Mexico Travel Guide
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:
Videos / Mexico Travel / Animals / → All Tags
Forget the frills and frocks and Fashion's Night Out for just one second. It's cute animal video o'clock! Yes, time to take five, hit play, and lay your eyes on the cutest little... wait, what is this thing, the cutest of whatever he is we ever did see?
New Routes / Mexico Travel / Puerto Vallarta Travel / Virgin America / Virgin / Airline News / Airlines / → All Tags
You know when it's officially almost autumn? When airlines begin to announce new warm-weather destinations, and among the more exciting ones coming up are Virgin America's roundtrips between San Francisco or Seattle and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Not only do we feel a little something something when Virgin America announces any new route, but a fresh international destination like Puerto Vallarta means several fun things: that VX continues to stretch their map further, that low fares from the west coast to popular vacation destinations are assured and that it's another opportunity for Sir Richard Branson to dress up, although we kind of think he could be busy rebuilding Necker Island all winter.
So here's the deal: Book SFO-PVR or SEA-PVR by September 1 and lock down fares of $129 each way for most flights between December 2 and March 14.
Lady GaGa finally took some time out from shooting videos, performing live, and appearing on TV last week to have a little fun in the sun in in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. So what does a groundbreaking pop star do on her summer vacation? Take surfing lessons of course! Gaga tweeted a photo of herself surfing with the caption "yeah thats me. no heels baby."
But what's more shocking than seeing that GaGa actually does have normal, human feet, is how she paid for her Mexican hotel room. Some reports claim she spent more than $7,000 a night for a luxury suite.
Tax day is coming, and you are excited not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements, but because you're getting a fat refund...probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can.
The days are ticking down until tax day, but you should start planning now for your Uncle Sam-funded vacation. When you get your refund, head South of the Border to Mexico.
Though Karl Pilkington might not be the best tour guide for practical international travel, he did have one important revelation to share on this week's episode of An Idiot Abroad - they don't actually have Mexican Jumping Beans in Mexico.
As part of his quest to see all seven wonders of the world, Karl visited the Mayan site Chichen Itza which includes the Kukulkan Pyramid, also known as the castle, and is considered one of the world's seven wonders. The temple was used for human sacrifice is surrounded by several other structures, including rows of ancient pillars which Karl refers to as "an Ikea for columns."
We've been stuck in the Snowpocalypse in New York and, while unburying our car, we daydreamed of sun and sand—basically the opposite of snow. That's why we are digging this four-day, all-inclusive trip to Los Cabos, Mexico, for $499 for our pick of 01/01/11 trips.
You can spend the first day of the new year chillin' on the beach of the Sea of Cortez. Hey, that sounds far more awesome than spending New Years freezing your butt off while holding in your pee for 7 hours in Times Square. The Travelzoo deal includes airfare, four nights at the InterContinental Presidente Los Cabos, and all food and drinks—including alcohol. Plus, kids stay free.
Mexico Travel / Airline News / Airlines / FAA / AeroMexico / Mexicana / Travel News / Volaris / → All Tags
Not too long ago the Federal Aviation Administration wasn’t totally cool with Mexico’s less than stringent stance on the country’s air travel safety. Spring Break was in jeopardy, as nervous parents might warn against flights aboard Mexicana or AeroMexico, but it appears that college kids are now ready to hit the beach without a care in the world...like usual.
US Aviation officials last week gave the all-clear to raise Mexico’s aviation safety rating back up to the top level, as things have improved south of the border. It sounds like whatever they weren’t doing before they’re doing now as the FAA feels Mexico is following all of the international air safety rules.