Subject: Re: Which part of Mexico
Hola Louise! My choice would be Puerto Vallarta but I can only compare it to Cancun as we haven't been to Cabo. Cancun was developed strictly as a tourist destination and in my biased opinion, tends to be very commercial, with expensive Americanized restaurants and a mecca for the traveller who frequents multi-million dallar discos. The beaches are lovely, particularly to the south but in town, from descriptions of a dear ex-pat Aussie friend, a poor substitute for Bondi in silly season! That said, a trip to the ruins at Tulum are definitely worth doing on a daytrip.

I like Vallarta, because it's still quaint, historic, relatively inexpensive, genuine and caters to a wide age group, who like to get out and search for glimpses of authentic Mexican lifestyle. All of the nice luxury service amentities are there, including wonderful gourmet restaurants, but on the cobblestoned back streets you may see a burro being used for transport and you with luck, could hear roosters crowing in the distance in the morning. After your feet are sore from walking the back streets and peering there are lots of opportunities for daytrips .. we ran the gamut years ago, so can't give you any recent recommendations other than to avoid anything offered free or 'the best deal in town (e.g. breakfasts, boat tours, car rentals etc.) The timeshare business is very active!!

Our favourite hotel is probably the Fiesta Americana, with the Westin coming a very close second. Both are class acts. The FA is a short bus ride, or energetic walk, from downtown and is rather the grande dame of the hotel strip .. a quiet, casually elegant oasis after a day of exploring.. well designed and maintained with all rooms having oceanview balconies. The Westin is a bit further out in the marina area. It's a large luxury property with glorious grounds and pool area and but because of it's size and clientele perhaps a tad more pretentious. There is a myriad of choices as to accommodations, we just tend to simplify by returning to 'tried and true'.

As to restaurants .. if you do a search, Pat B. and I were salivating over the culinary delights of PV last month .. look at the one re: car rental as well as restaurant recommendations.

Happy trails! Anne Burlington ON