This blog is a post about what I love and loathe about spring break to Puerto Vallarta Mexico
What I love about Puerto Vallarta spring break
*Its the best all inclusive spring break deal of all destinations for college students
For as little as 799 per student for Airfare taxes and 4 nights students can enjoy a beachfront hotel with all meals and drinks included in your stay. Please understand.. this is booking in august or september with 4 per room. Typically students book 5 nights and the price runs 999 to 1399 per person. Still...a real value
Here is the pool at the Holiday Inn in Puerto Vallarta. It's tourist grade, perfect quality for spring break packages, with 2 swim up bars and close to the nightclubs
*The service is outstanding
Unlike Cancun, Puerto Vallarta truly treats students like paying clients that matter. The drinks arent watered down, and while bottle service at clubs is a bit more expensive than some other destinations in Mexico -- you truly get what you pay for. Even the cabbies are very polite and social in Puerto Vallarta. It feels like everyone values tourists and wants you back. I feel very strongly about this
*The local people of Puerto Vallarta
When looking at booking a spring break trip most people never consider "well are the people friendly there?" Honestly if you go on a vacation somewhere and you have locals trying to rip you off or lying to you or being rude..while it doesnt matter when you book it greatly matters if you return. This fact is something many spring break destinations like panama city beach or south padre island dont get. College spring break tourists turn into family tourists of tomorrow.
*The clubs have more of a high end, Miami Beach kinda feel than cheesy club
Nearly every bar & club on the Malecon, the downtown strip of bars, restaurants, and shops has dozens of open air nightlife spots like Roo, Mandala, Zoo Bar & more not mention even Senor Frogs has completely cut out windows so it's really open at night. The weather is so fantastic which is...
Video of what Roo looks like. Not taken during spring break but gives you idea of the feel
The weather in March in Puerto Vallarta is near perfect for college spring break travel. Lows in the mid 70s and highs during the day mid to upper 80s. Sunny and just perfect.
*Proximity of the airport to the hotel zone and downtown nightlife
While Puerto Vallarta is a large destination, overall of almost any beach destination I've traveled to, the airport is conveniently located as to not disturb hotel guests, yet minutes away from Banderas Bay.
It's another aspect most people don't consider when they book a vacation. An example of this is Riviera Maya, 2 hours south of Cancun which I do adore....but......if you are flying for 10 hours, changing planes, customs, etc...in Puerto Vallarta you fly in, customs and bags is one hour, then 10 to 30 minutes later you are at your hotel unpacking. That's sweet on a short vacation
* Ratio of Guys to Girls
Look, this is spring break vacations we are talking about, and this matters....alot. No guy wants to go to a destination that is 2 to 1 guys to girls, Even the girls get a tad creeped out by getting hit on 99 times in one day, it's an annoyance. They call Cancun Mancun for a reason...it's in my visual estimation that there are 10 guys for every girl in cancun on spring break. Not 2 to 1. 10 to 1. Ouch.
Puerto Vallarta has a very even ratio of girls to guys, much like South Padre Island, Texas. The rest of the spring break destinations like Cancun or Panama City Beach are literally between 2 x's more dudes to 10 x's more guys. FYI
I really believe in terms of safety, there is no destination safer to tourists in Mexico than Puerto Vallarta. It's not too sleepy of a village where you couldn't find the police, and it's Ritzy enough with a Four Seasons and St. Regis in the Punta Mita area that hooligans are not put up with.
You have so many adults, retirees, from the US and Canada there, for US College Students there is always a friendly face.
*The Side Trip Excursions
Sure, Cancun has more. But nothing compares to the quality of the side trips that Vallarta Adventures is providing to anywhere in the world. From going to Las Caletas Beach, to sailing, to doing zip lining, Puerto Vallarta has a TON of first class things to do.
Las Caletas Beach. Honestly this video doesn't do the place justice, it is THAT beautiful there
What I loathe about Puerto Vallarta Spring Break
Why be negative Chad, come on man!
Ok so here is a video of Strana, one of the more incredible clubs that Puerto Vallarta has to offer...nothing negative to say about this place!
Well look. It's not being balanced to just telling you all the amazing stuff about Puerto Vallarta. Here is a quick list of things about Puerto Vallarta to improve:
1.) Customs processing takes 5x's longer than it needs to. This is all about staffing, and it's grossly understaffed. No tourist wants to fly for 10 hours to stand in an airport waiting for a guy to stamp his passport. It's ancient, it's ridiculous, and it's totally unneeded.
2.) Public transit sucks. The cabs & taxis are your only option in Puerto Vallarta, they are expensive, they pollute, and that part of PV sucks
3.) Speaking of traffic..thank GOD they finally closed the Malecon to cars, but literally the bustling downtown area is only going to get more and more snarled with traffic. For this reason, I like staying to the north in PV.
4.) The beaches in Banderas are really disappointing. Sure they are wide, but completely uninviting to swim in. It's a pool scene in Puerto Vallarta. In this regard, Cancun simply rocks PV.
5.) Very busy. I really wouldn't call any hotels near downtown very relaxing per se. They don't have that riviera maya feel or Ixtapa solitude....you walk out the front door and bam! 4 lane highways with tons of cars, cruise ships, and the like. It is very busy with tourists and has a tad, just a tad, of Acapulco feel I really can't stand.
6.) East coast price prohibitive. If you live nearly anywhere on the east coast, cancun or the riviera maya is going to run 25% cheaper.
7.) Crowds. If you are looking for some 5000 plus spring break crowds, you simply won't find it in Puerto Vallarta. It lacks the density of South Padre Island, Panama City, or Cancun to make parties truly go OFF the hook.
8.) Club pretentiousness. The "oh we are so cool you can't wear shorts God forbid you're not a Mexican National in long pants when it's 80 degrees outside." Give me a break. Tourists don't bring Bruno Mag shoes and "slacks' I mean what are we 50 year old creepy old guys? That dress code stuff is supposed to "class it up" but jesus, it's March, it's college spring break, it's nonsense and fake.
About the Author:
I have specifically been engaged in the marketing & sale of college spring break travel packages since 1993, and currently am the President of the Inertia Tours Inc. travel group, consisting of www.inertiatours,com, www.springbreakmafia.com, www.mazatlanexpress.com, www.graddays.com, www.collegeskipackages,com, www.greenpathways.com, & www.southpadretrips.com and still do in fact personally sell spring break trips. Call me 800 821 2176 or email me firstname.lastname@example.org