I’ve been to Puerto Vallarta twice, once in December of 2017 and May 2019, but I won’t be much help on recommendations. Both time I’ve gone I've stayed at all inclusive resorts. The first time I stayed at Secrets and I just stayed at The Hyatt Ziva. To see a video of my last trip you can watch that here. If you want to see what I bring on my backpacking trips you can see that here also.
Both resorts are great! But, if I had to go back I would go to the Hyatt. I found the hotel to be smaller – so less crowded, had a private beach, and was cheaper! Both have events throughout the day like volleyball, music, or water activities like kayaking.
Tips when staying at Hyatt Ziva.
I also liked Secrets! It was bigger so it was harder to get a spot on a lounge chair if you came later in the day. It was on a strip of hotels so we were able to walk over and play volleyball at other places but the beaches were busier.
I also rented atvs to go zip lining and stop by a tequila tasting and thought both were awesome.
Puerto Vallarta Perspective:
Getting Around: 5/10 - The city is pretty small and you can hire a cab or car pretty cheap. You may not want to walk around and the public transportation may be hard.
Things to do: 7/10 - It is a typical beachy town where you can go out on the water and go kayaking, fishing, parasailing but also do things like zip lining, tequila tasting, or check out the shops downtown.
Food: 7/10 - I'm sure they have more options but I do love tacos and burritos!
Overall: 7.5/10 - I know this rating doesn't make a whole lot of sense just by the simple averages but that how it goes sometimes. A common either or question is, 'Mountains or beach?' and In Puerto Vallarta you don't have to choose because they have both! The city is surrounded by mountains and vegetation only adding to the beauty of the ocean. Plus, it's warm year round and not humid! Both times I have gone I have stayed at all inclusive resorts, which is great, but I haven't really explored the city. I don't know what there is to do, how easy it is to get around, or how the food is (I imagine great-I love Mexican food!). I did leave one of the resorts once to rent ATVs to go zip lining in the jungle and then tequila tasting which was awesome! If you are looking for a destination to hang out on the beach though, I highly recommend Puerto Vallarta. When planning a recent trip to Mexico I wanted to come back here over going back to Cabo.You can see where that ranks against the other places I've gone here.
My Non-Obvious Puerto Vallarta Recommendations:
I've taken an authorized taxi from the airport to my resort each time and felt safe. If you don't feel you would you can always hire a personal car.
What to bring:
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HELLO AND WELCOME!
I'm Jake, a dude interested in personal finance and travel creating the life I choose.
In 5 years I went from living in a basement with Craigslist roommates to paying off 90k of debt, backpacking 3 continents, getting a house for myself and 5 rental units.
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