Shermanstravel Blog

Cancun

Southwest Southwest Airlines have been a major player in the U.S. market over the past few decades, but today it takes its first step into the big, wide world. As of July 1, Southwest has begun service to Aruba and Montego Bay, Jamaica, from Atlanta, Baltimore, and Orlando. In the coming months flights to the Bahamas, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic from other gateways will follow.

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Lake Atitlan, Guatemala

Cyber Monday is too long to have to wait for snagging great hotel deals, so we are pleased to see that a group of hotels have put together their own promotion and are calling it CyberSummer. On June 21, starting at midnight, 21 hotels and resorts in the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean will be offering online deals, including four-diamond resorts for $99 a night, five-star hotels offering 50 percent savings, and free nights. Featured hotels include Casa Palopó in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala (pictured above); the JW Marriott, Cusco, Peru, and the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in Florida. Read more

Roccos TacosLike a beautiful beach, margaritas come in all shapes and sizes. Some are poured like a martini, some are rimmed with a spicy-salt mixture. And some forsake the traditional ingredient, tequila, altogether in favor of more experimental spirits. This National Margarita Day (yes, that’s a holiday that exists, and where would we be without it?), which happens on February 21, we’re not looking to get tipsy on just any old cookie-cutter cocktail. We want to be wowed by some of the most inventive margaritas out there. Without further ado, here are 9 infusions guaranteed to wow your taste buds and satisfy your sense of adventure at the same time… Read more

TijuanaLast month, a new project was announced that will build a covered walkway connecting Tijuana Airport to the U.S. border. According to the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and other sources, the walkway will result in major savings for travelers headed to Mexico, where it’s often cheaper to catch domestic flights within Mexico than to fly from the U.S..

Of course, the thought of cheaper flights to Mexico made our ears perk up. But we had to wonder: who will benefit from this? And how much can the walkway actually help you save? Sure, certain flights out of Tijuana may be cheaper than flying out of San Diego or Los Angeles, for example. But once you’ve factored in the extra time it takes to cross the border, and the possible differences in route options, will the savings outweigh the extra leg work? Though we can’t predict how things will change after the walkway opens in 2015, here’s an assessment of pricing right now… Read more

CancunHeading south-of-the-border is a popular option for budget-friendly getaways, especially to Mexico’s Cancún and Riviera Maya. However, some think the region only caters to the college crowd. Not so. A sophisticated, low-key time can be had for those who are savvy. Below, four myth-busters to prepare you for the sun-and-sea-filled escape you’ve been dreaming about…

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Marriott, Cusco, Peru, hotel
The approach of Thanksgiving usually means readying yourself for the shopping frenzy that comes immediately after. Luckily, with these Cyber Monday hotel deals, you don’t have to brave the cold and the lines and can snap up a bargain, and mentally transport yourself to a sunny beachfront hotel (or the snowy ski slopes, if you prefer), from the comfort of your own home.

For all offers, conditions and blackout dates may apply; read the fine print. Read more

Perez Art MuseumWinter travel tends to involve more indoor activities (unless you’re heading to a white sandy beach, in which case, we’re jealous!), and that can often mean visiting more museums. But what if you’ve been to all the big ones already? MoMA… Asian Art Museum… Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Snooze. This season, a new batch of museums is offering visitors across the country a chance to see something a little out of the ordinary. But the thing is, you probably haven’t heard of them. Places like Toledo’s new Maritime Museum, or Cancun’s Maya Museum, offer world-class exhibits, but haven’t yet made it onto tourists’ radars quite yet. This all works in your favor, since lesser-known museums are generally queue-free, and cheap (or free) to enter. Take our advice and make a point of visiting one – or all! – of these places on your next trip to… Read more

Rancho Las Palmas Resort & SpaNothing can help you relax and take your mind off the stresses of everyday life quite like a vacation. Throw a spa into the mix, and you’ve got yourself the ultimate relaxing getaway. Whether you’re heading out to the deserts of the Southwest or the beaches of Cancun, these spa vacation deals will clear your mind and recharge your batteries – without putting a dent in your wallet. Read more

Daydreaming about taking a vacation but think you can’t afford it? Stop right there. Being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice travel, whether you want to go somewhere warm or take a long weekend in the mountains. Here are some of today’s best travel deals, and all for under $160, proving that you really can take that trip you’ve been dreaming about. Read more

Aeromexico planeAeromexico is giving us another reason to get sunburned this summer, with its launch of daily direct flights from JFK airport in New York to Cancún, Mexico from starting July 1.

Timed so you can hit the beaches the same day you land, Aeromexico’s flights depart JFK’s terminal 1 at 7:10am daily, and arrive at Cancún International Airport before lunchtime. Return flights take off daily at 5:25pm from Cancún, and land at JFK by midnight.

While summer in the Caribbean means hurricanes combined with high temperatures and soaring humidity, this usually results in off season advantages, like cheap hotel rooms and shorter queues. In addition, Cancún hosts a wealth of warm weather attractions. Visitors can swim with the whale sharks at Isla Holbox, explore the Tulum Mayan ruins in Quintana Roo, go cave diving in the submerged cenote caverns, or just relax at one of Cancún’s many beach resorts.

Other new Aeromexico flights include non-stop flights from Washington D.C. to Mexico City from $529, and a daily service from Atlanta to Mexico’s capital from $449 starting July 1. For nonstop flights to Cancún, both Priceline and Expedia currently list flights starting from $759 on American Airlines.

See our Cancún destination guide for general trip-planning information, then use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights, hotels, vacation packages, and more.

Tips for Visiting Maya Ruins in MexicoSo, the world didn’t end when the Mayans said it would. But that doesn’t mean that the popular Mayan ruins in Riviera Maya, Mexico, Chichén Itzá, Tulum, and Cobá, aren’t still worth a visit. The Mundo Maya, which also include the countries of Belize, Honduras, and Guatemala, saw tourism numbers rise during 2012, and now that things have calmed down a bit, you’ll want to check out these unique sites. After a long day of exploring, a refreshing dip in a cenote, or natural well – the Riviera Maya is full of them,  is the perfect way to cool off. And, aside from the ruins, the Riviera Maya is becoming a popular adventure travel destination, with an array of opportunities for hiking, diving, and cave exploration. One word of advice: If you’re thinking about a visit in 2013, book now. Read more

Celebrate 2012, the final year of the Mayan calendar, in style with a trip to Cancun, Mexico. Book the Escape! Mayan Experience package for $289 per night that features accommodations at the CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort. The packages includes:

•    Two 80-minute Mayan-inspired spa treatments – a $129 value per person
•    $50 daily resort credit
•    A tour for two of Chichen Itza – a $174 value
•    Free wi-fi
•    A Mayan theme welcome amenity

The beachfront AAA Four Diamond CasaMagna is an exceptional getaway spot, be it for a weekend or an extended stay. Located in a region rooted in Mayan culture and set in the now famous Cancun hotel zone it’s the ideal setting to take in the storied history, enjoy the resort’s modern amenities, all while basking on the pristine sun-soaked beach.

The package is available at the CasaMagna, or stay at the Five Diamond JW Marriott Cancun Resort located next door for $399 per night. With a stay at CasaMagna, the package offers over $400 in amenities while stays at the JW offers over $500!

Book and travel by Decemeber 21, 2012. The offer is based on availability and subject to blackout dates, taxes not included.  Book online at www.casamagnacancun.com or www.jwmarriottcancun.com or by phone at 1.800.228.9290.  When booking this package, request promotion code CUE.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to Cancun. For general trip-planning information, see our Cancun destination guide.

AeromexicoWant to book a trip to Mexico but not sure where to start? Head over to Aeromexico’s new Gran Plan site for vacation package bookings. The site conveniently bundles air and hotel for Aeromexico destinations like Cancun, Mexico City, Puerto Vallarta, and Los Cabos. Gateways within the U.S. include major hubs like New York, Miami, and Los Angeles, as well as smaller cities such as Fresno, Phoenix, and Sacramento. There’s also a just-launched (as in yesterday) route between Las Vegas and Guadalajara. On the hotel front, you can expect to find perks and offers like room discounts, third night free, resort credits, and kids stay and eat free. Note that many flights require a stopover in Mexico City, but Aeromexico connections are easy at the new-ish Terminal 2, which opened in 2008. You’ll also be able to check your luggage without paying fees, and you might even get a free meal on the plane! us.granplan.com/packages

For general trip-planning information, see our Mexico Travel Guide.

Whale shark in CancunPre-dawn Cancun often evokes image of young partiers, embalmed in alcohol, taking the haggard walk of shame back to their hotel from the likes of Señor Frog’s. But this last August I ventured to the partiers’ paradise and discovered the true reason to be awake before the sun rises: for a chance to swim with the largest fish in the world, whale sharks.

I left my hotel at 6am, driving north through the hotel zone to the Solo Buceo diving company. Here, after booking in advance, guests pay a modest $165 before boarding the boat with nine other passengers and a crew of three. My group headed northwest, searching for the docile giants via GPS. The sharks come to the region on their southern migration in May and stay through early September, feasting on plankton and microorganisms in the warm Caribbean waters. After the tour companies initially locate the sharks in May, they can keep daily records of the sharks with each morning excursion, making sightings throughout the season a near guarantee.

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Costa RicaThere is no shortage of deals to sunny destinations in the summer months, but once winter rolls around hotel prices typically skyrocket. Not so this year at Barcelo Hotels in Mexico, Costa Rica, and the Dominican Republic. The premise: the farther in advance you book your stay, the great the discount. Reserve a room more than 120 days in advance for 35 percent off; 90 to 119 days in advance for 30 percent off; 60 to 89 days in advance for 20 percent off; and 31 to 59 days in advance for a 15 percent discount. Reduced rates are available in Mexico and the Dominican Republic from November 1-April 30, 2012, and Costa Rica from December 24-April 30, 2012.

THE VALUE: All-inclusive rates at some of Mexico and the Caribbean’s top resorts start under $100 per person, per night.

THE CATCH: You’ll have to nail down your plans pretty far in advance in order to secure the best discounts. However, there’s no cancellation fee if something comes up closer to the date. There may be minimum stays around the holidays, and rates are much higher during those periods.

THE DETAILS: Go to www.barcelo.com to book, or call 800-227-2356.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates and travel deals on flights.

For general trip-planning information, see our Mexico Travel Guide, Costa Rica Travel Guide, and Dominican Republic Travel Guide.

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