Archive for Mexico Beach

Gray Whale Kissing Party in Cancun Mexico

Just off the coast of Cancun Mexico a tourist on a day excursion looking for whales had a “whale” of an encounter. The tourist on the small skiff was able to get give the gray whale a friendly kiss.

The day excursion party was on Pachico’s Eco Tours in San Ignacio Lagoon with 10 other passengers when a gray whale swam to the boat and allowed the people to pet the whale.

The video was shot last month by Edward Berlin, who traveled to Mexico from California.

“Whales, whales, and more whales on our second day in the lagoon,” writes Berlin on YouTube. “One is hanging out under water. Another one kisses Gizem. And, finally, one surprises Jamie with a spy hop close up.”

To get the water shots, he used a waterproof encasing on his GoPro camera, he writes.

According to the Pachico’s Eco Tours website, the company guarantees people will see the whales within a few yards of the boat, but whether the whales get close enough to touch depends on the whale. The company makes it clear its boats will not chase or harass a whale—any interaction with humans is made on the whale’s terms.

Link to the Video:

Check out Swimming with the Whale Sharks in Belize or call us at: 1-800-626-3483


Copper Canyon Adventure Getaway Package


Copper Canyon Mexico

Copper Canyon Mexico

This Copper Canyon a unique destination in the interior of Mexico offers an adventure Getaway to the traveler who wants experience the real Mexico,  the culture of Chihuahua, the  Chepe Train to the Copper Canyon, the small villages of Creel, Divisadero, Cerocahui, Urique, El Fuerte and Los Mochis. The Copper Canyon offers from all age groups  an exciting vacation for families, active couples, empty nesters a soft adventure destination of the interior of Mexico with the biggest and most impressive canyon system in the entire world along with the ambiance of Mexico.

The Copper Canyon is 4-times larger than the Grand Canyon consisting of incredibly high walls, waterfalls and overlooks that rise over 1500 feet above the canyon floor.  It’s the majestic landscape rugged terrain and hundreds of miles of panoramic beauty are seen by very few compared to the beach destinations of Mexixco.  The Copper Canyon is also home to the Tarahumara people who have lived here for centuries.

One of the most scenic ways of visiting the Copper Canyon is by train that departs from Chichuahua daily to Los Mochis on the Pacific coast.  El Chepe railroad is one of the last passenger trains in Mexico. For over 50 years the Chichuahua to Pacific Railroad has been the most interesting train Mexico.  The train departs daily from Chichuahua and travels through the western Sierra Madre range for 653 Kilometers before arrving into Los Mochis on the Pacific 16 hours later.  The train travels through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the mountainous region between Creel and El Fuerte.  Part of the attraction is riding the train and main reason to visit the Copper Canyon is to experience the destination by stopping and exploring some of the villages in route like Creel, Divisadero, Bahuichivo and El Fuerte in the state of Sinaloa.

Our sample travel itinerary begins in the city of El Paso Texas or the city of Chihuahua.  Travelers who start their Copper Canyon journey in El Paso, usually cross the boarder into Mexico than transfer to the City of Chichuhua, a scenic 4 hour drive.  The City of Chichuahua is a modern business city with numerous cultural institutions an manufacturing industries like the car and aerospace.

This trip is planned with the flexibility of adding fun activities for the more adventurist and flexible sightseeing for the traveler who wants to relax and enjoy the culture, history and sights the destination.

Day 01 – El Paso  or Chihuahua Mexico
Meet and Greet at the airport and transfer to your hotel in the City of Chihuahua.  Afternoon guided walk through the historic center of Chihuahua visiting Cathedral , Government Palace , Gameros Museum and Museum of the Revolution or house of Francisco Villa. Overnight City Chihuahua

Chihuahua Downtown

Chihuahua Downtown










Early morning transfer to the El Chepe Train to Creel. Transfer to your hotel.
Afternoon Mountain Bike tour of the area of the Valley of the Frogs, Monks and Mushrooms ( Limestone rock formation ) Arareco lake and Mission . Return to Hotel . Dinner and overnight.  For the non-bike riders this afternoon you will visit by van the same points of interest as the bike riders. Overnight in Creel.

copper-canyon-train-El Chepe

copper-canyon-train-El Chepe









Town of Creel Mexico

Town of Creel Mexico









Mountain biking Creel

Mountain biking Creel











Day 03 -Creel to Dividasero

Morning Cusarare Waterfalls excursion and an afternoon train to Dividasero in the Copper Canyon. Or full day tour to Basaseachi Waterfall and early evening  to Dividasero Copper Canyon.

Basaseachi Falls














A  visit to Basaseachi Falls takes you into the Candamena Canyon to view on the highest waterfalls in Mexico. The Candamena Canyon is one of the widest canyon in the Copper Canyon system,  enjoy some great hiking through spectacular wilderness if you so choose. This tour stops at two overlooks; the traditional one with the view of the falls and the one directly on top of the waterfall to give you a different perspective of the canyon and falls. One can hike down either side of the canyon overlooks to the other side if one is so inclined, while your driver drives around to meet you on the other side.

Cusarare Falls

Cusarare Falls Mexico

Cusarare Falls Mexico








This 2-hour tour from Creel visits the waterfall in Cusarare, Cusarare Mission & Village and the Loyola Museum (if open). See the Raramuri Indians up close and buy some of their crafts as you walk along the trail to Cusarare Waterfall.
Return back to Creel and catch the afternoon train to Dividasero.

Day 04 -Dividasero
Morning trip to the Copper Canyon Adventure Park – Morning Zipline
After the zipline, take a guided walk about 45 minutes downhill to reach the Bakajipare Raramuri community.  Return to the top of the rim canyon by Tram.  Afternoon free to explore the rim walking trail or biking the rim.
Overnight Dividasero

Hotel Dividasero Copper Canyon Mexico

Hotel Dividasero Copper Canyon Mexico

copper canyon-ziplining

copper canyon-ziplining









copper canyon-atv-tour

copper canyon-atv-tour









copper canyon-rim views

copper canyon-rim views











Day 05- Dividasero / Cerocahui
Morning free to relax or take a leisure walk along the rim.  The more Adventurist can take a Mountain bike ride along the rim or short ATV excursion.  Afternoon Train to Bahuichivo Station. Transfer from the train Station by van to the town of CEROCAHUI.  Arrive at the station Bahuichivo , transfer about 25 min to Cerocahui. Free time can visit the main square, Cerocahui Javier Mission and the hotel’s vineyard . Dinner and overnight .
Overnight Cerocahui












DAY 06 – Cerocahui
Breakfast. The village of Cerocahui is on the edge of Urique Canyon, with a small population of 900. It is a lovely village where one can explore the beauty of the region. This morning travel down 4300 in 15 miles to the small village of Urique.  En route stops at the Gallego viewpoint for amazing views of Urique Canyon.  After traveling down the switchback roads to the bottom of the Urique Canyon, you will have time to wander around and eat lunch.  Afternoon return back to Cerocahui.
Overnight:  Cerocahui



Day 07 – Cerocahui / Bahuichivo / Los Mochis
Breakfast, morning walk to a near by waterfall.  Afternoon return to the hotel and transfer to the train station . Departure and arrival to the city of Los Mochis. Transfer to hotel. Accommodation .

DAY 08 – Los Mochis / HOME
Reunion in the lobby and transfer to the international airport of Los Mochis.  From Los Mochis you can travel back home or extend your stay and take the Ferry across the Sea of Cortez to La Paz Mexico or you can take a short flight to Mazatlan and relax on the beach for a few days.






Marival Residence – Puerto Vallarta Mexico



Marvial Residences

Ready for a romantic vacation, perfect for honeymooners, couples and families looking for a warm beach destination with luxury accommodations to relax and enjoy the ambience in an all-inclusive boutique resort. The Marival Residence is located in Nuevo Vallarta just north of Puerto Vallarta Mexico along a beautiful long stretch of sandy beach.

This all-inclusive luxury resort is perfect for couples, families and muti-generation families who want a discriminating resort with all the amenities, fine dining in a boutique resort setting that is up scale and luxury.  The resort offers a full service SPA, Tennis courts, luxury “Beach Club”, Unlimited Golf at Nicklaus & Weiskopf courses and day excursions to some of the most popular activities around.



What makes this resort different is there are only 162 large spacious elegantly appointed modern suites which range from 1-bedroom to 4-bedroom residences. The bedrooms are stylish with modern décor featuring fine linens and marbled bathrooms.  The suites are perfect for couples who want to share a suite or families who want multi-bedroom residences which feature separate bathrooms in every bedroom.  The Penthouse Suite provides private rooftop pools and seven exquisitely personal Villas that are out of this world!

Comfortable living rooms with full entertainment centers with fully equipped kitchen and dining rooms are perfect when staying home or  indulge in the extensive 24/7 room service menu, or arranging for the chef to come to you and prepare dinner.

World Spa

The Marvial Residence World Spa has nine unique international treatments centers. World Spa treatments from Bali to Turkey are available for a unique spa experience. The Residences have re-created nine distinct cultures of the world, each in its own special environment with Music, aromas, refreshments and treatment.  Signature World Spa Treatments include Face and body revival treatments Anti-Aging facial treatments Moisturizing and deep-pore cleansing facials Body treatments, wraps and exfoliations Hydrotherapy, sauna, steam room, Hammam and cascade shower Body specialty massages such as Swedish, deep-tissue, scalp, therapeutic, aromatherapy, sports, Thai, shiatsu and hot stone Hand and foot rituals like deluxe manicure and pedicure as well as anti-aging treatments for hands and feet Fun spa treatments for young people.




Private Beach Club

The Residence has its own private Beach Club on the most beautiful beaches in Nuevo Vallarta. Just a quick golf cart ride or short stroll to your private Oceanside world featuring comfortable beach lounge chairs, full food and beverage arrangements and extraordinary service.




Dining at Marival Residences

Organic Deli – You will find a wide variety of healthy products for your consumption. Located in the commercial area.

Sky Lounge – Meals that will awaken your senses, spectacular views and an inviting infinity pool.

Lemmon Grass – Where you will find a variety of foods available while you enjoy the sun and our magnificent pool.

Omaggio – Delight your palate with the world’s flavors.

Nicksan – Japanese food with Sushi bar.

Package Includes:
-  RT Airfare from your City to Puerto Vallarta for 2-Adults & 2-Children
-  7-Nights Accommodations in an up-graded 2-Bedroom suite for 2-Adults &  2-Children
-  All-Inclusive Resort, includes meals, drinks
Call for complete details and pricing at 1-800-626-3483 our Mexico Experts.

Meet our Mexico Travel Expert

jpeg[1]Turner James brings over 7 years of practical experience working directly with all of our travel suppliers, lodging vendors and travel providers in Central & South America.

Turner has spent his travel career working as a wholesale travel consultant, visiting Mexico,  Costa Rica, Belize, Colombia & Peru on a regular basis, negotiating preferred rates with travel suppliers to bring our customers customized tours at fantastic prices and itineraries to Central and South America.

From unique boutique hotel beaches in Mexico to jungle adventures and trekking in Peru, he seeks to balance luxury and relaxation with the right amount of exploration.  With a passion for travel and dedication to provide excellent service, Turner makes a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central and South America.  Call 1-800-626-3483.

Cancun – Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar

Iberostar beach-riviera maya-cancun-mexico

Iberostar beach-riviera maya-cancun-mexico

Cancun – IBEROSTAR Paraiso del Mar – 4 Star Hotel

Iberostar Paraiso Del Mar is located along the Riviera Maya coast of Mexico approximately 30 minutes fromt the Cancun airport.  This moderate to luxury deluxe property features (4) distinct and different choices of vacation fun for families and adults.

THE GRAND 5-Star adults only with it’s own out-door and in-door pools, SPA and up-scale restaurants.  This sections is perfect for honeymooners and couples who want a  luxury vacation.

THE MAYAN – 4 plus star sections with it’s own restaurants and pools.  Rooms are nicely appointed and the main check-in and lounge “wow”.

THE LINDO 3 1/2 – 4 Star With it’s huge wave pool, perfect for families and it’s own unique restaurants.  Great pool area with lots of lounge chairs and great access to the beach.

THE PARAISO,  3-Star plus – designed to accommodate a moderate family on a budget. Rooms are spacious and a great location to the beach.

IBEROSTAR Paraiso del Mar is a luxurious All-Inclusive resort consisting of eleven 3-story bungalowsin perfect harmony with the surrounding environment. Bungalows are surrounded by 35 acres of lush tropical gardens, each room has a balcony or terrace. This fantastic luxury resort features top quality dining in seven spectacular specialty restaurants (plus an international buffet and beach grill). Electric train drives around property.

Beach: The resort is situated on a 3/4 mile stretch of fine, white sandy beach along the transparent watersof the beautiful Caribbean. Enjoy a non-motorized watersport, relax in the comfort of a sun lounger,or visit the 5-star PADI SSI Dive Center.



Playa del Carmen, Riviera Maya- Highly recognized by travelers as one of the best and friendly All-Inclusive resorts. Paraiso means paradise and that is located 10 minutes north of Playa del Carmen on 3/4 mile stretch of beach. A slice of eden in flourishing gardens with a never ending pool; weaving through the contours of the resort like a tropical lagoon, integrating pools and creating a fantasy kids will love! Seven fabulous specialty restaurants are connected by walkways over lagoons near the open-air lobby. The main dining room has buffets offering delectable choices, including pizza- ideal for the picky little eaters. Past vacationers have rated Iberostars as “Excellent” on food and beverage and dining services. In fact, feedback on all aspects of this resort rank Iberostars as most outstanding All-Inclusive and worthy of the Crystal Award Best All-Inclusive Chain for 3 consecutive years.

For scuba diving enthusiasts, the Five star PADI and SSI diving center offers excursions to the treasures of the Caribbean reefs. Play a game of tennis, workout in the gym or just relax in the Jacuzzi.



Number of Pools: 4
Outdoor Pools: 4
Swim-up Bar
The impressive fantasy pool integrates various other pools into a large river setting. There are 3 open-air jacuzzis, a scuba clinic, sun loungers, sun terrace and 3 swim-up bars everything you need for a truly complete holiday.

For travel thru 12/23/13 – play world class golf starting at 49 per person twilight times. Prime Time play is 79 per person. Rates include shared cart, green fees, taxes and food and beverage. Dye course design. Par 72
Holes: 18

Number of Courts: 2
Outdoor Courts: 2
Lighted Courts: 2
Court Fee: Complimentary.
Raquet Rental Fees: Complimnetary.
Pro Onsite

Water Sports on Site
Fishing: Additional Charge
Scuba: Additional Charge
Snorkeling: Complimentary
Hobie Cats: Complimentary
Wind Surf: Complimentary

Other Sports Available
Other Sports: Basketball, Ping Pong, Billiards, Table Soccer,

Secrets – The Vine Resort & Spa – Adults Only – 5-Star Resort Hotel














Cancun Secrets The Vine Resort Luxury Beach Adults Only 5-Star Resort & Spa

Date:  Dec. 02, 2012

A few weeks ago my husband asked me to tag along with him on a business trip to Cancun Mexico for a few nights in a brand new 5-star hotel that just opened up in October called Secrets The Vine.  This 27 story resort hotel is magnificent, located on the beach of the “Hotel Zone” in Cancun is truly amazing.  Over the years there has been a lot of attention on the new resorts in the Riviera Maya and not a lot of fanfare for Cancun.  If you have not stayed in Cancun along the hotel zone in a while it’s worth a look, a lot of new renovations of resort properties have been taken place over the past few years with The Vine being one of the newest additions. 



Secrets The Vine is truly a contemporary modern resort hotel, it’s sleek and “chic” for the traveler who wants a sophisticated elegant hotel that is perfect for honeymooners and couples looking to get away on a scenic beautiful beach.  It reminded me of a Miami South Beach feel, Modern and hip.


The hotel is situated between the Hard Rock to the South and the newly renovated Sandos to the North, all located  beach front.  The Vine Cancun is Secrets newest luxury adults only resort hotel in Mexico located along Cancun’s hotel zone facing the long white sandy stretch of beach that meanders for miles along the Atlantic ocean.  This brand new luxury 5-star resort hotel is gleaming and immaculate with 28 stories tall, 495 rooms and the awarding winning interior designed makes this property elegant.



The resort name implies the enjoyment of fine wine and this resort bring a distinguished touch to the adults-only vacation.    The lobby houses the Vine Bar, a designated wine tasting area for guests, featuring a wine wall with nearly 3,000 varieties.  A good selection of house wines from Chile are served and included in the all-inclusive package, guests can purchase up-graded brands and vintages starting out at around $50 and up.




The rooms are a combination of ocean view and lagoon rooms with floor to ceiling windows and a walk out patio with fantastic panorama views of the ocean and lagoon.  Rooms are spacious with soft interior colors, wood floors, contemporary wood furniture, up-graded linens beautiful bathrooms, floor to ceiling glass shower, mini-frig stocked, safe, easy storage closets with drawers, large screen TV, wifi and patio furniture to relax and enjoy the morning sunrise or sunset.  The lighting system is a little unique and a little bit confusing and a mystery at times.  To many options for turning off and on lights.





The resort has 7 restaurants and 4-swimming pools along with the Atlantic Ocean.

The main restaurant World Café is a buffet-style for breakfast, lunch that is lively and casual, traditional dishes along with flavors of Mexico – in Mexican Buffet style with communal & private seating.




Bluewater Grill – Specialty Steak House -  Indoor & outdoor dining facing an exposed kitchen surrounded by leather, ala cart dining with a variety of sea food and steaks grilled, Very good. No reservation are accepted in advance, popular restaurant within the hotel, during the high season you can expect to wait 1-hour for a table to open up.  Dress is country club casual. Open for dinner from 6pm to 11pm.

Dragons Restaurant – Asian Fusion Signature Restaur -  Elegant, eclectic fine dining celebrating the distinctive flavors found in the Far East. Sushi Bar with Fully Trained Master Sushi Chef. Open for dinner from 6pm to 11pm. Dress Code: country club Casual.

Bistrotheque -  Serving fresh seafood delights. Open from 11am to 11pm. Dress Code: Casual.

The Vine Bar & Café – Located in the main lobby area, specialty coffees, freshed baked pastries and sandwiches are served.  Opens at 6:30am till 10pm.

Nebbiolo is a specialty Italian Restaurant -  Indoor and outdoor dining in a modern Italian decor Antipasta Bar & stone pizza oven. Dinners are served a’la carte, dress is country club casual.

Sea Salt Grill – Offering indoor and outdoor dining facing an exposed kitchen and featuring steakhouse favorites. Casual

Ólio Mediterranean Cuisine

Flavors from Tunisia, Morocco, Greece and Spain served overlooking the pool area and Laguna with panorama up on the 12th floor.  Casual



The hotels Spa by Pevonia has a main lounge called the Cenote, which is a re-creation of the fresh water Cenote’s around the Riviera Maya area.  Be side the ocean and pools the resort provides complimentary green fees at Playa Mujeres Golf Course.  Tee times need to be scheduled 24 hours in advance, and guests pay for their golf cart and transportation to/from the golf course.



Playa Mujeres Golf Course

The golf course is approximately 30 minute drive north of Cancun and located in a private estate setting.  Pro shop and golf shop is very nice with Callaway club rentals and carts available.  Bring a lot of golf balls, if you happen to run short, the golf maintenance guys will usually have a bag of ball for purchase on the course at a rate much less than the pro-shop.  The course has staggered tee boxes and fairly wide fairways with lots of sand traps and other hazards.  I have played this golf course of other occasions and there is very little pressure from other golfers.  If you are a fast golfer, you can easily play 18-holes in 3 hours.  Beautiful golf course with some holes facing the ocean. It’s worth a trip if you are a golfer.




The ocean is ruff and can be intimidating for swimmers who are not use to a rolling wave surf and a little bit of current.  There is an area “roped” off for swimming and life guards monitor the activity of swimmers in the ocean.  The resorts provides plently of chairs and lounges on the beach with umbrella’s for shade.  Full service beach waiters and attendants are available.  I would not recommend food service at the beach because of the birds can become aggressive,   This beach is ideal for walking and strolling for miles and watching other people along the beach.  There are occasional beach vendors walking up and down the beach selling their wares and day excursions.




This hotel is truly a 5 star luxury resort hotel. It has originality over conformity.  A luxury hotel with a refreshing array of character and ambience while maintaining the highest standards without being standard.  The widest variety of dining and guest service amenities available with a professional staff that delivers consistent service and attention to detail.  This hotel is unique and distinctive.  This is the kind of hotel you dream about and pamper yourself with.












Patsy James with Belize, Costa Rica & Peru TravelPOINTS just recently returned from visiting and staying at the new Secrets The Vine in Cancun.  Patsy has great insider’s knowledge of Belize, Costa Rica, Belize & Mexico.  Having spend many years traveling in and around Central America her knowledge has helped create unique travel experiences for clients’ dream vacation. Familiar with most common tourist attractions, Patsy also knows many “off the beaten track” secrets.  Patsy has experience with destination weddings, eco-adventure & nature tours, group tours, spa experiences and jungle adventures makes her a wonderful partner to have while planning your next trip to Central America. Patsy can be reached at 1-800-626-3480.

Zoetry Riveria Maya

A few weeks ago my husband and I traveled to Cancun Mexico for a little beach time and relaxation at the Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita, a luxury resort located on the Riviera Maya, Cancun Meixico for a few days of  vacation.

Our vacation started with a few days spend at the Dreams Tulum and our last  4-days of our vacation was at the Zoetry Paraiso De La Bonita, I would consider a 5-Star Boutique Luxury resort, very nice quaint and quiet.

The Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita is consistently named one of Mexico’s most exclusive small resorts in the Riviera Maya area, set on 14 acres of beach front turquoise ocean water.   It is situated along Cancun’s famed Riviera Maya just 20 minutes from Cancun’s International Airport and in the heart of Puerto Morelos, near the Puerto Morelos National Marine Park, which is the largest barrier reef in the Americas.

There are 90 luxury suites, offering an all-inclusive luxury experience focused on wellness, relaxation and  à la carte gourmet dining, top-shelf spirits and 24-hour private in-room dining, maid service three times daily, complimentary greens fees at the nearby golf course and more to make your stay unforgettable.

This place is for the couples or honeymooners who wants to relax, decompress and enjoy the surroundings, the service and food are amazing and the beach is quite, no vendors, loud music or kids, just the sound of the ocean.  We arrived late in the evening and the staff was very attentive on helping us get situated into our room and into one of the restaurants before they closed for the evening.  Our dinner that night was relaxing and grand, one of the best Margaritas I’ve ever had.

While staying at the Zoetry, we really did not have any reason to leave the property, the food, accommodations and service are superb.  As tennis players they have one court which is not their forte, we were able to play tennis early in the morning and late in the afternoon to avoid the mid-day heat.  The sister property Secrets Silver Sands a few miles away also has tennis courts which are in better than the court at the Zoetry, but most people don’t go to the Zoetry to play tennis.  The front desk can arrange court time for you, it’s a 5-10 minute shuttle ride.

The rooms at the Zoetry are all large suites and nicely decorated with magnificent views of the ocean.  As you enter your room there is a separate sitting area with couch, coffee table and TV hutch, off in a separate rooms is a large king bed and a bathroom as large as the “moon”  with a nice soaking tub and shower.  Rooms have a in-room coffee maker and a separate patio to relax and enjoy the ocean.  All rooms are ocean front, not “Partial Ocean view”, very soothing.

As for the night life, we are very content to a relaxing dinner and quiet evening, however the sister property Secrets Silversands  is open for business for those who want to enjoy some of the night life (Free of charge ask the front desk when you arrive).   The nice feature about staying at the Zoetry is returning back to a relaxing resort and not having to deal with the larger crowds at the resort all of the time.

We spent most days sitting under a cabana on the beach.   The beach & pool staff are very helpful and attentive.  Front desk and cleaning staff were also very friendly and helpful. I think the service at this resort was absolutely remarkable very personal and exclusive.

In all of my travels I would rate this property a 5-Star. It has originality over conformity.  It’s a luxury hotel with a refreshing array of character and ambience.  It has the highest standards without being standard.  The widest variety of dining and guest service amenities that is unique and distinctive.  This is the kind of hotel you dream about and pamper yourself with. If you have a “bucket list” put in on your list of luxury beach resorts to visit in your life time, you won’t regret it.

Dreams Tulum Review

A few weeks ago my husband and I traveled to Cancun Mexico for a little beach time and relaxation.  To our surprise we found out on our arrival that the next few days were going to be very busy, it was Mexico’s Independence Holiday Day Weekend.

So the all-inclusive resort that we stayed at Dreams Tulum went from 50% occupied to 100% occupied within a manner of 1-day.  Instead of spending our time on the beach relaxing under a cabana listening to the sounds of the ocean, it was a high energy rumba of music, jumping excitement of beach activities and non-stop beach cocktail waitresses scurrying from beach cabana to cabana.


After a day of watching all the activity around the beach and pool, we decided to take our rent a car and explore some of the area around Tulum for the next few days. Tulum is South of Cancun about 100 miles or so and usually not as crowded because of the distance. We spent the next 2-full days exploring Cenote’s around Tulum and a full day driving up to Chichen Itza,, consider one of the New Wonders of the World.

Our trip began with a drive down to Dreams Tulum about a 2-hour drive from the Cancun Airport.  If you intend to rent a car in Mexico, then be aware that your credit card insurance and your personal car insurance may not cover you to the extent you would like to be covered in a foreign country.   American Express, Visa, and Master Card may NOT cover car-insurance in Mexico, you should find out before you arrive.   The car insurance that is offered to you from the car rental agency is excessive and expensive,  it costs more per day than the daily car rental, but take it. The reality of it is, negotiate the best deal for the Mexican insurance and take it, it’s going to be cheaper in the long run.  If you get into an accident or your car is stolen and you DON’T have their insurance, you have problems and it’s going to be very expensive to get out.

Dreams Tulum

Ok back to Dreams Tulum, once we arrived at the Dreams Tulum our 4-night luxury stay began with a friendly greeting from the staff and reception at the lobby. The resort is located on a great stretch of white sandy beach that is walk able and the ocean tide is swim able for all ages.


Dreams Tulum is an all-inclusive resort that is caters to honeymooners, couples and families that want to relax in a large resort complex that can accommodate up to 800 people when full. The lobby is large and spacious with a nice bar, rooms are scattered around the property in 2-story structures with interior courtyards that resemble Spanish Architecture and design.  Large courtyards and fountains are located in the middle of the walk ways.  Rooms are hacienda style with colonial decoration spacious and nice with balcony and hammock, TV, Mini-bar, Room Safe and wireless internet access that is extra and not very reliable.

Dreams Tulum is right on the ocean, guests can take advantage of snorkeling, catamarans, windsurfing, kayaking and jumping on the ocean trampoline. One of the nice features about this resort hotel are the dining options with seven à la carte restaurants to choose from, Italian, French, Seaside Gill, Japanese / Sushi Restaurant Steak House and El Patio for Mexican fare and the World Café which is the buffet for breakfast and lunch plus 7 bars.


Built in 2000, the resort does a good job of entertaining, feeding and keeping the guest happy with good service and friendly staff.  As with all-inclusive resorts the food, alcohol, entertainment and lodging are all included in the price of the stay.

The first night we tried the Italian restaurant, food and service was very good along with the Chilean House wine.  Second night we ate at the French restaurant which also was very good but I think our favorite was the Steak House, it was a little smaller but the food was prepared very well.  One of the things that make this resort stand out is service, the wait staff is very professional and dedicated to making your stay a memorable event. Make sure you bring some dollar bills for tipping after your meal.

Cenotes for Snorkeling

If you like to snorkel and have never snorkeled in a Cenote than I would recommend the following.  In a 2-day period we snorkeled in 6 different Cenotes and found 2 that were worthwhile.  The Yucatan peninsula was originally under the ocean and the region’s limestone foundation is fossilized coral beds and ocean floor. There are no above ground rivers in this area.  All of the ground water sinks through the porous limestone and travels to the sea in underground rivers. Parts of the limestone weakened over time and collapsed, leaving sinkholes filled with water – a cenote (pronounced: seh-NO-tay).  I’m sure there are many other Cenote in the region, but these we found are easy to find and safe, also they are not your typical tourist trap destination.

Grand Cenote

Located just outside of the town a few mile of Tulum on the highway going to Chichen Itaz is a sign and parking area Grand Cenote.  Entrance fee was $10 U.S.D per person and if you don’t have your own snorkeling gear, you can rent it there.  You walk in and climb down the steps into the large sinkhole area that is approximately 100 yards long and about 25 – 30 yards wide.  There is a deck to drop your stuff before entering the water.  Water is crystal clear cool and fresh and inviting. Many scuba divers enter these Cenotees and dive deep into the underground river caves.  You will see many different rock formation in the water, there is not current and the cool water is refreshing.

Yal Kul Cenote

This Cenote is located in the Akamal area, 30-minute drive north of Tulum.  As you drive into Akamal you follow the road about 2 or 3 miles to the dead end where Yal Kul is located.  There is parking and an entrance fee of $20 u.s.d per person.  They have snorkeling gear if you don’t have your own, extra cost.  This particular Cenote is great, the fresh water flows gently to the ocean and you have a wonderful snorkeling experience of tropical fish and interesting rock formation in the water.  You can easily spend the entire day here.  Akamal is also know for great snorkeling, fun beach restaurants and scuba diving in the area.

Chichen Itza

On our transition day from Dreams Tulum to the Zoetry Hotel, we decided to drive up to Chichen Itza in our rental car.  The drive to Chicen Itza is about 2-hours from Tulum, the 2 lane road is in good shape and the signage provides good direction for finding  the ruins.  We arrived at Chichen Itza around 1:00pm in the afternoon in the middle of the heat.  The cost to enter is around $30 – $40 per person without a guide.  You need comfortable walking shoes, lots of water and a hat and sun screen.  To see it all you need 2 – 3 hours or more and if you “rent” a guide,  plan on 3 hours plus.  If you arrive late in the day like we did, you avoid all the masses of tour buses that arrive early in the morning and leave around 2 or 3 in the afternoon.  By the time we finished walking and seeing all the Mayan runs, it was around 5:00pm and the place was deserted, with the exception of the vendors trying to sell anything to anyone.  It’s worth seeing and the paths are marked, so it’s very easy to get around.

Chchen Itza is the capital of ancient Maya empire, its majestic building dates back to 435 and 455, and it is geographically located in the middle of spectacular natural environs in the Yucatan Peninsula. At this site declared as one of the 7 World Wonders, you can visit magnificent temples such as the Kukulcan Pyramid and the Ball Game as well as there are others that cannot be visited to avoid damages.

The Castle or Pyramid of Kukulcan is the most impressive temple in Chichen Itza renowned for the number of tombs found there and its endless 91 steps, as well as the impeccable architecture that stands out by a stone feathered serpent.

Puerto Vallarta Family Vacation at Paradise Village

Few Vacation destinations can match the diversity found in Puerto Vallarta.  Mexico is a favorite destination for many in North American to relax on the beach under sunny skies.  Puerto Vallarta located on the pacific coast attracts vacationers with its combination of great beaches, good value and traditional charm.

   Puerto Vallarta still maintains much of its atmosphere of the quiet fishing village that it once was. Over the last 30 years of development Puerto Vallarta has grown to become a favorite tourist destination attracting nearly 2 million visitors annually.  The downtown area offers a variety of shopping, excellent dining and the charm of old Mexico.  In the southern zone of Puerto Vallarta, a bit secluded from the rest of town, includes scenic coves, great beaches and hotels scattered along the rugged hillsides

Puerto Vallarta hotel rooms rang from expensive beachfront properties to in-expensive budget minded hotels in the downtown area.  The hotel zone situated between the marina and downtown retains the ambience of a colonial village and hosts the majority of the hotels and shops.

North of Puerto Vallarta only 20 minutes away is Nuevo Vallarta. A master-planned resort complex, built around a marina, has opened several deluxe hotels over the last few years.  Nuevo Vallarta is easily accessed by local bus transportation, car rental or cab.  Nuevo Vallarta offers a quiet relaxing atmosphere on miles of pristine sandy beach. It is here on a private 12-acre peninsula surrounded by the sea you will find Paradise Village. 

Created in the image of the world’s great resorts and Spas, Paradise Village is a beautifully appointed resort offering a relaxing clean safe atmosphere to vacation.  The resort facility includes fine dining, tennis, sailing, jet skis, deep-sea fishing windsurfing, and parasailing. The Spa facilities include an exercise studio, cardiovascular and weight training room, spa treatment rooms.  Supervised programs of activities including water aerobics, tennis clinics, and beach volleyball and pool activities.  There are 2 spectacular lagoon swimming pools with flowing waterfalls and slides.  Two outdoor grass hut restaurants serve traditional Mexican dishes along with an assortment of beverages for guest by the pool and on the beach for lunch. Nearby an 18 hole golf course is just minutes away.

 The rooms are decorated in the charm and style of Mexico.  Room preferences included junior, one-bedroom and a two-bedroom suite, each lavish suite features a spacious living area, fully equipped kitchen and private terrace.  There is daily maid service and an on-site concierge to cater to any need.  Only a short walk from the facility is a local shopping market available with an assortment of grocery items.

Paradise Village is a superb destination for families and couples who enjoy the ocean, beach and activities available for a relaxing vacation.  Call Belize & Costa Rica TravelPOINTS at 303-938-9018 or 1-800-626-3483 or visit us at or

Puerto Vallarta One of Mexico’s Top Beach Vacation Resorts

Puerto Vallarta a charming beach resort city located on the Bahia de Banderas once a sleepy fishing village is now a major Mexico beach vacation destination.  Puerto Vallarta began to transition around 1950 when improved roads and air accessibility led to the construction of first-class hotels and the arrival of tourists.  Now it’s one of Puerto Vallarta top vacation beach resorts attracting visitors from all over the world to relax and enjoy the beach, Pacific Ocean and many of the moderate to luxury resort hotels accommodations in the area.

Recently Puerto Vallarta has under gone a multimillion dollar renovation of the downtown area famous four-mile, pedestrian-friendly waterfront promenade in an effort to promote the city’s core shopping and restaurant district.  The improvements along the Malecon, the waterfront promenade were part of a long term plan to highlight the unique features and attractions that make Puerto Vallarta a destination visitor will want to continue to come back too.   The Malcom includes new artist exhibits of local artwork, hand-painted wooden fishing boats, called pangas, brick pavers, murals and religious themes.

These new improvements along with the weather in Puerto Vallarta are a great combination for new travelers and returning visitors seeking a sunny beach vacation that offers a charming city to stroll around and a variety of good shops and restaurants to try.  If you like to be where the action is, then the downtown area is where you want to stay.  There are a variety of nice moderate to deluxe accommodations in the “Downtown Hotel Zone” that have easy access by public transportation and taxi to the main promenade.  One of my favorite moderate hotels located on the beach in the downtown area is the colonial boutique style hotel, Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort.

Playa Los Arcos Hotel Beach Resort

This hotel has 171 rooms and is ideal for a family or couple on a budget that want the flexibility of dining options.  Here you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets and walk 5 minutes to a local seafood restaurant that serves local fish of the day, or walk to many of the fine local Mexican restaurants that serve traditional dishes of the area.  Along with easy access to many fine restaurants (email me and I’ll give you my top 10 restaurants in Downtown Puerto Vallarta) there is shopping and people watching.

Up North approximately 30-minutes by cab or bus is an area called Nuevo Vallarta, a fairly new development of large all-inclusive resorts on a beautiful stretch of beach with nice rolling surf.  This is the area I prefer to stay when I visit Puerto Vallarta.  There are a few hotels on my short list that I like to stay at when I visit Puerto Vallarta, some of them are great for families and couples and some are just right for couples.

Paradise Village Nuevo Vallarta

Paradise Village is a large all suite resort that offers Jr. Suites, 1-Bedroom & 2-Bedroom suites for its guest.  It is a well maintained lush landscaped resort offering a relaxing clean safe atmosphere to vacation on the beach.  The resort facility includes fine dining, tennis, sailing, jet skis, deep-sea fishing windsurfing, parasailing along with 2 large swimming pools, theme dinner nights and a beach that you can walk for 5 or miles if you want.  This is an ideal resort with families who like a large family room, separate bedrooms and baths, full kitchen and easy access to the beach.  It also allows for dining flexibility, there are many dining options.  For those who want to go into and it’s also easy access to Downtown Puerto Vallarta on the public transportation bus, the bus stop just outside the entrance to Paradise Village.

Marival Residences & Spa, Nuevo Vallarta

The Marival Residences & Spa and The Resort & Suite are 2-separate hotel resorts located a few blocks from each other.  The Marival Residence & Spa is a separate upscale luxury (4 to 4 ½ Star) retreat.  The Residences is a much smaller resort located 1 block off the beach but a beautiful all-inclusive vacation resort property.  There are 169 residence & villas, One-bedroom residences have a king and sofa bed, fill living room, full equipped kitchen and terrace.  Along with easy access to the beach, they have a full service spa, a range of dining options, including a sushi bar, a lobby wine bar with beachside food service, and a casual restaurant including a special children’s menu and an evening grill menu. The Sky Bar features a wall-to-wall fireplace and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The deli offers a selection of juices, wines and local products.

The Marival Resort & Suites

This is the sister resort, a much larger all-inclusive resort property that is more moderate in price and family oriented that provides a great value for its service and accommodations.  It is located on the same beach as Paradise Village, a few miles north.  I would consider it a 3 ½ Star to low 4 star property, depending on the room location.  Rooms and suites have 2-double beds, full bath, mini-fridge stocked daily and patio.  This property is all-inclusive with all meals buffet or a la carte, unlimited premium drinks, 6-restaurants, 4 tennis courts, 4 out-door pools and many shaded beach cabana to watch the rolling surf. This is a great all-inclusive alternative to Cancun or the Riviera Maya, better value.

Villa Del Palmar Flamingos Beach Resort & Spa

This is a all-suites property that has 275 deluxe ocean-view rooms.  The resort is able to accommodate guest that only need a Jr. Suite, 2 double beds, kitchenette, mini-fridge or a family that needs a 1 or 2 bedroom unit.  The property has 2 restaurants, multi-level pool and is located on the same beach as the Marival, only a few miles fewer north near the small beach town of Bucerias.   Villa Del Palmar provides an EP (European dining option or All-inclusive option).  In my opinion the EP plan is the way to go, there are many dining options within a 10-minute area that provide a fun ambiance and good food.  The concierge at the front desk will have many suggestions.  Villa Del Palmar is a nicer looking and accommodating property than Paradise Village but does not have some of the same amenities that Paradise Village has to offer i.e. shopping mall, grocery & liquor store, and restaurants near by.   Guest staying at Villa Del Palmar can easily walk on the beach to the small town of Bucerias, or take a 5 minute taxi ride to where there are many nice restaurants and a variety of dining options available along with some fun beach bars.    The public bus stops in front of the resort for easy access into Puerto Vallarta which is about 30 minute ride.

Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta

The Dreams Villamagna considered a 4-Star hotel is a nice tropical hideaway located on the same beach as the other properties mentioned, Paradise Village, Marival and Villa Del Palmar.  The Villamagna is a large high rise all-inclusive resort property that shares 4 or 5 other “multi-story towers” of privately owned / “time-shared” condominiums.  It has an expansive sprawling large swimming pool with limited shade and limited beach cabana with shade.   If you are an early riser, commandeering a pool umbrella should not be a problem.  It’s ideal for honeymoon couples who want a nice assortment of a la carte restaurants, nice rooms great pool and a nice beach to walk on.  The property offers 232 suites with a king or 2-doubles, fully equipped bath, private balcony with Jacuzzi , mini-bar restocked daily along with all-inclusive meals, snacks, premium brand beverages, 5 restaurants, 5 bars and lunges, big screen movies, kayaks and more.

Patsy James with Belize & Costa Rica TravelPOINTS has been to Puerto Vallarta over a dozen times over the years with her family and husband.  She has stayed and visited many of the resort properties and can give you insight and advice on other resort properties located in and around the Puerto Vallarta area along with dining tips in Puerto Vallarta and in Nuevo Vallarta.  If you have questions please give her a call at 1-800-626-3483 / 303-938-9018 or email her at