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Big cities make for great vacations. The culture and palpable energy is a large part of why so many people gravitate toward the world’s great cities and put up with, even embrace, the hustle and bustle. Sometimes, though, even the most committed city traveler feels the need to check out of the constant stream of activity in, say, London or New York, and that is when they head to the quiet calm of a city park. Read more
All-inclusive resorts can be both a blessing and a curse – and an incredible deal. But it’s easy to lose control of your eating habits when your options are unlimited, and offered at no additional cost. Why, yes, I will have another hamburger. Oh sure, throw in another daiquiri. I’m on vacation!
Suddenly you’re 10 pounds heavier by the time you get home, and your whole health routine is shot. Sound familiar? Here are five tips to help you maintain your bikini bod at an all-inclusive resort. Read more
Just because you don’t yet have vacation plans as the first day of summer approaches doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Get in on a hot hotel deal with CyberSummer, a one-day only sale that begins at midnight EDT on the summer solstice – this Friday, June 21! Travelers will be able to find exclusive online deals, including four-diamond resort stays from $99/night, five-star hotels offering 50 percent savings, free nights, and more. Want examples? Here are a few, just to whet your vacation appetite. Read more
Whether you borrow a free bike for a cycle through a new neighborhood or kick off your shoes for yoga on the beach, fitness can become an enjoyable part of your vacation. And hotels are getting creative to help guests stay healthy on the road. On your next trip, skip the treadmill in exchange for one of the following fun fitness options; here are five of our free favorites!
1. Free Salsa Classes: Mezzanine, Tulum, Mexico
While clocking in 45 minutes of cardio might not sound too appealing on a beach vacation to Mexico’s Riviera Maya, how about a salsa lesson on a beachfront patio? At Mezzanine boutique hotel a local salsa school offers free classes on Sundays at 6pm, followed by a live salsa band that will provide the soundtrack to work on your new skills. Read more
A beautiful cavernous pool, Cenote Samula is one of the more scenic freshwater cenotes on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Characteristic to Mexico, cenotes are naturally formed pits, created when limestone rock caves in to expose these underground pools. A geological wonder with naturally formed stalactites and stalagmites, Yucatan cenotes were sacred places in Mayan culture, and are still considered a treasure today. Read more
Let me tell you a tale of Mexico that has little (okay, nothing) to do with what you order at Chipotle or Taco Bell. Instead let me open your eyes to pork, cheese, chocolate, and chilies (and perhaps a grasshopper, or two). This is the tale of Puebla – Mexico’s original foodie destination. Read more
Dismiss your foggy college memories of “gold” tequila. The Mexican national beverage is far more varied and complex than the stuff used for those tequila poppers. This distilled libation is made from only one plant – the Agave tequilana Weber, blue variety. Its lance-shaped leaves have a blue-green hue, which is why people often refer to it as “blue agave.” When harvested, those spiky leaves are cut off to get to the plant’s heart, or piña (which looks like a big pineapple). The piña is cooked to obtain the juices that form the basis for the final product. Read more
La Cueva de los Cristales, or The Cave of the Crystals rests nearly 1000 feet below one of Mexico’s most productive mines in Naica mountain in the Chihuahuan Desert. In 2000, the cave was discovered by two miner brothers who were excavating a new tunnel. The cave contains some of the largest naturally occurring crystals ever recorded – some even measure up to 36 feet long and weigh as much as 55 tons! Read more
Located just a few miles off the coast of Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, are the uninhabited, and virtually untouched, Marieta Islands. In the early 1900s, Mexico’s government took advantage of the uninhabited archipelago and performed military testing on the islands. Though the islands were formed centuries ago because of volcanic activity, it is believed that the hidden beach, and many other unexplained craters and caves on the islands are due to explosions and bombings by the government. Read more
Spring break isn’t just for hordes of rowdy college kids and fun-loving families anymore. Increasingly, outfitters are upping the ante – and, often, slashing prices – with warm-weather tours and off-the-beaten-path offerings that target 20-, 30-, and 40-something sojourners who are, more often than not, looking for a trip that leans toward adventurous instead of ordinary.
Here, a roundup of some of the most enticing deals and destinations to boost you from the last vestiges of winter. Read more
When I travel to a new destination, I always like to ask for advice and tips from my well-traveled friends who might have been to that place and probe for any suggestions before I get on the plane. And then, upon landing, I try to check those recommendations with my hotel and with locals. When it comes to finding places to eat, I find this type of research to be critical. I asked around for restaurant ideas before on my recent trip to Mexico. Here are my top picks after having spent a week in Puerto Vallarta.
I had never been to Puerto Vallarta, so I was very excited about the prospect of visiting over the New Year’s holiday. Coming from New York, it is, obviously, a longer trip than heading to the east coast of Mexico. However, it is worth the extra few hours of flight time. Puerto Vallarta is a charming seaside town and the old city is eminently walkable. There is a popular promenade along the water, and a not so surprising assortment of tourist shops, restaurants, and bars line the blocks. Most of one’s time, however, is likely spent at a resort and not at beaches around town.
I stayed at the Garza Blanca Preserve, Resort & Spa, located about 15 minutes south of the old town. This was the perfect choice. While the Four Seasons is about an hour north of town, I feel that the Garza Blanca is a great pick in that it is upscale, a very good value, and located not far from town for those evenings when one may want to go out to eat off property. Unlike the congested hotel zone north of Puerto Vallarta, the area south of the city, where the Garza Blanca is located, is less developed and far more secluded. Read more
In further proof that the world has not, in fact, ended, Karisma Hotels & Resorts has unveiled its Jackson Family Wines Culinary Series, a brand-new offering for 2013. Held at the adults-only El Dorado Royale and El Dorado Casitas each month, the weeklong program will highlight a different chef and winemaker from the Northern California winery, who will work together to create wine and dine experiences such as tasting and cooking classes, beachside wine parties, and a multi-course winemaker dinner prepared in a thatched roof “culinary theater.”
Sounds like a perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day getaway – or a reason to toast a trip to Mexico any other time of year. Read more
Looking for a 2013 cruise adventure that won’t break the bank? Set sail into the New Year and save with one of these five budget-friendly cruise picks. Cruising from close-to-home cities to popular ports in Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and beyond, these great-value 3-, 4-, and 7-night cruises all ring in from under $409/person – and one from as little as $199.
Just hurry up and book – prices are sure to spike soon, so don’t miss the boat on these priced-to-go sailings. Read more
In Merida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan, a region rich with Maya sites, the biggest headlines on December 21 didn’t come as a result of the much-hyped end of the world, but with a visit from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who inaugurated the recently opened Great Maya World Museum.
The museum, whose modern structure has more than 6,000 tons of steel – an Eiffel Tower’s worth, in fact – features a comprehensive look at Maya culture through the centuries, including how modern-day Maya continue to live.
So for any Maya-philes who didn’t make it to the Mundo Maya during the much-hyped buildup of 2012, which culminated with the end of the Maya Long Count calendar on the winter solstice, here’s another reason to schedule a visit in 2013. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time, as the museum spans more than 2,200 square meters of permanent and temporary exhibits. Read more
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