Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya was honored with the 2010 WAVE Award in the category of “Best All-Inclusive Resort, Mexico” on June 10 in Beverly Hills as part of the TravelAge West WAVE (Western Agents’ Votes of Excellence) Awards. The award was presented to Fernando Garcia Rossette, Grand Velas Riviera Maya’s Managing Director, by TravelAge West Publisher Michelle Rosenberg during the 2010 WAVE Awards Gala held at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“We are very proud to be recognized as the Best All Inclusive Resort by our colleagues in the travel industry and by one of the top trade publications in the U.S.,” said Garcia Rossette.
Travel agent professionals throughout the 14 Western states and readers of TravelAge West were invited to vote on the best-of-the-best from a list of Editor’s Pick award recipients that were chosen after careful review by Editor-in-Chief Ken Shapiro and the editorial team of TravelAge West. Review methods included product analysis, on-site visits, a survey of a select group of travel agents and online research.
“The WAVE Awards are a celebration of excellence in travel products, services and destinations,” said Rosenberg. “This year’s WAVE winners have consistently demonstrated excellence within the travel marketplace.”
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Angelina Jolie loaded up her kids on a Sony-hired Gulfstream IV this afternoon, on her way to the Salt press junket in Cancun.
Brad didn't accompany Angie and the kids on the private plane, but don't worry, looks like Angelina has the help of a nanny while she tends to business in Mexico. Angelina and the kids will apparently stay in Cancun through the July 4th holiday, with Brad possibly joining them later on.
At this very moment, Richard Branson, CEO of Virgin Group, is announcing the next two destinations for the low-cost airline Virgin America and they are as we expected: Cabo San Lucas and Cancun, from both San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The announcement comes at the start of a huge party at SFO to mark Virgin America's first route over the border into Canada, to Toronto to be more specific. The party is where we're at right now, and while we're trying not to invade the personal space of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, we can't help but be excited for the future south of the border flights. We're just waiting for someone to start chanting "VX to MEX!"
Virgin America CEO David Cush says that there's no official date yet set for the first Mexico flights, but we're guessing they'll begin when fall temperatures drop the US back into jacket weather and people start dreaming of hot sun and bikinis again.
Noted marine biologists from some of the world’s most prestigious research institutions will present their research at the Third Annual Whale Shark Festival in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, this July, it was announced today.
The scientists – who hail from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the Center for Shark Research/Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida and Mexico’s Project Domino -- will discuss marine conservation and whale shark preservation during an Academic Conference to be held concurrently with the Whale Shark Festival July 16-18, 2010 in Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico.
"It’s exciting for the Georgia Aquarium to continue working with Project Domino in studying the whale sharks of Quintana Roo. The waters of the Yucatan are home to the most exceptional gathering of whale sharks known to science and a host of other beautiful and important marine species,” said Dr. Al Dove, Senior Scientist, Georgia Aquarium and presenter at the Whale Shark Festival. “The ongoing oil spill elsewhere in the Gulf of Mexico shows us how vulnerable these marine ecosystems can be, so research and conservation is more important than ever. For all these reasons, it is a privilege to be a marine biologist working in this region, at this time."
Valparaiso's men's basketball team will be taking a business trip in August -- to Cancun.
The Crusaders will get a headstart on the season, traveling to the Mexican resort town from Aug. 8-13, giving them 10 extra days of practice and four or five games against international competition.
The NCAA permits teams to take such a trip once every four years, but this will be Valparaiso's first. VU coach Homer Drew finally got the green light from the athletic department this year, under the condition that he raise the funds through alumni donations.
"It's the first time in my 22 years that we're able to go on an international trip," said Drew, who said he has "most" of the money raised. "There's wonderful value to it. We get 10 extra practice dates, and we get to play some games, which really should give us a jumpstart for the season in the fall."
Drew said it's too early to know what teams VU will face, but they likely will be college and professional teams from Central America. NCAA rules forbid a team from playing any other American colleges on such a trip. It's not a formal tournament, but rather an informal series of games.
Drive by the shop on any old morning, and the sign in the window says it's open. Come back at midnight. Same sign, still open.
"I have customers who will call me at 10 o'clock at night and say they're coming over," says shop owner Eddie Francis, with a chuckle.
"I live around back, so it's no problem."
Francis is 60 years old. He has a graying beard and the wiry frame of a man who's been diving all his adult life. He credits the old TV show "Sea Hunt" for piquing his interest in all things underseas.
"People don't just drive by and see a scuba shop and say, 'Hey, I think I want to scuba,' " he explained.
Though impulse divers may be few and far between, Francis sells gear at his shop, organizes an annual diving trip to Cozumel, and teaches certification classes to around 150 students every year. During winter classes, his students dive in the warm waters of Pirkey Lake, and in the summer they complete their training at Tyler State Park.
Monday, June 28, 2010
United Nations: Underlining the need to build on the outcome of the climate change conference in Copenhagen, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for "a realistic result" at the upcoming climate meet in Cancun at the end of the year.
Addressing world leaders at the G20 Summit in Toronto, Ban said it would not be quick or easy to reach a comprehensive global agreement.
But it would be possible to achieve a meaningful, realistic result in Cancun, according to his office.
"The risks and costs of inaction on climate change grow each year. The more we delay, the more we will pay," he said.
After a lengthy process of negotiations in Copenhagen in December 2009, which have been widely regarded as unsatisfactory, the parties could not produce a legally binding treaty and instead agreed to "take note" of the Copenhagen Accord.
She has been doing a lot of promotions but she hasn’t been doing well on the charts, but Christina Aguilera didn’t seem to mind since she was at a party over the weekend pushing her new film ‘Burlesque’ which was held in Cancun, Mexico.
The film includes stars like Cher and Kristen Bell and Cam Giganet, and the director is Steve Antin who is related to Robin Antin (founder of the Pussycat Dolls and Girlicious) .
Xtina was photographed partying but the pictures do not include Cher though as she didn’t attend the party for some reason.
The film is going to be released in November and there is going to be a soundtrack for the ‘Burlesque’ movie. I think that even with Burlesque, it isn’t going to save her career because of the media that is always trying to find something negative.
What do you think? Do you think Christina will come back better?
Tickets for the tour in support of the Backstreet Boys' most recent album, "This Is Us," were snatched up almost as soon as they went on sale. "I think we ended up in a position where we should have been in bigger venues," he says.
The greatest-hits collection, "Playlist: The Very Best of Backstreet Boys," released earlier this year, has been selling steadily. There's even a Backstreet Boys cruise, which puts the band members out to sea with its followers on a journey from Miami to Cozumel, Mexico, from Dec. 9 to 13 that's totally sold out. "The hard-core fans find us," Carter says.
Eighteen miles south of the airport begins Riviera Maya's gold coast. Ask locals where their favorite beach sits, and watch their eyes go dreamy as they slowly mouth, "Maroma."
Virtually untouched by builders until recently, Maroma is where talcum-soft sand and tranquil waters meet to comprise what is arguably the region's finest beach, first inhabited by the classy Maroma hotel, a Mayan-Moorish honeymoon oasis. There's no town here: The jungle behind the beach is thick and daunting while the sand is a cream of alabaster - your footprint may be the first of the day.
Just south is Mayakoba, a 593-acre development shared by three hotels hugging a mile-long stretch of coast. The bulk of the rooms and facilities are situated a half-mile inland, a foresight that accommodates the strip of mangrove lagoon that sits just behind the beach dune. By leaving most of the mangrove undeveloped, Mayakoba has the feel of encroaching jungle, with cormorants and egrets fishing and preening in the morning sun. A 7,000-yard Greg Norman golf course snakes around the property.
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is focusing more attention than usual on weather in the region, and you may be hearing about the potential for a tropical wave to form into a tropical storm or hurricane this weekend. Usually, these things don't make the news until they actually turn into tropical storms or hurricanes, but people are rightly concerned about what a big storm could do to churn up and disperse all that oil flowing into the Gulf.
For Caribbean travelers, though, it's important to keep in mind that the storm system that has everyone concerned has already passed through the Caribbean islands. And since these storms almost always move east to west, that means it poses little or no threat to most of the Caribbean. The exceptions is the Mexican Caribbean, where places like Cancun and Cozumel could be affected by the storm; and Central America (the storm is currently located west of the Cayman Islands, off the coast of Honduras).
Friday, June 25, 2010
The three Dinnell siblings, their spouses and their children (12 in all) treated Grandpa and Grandma to a trip to Cancun for Grandpa’s 70th birthday. We stayed at the all-inclusive Crown Paradise on the hotel strip. You can’t find a better resort with more activities for children than this one. The kids’ camp is well-supervised, too. Even adults get involved in a bull-riding competition.
Tip: Take the bus. It runs between Cancun and the entire hotel strip, and only costs 60 cents. We never had a worry, regardless of the time of day or night.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
The first 200 sculptures are ready to be deployed in Cancun, Mexico in what will soon be the largest underwater museum in the world. The Museum of Underwater Art, created by internationally renowned sculpture and installation artist Jason deCaires Taylor, will feature more than 400 statues of real people when completed, forming a monumental artificial reef designed to promote marine life, increase bio-diversity and draw Cancun visitors gently away from existing reef habitats.
Ahead of the summer travel and vacation season many hotels and vacation package providers want to be your facebook and twitter friends to be able to send you new deals and discounts on vacation plans. One of them is Catalonia Hotels which unveiled its facebook page offering its deals on its city and all-inclusive Caribbean and European properties.
Travelers in the know can now access the latest information on Catalonia Hoteles Worldwide’s premier adults-only resorts throughout Europe and the Caribbean through their newly created Facebook page. To become a Fan, log onto www.Facebook.com and search for Catalonia Caribbean Hoteles.
Cancun now has an all-inclusive beachfront resort with a twist: an environmental program spanning water reclamation to wildlife preservation.
In April, the 996-room Sandos Caracol Eco Resort earned "Sustainable Hotel" certification from the Meso-American Reef Tourism Initiative for helping protect the Riviera Maya's fragile ecosystem. Being the region's most eco-responsible resort "is a dream for us," said assistant manager Alberto Selas. Green initiatives, started eight months ago, include composting, total water reclamation for landscaping, keycard-controlled room lighting, water systems that sustain mangroves and the coral reef, and habitat conservation.
The resort's villas, restaurants, disco and pools were planned around the 65-acre site's mangrove jungles, lagoons and cenotes -- natural cavelike wells connected by vast networks of underground rivers.
"The entire Yucatan Peninsula is hollow," said Moises Martinez Cerda, who guides hike-swim tours through submerged freshwater caves of Rio Secreto. Designated a nature reserve in 2007, this cenote network is a 20-minute shuttle from Sandos Caracol. After being outfitted in wetsuits, slippers and caving helmets with lamps, six tourists descend 40 feet underground to tramp and swim past surreal speleothems -- features formed of minerals deposited by dripping water -- and tiny darkness-adapted animals. Cerda covers geology and ancient Mayans' use of cenotes for sacred rites.
So far this year, the Civil Registry officialdom of a municipality of Isla Mujeres, recorded 56 domestic and foreign tourist weddings, representing a growth of 30 percent compared to last year.
Moreover, the officialdom reported that so far they have 18 more weddings scheduled to perform for the rest of this year..
Staff reported that unit has four weddings now confirmed for 2011, in various hotels in the tourist destination, offering alternatives and promotions abroad.
It was also announced that the majority of marriages that took place on the island, were tourists from other nationalities, who purchased packages that promote lodging facilities to attract a greater number of partners. Hotels like Palace and Privilege Aluxes, were able to increase significantly the number of events.
The months of April, November and December are the couple's favorites who are planning to marry, so that during this period, also encourages the flow of visitors on the island.
Bill Engle is outside, sweating in work clothes while he oversees renovations to his colonial house in Mérida, Mexico. It sits on a street dubbed "Gringo Gulch," a pretty row of baby blue, violet, and mustard facades where expatriates outnumber Mexicans.Tourists enjoy the beach at the resort city of Cancun, Mexico in this photo taken on June 12, 2009....Tourists enjoy the beach at the resort city of Cancun, Mexico in this photo taken on June 12, 2009. In towns far from the US border such as Mérida, Mexico's drug wars seem like another world. In fact, according to a recent survey by the International Community Foundation, violence reduced the frequency or duration of trips to Mexico for only 7 percent of American retirees who live or travel frequently to Mexico.(Israel Leal/AP Photo)
"It is not the climate," says Mr. Engle, explaining why he moved to the Yucatán Peninsula. "It is the people. It is the most welcoming place."
Up to 40 percent is estimated to increase the influx of tourists to Isla Mujeres, at the conclusion of the third Whale Shark Festival to be held from 16 to 18 June.
The management of Municipal Tourism reported that visitor arrivals will also increase at that time, because many families take advantage of the summer vacation, to rest in a tourist destination.
Among the activities developed to celebrate the sighting of whale sharks, are photographic and film exhibitions, lectures, parades and student drawing competitions.
The same shall provide some rides for tourists and locals can watch the whale shark sighting.
For the first day provided an exhibition of images related to the world's largest fish in the basement of City Hall and a parade that will include facilities to the Fifth Naval Region monument to Fisher.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
The concerted attempt over the past few months to lower expectations from the Cancun conference on climate change has not gone down well with Mexico.
On Tuesday, Mexico responded by saying that Cancun can deliver results, and that the world community needs to be “ambitious yet pragmatic and realistic” when it comes to dealing with climate change.
Mexico’s ambassador for climate change Luis Alfonso de Alba said, “it is irresponsible and contrary to common objective to say that we can’t achieve something in Cancun. The second mistake is to say that what we cant achieve in Cancun will happen in South Africa.”
Mexico has argued that the bar of expectation was set too high in Copenhagen, which is why it failed to achieve its stated goal of an agreement. Over the last few months, there has been increased pessimism over the possible outcome at Cancun , many leaders have suggested that a deal would possibly be worked out at the Cape Town conference in 2011.
An important impact that Mexico hopes to make in Cancun and during its presidency of the conference of parties is to “restore faith and confidence in the process.” A fall out of the Copenhagen conference where a small group of countries negotiated the Copenhagen accord and then presented it to the plenary session of the conference of parties as a fait accompli helped to erode the trust in the climate change negotiation process. This appears to be the effort by the UNFCCC as well. Outgoing executive secretary Yvo de Boer has also said that “rebuilding the trust” was an important goal. According to Mr de Boer, movement on the $30 billion fast track funding would represent an important step in this trust rebuilding exercise.
After many delays, much speculation, and considerable expectation, the process to build the new Riviera Maya airport has finally started.
The Mexican government officially invited bids to construct and operate the new airport, on the coast near Cozumel, earlier this week.
The tender process got off to a false start in March, when Mexican President, Felipe Calderón proudly announced it would begin in April, only for it to be postponed again within days.
But now the competition has been officially and legally initiated and there can be no more "ifs and buts".
The new international terminal will be the first in Mexico entirely financed by private money under a government concession, that will initially run for 50 years.
It will be built on a greenfield site of some 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares) near Tulum and Akumal on the Riviera Maya, 40 miles (65 km) from downtown Cozumel "as the crow flies".
Show romanization The management of Social and Economic Development of the City of Isla Mujeres, received 103 productive projects Islander women were sent to the Secretariat of Agrarian Reform (SRA), for review and approval.
Staff of that municipal agency reported that the projects require nearly 3.3 billion pesos Women Program in the Agricultural Sector (PROMUSAG), which manages two years since the commune with the SRA, for the development of such plans.
It should be noted that most of the projects submitted by Islander women have to do with the establishment of restaurants, bakeries and diners.
One project that requires the support of the federation, is presenting a group of eleven insular area women for the preparation of organic fertilizer.
The intention of the project is to sell manure to the hotels in Cancun, since it is a high quality product that would benefit the maintenance of the gardens and golf courses hosting centers, the project is an important step forward and now being made some tests.
We all know what the hustle and bustle of everyday life is like. From the kids, to work, down to cleaning the house and making sure that everyone doesn’t die from starvation! Everyday life is stressful. So now comes that time where you have stopped penny pinching and realized that you want to vacationin Mexico. So where do you go?
Cancun is the place to be! Their hotel rooms are all inclusive and there are over one hundred hotels for you to choose from. Cancun also has an exciting and dominating nightlife where you and your honey can dance the night away to jazz, salsa, pop and much more. From lounge clubs, night clubs, bars and live music venues you will never be considered as a “home body” again. For the little ones try the beautiful blue watered beaches and swimming with the dolphins, theme parks are a great way to tire them out as well. There are well over three hundred and fifty restaurants ranging from Mexican, Oriental and Italian food.
Cozumel is another wonderful and invigorating Island to be on. With its relaxing atmosphere it will keep your stress levels low and your energy high. Activities such as scuba diving and charter fishing are the talk of the tourists. Cozumel offers two ways to get on the Island, airplane and boat so you decide whether you just want to pass through or stay for days.
Last week, a young bottle-nose dolphin named Merlin became the first of his species to join the growing number of enthusiasts using the Apple iPad when he was able to successfully recognize and touch pictures on the screen to match objects he was shown.Why can't everything be that simple for dolphins and humans to teach and learn?
The world is in trouble in every direction you look. The news headlines are disturbing and filled with stories that range from the deaths of humanitarian workers, drug lords, crimes against humanity, ecological disasters, fires, volcanic eruptions, starvation, disease, wars, rockets going up, bombs raining down, suicide attacks, kids killing kids, natural disasters, hate crimes and weapons of mass destruction.
While humans are hellbent on destroying each other one Florida couple have been busy in Mexico teaching dolphins how to use an iPad, in an effort to facilitate communication between people and an enthusiastic and willing dolphin and his friends.
View Video on Article link.
Cozumel, the island that the Mayans considered their Eden from where they believed they came to populate the continent, like bees from a hive, is located near Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. It's tiny, approximately 10 miles wide and 30 miles long-but like the Eden it was for the ancient Mayans, it is a paradise for today's travelers and cruise passengers.
According to Mayan legend, the goddess of love and fertility, Ixchel, resided in Cozumel and the island was a pilgrimage site. When residents built temples in her honor, the goddess sent them, the legend goes, her favorite bird, the swallow, and the Mayans named the island Cozumel, which in their language meant "the land of the swallows."
There are a number of archeological ruins on Cozumel including an archeological park in the north of the island, the sanctuary of Ixchel in San Gervasio, and El Cedral in the south--the latter the oldest Mayan structure on the island dating from the year 800. Other points of interest include the town of San Miguel, with its pretty main plaza; the Benito Juarez Park, that is ideal for strolling, buying souvenirs, and enjoying music on Sundays; the Museum of the Island of Cozumel with exhibits about the island including its reefs; Discover Mexico Park, with scale models of Mexico's pyramids, monuments and modern structures; and the lighthouse Faro Celerain that offers panoramic views of Cozumel and has an ecological reserve where visitors can see mangroves and other examples of the native flora as well as fauna.
Friday, June 4, 2010
Whale shark season kicked off on May 15, but these gentle filter feeders come out in force around the time of the festival. Last year's whale shark bloom featured 200 of the creatures swimming in formation off the island's coast.
Festival attendees will have a chance to swim with the whale sharks and assist Project Domino, a conservation initiative, with photographing and cataloging the animals -- which can reach up to fifty feet in length -- for future study. There will also be educational seminars, kids activities, and conservation -wareness events during the weekend.
About 1,000 whale sharks came through Isla Mujeres in last year. Don't miss out! For more information, visit the festival's website.
Italian Duchess Rosa’s D’ Ferrari is inviting you to her birthday party at Hotel Esencia in the Riviera Maya on August 24, 2010. That’s right; you don’t have to be Italian royalty to attend. Originally built for the Duchess as her private estate, the property is now a 50-acre boutique resort offering 29 spacious cottages and suites set in the backdrop of a picturesque seaside paradise.
Why would an Italian Duchess invite strangers to her birthday party? The answer seems almost too simple: A genuine enjoyment of giving. According to Duchess D’Ferrari, "I am very fortunate to have what I need to live a very happy life. Rather than receive presents for myself on my birthday, I like to give back to my guests and the community." As evidence of that, during her birthday week, 5% of all reservations are donated to a local orphanage foundation located in Playa del Carmen. When asked why she would bypass receiving gifts for herself in favor of making the donation D’Ferrari answered, "For me, the donation we are making to the orphanage makes me feel better than any gift I could get for myself."
Thursday, June 3, 2010
The municipality of Isla Mujeres is continuing its efforts to diversify the arrival of tourism to the insula.
In addition to seeking to expand the operating capacity at the airstrip as part of updates to the urban development plan of the North Caribbean, is to build a pier to attract international cruise ships.
Also, the district proposes to install an industrial area of solid waste on the mainland, to remove the landfill, which is currently part of the municipality in this island, and prevent pollution of groundwater, among other negative effects to environment.
Ole Miss is one of eight teams in the field for the inaugural Cancun Governor’s Cup men’s college basketball tournament set to be played this Dec. 22-24 at the Poliforum Benito Juarez in Cancun, Mexico
The three-day tournament, sponsored by ESPN Regional Television, also includes Appalachian State, Colorado State, East Tennessee State, Northeastern, St. Louis, Southern Miss and Texas State.
A FRESH round of negotiations kicked off Monday in another attempt to get global agreement on a treaty to meet climate change with representatives of 182 United Nations member-states in attendance at the meeting in Bonn, Germany.
The talks are designed to pick up on issues that were not resolved in December in Copenhagen, and to pave the way for signature of a final draft this December in Cancun, Mexico.
“Climate negotiations over the next two weeks will be on track if they keep focused on a common way forward toward a concrete and realistic goal in Cancun. There is a growing consensus on what the goal for Cancun can be—namely, a full, operational architecture to implement effective, collective climate action,” said Yvo de Boer, the resigned executive secretary of the UN Climate Change Secretariat.
Among the key issues that remain are the emission-reduction target; rules to protect forests and endangered species; financing to help poor countries adapt to the changing climate; a global carbon-trading system; and the establishment of institutions to govern finances and enforce treaty obligations.
1. "Whole" sharks
There's a tour office in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, which advertises, "swim with a whole shark!" If you take them up on the offer you'll find that the whale sharks are indeed whole, with two big eyes and huge dorsal fins, and average about 8m in length.
There's nothing like swimming eye to eye with one of these giant beasts, as long as you can swim fast enough. One of the best places to see them is off Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox in Mexico. Or, for something closer to home, try the Ningaloo reef in Western Australia, Donsol in the Philippines, or visit Whale Shark Project for other suggestions. Remember, they can only be seen in certain seasons so check this out before heading to your chosen destination. A word of warning — don't get in their way!