So you are now only deciding on what location within the Banderas Bay is best for your guests and your amazing fiesta: Puerto Vallarta or its Northern neighbor Bucerías. (See map below) What is best for your guests? Well let's get into it: Let's compare the towns themselves, their beaches, nightlife, outdoor adventures and overall safety. In order to really give you a micro view of these towns I want to defer the details to links you can check out. Many web sites go into details and give more pictures of the towns themselves and beaches. Also, this post is for you as a bride/groom and not just as a tourist. Click on the linked areas in you want more detailed information on the subject. OK so let's get started shall we.
Puerto Vallarta and Bucerías are equally amazing and culturally rich wonderful towns. Amazing colonial feel for both and nothing like the Cancun area that is more like Miami. Puerto Vallarta and Bucerías are old souls. Tourism came organically to our town via word of mouth and some movies that made it famous after the towns had already been here for decades. In contrast for example, Cancun and other resort areas are created to attract tourists. So if you like culture and "real Mexico" feel then Vallarta and Bucerías are very good choices. You will see real city town life, culture, shopping and night life. I think it is a tie here as far as what town is prettier or more interesting. Both towns are very colonial and typical Mexico beach towns. Bucerías is much smaller and has less traffic. But you are here to vacation and not commute so who cares, right!
Your guests like to party and chase girls and guys or dance all night to hip-hop and DJs? They want to go bars and dancing? Well then, Puerto Vallarta is the town for your wedding. Just like Bucerías is the winner for beach quality, PV is the victor regarding nightlife. No contest. "PV" has much more action and options for night life than "Buce". There are bonafide world class clubs and bars everywhere. You can sit on the Malecón (sea wall) area and find many bars that turn into dancing clubs or just go to straight up clubs. There are many options and all are within about 15 minutes from your hotel. A cab ride is about 10 bucks
However, I must say, for people over 40 it is a much closer call. Maybe even Bucerias can edge out Vallarta if you just want to find locals and want more secluded vibe. Bucerías is full of ex-pats with great little hole in the wall bars and restaurants. Not so much clubs, but more for mature adults who are not looking for a date and are more into enjoying the view and their friends and the person they went with to your wedding. It is like comparing downtown USA to a beach town in the USA. So, Bucerias may not be as hip for the young crowd but it has it all for those who just want to hang out and party and there is dancing for sure. Just not "club style". I always remind my couples that there guests are here for their wedding, if they want a stag party or girl trip to go clubbing they should do that another time anyway. You do not need a bad experience or a fight the night before your wedding right?
As far are outdoor adventures and tours, they are both about the same. Both are within less than 30 minutes from any site seeing tours and boat rides across the bay. If you are a bit more South of Vallarta proper you may have some nice snorkeling areas. But then again, if you are a bit more North of Bucerías you will have the same and also surfing. So I think this is a tie. Both towns are within driving distance to any tour in the bay. Puerto Vallarta may have a bit more organic entertainment because all you have to do is walk down to the beach or Malecón and people watch, and Bucerías is more secluded and less rowdy and populated.
For me both towns are safe. I just think the more temptations there are, the more trouble can occur for a young inexperienced guest. Or a drinking night gone bad. So I think Bucerías would probably be a safer choice for a large group simply because there are less variables. Unless everyone is just going to hang out in the hotel
Visit www.martoca.com for free wedding advice in Mexico or Vallarta area. We specialize in private venues. No hotel weddings here :). We like privacy and originality and not corporate
scenarios. Gracias- James