- Pick the right resort. There are many to choose from including family-orientated to adults only.
Make sure it is close to a beach, if that is important to you and has the number of restaurants and type of entertainment you enjoy.
- Be realistic about your expectations. Yes, it is all inclusive, but you get what you pay for. If you are looking for a bargain vacation, don't expect a fancy resort. Staying at an all-inclusive resort means that the food, drinks, and gratuities are included. However, there are several amenities that usually are extra including spa, specialty dining, and some water activities, including scuba diving.
- The better you treat the staff, the better they will serve you. Do you need help finding a great shopping area? You'll get plenty of help if you treat the staff with respect. Also, gratuities are included, but it pays to tip a little extra. The bartenders at the swim up pool with give you better service as well as the waiters in the dining areas.
- Be careful with the amount of food and drink you consume. It is easy to go to the bar or restaurant at almost any time and get something to eat or drink, but you'll be kicking yourself later with your weight gain. Be wise with food selections. Several all-inclusives have wonderful restaurants. Make is a special vacation by treating yourself to lunch and dinner at the finest eateries.
- Be ready for the unexpected. You might have to make dinner reservations at a specialty restaurant, but the time you wanted is already taken. You'll need to be flexible. Also call in advance to make reservations as early as possible. Some resorts don't require reservations as the the RIUs, but most do. Or, your room may not be exactly what you expected. You can always ask the hotel to change rooms, but you may have only paid for a garden view when you really wanted an ocean view. If it is low season, you might be able to get an upgrade, but in high season, don't expect it.
- Don't sign up for a time share presentation. They usually last a couple of hours and this is taking special time away from a relaxed, low pressure vacation. Most of the time share presentations are high pressure and can leave you with a bad feeling. If someone calls you with a really low vacation deal over the phone, always ask if you are required to listen to a time share presentation. Listen carefully as they answer. I've had several people say, “No,” and then when they are reading the final disclaimers, they say the words, “time share presentation.” Those are the words that trigger a No Deal to my answer.
We love going to all-inclusive resorts. We know what our price is up front and there are endless activities at most of the resorts including everything from biking to kayaking, scuba lessons, ping pong, great shows, language lessons, water activities, and casino nights. With everything packaged into one price there is no room for stressing about money, and most of the planning is done by the resort. Below are a few insights about how to make the most of your all-inclusive vacation.
Mexico City, welcomes more than 12.5 million visitors a year and is one of the hottest travel destinations for 2016. The reason is that is has more than 150 museums, 100 contemporary local art galleries and 30 distinct architectural and historic sites, as well as a host of trending arts, culture and culinary hotspots.
It’s easily accessible through ample direct flights from the U.S. Relatively short flight from major U.S. gateways (a little more than two hours from Houston, 3.5 hours from Los Angeles and just over five hours from New York), makes
Mexico City is large, extending to more than 16 boroughs with more than 300 neighborhoods, making it impossible to see everything in one visit, so, we’ve come up with some high points for your urban-oriented clients, depending on their special interests.
The Zocalo is a good place to start. It is the main plaza in the heart of the historic city center. It is bordered by the Cathedral to the north, the National Palace (where several murals by Diego Rivera reside) to the east, the Federal District buildings to the south and the Old Portal de Mercaderes to the west. Just outside the Zocalo is the Templo Mayor site, an ancient Aztec pyramid site that was discovered just beneath the pavement of the Zocalo. For the best views, visit the Porrua library. There’s a rooftop cafe here that overlooks the site, giving guests a bird’s-eye view of the discovery.
The Soumaya Museum is known for its collection of more than 66,000 pieces of art.Arts and Culture.
Must-sees include the National Museum of Anthropology, which houses Aztec ruins from pre-colonial Mexico City and is a jewel of Mexican architecture by Pedro Ramírez Vázquez, and the Soumaya Museum, another architectural gem known for its collection of more than 66,000 pieces of art, mostly European works from the 15th to the 20th centuries, as well as Mexican art, religious relics and historical documents and coins.
Skip the long lines at Casa Azul and head to the somewhat lesser-known Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo..
Contemporary art abounds in establishments such as Museo Rufino Tamayo in Chapultepec Park, and Museo Jumex, which houses one of the largest private contemporary art collections in Latin America. For fine arts, the imposing, domed Palacio de las Bellas Artes is seven blocks west of the Zocalo and next to the Alameda Central Park. Edgier art galleries, such Kurimanzutto, LABOR and Bikini Wax may appeal to others.
There are many new restaurants such as Havre 77 from Chef Eduardo García of Máximo and the Milan 44 food hall are revitalizing the emerging Juárez neighborhood. Mercado San Juan, in the downtown historic center, is a food market that sells everything from fresh fruits and produce to grasshoppers, goats, fish and pork. This is a truly authentic experience. Travelers wind their way through the stalls to see local farmers and fishermen hawking their wares to chefs and locals.
Street food is at the heart of Mexico City’s culinary scene, and top chefs such as Pujol’s Enrique Olvera are known for reinventing traditional street dishes to put on their high-end menus. A tour with Club Tengo Hambre or Eat Mexico to discover some of the city’s best-tasting curbside tacos, tortas and tamales is suggested.
Shopping and Design.
Fashion designers have set up shops in the hip Condesa and Roma neighborhoods, where boutiques abound with trendy clothing from Mexican designers. Traditional markets show off Mexican handicrafts. Bargain hunters can find inexpensive artisanal goods from all over the country at La Ciudadela, El Bazaar Sábado and La Lagunilla. Those with deeper pockets may wish to browse the boutique home decor shops at the upscale Polanco enclave and showrooms such as Studio Roca, Onora Casa and BLEND.
Don't forget Madero Street at Centro, a pedestrian area that has everything from well-known brand stores for clothing and shoes to small flea markets, plus restaurants with beautiful terraces.
Travel Agent Central 6/21/16 David Moseber
One of the most fun dinners we had while we were in Cancun was at the Black Hole at the Oasis. This is a dinner in the dark. They don’t let you book a reservation if you have a food allergy. There are black lights so you can see the waiter’s hands. This is not only a tasting experience but songs and entertainment. The two hour experience started with drinks. Then we went to snacks. I couldn’t believe that Mark identified the Rose Petals. I am happy to say all the foods were very tasty. The main entrees of seafood and meats were quite small, but with 27 courses, you don’t need much for each one. I highly recommend you try dining in the dark if you are adventuresome.
Call us for more information. 612-559-6545
I just got back from a week in Cancun and Playa Del Carmen. It really felt good to get out of the cold Minnesota temperatures. The Cancun breezes and the cooler evenings are very enjoyable. I loved the whole vacation, but I learned a few things.
Cruises and All-Inclusive Resorts are very good values. However, if you get sea-sick, stick to the all-inclusive resort. Below is a comparison chart of the two options.
Hotels in the Caribbean are faced with a clean-up of Sargassum. We visited the Riviera Maya last year and the problem was evident. Large masses of seaweed washed on shore daily. Hotel crews had a daily ritual of burying the unsightly seaweed.
On Barbados’ east coast, hotels are providing complimentary transportation to west coast beaches for the day.Sandals, which recently opened its Barbados resort on the island’s south coast, cleans its beach every morning. Because of this effort, operations are running normally, with the beach open and all watersports activities uninterrupted.
Sargassum is a nonissue for Sandals’ resorts in the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos and Antigua.
Martinique’s Atlantic coast has been hard hit. The island’s Regional Council has spent $2.2 million on sargassum cleanup, and over 100 volunteers work with public works staff to clear affected areas.
Bachelor in Paradise kicks off in a two-night event on the nights of August 2nd and 3rd. It is filmed at Playa Escondida (Hidden Beach). This resort, is a secret gem of the Riviera Nayarit coast and a nature and beach lover’s wonderland.
The show was taped in the Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta as a result of the efforts of the Mexico Tourims Board, and will be hosted at Hotel Playa Escondida in Sayulita.
Riviera Nayarit has a lot to offer anyone.. It is a tropical wonder whose Pacific coastline stretches for almost 200 miles, and whose southern border unfolds just 10 minutes north of the Puerto Vallarta International Airport and whose northern border unfolds just 40 minutes west of the Tepic International Airport.
Riviera Nayarit Mexico provides a backdrop of intense skies, emerald mountains, abundant vegetation and endless beautiful golden beaches for an unforgettable Mexico vacation experience.
Ninety percent of the year is met with bright rays of sunshine, creating the ideal environment for the growth of exuberant flora that take on intense colorful hues and beautifully paint the land.
On every beach, in every little Pacific Coast town, Mexico’s lush vegetation, the extraordinary animal species and the beauty of nature will leave you totally awed.
In the northern part of the Riviera Nayarit, salt water and fresh water become one as they feed into numerous estuaries, lagoons and the National Marshes.
The National Marshes and mangroves serve as a sanctuary for Mexico’s migratory birds, crocodiles and other species. Farther inland is the Sierra de Vallejo State Biosphere Reserve, a tropical mountain range home to jaguars, wild boars and parrots, resplendent with elephant ear, amate and mahogany trees.
The San Juan State Biosphere Reserve is impressive with its fragrant forests lining the base of the San Juan and Sangagüey volcano. All of these natural Mexico wonders are just a glimpse of what you will find in the Riviera Nayarit – the tropical paradise full of luxury, fun and comforts that eagerly awaits your arrival, and will exceed your wildest vacation expectations.
Don’t just watch Bachelor in Paradise, start planning your own vacation to the Riviera Nayarit and Puerto Vallarta. Call Peterson Travel Pros, 612-559-6545 to help you plan your trip.
Los Cabos is back and open for business. The airport looks fine and hotels are in good shape. Secrets is fully functional. Fiesta Americana Grand is fully operational. Their lobby was entirely blown out. The luxury product was particularly shut down there. But One & Only Palmilla, Esperanza and some others will be opening again between March and June. All in all, Los Cabos is in very good shape.
Last week the biggest story in the travel sector was the tragic hurricane that struck Los Cabos. Los Cabos continues the process of evacuating travelers stranded by Hurricane Odile. The Los Cabos airport is running on an emergency generator, and the U.S. State Department is urging travelers to take a flight out as soon as possible. The Mexican air force is airlifting travelers as commercial flights are unavailable. Here is the latest full list of Los Cabos hotels and tour operators impacted by the hurricane.
Likely you have heard of Mexico's seaside hotspot, Puerto Vallarta, but the destination's northern neighbor
deserves its fair share of attention, as well. Here's why:
By: Meagan Drillinger
1. Location, location location
Riviera Nayarit is smack dab between the Western Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. It has 200
miles of beaches, mangrove forests and fishing villages, so whether or clients are interested in hiking, surfing for
culture seeking there is an area of interest. It's prime real estate also affords it an average of 80 degrees year
Already home to a slew of high-end hotels (think Four Seasons and St. Regis), Riviera Nayarit is picking up
interest among other mass market brands such as Iberostar, which debuted its first Mexican Pacific Coast hotel
in December. Many hotels have ocean views, including Oceanfront Junior Suites, adult-only Spa Rooms,
Presidential Suites and handicap accessible rooms. Properties have Wi-Fi and access to golf.
3. For the Outdoorsy Type
From whale watching and snorkeling to diving, surfing and kayaking, Riviera Nayarit is an adventure-seeker's
paradise. Other outdoor activities include windsurfing, fishing, mangrove boat rides and more. Be sure to head to
the seaside surfer's town of Sayulita, where you can surf the swells and kick back with cervezas on the beach.
4. Disconnect to Reconnect
The bohemian beach town of Sayulita in Riviera Nayarit, Mexico, has attracted avid yogis to the region in order
to disconnect to reconnect. At Haramara Retreat, a 16-acre oasis with 16 private palapa cabanas, guests can
participate in morning or afternoon practice from two 360-degree-view yoga pavilions. Yoga, both private and
group classes, are offered and upon check-in guests may choose to meet their instructor to determine level of
expertise and customize the practice to meet guest needs. The Trailwind Jungle Lodge sits on the the
coastline just north of San Pancho. Here the bungalows, palapas and casitas sit on five acres of jungle and
beach. Mar de Jade is located in Chacala, a fishing village 90 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta. The main house
of Mar de Jade sits on the Chacala beach. There are 17 Garden Suites and 11 Guest Rooms in addition to yoga
and meditation studios, dining rooms, bar, guest lounge and reception. Guests can participate in yoga,
meditation or the temezcal ceremony or any of the scheduled on-property retreats. Finally, travelers looking to
be closer to the beach should look into Paraiso Yoga located in Sayulita and a two-block walk to the beach.
The property has three bungalows. Gatherings can be held in the shared open-air kitchen or outdoor hangout
5. Catch of the Day
Proximity to the ocean leads to some of the freshest seafood in Mexico. From
all-inclusive restaurants to seaside cafes, Riviera Nayarit is catching and
grilling local Mexican delicacies.
6. Real Mexico
Still relatively untouched by international tourism, Riviera Nayarit provides a glimpse into traditional Mexico.
Four local tribes produce their own arts and crafts. Plus, the nearby archaeological site of Alta Vista allows
visitors to take a step back into history.
7. Night Owls Will Flock
Being in such close proximity to Puerto Vallarta allows travelers to Riviera Nayarit to experience a pulsing
nightlife. Puerto Vallarta's streets are electric with bars, discos, live music and live shows. Plus, Puerto Vallarta
is one of the most LGBT-friendly destinations in Mexico.