All posts filed under: Destinations

Spring Equinox 2020

Although Cancun became a popular tourist destination relatively recently, in 1968, it was once the home of the ancient Maya.   The ancient Maya made significant contributions to culture and science. They invented the concept of 0 in mathematics, as well as calendric and writing systems. They were expert astronomers and gifted engineers and made important discoveries in several areas including science. On March 20th, 2020, come to witness the spring equinox at Chichén Itzá and see for yourself the astounding genius of the Mayans and how they integrated astronomy with architecture.  The Maya used astronomy to help them map the different paths and seasonal cycles of the sun, which held great significance for the harvests. There are two equinoxes (spring and fall) and two solstices (summer and winter) that officially mark the start of a new season. The spring equinox marks the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere while the fall equinox signals the start of fall in the Southern Hemisphere. The equinox occurs when the position of the sun is exactly over the equator, which makes the hours of daylight and darkness equal (12 hours each) almost all over the world.  Chichen Itzá   Chichen Itzá was an ancient Maya city that is now an archeological site.  El Castillo (The Castle) is the main pyramid at the site (also called the Temple of Kukulcan). The stepped pyramid is the …

Isla Mujeres is about to throw a party! Be sure not to miss Island Time Music and Fishing Fest!

Island Time Music and Fishing Fest is a music festival and an annual fishing tournament hosted on the idyllic island of Isla Mujeres. Each year, hundreds of people congregate on the island to have a good time and delight in intimate and vibrant performances by celebrated singers and songwriters.  The fishing tournament is also thriving and is enjoyed by many fishermen of all different angling abilities. Some attend to win 1st prize while others go for leisure. One thing both have in common is having the opportunity to fish in some of the most picturesque waters in the Caribbean. Rather spectacularly, all proceeds accumulated from the festival and fishing activities go towards a great cause: the Little Yellow Schoolhouse, which is a charity benefiting the children of Isla Mujeres. So, whether you’re a fishing enthusiast or a music lover, be sure not to miss this incredible and joyous event, where good times and goodwill rendezvous under the same sky!   The festival was launched when it became apparent that more facilities were needed for special needs children on the island. The aim was to help raise enough …

Take a Day Trip to Isla Mujeres

Make the most of your vacation at Villa del Palmar Cancun and take a day trip to the beautiful Isla Mujeres island.   The UltraMar Ferry leaves for Isla Mujeres every 30 minutes from the Puerto Juarez dock only 10 minutes by taxi (or bus if you are feeling adventurous) from Villa del Palmar Cancun. The ferry takes around 30 minutes and departs every half hour on the half hour with the first departure at 5:30 am. The ferries leave Isla Mujeres every half hour until 9:30 pm and then every hour until midnight. Make sure you do not miss the last ferry.  The cost of the ferry for a roundtrip adult ticket is around $16 USD and for children the cost of a roundtrip ticket is around $13 USD.  The UltraMarvessels are air-conditioned so you can get to the island in comfort. All boats feature two levels, and a sun deck on the top level for those who want to work on their suntan even before getting to the island.     A day trip to Isla Mujeres is a great experience as you can visit pristine and calm beaches on the north side …

Visit the Magical Town of Bacalar

Visit the Magical Town of Bacalar

In 2001, Mexico’s Secretariat of Tourism launched the ‘Pueblos Mágicos Program or “Magical Towns Program” to promote towns around the country that offer visitors a “magical” experience. The ‘Magical Towns’ are selected based on natural beauty, cultural traditions, gastronomy, historical relevance, and art.   Bacalar was named a Pueblo Mágico (Magical Town) in 2006 . This charming town has a small-village feel and is packed with natural beauty. It is located in the state of Quintana Roo very close to the state capital, Chetumal. Bacalar was inhabited by the Mayans and was the first city in the region taken by the Spanish Conquistadores in 1543. Bacalar most likely takes its name from the Mayan word ‘bʼak halal’, meaning surrounded by reeds.      Attractions to Visit:   Bacalar Lagoon:  Let yourself be delighted by the landscape that makes up this beautiful lagoon. It is also known as the Seven Colors Lagoon because you can see seven different shades of blue throughout the day depending on the sunlight and depth of the water. The lake measures approximately 34 miles long and it is the second largest fresh water lake in Mexico. Annually …

El Rey: A Hidden Archaeological Site in Cancun

El Rey: A Hidden Archaeological Site in Cancun

Cancun is a popular destination known for the unbeatable beauty of its crystal-clear turquoise waters and the sophisticated variety of nightclubs that come alive at nightfall. However, there are a few places less explored such as the archaeological site of El Rey, or “The King”.    On your next vacation getaway to Villa del Palmar Cancún, we highly recommend a visit to the archaeological site of El Rey, a fantastic hidden cultural gem that is conveniently located in the Hotel Zone strip, approximately 25 minutes from Villa del Palmar Cancun. It is perfect for a quick visit if you are interested in visiting an archeological site, but don’t quite have the time for a trip to Tulum or Chichen Itza. The cost of admission to El Rey is very affordable, unlike some of the other archeological sites, which can be pricier.  During your visit, you will have the opportunity to walk around the 47 buildings that were inhabited by the ancient Maya a thousand years ago. You will notice that some of the structures are more intact than others …

Feel the Pulse in Playa del Carmen at the Annual Jazz Festival

Feel the Pulse in Playa del Carmen at the Annual Jazz Festival

Whether you are a jazz aficionado or just enjoy listening to soft sounds of Jazz from time to time, you won’t want to miss the Riviera Maya Jazz Festival in Playa Del Carmen taking place from November 28-30, 2019. This annual three-day festival has been growing from strength to strength since it started in 2003. Since the event falls in late November, the lineup will be announced in October.   Get ready to feel the beat of the instrumental sounds and express it with a body motion, tap your foot, pat the rhythm on your lap, move your head from side to side, or keep the pulse in your heel and truly experience that invisible force inherent in good jazz music that makes you want to move your body.   The event will take place on Mamitas Beach, just north of the beach club and is free to attend. If you would like to be closer to the stage, there is a small fee of 18 pesos per person. We recommend you get there early to secure a good spot. Festivalgoers may bring …

Experience the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship in Cancun

Experience the Jolly Roger Pirate Ship in Cancun

Cancun’s Jolly Roger Pirate Ship experience treats those who set sail with Captain Jack Black and his crew to an exciting evening of pirate performances, live music, and silly seafaring shenanigans on the high seas. Six days a week from Monday through Saturday, this exact replica of Columbus’ pirate flagship takes up anchor from Playa Linda Pier by the Cancun Theater, embarking on a four-hour adventure delivering fun for the whole family. The signature attraction of the Jolly Roger is the live pirate show that brings together a dramatic production, captivating acrobatics, skilled swordsmanship, and special effects to create a one of a kind exhibition off the coasts of Cancun. The story follows Captain Jack Black as he leads his crew and an audience of pirates in training on a quest for gold and glory. Along the way, the good Captain will have to face threats from the angry sea, an ancient course, and his own crew. The charted course takes the Jolly Roger around the island of Cancun, passing the landmark Isla Mujeres along …

Los Cabos Lights Up All August Long

Los Cabos Lights Up All August Long

While many tourists shy away from a visit to Mexican destinations like Los Cabos during the wetter months, experienced travelers know that August offers some of the best space on the calendar in which to discover the twin towns. Not only is August perfect for avoiding the large crowds that descend upon the area most of the year, ensuring a seat for visitors at popular bars and restaurants, there are also a range of public events scheduled for these exhilarating weeks. Wonders in the Waves August represents a prime time in Los Cabos for lovers of the ocean, as swell patterns bring favorable conditions for a number of nautical activities. Surfers from around the world flock to the tip of the Baja California peninsula to enjoy consistent waves at beaches on the Sea of Cortez such as Old Man’s Beach and The Rock without the chillier temperatures that come with ideal surf on the Pacific side during the winter. Beneath the turquoise waters off the shores at Los Cabos, the locale offers one of the …

An Active August in Cancun

An Active August in Cancun

What is commonly called “low season” in Cancun brings high times for those in the know, as August is one of the more active months for community events with a focus on locals. This month brings on a full schedule of festivals, cultural presentations, and other special presentations that ensure anyone who finds themselves in the city during these weeks will return to their routines with a newfound appreciation for this destination.  From August 11th through the 13th, the natural splendor of Cancun and its beaches are celebrated with the Fiesta de la Playa en Cancun. This citywide beach party spans over 12 kilometers of shoreline between Punta Cancun and Punta Nizuc, making it one of the most massive and activity-dense seaside events in the world.  The Fiesta de la Playa in Cancun incorporates options for the entire family from street food installations and live outdoor concerts to themed parties and parades. There will also be competitions including windsurfing and jet ski races as well as an extensive fireworks display after nightfall. In fact, the …

Rainy Season Guide to Puerto Vallarta

Rainy Season Guide to Puerto Vallarta

The tropical climate of the Central Mexican coast brings higher temperatures and increased humidity to the forecast for this sunny city by the sea during the late summer months. This time of the year is known in the area as “rainy season,” and although the weather may be wet sometimes, the storms rarely last all day and there are a number of activities that can still be enjoyed while visitors wait out the strongest of the storms.  Storm Watching Many visitors who have never watched a storm roll in over the ocean are stunned to discover what a spectacle it is. Tremendously brilliant waves of light are interspersed with the daunting rumble of thunder to create an exciting exhibition that is impossible to ignore. Rather than see incoming clouds as a negative, embrace the showcase from a window seat at a beach bar or restaurant, or take in the intensely romantic show from the comfort and privacy of your balcony. ATV Tours Taking to the streets of Puerto Vallarta on an ATV or off road …