If you are in the western half of the United States or Canada then your cheapest all-inclusive vacation options, by far, are along the Pacific coast of Mexico. Anything in the United States, including Hawaii, will be far more expensive, and flying to Central or South America will add too much to the cost of a trip.
The trendy spot right now is Los Cabos, which is a fine place in its own right, but if you are interested in the country of Mexico at all you’ll want to think about visiting Puerto Vallarta instead. Here’s why.
Puerto Vallarta is the real Mexico
As nice as Baja California is, it’s barely populated and its citizens are barely thought of as Mexican. It’s more exotic than San Diego, but not by much. Mazatlan isn’t really much of a town at all while Acapulco has had some safety problems, so Puerto Vallarta is the perfect place.
If you are flying a couple thousand miles it would be a horrible shame to check into your hotel and never leave for the entire week, even if it is an all-inclusive resort. You’ll want to do a bit of shopping and look around at what the place is like or you might as well have stayed home, and Puerto Vallarta has a lovely and very safe old town center just a 10-minute taxi ride from the main resort strip. It’s even worth skipping a free lunch at your resort to try something a bit more authentic (for a very low price) in PV itself.
The airport couldn’t be closer to the resorts
If you are going for a long weekend trip it can be frustrating to fly into a town only to realize that you have a 60-minute shuttle ride to your hotel and the shuttle doesn’t leave for an hour. In Puerto Vallarta, however, the airport is just between the main resort strip and the town center, so once you grab your luggage you can hop in a 10-minute or less taxi ride and be sitting by the pool only a few minutes later.
Puerto Vallarta has great choices in many price ranges
Being a more established destination, Puerto Vallarta caters to all price ranges, so you’ll find everything from a 1-star hotel in town to a 5-star resort with a private beach to even an eco resort with overwater bungalows just south of the city. There are also fantastic tequila distilleries all over so you’ll have chances to taste the very best stuff made, which is far better than you can imagine if you primarily have had Cuervo Gold your whole life.
Puerto Vallarta has cheap flights
Another great thing about going to a larger and more established resort area like this is that it’s served by many airlines, both Mexican and foreign, so there are often fare sales that make it cheaper than even Cabo San Lucas, and the flight is only a few minutes longer as well.