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Mexico

Vacation in Mexico

Vacation in Mexico

Postby Graeme » Sat 4 May 2013 16:13 GMT

I'm off to Mexico today for a short vacation in Puerto Vallarta, I hope to write up a little report on my return. Granted Puerto Vallarta is just one little place in a huge country but if all goes well I might try a few other places in Mexico over the next couple of years.
Hasta la vista
Graeme
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Postby Dave » Mon 6 May 2013 04:09 GMT

Have a great time, Graeme! :-D
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Postby Graeme » Sat 11 May 2013 17:52 GMT

Hola! Buenos dias amigos.
Returning refreshed from a quick trip to Mexico I thought I'd write a couple of lines about my brief experience in Puerto Vallarta. We stayed at an all inclusive 4 1/2 star resort which is probably the best way to stay in a Mexican resort town. The food was great and plentiful, the drink even more plentiful and included. The hotel had it's own beach which was great, fine sand and mild waves. Getting out of the hotel and even back in was like crossing through checkpoint charlie in the 70's. I guess they have had some issues with bandits robbing bus loads of tourists and they try to keep the vendors away from the hotel where they can bother the visitors. My hotel (Dreams Puerto Vallarta) with its secluded beach and strong security meant that we were only bugged by the hotel approved vendors, but there were more than enough of them selling everything from blankets to silver, carved animals to para-sailing rides (I have to admit to trying the para-sailing). We did take a trip into down town 'old town' Puerto Vallarta where every step is echoed with calls for 'buy this', 'buy that' ''try my tequila' and 'eat here'. This cajoling soon becomes a background murmur and it ceases to be an irritant. Harder to take is the look of abject disappointment if you stop to look and don't buy, followed by 'why you no buy?' ''please signor I have babies to buy food for' etc. There are a few beggars about but at least they have their hands out and you have no doubt about their mission. It looks to be a rough place and I don't think I'd be venturing out at night into the down town core unless I had a couple of tough friends with me. The best bet is to stay on the resort hotels (and there are an awful lot of them) and maybe trip from one resort to another via sanctioned travel if you need to. It can be a relaxing holiday if you want it to be but there seem to be many areas where you could come a cropper if you don't have your wits about you.
Would I go back? Yes, no doubt but I would stick to the all inclusive resorts and just lie back and enjoy the sun, food and drink but not necessarily in that order. :D :drink:
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Postby Dave » Sun 12 May 2013 11:07 GMT

Good to have you back safely with us, Graeme! Funny (except it isn't really), but when you said you were going to Mexico I didn't even think about the law and order problems. Now that you mention them, it suddenly sounds like a bit of a scary place - certainly compared to most places I've been to in Asia.
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Postby Graeme » Mon 13 May 2013 15:38 GMT

Security has to be a major consideration when planning a trip to Mexico. The people are poorly paid and only a few are educated to beyond a high school diploma it seems. The average wage for areas like Puerto Vallarta and indeed most resort towns is a paltry $5.00 a day (yes, a day) while most people in the USA and Canada are on a minimum wage of close to $10.00 an hour. That huge disparity makes for a large wage gap and a resulting us and them scenario. The Mexicans live in poverty for the most part and seeing all that wealth on display in the resorts must be difficult for them. I can understand the drive to get some of that money by hook or by crook and maybe that explains all the scams, banditry and plain robbery that goes on in Mexico. The drug trade is huge as it offers some people a good living, they regard other people as worthless pawns to move or dispose of as they see fit and so you have to be very careful to stay well away from areas known as drug areas. The police are paid as badly as the rest of the populace and apparently corruption is rife, they may be no help when it comes to the crunch.
I hate to paint a negative picture of a Mexican resort as they rely so much on tourism dollars to make their world go round, but you do need to keep your wits about you and your eyes wide open. :shock:
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Postby Kay » Thu 16 May 2013 12:07 GMT

Hi Graeme. Thanks for such interesting posts on the subject. I'm sure our members will find them useful.

They would also make a great article on the main site if you don't mind me using your info on there as well.

Thanks!
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Postby Graeme » Thu 16 May 2013 14:57 GMT

As always Kay, feel free to use whatever you want. :D
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Postby Graeme » Tue 21 May 2013 03:01 GMT

As if to prove a point, the Canadian news is full of reports about 2 Canadian males being kidnapped in Puerto Vallarta on May 8th (while I was in Puerto Vallarta) and haven't been heard from since. I think there might be more to the story such as they may have owed money to people who you really shouldn't owe money too, and they may have passed up on a business opportunity with some similar people which would have cost them most of their profits. Got to be careful who you talk to and make deals with, under duress or not.
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Puerto Vallarta

Postby Jaliscot » Mon 29 Jul 2013 05:05 GMT

I'm not sure how you managed to come to some of the conclusions above Graeme. I've never had an issue in many years living in Puerto Vallarta nor have I seen or heard of much in the way of problems.
The odd mugging, a few incidents related to the usual things that go on all over the world.
Dreams is a decent hotel but it's out of town, ok for honeymooners.
I don't know where you got the wages example from either, sure there's a few skint folks but not an awful lot worse off than a UK council tenant in the grand scheme of things. There's few if any working for $5 a day. Even the occasional old dear you see begging with a few kids by her side is probably good for $50 a day.
The biggest problem seems to be those from North America expecting a USDA approved fillet steak and a bottle of French red for $5.
Puerto Vallarta is well worth a visit for anybody, most people revisit pretty quickly!
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Postby Graeme » Mon 29 Jul 2013 14:03 GMT

my wife obtained the wages from a google page, there doesn't seem much of a reason to disagree with it as it was relatively recent. I saw quite a lot of poverty, certainly not as poor as some third world countries but poorer than the USA and Canada by quite some way.
I agree the expectations of some of the guests was ridiculous (the majority were Americans)and they didn't seem to mitigate with time. Unfortunately the Canadian who was kidnapped in May has not since re-surfaced and is likely deceased. The cruise ship passengers who were robbed are most likely over their shock and insurance covered their losses but they don't get their pictures, rings, wallets etc back. I would certainly revisit, I'd even stay at Dreams again I'd just encourage visitors to keep their eyes open and their wits about them. Maybe even tip a bunch more and share some wealth. Ya got to remember this was my impression of what I saw and experienced, it may not be the same as yours.
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Puerto Vallarta

Postby Jaliscot » Mon 29 Jul 2013 17:27 GMT

It'd be boring if everybody had the same opinion on everywhere they go, our opinions on the place are different to yours and that's normal. Puerto Vallarta isn't a perfect place, far from it.
The Canadian guy who vanished in May was heavily involved in illegal martial arts fights, it's unlikely he didn't know what he was getting into.
The cruise ship folks who were unfortunate enough to be robbed by the teeny bandits got their things back although I'm sure they were shaken and probably put off the place.
On the surface I suppose it looks poor, as does Detroit ;)
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Postby Graeme » Mon 29 Jul 2013 19:22 GMT

I'm not sure I'd take a vacation to Detroit, but I do hope to visit Puerto Vallarta again next year if all goes well. Thanks for your comments, it's good to get another perspective on a vacation destination.
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