Cozumel near Cancun

Cozumel offers amazing experiences that stand out from many other places in the world. Cozumel is a small island that has a bit of Mexico and the Caribbean all merged into one incredible destination, and you can get there quickly by ferry from Playa del Carmen just 40 minutes from Cancun.

Cancun vs Cozumel

Cancun and Cozumel both offer beautiful beaches and reefs, but the lifestyle is quite different from the two. Cozumel’s lifestyle has a mixture of Afro-Latino that is fun and exciting, but a bit more laid back than the busy tourist life of Cancun. Cozumel isn’t just a beach location, the natural beauty that this island offers is breathtaking. It is the largest island in Mexico that offers lush forests and white sands.

allegro-beach

An Outdoor Paradise

Cozumel is an outdoor person’s paradise. The island is home to exotic wildlife along with so many different species of marine life, and the lagoons provide picturesque sunsets. If you love birdwatching and hiking, then you will be in love in Cozumel, as these are favorite activities here. These type of activities is what sets Cozumel apart from other Mexico destinations.

The Island of Cozumel

The island of Cozumel is very small, but there is plenty to see and do here. If you are visiting the small island, then you can probably see most of the island in just one day. If you love diving, then this island is meant for you. Cozumel has been ranked as one of the top five vacation destinations in the entire world, because of the stunning coral reefs, tropical fish, sea turtles, and the vast array of underwater adventures that is provided here. You will be amazed on how clear the water is here, the visibility is the best worldwide, which is why Cozumel is an excellent location to go snorkeling.

Cozumel also provides plenty of things to do on the island. Sightseeing can be done here in just one day, and is a popular stop for cruises. Many vacationers to the island like to go hiking to the Botanical Garden Trail where you will be able to see over 350 species of plants, then you can go to the Punta Sur Ecological Reserve where you will see huge sea turtles, crocs, and iguanas up close. To see a bit of the Mayan history you can head over to the San Gervasio and El Cedra. To learn about the history of Mexico, then visit the Discover Mexico exhibit.

As you see, Cozumel may be a small Island near Cancun, but offers excitement, relaxation, and so much more.

California and Texas used to be Mexican. What else don’t you know about Mexico?

Did you know that the most common name for a man in Mexico is Juan Hernandez? Or that Mexico City is sinking? We thought not! Here’s a list of 16 things we’d bet you never knew about Mexico!

Texas-vs-California

1. Mexico is officially called Estados Unidos Me

xicanos, or the United Mexican States not simply “Mexico”.

2. As an independent nation, Mexico is the 5th largest in the Americas and 13th largest in the world over all!

3. Of all the Spanish speaking nations in the world, Mexico is the most densely populated with around 113 million people calling it home.

4. Before the conquistadors of Spain came along, Mexico was ruled by the Olmec, Toltec, Teotihuacan, Zapoteco, Maya, and the Aztec!

5. Mexico is now among the biggest economies in the world. This is partly because they are the largest provider of high quality silver in the world!

6. Mexico is now the 10th largest provider of oil in the whole world!

7. According to UNESCO, Mexico comes in 6th for the total amount of World Heritage sites found in one country!

8. Spanish is Mexico’s most widely spoken language, but did you know that there are 68 officially recognized Mexican indigenous languages.

9. Geographically speaking Mexico is actually a part of North America.

10. The oldest woman in Mexico claims to be 127 years old! If anyone could find her birth certificate, this would make her the oldest person in the world.

11. While Mexico was still a Spanish Colony there was a time when Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and California were all a part of it!

12. Without Mexico you wouldn’t be able to eat chocolate, chillies and corn!

13. The US-Mexican Border is the second largest political border in the world.

14. Mexico City was built by the Spanish over the ruins of Tenochtitlán; a great Aztec city.

15. Mexico City is actually sinking at a rate of 6 to 8 inches per year because it was built on the site of a large lake.

10 Things to Eat in Mexico that Might Make you Cringe

If you think you’ve tried traditional Mexican cuisine it might be time to think again! In this article you’ll find a list of 10 traditional Mexican foods that we can guarantee you won’t find at your local Chili’s! Take a look at the weird but wonderful dishes that people eat in Mexico and see if you can outdo us; number 5 will probably make you squirm.

spicy-fruit

1. Spicy Fruit
Adding chili powder to our fruit might seem like a contradiction of flavors to North American or European taste buds, but adding salt and chili to fresh and dried fruit is a popular delicacy in Mexico. If, chili is too hot for you, try lemon and salt first.

2. Grasshoppers
A common delicacy in the state of Oaxaca, eating fried salty grasshoppers is as popular as munching a bag of chips back home, only probably a lot higher in protein. You can find them on various market stalls and can be eaten as a snack, or used as a garnish for guacamole or a salad. Don’t be surprised if you get spicy grasshoppers instead of peanuts with your Corona when enjoying a vacation in Oaxaca!

3. Hallucinogenic Worms!
Bottles of the Mexican liquor, mescal, sometimes come with a worm in the bottom of the bottle that is said to be hallucinogenic! Chewing this little guy might be strange, but it’s said to be a great way to get the party going (plus you could win a few pesos if your friends bet against your intestinal fortitude!

4. Flying Ant Salsa
Again, in Oaxaca, flying ant salsa is a seasonal delicacy when swarms of the bug attack the area after the first rains of the wet season eat year. Chicatanas, as these flying ants are known, are cooked on a hot pan, then grinded with salt, garlic and chili to be mixed with water to create a delicious hot salsa.

5. Maggots
Escamole is to all intents and purposes a maggot dish. Sometimes called insect caviar (probably to justify the price tag), escamole is made by scraping ant larvae from the maguey cactus (the plant from which mescal is made). The nutty flavour is complimented by its cottage cheese-esque texture.

6. Cactus Flower Ice cream
This ice cream is made from the fruit of the cactus plant. This fruit is light green and has a texture much like cucumber; the ice cream has a light and refreshing flavor.

7. Cows Eyelids and Lips
It’s common for tourists to be warned against eating Mexican street food in order to avoid having a funny tummy the next day, but this rule could also help you out if you’re squeamish about unusual cuts of meat. Cows eyelids, tongues and lips are a delicacy in certain parts of Mexico and many people will travel a fair distance to get to a taco stand that sells these cuts of meat.

8. Worm salt
Worm salt is commonly served with mescal! It’s made by grinding worms, salt and chili and the idea is that you dip the orange slice in the salt before sucking the juice and taking your shot.

9. Corn Fungus
Huitlacoche or corn smut is the name of a fungal disease that affects maize. In Mexico, this dark gray/green fungus is eaten as we would mushrooms, and is used as a filling for quesadillas, soups, and sauces. It is actually quite delicious despite its appearance.

10. Hot Chocolate Sauce
Mole is famous Mexican sauce for chicken that is made with chocolate and chilis. Although mole has a complex list of ingredients, chocolate is the primary substance and you will find that every self respecting Mexican chef (or mother) will have their own special recipe.

Things You Should Never Do When You Buy Timeshare in Mexico

Timeshare in Mexico is a hit among people who want a flexible vacation at a great prices. Many have seen its benefits; that’s why more and more people want to have it. As a friendly reminder, there are some things that you should never do, when you buy a timeshare in Mexico.

1 – Don’t go more than one presentation in Mexico just for the gifts
If you are not interested with the concept of timeshare, then don’t attend the presentations that they give. Some people attend for the sake of receiving a gift. They are known as “strokers”. They pretend that they are sincere with their intentions in buying a timeshare, but at the end, it will show otherwise. There’s only one that you are fooling, and that is yourself.

2 – Don’t sign a contract if you have not read it
You might get into some trouble, when you signed a contract that you don’t fully understand. Read it thoroughly and know all the details. You will spend your hard earned money on this and it’s worth knowing, where your money is heading for.

3 – Don’t cancel your presentation appointment
You will lose all discounts and benefits, if you failed to show up for your scheduled timeshare presentation. The huge savings that should be yours will all be gone and paying for the full price can mean a huge chunk on your budget.

4 – Don’t be dishonest about your Finances when buying a timeshare in Mexico
Telling a lie can backfire on you. Be honest about your finances. You might purchase something that you can’t afford to pay just because you are embarrassed to tell the seller what you really earn.

5 – Don’t buy the lowest value timeshare
Having the cheapest timeshare means the least benefits. It is the most popular one, obviously because it costs less. The difficulty in making reservations can be felt, because of too many members. If you can afford it, go with a higher value membership. It can save you some headaches, especially concerning reservations.

6 – Don’t purchase a timeshare unless you have seen it physically
Never buy anything, which you haven’t seen, unless it is in pre-construction from a highly reputable timeshare company. It’s the responsibility of the promoters to take you to the resort being offered. If you’re buying out of photographs, you might be surprised upon knowing that the resort doesn’t exist at all.

7 – Don’t lie about your credit cards
A valid credit is required when attending a timeshare presentation in Mexico. If you can’t show one, you cannot avail of the free gift. Don’t lie, as you will be caught before the whole presentation begins.

8 – Don’t go to a different resort than the one you agreed to
This is an illegal act. The original resort, where you had your presentation should be the one to entertain you till the end. The fact that you’re interested in the first resort, it doesn’t make sense bringing you to a different resort. You might be walking into a scam. Report it immediately.

9 – Don’t trust timeshare promoters who don’t have an official badge
It could be a scam when someone approaches you without showing proof that he is officially designated by his company to do so. Ask for an official identification card to make sure you are dealing with a legit one.

What they Don’t Tell you About Villa del Palmar Cancun Wedding Packages

A destination wedding can be a couple’s best friend. It’s an excuse to leave behind all the troublesome workmates and third cousins that you never see (without causing offence), it guarantees good weather, and, when you stay at the Villa del Palmar Cancun, you can leave the details to someone else. To make your life easier the Villa del Palmar Cancun has different packages on offer to make your big day.

Getting Married in Cancun

LOVE IS IN THE AIR
If you want your big day to be an intimate, understated affair then this package is undoubtedly for you. This package is free when you book 35 rooms, but is available to you no matter what size your wedding party is. It includes, obviously, your romantic, beachfront ceremony in front of the stunning, crystalline waters of the Caribbean. But you also get turndown service on your wedding night, and discounts on Spa services for you and your guests. The Villa del Palmar also has dedicated wedding coordinators to help you to take care of all the little details so that you don’t have to.

LOVE ME TENDER
When you want to make a slightly bigger show of your wedding day you can opt for the Love Me Tender package, which is free with the booking of 45 rooms or more at Villa del Palmar Cancun (making it perfect for bigger wedding parties). You get all the same elements found in the Love is in the Air package, but also benefits from a few little extras such as a matching, tropical, bouquet and boutonniere for the bride and groom, and a romantic, private candlelit dinner on the beach.

ENDLESS LOVE
If you want to add some truly unique touches to your destination wedding then you can go for either the Endless Love package which include one of two spa treatments. You can have the Noche Romantica couples treatment which includes sparkling wine, strawberries, and a 50 minute couples massage, or the Fair Beauty package which is aimed at the bride. When you book a Fair Beauty package the bride will get her nails, makeup, and hair done for her big day which is a big weight off her mind!

FLY ME TO THE MOON
When you book the Fly Me To The Moon package you will enjoy everything that the ENDLESS LOVE package offers but also benefit from a 1 hour sessions with a professional photographer to make sure that your wedding photos are flawless.

The Villa del Palmar have committed themselves to making your big day special so kick back, relax, and let us worry about the details.

12 Things you should never do on vacation in Mexico!

Mexico is fantastic country for vacations. Who hasn’t heard the phrase “what happens in Mexico, stays in Mexico!” However, just like any country in the world, Mexico has its dos and don’ts when it comes to having a safe, happy and (more importantly) legal time!

Take a look at these 10 things you should never do on vacation in Mexico. No. 6 should stand in any country!

1- Don’t do things you wouldn’t usually do at home
Just because you are in a foreign country where you probably don’t know the language (beyond knowing how to order a beer or a margarita) doesn’t mean there aren’t laws to protect you and its residents. Therefore, just like back home, buying drugs, drinking and driving and bribing police are all highly ILLEGAL in Mexico. You don’t want to spend your vacation in a Mexican jail!

2 – Work!
This item on our list of things you should never do on vacation in Mexico has two meanings. Firstly, leave your laptop at home and switch off 100% from work responsibilities to fully enjoy the stunning beauty and adventures of a Mexican vacation. And secondly, working illegally in Mexico on an extended vacation is not a great idea and could get you into costly trouble.

3 – Leave a restaurant without tipping
This won’t send you to jail, but it is highly frowned upon and isn’t good for your karma. Waiters and people in the service industry in Mexico depend on tips. Basic wages are very, very low and your tip is an essential part of their income.

4 – Swim in the sea when the red flag is up
Most beaches in the tourist areas in Mexico are safe to swim and play year round, but from time to time you might see a red flag to restrict your entry into the sea. Take heed of these warnings, the ocean’s currents, particularly on the Pacific Coast could see you swept out to sea.

5 – Never eat turtle eggs
Turtles are protected animals in Mexico, and local authorities do their very best to collect turtle eggs taking them to sanctuaries until they are ready to hatch. Although it is illegal to sell turtle eggs in Mexico, some locals, who have eaten turtle eggs for centuries, still collect them to eat.

6 – Never, ever insult a Mexican’s mother
This rule should extend for all mothers. However, mothers are particularly honored in Mexico. If you insult a Mexican’s mom, you are likely to cause trouble you might wish to avoid.

7 – Don’t make fun of the Virgin of Guadalupe
Like insulting a Mexican’s mother, you should hold your tongue if you are about to make fun of the Virgin of Guadalupe. The virgin refers to an apparition of the Virgin Mary seen by an indigenous campesino St. Juan Diego in 1531, and she is celebrated on December 12. No doubt you will see pictures and artwork depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe in her sacred shroud.

8 – Dive without a guide
Diving in Mexico is one of the most breathtaking experiences you can enjoy. However, you should always go with a guide, regardless of whether you are a dive master. Local guides will be able to share with your all the local secrets and best spots. It can also be quite dangerous if you do not know the currents of the area. Cave diving is particularly risky and should never be done without a expert guide.

9 – Sunbathe nude or topless
As well as being one of the most Catholic countries in the world, it is illegal to sunbathe without a bathing suit on public beaches. Likewise, going topless can provoke a serious reprimand from local police.

10 – Have sex in a public
As is the case in most countries, having sex in public is not permitted. Although not such as serious offense as it is in some other countries like Thailand and Arabic countries, sex on the beach is best saved as a cocktail.

11 – Never say you don’t like Mexican food or tequila
As common courtesy to your hosts, one of the things you should never do on vacation to Mexico is insult their national drink or food. Mexico’s cuisine is actually considered one of the UNESCO’s intangible Cultural heritages of the world.

12 – Urinate in a public place
Urinating in a public place will cost you a hefty fine if you are caught. Tourist areas are particularly careful about this unpleasant act, trying to keep the streets clean and smelling fresh for visitors.

No-one Buys Timeshares Anymore, right?

When people find out about the blog and the kind of things I write about, a common question amongst some new acquaintances is about whether people really do still buy timeshare, thinking that it had gone out of fashion. The fact is that timeshare is a popular as every in certain key locations where accessibility is easy, the sun always shines and the price is right.

As a timeshare advisor this is a question I hear more often than you might think! Many people misunderstand the great benefits that come with timeshare ownership; they carry the idea of the bad reputation created by a minority of fraudsters in the the 1980’s and 90s. Otherwise they see it as an inconvenience during their vacation where they are bothered to attend sales presentations in return for discounts and rewards. What they don’t realize is that the industry is changing with its consumers, and the benefits you get today are tailored to the modern vacationer.

So who really buys timeshare these days?
Well, to be honest, there isn’t really a typical customer these days, but two things most buyers have in common is the desire to get the best quality for their money, and the love of taking regular vacations. People who invest in timeshares generally expect excellence from each and every vacation, and this is why timeshares are such a great option. You get to know the resort you’re staying at and you can be sure of great service each and every year. Better still you can be sure that all resorts you visit, (as new timeshare memberships don’t generally restrict you to a time and place each year) will be of the same calibre, so you’ll never be disappointed.

Benefits of Timeshare and Vacation Clubs
The specific benefits you get from a certain membership will depend upon the contract you choose to sign, but either way you can be sure that the general benefits are: value for money and great accommodation. The price you pay is set so as the market changes and hotel rooms in general get more expensive you won’t pay more. Better still the quality of the units and resorts you visit will be consistently high, and you’ll always be treated like a VIP. On many occasions timeshare membership can allow you to stay in more luxurious accommodations or resorts than you could usually afford.

Last, but not least, one of the key attractions, and one of the main reasons timeshare remain popular, is the feeling of being at home that a familiar resort and suite gives you. Owning your own piece of heaven in one of the world’s most beautiful locations makes all your hard work through the year worth it! A timeshare gives you all the benefits of owning a second home without any of the responsibilities that come with it.

Garza Blanca Residence Club Wedding Packages

Planning and executing the perfect wedding and reception can be a really stressful and taxing process. This is why destination weddings are so popular, especially in places where the resorts offer package deals for couples getting married. Garza Blanca Residence club offers different packages for your wedding ceremony, and for the reception afterwards. You can be sure that every detail of the reception and ceremony will be given equal attention, care, and consideration!

One of the best things, however, is definitely that the Garza Blanca Residence Club is situated in heavenly surroundings. Those who want a beachside wedding will be delighted with the lush, tropical setting of the resort which is nestled between the Sierra Madre Mountains and Banderas Bay in Mexico!

Here’s all the information you’ll need when it comes to the packages offered by the Garza Blanca Residence Club.

Wedding Ceremony Packages at Garza Blanca
The ceremony packages on offer come in three levels: Gemstone, Crystal, and Jewel, and they are designed not only to make sure that your ceremony is stunning, but that you arrive refreshed. Along with the stunning floral arrangements, options for a waterside gazebo, matching boutonniere and bouquet, and the reverend of course, your package also includes extras like suite upgrades and spa treatments for the bride and groom. These depend on your budget and the size of your wedding party, of course. Every aspect of your wedding ceremony, from the very biggest to the smallest and most finicky, will be given an outstanding level of care, consideration, and thought.

Wedding Reception Packages at Garza Blanca
Your perfect, waterside wedding will of course need a classy and sophisticated reception to go with it. The Garza Blanca Residence Club can provide you with a celeb-worthy reception easily! You can choose between the Gold and Diamond packages, and will have control over every aspect of the evening.

You can choose to have a cocktail hour to begin with, followed by the Chef’s finest hors d’oeuvres and a two or three course meal which will be served by an experienced service team. You will, of course, choose your own cake, and can opt to have late night snacks served for your guests. You can also opt to have an open bar! You can rest easy in the knowledge that the reception will be treated with as much respect and care as the ceremony itself.

A wedding at Garza Blanca is a must for members.

Take an Excursion from Cancun to Holbox

Just a few miles away from Cancun lies Holbox Island, an enchanting secluded island that is located in the Yum Balam Nature Reserve. Because the island is remote, you can only reach it by boat or plane and it makes a wonderful excursion from Cancun.

Holbox Island
This quaint little piece of tropical wonder resting in the coral waters of the Yalahau Lagoon is only 26 miles long and 1.2 miles wide island, but it is a lush habitat for a variety of species. Because of its diverse animal life, Holbox Island is considered to be one of the world’s most significant ecological locations. If you take an excursion from Cancun to Holbox between the months of May and October, you will have the privilege of seeing the island’s most popular marine attraction: the whale shark.

The waters embracing the island is rich with nutrients and makes an ideal habitat for a host of marine creatures. Besides the popular whale sharks that you can get an opportunity to swim with between the months of May and October, you can marvel over the dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles. You may also schedule adrenaline-pumping snorkeling and scuba diving tours that will rejuvenate you and take you away from the cares of the world.

Not only is Holbox a bird haven, it is also a haven for a vast array of reptiles that you can observe while taking a nature hike. Animals like roseate spoonbills, white and brown pelicans, pink flamingos, and double-crested cormorants are sure to peak your interest as you stroll through the barely touched landscape. It’s no secret that this secluded retreat is a nature lover’s dream, but it is also an ideal location for kiteboarding because of the constant winds that breeze through the island.

You can even get a touch of Mayan culture while visiting Holbox. Like Cancun, the island has a history of Mayan traditions—especially surrounding the Yalahau Lagoon, which is also known as the Ojo de Agua Cenote or pit of youthful water. It is believed that swimming in the lagoon will make you feel younger, but most modern visitors just love the relaxation from soaking in the waters. Also, the name of the island itself was named by the Mayans in reference to the dark looking waters of the lagoon (hence the term “black hole” or “holbox”). One thing’s for sure: you will never get bored during your stay on Holbox Island!

Hotel Mousai, Puerto Vallarta Review

Hotel Mousai is one of the newest additions to the Garza Blanca Residence Club in Puerto Vallarta! The luxury hotel opened its doors to guests in December 2014 and has been delighting visitors aged over 16 ever since. Here is a much awaited review of this exciting lifestyle hotel in Puerto Vallarta.


Hotel Mousai Review – A new beachfront property in Puerto Vallarta

Hotel Mousai undoubtedly breaks the conventional mould when it comes to hotel experiences in Puerto Vallarta, or in fact in Mexico at large! This beachfront hotel is chic and trendy; offering contemporary suites each with their own plunge pool! The views are unbeatable!

Relaxation at Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta
Spa Imagine on the 16th floor is just the place to visit if you want to detox and de-stress; this is an ultra-chic space dedicated to helping people relax. The state of the art hydrotherapy facilities available here include a hot-tub, pressure massage shower (it kind of looks like a teletransporter which is doubly awesome), and a sauna. There’s also a ridiculously pampering vitality pool which has 6 different massage settings. There are even awesome gym and fitness facilities, both indoor and outdoor!

Fun at Hotel Mousai in Puerto Vallarta
According to reviews, Hotel Mousai offers some really wonderful free activities such as jungle hikes, walks up to the waterfalls, snorkeling, kayaking, tennis, and even paddle boarding! Alternatively you could relax in the rooftop infinity pool near which there is a lounge area and bar for your enjoyment. At night, the Rooftop becomes a cool, trendy open air bar where you can enjoy scheduled entertainment and socializing with the other guests.

Dining
There are three main places to get food and drink in the hotel that have received highly favorable reviews. Firstly there is The Terrace, which is open at breakfast and lunch times and offers a full a la carte menu. Secondly there is The Rooftop where you can find a special menu filled with gourmet snacks that will help you to get through the day while you’re by the pool. If you like Japanese and Chinese food then you’ll love the Hiroshi pan-Asian restaurant offers many different dishes in a fine dining atmosphere. Those who stay with the hotel Mousai can eat at any of the gourmet restaurants on the Garza Blanca Preserve, which has three other restaurants. Furthermore you can use any of the facilities on the Garza Blanca Preserve.