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Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

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Chicago, Illinois...
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Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

Hola compas,

Another TT refugee here. Nice to meet you all! My husband and I are going to the Jalisco/Nayarit coast for a week in February. We're going for a friend's wedding in Sayulita but want to spend most of our time in quieter towns where I can birdwatch, and where we can walk around, eat, and chill.

Initially, I thought we should bus everywhere, but now I'm not sure based on the distance between a couple of our possible destinations. I would be grateful for any feedback on two main things:

1. Are we trying to pack in too much?

2. Should we bus or rent a car? (Rental car recommendations would be appreciated...)

Here's the rough itinerary based on my research, TT recommendations, and the things I know we'd like to do. Our last major trip together involved two weeks busing around Croatia, where our favorite places were some of the very remote islands.

Sun: fly into PV, arrive in early evening

Mon-Wed a.m.: San Blas (for birding and being bitten by jejenes)

Wed: San Pancho (friends recommended great place to stay, gives us the requisite beach experience)

Thu: Sayulita for wedding

Fri-Sun: Yelapa (if renting car, drop it off first)

Your thoughts, feedback, or cries of "Oh god, not that!" will be much appreciated. Thanks, everyone!

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1. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

In my opinion this is a strange itinery.

If you are going to rent a car book through Gecko they will meet you at the airport.

From there I would go south to Mismaloya beach, stay till Wed.

Mon visit PV, Tue catch water taxi to Yelapa, Wed up into mountains above Mismaloya El Eden etc.

Wed evening move out to Sayulita for the Thur wedding.

Sayulita is a great little town with the BEST beach experience, walk north along the beach for bird watching but spend some time in Sayulita a real nice place to visit. Friday farmers market is fantastic.

Should take you up til Saturday.

Sat night Comfort Inn at airport, free breakfast Sun morning, walk around marina next door until time to hit the airport.

Sayulita is a great place for a wedding & to visit/spend some time.

Shame to go to PV & not visit??

Edited: 12:04 am, December 28, 2012
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2. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

San Blas is long way from San Pancho-a long trip there and along way back. We have never driven it but someone here could tell you the time it would take.The itinerary suggested by #1 sounds more reasonable for the time frame.

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3. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

Welcome to the forum, I see this is your first post.

What is TT?

Having just spent a month in the area (which I usually do twice a year and have many times), your itinerary seems confusing and nonsensical, to me. I'm wondering if this will be your only trip to the Bay of Banderas area ever, and you're trying to see the whole area (not giving time enough to enjoy it) in one fell swoop?

Since you'll only be there for a week and the main destination is North (during that week --- someplace you HAVE to be....the wedding), if I were you I'd focus on the north part of Puerto Vallarta and the Bay, In other words, it seems like you would be wasting a ton of time/energy traveling south of Puerto Vallarta to go to Yelapa when you have many beach opportunities in the area where the wedding is. IOW, along the coast of Nayarit.

Your itinerary makes my head spin. You are racing around north of Puerto Vallarta and trying to get south of Puerto Vallarta, yet never stopping in Puerto Vallarta itself which is one of the most charming traveler destinations in the world. Is there a particular draw to Yelapa? I can see the point if that was your only beach experience but your description of going up to San Blas and being in San Pancho and Sayulita takes care of beach experiences for the whole week. I've a lot of time north of PV and it, in itself, would take a week.

As above, if you want to rent a car, go through Gecko. Local and reliable. Very good customer service track record. I generally take buses to the areas you are talking about but I stay for a month and you seem like you are in a super big hurry so a car could come in handy.

Best advice: Focus on one area --- either north or south of the city. Not both. A week will not give you enough time to see, let alone enjoy, both.

Good luck.

Edited: 12:32 am, December 28, 2012
Centennial, Colorado
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4. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

Your itinerary sounds fine to me, with the possible exception of omitting Yelapa in favor of PV as others have mentioned. As a fellow birder I highly recommend the river boat tour in San Blas that takes you through mangrove swamps to La Tovara. Birds galore! Try to get a guide who knows the English names of the birds as most will be new and unrecognizable by their local names. Have fun and be sure to bring insect repellant (we used Ahtun and Bounce dryer sheets).

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5. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

There's an excellent bird watching area closer to Sayulita, Quelele Lagoon near the town of El Colorado in the Valle de Banderas, a very well known bird watching spot, Eco-tours arranges trips there, so a car is not needed.

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6. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

"TT" is The Thorn Tree, Lonely Planet's travel forum.

I think tacking on Yelapa is what doesn't really fit. Why not just stay north of PV the entire time You've got way too many locations, and not particularly close together, for only a 7 day stay (imo). suerte, suze

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7. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

The OP stated they wanted to stay in quieter towns so maybe that is why they have chosen the areas they have chosen. I think it is a lot of moving around for 7 days but the towns they have chosen certainly meet their criteria for quieter towns.

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8. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

Hey all! I posted to get your feedback, but "nonsensical" seems a bit over the top. Thanks to all who posted, though. You confirm my gut, which is that we're thinking too much, too fast.

We have no interest in staying in PV, because it's just not our speed or style. We prefer quieter towns. Based on everything we've read about Sayulita, it doesn't really appeal to us, either.

We also prefer staying in local homes, not hotels, which might make a difference.

Yelapa appealed to us because of the no-car atmosphere and the fact that it didn't seem particularly hard to reach from PV. Frankly, if I could spend a full week there, I would, but that's just me. Maybe it's harder to reach than it sounds? This is definitely not our only trip to the region, so we're just trying to figure out what's reasonable for a first look.

We'll check out Quelele Lagoon and consider basing slightly outside of Sayulita for most of the trip. Thank you all, seriously! I appreciate your feedback.

9. Re: Itinerary/transportation feedback: February week, PV region

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