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Old 03-11-2010   #1 (permalink)
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Rissask Report to Nuevo Vallarta, March 2010

Back not even a week and the tan has started to fade a bit and the memories too! So I suppose I better get this down before it all fades.

We weren't sure where we wanted to go this year for my 40th birthday (gulp ) but knew it was to be somewhere hot, with lots of cheap booze available to drown my sorrows.

Originally we wanted to go to Bonaire or maybe Turks and Caicos or Roatan, and do some diving...but then in mid February my GF Jocelyn called me to look for a cheap trip for her and her family, so I did some checking. I found an amazing deal to Puerto Vallarta-I asked if they minded if we came along, no problemo, so within a day we were all booked!

It was AI (we prefer non-AI but with two teens they wanted to go AI) - the Occidental Allegro Nuevo Vallarta. For a week, all taxes in, it was just $1880 for Don and I - that is dirt cheap from here.

Don has been to PV 7 times (!!) and this was my fourth trip to the area. Twice I stayed right in the city and once we stayed up north just out of the Bay, in Sayulita. We LOVE Sayulita and will be staying there again, sadly not this trip- but we DID get to do a day trip there, which was nice.

The travel days were kind of horrendous. The flight was supposed to depart at 9:30 pm on Feb. 27th, a Saturday....we saw in the morning it was delayed until midnight. Ugh!

We tried to sleep that afternoon, Don was successful (he can sleep anywhere, not me) and I was, unsurprisingly, unsuccessful. I cannot sleep on planes, either, so I knew at that point it was going to be a LONNNNGGG night.

Our friend Brenda was returning a an airport drop-off/pick-up favour, so we had a ride to and from. Got to the airport about 10:30, checked in and dropped off the luggage and then waited with a Timmie's coffee.

The flight was pretty uneventful, watched Whip It, tried to sleep and found it is FAR more comfortable in an aisle seat on a cramped charter to just sit and read than try to sleep. The window seat might have been a different story. I will remember that NEXT time we pre-book seats on an overnight plane trip...oh wait, that is right- there will be no next time!

I would say about half the plane seemed to be sleeping, I would have thought more would have been in the middle of the night, but I suppose people were excited or like me, can't sleep in public. It didn't help that they served a meal, and had a movie, sold duty free- in generally behaved just like a regular flight.

anyhoo....we arrived at the airport at about 5:30 AM (same time zone, which was nice) and skimmed through Immigration and Customs, pressed the green light (whoo hoo, I've still never pressed red YET!), hit the ATM for pesos, and clambered on the bus for the 20 minute or so ride up to Nuevo Vallarta to the hotel.

By the time we got checked in and to the room it was already 7 AM and the sun was up! So the dilemma was this - try to catch a couple hours of sleep? Or unpack and get settled and go down for breakfast, load up on coffee and maybe sleep on the beach?

We chose the latter. At this point I had been awake for about 23 hours and was starting to feel a bit punch drunk already. But we were in Mexico! How on earth could we SLEEP?

PLUS- today at 2 was the gold medal game between the USA and Canada for Olympic hockey....we were excited about that too.
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until a week on Isla Mujeres!

until 2 weeks in Huatulco and Puerto Escondido!
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Old 03-11-2010   #2 (permalink)
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Our friends (who are Jocelyn and Mike and their 14 year old daughter Shelby and 11 year old son Zach) decided they needed sleep, so we went and grabbed a couple of beach palapas and some loungers.

The week we were there, there was NO towel game going on at all- YAY! On the weekends, locals from PV and Guadalajara flood this hotel - we knew this from reading Trip Advisor and also found it out the following Friday- but this Sunday and during the week was pretty quiet. The hotel seemed to only be at about 50% capacity.

It was nice enough, but it certainly needed a bit of facelift in some areas, the rooms in particular were in need of redecorating and new bathrooms. But we were very comfortable there, the food was good and lots of variety, there was lots of hot water and the A/C worked well, and best of the staff were AMAZING...so friendly and hard working, the place was very clean.

Here are some general photos of the hotel and area and beach...the beach was THE BEST thing about this hotel, gorgeous fine sand and really wide...nice warm water....and absolutely perfect waves for boogie boarding, which was the number one most popular activity there.

Our friends had been in Cuba in Holguin when we went there too, and they really missed the snorkeling right from the beach and the super-clear water. But they said the boogie boarding made up for it!













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Old 03-11-2010   #3 (permalink)
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Woot! This is gonna be a great report, I can tell already . Did you fly skyservice? That exact thing happened to us last year, and we had 3 kids with us And the same thing with serving the meal etc, just about to fall asleep and they came through with the meal (which was surprisingly good)... I'm not a fan of overnight flights either.
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Old 03-11-2010   #4 (permalink)
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Around ten or eleven, our friends found us on the beach and we spent the next couple of hours just enjoying the sun and relaxing....Jocelyn is a shopaholic and unfortunately I had picked a spot right next to the 'flea market', a central location for the beach vendors' wares where they are in between their jaunts up and down the beach. She ended up buying a dress for herself and for Shelby, a cowboy hat (okay, I bought one too, that sun was strong!) and the kids each got a henna tattoo....and even Don did...dork!










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Old 03-11-2010   #5 (permalink)
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Woot! This is gonna be a great report, I can tell already . Did you fly skyservice? That exact thing happened to us last year, and we had 3 kids with us And the same thing with serving the meal etc, just about to fall asleep and they came through with the meal (which was surprisingly good)... I'm not a fan of overnight flights either.

Yes! It was Sky-no-service.

Actually, other than the 3 hour delay and the overly cramped seats (only on the right side of the plane though...very odd!) they were pretty good. They are famous for delays though. But on the way home, we left an hour early! Which was nice.

Some people drove to Saskatoon from elsewhere in the province- and still showed up at 6! Not sure why they didn't check the airport site to see if it was on time. Silly!
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Old 03-11-2010   #6 (permalink)
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I rarely post here, but do visit daily to read.
We were staying right next door to you at Paradise Village. Nice area huh?
Those sure were some good boogie boarding waves. Did you walk north and see the big waves up that way, towards ETC
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Old 03-11-2010   #7 (permalink)
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I had asked on TA if there was a good sports bar in Nuevo to go and watch the hockey gold medal game and there was- the No Name Bar and Grill, which is owned by a former Calgary Flames player...his first name is Don, he actually came by and chatted with us- but his last name escapes me.

Later we found out the hotel had a room set up with a few waiters bringing pitchers of beer and everything! Serves us right for not checking. But we likely had a better time at the sports bar anyway!

It was a five minute walk from the hotel, Don and I had scoped it out that morning- so we all had lunch and wandered down the street shortly before game time. I guess we should have gone a bit earlier, since all the tables were taken other than on the deck so we all got a bit too much sun that afternoon. It was windy and the umbrellas would not stay put, so we were all in the direct sun. Oh well!









drinking my favourite beer.....
I think I was getting a bit giddy at this point




And YAY! We won! Woot woot!

There were a few Americans there, but the vast majority of the people were Canadian. The whole area of Puerto Vallarta-Nuevo Vallarta-Bucerias is very popular with Canadians even more than Americans, especially Bucerias. A cabbie actually told us that for condo sales in the last three years in the Bay of Banderas, sales to Canadians outnumbered sales to Americans.

These 2 guys and their wives were from Regina and had put up flags all over the bar...we're number one!





definitely happy and a bit dunk in this picture...and wtf is my husband trying to say here?




of course, avid boy watcher that 14 year old Shelby is, she had to get me to sneak a pic of this hottie....yum





random happy retirees on the walk back to the hotel....



family photo in front of some bougainvillea...


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Old 03-11-2010   #8 (permalink)
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I rarely post here, but do visit daily to read.
We were staying right next door to you at Paradise Village. Nice area huh?
Those sure were some good boogie boarding waves. Did you walk north and see the big waves up that way, towards ETC

That is funny!

I have some pics of the tigers there! We snuck in one day and wandered around. That is some complex.

We liked it in Nuevo, yes. It was a very nice, quiet, relaxing beach vacation week. But, there were things about the area we didn't like. It was very much just AI hotels and condos, too much of a manufactured, glitzy, concrete jungle for us.

I compared it with Ixtapa, but Ixtapa, in our opinion, has far more Mexican flavour and more character, and the water much clearer (although the surf IS rougher there). The hotels there are mostly non-AI, and there are far more restaurants, and it just has more of a 'town' feel, somehow. But even in that area, we prefer to stay in Zihuantanejo!

To be honest, when we go back to Puerto Vallarta (and we will, we do love the area) we would not stay in Nuevo Vallarta again, but up in Sayulita or Rincon or south down by Mismaloya or Boca de Tomatlan where the water is 100% nicer, instead.
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Old 03-11-2010   #9 (permalink)
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Yay, keep it coming!

Where is this place in relation to playa?
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Old 03-11-2010   #10 (permalink)
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black henna tattoos! i hope no one had/gets an allergic reaction to these. my buddy mike did one year...wasn't too severe but he still has a faint white scar of bugs bunny on his arm. which when you think about it, was a cheap way to get a lasting 'tattoo'

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Old 03-11-2010   #11 (permalink)
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Yay, keep it coming!

Where is this place in relation to playa?

Puerto Vallarta is Pacific coast of Mexico, in the state of Jalisco. Jalisco is where ALL the blue agave to make tequila is grown!

Technically Nuevo Vallarta is in Nayarit state (once you cross a river you are in Nayarit), and there is a time change- but for tourism they keep the whole Bay of Banderas on the same time zone. The Bay is the largest bay on the west coast of North America, it takes about an hour and a half to drive from Punta de Mita, the northernmost tip, down to Boca de Tomatlan in the south. Much of that driving is due to the main road passing through the VERY congested downtown part of Puerto Vallarta, though.

The entire Bay area has 300,000 people.

It is located between the resort areas of Mazatlan and Manzanillo, basically, if that helps....Mazatlan is almost directly across from the southern tip of the Baja (Cabo San Lucas) and then PV is about 3 hours drive south of Maz...that is a total guess?!?

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black henna tattoos! i hope no one had/gets an allergic reaction to these. my buddy mike did one year...wasn't too severe but he still has a faint white scar of bugs bunny on his arm. which when you think about it, was a cheap way to get a lasting 'tattoo'

Yes- I warned them about that! They did not listen!

Luckily no one had a reaction.

Last edited by Rissask; 03-11-2010 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 03-11-2010   #12 (permalink)
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What kind of beer were you drinking there? I was trying to read the label but can't make it out. LOL @ the Reginians putting up flags. I am suprised they didn't have any Sask Roughrider flags along with the Canadian ones, we do love to cheer our teams :p
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Old 03-11-2010   #13 (permalink)
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OK, I found it. I always remember that PV was a stop on The Love Boat.

jalisco mexico map [9] - map of jalisco mexico [9] - mapa de jalisco [9]
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Old 03-11-2010   #14 (permalink)
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Okay, the distance is 275 miles from Mazatlan to Puerto Vallarta. I don't know if I would recommend that drive, since both Nayarit and Sinaloa are hotbeds of drug cartel activity, but I would love to drive from Puerto Vallarta south to Manzanillo, the Costalegre is GORGEOUS!


CJ, stay tuned to see some Roughrider gear we found!

It was Negra Modelo beer....a darker beer, not quite a stout...my favourite!
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Old 03-11-2010   #15 (permalink)
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OK, I found it. I always remember that PV was a stop on The Love Boat.

jalisco mexico map [9] - map of jalisco mexico [9] - mapa de jalisco [9]

I think they have at least one cruise ship in port every day! The city is extremely busy.

That was one very good thing about staying up in NV, it was nice and quiet. Sort of like Playacar to Playa's downtown, although you can't walk there!
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