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?