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Mark & Lyndon's Puerto Vallarta tips

By Guest
Posts: 5

Posted on: November 17, 2008 at 11:11PM

Customs and beyond: Going through customs is like other Mexican airports. Press a button and if you get a green light you sail through, if the light is red you go over to a table and have everything searched. When you exit customs you are immediately greeted (hounded!) by people who try to get out of you where you are going. They will pretend to be your ride and may swoop you off to a timeshare scam. Our best advice is to definitely make travel arrangements prior and know if someone is expecting you that they have a placard with your name or their company name on it. Those individuals are to the immediate right when you exit the customs door. Pesos -vs- dollars: Best advice is to convert your dollars into pesos at the ATM's for best rate. Find out which banks are affiliated with your local bank and try to seek out those banks to use ATM's. We consistently read that this is the best conversion rates given. We also read consistently that it's always best to use and pay with local currency. It saves the local person time from having to stand in line to convert a few dollars and it's the courteous thing to do. Timeshare and 'vacation club' people: I cannot say enough about these folks. They are disguised as your souvineer sales persons, restaurant waitstaff, people on the street. Our advice is to so searches on other travel sites or google on the subject to learn how they operate because they are everywhere and honestly, our trip was degraded because of it. When you walk down the street you simply cannot look anyone in the eye. You simply cannot try to carry on a conversation with anyone in fear of it turning into a relentless timeshare pitch or a restaurant 'referrel'. One example... during shopping for local indian art the sales person was very talkative and asked us if we liked italian food and was recommending an Italian restaurant. Later, when we were wrapping up our sale and the 'manager' accompanied the sales person with this, he started in on a relentless timeshare pitch but happened to mention that our salesperson had two jobs, his other job was at an italian restaurant nearby. Another example, walking on the street, one of the timeshare folks will say 'Senior, remember me?" He tries to disguise himself as someone you met or talked to at a restaurant, or bar, etc. This type of stuff happened way too many times on such a short of trip as ours. Unfortunately, near the end of the trip, we were always suspicious of anyone that approached us or made eye contact with us. Beach vendors: Again, it's one thing if a beach vendor stops by occasionally but they were as relentless as the timeshare folks. We literally had 5-8 of them within 5 minutes many times. Even if you try to nap they will try to get your attention and subtly awaken you only for you to have told them no time and time before. Again, this part really degraded our experience on the beach. You just can't truly relax without the constant bombardment of vendors. This is where staying at an all-in-one resort might be better, assuming it's confined/restricted to this stuff. If I had a dollar for every time I said "no senior"... The Malecon: This is a "do not miss" and you can walk it nightly (7 or after) to see different vendors or art on display. It is a one mile stretch of 'boardwalk' along the ocean near central downtown. The timeshare folks didn't seem to bother us as much here for some reason. Nightly lightning show: We experienced it one night only but around 9pm'ish' there is usually a thunderstorm. If you're lucky enough to see one over the bay and you have an oceanfront room, it is a wonderful way to fall asleep hearing the waves and seeing the lightning show. Street food: We heard it was generally very safe, very good and very inexpensive. Right on all three counts! Many small stands near the main market are busy and deservingly so! report a problem

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