When I hear let’s take a trip to Mexico I instantly think yes! Let’s go to Cancun! I love those sugar white sands as clear blue water. However when you’re not paying for it you don’t really get much of a say.
A company I’ve partnered with offers a free all inclusive vacation every year to a 5 star resort. 2 years, since I’ve been with the company have been Cancun. The other two that I’ve conveniently qualified for were a cruise and to Puerto Vallarta. I’m not complaining AT ALL. This was a 100% free vacation so let’s just be clear. I’m very grateful. I did pout a little when they announced we weren’t going to Cancun. But hey! It’s free and I’m all about trying new places. So here are my thoughts and what I’m comparing it to. In Cancun I stayed at the Riu Palace Las America’s a 4-5 star resort. In Puerto Vallarta I stayed at the Grand Fiesta Americana another 4-5 star resort.
Let’s start upon arrival. Puerto Vallarta airport serves mini margaritas to welcome you. Cancun did not. So PV won the arrival award. The scenic route to the resorts. PV was absolutely gorgeous with mountains. Cancun was more of a run down city. PV wins scenic route. Arrival at resorts. Both were very welcoming and friendly. The room in Cancun was larger than PV but PV was a much newer more modern resort. On the upside in Cancun you could go to the resort directly next door the Riu Cancun and enjoy all their amenities plus food and drinks. So for me the resort award is a coin toss.
Moving on to a very important topic. For me at least, the beach and ocean. Like I said above I love Cancun’s soft white sands and gorgeous clear water. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect in Puerto Vallarta. Upon arrival in PV I’d learned that many resorts there didn’t have a beach but ours did. Thank goodness because I think I would have cried! However the beach didn’t end up being where I spent all my time like one would have guessed. The beach in PV was very rocky. It was tolerable but not for 4 days straight. The water was clear but appeared much darker. Lots of jellyfish and sea urchins too. So when you break it down by the beach and ocean Cancun still is at the top of my list beating out some spots in the Caribbean too!
Ok moving on to the scenery. When I first arrived in Cancun I thought it was beyond beautiful. The rocks, the water, all of it. I still do. But there is something magical about seeing the mountains in the distance. It’s like the two things on this planet that make you feel so small are in the same place and it’s incredible. I personally would choose the view in Puerto Vallarta over Cancun.
Another important part to consider.. The food!! As far as variety goes Riu Palace in Cancun had way more to offer. Different foods at different restaurants and different buffets. You could always find something that sounded good to eat. In PV there were options but not quite as much variety. Both resorts had great food but my taste buds were ready for a big American style burger and fries upon my arrival back to U.S. soil.
So would I go back to either? Yes! It would just depend which one I was in the mood for. Pool and views or beach and surf. I’d love to hear your thoughts too! As always happy travels!