4 Great Eco-Tourism Adventures in Mexico

Man zipline flight in jungleEcotourism combines the best of environmental conservation and responsible tourism, offering travelers a unique cultural experience. Mexico, like many Latin American countries, has become one of the top destinations for eco-minded travelers who want to explore the great outdoors and marvel at Mother Nature’s wonders, with minimal impact on local communities.

Mexico’s eco-tourism industry has grown considerably over the past decade, offering visitors a slew of outdoor adventures and wildlife tours that showcase the country’s spectacular natural sites. Here are 4 amazing eco-adventures in Mexico to add to your bucket list!

Monarch Butterfly Migration in Michoacán

Journey to the rural forests of Michoacan, where millions (and perhaps billions) of monarch butterflies converge to spend the winter. Learn more about these phenomenal butterfly gatherings while visiting butterfly biosphere reserves in the charming towns of Patzcuaro and Morelia –a  UNESCO World Heritage City.

Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation

Witness another natural marvel on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, where thousands of Olive Ridley turtles storm the beaches to nest. The World Wildlife Foundation offers a backstage conservation tour that includes beach patrols, chances to watch female turtles dig their nests and lay eggs, plus the opportunity to help new hatchlings make their way to the sea. Most of the excursions center around Puerto Escondido and La Escobilla beach.

Chiapas Zipline Adventure

Some of Mexico’s most popular eco-tours also include hair-raising adventure. Chiapas is home to the exquisite Mayan ruins of Palenque, where stone temples rise hundreds of feet above dense jungle. Tour operators offer a combo adventure that includes a guided walk through the ruins, followed by a zip-line canopy tour and a hike to a 100-foot waterfall with inviting swimming hole.

Tulum Jungle Tour

The Tulum Jungle Maya excursion is guaranteed to get your adrenaline pumping, and boasts not one but three different adventure activities! After exploring the impressive archeological site of Tulum, which overlooks one of the world’s most gorgeous beaches (according to National Geographic), you’ll snorkel among rock formations in the world’s longest underground river. An all-terrain vehicle takes you deeper into the jungle where two more activities await: rappelling down into underwater caves and flying high over the rainforest via zipline. This half-day eco-adventure ends with a Mayan purification ceremony attended by a local shaman. If you’re staying in Cancun, Playa del Carmen or anywhere along the Riviera Maya, this tour is a must!

Additional Mexico Eco Tourism Resources:

  1. Journey Mexico, MORELIA AND THE MONARCH BUTTERFLY MIGRATION https://www.journeymexico.com/itinerary/morelia-and-the-monarch-butterfly-migration
  2. Viator, Mexico Eco Tours https://www.viator.com/Mexico-tours/Eco-Tours/d76-g9-c119
  3. TripAdvisor, Top Eco Tours in Mexico https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g150768-Activities-c61-t216-Mexico.html
Friday, October 6th, 2017
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Best Things to Do at Cancun’s Nichupte Lagoon

Vacation on tropical lake Nichupte lagoon, CancunDiscover the amazing natural treasures of Nichupte Lagoon, which plays a starring role in many of today’s Cancun vacations. Featuring seven different lakes and a winding network of beautiful canals, this impressive lagoon spans over 3,000 acres, and offers the perfect backdrop for a wide array of water sports, mangrove excursions and chances to catch big fish on light tackle. Nichupte Lagoon, one of the most spectacular natural attractions on the Mexican Caribbean, is visited by thousands of travelers each year. Here, you can revel in the stunning landscapes, clear waters and lush estuaries brimming with colorful birds, frogs, turtles, iguanas, caiman, and tree-dwelling mammals.

Looking for some vacation inspiration? Check out some of the best-rated tours and things to do at Nichupte Lagoon.

Jungle Tour – Speed Boat & Snorkeling Combo

The Jungle Tour Adventure promises adrenaline from the moment you step aboard a custom, two-person speed boat that whisks you through a series of mangrove-lined canals. The 45-minute journey takes you through verdant estuaries at full-throttle to the warm waters of the Caribbean’s Punta Nizuc—home to one of the planet’s largest coral reef systems. Plunge overboard and explore one of the richest marine habitats as you snorkel among huge schools of tropical fish. This jungle tour is great fun for the whole family!

Skyrider Parasailing

For many intrepid travelers, parasailing is on their “bucket list” of Cancun adventure tours. One of the best ways to enjoy the breathtaking beauty of Nichupte Lagoon and surrounding areas is from hundreds of feet in the air, on a parasailing tour featuring the latest Skyrider seat. Using this revolutionary harness system, you are gently and safely lifted up from the boat’s platform, offering unbridled vistas as you soar into the sky. Don’t miss this thrilling adventure, perfect for kids and adults alike.

Light tackle & fly fishing

Ensure a complete blast on your Cancun holiday by booking a fishing trip on Nichupte Lagoon.  This isn’t your typical deep-sea charter for veteran fishermen. This is fishing for small kids and the non-angler who doesn’t care about landing a sea monster, and would rather have fun catching fat snook, snapper, sea trout and baby tarpon on light tackle (10 pound test line). Some outfits will even teach you how to catch small-sized tarpon (under 30 pounds) on the fly! Besides tarpon, snapper and snook, the Nichupte Lagoon is home to bonefish, barracuda, permit and jack crevalle.

Kayak explorations

Nichupte Lagoon is a veritable paradise for bird watchers and wildlife enthusiasts. Here, the mangrove forests and briny lagoons provide a safe haven for all manners of flora and fauna, and kayaking is one of the best (and most affordable) ways to experience Mother Nature’s glory. Kayak rentals allow you to explore the lagoon at your own pace, while guided tours offer extra insight into the diverse landscapes and animal life.

Additional Resources on “Nichupte Lagoon Activities”:

  1. Mexican Caribbean, Nichupte Lagoon Cancun http://www.mexicancaribbean.com/cancun/nichupte-lagoon/
  2. AquaWorld, BEST WATER ACTIVITIES IN NICHUPTE LAGOON https://aquaworld.com.mx/en/the-best-water-activities-in-nichupte-lagoon-at-aquaworld/
  3. Visit Mexico, Enjoy the magic of the lagoon Nichupté https://www.visitmexico.com/en/main-activities/cancun/enjoy-the-magic-of-the-lagoon-nichupte
  4. CancunTarponFishing, Cancun Fly Fishing – Cancun Fly Fishing Species http://www.cancuntarponfishing.com/cancun-fly-fishing-species.php
Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
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4th of July Celebrations in Mexico

Starfish on beach during July fourthFor many Americans, Independence Day conjures up images of backyard barbecues, hot dog eating contests, cookouts with family and friends, and spectacular firework displays. If you happen to find yourself south of the border this 4th of July, you will be in the good company of other vacationers who cherish the time-honored traditions of this national holiday.

Whether you’re vacationing in one of the oceanfront resorts of Cancun or a luxury condo in Los Cabos, there are tons of exciting festivities planned this Fourth of July, including themed pool parties, music concerts, family-friendly games, cookouts and more.  

This July 4th, get ready to enjoy some stars and stripes celebrations in paradise!

Las Vegas Charity Night in Rocky Point, Mexico

This 4th of July, Sonoran Resorts in Puerto Peñasco is gearing up for their annual Las Vegas Night for Charity!  This popular event is a great excuse to brush up on your poker and Black Jack skills as you help raise money for the less privileged children and families in Rocky Point. A $35 ticket includes a delicious buffet, $300 in charity chips and raffle tickets for chances to win cool prizes. This 4th of July event draws hundreds of Rocky Point locals and visitors who want to have fun while helping a good cause.

4th of July Music Weekend at Banditos

Banditos cantina is a popular concert venue in Rocky Point, and each year this beachfront sports bar and outdoor patio hosts a music weekend festival featuring rock, funk, reggae and other genres. The party starts Friday June 30 and runs through Sunday July 2. Past lineups have included headliners like Japhy’s Descent, Sara Robinson, Stone Mary, and Mob versus Ballot Box.

Los Cabos 4th of July Parties

Cabo San Lucas is home to some of the most beautiful ocean view resorts, many of which plan amazing 4th of July activities for guests. If you happen to be staying in Los Cabos over the holiday weekend, you’re in for a treat. Poolside cookouts will be serving up American favorites like hamburgers, ribs and hot dogs. Visitors can even partake in classic games like horseshoes and beer pong! Many hotels will be throwing beach parties into the evening, complete with music, dancing, specialty cocktails and even a fire show.  Some resorts are planning nighttime fireworks displays, so be sure to ask about starting times.

Independence Day in Playa del Carmen

The beautiful community of Playa del Carmen boasts a huge population of American expats who embrace their patriotic spirit every Fourth of July. If you’re looking for some family fun, head to Wah Wah Beach Bar, which prides itself on throwing the biggest party south of the border. There is usually face painting and a bouncy house for the kids, as well as drink specials on margaritas plus a mouthwatering all-American buffet with all the traditional 4th of July eats including hamburgers, chili, hotdogs and onion rings! Dress in your finest red, white and blue outfit for a chance to win a prize!

More on spending the 4th of July in Mexico:

Thursday, June 15th, 2017
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Best Times of the Year to Vacation in Mexico

Mexico is a vast country that boasts some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, whether you’re a beach lover or prefer cool mountain climes. Owing to its sheer size and geographic diversity, visitors will encounter different microclimates and weather patterns from coast to coast, which should be taken into consideration when planning a family vacation or romantic escape.

If you’re wondering about the best time of year for a Mexico vacation, the answer will hinge largely on your personal preferences and the various destinations that you’ll be visiting. Some travelers (especially those seeking a winter vacation) crave warm, sunny weather and don’t care too much about tourist crowds. Others may be looking for a more wallet-friendly trip with great discounts on condo rentals and tours, and don’t mind the occasional downpour.

Although temperatures fluctuate greatly depending on location and elevation, Mexico’s weather is generally marked by a dry season and a rainy season.

High tourist season in Mexico

December through April are the driest months in Mexico, which also coincides with peak tourist season. Average day time temperatures along popular beach towns like Cancun range between 82 and 91 degrees F, offering travelers perfect weather for a host of outdoor and water activities.

If you’re not keen on spending your vacation among hordes of Spring Breakers, which descend upon Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta and Playa del Carmen each year, plan your vacation so that it doesn’t coincide with the busiest spring break period (March and April). Keep in mind that Easter (locally known as Semana Santa) is another peak time for travel in Mexico, as local families flock to the coast for a few days of rest and relaxation. Accommodation prices during Easter week and other holidays tend to go up considerably, so if you’re watching your budget, consider a trip during the “rainy” or transition period.

Low tourist season in Mexico

The rainy or “wet season” spans from May/June through November throughout most of the country. Depending on the location, you may experience occasional drizzles or frequent late afternoon showers. A little rain shouldn’t deter you however, as there is plenty of time to squeeze in fishing tours and sightseeing excursions.  

One of the biggest advantages of this time of year is the lush, green vegetation and fewer tourist crowds.

If you’re planning to visit Baja California Peninsula, note that Mexico’s hurricane season officially starts in June, which can bring heavy showers and the threat of storms to both the Pacific and Gulf coasts.

Planning for seasonal wildlife activities

If there’s a certain activity or festival on your bucket list, you may want to tailor your vacation dates accordingly.

  • Best times for whale watching on the Pacific coast: January to March
  • Best time to view sea turtles nesting: September and October
  • Best time to swim with whale sharks along the Yucatan Peninsula: May through September
  • Best time to see monarch butterfly migration: Late January through March

Additional “Best Times to Visit Mexico” Resources:

  1. GoMexico, 5 Amazing Wildlife Encounters in Mexico http://gomexico.about.com/od/adventureecotourism/ss/wildlife-encounters.htm
  2. OnTheGo, THE BEST TIME TO VISIT MEXICO https://www.onthegotours.com/Mexico/Best-time-to-visit
  3. GoMexico, Mexico Month By Month http://gomexico.about.com/od/planningandinformation/tp/mexico-by-month.htm
Monday, May 1st, 2017
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Best Places for Scuba Diving in Mexico

Young Woman Scuba Dives on a Coral ReefPlanning a scuba diving vacation to Mexico? This diverse country is literally brimming with exciting dive sites, from thrilling Cenotes (massive sinkholes) and living reefs to shipwrecks and manta ray cleaning stations. Whether you’re exploring the magical seascapes around the Riviera Maya or the caverns and tunnels of Cozumel, there are diving opportunities for all skill levels and interests.

Best dive sites in Mexico: Pacific Coast

If your heart is set on an open ocean dive with whale shark and great white encounters, then head to Mexico’s Pacific coast, where live-aboard cruises feature visits to some of the world’s finest scuba locations. Some of the most popular dive sites on the Pacific coast include: 

  • Guadalupe Island – Situated some 380 miles west of Baja California, this volcanic island is renowned for cage diving with nature’s most fearsome apex predator – the great white shark. Liveaboard scuba trips to Guadalupe are offered from August-October, when shark populations are at their peak.
  • Socorro Islands(the Revillagigedos) –This archipelago of spectacular islands is located roughly 240 miles from Cabo San Lucas, off the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. Socorro promises awe-inspiring encounters with hundreds of sharks, graceful manta rays as well as humpback whales. Dubbed the “Galapagos of Mexico” thanks to its impressive numbers of large animal encounters, Socorro is recommended for experienced divers only.
  • Sea of Cortez – Less experienced divers who aren’t quite prepared to brave strong ocean currents are encouraged to book a scuba diving cruise (or day trip) to these biodiverse waters off the Gulf of California. This sheltered swath of water offers unforgettable encounters with sea lions, tropical reef fish, schooling jacks, hammerhead sharks in addition to killer whales, pilot whales and dolphin. Popular dive sites include Las Animas, Angel Island and El Arroyo, Punta Martir. 

Caribbean Sea dive sites 

  • Cenote Dos Ojos, Yucatan – Mexico is a terrific introduction to cave diving, and there’s no better place to enjoy this experience than in Cenote Dos Ojos, a network of ancient fresh water caverns that span some 50 miles. Visibility is best between May and September, and tour operators offer this underwater adventure to intermediate and advanced divers.
  • Pared Verde – Translated as the “Green Wall,” Pared Verde is an easy 25-minute jaunt from the docks of Playa del Carmen. Considered a drift dive, this massive 90-foot deep wall is surrounded by colorful sponges, sea fans, invertebrates as well as sea turtles, sting rays and moray eels.
  • Manchones Reef – If you’re a beginner diver who loves underwater photography, Manchones Reef (also called MUSA) is an easy day trip from Cancun. What sets this site apart from the pack are its beautiful man-made installations, created by a local sculptor. The underwater statues have stimulated new coral growth, while relieving pressures on this delicate ecosystem. 
  • Palancar Reef –Cozumel is a world-class diving mecca, but of all the island’s dive sites, Palancar Reef is one of the best. Great for novice and intermediate divers, this stunning reef has gentle currents, enormous coral pinnacles and is thriving with tropical marine life. 
  • Puerto Morelos –Puerto Morelos is a famed tourist port town on the Riviera Maya that offers great shipwreck diving. The shipwreck – an old navy boat deliberately sunk – is one of several artificial reefs, created to expand marine habitats. The barnacle-laden ship now hosts a cornucopia of sea life and provides the perfect backdrop for a thrill-seeking adventure.

Additional Mexico Scuba Diving Resources:

  1. AquaWorld, SCUBA DIVING IN THE BEST LOCATIONS OF MEXICO https://aquaworld.com.mx/en/scuba-diving-in-the-best-locations-of-mexico/
  2. Deep Blue, Top 10 Dive Sites in Mexico https://www.deeperblue.com/top-dive-sites-mexico/
  3. The Diving Blog,  Top 10 Best Dive Sites in Mexico http://thedivingblog.com/top-10-best-dive-sites-mexico/
Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
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Top Places for Singles to Vacation in Mexico

Mexico is a top destination for singles looking to get away for a week or two. When you book your trip with Sea Side Reservations, you’ll have access to incredible vacation rentals for singles—from the luxurious to the rustic. Plan a solo trip for some much-needed “me time” or plan a getaway with your friends. From nightlife to outdoors recreation, Mexico has it all.


beach party sunsetCancun is often the first destination that comes to mind when planning a solo getaway to America’s southern neighbor. This dynamic city is located on the Yucatan Peninsula and, as you might expect, it’s famous for its beaches and nightclubs. Cancun receives a few million visitors each year. In fact, the city’s hotel occupancy rate was 82 percent during 2015, which beat other top resort towns like Acapulco and Los Cabos. Working with a vacation rental company can give you access to top accommodations around the city, despite this competition. Scheduling your vacation is an important factor to consider, since Cancun is the destination of choice for college students on spring break.

When you arrive in Cancun, you’ll have your pick of activities. Lounge on the picture perfect beaches, float to your heart’s content on the crystal-clear water, or put on some snorkels and make friends with the turtles. You can even swim with the dolphins in Xcaret Park and Isla Mujeres! Fishing, jet skiing, and kayaking are all popular activities. If you have an adventurous spirit, take a side trip to Chichen Itza—a famed Mayan site that includes the Kukulkan Pyramid. Tulum is even closer to Cancun. This walled city was one of the last inhabited Mayan sites.

When the sun goes down, Cancun truly comes to life. Choose from a virtually limitless selection of dance clubs, live shows, bars, and cigar lounges. If you crave excitement, be sure to check out Coco Bongo—a must-see for dance club enthusiasts.

Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta is a beautiful, sun-drenched city on the Pacific Coast in the Mexican state of Jalisco. This vibrant city was once a sleepy village known for its fishing, but that all changed when The Night of the Iguana was filmed here in 1964. Now, Puerto Vallarta is like Cancun’s little sister. It gets a couple million visitors each year, who flock to this top destination for its gorgeous beaches, exciting nightlife, and incredible cuisine. Puerto Vallarta is also known for being the destination of choice for LGBT folks, given its warm, friendly ambience.

In Puerto Vallarta, there’s always plenty to do when you’ve had your fill of sunbathing on the beach. Take a stroll along the oceanfront walkway, go parasailing, or sign up for a bird’s eye view of the jungle canopy via zip-line tours. Puerto Vallarta is also known for its golfing, eclectic art scene, horseback riding, and shopping.

Playa del Carmen

Singles who prefer a quieter atmosphere might head over to Playa del Carmen. This city, located south of Cancun, is a veritable sanctuary. Relax in your luxurious villa rental or stay at a resort for all the modern amenities you could want. Like all great destinations in Mexico, single visitors enjoy easy access to fabulous beaches, casual and fine dining, and recreational activities galore. Pamper yourself at the spas, swim with the dolphins, or explore the Yucatan jungle.

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017
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Top 5 Cancun Attractions

Aerial view of Isla Mujeres and island very close to Cancun. Caribbean waters.Whether you’re a sun worshipper, thrill-seeker or an outdoor enthusiast, Cancun promises a little slice of tropical paradise off Mexico’s sultry Yucatan Peninsula. Notorious for its rocking nightlife and impossibly beautiful white-sand beaches, Cancun offers amazing diversions and attractions for travelers of all interests. Cancun promises much more than luxury resorts and Spring Break parties, this popular beach destination is full of adventure, culture and history.

If you’re planning a Cancun vacation this year, these 5 attractions are well worth a visit!

Isla Mujeres

Escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Cancun with a relaxing day trip to Isla Mujeres (Island of Women, pictured), which is a breezy 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun’s nearest ports: Gran Puerto, Punta Sam and Puerto Juarez. Framed by swaying coconut palms, this idyllic spot is renowned for its breathtaking beaches, most notably Playa Norte. If you’re not into swimming and snorkeling or just relaxing in a hammock, the island also has an interesting turtle farm and eco-attraction, the Garrafon Natural Reef Park, where you can do zip-line tours, go sea kayaking and swim with playful dolphins.

Chichen Itza

You can’t vacation in Cancun without taking a sightseeing tour to the magnificent Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza – the largest, most impressive and most visited archeological site in all of Mexico. Local tour operators offer day trips to this UNESCO World Heritage Site, where knowledgeable certified guides lead you through this sprawling ceremonial center that boasts massive temples, pyramids and architectural feats.

Dolphinaris Cancun

Billed as the “world’s best dolphinarium,” Dolphinaris Cancun promises a once-in-a-lifetime swimming experience with these highly intelligent marine mammals. This kid-friendly attraction is situated at the southern end of the hotel zone, and features three salt water lagoons surrounded by palm trees and thatched-roof palapas. Choose from a variety of interactive dolphin tours that let you swim, kiss, hug and play with dolphins in naturalistic habitats.

Xoximilco Cancun

If you love Mariachi bands, delicious Mexican cuisine and singing aloud with strangers, you can’t miss an evening at Xoximilco Cancun!  Xoximilco recreates some of the oldest and most celebrated traditions in Mexico, and gives you a chance to tour water canals on a beautifully decorated “trajinera boat” as you listen to lively folk music, sip on tequilas and national beer, and experience the joys of a real Mexican fiesta.

Interactive Aquarium

If you’re looking for a family-friendly activity in Cancun, head to the Interactive Aquarium for some hands-on encounters with colorful marine creatures and a spectacular dolphin show. An enclosed tank has touchable animals including sting rays, conches, starfish, urchins and sea turtles. You can even arrange to swim with the dolphins and safely feed sharks with the guidance of a diving trainer. The aquarium is located in La Isla Shopping Plaza and is recommended for kids, tweens and teens!

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017
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Mexico’s Most Famous Landmarks

Copper Canyon (Barrancas del Cobre) Mexico.Mexico remains one of the most popular vacation destinations for families, friends and couples, attracting more than 20 million visitors each year. Boasting palm-fringed beaches, miles of turquoise waters, and adrenaline-pumping adventures at every turn, it’s no wonder so many Americans head south of the border for some much needed R&R.

Endless sunshine and beautiful coastal cities account for much of the country’s tourism appeal, but Mexico’s rich cultural heritage and colonial cities offer interesting landmarks and points of interest.  Did you know that Mexico has the largest number of UNESCO World Heritage sites in all of Latin America? From mighty geologic formations to ancient Mayan cities, here’s a roundup of famous landmarks and attractions that are definitely worth exploring. 

Copper Canyon

Affectionately known as the Grand Canyon’s southern cousin, the Copper Canyon is one of Mexico’s most popular natural attractions and is in fact much larger and deeper than its northern counterpart. Located in Northern Mexico’s Sierra Madre Occidental, this stunning geological wonder is comprised of six separate canyons, which were carved out by converging rivers that empty in the Gulf of California. One of the best ways to discover the Copper Canyon is by hopping aboard the Chihuahua-Pacifico Railway, which climbs over 2,700 feet and passes through 86 tunnels. Adventurous spirits can explore the canyon floor by horseback or mountain bike, with plenty of chances to interact with indigenous Tarahumara communities.

El Arco

If your travel itinerary includes Cabo San Lucas, you can’t miss a boat ride to the area’s most iconic (and romantic) landmark — El Arco. Meaning “the arch” in Spanish, this beautiful rock formation juts from the sea, marking the union of the Pacific Ocean and the Gulf of California. The arch has become a famous attraction for several reasons. Besides its distinctive beauty and geological significance, El Arco also happens to lure large groups of playful sea lions and occasional migrating whales. A sunset cruise to El Arco promises incredible photo opportunities, and water taxis offer cheap roundtrip  transportation from the Cabo marina.

Isla Mujeres

Situated just eight miles from the booming beach town of Cancun, Isla Mujeres (Island of the Women) is the place to go for crystal clear waters, white sand beaches and incredible snorkeling and diving among colorful coral reefs. This island paradise is much more than a tourist hotspot and local landmark, however. Isla Mujeres is steeped in history. During Pre-Columbian times, the island was a sacred spot to Ixchel, the Mayan goddess childbirth. Ferries shuttle day trippers over from Cancun to enjoy the island’s postcard-perfect beaches and unparalleled underwater adventures. The island even has a cool turtle farm that is sure to entertain the kids.

Chichen Itza

The sprawling Mayan city of Chichen Itza is an easy day trip from Playa del Carmen or Cancun. Dating back more than 1,500 years, this Maya complex is one of Mexico’s most well-preserved and popular archaeological sites.  A visit to Chichen Itza promises many chances to marvel at the incredible achievements of this ancient civilization, which produced the hulking Pyramid of Kukulkan and the rounded observatory of El Caracol, which was meticulously aligned with the motions of Venus.

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
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3 Incredible Mayan Ruins You Must Visit

Ruins of Palenque, Maya city in Chiapas, MexicoMexico is nation renowned for its breathtaking beaches, vibrant traditions, world-class sportfishing and palate-pleasing cuisine. But few tourists know that Mexico is home to nearly 200 sites created and inhabited by Mesoamerica’s most advanced civilization – the Maya. Celebrated for their impressive developments in mathematics, hieroglyph writing, astrology and architecture, the Maya civilization dominated southern Mexico and the Yucatan Peninsula as well as parts of Central America between 250 and 900 AD.

It goes without saying that no Mexico vacation is complete without visiting at least one Mayan ruin. For a chance to explore awesome pyramids, towering fortresses and ceremonial temples – surrounded by dramatic jungle and ocean vistas — add these three ancient Mayan sites to your bucket list!

Palenque – Chiapas, Mexico

The stunning archaeological site of Palenque is situated in Chiapas, Mexico, which was once part of the vast Mayan empire. Though diminutive in size compared to other touristed ruins, Palenque is noted for its exceptional sculptures, beautiful bas-relief carvings and awe-inspiring construction. Palenque overlooks the Usumacinta River flood plain, and is flanked by dense primordial forest. Named a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987, Palenque features the area’s largest Mesoamerican step pyramid, the 75-foot Temple of the Inscriptions, and is widely considered one of the Maya’s most significant artistic and architectural feats.

Chichen Itza – Yucatan Peninsula

The Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza lure more than 1.5 million travelers every year for good reason. This sprawling complex was named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and is located on the Yucatan Peninsula, about two hours from Cancun.  Mexico’s best-preserved and most-visited Mayan site, Chichen Itza’s tremendous pyramids and temples are sure to impress. The ruins cover nearly two square miles and boast amazing examples of post-classic Mayan architecture, including El Castillo (Temple of Kukulkan), which climbs 98-feet into the sky and features one step for each day of the calendar year. Other noteworthy sites include the Sacred Cenote, the Ball Court and the Temple of the Warriors.

Tulum – Riviera Maya

The Mayan city of Tulum was once a busy trading seaport, thanks to its strategic location next to the Caribbean Sea. With its gorgeous backdrop of jade-green waters, Tulum is undoubtedly one of Mexico’s most scenic ruins, roughly 45 minutes south of Playa del Carmen. The city’s principle structure, El Castillo, is perched on a towering cliff with 360-degree views of aquamarine waters and pristine beaches. Be sure to explore the Temple of the Frescoes – used by the Maya to observe the sun. The area also features numerous cenotes (natural swimming holes) as well as stellar cave diving.

Thursday, February 9th, 2017
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Tips for Planning a Destination Wedding in Mexico

Beach wedding arrangementDestination weddings are becoming increasingly popular, as more couples discover the intrinsic benefits of celebrating their big day in an exotic, warm-weather locale. According to bridal authority TheKnot, Mexico ranks among the world’s top places for a destination wedding. Given the country’s amazing array of natural attractions, archeological ruins and stunning scenery, it’s no wonder why Mexico is the perfect place for couples who want a beautiful—yet affordable—beach wedding in paradise.

The villas and resorts are world-class, the cuisine is fantastic, English is widely spoken, flights are inexpensive, and destinations like the Riviera Maya, Cancun, Acapulco and Los Cabos offer a gorgeous backdrop for one of the most memorable days of your life.

If you’re planning on tying the knot in Mexico, heed these practical tips for planning a destination wedding that is stress-free and fun for everyone!

Hire a wedding coordinator

Your week of wedded bliss begins with hiring an expert planner – someone who knows the best caterers, photographers, venues and florists in the area. Planning a wedding from abroad takes a lot of logistics, patience and time! By enlisting the services of an experienced coordinator, you’ll be saved the hassles and stresses that can turn a bride-to-be into a Bridezilla. Insider tip: look for a planner who has organized other weddings in the same destination or venue.

Plan a visit in advance of the wedding

If you have a date in mind, it’s best to visit your intended wedding destination in advance to familiarize yourself with the local ambience, available venues, accommodations and vendors. Think of this trip as a mini-romantic getaway that doubles as scouting session.

Time it right

While most of Mexico’s famous beach towns promise balmy, sunbathing weather year-round, rains can spoil an otherwise splendid sunset ceremony. Avoid weather-related fiascos by planning your wedding between November and April, which are traditionally considered the “dry season” months. Keep in mind that Christmas and Easter (known as Semana Santa) holidays are particularly crowded in tourist hotspots, making travel arrangements more challenging. In a perfect world, you will book your venue at least 10-12 months in advance.

Send wedding invites early

You’re ready to celebrate in style with your closest friends and family, which means you need to give them ample time to clear their calendars, arrange for childcare and book tickets. Standard etiquette dictates that you should send out Save the Dates a good 6-8 months in advance of the ceremony. A formal invite should be sent out at least 3 months before the wedding and include pertinent info on accommodations, reception, event plans, dress code, gift registries and local sightseeing and activities.

Know the legal requirements for paperwork

A local wedding coordinator can prove invaluable for helping couples obtain the necessary paperwork to be legally married in Mexico. Though requirements vary from state to state, most U.S. and Canadian citizens will need valid passports, their tourist permits, certified birth certificates and an affidavit of single status. Foreign documents must be translated, notarized and apostilled. Couples can also choose to have a symbolic ceremony in Mexico after being legally wed in their hometown.

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017
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