Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta For Family Vacation

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An island with buildings - Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta For Family Vacation.

Cancun and Puerto Vallarta both offer beautiful natural experiences. Cancun is a big city made for tourists to feel comfortable in, offering extensive nightlife and city experiences. Puerto Villarta is a smaller area that offers a deep dive into the culture there.

Both offer options for luxury and comfort, but the prices are quite different. If you want a cheaper experience, Puerto Villarta is for you, while Cancun offers more expensive and exclusive opportunities. Keep reading to find out more about these vacation spots.


What are the Differences?

The main difference between a vacation in Cancun versus one in Puerto Vallarta is their development. Cancun has become a tourist city. It thrives on the lives of tourists. Therefore, all of the activities and developments in the area were made for the benefit of tourists.

Because of this, Cancun feels very ‘Americanized’ compared to Puerto Vallarta. Puerto Vallarta is less developed in that way. Because of this, there is less to do in the area. However, the experiences you do gain there are more authentic and cheaper.


Pros and Cons of Cancun vs. Puerto Vallarta

Cancun and Puerto Vallarta may be in Mexico, but they offer different experiences and activities. Each is a good spot for a vacation for different reasons, and each has its own flaws.


Cancun Vacation Pros:


  • It has many things to do, including beautiful beaches and other activities in nature and the city.
  • It is home to one of the seven wonders of the world, El Castillo.
  • It is known for being one of the safest areas in all of Mexico.


Cancun Vacation Cons:


  • It is extremely expensive.
  • It is crowded and busy.


Puerto Vallarta Vacation Pros:


  • It has activities for anyone both in the city itself, but also others within an accessible distance.
  • It is known for being extremely cheap while still maintaining high quality.
  • It has a lot of independent businesses that you can support.


Puerto Vallarta Cons:


  • It is a bit far from any other city.
  • The water is colder and rougher than in Cancun, making it less ideal for swimming on the beach.


Which One has More Kids Entertainment?

Puerto Vallarta is the better pick for places with kids’ entertainment. Cancun has a lot of options for children. However, Cancun is a much larger and busier city. It is more based on attracting adults, as can be seen through its active nightlife.

So while Cancun will have a lot for kids to do, too, Puerto Vallarta is likely the way to go. Your child will feel safer in a less busy and more family-focused city. In addition, Puerto Vallarta’s nightlife is much smaller than Cancun’s.

There are many options for activities, trips, and camps that any kid would love. These range from things you can do together as a family to things the kids can enjoy on their own. There are things that explore nature, history, culture, and much more.


Which one has More Things to do for Adults?

Cancun is much more oriented toward adults than Puerto Vallarta is. Cancun is infamous for its nightlife. Some of the world’s nicest and most expensive clubs are located there. Various clubs ranging in size and theme can be seen in the streets of Cancun.

You can find any club at every price range throughout the city. Besides nightlife, there are still many things for adults to do in Cancun. This includes things in nature as well as things more city-focused.

Puerto Villarta also has nightlife and beautiful natural experiences. However, for the most out of your trip as an adult, Cancun is the way to go if you can afford the extra expenses that come with that.


When is the Best Time for a Family Vacation in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta?

The best time for a family vacation in Cancun and Puerto Vallarta differ from each other because of what each is known for. Cancun is the busiest from December to April.

People go to Cancun to escape the cold in other parts of the world. Cancun is also the optimal temperature and humidity during this period.

Puerto Vallarta depends on what you are looking for. Typically, the best time to visit Puerto Vallarta is April to June.

This is when the temperature and humidity are most comfortable while also avoiding the high rates and crowds of summer tourists. However, December to March offers opportunities for whale watching.


Final Thoughts on Cancun Vs Puerto Vallarta For Family Vacation

Cancun and Puerto Villarta seem the same on the surface and even offer a lot of the same experiences. The difference lies in what kind of experience you want to have.

Cancun is designed for the comfort of tourists, pushing out anything that may seem uncomfortable or foreign to tourists.

Puerto Villarta embraces its culture and supports the local economy. Neither is the wrong answer, but it depends on what you are looking for in your vacation. Either way, you will have a safe and beautiful experience full of nature, history, and city scenery.