Don't know about taking the bus from the airport as we stay on the southside of town for a few days where you will find the central square, Catherdral , amazing restaurants etc. We then cab it to the condo from there with our luggage - there isn't an area on the bus for it and I think it is discouraged. Otherwise, bus is easy and we go back and forth to town and further south to Mismaloya, Boca, Etc. Snorkeling was pretty good last July...not as many varieties as we've seen in Hawaii or the Caribbean but enough and calm conditions....not so when we were there in March. There are rocky areas at each end of the beach where you'll find the most sealife. The beach is absolutely gorgeous and the water refreshing...pools are nice too. We have our snorkel gear packed and ready to go:)

The restaurant at the Girosol condo next door is very good and reasonably priced..make sure you buy your wife a Sexy Coffee...you'll enjoy the show! The mini mart there is tiny but has a surprisingly good selection of staples...can't think of anything else but feel free to ask!

Enjoy...you will LOVE it!!!!

Calgary, Canada
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4. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

It would be two buses to get from the airport to Playa Gemelas (one from the airport to either el centro or the south side, then the Boca/Mismaloya bus out to the southern coastline), so while it would be less expensive than a taxi it wouldn't be any easier. And in August, that would be one hot and sweaty LONG trip. Plus as already noted if you have luggage larger than a backpack it's not really practical, the buses aren't really designed for big bags and they do get crowded.

The taxi to PG is 286 pesos from the airport, is an air conditioned new sedan. You can purchase your taxi ticket inside the airport at the taxi booths and off you go in minutes. Honestly, I would invest in the taxi and budget for the fare. Even at a really conservative exchange rate, that's about $23USD give or take for a quicker, cooler and more comfortable ride to the condo.

The buses are great for going in/out of town when you don't have all your bags and such. Quick and easy. I think it's 8.5 pesos now but that may have recently changed, hopefully someone can recall and post that information here.

Playa Gemelas is one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole bay, you will really enjoy it. What a wonderful anniversary gift. (-:

Shawnee, Kansas
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5. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

I was typing when Jen was but here more info anyway, hopefully didn't duplicate too much.

You're staying in a wonderful area...south of PV is beautiful and you'll like the local villages on the beach and there more to do than that! Can get into that later.

The buses don't have much space between seats so if you have more than a carryon size piece of luggage, the bus won't work.

"Should we spring for a boat to take us out somewhere?"

That's a nice thing to do. There are many people who will take you privately and some you can catch on Mismaloya beach nearby. It's really not very expensive, and you'll get several suggestions for different people who do this, all seem to be good. There is a poster right now on the Barcelo post who really enjoyed the person they went with.

There are lots of neat things to do in the southern part of the bay.....you'll love it. Check out Yelapa for sure.

Here's the map of your area. All you have to do is "move up" at the top of the maps and you'll continue north to the next area, so they're in order. The downtown map is the oldest area and there is wonderful walking up above that area too. The south side map and the north downtown map will be good areas for walking too. But PV isn't real old, but it's still very interesting and varied.

You're staying in a wonderful area...south of PV is beautiful and you'll like the local villages on the beach and there more to do than that! Can get into that later.

The buses don't have much space between seats so if you have more than a carryon size piece of luggage, the bus won't work.

"Should we spring for a boat to take us out somewhere?"

That's a nice thing to do. There are many people who will take you privately and some you can catch on Mismaloya beach nearby. It's really not very expensive, and you'll get several suggestions for different people who do this, all seem to be good. There is a poster right now on the Barcelo post who really enjoyed the person they went with.

There are lots of neat things to do in the southern part of the bay.....you'll love it. Check out Yelapa for sure.

Here's the map below, of your area. All you have to do is "move up" at the top of the maps and you'll continue north to the next area, so they're in order.

The downtown map is the oldest area and there is wonderful walking up above that area too. The south side map and the north downtown map will be good areas for walking as well. PV isn't real old, but it's still very interesting and varied.

http://vallartainfo.com/s_coast.html

Your friends gave you a nice anniversary gift!

Puerto Vallarta...
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6. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Take the airport taxi direct, least hassle and worth it. You don't say when you are visiting, but the waves at that beach are generally calm, especially in the summer. The bus to and from town is 8 pesos and runs until around 10:30pm. We have the traditional Plaza de Armas downtown, church and all! See the maps :)

Puerto Vallarta...
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7. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

If you need any help at the ccndos, a very good friend of mine runs the office there. just send me a Private Message.

Salt Lake City, Utah
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8. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Thanks everybody for the GREAT information! Keep it coming!

We are visiting the second week of August. Arriving the 8th, leaving the 14th.

Yes, tremendous friends and an awesome gift! My wife and I haven't been back to Mexico together since our honeymoon in Cozumel in 2004 (I've been a time or two on business, but never to P.V.).

Sounds like we'll be taking the taxi from the airport for sure! Thanks.

JRin - thanks for the offer. I don't anticipate any problems, but I'll keep you in mind for sure in case something comes up.

We've been really excited to go, and you guys are just increasing that excitement. Thanks again!

Poland, Ohio
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9. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

as you look at the maps Kansas gave you----check out that whole website.. you will get much info.

www.vallartainfo.com

gemelas is a regular stop for us. it is a small beautiful beach with caribbanish type water.

when exploring the southside and centro---make sure you visit los muertos beach--lots of action--way different than your beach.

when you get off the boca/mismaloya bus walk to the corner(b. badillo) turn left till you come to the beach---you won't be sorry---stick them toes in the sand and enjoy lunch and a drink

Oregon
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10. Re: Playas Gemelas - questions, tips requested

Here's a great PV website. So much information here. It's very current and they keep adding more to it every day. Really gives you a great look of what's in and around PV.

www.visit-vallarta.com