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Old 04-14-2008, 01:43 PM
 
3 posts, read 40,134 times
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My wife and I will be going on a vacation this summer. We've never been to Mexico, but have an opportunity for a great price on a trip to either Playa del Carmen or Los Cabos San Lucas. We're in our mid-twenties if that helps with your advice. We want to relax on a beach, eat good food, drink good drinks, maybe hit a club or two. We're not party animals though.

Any advice?
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Old 04-18-2008, 11:37 PM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,253,110 times
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Depends on where your going to be staying. I've been to both but to Cabo more and that is where our condo is. We LOVE CABO!

Playa - fly into Cancun and then travel about an hour away to your hotel/resort. Some are better than others. Cancun is VERY touristy and crowded. Playa is more of the old village. It can be VERY hot and VERY HUMID in Playa during the summer. There are some neat eco places to see outside of Playa. A few restaurants and bars in Playa and the cruise ships do come there. Not much for any "higher end" shopping though. The resorts that say they are in Playa are too far to walk and you will need to take a cab. You ARE a long way from the town and from Cancun.

Cabo - fly into San Jose del Cabo. Cabo San Lucas and San Jose are both neat towns. Cabo is about a 30-45 minute shuttle ride from the airport. I'll give you some tips on the airport below . They have a tollroad that some of the shuttles use to bypass the main part of San Jose. If you DO get to visit some of San Jose there are some great restaurants and art galleries. This is more the "artsy" type city of the two. If you can dine at Zipper's on the beach in San Jose (great burgers and such w/ a great and awesome setting). Between San Jose and Cabo is the "Hotel Corridor". This is where many resorts, private home enclaves and golf courses are located. If you stay out in one of these you will also need to take a cab or shuttle into the city. I've stayed at the Melia out here and it is ehhh (their all inclusive food was YUCK!!!! Avoid the all inclusive only places in the Cabo region). We stay at the Villa del Arco which can be w/in walking distance of some of the places in town as it is in the city. We tend to take a cab or rent a car. Driving here is NO BIG DEAL for Americans at all. Cabo is a great little city w/ plenty of people that speak English and you will find MANY Americans and Canadians that have moved down here full time or for half the year. I recommend staying on the Sea of Cortez side and not the Pacific Ocean side (on the Pacific side the hotels make you sign a waiver that you WILL NOT so much as step a foot in the water or they will kick you out. One of the local Canadians told us back in the Fall that they had already had about 7 people drown or go missing on the Pacific side). Don't let this scare you away though as Cabo is a GREAT PLACE. There are MANY great places to eat. Some of the BEST REAL Italian food we have had is in Cabo (go figure) at La Dolce. Romeo and Juliet's was also very good. Cabo Wabo is owned by Sammy Hagar and has some very good food and drinks. Stop in for lunch sometime and the go to the club one night as the house band is very good. We are in our 40's and it was still a fun place to hangout and chill. La Palapa is another VERY GOOD restaurant w/ a twist to the seafood they have. Ask what the specials are. The Lobster Rolls are to die for. The owner is always around and eager to please. Mi Casa is a good Mexican food restaurant. At the Villa del Arco they now have where you can purchase an "all inclusive" plan when you check in IF you want. If your going to be there for a few days and want to drink cokes, beer and mixed drinks out by the pool and have breakfast here and another meal or snack while out at the pool then it can be VERY worth it. Their food is also very good as they have 3 resorts in one and a trolley that takes you onsite around the properties (Villa del Arco, La Estancia and Villa del Palmar) w/ a great little grocery store and internet cafe over at Palmar and the all inclusive is good at all 3 places. You order off the regular menu so none of the buffet crap that is all that is served at some all inclusive places. Oh, The Office is located on Merdano Beach which is walkable and you are literally sitting ON THE BEACH w/ your feet in the sand ordering a hamburger and drink. There is a good sports bar we found as well that was fun to hang out at one afternoon. The marina is AWESOME w/ the boats that make Cabo their home. Fishing is a BIG THING HERE!!! We have done the fishing charters as well. There is a mall in Cabo that has a decent selection of shops and then you have the "higher end" shops all the way down to the open air markets in Cabo. No fear walking around here at all as a female either. I'd be happy to live there . It will be HOT here in the summer and you will NEED to wear a good sunscreen and apply it OFTEN! The summer is the only time we have gotten some pretty bad sunburns in Cabo but it is not humid like Playa is in the summer.

The airport in Cabo. Very small but VERY proficient airport. They have it DOWN here! Once you get thru customs and you go past the area where you push the red/green light and you are either cleared or they need to go thru your luggage real quick (and they ARE QUICK) you will exit thru some frosted sliding automatic doors. BEFORE you hit these doors this is what we do: Put on dark sunglasses so as not to make eye contact with ANYONE! Know where we are going thru the "shark pool" to the right or left. To the right and out those doors is if you have a pre-arranged shuttle to pick you up. To the left and out those doors is if you don't have a pre-arranged shuttle or need to visit the restroom. Once you hit those first doors you walk straight to where your going and out those doors. Don't talk to ANYONE! unless you MUST! As in your resort said to find their counter in this area and that IS IT! What is in this room I call the "shark pool" is all of the people that will try to get you to sign up to go visit time-shares. If you REALLY want to do that to get some free meals and vouchers then I guess it is fine. Otherwise skip it and get on with your vacation. It is a VERY SMALL area as the entire airport is small. So it is only about 25' that you will have to go from one door to the other and is not a big deal at all. Just kind of funny. Our friends down there tell us they probably think we are some celebrities when we go thru this area w/ our dark glasses on and walking w/ a purpose like we own the place. LOL!!!
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Old 04-19-2008, 12:56 AM
 
Location: Laguna Hills, CA
172 posts, read 717,947 times
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I say Cabo as well. Momof2fw is right about everything, especially the timeshare agents in the airport. Excellent food, relaxed atmoshphere, and nice people. I really enjoy Cabo.
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Old 04-19-2008, 01:02 AM
 
Location: southern california
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let you know next month when i get back.
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:29 AM
 
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My vote is for Playa del Carmen. I have'nt been to Cabo yet but personally I prefer the Carib waters any day to the Pacific. Lots of adventurous things to do there also (see ruins, secluded beaches, zipline rainforest) you get the picture. I'm sure Cabo is nice but it has to be way more crowded IMO.
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Old 04-19-2008, 09:43 AM
 
Location: The Big D
14,874 posts, read 37,253,110 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJHinDE View Post
My vote is for Playa del Carmen. I have'nt been to Cabo yet but personally I prefer the Carib waters any day to the Pacific. Lots of adventurous things to do there also (see ruins, secluded beaches, zipline rainforest) you get the picture. I'm sure Cabo is nice but it has to be way more crowded IMO.
Actually no, Cabo is not way more crowded at all compared to Playa and Cancun. Getting thru the airport in Cancun can be BRUTAL if more than one plane comes in at that time. The Cabo airport is efficient and awesome. Then the cities themselves. The beach in Playa IN the city is CROWDED! Not so in Cabo which in the downtown area is a marina so the beaches start on the edges of the city. Also, Cabo does not just have the Pacific Ocean it has the Sea of Cortez. The waters are BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!!!!!!! While Cabo does not have the rainforest (which I prefer the rainforests of Belize over those in Mexico personally ) it does have many other GREAT things to do. Fishing, ziplines, ATV rides/rentals, laying on the beach (yes, even many secluded beaches) or hanging out at the pool, visiting La Paz or Todas Santos (small quaint fishing villages). It is actually MUCH more relaxed in the Cabo area than in Playa. The atmosphere in Cabo is just different. You will see it attracts the wealthy residents of Mexico for their vacations as well as many wealthy Americans that want to come and just hang out and relax. In the Cabo area they have restricted where hotels can build along the coast so you won't find highrises upon highrises lined up.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:56 PM
 
Location: So. of Rosarito, Baja, Mexico
6,652 posts, read 18,673,644 times
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Momof2dFW: You are definetly my type of person. It is too bad that there are not more like you who have visited Mexico and explained the situations as they are. I have also talked on other posts about my stays/visits in different parts of Mexico and what to see of interest. You are correct about the airport and hotels etc. I spent time yrs ago in Cabo when it was a speck and also a few yrs back. I tried to give an accurate eye vision of what I saw and experienced so people could use their own judgement as to where to visit. Unfortunately some on C-D were giving a Negative (dirty) wiewpoint of Baja and some of its constituents. One place that I stayed/visited was Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. Just loved the place. The two areas are only 1 km apart. I loved the Zihuatanejo beach the best. Another thing, when eating breakfast at the hotels, ask for FRESH sqeezed ORANGE JUICE and not the frozen juice that they want to give you. It is generally kept in a large pitcher under the counter. You have to ask or else FROZEN juice. Very nice POST. Thankyou Stefhen (retired in Baja)
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Old 05-03-2008, 10:32 PM
 
Location: Philly
165 posts, read 762,478 times
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Playa is a fabulous village if you like boutique hotels, small shops and European/ Mexican and younger tourists. If you want to go to a big resort and be around mostly Americans and eat at chain restaurants - then Cabo or Cancun will suit you better. It just depends on your travel preference.

My parents LOVE Cabo. The can sit at the pool at the resort every day for a week and enjoy themselves (I don't know why they don't just stay in California). To me, however, Playa del Carmen is heaven on Earth.
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Old 05-04-2008, 06:53 PM
 
323 posts, read 1,905,858 times
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Well said viva....My vote is for Playa

Quote:
Originally Posted by VivaLaEvie View Post
Playa is a fabulous village if you like boutique hotels, small shops and European/ Mexican and younger tourists. If you want to go to a big resort and be around mostly Americans and eat at chain restaurants - then Cabo or Cancun will suit you better. It just depends on your travel preference.

My parents LOVE Cabo. The can sit at the pool at the resort every day for a week and enjoy themselves (I don't know why they don't just stay in California). To me, however, Playa del Carmen is heaven on Earth.
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Old 10-11-2012, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia
5,302 posts, read 8,093,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJHinDE View Post
My vote is for Playa del Carmen. I have'nt been to Cabo yet but personally I prefer the Carib waters any day to the Pacific. Lots of adventurous things to do there also (see ruins, secluded beaches, zipline rainforest) you get the picture. I'm sure Cabo is nice but it has to be way more crowded IMO.
I don't understand people's hatred of the Pacific. The water is clear and warm in Cabo San Lucas, plus, you don't get that terrible humidity of Cancun. The beaches are superior in Cabo.
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