Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - pool view
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - pool view
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta is a sprawling resort with thousands of rooms and dozens of restaurants and pools. Courtesy of Vidanta
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - rooms
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - rooms
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta has thousands of rooms, all at different price points. Courtesy of Vidanta
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta resort
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta resort
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta is so vast with trails that guests can walk or ride golf-cart shuttles. Courtesy of Vidanta
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Norman golf course
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Norman golf course
Golfers use a suspension bridge to cross the Ameca River to reach the Greg Norman Signature Course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta. Courtesy of Vidanta
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Norman golf course - 15th
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Norman golf course - 15th
The Sierra Madre Mountains accompany golfers around the Greg Norman Signature Course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Nicklaus golf course
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Nicklaus golf course
The Nicklaus Design Course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta is a popular option at the resort, attracting more than 40,000 rounds annually. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Nicklaus Course
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Nicklaus Course
Enjoy this bird's eye view of the Nicklaus Design Course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - par-3 course construction
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - par-3 course construction
A new 10-hole, par-3 course is under construction at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta in Mexico. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor
Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Nicklaus GC
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta - Nicklaus GC
The Nicklaus Design Course at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta has some interesting bunkers. Jason Scott Deegan/Golf Advisor

Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta: Mexico's mega resort cooks up big expansion plans

NAYARIT, Mexico -- First-time guests tend to feel overwhelmed during their stay at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, a megaresort located 20 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta Airport.

It's easy to get lost trying to navigate the resort's 2,500 acres nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra Madre Mountains. Nine miles of wooden plank walkways lead to one mile of beaches, 38 bars and restaurants, 27 pools and 2,200-plus rooms spread across five tower hotels, including luxurious brands such as the Grand Luxxe and Grand Mayan. All of this is connected by an elaborate system of golf-cart shuttles that whisk guests from one place to another.

The property continues to expand at an amazing rate. It just opened the new Greg Norman Signature Course to complement its existing Jack Nicklaus Design Course. A walking, 10-hole, par-3 course will likely open in 2017, as could a larger teaching facility for the Vidanta Golf Academy. The Norman course, which will debut five new holes next year as well, is an interesting, playable track with wall-to-wall paspalum grass for firm, fast conditions.

A partnership with Cirque du Soleil will bring the high-energy, acrobatic shows that are all the rage in Las Vegas to a new "immersion" theme park currently under construction at the resort. This unique theme park -- think Disney meets Cirque -- could open as soon as 2018. It will operate separately from the resort with its own lodging options and entrance for the general public. Performers will interact with guests by day and then perform a large-scale show for several thousand spectators at night.

If the concept of interactive "Cirque du Soleil" takes off at Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta, Disneyland might have some competition as the "Happiest Place on Earth.

Jason Scott Deegan has reviewed more than 700 courses and golf destinations for some of the industry's biggest publications. His work has been honored by the Golf Writer's Association of America and the Michigan Press Association. Follow him on Twitter at @WorldGolfer.
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Vidanta Nuevo Vallarta: Mexico's mega resort cooks up big expansion plans
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