Mexico Travel Guide
Travel Hell / Cruise Travel / Ships / Carnival Cruise Line / Mexico Travel / Carnival Triumph / Accidents / → All Tags
Yikes. If you haven't already heard, there's a Carnival Cruise ship drifting without electricity (and, thus, propulsion) in the Caribbean. It's the Carnival Triumph, a megaship which embarked on a 4-night cruise from Galveston, Texas over the weekend, only to be crippled by an engine room fire on Sunday. Not much was known about the state of the ship and onboard conditions for the passengers until several were able to place phone calls when a sister Carnival ship came to the Triumph's aid with backup food and water.
The ship is being pushed by two tugboats from her position off the coast of Mexico and she should reach Mobile, Alabama on Thursday.
Still, this is one more entry into our series of "The Evolution of Cruise Ships," as events like this do happen as much as you pray they won't on your cruise. In fact, one of our friends suffered a similar fate on her cruise, though it took place before the age of cellphones/internet/immediate news dissemination.
How To Get Tickets To / Art Travel / Frida Kahlo / Mexico Travel / Mexico City Travel / Museum Travel / → All Tags
The flamboyant artist Frida Kahlo knew there was no better runway than the runway of life and that was evident in her over-the-top style. For the first time in almost 60 years, the public can now view the extravagant wardrobe of Kahlo in Mexico City.
The exhibit, named "Appearances Can Be Deceiving," is housed in her former home-turned-museum in the Del Carmen area of the city, and it features about 300 items from her personal wardrobe. Everything from dresses and headpieces to jewelery and her famed corsetry are all on exhibit to honor the unique life of the artist.
Volunteer Travel / Pack For A Purpose / Charity Travel / Voluntourism / Hotels / Cancun Travel / → All Tags
If you're planning a trip abroad and want to help the community you're visiting without making a binding commitment, Pack for a Purpose has some pointers.
According to the organization's website, sacrificing a small amount of space in your luggage can have a big impact on the communities you visit. For example: with only five pounds' space you can transport 400 pencils, a stethoscope, a blood pressure cuff and 500 band-aids, or 5 deflated soccer balls and an inflation device.
Less than an hour’s drive outside Zihuatenejo, Mexico (including 15 exciting minutes on a very unpaved road), you’ll find Playa Vivaa beachfront oasis amid miles of tranquil (and surfable) beaches.
Being the first trip away from our one-year-old, my wife was looking forward to lying by the pool with a good book for three days while I, the avid surfer, was looking for waves. Although Playa Viva isn’t a world-renowned surf destination like Troncones and La Saladita to the north, I was pleasantly surprised with chest-high, glassy waves each morning. Even in the afternoon when the waves weren’t as good, the swimming and body surfing was fun in the rougher water.
For land lovers, Playa Viva hosts daily adventures like yoga on the sundeck or an hour-long ATV ride into the mountains to visit a cacao and coffee farm. And yes, lying by the pool with a book is available as well.
Two days ago, social photo sharing app Instagram posted a small update on their blog which then rippled throughout the internet. It was their second birthday, and they were celebrating by reflecting on the very first Instagram photo ever posted.
The image of a flip flop-shod foot and a happy dog was snapped and uploaded by Instagram founder Kevin Systrom in July 2010. It wasn't until October of the same year that the public could chime in with their own pics, as Instagram notes that the app was actually titled "Codename" until those later months.
It goes without saying that Mexico travel has become a bit of a capital-t Thing in the tourism world. For fairly obvious reasons, many travelers have gotten the impression that the country is a Mad Mex dystopia awash with drug lords who fight wars using DIY scrap-metal tanks and submarines.
Many casual travelers, nonetheless, have remained skeptical. Mexican tourism companies have therefore chosenquite logicallyto target the non-casual travelers. The country is even developing something of a reputation as a volunteer travel destination.
Most teens mark a one year anniversary with a burger at McDonald's and a movie, but when your Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez, you do things a little differently.
Considering an average date night for the young couple has included renting out the Staples Center, it's no surprise they are spending their one year anniversary of dating at a posh resort in Cabo.
Weather / Cancun Travel / Travel Alerts / Hurricanes / Mexico Travel / Riviera Maya Travel / → All Tags
Update 10/27: Good news! Hurricane Rina should be downgraded to a Tropical Storm and will likely only make it as far as Cuba. Nonetheless, the projected path continues to change. Follow updates here.
Just in case you don't instinctively flip to the Weather Channel during TV commercial breaks, we should tell you that this weekend is probably not the best time to be vacationing in Cancun, the rest of the Riviera Maya, and even in the Florida Keys as Hurricane Rina bears down on the vacation destinations.
As a result of the impending arrival of 80-40mph winds and potentially damaging Category 2 hurricane, cruise ships in the area have shifted their routes and airlines are offering rebooking for those traveling into the storm. An example is JetBlue, who have the alert clearly stated at the top of their website, and the full rebooking details here.
The worst of the storm is due to land on Cozumel and Cancun tomorrow, while it'll take until the weekend to dampen the Florida Keys* (see update above). Thankfully it's only a Category 2 (for now), so tourists already enjoying the sun and who don't mind weather disruptions, shouldn't be worried for their lives. The real threat is to those still planning on travel during the storm days, as they'll likely just end up sleeping on airport floors.
[Photo: Weather Channel]
If you don’t have a standing date with Brian Williams each evening then you might have missed that there’s some bad stuff going down south of the border. In a nutshell, there are some pockets of pretty violent drug-related crimes, and this alone is keeping away would-be tourists from checking out typical hot spots like Acapulco, Cancun, and beyond. Mexico is trying to clean up its image—at least with the tourists—and they’re doing so by throwing a lot of pesos at the problem.
In total the tourism board is looking to shell out around $30 million to create commercials and other advertisements to encourage plenty of travel—especially from Americans—to the fun in the sun that’s only a quick flight away. Some of the commercials are still a couple weeks away, but we do have an idea of what they’ll be all about. Of course they aren’t just going to show stunning beaches and crystal clear water, and that’s because it’s way better to create a mini reality show!
For those of us hoping to soak up some sun while doing some good this winter, Baja Expeditions has put together a whale watching and turtle research excursion to Magdalena Bay in Baja, Mexico. This unique trip gives volunteers the opportunity to help local conservationists in their green sea turtle research and learn about gray whales as they migrate to Baja from Alaska.
The eight-day package includes six days camping on Magdalena Bay and two excursions each day, monitoring turtles and going whale watching. But it's not all work and no play, as there's also a daily happy hour with fellow campers at sunset and two days of shopping and exploring in nearby La Paz, which bookends the camping trip.
The Baja Turtle Research & Whale Watching Project is open to everyone and costs around $1500, which includes transportation to the camp site, accommodations and meals at camp. For more information, visit GoVoluntouring.
One of our favorite things about staying on Mexico's Riviera Maya is that it's not just about dips in the Caribbean and margaritas by the pool. Clearly, those things rule, but what's even more awesome is that if you get a rainy day, there are plenty of activities to try.
We've found solace in a stroll down Playa del Carmen's Avenida 5 and in the Mayan ruins of Tulum and Cobá. But the best rainy day we've spent in the Yucatan took place undergroundexploring the subterranean rivers of Rio Secreto.
Remember those geology lessons from way back? All that talk about calcium forming stalactites and stalagmites? Here, you get a bit of that education but it turns out, learning is way more fun when you're wearing a wetsuit and a helmet with a headlight. Also, we don't remember ever getting to swim in caves at school.
Historical Travel / Riviera Maya Travel / Mexico Travel / Mayan Ruins / Landmarks / Cancun Travel / → All Tags
If you're a cruise-ship day-tripper or an eco-lovin' beach bum traveling in Mexico's Riviera Maya, you're no doubt familiar with Tulum.
The oceanfront site of the Mayan ruins make it one of the most visited historical sites in all of Mexico. But, there is a nearby alternative that's just as beautiful and a whole lot less crowded: the ruins at Cobá, about 30 miles inland from Tulum.
If you have a day to spare and can visit both cities like we did, go for it. You'll get to see a range of Mayan structures, including temples, ball courts, and pyramids, and experience two completely different settings. But if you have to choose between the two (each is a good half-day excursion if you're staying near Playa del Carmen, more if you're coming from Cancun), here are our pros and cons of each spot: