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Want 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.
Few can resist an ice-cold popsicle on a steamy summer day. But pause a moment before you indulge: These are not your childhood frozen treats. Selling for $1,000 each, the specialty pops at Marquis Los Cabos are made from Tequilas Premium Clase Azul Ultra tequila – which goes for $1,500 per bottle – and infused with 24-carat gold flakes. The hotel calls it “the world’s most expensive popsicle,” and we’re hard-pressed to dispute the claim. Feeling thrifty? Marquis Los Cabos also offers shots of Clase Azul Ultra for just $500. www.marquisloscabos.com
For general trip-planning information, see our Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide.
Perched on the southern tip of Baja California, polished Cabo San Lucas is an unlikely choice for budget-friendly vacations. Reputed for its A-list celebrity sightings, world-class spas, and five-diamond villas, this small slice of paradise offers a surprising abundance to the frugal traveler. While Kim Kardashian might be kicking back in the $500/night private condo for the weekend, it’s not unusual to be right next door, taking in the serene beauty and warm Mexican hospitality from the privileged perch of secluded seaside suites and beachfront guestrooms, starting at just $68/night. Rates are priced during off-season travel and for advance bookings.
Undergoing renovations, the 286-guestroom Tesoro Los Cabos is a remnant of the sleepy, fishing town Cabo used to be, clambering to keep up with the high-end newcomers. Central to just about every downtown attraction, the resort sits on the marina boardwalk, with panoramic shots of the bay. Guestrooms start from a resourceful $68 per night for a city view category, and an optional all-inclusive plan adds about $41 per person, per night. While the lowest-category guestrooms are fairly low key with no special trimmings, the affordable suite rates (from $95/night) rake in the value for Tesoro. Visit Tesoro Los Cabos to book.
With ultra-low rates and chic aircrafts, it’s no wonder Virgin America is drawing a loyal following of savvy flyers as the airline rapidly expands its route network. The West Coast-based carrier recently touched down in Toronto, and now the airline has announced service to Dallas/Fort Worth, Cancun, and Los Cabos. To accompany the new routes, Virgin has launched a fare sale on fall travel starting from as low as $39 (each way) for short-haul domestic flights. The new routes to Dallas and Mexico kick off in December starting from $129 each way. This sale ends September 2.
Sample Fares (Each Way; Excluding Taxes):
• San Francisco?Las Vegas: $39
• San Diego?San Francisco: $39
• Fort Lauderdale?San Francisco: $109
• Washington?Los Angeles: $109
• Boston?Las Vegas: $129
• San Francisco?Dallas: $129
• Los Angeles?Cancun: $129
• San Francisco?Los Cabos: $129
• Orlando?Seattle: $139
• Toronto?Los Angeles: $159
• And more!
THE VALUE: Normally, a coast to coast flight will set you back around $325 round-trip, but these discounted routes bring fares down to $250 (with taxes). Winter flights from Los Angeles to Cancun hover around $450, but these new routes clock in at just $355.
THE CATCH: Rates are higher when flying on Friday or Sunday.
THE DETAILS: Dallas service begins December 1 from Los Angeles and December 6 from San Francisco. Flights to Los Cabos take off December 16 from San Francisco, and Cancun routes begin January 19 (Los Angeles) and January 20 (San Francisco). For more information, visit www.virginamerica.com.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Book a flight on Virgin America (and other airlines) using our Travel Search price comparison tool.
Planning a trip this fall on a budget? We’ve rounded up the 40 Sweet Spots for Fall Value.
Lounging by the pool or on the sand, where with one wave of the hand you can summon a chilled Chardonnay and club sandwich or a piña colada and nachos, is the ultimate state of vacation bliss. No matter where you are or how many stars the hotel has, I don’t think the transportive indulgence and pleasure of poolside service ever wears off.
And then there are the hotels that up this game with amenities to make the experience even more luxurious – and yes, make us all lazier in the process. But hey, it’s vacation. A crowning example is the sunglasses washing service offered by top-tier hotels such as Sandy Lane in Barbados, One & Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, and aboard SeaDream yacht cruises. That’s right, we’re talking about a poolside staff member (sometimes referred to as a sunglasses concierge) discreetly Windexing your shades free of charge. Totally unnecessary and over the top, but also kind of awesome at the same time.
What is this summer’s sunglasses concierge? I think I may have found the answer. Read more
Laidback and more sophisticated than Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo has become one of Mexico’s premier luxury playgrounds. Yet the humble drive up to the lobby of Cabo Azul gives no indication of the riches that await behind the resort’s adobe walls.
Seven towers fan out around the resort’s crown jewel – a series of gorgeous infinity pools and terraces filled with chaise loungers, hammocks, wicker cocoon-style cabanas, and sun beds set in the shallow water. The terraces lead out to the palapa hut-studded stretch of beach that the resort resides on. Poolside, Cabo Azul’s informal dining restaurant, Flor de Noche, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but its best feature may be the swim-up bar, complete with tiled underwater stools and guests in designer sunglasses sipping tropical drinks. Read more
The ShermansTravel Deals team hand-picks the special breed of deals that promises free perks ? no strings attached. Good little boys and girls stay for free in a suite with parents (maximum of two children) at the five-star, all-inclusive, $257/night Barceló Los Cabos Palace Deluxe on the Sea of Cortez through December 23. This offer covers taxes, alcoholic beverages, daily entertainment, and entrance to their kids-only, water playground, while guests enjoy jetted tubs and furnished terraces in every room. For reservations, call 1-800-BARCELO or visit www.barceloloscabos.com.
Discounts on group travel are typically only available to parties of 10 or more, but unless you’re going to Cancun for Spring Break or you’re a B-List celebrity, this can be a difficult task to wrangle. That’s why Holland America’s 9-night cruise through the Gulf of California is such a great deal. Starting from $599 (originally $1,099) per person for the first two passengers and $199 each for the third and fourth (that averages out to only $399 per person), this bargain totals a savings of $2800!
Cruising to Mexico has traditionally been more expensive than similar Caribbean sailings, but now that Mexico’s tourism has taken a hit, we are seeing remarkably low rates in the Mexican Riviera. Rates are dropping on major cruise lines across the board, but our top pick is this fall sailing on the new Carnival Splendor from just $359, which translates to an impressive 78% off rack rates.
The city of Long Beach, California celebrated the debut of the Carnival Splendor’s 7-night itineraries to the Mexican Riviera, further establishing the cruise line’s presence on the West Coast and creating an estimated $14 million for the city of Long Beach. The 3,006-passenger ship is Carnival’s newest, and will depart each Sunday to Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, and Cabo San Lucas.
The Splendor moving in to the area marks the fourth Carnival ship now available to cruisers sailing from California, and together the ships are expected to carry a record of 620,000 passengers annually. To celebrate the new arrival, the cruise line performed an $8 million facelift to the Long Beach cruise terminal, including improvements in the passenger waiting areas, and a new VIP lounge.
The new vessel offers vacationers an extensive array of onboard amenities and activities throughout its 13 decks. One of the most talked about features on the Splendor is the two-level 21,000-square foot health spa – Carnival’s largest – and a 5,500-square-foot children’s play area. The ship also provides 22 lounges and bars, a movie theater, and a 24-hour pizzeria.
To learn more about the Carnival Splendor, visit their website at Carnival.com
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