A friend and I want to fly down to Mexico while we are in the U.S part of our round the world ticket. We want to go somewhere the sun is shining and the beaches are gorgeous and where there is always something to do night & day - like to party a bit but also love to relax. We are 21 & 23 y/o females. We will be at the end of our trip so we need somewhere that is relatively cheap. We will have about a week down there. So any recommendations would be appreciated.
Best place from east coast cities or Texas is Cancun. Best places from west coast cities are Cabo San Lucas or Puerto Vallarta.
Be sure to get a package tour (air and hotel) for best rates. For cheaper places in Cancun, go south of town to the Mexican east riviera and stay in the Playa del Carmen area, or go north off the coast to the island of Isla Mujeres.
In Cabo, stay at a smaller place in town for cheap rates. In Puerto Vallarta, check out the package rates through places like Suntours, or the hotel chains, expedia or travelocity or the Mexican vacation packagers. (these are on various websites).
One last comment--there is a chain called Barcelo in Cancun, and there are many small hotels in Puerto Vallarta that run much less if you book direct. I haven't stayed at these places, though, so I can't vouch for how good they are.
Lastly, check out the other threads on Mexico--lots of suggestions are on previous threads on Mexico.
I should also mention that most of the nightlife in Cancun is in the hotel district--so if that is what is most important to you, find a cheaper place in that area--then go to the dance spots (Senor Frog's comes to mind) and party like there's no tomorrow--you'll have a blast.
All of the spots I mentioned are BIG Spring Break spots--so keep this in mind when planning your trip, since the prices go up significantly at that time (thought the party is the largest anyplace except Rio de Janeiro at Carnaval time).
Wish I was young again.
Thanks so much for your pointers. Just a couple of questions from what you told me.
We are going in sept/oct...so I guess that isn't spring break time? But what would the weather be like during this time?
And which out of the three places is more fun? Cheapest? And the nicest?
Well, Sept/Oct is a bit slower than the other periods of the year. Generally USA/Canadian citizens vacation during the summer (June-August), at Thanksgiving (Nov), Christmas (late Dec), mid-February (President's Day holiday), and (March or April) spring break.
Having said that, all of these places are fairly busy--with Cancun and Puerto Vallarta being busier than Cabo. I would suggest you go to one of these two places unless you plan to go in real late October or early November. Then I would suggest you go to Cabo. The reason for this is that November is hurricane season and Cancun has been known to get hit by hurricanes--and Puerto Vallarta gets storms this time of year.
The most fun place. I guess I would say Cancun for year-round fun, but like I said, Puerto Vallarta is great, too. And Acapulco gets really busy during the Christmas break--and actually has one of the single best spots to stay for honeymooners (Westin Las Brisas--where most rooms have their own swimming pools). (The other is Palmilla Resort in Cabo--where lots of hollywood stars like to go to in November (Brad Pitt went here with Jennifer Aniston twice before their breakup). However, Cabo's really kind of too hot in the months of July, August, and September.
Cheapest place would probably be some out-of-the-way spot, or smaller hotel still on the beach in Puerto Vallarta. It's cheaper to get around in Cancun, though, than in Puerto Vallarta--since the buses are cheap, and go where you need them, too--while in PV you need to take a taxi to get downtown--although then you can take the bus to the areas south of town for a very cheap price.
One last note--everyone of these places (and lots of places on the street) will try to trick you into signing up for a "tour" of a "new" resort--often in exchange for free tickets to certain events. All these are is a chance for them to try to pressure you into buying a timeshare. Thank them politely, but don't sign up for any of these--they will eat up your time, and ruin an otherwise fabulous trip.
The rainy season in the Easter part of the country
the Mexican Caribbean (Cancun, Riviera Maya, Playa del Carmen, Etc.,) starts Mid July Ends Mid October,
the cheapest fares you will find, therefore, will be starting September until November, late November,
Springbreak starts Mid March, and it is completely over by April time (thank God...)
the cheapest places without a package will be Acapulco, ( you can check at sectur.com for packages, hotels, fares, reservations even, that is the tourist board ), you can also try cancun, or the Riviera Maya, or try Tulum, lots of young people partying around.
I dont think a package is suitable for you if you want to see Mexico and the people.
But if you just want to drink and party, then any of these resorts will do.
september/october is the heavy rainfall season in both, puerto vallarta and the yucatan coast (cancun, playa del carmen)...it'll be super cheap, but you'll get soaked. however, it's mostly dry in cabo san lucas (mainstream party town)~you can plan a trip down there and take a few days and head to todos santos(hippy/artist community)...october would be a better time than september. why not hawaii? it's always lovely there, or from the east coast, i'd go to cabarete in the dominican republic, they have 320 days of sunshine.
I wouldn't recommend Cancun. You may as well stay in your home town's night club rather than go there.
Check out Tulum, Isla Mujeres, San Cristobal De La Casas, Puerto Escondidos. That's Mexico. Cancun isn't.