Jump to content
Cruise Critic Community
LunaL

Best of Puerto Vallarta Tour vs PV City Highlights Tour

Recommended Posts

Can you please share your experience with Best of PV tour and PV City Highlights tour? They are the same price, but Best of PV is one hour longer. Which tour do you recommend?

 

If you booked these tours at the PV port with the outside vendor, how much did you pay? I have to decide if I should book a tour through the cruise or on my own.  Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you post the itinerary details of those tours?  We live in PV (10 weeks a year) and I am sure that Ina (another PV resident) is also around :).  With the details we should be able to give you some advice.  I am also wondering if you have considered just going off on your own in PV?  It is a very tourist-friendly city and generally easy to do on one's own if you are looking for a basic overview, shopping, eating, and drinking.  Not sure we would recommend booking a tour at the port.  Most of the best tour companies are best booked in advance (online).  With decent outside vendors what you pay will really depend on what you want to do, how long you want to do it, and the group size.  If you have a small group of 4-8 it will obviously cost less then doing the same thing (with a tour guide) for 2.  Going off on your own will be the least costly option.  We can also recommend an excellent local tour provider that can take you on a set itinerary...or customize an itinerary to your own specifications.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you, Hank. My husband just told me that it would be better if we don't do the excursion with the cruise. Can you please recommend a few local tour providers to me? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, LunaL said:

Thank you, Hank. My husband just told me that it would be better if we don't do the excursion with the cruise. Can you please recommend a few local tour providers to me? 

I am only going to recommend one company because we have used them ourselves and know their owner is very reputable.  The company is called Superior Tours Vallarta (Superiortoursvallarta.com) and you can e-mail or even call those folks (during regular business hours).  All their office staff that we have met speak excellent English.   

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Hlitner said:

I am only going to recommend one company because we have used them ourselves and know their owner is very reputable.  The company is called Superior Tours Vallarta (Superiortoursvallarta.com) and you can e-mail or even call those folks (during regular business hours).  All their office staff that we have met speak excellent English.   

 

Hank

Thank you so much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They are fully booked 😞 Is there other vendors you can recommend?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, LunaL said:

They are fully booked 😞 Is there other vendors you can recommend?

Argh!  I do know of others but do not have enough first-hand info to make a recommendation.  Perhaps Ine or another poster who has a lot of personal knowledge might jump in.   Keep in mind that if you simply want to go into town (known as Centro and the adjacent Old Town) there is little need for a guide.  Walking the city involves over 1 mile of strolling (over the entire day) in an area that is very safe and full of shops, vendors and restaurants.  If you want to expand your "touring" beyond downtown to a place such as the Botanical Gardens this can also be done on your own via taxis or Uber to get out to the more distant places (i.e. Botanical Gardens).   I know that some folks are reluctant to do their own thing because of concerns about their personal safety and language barrier.  There really is no safety issue (except an occasional pick-pocket) in the city or the entire area between the port and the city.  In fact, when I live in PV I will often be out exercising (long walks) by 5:30am (when it is still dark) and walk all the way from the Old Town out past the Port (about 4 miles).  As to the language issue, in PV you will find that most of the local Mexicans speak some English and many are fluent.  Every restaurant and shop are used to handling English.   During the high season there are likely more then 30,000 Americans/Canadians in the PV region (Bay of Banderas).  There are also some decent web sites (maintained by expats) which review restaurants, street vendors, etc.  You can also use US Dollars (or credit cards) for most purchases, although using Pesos will generally get you a better price...and you do need Pesos if you want to use the buses.

 

Hank

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Hlitner said:

Argh!  I do know of others but do not have enough first-hand info to make a recommendation.  Perhaps Ine or another poster who has a lot of personal knowledge might jump in.   Keep in mind that if you simply want to go into town (known as Centro and the adjacent Old Town) there is little need for a guide.  Walking the city involves over 1 mile of strolling (over the entire day) in an area that is very safe and full of shops, vendors and restaurants.  If you want to expand your "touring" beyond downtown to a place such as the Botanical Gardens this can also be done on your own via taxis or Uber to get out to the more distant places (i.e. Botanical Gardens).   I know that some folks are reluctant to do their own thing because of concerns about their personal safety and language barrier.  There really is no safety issue (except an occasional pick-pocket) in the city or the entire area between the port and the city.  In fact, when I live in PV I will often be out exercising (long walks) by 5:30am (when it is still dark) and walk all the way from the Old Town out past the Port (about 4 miles).  As to the language issue, in PV you will find that most of the local Mexicans speak some English and many are fluent.  Every restaurant and shop are used to handling English.  Also consider that across the road from the Port there is a shopping center with a Walmart Superstore (there is another Walmart Superstore about 1 mile away) and Sam's.  We also have a Costco, Home Depot, Office Max, etc.  During the high season there are likely more then 50,000 Americans/Canadians in the PV region (Bay of Banderas).  There are also some decent web sites (maintained by expats) which review restaurants, street vendors, etc.  You can also use US Dollars (or credit cards) for most purchases, although using Pesos will generally get you a better price...and you do need Pesos if you want to use the buses.

 

Hank

Thank you again, much appreciated! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In March 2018 my husband and I did a walking tour of the old town with Sandra of Puerto Vallarta Walking Tours.  We had read about her on TripAdvisor and she gets great reviews.  We had to email her in advance of our cruise to book a date, and then arranged our own transportation to meet her near the plaza.  We were fortunate to share a van with others heading to the Malecon.  The tour was just ourselves and Sandra, which was great compared to some of the large groups threading their way through the streets, and lasted maybe 3 hours.  Sorry, I forget the cost but it was less than the ship's excursion.  We highly recommend Sandra's tour.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Tour with Roberto --- check him out on Trip Advisor.  We did 3 days of tours with him & he was fantastic!  Canadian who has lived in PV for years, professional, personable, reasonable rates.  Only downside is that you'd have to walk across the street to meet up with him -- laws prohibit him from picking up at the pier.

Edited by 57redbird
more info

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do NOT know about the specific excursions you are considering.

 

I took a ship's excursion tour of PV on my first visit (about 30 years ago).  I have not taken a city tour excursion in PV after that first one.  What I liked was:

 

(1) the tour guide's spiel, telling us about Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton and the history of the city, Mother Mary's visitation of 15__, the fauna and flora, …; and

 

(2) the bus tour helped us figure out what there was and where it was (not much  internet in those days, no Google Earth, …), pointing out the resort areas.  

 

I wasn't impressed with the lunch and free drink that was included, in some hotel/ restaurant/ bar with a scenic overlook, and the forced souvenir stops.

 

If you do the tour with Sandra that Love Blue mentioned, she was not "fortunate" to find a van that was going to the Malecon.  Every cruise, there are a large number of vans at the pier waiting to bring the tourists to the Malecon for $4 per person.  So finding such a van is a foregone conclusion, not a matter of luck! 

 

You can save more than $3.00 per person by taking the local bus (if you have peso coins), but I wouldn't pinch those pennies.  Just grab the van for your first visit, so you don't have to worry about "is this the right bus?", "where do I get off?" etc.  I've taken a lot of public buses, and even in my own hometown, I am a little bit anxious about keeping track of where the bus is, and where my stop is!  In a foreign county, to save $3, it is not worth the stress!!

 

Your tour guide can show you where to take the bus back to the pier, and what the bus sign will say, and can make sure you have some 10 peso coins!!  And coming back, you will see the Liverpool mall where you get off the bus!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Forum Jump
    • Categories
      • 2019 Cruisers' Choice Awards
      • Forum Assistance
      • New Cruisers
      • Cruise Lines “A – O”
      • Cruise Lines “P – Z”
      • River Cruising
      • ROLL CALLS
      • Digital Photography & Cruise Technology
      • Member Cruise Reviews
      • Special Interest Cruising
      • Cruise Discussion Topics
      • UK Cruising
      • Australia & New Zealand Cruisers
      • North American Homeports
      • Ports of Call
      • Cruise Conversations
×
×
  • Create New...