We will be visiting the area for two weeks in July and I just can't decide what would be best for our family, with two kids ages 1 and 3. We are looking for a place to stay with a kitchen or kitchenette and at least 2 BR (it's best if there are two large beds available, versus twins or daybeds or something). A restaurant is a plus, and a pool nice but not essential. AC depends on how comfy the rooms are without AC. Porches with hammocks and local howler monkeys are also a plus :-)
Kid-safe is a real bonus, as in no balconies where your kids can plunge off because they are an open design without railings (like the place we stayed at in Mexico in 2006, jeesh that was NOT relaxing). We would like to be able to walk to a few restaurants or something, since I'm not sure we'll be able to make the just-take-your-bike lifestyle work for us with young children in tow.
We want to be a really short walk to the beach and then the beach should be VERY calm. We will always be with them in the water for safety, but I want my older son to feel confident about the water and not terrified, plus I want to be able to be relaxed while we're out there. We had a trip to Samara once on our honeymoon where the water was AMAZINGLY calm. Is there a beach like that in the PV area?
We've gotten the adamant advice from friends to stay at Villas del Caribe at Playa Cocles, but I'm not so sure that the reef beach is where we want to be. I mean is a swimming area or does the reef scratch you up? I'm having a hard time picturing it. At Villas del Caribe we would have to rent two adjacent (not connected) Junior Villas because that's what they have available, plus then we wouldn't have to worry about children falling down the stairs. Any advice on Villas del Caribe for families?
But...I read the Punta Uva is a terrific swimming beach and all reviews I've ever read for Pachamama are compelling plus the owner has been terrific with his correspondence. But I'm worried it will be dark and damp there in the jungle setting, plus the river isn't such a draw since I can't really see putting a one year old in a kayak and it just makes me worried my kid is going to amble off and fall in the river. It seems practical to stay in Punta Uva and just drive up to PV for excitement, but maybe I'm missing something?
I can't get Casa Viva to respond to emails and I'm not sure why...anyone know what's up with them? Of course I would love to stay at the house at Banana Azul but it's not available, bummer.
I've also been reading about Itaita, Aguas Claras, and now a VRBO listing that is north of PV on the black sands beach...and my head is swimming. I think it comes down to which beach is best for little itty bitties and still fun for mom and dad, plotted against which lodging is best suited for a family.
Can anyone point me in the right direction, for a family vacation in the PV area?