I’m surprised by how many people told me to stay near the hotels in Mexico. Resorts are beautiful, but you do not get the true feeling of a country on one. Always be cautious, but you can certainly journey off the resort. Just be aware of your surroundings and travel with someone you trust.
Not only is the experience likely to be more fulfilling, but guess what? It is also more affordable.
During our recent trip to Mexico, we did not stay at an all-inclusive and in my opinion they are over-priced for what you get and the quality of it. People find it hard to believe, but eating locally and spending time outside the resort is often more affordable than paying a set price at an all-inclusive.
During our resent stay in Puerto Vallarta/Nuevo Vallarta we spent all but one of our days outside the resort. And here is why:
1. Access to quiet and beautiful beaches: they also happen to be where locals are selling great food and beautiful goods to take home with you.
2. Local markets: there are local markets all over the place in Mexico. Rent a car or take a taxi and walk through them. You will find many at the side of the road with great fresh food! If a local market is not for you, go to a grocery store. We had many of our breakfasts for less than a few dollars by purchasing food in advance.
3. Local food: along the same line, you might think that the guacamole is good at the resort, but wait until you leave and taste authentic hand-made food. It is worth it, believe me. Tacos at a local spot in San Pancho, Mexico cost us less than $1!
4. Nightlife: it is amazing how vibrant the towns in Mexico become after sunset. The locals are out and so are all the vendors. It is really worth spending one evening out in a town. Stay in the busy areas and don’t wander off alone!
5. Wildlife: we discovered a turtle hatchery where we watched and learned about the catch and release program. We literally just stumbled across this walking around.
6. Adventures: all the fun stuff is outside your resort. Really! It is often more cost effective too. We met some locals that let us ride their horses on the beach for $10. We found an ATV tour for half the price by booking it outside the hotel. And we got a cheaper price renting skidoos by wandering down a beach.
Be smart, be careful and have fun!
What gems have you found off the resort?