Vallarta is Intensely Personal: Some Love Romantica, Others Love Vidanta…and Cirque

by Ron Morgan Properties

In a world of Tripadvisor, online reviews and rating systems, Vallarta can be one tough subject to review – or discuss for that matter.

Its dynamism is broad in terms of offerings, style, and substance. And visitor expectations run the gamut also. (precisely why 5-star hoteliers are frustrated that a cheap hostel might achieve a 4-out-of-5 rating – but that’s another story for another day)

No, Vallarta is not as easy to rate as a sandwich. “The bread was fresh, there was mayo and lettuce, and the meat was fine. An enthusiastic 4 out of 5!”

Writer Ethan Wolf-Mann of Time Magazine, in his article about writing reviews, put it best: 

“Much in the same way that it’s impossible for a parent to know if their child’s C grade is average or the worst in the class, it’s hard to tell what a certain online ratings really says about quality, especially when everyone rates differently”

“Everyone rates differently”.  Ain’t that the truth?

Consider the authentic and adorable Mexican town of El Pitillal. Not likely a popular bucket list item, if at all. Then again, with all due respect, nor is a 5-star resort like Vidanta for that matter.

Two entirely different planets yet both receive high recommendations as places to experience – at least once or twice.

The point is our love affair with Vallarta is as intensely personal as music, movies, fashion and art.

Everyone has their favorite.

Puerto vs Nuevo: Which is Your Version of Mexico?

Nowhere does personal bias and intensity ratchet up higher than when expats are asked to opine on, or defend, their turf, be it Old Vallarta or New.  (Expats are particularly passionate about their version of paradise).

Case in point. There’s a popular members-only Facebook page, Puerto Vallarta: Everything You Need or Want to Know , where passionate exchanges are a daily ritual.

It’s an insider’s p.o.v. with tips on hard-to-find-items, local repair shops, visa advice, schools, real estate, restaurants and doctor recommendations. Oh, and things to see and do. You name it, it’s discussed. And the moderator is always on task.

“Hey, people, Is there anything to do in Puerto Vallarta?”

Recently, a member* asked the following: “Is there anything to do in Puerto Vallarta?”  (the question was submitted by a visitor at a Nuevo Vallarta resort ‘lazing around the pool with his friends, looking for something to do”)

Naturally the responses – not to mention bewilderment over the question from those who live downtown – came fast and some, furious.

You could feel the subtext oozing from beneath the answers as if to say “of course there’s lot’s to do, you ninny! That’s why we live in Puerto, not in Nuevo!”

So it goes. Passions run deep.

And the interesting footnote on the Puerto vs Nuevo discussion is this: more than half of all visitors landing at Licenciado Gustavo Díaz Ordaz Airport last year headed north to Nuevo, Riviera Nayarit and beyond. The majority of all arrivals.  And those numbers are growing.

Once Cirque Du Soleil arrives – or so they say – there may be a mini boom out there that rivals the one in Zona Romantica.  And opinions will fly.

So, the next time someone asks you for your take on Vallarta, you might be wise to simply say, “Mexico is an intensely personal thing. There’s something for everyone… including El Pitillal, Romantica, Vidanta…and yes, Cirque.”




  • Check Out Our May-Oct 2022 Edition

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • On Key

    Related Posts