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UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

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Stoke-on-Trent...
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UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

We are an English couple (46 + 50) who usually have our annual winter holiday in India. Mainly North Goa, but also South Goa, Sri Lanka and Kerala. We like lazy beach holidays and good weather is a prime key in where to holiday.

Last December we decided on a change and after much research decided on Akumel in the Riviera Maya Mexico.

I was advised that the weather would be cool but dry at this time of year. We decided on GBP Akumel Resort.

The hotel was fantastic, the area interesting. The weather was warmer than expected but also wetter. For 7/21 days it was very unsettled. With rain lasting from about an hour to a whole day. These days were also much cooler.

On the other 14/21 days the weather was better than expected. Hot & sunny.

For this December we are trying to decide; do we return to Goa, (weather is usually guaranteed but for the price, accommodation is very basic) or do we try somewhere else.

I have taken a look at Puerta/Neuvo Vallarta and these are definite considerations.

PV: the package hotels on offer in the UK are more expensive than NV, but there appears to be more of an opportunity to visit local establishments and reviews say that on average, prices outside the hotel are reasonable.

NV: the package hotels on offer in the UK are better value than PV, but areas outside the hotel appear to “exclusive” and “expensive”.

Can people please help me with the following:-

• what temperatures can I expect in December for daytime and evening?

• Is day time sunbathing weather?

• How much rain is expected?

• What is the cost of living outside the hotels in PV / NV?

• How much e.g. for a beer, a snack, a basic meal in PV/NV

• How far is it from Peurto Vallarta to Neuvo Vallarta? Walk / taxi?

• Would it be possible to stay in NV and to travel into PV for an afternoon or evening? How practical would this be?

• Any idea how much a taxi would cost to take this trip?

Any other help is greatly appreciated.

Edited: 3:58 am, January 14, 2014
Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

OK here is my attempt,December is the dry season with temperature ranging from 15 C to 25C.So you can sun bath during the day with almost no rain.Mexican minimum wage is 7$ a day,A meal or drink cost varies on the establishment you select.Look at the prices in the restaurant section.You cannot walk from PV to NV.That is like 15 KM.Many people stay in NV and go into PV for the day.Being familiar with Goa and Sri Lanka,The tourism infrastructure in Mexico in places like PV is much more sophisticated then Goa or Sri Lanka.These places are American and Canadian oriented.Note.I have not yet been to PV/NV But am answering based on my own research and past trips to mexico.JR your countryman would be of better help then me or any of the other DE s also

Edited: 9:35 am, January 14, 2014
Puerto Vallarta...
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2. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

We usually have no rain in December, except a s[rinkle around Christmas. This year we had quite a bit, an anomaly I'm afraid our very reliable weather is changing. May happen in Goa as well ?

Nuevo Vallarta, built as a resort area like Cancún about 30 years ago, is about a 45 min drive from downtown Puerto Vallarta. To get to PV ny taxi is about 200 pesos, less by the bus, but you need two busses to get to downtown.

Far more restaurants and bars in Puerto Vallarta, which is a vibrant town, beers start at about 12 pesos, many great taco stands at 9-12 pesos, restaurants from 80 pesos up.

Shawnee, Kansas
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3. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

We can get a very good meal of quality at a nice sit down restaurant for anywhere from 90 pesos to 180 pesos. I like interesting and tasty food and my meals usually average 140 - 150 pesos, but you can get a more basic meal of garlic fish (unbreaded) with rice and steamed vegetables for 120 pesos. Often you'll get complimentary chips and salsa or some other type of small starter in some restaurants. Happy Hours abound in PV with 2 for 1 drinks at varying cheaper prices.

PV is vibrant, cosmopolitan in some respects,....yet has it's old fashioned charm in tact, which is what makes it such an interesting place, and it's a great walking town. If you're coming for two weeks, you could divide up your time between Nuevo and PV....1 week each. If you stay in Nuevo the entire time and find you like PV a lot, you won't be able to be spur of the moment with your time in town.

I've been going to PV for years, but we began also going in December 3 years ago. We always go practically the day after Thanksgiving until around the 14th of December. The first year it was warm...not to hot, not too cool....no rain. The second year....hotter and not rain. The third year...this year, it was a little less hot than last year...so right in the middle on the humidity factor....nice because no need for sleeves in the evening. Once again we had no rain. The overcast and rainy period began just before Christmas,which wasn't the norm.

The first two weeks of December is the Festival de Guadalupe. It's an charming time to be in PV. You can do a search and read about it. This is another reason for maybe staying in the PV area.

Puerto Vallarta...
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4. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

In fact at Mariscos Polo's, the best fish restaurant in town, the filet of fish with garlic, rice and salad, is only 105 pesos.

Victoria, Canada
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5. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

You will love PV! It is very cheap to eat out and drink off the resort. We stay in NV and head into PV a couple times a week, and it's easy even on the bus. We like the NV area because we go strickly to relax, it is our only long holiday so we just hang out and then like I said head into town a couple times per week. We sometimes go twice a year we like it that much. Be forwarned tho PV does not have the white sand and bright blue water like the east coast. But it's clean and swimming is not a problem depending on currents.

I hope you give it a try, we fell in love the first time 25 years ago and have travelled alot and still think PV is the best yet.

6. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

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7. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

• what temperatures can I expect in December for daytime and evening?

A: during the day it can usually be in the high 20s with plenty of sunshine. At night, high teens. (for other posters I'm posting in Celsius, not Farenheit, as the poster is from the UK)

• Is day time sunbathing weather?

A: absolutely. Plenty of sun and warm weather much of the time. This is technically considered the high season/dry season.

• How much rain is expected?

A: usually very minimal, under a few millimetres normally. Although as noted by JR that seems to be changing somewhat, they had some inclement rain/chill over the Christmas season folks were commenting on. That's not normal, but it's really hard to say if it will be the "new" normal (thank you climate change), as weather patterns continue to change worldwide.

• What is the cost of living outside the hotels in PV / NV?

A: well, that's kind of two questions. First as a traveler you're probably not going to be living like the locals do 24/7 during your vacation. But if what you mean is, is it or can it be affordable to eat/drink/etc outside an all inclusive resort setting the answer is absolutely you can. And many of us do. AI is not the only game in town.

• How much e.g. for a beer, a snack, a basic meal in PV/NV

A: beer can run from about 12 pesos (some beach bars and cantinas) to 20-25 pesos per bottle (more upscale restaurants/beach clubs/resort pricing). A basic meal could mean anything but could run as inexpensive as 20 pesos for 2-3 street tacos to 300 pesos for a full blown fancy lunch at a 5 star beach restaurant.

You can eat and drink as cheaply or as expensively as you like. I personally budget about 1200 or so pesos a day for eating, drinking, tipping, taxis or buses, and maybe a little vendor shopping if I'm in the mood...and I rarely spend it all. I'm not eating 3 squares a day most of the time, just a nice breakfast, a snack on the beach in the afternoon, and then a nice dinner after a sunset cocktail hour somewhere.

• How far is it from Peurto Vallarta to Neuvo Vallarta? Walk / taxi?

A: you must taxi or bus. It's about 45 minutes to the closest end of NV from the outskirts of PV in decent traffic. Here's an interactive map of the bay to get you started.

vallartainfo.com/puerto_vallarta_maps.html

• Would it be possible to stay in NV and to travel into PV for an afternoon or evening? How practical would this be?

A: sure you could. Practical is a personal state of mind...some don't mind doing this everyday while others aren't interested in leaving the resorts. It will add to your budget to do so more often however - buses are cheaper than taxis, but buses to Nuevo stop running well before midnight so you'll have to take a taxi back if you plan to be in town after the sun goes down. That's about 200 pesos one way, minimum.

So yes, you can do it. But you should plan for it and budget for how you will travel back and forth. Part of this process should be determining before you make your final decision just how much of what is in PV is of interest to you, or if this is a full blown lazy "I don't want to leave the beach/pool" kind of holiday. If it's the former you'll probably want to set up camp in PV. If it's the latter, then NV should suit with just occasional jaunts into town.

• Any idea how much a taxi would cost to take this trip?

A: as noted, about 200 pesos minimum one way from NV into PV. More as you cross into more zones in town.

Edited: 1:09 pm, January 14, 2014
San Francisco...
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8. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

To add to what Jenny said at the end, under "most" circumstances, you would not have to take a taxi to and from PV (if staying in Nuevo) as there are very nice buses with comfy seats which go back and forth. It's been a couple of years since I took them but if you are staying in the south of Nuevo, it was 13 pesos each way. In the north, it was 16 pesos.

The two reasons for taking a taxi back and forth is if you are in a hurry (to eliminate the wait time for a bus) and if it's late and the Riviera Nayarit buses have stopped running.

Taxi is the most efficient, for sure. I agree on the 200 peso minimum. That was exactly what it cost me a couple of years ago from near the Malecon to the Mayan complex (south side of Nuevo). Thus I'd plan on more now as that.was two years ago and it was the south of Nuevo. If you traveled from Northern Nuevo into the south side of PV, you may be looking at around 300 pesos one way.

Edmonton
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9. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

We often stay in NV because the beaches are so much better and we like the resorts out there better. We do go into PV a couple times a week with no problem on the bus (and I'm hauling 3 kids and it's fine). We also like to be closer to a more Mexican town that isn't as touristy as PV (which would be Bucerias) to go for meals on the beach and some shopping (and we find that cheaper than PV as well). But we do love PV for the malecon and walking around and great restaurants, so do go in a couple times a week.

Seattle
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10. Re: UK traveller considering PV / NV holiday. Help!

While I personally love Puerto Vallarta I would not come all the way from the UK to vacation there myself. Part of why I like it is the ease in getting there from Seattle. The weather is usually very nice in December, but 2013 it rained a lot, to the point of spoiling people's vacations (judging from posts from that time on this forum). I'd go back to Goa.

suze