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Old 07-29-2019, 05:02 PM   #1
carrasco
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Palapas Ventana Flop

I just returned from a trip with three days of diving and H&L fishing at Palapas Ventana.
For years I have been reading about the abundance of trophy fish to be had from a top-notch resort, with the best “maintained” fleet in baja.

Wrong... our boat was one of two boats that broke down in calm waters. We broke down two days out of three. And, when we jumped on another boat to go home, it runs out of gas!!!!
The owner graciously granted us a 10% inconvenience discount on the price of our “fishing” but he claims it was 20%. He uses funny math so watch out there too.

From the start:
1. If you don’t pay in cash, you pay 4% more but of course he doesn’t tell you til you run your credit card.

2. If there is a group larger than yours, then your group becomes less important service-wise (i.e., slow and ancient Mercury 2 stroke engine and an inexperienced captain to boot, wait staff anticipating a fatter tip neglect you).

3. There is no Television in the room so if you don’t support the “resort” by consuming drink, well then you’re SOL for unwinding in the room.

4. If you have religious dietary restrictions, who cares, they will give you pork!

5. The resort is far from anywhere and leaving requires a “tour.” But, a tour is anywhere from $80 to $130 so make sure you leave the women with lots of free cash. Otherwise, they are SOL too.

Make sure you are ready to hear, “well, thats why they call it fishing and not catching, ha ha ha”- when you are there three days and catch a total of 6 fish you could have caught in Catalina.

In case you read, “well the fish are deep,” the guide that dove with me an I hit 60-70 feet and saw nothing larger than 4 lbs.

My recommendation is no surprise- stay clear of this place. I am sure there are others who have had a great time but we spent over $5000 and returned super pissed!

Buyer beware!
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:30 PM   #2
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

For the last 5 years my buddies and I drive into Baja with my 22 ft boat. We initially stop at San Lucas Cove for 4 to 6 days of diving at San Marcos Island or venture to Island Tortuga. We typically scare up a few 20 lb Cabrilla, some 20 lb Yellowtail some Parrotfish and a small Gulf Grouper or two. We also sample the Chocolate clams. After that we head north for a few more days in Bahia De Los Angeles We always fill our freezer there and last year filled up a freezer at Daggetts also. This last year 4 of us did this trip and it cost us each $1,000. All gasoline, Food, Camp fees, Booze ( there was a lot of that) Mexican fishing license, car and boat insurance. We each got 50 lbs of filleted fish to take home. Yes that is 200 lbs of fillets total.
The boat never runs out of gas. No tips for piss poor Pangueros. No excuses.
I have posted our trip looking for others to come with us, but typically no one responds.
I can think of no reason that anyone would really want to join us on our adventure.
It really is too expensive and we really have no fun.
I would post pics, but everyone would think that they are photo shopped.
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Old 07-29-2019, 07:46 PM   #3
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Let me know when you planning to go down there. Im all for it.
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Old 07-29-2019, 08:29 PM   #4
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

or, ……………….Ballew: "Why do you always get a big fish and I don't get anything"?
…………………...Al Schneppershoff: "It's because you are just no damn good".....
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:55 PM   #5
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

T. Trader,
I would really like to join your trip but on a boat of my own. I have a good network of friends that would love to join in and in so doing, make your trip safer and maybe even more productive- if that were ever even possible.

After our experience at Palapas Ventana, even a shore-dive trip to Rosarito is a better alternative.

But, going to Mexican waters the way you do is exactly the way to go!!!! Kudos to you sir!!!
When do you start planning your trip and more to the point, when do you go? How many days total do you usually need for the entire trip?
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:13 AM   #6
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Sorry to hear that Mario, the La Paz area is supposed to be amazing. Never dove there before but it is on my list.

Try Punta Mita next time I guarantee you and your ladies would have a blast!
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:45 AM   #7
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

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Baja doesn't even come close when the ladies are involved. We got it all! 🐟🐋🌴🦞🦎🏄*♂️🚣*♂️🍣🌮🍕🥑🍺🍹🍽🎣🎰⚽️🎆🏖🛏🖥🎞
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:05 PM   #8
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

John,
How far are you from Nuevo Puerto Vallarta? I am going there next year, 3rd week of June.
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Old 07-30-2019, 12:13 PM   #9
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lompoc Local View Post
Sorry to hear that Mario, the La Paz area is supposed to be amazing. Never dove there before but it is on my list.

Try Punta Mita next time I guarantee you and your ladies would have a blast!
Thank you for the empathy Erin. Just remember the experience we had and stay away from the Palapas Ventana operation.

There are a handful of other operations nearby and also incredible values on luxurious homes available for rent on AirBNB. I will certainly check out Malibu John’s outfit on my visit to Puerto Vallarta next June.
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Old 07-30-2019, 01:15 PM   #10
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Quote:
Originally Posted by carrasco View Post
John,
How far are you from Nuevo Puerto Vallarta? I am going there next year, 3rd week of June.
The 43 Riviera is in nuevo Vallarta! The whaler is up in la Cruz Huanacatxle, about 15 minutes away. We've had several couples do our all inclusive package and every one said it was best time ever. Besides the diving, the FOOD in nayarit is the most diverse, and best around!! And accommodations aren't so bad!😉Click image for larger version

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Old 07-30-2019, 03:04 PM   #11
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

John, I can’t wait to make it down there! All I ever hear about your operation is top notch. Might have to join Aus and Conner next spring....
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:59 PM   #12
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Quote:
Originally Posted by Salty_Lovin' View Post
John, I can’t wait to make it down there! All I ever hear about your operation is top notch. Might have to join Aus and Conner next spring....
Ahem. Aus and Connor?
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Old 07-30-2019, 06:44 PM   #13
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Mr. Carrasco—Your public criticism of Palapas Ventana made me mad as hell. I go there every year. I have shot fish. I have shot big fish and I have shot no fish but I have always had a good time. And I have paid what I consider to be a fair price. I have great admiration for Tim Hatler who had a dream to create a resort for the sport that he loved, spearfishing. With very little money, he built up a first Class resort where, in fact, a world spearfishing tournament is held. And guess why that is. There are fish there. Take a look at pictures from this year’s tournament. To my mind, an operation like this should be encouraged. Instead, you set out to publicly bad mouth Palapas Ventana and negatively affect their business. Mr. Carrasco, you didn’t catch any fish. Boo hoo. I hope your skills improve.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:48 PM   #14
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Respectfully, I (and our group that goes down there) has nothing but positive things to say about Palapas Ventana. I have only experienced a top notch spearfishing destination. Diving has been variable for us. We have shot 10 wahoo in 3 days and sometimes none in the same amount of time. If you look at the tournament they had this year, last, the one before that...etc. you will see divers shoot great fish there.

1. This 4% fee is on the bill before you pay them and they have always been upfront about waving this if you pay cash.

2. We have had changing captains but have found all to be very professional and experienced.

3. Really? Complaining about not having a television in your room in Baja? Were you under the impression that you were staying at a 4 star resort? The website is very clear about the accommodations.

4. Did you communicate this to Tim before arriving?

5. Bring a woman who is happy sitting on a beach or BY THE POOL, getting dirt cheap massages, reading, snorkeling, paddleboarding, going on the boat, walking the beach, fishing/diving. This can all be researched before hand and should not be a complaint considering you knew where you were going (unless you didn't do your research).

I understand going somewhere and spending the money and not catching the fish you were expecting, we have all been there. It seemed like Tim tried to make it right by discounting the already relatively low cost of a trip and you still came on the internet to bitch. That is bush.

PV, Tim and his whole crew is top notch.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:25 AM   #15
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Re: Palapas Ventana Flop

Quote:
Originally Posted by kelppaddie View Post
Respectfully, I (and our group that goes down there) has nothing but positive things to say about Palapas Ventana. I have only experienced a top notch spearfishing destination. Diving has been variable for us. We have shot 10 wahoo in 3 days and sometimes none in the same amount of time. If you look at the tournament they had this year, last, the one before that...etc. you will see divers shoot great fish there.

1. This 4% fee is on the bill before you pay them and they have always been upfront about waving this if you pay cash.

2. We have had changing captains but have found all to be very professional and experienced.

3. Really? Complaining about not having a television in your room in Baja? Were you under the impression that you were staying at a 4 star resort? The website is very clear about the accommodations.

4. Did you communicate this to Tim before arriving?

5. Bring a woman who is happy sitting on a beach or BY THE POOL, getting dirt cheap massages, reading, snorkeling, paddleboarding, going on the boat, walking the beach, fishing/diving. This can all be researched before hand and should not be a complaint considering you knew where you were going (unless you didn't do your research).

I understand going somewhere and spending the money and not catching the fish you were expecting, we have all been there. It seemed like Tim tried to make it right by discounting the already relatively low cost of a trip and you still came on the internet to bitch. That is bush.

PV, Tim and his whole crew is top notch.
Top Notch? Bitch about a discount? HA!
Just so you know, We took his entire discount and tipped his staff with it, so its not about the money- its about being lied to about a bunch of things!

Did you not read the part where I wrote that the damned boat broke down two days in a row? After the boat broke down the first day, I was told that the starter had been changed and it turned out to be BS. THE SAME starter broke down a second time because it had not been changed. To top it off, I was told that the same engine had broken down “10” times before!
If you consider that top notch, the problem might just be your lack of experience traveling!

The Spearfishing World Championship? What a joke- any other resort can run a competition and name it whatever they want!

You may be mad as hell about what I am writing with respect to my experience at Palapas Ventana but it is all true. If it were not then that would be “bush.”

Maybe Palapas Ventana WAS a quality operation at one point and it has gotten fat! I will certainly never visit again and it is my very clear intention to inform others to stay clear of that place lest the same “bush” happen to them.
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Last edited by carrasco; 07-31-2019 at 12:44 AM.
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