nolitours ZONE

Mexico: Get In The Zone

[trip style = all-inclusive]

One of the benefits of piloting Trip Styler is I get to be the first to hear about---and sometimes experience first-hand---new developments in the travel industry. Last month's five-hour jaunt to Puerto Vallarta was one such opportunity which I've been dying to dish out.

I went down with Nolitours, a Canada-based online packaged vacation company (part of the Air Transat group), to experience the first-ever noliZONE, a travel philosophy-come-product encouraging people to go beyond the gates and guises of the easy-breezy all-inclusive and inject a destination's soul into their week-long, cocktail-soaked beach-fest. To book a noliZONE-designated property {and optional program} is to use the all-inclusive as a base camp for local endeavours.

WAY beyond the butler service and buffets common in packaged trips, using the all-inclusive as a base camp is a concept I am behind 110%, especially having been bored to tears on day four of multiple all-inclusive getaways---no joke, once I tried to convince my husband to fly home early {being the wise man he is, he convinced me otherwise}---wondering what life lurked outside my coastal castle's drawbridge and fortified walls.

In Puerto Vallarta's noliZONE properties you get quickly acquainted with the outside world because they aren't a far-flung three-hour transfer from the airport, nor are they in the middle of nowhere flanked between banana palms and farmers' fields. Rather in Puerto Vallarta and neighbouring Nuevo Vallarta {interchangeable with Riviera Nayarit}, the all-inclusives are within 5-30 minutes of local restaurants, vibrant and historic towns and culture galore.

Not about cheesy excursions like a two-hour bus tour to feed stingrays a bucket of fish {been there, done that}, noliZONE takes you from a trip style = beach vacation to travel on your own terms, meaning you can go 'off-base' as much or as little as you want on your own, or via the noliZONE suggestions.

STAY TUNED: On Monday I'm going to show and tell some of my favorite restaurants and experiences in Puerto Vallarta. In the meantime, here's a PV taster I published while I was in Mexico.

The Details
  • Six noliZONE properties can be booked in Puerto and Nuevo Vallarta.
  • noliZONE offers a weekly, locally-organized fiesta to all noliZONE guests, as well as a bevvy of prix fixe restaurant options, the opportunity to visit or bring a list of needed supplies to local orphanage, cooking classes and spa discounts.
  • From Vancouver there are twice-weekly Air Transat flights to Puerto Vallarta from November 3rd until April 26th.
  • The newly-minted noliZONE vacation concept is currently in select areas of Mexico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

{Per my editorial policy, I'm not getting paid to write this, it's just a travel concept I believe in and want to share with my flock of culture-vulture, aspiring jetsetters.}

[photo via riviera nayarit]