I’m down in Bucerias, Mexico– just outside of Puerto Vallarta, for a week getaway. It was a cheap trip (flights around 350 after tax) and pretty last minute, booked just three weeks ago. We choose Bucerias, rather than Puerto Vallarta, for it’s kiting, as it has steady thermal winds that set in around noon and stay strong until the early evening. In short, this is far from an off the beaten path vacation. Puerto Vallarta must be one of the most trodden destinations in Mexico. Yet the 30 minute ride made all the difference. Here, we are in a quaint village, with cobblestone streets, and taco joints lining the main square. Locals mix with a trickle of tourists, but it is Spanish that is by far the most dominant language. The long beach is virtually deserted, and stretches for miles in either direction. It amazes me that choosing to stay even just ever-so-slightly outside of a tourism hub can have such an impact- though we can see Puerto Vallarta in the distance, this truly feels like a different world.
Our second good move: we traded the all-inclusive for a condo, booked by Airbnb. This means we can cook, and are not beholden to the all-inclusive gorge-fest. The condo is magnificent, with huge bay windows overlooking an infinity pool that sits directly in front a wide beach. It’s private, and blissfully quiet.
The appeal of the all inclusive (if there actually is one) is the convenience. But the convenience also comes the cost- the obnoxious crowd of glutinous riff-raff, the mediocre food, and crowded beach. It only takes the slightest bit of effort, and most minimal detour to achieve real holiday bliss.