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Nov 10, 2005, 7:42 PM

Post #1 of 5 (4246 views)


Pros-Cons Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo?

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Though we've lived and traveled quite a bit in Mexico over the last few years, we've never been to the West Coast. And since my wife wants to live on the beach, we are thinking about Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta and Manzallo. We're planning on going down for a vacation to check out these areas, but as far as a places to live for a year or two, I'd like to know what the people on this forum have to say about these locations and/or any hidden gems in the general vicinity.

Our requirements would be:
High-speed internet access for telecommuting
A reasonable cost of living
A beach house rental would be nice, but not essential
A good place for raising two kids, ages 11 and 7.

Thanks in advance,

Marlene / Moderator

Nov 11, 2005, 9:38 AM

Post #2 of 5 (4220 views)


Re: [waltw] Pros-Cons Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo?

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You will quite likely find the cost of living a little cheaper in the city of Mazatlan versus the other two, Puerto Vallarta and am assuming you mean Manzanillo. Beach house rentals in the resort cities are pretty rare especially in the "reasonable cost" category, but out of the cities you can find beach housing situations that may work. With children that age, being out of the city wouldn't be handy for school, friends birthday parties, etc. nor would it be that handy for shopping variety.

In Mazatlán you will still find reasonably priced homes within a few short blocks of the beach or seawall. You will also find an increasing array of cultural events and festivals taking place throughout the year. Visit each area and see how it feels to you and your family.


Nov 11, 2005, 10:37 AM

Post #3 of 5 (4213 views)


Re: [waltw] Pros-Cons Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo?

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I love Manzanillo, except it is too hot for me in the summer.

Here is a picture of Manzanillo from Google Earth with some notes by me.


The area marked as Good Beaches will have few, if any, beach front rentals. The Poor Beach area, especially the lower part called Las Brezas, often has rentals. I marked that area Poor because much of it is unsafe for swimming. But the beach is beautiful and it's a good place to watch the ships coming and going. Manzanillo is a busy commercial port.

Rolly Pirate

(This post was edited by Rolly on Nov 11, 2005, 10:39 AM)


Nov 11, 2005, 1:33 PM

Post #4 of 5 (4198 views)


Re: [Rolly] Pros-Cons Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo?

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As I'm sure most locals know, the Hotel La Posada at the south end of the area shown on Rolly's map as poor beaches - about 100 yards from the breakwater - is a great place to stay.

It is a special treat to wake up in the morning (not too early, about 7:00) to the cadance of the navy recruits/sailors as they do their exercises just outside ones room and then go in for swimming practice. The reason it is such a treat is that it reminds me of my military days a half century ago and I don't have to participate.

We considered Manzanillo, but people who had lived there and moved told us that, in addition to the heat and humidity, the salt air makes it mandatory to either have a very efficient domestic staff or to be constantly working to keep your home from falling apart. Also, the cruise ships make for super crowding whenever they are in port. The port area is rather small and a whole cruise ship full of tourists tends to snarl the whole downtown area.


Nov 12, 2005, 5:34 PM

Post #5 of 5 (4151 views)


Re: [waltw] Pros-Cons Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanillo?

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I have never actually lived in any of these areas, though I have driven the west coast highway 200 3 times now. It is a beautiful drive, a little scary when the road is only 20 feet wide, very curvy, and there is a 1000 foot drop to the ocean on one side and a cliff face on the other.
Anyways, I like PV or Manzanillo. Manzanillo doesn't seem to be too terribly gringo-ized yet, but I can see that happening sooner than later. PV is just really pretty and glizty. My husband's cousin lives there and we stayed a night with her on one of our trips. She lives in a nice neighboorhood which could have easily been anywhere else in Mexico (or even the US). They had running water 24/7 which is a big plus. I can't say what the cost of living is, I never asked her, but I would imagine that it is fairly higher than Manzanillo because of the big tourist industry. Where ever there are a lot of dollars floating around, the cost of living seems to be higher.
The area around both places is beautiful. Very exotic, jungle type greenery. And the views of the ocean from the hillside is awesome.
Another beach town on the west coast that I like is Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo which is in the state of Guerrero. It is about 4 hours up the coast from Acapulco. The two towns, Ixtapa and Zihuat, are very close to each other and seem to run together. Zihuat is the bigger of the two and is closer to the highway, while Ixtapa is mostly expensive resorts and white sand beaches. I have been there many times because they are the home to the closest international airport from where lived in Michoacan. We tend to stay out of the tourist areas and enjoy the smaller beaches of Zihuat. One of our favorite beaches is Playa Linda. Soft waves, not too crowded, just right for families. The people there are friendly and the area is beautiful. I have no idea how many gringos live there or what the cost of living would be. I can't imagine that it would be too outragous.
Do a "Google" search on Ixtapa, it pulls up some really good sites with lots of information and great pictures.

What happens down in Mexico...Stays in Mexico.
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