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Old 09-05-2009, 10:06 PM   #1
Jevia
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Default Mexico vacation

So trying to plan a vacation to Mexico next year with family using an exchange on my mom's time share. We'll be vacationing in August, so we figure that the west coast of Mexico is likely better than the east coast so we don't have to worry about hurricanes (as much anyway).

Anyone recommend any of the western places, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta area, Alcapulco or Ixtapa as better than the other or have other recommendations? It will be 4, possibly 6 adults (ranging from 28 to 55) and 2 young children.

Thank you
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Old 09-05-2009, 10:29 PM   #2
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When are you going in August, beginning or end? Off the top of my head I'd put Alcapulco in the "no way Jose" category. They have very serious crime problems there.

I'll have to give this more thought on the other locations, and I'm sure there are plenty of others who will have excellent advice.

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So trying to plan a vacation to Mexico next year with family using an exchange on my mom's time share. We'll be vacationing in August, so we figure that the west coast of Mexico is likely better than the east coast so we don't have to worry about hurricanes (as much anyway).

Anyone recommend any of the western places, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta area, Alcapulco or Ixtapa as better than the other or have other recommendations? It will be 4, possibly 6 adults (ranging from 28 to 55) and 2 young children.

Thank you
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Old 09-05-2009, 11:02 PM   #3
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Sadly, many parts of Mexico is becoming a crime zone due to the fighting between the drug cartels. Earlier this year the Ixtapa area had issues.

I really can't recommend Acapulco for children. I wish I could, but the bay when I was there was polluted and the beaches were disgustingly filthy.

The west coast of Mexico can be rainy in the summer due to tropical storms and hurricanes. There was one hurricane recently that brushed Puerto Vallarta with rain and wind and of course the most current one this past week to hit Baja.

I like Puerto Vallarta due to the old town being so colonial. The beaches south of town are better for children due to the curve of the bay and less wave action.
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Old 09-06-2009, 08:33 AM   #4
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You're absolutely right B. I too like Puerto Vallarta, but August (and September) are their two rainiest months. July through September are generally the rainiest months for most the west coast of Mexico.

Mazatlan is a better bet than Puerto Vallarta for rain, but the US State Department has crime warnings that put Mazatlan in the same class with Alcapulco, so I wouldn't go there at this time either.

As to Puerto Vallarta, if you're going there in early August, there is a better chance at missing the rain than the latter half of the month.

You're almost damned if you do, and damned if you don't for Mexican coast travel in August. It's hard to know which way to go. I tend to go to the east coast, in the northern YucatŠn Peninsula area, and buy trip insurance. The YucatŠn Peninsula tends to get some more rain in August than most months though it is a month, with July, that you get a respite from rainy weather in between the worst months of July, September/October. One factor the northern YucatŠn Peninsula has going for it is the lack of crime compared to the west coast areas. You can certainly get hurricanes there, but in early August, it's just the start of the season, and you can be lucky and bypass it.
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Old 09-06-2009, 05:24 PM   #5
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Any week in August is open to us, but we're pretty much limited to that month. My husband and I had already been to Cancun, so we thought that we'd see the west coast (and thought there'd be less chance of a hurricane). But my husband's parents who are traveling with us (and maybe his brother and/or sister) haven't been there, so if that's the best recommendation, we can still consider it.

We'd like to have some option of doing stuff other than beach during the trip.

Most likely, we'll not be doing an "all-inclusive," since my husband's family likes doing things on their own, especially meals. But we do need to decide if we'll need to rent a car (or a mini-van), or just rely on transportation to outside locales by the resort.

thanks for the information.
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Old 06-28-2010, 05:00 PM   #6
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When are you going in August, beginning or end? Off the top of my head I'd put Alcapulco in the "no way Jose" category. They have very serious crime problems there.
Back in í86, I went to a company meeting in Acapulco at the Acapulco Princess.

I was flying on AA but the first flight was cancelled due do a bird flying into the engine (the plane was a prop) the night before when it landed at the airport. I ended up being rerouted on Delta and Aero Mexico which resulted in me arriving five hours later. I was scheduled to be transported to the hotel with a bunch of other company employees arriving on other flights.

The flight from ATL to Acapulco made a stop in Mexico City. We were told to remove our carry-on luggage and deplane since the plane was being clean. There were bars on the windows in the airport and airport security personnel carrying automatic rifles.

After I retrieved my checked luggage, a guy came up to me asking if I was so-so with this company staying at the Acapulco PrincessÖI said yes and followed him to the taxi. It was 24 years ago and things were not as bad as today but looking back now, how stupid I was to follow him.

On the second or third day at the Acapulco Princess, there were a bunch of security personnel walking around the property with Uzis.

Went to Cancun for a company meeting in 2005 and Cancun was totally different than my experiences in Acapulco and Mexico City.

I am sure that they are Ďsafeí areas in Mexico to visit as well as to use common sense and exercise normal precautions when visiting an unfamiliar location but I will be hard press to visit Mexico at this time from what I read in our local newspaper and see on our local and national news.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:01 PM   #7
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So bumping this up again. We ended up deciding to go to Mazatlan, and reserved at the Mayan Sea Garden MazatlŠn Resort. We'll be going in August.

My mother is now all concerned about our trip because of the recent reports of increased violence and kidnappings in Mexico. Based on what I read, its mostly confined to the border between Mexico and Texas, and along the northern boarder to California and not really involving the more southern resort cities. It also seems to mostly be among those involved in the drug trade and government personnel.

Is there any real reason to be concerned, more than normally, regarding a trip to Mexico?

Also, any recommendations as to whether we should rent a car? My understanding is that the resort will provide a lot of trips and such, but sometimes having one's own car can be beneficial. Our only issue is that actually we'd need to rent a mini-van to transport 7 people.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 03-29-2010, 06:14 PM   #8
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Hi, I hope it turns out great for you and your family and that you will come back after the trip is done and tell us how it worked out.

Our ship stopped in Huatulco, Acapulco and Cabo San Lucas as we made our way up from the Panama Canal.
Huatulco was interesting and less developed than either of the other ports. We had a very good tour there and it seemed to be safe.

We'd heard such bad things about Acapulco ahead of time that we elected to just get off our ship and onto a smaller boat for sightseeing.
The boat took us down along the coast and pointed out the homes of the stars of yesteryear. It was easy to see why so many celebrities chose to spend time there. It was lovely and the homes were spectacular. We saw the cliff divers from the water and then went back to our ship. The sightseeing boat crew was offering to take anyone who wanted to go - inti the town for shopping - for no additional charge. Few people decided to go.
Cabo San Lucas almost seems like you're home, but in a forced way. I wasn't impressed.
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Old 03-29-2010, 07:28 PM   #9
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This is from our Dept of State's website. They list many destinations, addressing crime:

Mazatlan: While the beach town of Mazatlan is a relatively safe place to visit, travelers should use common sense and exercise normal precautions when visiting an unfamiliar location. Avoid walking the streets alone after dark, when petty crimes are much more common. Beaches can have very strong undertows and rogue waves. Swimmers should obey warning signs placed along the beaches which indicate dangerous ocean conditions.

Rental cars in Mexico can be expensive and not extremely reliable, especially if you don't rent from a major car company. Think about what you would be using the car for, where you would be going and what the parking situation, especially the security, would be at your hotel/condo. A taxi, as needed, even two for your family, might be less expensive and just getting a car for the day here and there might be something to consider. We have driven in Mexico but it isn't anything like renting here in the US....unless you rent from Rent-A-Wreck
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Old 03-29-2010, 08:33 PM   #10
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I need to look up your property but Matzatlan is fine. You will reallly like the culture. I think a locale such as this is safe as long as you are alert, stay out of the countryside, etc. Same advice I would give anyone. I've done it all in Mexico. Caution and awareness of your surroundings is a given. Your experience should be memorable & w/ few hassles.
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