All posts filed under: Destinations

Visit Nature Reserve Rio Secreto

If you are planning a visit to Cancun this summer, you must put Rio Secreto meaning “Secret River” on your bucket list of things to see and do. Rio Secreto will give you insight into the Mayan underworld and take you on a magical journey through underground caverns where you can admire geological formations and float in fresh, clear water.  You will witness thousands of stunning stalactites and stalagmites in these incredible flooded caves recognized as the best nature reserve in Mexico and Central America. Rio Secreto is committed to conservation and sustainable eco-tourism as well as quality and safety.  Since the pandemic hit, they have made sanitization their priority and reinforced hygiene procedures based on the standards and suggestions of the World Health Organization.  Thanks to those practices, they received the official “Safe Travels” stamp and certification in official protocols of COVID-19 by COFEPRIS and the Ministry of Health, which endorse Rio Secreto tours as safe activities for visitors.   In addition to all staff wearing personal protective equipment, temperature taking, antibacterial gel placed at the entrances, and maintaining healthy distances in all areas, Rio Secreto has redesigned tours so that no group within the cave or within the vicinity of the nature …

Sea Turtle Nesting Season

If you are thinking about romance on the beautiful coasts of Cancun, Los Cabos or Puerto Vallarta this summer, you are not alone. Thousands of sea turtles will also make the journey here to mate.  Sea turtles are a reptile. The existence of sea turtles has been traced back as far as 225 million years ago. They have survived throughout a long period of time during which many other species became extinct. There are seven species of sea turtles that exist today, and sadly, almost all of them are classified as endangered. They have suffered from poaching, habitat destruction, and climate change, among other things.   These are the seven recognized species of sea turtles:  olive ridley  hawksbill  loggerhead  green turtle  black turtle  leatherback  flatback turtle  Mexico has the privilege of being visited by six of the seven species of sea turtles, who come to reproduce on our beaches. The only species that doesn’t visit us is the flatback turtle, which is endemic to Australia.    Sea turtles live in the ocean, but they all start their life on land. Male turtles almost never return to land after hatching, but during breeding season they stay close to the shore for a few months in order to mate. After breeding season, they travel hundreds …

Finding Destiny: Whale Shark Encounter

You may remember the loveable whale shark called Destiny from the Disney/Pixar film Finding Dory. If you are planning to visit Cancun or the Riviera Maya this summer, you will have the chance to see whale sharks up close and swim with them. This is a great activity for the whole family to connect with nature and take a boat trip on the beautiful ocean.   Whale sharks are the largest surviving species of fish found in the ocean. They live in open waters of tropical oceans with warm temperatures of at least 21 °C (70 °F).  The average length of adult whale sharks is estimated at 9.8 m (32 ft) and the average weight is approximately 9 tons (20,000 lbs.). Despite their enormous size and the fact that they are called ‘sharks’, they are gentle giants and not to be feared.   They feed exclusively on a diet of plankton, microscopic plants and small fish. They normally swim close to the surface of the ocean as they feed, which allows for close-up encounters. They are one of three shark species that filter-feed, which means they swim around with their mouth wide open ( their mouth is 1.5 meters wide!) and they filter their food through their gills. This makes them harmless to larger species such as humans because we are …

Health Tips for Well-Being during Quarantine

With COVID-19 and government stay-at-home orders, we are experiencing a strange new kind of normal. Our routines and social activities have been disrupted and this can cause feelings of stress, anxiousness or worry. As we temporarily adapt to this new way of life, it is important to find ways to manage our well-being.    You might not feel like you are stressed or anxious, but we are all living in a stressful time with uncertainty about our careers, payments coming due, and worrying about the health of our families. It’s a good idea to check in with yourself and see if you are experiencing any symptoms that could be caused by underlying stress or anxiety.    You may be feeling stressed if you are:   Spending a lot of time worrying about the future  Feeling extra tired  Finding it difficult to fall asleep at night  Waking up early and are not able to get back to sleep   Experiencing low mood for prolonged periods  Having difficulty concentrating   Losing your patience easily  More irritable than usual  Increasing your alcohol consumption  If you are feeling stressed, it is important to remember that it is perfectly normal to feel this way during the Coronavirus pandemic and that it is only temporary. Here are 6 ways you can help yourself and others reduce stress:    Eat healthy   At times like these …

Tips for Staying Healthy

Tips for Staying Healthy   Some members started vacationing with us more than 30 years ago, and have stayed with us ever since. You are more than members; you are part of our family. Nothing is more important to us than your health, safety, and well-being. Therefore, we feel it’s necessary to provide you with some helpful tips to guide yourself and your loved ones through these difficult times.   The past few weeks have been very stressful for everyone around the world and there has been an unprecedented increase in mental tension, anxiety, and fear. Stress has been shown to be bad for our mental health, which is an essential part of our overall health and well-being.  Signs of stress during an infectious disease outbreak can include:  Fear about the future  Worry about your health and the health of your friends and family  Loss of appetite  Difficulty sleeping  Scattered thoughts  Increased use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs.  It is no wonder why so many people are feeling stressed with all the hard-hitting news stories flooding our awareness along with a tide of uncertainty about what the future holds. It can be …

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 …