Archive for the ‘Mexico’ Category

Apple Vacations Offers Kids-Stay Free Deals at 50 All-Inclusives in Caribbean, Mexico & Central America

February 22, 2019
mex-rivieramaya-052908 223e2 (c) Karen Rubin-xcaret-dancer

Families will delight in a visit to Xcaret archeological themepark to learn about Mexican heritage during a stay on the Riviera Maya, Mexico. Apple Vacations is offering kids-stay free deals at all-inclusives in Mexico, Caribbean and Central America © Karen Rubin/

Newtown Square, PA–With bookings surging for spring and summer family travel, Apple Vacations is offering kids-stay-free offers at more than 50 all-inclusive properties throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America. Sample promotional offers include:


  • Two kids stay free at Dreams Dominicus La Romana*in the Dominican Republic
  • Up to two kids 12 and under stay free at Melia Caribe Tropical Resort**and The Level at Melia Caribe Tropical** in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Kids and teens aged 4 – 17 stay free at Moon Palace Jamaica*** in Ocho Rios
  • Two kids stay free at Now Larimar Punta Cana*and Now Onyx Punta Cana* in the Dominican Republic
  • Up to two kids 12 and under stay free at Paradisus Palma Real Golf & Spa Resort**and The Reserve at Paradisus Punta Cana** in the Dominican Republic
  • Kids stay free at Riu Negril****or Riu Ocho Rios**** in Jamaica
  • Two kids stay free at Sunscape Cove Montego Bay*and Sunscape Splash Montego Bay* in Jamaica
  • Two kids stay free at Sunscape Puerto Plata*in the Dominican Republic


  • Kids and teens aged 4 – 17 stay free at Cozumel Palace***
  • Two kids stay free at Dreams Huatulco Resort & Spa*
  • Two kids stay free at Dreams Villamagna Nuevo Vallarta*
  • Kids and teens aged 4 – 17 stay free at Moon Palace Cancun***and The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun***
  • Two kids stay free at Now Amber Puerto Vallarta*
  • Two kids stay free at Reflect Krystal Grand Los Cabos*
  • Two kids stay free at Reflect Krystal Grand Nuevo Vallarta*in Riviera Nayarit
  • Two kids stay free at Sunscape Dorado Pacifico Ixtapa*

 Central America

  • Two kids stay free at Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica*
  • Two kids stay free at Dreams Playa Bonita Panama*
  • Kids stay free at Riu Guanacaste**** in Costa Rica
  • Kids stay free at Riu Playa Blanca****in Panama

* Valid for select travel dates Aug. 18 – Dec. 22, 2019 on bookings received anytime

** Valid for select travel dates May 1 – Dec. 21, 2019 on bookings received by Feb. 15, 2019

*** Valid for bookings and travel on select dates now through Dec. 23, 2019

**** Valid for bookings and travel on select dates May 1 – Dec. 23, 2019

Visit for a full list of participating resorts and other enticing offers designed to create lasting memories for the entire family without breaking the bank.


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Finest Playa Mujeres Opens Luxury All-Inclusive Resort in Cancun

February 25, 2015

Finest Playa Mujeres, an all-inclusive, luxury resort nestled among white sand beaches and crystal blue waters of picturesque Playa Mujeres, Cancun, Mexico, has just opened, accommodating romantic getaways and nuptial celebrations, rejuvenating holidays, and family fun.

The resort offers every possible amenity and luxury one could dream of at an all-inclusive luxury resort: elegant and modern suites provide oversized Jacuzzis, swim-up rooms, private pools, decks with breathtaking views, rooftop terraces, and family-designed suites; a world-class spa with hydrotherapy circuit, 10 swimming pools complete with a children’s pool and baby wading pool, and playground and pavilion for children and teens, nine international gourmet restaurants and 17 bars.

Private club settings in the Excellence Club for adults-only relaxation; and the Finest Club for all ages, which offers additional amenities and services provide further exclusivity and more customized activity.

Finest Playa Mujeres and Finest Resorts are operated by Excellence Group Luxury Hotels & Resorts, a family owned and operated resort group specializing in hotel management and worldwide real estate development, with a primary geographic presence in the Caribbean. The group, a joint investment between Medieval Times and ETI (Explotacions Turistiques de les Illes), owns and manages five star award winning resort properties in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Riviera Maya, and Cancun, Mexico.

In 2014, Excellence Group properties won the Conde Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Award, the Travel & Leisure World’s Best Award and Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice Award.

Visit, follow @finestresorts and hashtag #LifeDoneBeautifully.


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New: Moral Compass: Great Places to Go Where the Going Does Good

Bike Mexico’s Mayan Historical Sites on ‘End of the World’ Adventure Tour

August 15, 2012

The Mayan calendar ends this December 21, and now travelers can ride to the heart of the intrigue of this once-in-a-lifetime event and its local celebrations. Bike Mexico’s Mayan Riviera while exploring local culture, natural wonders, and ancient archaeological sites on a multi-sport adventure. © 2012 Karen Rubin/

Apocalypse soon? According to some interpretations of the Mayan calendar, the world will end on December 21. Travelers can ride to the heart of the intrigue—and experience once-in-a-lifetime celebrations—during the “Riviera Maya Bike Adventure: End of the World Edition,” departing December 15, 2012. Bike Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula while exploring Mayan history, local culture, and rich ecological attractions, with convenient booking and payment through BikeToursDirect.

Mayan prophecy foretells that 2012 will bring the end of the world as we know it, or perhaps the beginning of a new cycle – an era of heightened awareness. These varied interpretations will be discussed and Mayan culture explored during this special edition Mexico bike tour, adapted from the popular Riviera Maya Cycling Adventure program.

“Riviera Maya is a fantastic region to visit any time for its white-sand beaches, delicious food, archeological sites, and friendly people, but this December will be a unique time of celebration. Travelers will be able to enjoy local flavor and customs at the many festivals and ceremonies marking this long-anticipated date,” said Jim Johnson, president of BikeToursDirect.

Starting December 15, 2012, this Mexico bike tour has a multi-sport itinerary, including cycling the Yucatan Peninsula from the jungle to the thatched-roof villages of the contemporary Mayan World. Travelers will explore the prominent archaeological sites of Tulum, Coba, Chichen Itza and Muyil as each of these ancient cities’ history and mysteries are discovered.

Guided by local ecologists, guests will cycle through this tropical paradise, averaging a leisurely 30 miles per day. Beyond cycling, this multi-sport adventure also includes hiking (including a crocodile-watching night hike), kayaking, swimming and snorkeling. Travelers will explore the 1.6 million-acre Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve and snorkel in the world’s second largest coral reef.

Educational evening programs will include lectures on ecology, Mayan culture and the Mayan calendar. Guests are encouraged to discuss their thoughts and interpretations of ancient Mayan beliefs and will also experience a Mayan purification ritual.

“The end of the world, or the start of a new cycle, is an opportunity to evaluate what’s most important in life. Our guides and lecturers hope to evoke this kind of reflection as guests explore the history, culture, and natural wonders of the Yucatan,” said Kenneth Johnson of Cancun-based trip operator EcoColors Tours.

Land cost starts at $1,515 and includes accommodations, most meals, cycling equipment, bilingual guides and entrance fees for all non-cycling activities. Airfare to Cancun must be booked separately. For travelers unable to join the “End of the World Edition,” additional departures of the similar Riviera Maya Bike Adventure are available, including a special edition family tour in February 2013. For more information or to book a tour, visit or call (877) 462-2423 or (423) 756-8907.

BikeToursDirect serves as a central resource for bicycle tours around the world, representing 75 tour companies that offer more than 300 tours in 60 countries throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers search for and choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process.

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Eastwind Cycle Unveils Custom Bicycling Journeys in Canada, Mexico

March 7, 2012

Eastwind Cycle, Atlantic Canada’s small, but dedicated premium cycling tour company, has been operating mainly behind the scenes to support the cycling programs of large tour operators and cruise lines, since 1995. But in 2012 Eastwind has changed gears by offering their custom cycling journeys in Canada’s east coast, Quebec and Puebla, Mexico to the travelling public for the first time. To kick it off they’ve revamped their website and introduced a creative newsletter and social media plan.

“We’re excited to do more custom cycling trips in our all-time favourite places to ride,” says Peter Williams, Eastwind Cycle’s founder. “We welcome all skill sets and group sizes. All you need is a passion for the good things in life like food and wine, and the willingness to hop on a bicycle. It’s that simple, and that’s what makes cycling travel extraordinary.”

Eastwind Cycle’s team of highly skilled cyclists, there to support guests at all times along the road, specialize in journeys as small as four people to as big as 40. Through their years on the road, they’ve gained countless nuggets of first-hand knowledge of the best of each region they travel to. Eastwind Cycle takes guest’s ideas for a dream journey and combines them with the finest regional ingredients … quaint country inns, boutique hotels, phenomenal and fresh local cuisine. Williams spent his past life as a restaurateur, and great food at all levels (markets, roadside eateries, high-end restaurants) is at the heart of every Eastwind Cycle journey.

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BikeToursDirect Adds Mexico to Tour Roster, First North American Destination

November 2, 2011



BikeToursDirect, entering its ninth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, including the popular Danube Bike Trail, and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. The company has just added four tours in Mexico for 2012, its first North American destination. © 2011 Karen Rubin/

BikeToursDirect is expanding its tour offerings to its fifth continent, adding Mexico to its tour roster, its first North American destination. Following meetings last week at the Adventure Travel World Summit in Chiapas, Mexico, BikeToursDirect reached an agreement to represent EcoColors Tours, a Cancun-based tour operator.

“I’m very impressed with EcoColors’ professionalism and commitment to the environment and to local communities,” said BikeToursDirect president Jim Johnson. “Their focus is as much on ecosystems, history and culture as it is on recreation, and their guides are also biologists or naturalists.”

“We recognize our responsibility to the people and places we visit,” says EcoColors president Kenneth Johnson. “Our philosophy is ensuring that our clients’ holidays have a positive impact on the places they visit.”

Tours will be priced starting at about $1,500, including one week of lodging, dinners, professional guides, van support, transfers, sightseeing tours, admissions and other services. Partial proceeds from each tour go to local Mayan communities.

BikeToursDirect will offer four tours, which spotlight the archaeological history, biodiversity and natural wonders of Mexico:

  •  Riviera Maya Bike Adventure, which takes cyclists across the Yucatan peninsula from the jungle to the Caribbean and explores Mayan archaeological sites and natural wonders hidden in Mexico’s second largest national park, the Sian ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Tour dates: January 7, March 18 and November 4.
  •  Yucatan Bike Adventure, which winds along the Yucatan Peninsula and spotlights contemporary Mayan villages, ancient pyramids, archaeological sites and Mexico’s second largest national park, the Sian ka’an Biosphere Reserve. Tour dates: February 19, April 8 and October 7.
  • Oaxaca Bike Adventure, which winds through villages with colonial-era structures and explores archaeological and historic sites, including Monte Alban, Santo Domingo Church, El Tule tree and petrified waterfalls in the mountains. Tour date: September 2.
  • Chiapas Bike Adventure, a journey through the tropical rainforest of Chiapas, the most biodiverse state of Mexico, which features unique waterfalls, lagoons, canyons and mountains, as well as the amazing archaeological sites of the Olmec (first prehistoric culture) and the Maya: Palenque and Comalcalco. Tour dates: April 22 and September 23.

Each tour also features authentic Mexican cuisine and offers a variety of side excursions, including guided naturalist hikes, kayaking, boat tours and snorkeling on the world’s second longest coral reef—all geared at providing an opportunity to explore the unique and diverse ecosystems of Mexico.

“The primary mission of EcoColors is preservation: to protect and preserve the unique ecosystems in Mexico and combine this with ecotourism. Our goal is to amaze our travelers while giving them the opportunity to explore the ecosystems in an informed and safe manner,” says Kenneth Johnson.

The two Johnsons (no relation) met and spent time together during the annual Adventure Travel World Summit last week in Chiapas, Mexico. “Kenneth took me on a boat tour through the Sumidero Canyon, part of the Chiapas Bicycle Adventure,” says Jim Johnson, who shot a short video of the adventure. “I was impressed by his knowledge and passion for the region.”

Entering its ninth season, BikeToursDirect represents over 50 tour companies worldwide and offers more than 200 bicycle tours in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. Unlike many companies, BikeToursDirect doesn’t operate tours but instead represents overseas companies that can keep their tour prices down due to the lower cost of doing business close to home and to spreading their expenses over a large client base. Clients book tours and make all payments through BikeToursDirect, usually at the same prices charged by the tour companies.

BikeToursDirect will add the Mexico tours to its new website in early December. Interested travelers can contact BikeToursDirect to be alerted when the new tours are online.

BikeToursDirect, entering its ninth season, serves as a central resource for bicycle tours in Europe, representing more than 50 tour companies that offer more than 200 tours in 35 European countries, and is currently expanding to Asia, Africa, Australia and North America. BikeToursDirect offers a variety of resources to help travelers choose tours and handles the entire booking and payment process. Learn more at Telephone: 1-877-462-2423 or 1-423-756-8907. Email:

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April 1, 2011

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa (, Mexico has just opened its eco-chic ocean view accommodations and facilities, making it the most sustainable hotel in the Riviera Maya region.

RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico (April 1, 2011) –

Sandos Caracol Eco Resort & Spa (, Mexico has just opened its eco-chic ocean view accommodations and facilities, making it the most sustainable hotel in the region.  A variety of environmental preservation programs, educational eco-tourism activities for guests and the new eco rooms combine to make Sandos Caracol one of the most eco-friendly hotels in the world.

Upgrading a total of 99 rooms, while maintaining the resort’s ecological standard of reducing CO2 emissions by 70%, Sandos Caracol incorporated new modern architectural designs for a more contemporary look.  In terms of sustainability, each room has an air conditioning system with low power consumption, a solar system to heat the water to eliminate using gas, an Internal lighting system based on energy-efficient LED and in-room water coolers to reduce the use of plastic water bottles.  Additionally, there is a new recycling system in place for waste water.

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Cultural Survival Launches Campaign to Protect Huichol Indians’ Sacred Lands From Massive Mining Project

January 3, 2011
Wixárika people

The human rights organization Cultural Survival is campaigning to prevent a massive silver mining project from desecrating the Wirikuta Cultural and Ecological Reserve near the historic mountain town of Real de Catorce, Mexico.

The human rights organization Cultural Survival is campaigning to prevent a massive silver mining project from desecrating the Wirikuta Cultural and Ecological Reserve near the historic mountain town of Real de Catorce, Mexico. The mining project, planned by First Majestic Silver Corporation of Vancouver, would redevelop an abandoned, centuries-old silver mine in an area that is held sacred by the Huichol Indigenous people.

Despite Wirikuta’s protected status and its designation as a UNESCO Historic and Cultural Heritage Site, the Mexican government granted 22 mining concessions covering 15,631 acres to the Canadian mining company. Seventy percent of these concessions lie within the Wirikuta protected area.

For more than a thousand years, Mexico’s Huichol people (or the Wixárika in their own language) have made an annual 300-mile pilgrimage from their ceremonial centers in the Sierra Madre Mountains across the central highlands of Mexico to Wirikuta. Following the path of their ancestors, they conduct religious ceremonies at a series of sacred sites until they reach their destination, the sacred mountain Leunar, which is at the geographical center of First Majestic’s mining concessions.

“If this mine comes,” says Alejandro López de la Torre, a Wixárika traditional authority, “what will happen to all of us? They will privatize the land and put up fences to keep us out.”

The massive mining project would not only jeopardize the integrity of the Wirikuta Reserve but also threaten the economy of the town of Real de Catorce, whose colonial-style architecture, clean air, and 9,000-foot elevation have allowed it to become a popular tourist destination. Hollywood movies have been shot here, including 2001’s The Mexican, starring Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, and 2006’s Las Bandidas, starring Penelope Cruz.

Also at risk if the mining project is allowed to move forward is a unique semidesert ecosystem that supports 16 threatened and endangered bird species and the highest diversity of cactus in the world.

“So much is at stake in Wirikuta: the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the survival of an ancient culture, the preservation of a fragile ecosystem, and the opportunity to develop a sustainable economy,” says Paula Palmer, campaign director for Cultural Survival.

First Majestic has yet to divulge its plan for exploiting the 12 miles of silver veins that underlie the Wirikuta Reserve. Whether they dig the ore out of tunnels or excavate open pits, the mine will produce enormous quantities of tailings that could leach acid into the environment for centuries. Cyanide, which will be used to leach silver from the ore, and other heavy metals frequently seep or spill into the environment from silver and gold mines, contaminating the watershed and killing fish for many miles downstream. Cyanide heap leach mining can use as much water in a day as a peasant family would use in 25 years, and water is already scarce in the semidesert of Real de Catorce.

In collaboration with the Wixárika traditional authorities, Cultural Survival is asking citizens of the world to write letters to Mexican government officials, urging them to cancel First Majestic’s Real de Catorce concessions  and asking them to permanently protect the sacred and natural values of the Wirikuta Cultural and Ecological Reserve.

In a detailed proclamation, the Wixárika people wrote: “We demand that the Mexican state immediately implements effective strategies that lead to the improved conditions of the inhabitants of Wirikuta, and that these be proposals in harmony with the environment and not destructive proposals such as the mine, whereby humble farmers are placed between a rock and a hard place, being offered work in exchange for the destruction of their patrimony.”

The president of the Tuarpurie Ceremonial Center in the Huichol community of Santa Catarina Cuexcomatitlán, Tutopica Robles Tela, said, “We want to defend our culture for our children, to leave the sacred place for them. When the sun, the earth, and everything were formed, our ancestors left us a good heart right here in this spot.”

Should the Mexican authorities allow the Real de Catorce mining project to go ahead, the Wixárika people’s sacred heart and more than a thousand years of religious tradition will be destroyed.

For more information:

About the Wixárika (Huichol) people:

About First Majestic:

In Spanish:

About Cultural Survival,

For 40 years Cultural Survival has worked to help the world’s Indigenous Peoples defend their threatened lands, languages, cultures, and environments. The organization conducts advocacy campaigns around the world and operates long-term programs in Central America and North America. It also publishes the premier magazine on Indigenous issues, Cultural Survival Quarterly, and its website,, contains one of the most comprehensive archives of information on Indigenous Peoples.