Tag Archives: mexico vacations

2 Eco Friendly Resorts in Mexico We Love

There are many new eco-friendly resorts that are starting to pop up around the world. Enjoy the perfect combination of fun and responsibility on your next vacation by staying at an environmentally friendly resort. Consider a green getaway to help preserve your favorite vacation destinations for years to come. Whether you’re passionate about sustainability or just want to make a difference, you can feel better knowing that you’re enjoying the best aspects of a beachfront vacation while simultaneously preserving the environment. Each of the hotels featured below go above and beyond to be as eco-friendly as possible by participating in endeavors such as beach clean-ups, wildlife preservations, recycling programs, and more. Guests can also participate by choosing to reuse towels and sheets, conserving water, and learning about innovative ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Many of the properties have also been recognized by some of the leading eco-friendly organizations such as the Rainforest Alliance and Green Globe for their outstanding initiatives. From the breathtaking shores of Cancun to the tropical rainforests of Costa Rica, there are environmentally responsible resorts in destinations throughout Mexico and the Caribbean. Positively impact the world today by booking an unforgettable vacation to one of our eco-friendly resorts.

Barcelo Maya Beach Resort

Located on a private beach spanning over one mile, this newly renovated resort is comprised of four hotels – Maya Beach, Maya Caribe, Maya Colonial, and Maya Tropical. Perfect for families, couples, and singles looking for both luxury and excitement, this all-inclusive oasis offers spectacular options for dining, activities, and more.

Explore beautiful walking trails and paths that are perfect for those looking to relax while taking a leisurely stroll, or who want to take in the scenery while going for a heart pumping jog. Workout in the new state-of-the-art fitness center or try the hydro therapy circuit available at the Spa. If sports are more to your liking, you’ll enjoy tennis, basketball, soccer, mini golf, bowling, billiards, and an arcade. Enjoy a variety of watersports available at the Watersports and Dive Center. Nightly activities include live shows with professionally choreographed routines, a nightclub, and a teens club (ages 13-17).

Traveling with children has never been easier thanks to Barcy’s Kids Club. Daily activities for little ones ages 4-12 are available from 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. If spending time outside is more to your child’s liking, Pirates Island Water Park is sure to impress. Complete with two pools and a variety of other water activities, your child will always be entertained!

When you’ve worked up an appetite after all your fun in the sun, visit one of 17 delicious restaurants. From a la carte to buffets and snack bars, there’s no shortage of options here. You’ll also be able to choose from 14 bars, all crafting specialty drinks to satisfy your taste buds.

Barcelo Huatulco Beach Resort


Extra Value: Includes up to a $500 resort credit (booking dates, travel dates, duration, and usage restrictions apply).
Greening Your Life: Part of the Apple Vacations Greening Your Life initiative, this property has received Gold Certification from Green Globe, has an established beach clean-up program, and places fencing around nesting areas on the beach in order to protect baby turtles.

Barcelo Huatulco Beach rests upon a shimmering beach at the head of Tangolunda Bay, the largest of the nine secluded bays of Huatulco. Built in a contemporary Mexican style, this is a prestigious resort in Huatulco, known for its luxury and green sustainability. A distinctive resort where you’ll enjoy a variety of land and water sports, you will be able to enjoy the beautiful grounds, the swimming pool, or just go for a stroll along the sapphire waves of the Pacific Ocean, as they are all just a few steps from your room.

Located only 25 minutes from the airport and only ten minutes from Santa Cruz Bay and the main village of La Crucecita, Barcelo Huatulco Beach features six restaurants that serve everything from sushi to regional Mexican cuisine. Step up to one of five bars and enjoy unlimited domestic drinks. Lounge the day away beside one of two outdoor swimming pools. Be sure to visit the swim-up bar for a tropical treat, or work up a sweat, day or night, on the floodlit tennis courts.

Enjoy a whole host of sporting activities offered by the hotel, or stroll through the magnificent grounds and take in a wide variety of entertainment and daily live shows. The smallest members of the family can take part in supervised activities at the mini-club, hit a hole-in-one at miniature golf, or take a dip in the children’s pool.

Golfers will be challenged at the Campo de Golf Tangolunda, just five minutes away! A spectacular 18-hole, par-72 professional Golf Course designed by Mario Schjetnan Dantan and Pedro Gftereca Gurrola, the breezy green Tangolunda Golf Course stretches for 6,851 yards down Tangolunda Valley to the bay.

A true paradise by the sea, Barcelo Huatulco Beach awaits your arrival for the perfect getaway.

Click here for more information or give us a call at 1-888-700-8747.

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Exploring Cozumel and Riviera Maya

IMG_2681I try to get to Mexico every year. It is such a great value for your vacation and they always have new resorts being built. The first week we returned to Cozumel to stay at the Occidental Grand at the Southern end of the island. This was our fifth visit to this resort and it just keeps getting better. Barcelo Resorts just purchased the entire All Inclusive Occidental chain. They say everything will remain the same plus improvements to come. They were replacing all beds, mattresses, etc. when we were there.

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Some of the strongest selling points:

  • Great wide sandy beach, little seaweed on Cozumel compared to Eastern facing Riviera Maya.
  • Great snorkeling & reasonable priced diving in area
  • Beautiful grounds of well maintained gardens
  • Hardly can see the three story octagonal buildings
    housing 24 units above the foliage
  • Total of 243 rooms
  • Good food and service. One main buffet and two specialty restaurants that require reservations. No problem at least in low season.
  • Professionally entertainment brought in most nights- Folkloric Show, Fire Show, Mexican Rock band, etc.
  • Resort is for everyone but few children off season. I would assume a great resort for families during prime vacation times.
  • No wristbands needed.
  • Wi-Fi available at a cost of $60 per week

I hope to return again and hope the area never over-develops like so many other places.

DSCF1164Then we took the Ultramar ferry to Playa del Carmen ($10), now a town of over 100,000 residents. We picked up our rental car and were off to the brand new Secrets Akumal, Secrets fourth resort in Riviera Maya. Located one hour and ten minutes south of Cancun Airport on the infamous Akumal Bay which has been an undeveloped favorite beach and snorkel spot for over thirty years.

Having built five resorts in this area of Mexico before, Secrets really knows how to plan a beautiful and easy to navigate resort for Adults Only. 430 junior suites or suites with modern decor, double jacuzzi tubs in bath, double sinks, glass showers with seating, stocked refrigerators, 24 hour room service and free Wi-Fi throughout.

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All rooms are nice but Preferred Club gives you better location with better views, plunge pools on balconies, Preferred Club lounge with premium liquor, snacks and concierge service.

Some of the strongest points:

  • Adults only that would work equally well for couples as singles
  • Professional entertainment every night, Mexican Warrior Show Cirque de Soleil show, Rock bands, and comedians that involve guests in their shows
  • Six specialty restaurants plus buffet, beach grill and coffee cafe. No reservations needed except at Japanese Hibachi style table. Longest wait was 30 minutes for the Portofino Italian restaurant that passed quickly at the poolside lounge with professional musicians. Food was very good throughout.
  • No wristbands needed. Really a challenge for security with other resorts next door.
  • Three main HEATED pools and continuing heated river pools fronting all buildings for swim out rooms. It is rare that hot tubs are heated in Mexico let alone pools so this was a real treat.
  • Lots of activities in the infinity pool. Main and Arch pools are quiet.
  • Beautiful, well maintained beach, seaweed cleaned up daily, no rocks in water and some of the best snorkeling in area.
  • Great service throughout. All of the staff is fresh from training and end each conversation with “It is a pleasure”.

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Problems:

  • Sometimes slow service in the specialty restaurants, waiting thirty minutes for next course. Whether these delays were caused by kitchen or wait staff, I think they will be resolved. The resort and staff are new so it takes time to get up to speed. Secrets has the manpower to fix it.
  • Preferred Club Lounge check in. If your reservations are in the Preferred Club section you will be escorted to the lounge which adds to the waiting time. Then, since they only had two staff members handling every job at the lounge it took another thirty minutes to check in. It only took me five minutes once I got to the desk but this needs to be expedited. No one wants to wait an hour to check in.
  • Of course our room was not ready until after 4PM so we just went to have lunch at 3PM to pass the time.

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Famous Akumal Bay

We and everyone else have been coming to snorkel there for over thirty years. In fact, it is sold as an excursion as a “learn to snorkel” trip. As a result, you have all the locals, all the guests of hotels, apartments, homes next door and groups of twenty snorkelers every half hour coming to this beach. According to Mexican law, the first twenty feet from water’s edge is open to the public throughout all of Mexico. However, we had never had this problem anywhere else in Mexico for that matter.

This is a constant challenge for the Secret’s security guards to maintain order and protect their and the guests property. During our stay, they came up with a great solution. They placed poles and planted palm trees on their property at the twenty foot mark. However by week’s end the community made them remove all even the palm trees. I do not know how this will end but unfortunately having the best beach with snorkeling in area, everyone wants the use of it. We never felt in danger but glad security was there and felt badly that Secret’s has to deal with this issue. Time will tell and maybe be resolved in the future.

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Xenotes Excursion

I took an online course “Xcaret Expert” that agents trains on the most popular excursions in the Riviera Maya area – Xcaret, Xplor, Xelha and the new Xenotes. This newest consists of five separate cenotes that allow for various activities in each. They are located thirty minutes inland from Puerto Morelos, off a very rough dirt road. Transfers are included for $109 per person.

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You get to repel down into a water filled cave, snorkel in clear water cenote open to sun, kayak down a mile long river, zip line into the water from three different types of lines, water slide into
another river, swim down lazy river and jump 30 feet into cool waters below. All of this with lunch and snacks makes for a nine hour excursion. It was lots of fun, professionally run and well worth $109. We have done so many of these excursions and they really make this Riviera Maya so popular.

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Last Minute Mexico Travel Specials

Marvelling at a 1300-year-old Maya palace at Palenque as parrots screech and howler monkeys growl in the sweaty emerald jungle around you. This is Mexico. Sliding from a palm-fringed sandy beach into the warm, turquoise waves of the Pacific at Puerto Vallarta. This, too, is Mexico. Dining on salmon enchiladas and chrysanthemum salad at a Mexico City fusion restaurant, dancing through the night at a high-energy Guadalajara nightclub, kayaking at dawn past a colony of Baja California sea lions – all these are unique Mexican experiences.

Every visitor goes home with their own unforgettable images. Such a large country, straddling temperate and tropical zones, reaching 5km into the sky and stretching 10,000km along its coasts, with a city of 19 million people at its center and countless tiny pueblos everywhere, can hardly fail to provide a huge variety of options for human adventure.

Mexico is what you make of it. Its multi-billion-dollar tourism industry is adept at satisfying those who like their travel easy. But adventure is what you’ll undoubtedly have if you take a just a few steps off the pre-packaged path. Activity-based tourism, community tourism and genuine ecotourism – the type that actually helps conserve local environments – are developing fast in rural areas. The opportunities for getting out to Mexico’s spectacular wild places and interacting with local communities are greater than ever – from world-class canyoneering near Monterrey or cooking lessons in the Veracruz countryside to hiking the Oaxaca cloud forests and snorkeling the coral reefs of the Yucatán.

Planning your first trip to Mexico? Be ready for more crowds, noise, bustle and poverty than you’re accustomed to, especially if it’s your first trip outside the developed world. But don’t worry – most Mexicans will be only too happy to help you feel at home in their country. Invest a little time before your trip in learning even just a few phrases of Spanish – every word you know will make your trip that little bit easier and more enjoyable.

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Mexico

Family-Friendly Vacation on Riviera Maya
With its all-inclusive lifestyle, 1,000 feet of white-sand beach, family-friendly atmosphere, and seemingly infinite lineup of activities, Grand Velas Riviera Maya is one of the world’s premier vacation destinations. Classic Vacations invites you to stay for four nights and includes a tour to Xplor, $50 spa credit per adult, private roundtrip airport transfers and more. Virtuoso rates FROM $1,789 per person. Available through December 19, 2012; book by December 12, 2012.
5-Night Riviera Maya Getaway
Take back the quiet with an adults-only (13+) stay at the Riviera Maya’s Royal Hideaway Playacar, arranged by Pleasant Holidays. Magnificently appointed villa accommodations are punctuated by attentive concierge service and a bundle of thoughtful amenities, from a room upgrade and priority dinner reservations, to a $70 spa credit. The Yucatan Peninsula setting is sublime. Virtuoso rates FROM $1,001 per person for a five-night stay. Available through August 27, 2012.
Riviera Maya Getaway, 3rd Night Complimentary
Mexico’s Riviera Maya beckons you, and there’s perhaps no more indulgent resort to call home than Rosewood Mayakoba, a 1,600-acre luxury enclave south of Cancun and north of Playa del Carmen. Your third night is gratis, you’ll receive exclusive Virtuoso amenities and you’re guaranteed to return home rested and rejuvenated. Virtuoso rates FROM $600 per night (three-night min. stay, rate includes discount). Available through October 15, 2012.

All offers may not be available in all markets. All prices shown are per person, based on double occupancy, in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated. Prices converted from the supplier’s local currency are based on the current exchange rate at the time of printing. Fares do not include taxes or other fees unless otherwise stated. While every care is taken to ensure accuracy, fares, schedules, Virtuoso exclusives, Virtuoso Voyager Club events and amenities are subject to availability, blackout dates, international currency fluctuations, and may change without notice. Virtuoso Voyager Club events require a minimum/maximum number of participants and may not be combinable with other offers. Space is limited and other restrictions may apply. See your Virtuoso travel advisor for more details and applicable restrictions. Virtuoso assumes no responsibility for the presentation confirmed within, including errors in pricing. The trademarks VIRTUOSO, the Globe Swirl Logo, SPECIALISTS IN THE ART OF TRAVEL, ORCHESTRATE DREAMS, VOYAGER CLUB, and RETURN ON LIFE are registered trademarks of Virtuoso, Ltd. Virtuoso, Ltd. has a U.S. copyright registration for the Globe Swirl Logo, ©2000. All rights reserved. CST#2069091-50 351207 07/12