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Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

Detroit, Michigan
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Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

I'm planning my first trip to Mexico this summer (late June.) Want to relax on the beach but also enjoy the local cuisine and activities. I've had my heart set on Riviera Maya, but have been getting recommendations about Puerto Vallarta as a place that "blows the Yucatan away."

I've researched both areas extensively and feel that I have a good handle on the plusses and minuses. It seems that Riviera Maya wins as far as beach/water quality, but seems that PV wins as far as terrain and town are concerned. I've heard from many people that Puerto Vallarta is "real old world Mexico", which I really want.

Help! I am torn. FYI I understand I will definitely get biased responses on this forum, but would love to hear them!

Playa del Carmen...
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for Playa del Carmen
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1. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

Honest answer: PDC. :-)

Canada
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2. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

To relax on the beach but also enjoy the local cuisine and activities - Playa del Carmen would win every time !

old world charm - I guess could describe Puerto Vallarta. Thing is with PV it is much harder to find good swimmable beaches , there are none where you will find the old world of PV for sure.

Louisville
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3. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

For me PDC and it isn't even close.

WV
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4. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

Been to both and since we go to the Yucatan side twice a year now, we obviously prefer it. That said,the best meal I have ever had in Mexico was at Barcelona Tapas in PV, just near the Cathedral. The malecon there is more Mexican nightlife (marachi bands, local entertainers, food vendors with frest fruit helado and chimis, churros and tamals. A panga ride to Yelapa was wonderful and so was the trip to the falls there. The area is more mountainous and less touristy. We ate at a restaurant called Red Cabbage. The entire restaurant was in a small home-we were greeted by a 8 year old whose father asked us to speak only English to him,so he would learn- the artwork was centered on Frieda and the food was wonderful.

Now the reason(s)we return to RM-beach, ease of trip (we live in the east) and never travel through Mexico City now. And most importantly, the people.

Oregon
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5. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

I will try to give a fair and not biased answer. I love Puerto Vallarta and have been there many times. It's closer to where I live in Oregon (quicker and cheaper to fly). However, I just went to PDC 2 weeks ago and loved it so much! For me, it took a whole day of travel but was worth it. And, I would love to go back. PV and The Mayan are so very different and both have their pluses. The Mayan has various colors of teal water, and it is warm. The white sand is soft and squishy to your toes and it is cool. 5th Avenue is kind of like PV's Malecon. 5th is narrower and not positioned on the water. It tends to get warmer there on that street that runs for over a mile. Most people go to the beach all day and then do 5th at night. It feels like Mexico (Playa del Carmen) but appears to be upscale in that factor. Restaurants are fantastic, you can eat at real Mexican, Yucatan, cheap, expensive etc. just like PV. If you stay in Tulum, or Puerto Morels for example you can get a real "old time feel of Mexico. We did not see many (if any) fantastic sunsets like PV has every night. Snorkeling and diving is just out of this world-especially in Cozumel. PDC has a great transit system.

Puerto Vallarta has character. Sunsets are to die for! And they are different every night (many people applaud!). It's quaint, has cobblestone streets, the real deal, the food is amazing as well as the mountains are majestic. The water is darker, and cooler than PDC. The sand is warmer and sometimes hot and rough. Walking the Malecon (or jogging it in the morning) is beautiful and with cool breezes from the water. Shops abound. PV has a great transit system but it is different than PDC.

There are vendors in both PV and PDC but I did NOT see any on the beach of PDC. Took me a minute to realize that....and there were none.

That's just off the top of my head, but Im sure as this thread goes on, I will think of more to mention.

Detroit, Michigan
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6. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

Isla Mujeres has "to die for" sunsets.

Vancouver
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7. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

Great reply 777Deana777!

Canada
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8. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

My recommend would be to stay in Playa and take a one or two night trip to Merida for the real "old world" charm.

Can't do that in PV.

Pendleton, Oregon
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9. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

We have been to PV, Cancun and Cabo ONCE. Playa many times. Now I have no desire to go to the others again. Playa gets my vote.

Chicago, Il
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10. Re: Honest Opinion - PDC or Puerto Vallarta?

Take two trips.