I bet if you surveyed most Americans on their idea of a Dream Vacation, most would say it involves the amazing Islands of Aloha: Hawaii.
I’ve had so many wonderfully life-changing moments in Hawaii. Whether standing atop Diamond Head Crater, or riding the waves (or at least attempting to!) on Sunset Beach, Hawaii is truly a dream destination, with each island offering unique and wonderful adventures.
The modern Oahu boasts a great urban atmosphere in Waikiki, where you can stroll the beach side shopping districts by day and enjoy world class dining at night.
If you prefer a more rugged adventure, try the secluded island on Lanai. There is an island population of only about 2,900 and just to get anywhere you’ll need to rent a Jeep! The Four Seasons on Lanai stands up to it’s reputation of a world class resort, even in it’s rugged surroundings!
Nature awaits you in the tropical paradise you’ve always dreamed of. And yes, it’s really that good!
A common question I receive is, “Where exactly is…?”.
Here is a brief breakdown of the Caribbean hot spots in Mexico:
I. Cancun – Cancun is a city along the coast of the Yucatan Peninsula with a population of about 500,000.
- The hotel zone of Cancun is a small peninsula itself, which boasts more than 70 hotels, ranging from budget, to high end luxury. Most tourists, who visit Cancun, will stay within this zone when they go “downtown” to night clubs, restaurants, shopping, etc. Resort suggestion: Le Blanc Spa for couples, or Dreams Cancun for families.
- Actual downtown Cancun is further inland and is a popular destination for cruises. It does not have the glitz and glamour of the hotel zone.
II. Riviera Maya - Riviera Maya refers to the entire area South of Cancun on the Yucatan. Those who stay in a resort in the Riviera Maya will still fly into Cancun and then drive anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours to arrive at their destination. There are dozens of wonderful resorts, which boast a more “tropical” vibe than those in Cancun. There are several cities within the Riviera Maya. Here are a few of them:
- Playa del Carmen- Lovely town about 45 minutes from Cancun. This town has a population of about 150,000. It is playground to visitors from all over the world who enjoy a little nightlife and shopping, but want to stay away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Resort suggestion: Royal Hideaway for couples or Iberostar Tucan for families.
- Tulum/Akumal- These towns are near each other in the southern part of the Riviera Maya. They are about 1.5 to 2 hours from Cancun and are the home to many beautiful ruins and beaches. Resort Suggestion: Dreams Tulum for couples or families.
- Puerto Morales- is a small town between Cancun and Playa del Carmen. There are a couple of really neat resorts within this area. It is about 30 minutes from Cancun and about equal distance to Playa del Carmen.
III. Cozumel – This is an island off the coast of Playa del Carmen. You would take a ferry to fly into this destination. It is very popular to divers because of the location on the Palancar Reef. It is the world’s 2nd largest coral reef. Resort suggestion: Aura by Wyndham for couples or the Iberostar Cozumel for families.
I hope this helps, but don’t hesitate to call us for more info!
If you’ve ever dreamed of traveling to Punta Cana, you’ve probably heard of Bavaro Beach. Bavaro is one of the most pristine beaches in Punta Cana, which is located on the east coast of Dominican Republic and is home to some of the best beaches in the world. Bavaro Beach is 15-kilometers long and is home to some of the best all-inclusive resort/hotels in the area. Some of the most popular resorts would be Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro, Iberostar Bavaro All Suite Resort and the brand new 5 Star Riu Palace Bavaro.
Along with its calm waters and powder white sand, Bavaro is located only about 30 minutes from the Punta Cana airport, so making your way to your resort is quick and easy. Most resorts offer full beach access and several even have other resorts along Bavaro that you can use the facilities of, should you want to take a lovely stroll down the beach and get thirsty! Most resorts also offer a variety of water sports such as wind-surfing, snorkeling, kayaks, and catamarans. If you’re feeling adventurous, there is a great shipwreck off shore that you can kayak out to and snorkel around! There are also so public restaurants and bars accessible from Bavaro, if you want to try a little of the local flavor.
So, now’s the time to act if you’ve been dreaming of warm Caribbean beaches lined with tall beautiful palm trees. Let the calm waves and turquoise-colored waters of Bavaro Beach take you away. This is the true Caribbean paradise you’ve been searching for, and one of the top 10 Finest Beaches in the world, yet only a short flight from many U.S. cities. Hurry up before everyone finds out!
Many of our clients ask us if their cell phones will work while they are traveling internationally to Mexico or the Caribbean. While most newer phones will work, it is important to call your cell phone provider to make sure. I have AT&T service, so before I travel, I just call them and let them know I will be out of the country.
Here are some other things to remember:
- Some providers have a plan you can purchase, if you travel often enough, that you may want to consider.
- Usually the charge for calls without this service is around $2 per minute. Although that may sound expensive, it is often less than using calling cards and paying to use the phones at the resorts.
- The biggest piece of advice I can offer in this is if you have a “smart phone”, make sure you don’t have it sending and receiving voice-mails/emails/other data while on vacation, because you are often charged for all of this data. The best bet if you don’t plan on using your phone is to keep it on “airplane mode” so as not to receive data.
- In most cases, when you are ready to make a call back into the U.S., you will want to dial 001, and then the phone number. For example: 001-417-890-6764 would be the way to call our office.
Recently, while in Puerto Vallarta, we had the pleasure of taking an evening to enjoy the Rhythms of the Night tour. The tour group meets at a pier where you board a beautiful catamaran. On board the catamaran, we enjoyed fruity drinks and a lively atmosphere complete with salsa dancing as we took in the almost mythical rock formations. Our destination: Caletas, a beautiful property, which famed director John Huston once made his home, now has been returned to a nature lovers paradise. If you tour in daylight hours, you can hike through the jungle, swim in the beach, or even get a massage. If you take the night tour, torches will meet you at the shore, from which you are whisked away to your own private table in a romantic and secluded location. The chef prepares a scrumptious meal for you to take in, along with the breathtaking Puerto Vallarta sunset.
I can honestly say, a calm serenity overcame me. On the catamaran ride back, I just stared at the majestic beauty of this hidden gem, and wondered how I ever got so lucky. If you are visiting Puerto Vallarta, make sure this tour makes you itinerary.
One of my all-time favorite destinations is the Atlantis hotel on Paradise Island, Bahamas. There is truly nowhere else in the world like it. The hotel itself is a stunning masterpiece, but it’s all the fun that awaits you that sets this destination apart.
During the day you can float away in the pool or wrestle the currents in the not-so-lazy river. The waterslides are a real thrill and you can go on them again and again without the long lines of theme parks. It a blast even for us “grown-up” kids. If you want to have an experience of a lifetime, go swim with the dolphins in the resort’s very own Dolphin Cay.
After a long morning of adventure, I usually spend the afternoon with a fruity concoction on the beautiful white, sandy Bahamas beaches and watch the clouds roll by. After all, if I sneak in a nap now, I’ll have all the more energy for the evening at the enormous casino, or maybe even go dance at Aura Night Club. On another night a lovely dinner at NoBu or Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill will satisfy any palate before going for some laughs at the Jokers Wild Comedy Club. The possibilities are endless at Atlantis!