We spent this past weekend in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico to check out some marinas. We think PV will be our home base once we cruise down the coast.
Everyone looks for something different when choosing where to keep their boat. The following are important to our family:
- Wifi (sorry, but with virtual school and Pat still working, this is still critical - someday we hope it won't be)
- Power and Water on the dock
- Close to local stores and eateries
Other than that, we've learned we can fake the rest. We currently live on a very old, wobbly dock, but because of its location and our boat neighbor, it's one of our favorite spots.
Other things we discovered after chatting with Mexico cruisers, were that we may want to consider:
- Crocodile issues
- Spring Break noise
- Summer heat
- Hurricane safety
These are things we've never had to think about.
So....we went down, sure that Paradise Village was the marina for us, after tons of internet research. It's new, safe, and has lots of amenities including pools and access to a resort. However, within a few short hours, all 4 of us realized this gated white-washed, culture-less community was not for us. Walking distance to McDonalds and Dominoes, with gringos everywhere, this was not what we wanted for our adventure home base.
We were invited to Marina Vallarta - closer to town, the airport and a Mega shopping center - by a friend of a friend. Kirk showed us around the marina and gave us lots of tips from his years of living aboard and cruising. Surrounded by local shops, restaurants and boats, this Marina turned out to be a much better fit for us.
So, we'll put the cat on a leash to keep him from becoming a crocodile snack, we'll ask for the dock furthest from the Spring breakers, make sure our AC works and stay out of the paths of hurricanes. Different than PNW issues of otters on your transom, algae growing on your dock and Herons perching on top of your boat.
I should also mention, it's surrounded by great AirBnB condos - so there is room for everyone if you want to come visit!