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Articles for ‘Mexico’ Category

Get away and get warm: 5 cheap all-inclusive getaways

Thursday, January 22nd, 2015

warm beach chair

It’s cold outside. Unbearably cold, really. So cold there’s no other option than to migrate south, to a place so perfectly tropical it makes you warmer just thinking about it.

All-inclusive resorts across the Caribbean have made it easy even for those of us still a little cash strapped from Christmas spending to find affordable getaways. And with the packages they offer – which often include airfare and a three- or four-night stay – getting time off work shouldn’t be much of a barrier.

Check out our list of five affordable and blissfully warm all-inclusive getaways, but first, here are a few tips to remember before you book:

  • Check around when picking your travel dates and see if the resorts are offering any promotions that could save you some cash. CheapTickets offers a new promo code for hotel discounts every week.
  • Book your reservations and flight at the same time for an even better deal.
  • Factor some extra excursions into your budget. Although some packages do include tours of the area, some excursions you might regret missing out on cost a little extra.
  • Double check which drinks are free and which are included. Typically, you have to pay extra for the more high-end alcoholic beverages.

Majestic Elegance Punta Cana – Dominican Republic

Sunrise in Punta Cana. Courtesy of Sasvata (Shash) Chatterjee.

Sunrise in Punta Cana. Courtesy of Sasvata (Shash) Chatterjee.

On the eastern-most point of the Dominican Republic lies Punta Cana. There, the sea breeze rustles the leaves of the long skinny palms, which reach out high and far over the Caribbean. It’s an oasis of resorts surrounded by the rich culture of the Dominican Republic, and packages at the all-inclusive Majestic Elegance Punta Cana incorporate both aspects of the area. Adventurers can explore nearby semi-deserted islands, visit the historic city of Santo Domingo or traverse the several natural parks that are close by. If venturing out isn’t your thing, there’s really no reason to have to leave the resort. There are six restaurants, nine bars and 24-hour room services. There are rooftop bars with panoramic views of the beach and cabanas to escape under if the sun gets too hot. The resort hosts fashion shows and beach parties some nights, and if guests need a reprise from the salt water, they can take a plunge in the resort’s Turkish baths.

Rooms average $354 per night when booked through CheapTickets.

Riu Negril – Jamaica

Riu Negril in Jamaica. Courtesy of Channone Arif.

Riu Negril in Jamaica. Courtesy of Channone Arif.

The Caribbean water is so clear in Negril, you can see what color your toenail polish is beneath the calm waves. One of Jamaica’s go-to beaches, Negril is nestled between coves on the west side of the island. Riu Negril resort has three restaurants and five bars (three of which are poolside), and they’re open 24 hours. The restaurants are themed – there’s a gourmet restaurant, steakhouse and Italian restaurant – but we recommend trying the local flavors. You’ll never taste jerk sauce like you will in Jamaica, and a taste of that is almost worth the trip itself. Of course, the other all-inclusive perks at the resort don’t hurt. There’s a club (a discoteque, as they call it), with admission and all drinks included in the package (try a Red Stripe, you won’t regret it). Venturing out of the resort is a must as well, with rich Jamaican culture at hand and mountain activities available. From the resort, you’ll have a view of Booby Cay, known for its birds and wildlife. Just up the beach, Rhodes Hall Plantation offers horseback rides along the beach. And don’t forget, Montego Bay is just over an hour’s drive away, teeming with markets and Rastafarian culture.

Note: The wifi in the room is not included in the package. But all that time online can probably wait until you’re back in the cold north, right?

Rooms average $341 per night when booked through CheapTickets.

Omni Cancún Hotel and Villas – Cancún, Mexíco

A beachfront in Cancún, Mexíco. Courtesy of Ricardo Diaz.

A beachfront in Cancún, Mexíco. Courtesy of Ricardo Diaz.

Not only is it warm in Cancún, relaxation is part of its culture. That’s evident in the atmosphere of this ocean-front resort. Tiki huts on the beach mingle with palm trees swaying in the wind. Most rooms offer private, ocean-view balconies with views of the Mexican sunrise. Surrounded on water on two sides, guests can stay in the hotel or in a villa at this Mayan-inspired resort. Three pools connected by waterfalls flow into each other at the resort and are open 24/7. (And there’s a separate pool for the kids). There’s a jacuzzi bar guests can swim to and sit in while imbibing in a drink. The resort has a spa and beach cabanas that can be reserved for the day. The Cancún sands have become home to four of the eight species of sea turtles, and guests can witness their nesting season May through September. Female turtles migrate from feeding areas and lay an average of three nests per season. Cancún’s turtle program keeps guests at a distance safe enough for the turtles, but close enough for the experience.

Rooms average $265 per night when booked through CheapTickets. 

Barcelo Maya Beach – Riviera Maya, Mexíco

Barcelo Maya Beach. Courtesy of kartfamily.

Barcelo Maya Beach. Courtesy of kartfamily.

On the shores of the Yucatán, about an hour’s drive down the coast from Cancún, lies Playa del Carmen. The area was a port for ancient Mayans pilgrimaging to Cozumel, a sacred island with a shrine to the goddess of fertility and childbirth. It is the capital of the Riviera Maya, where open-air restaurants and shops mingle with Mayan ruins. Nearly everything about this resort, located just south of Playa del Carmen, was inspired by the ancient Mayans. The three restaurants and three bars, which were recently renovated with Mayan-inspired architecture, serve Mayan-inspired food, along with other international cuisines. Guests can get a Mayan spa treatment at the resort’s spa. The sand is white and the water is clear – so clear guests can see the stunning coral reef separating the mainland and Cozumel. And on a clear day, guests can see the island so many Mayans visited in their search for fertility.

Rooms average $332 per night when booked through CheapTickets.

Royal Solaris Los Cabos – San José del Cabo, Mexíco

Royal Solaris Los Cabos. Courtesy of Michael Allen Smith.

Royal Solaris Los Cabos. Courtesy of Michael Allen Smith.

San José del Cabo is located on the southern most tip of Baja California, near where the Gulf of California blends in with the Pacific Ocean. If guests get bored of staring out at the Pacific Ocean, they can turn around and enjoy a backdrop of the Sierra de San Larazo Mountains. Touristic growth has remained on the outside of the San José del Cabo town center. Guests venturing out of the resort to experience the Baja culture can see the cobblestone streets, adobe houses and a square that sits in front of a church from the 1700s that remain in the town center. The resort itself is kid-friendly, with a waterpark and an ocean-view hot tub. With Baja being a favorite getaway for American celebrities, you may spot a star among all the tropical beauty.

Rooms average $201 per night when booked through CheapTickets. 

 Story by Ally Marotti

Top 5 travel destinations with cheap and enjoyable off seasons

Friday, August 15th, 2014

The same way Canadian geese fly south in late fall, we travel-lusting people of the world all seem to flock to the same locations at the same time—Mexico and the Caribbean in March, Europe in June, Hawaii pretty much anytime of the year.

Fighting the instinctual urge to travel during peak season means cheaper rates and smaller crowds. Avoid paying an arm and a leg; here’s a list of travel-friendly shoulder seasons to take advantage of year-round.

Utah in summer

The Rocky Mountains in general are breath-taking during the summer. Salt Lake City and Park City draw in large numbers of skiers and snowboarders in the winter, so that’s when they make their bread and butter. The summer months see smaller crowds. Ski-centric towns usually drop their hotels rates by $100-$200 during summer and fall. To the southeast and less elevated part of the state, Moab is home to nature-carved red rocks not to be missed. Strike out on a more frugal outdoorsy vacation from June-September to experience some of the best mountain biking, hiking, white water rafting and outdoor concerts in the nation.

moahb

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah; Credit: Gautam Dogra ©

New Orleans in late summer and fall

Mardi Gras may only come once a year, but New Orleans is full of life year-round. The absolute cheapest time to go is in the peak of summer, but it’s hit or miss on if you’ll enjoy yourself. It depends on how you feel about extremely damp heat. So let it cool down a tad; plan your jazzy trip for the tail end of summer or early fall. The 4-star JW Marriott New Orleans has rates as low as $149 in August, while they reach a high not at $289 during February festivities. The party on Bourbon Street never actually stops, so be sure to pack your party pants.

New Orleans; Credit: Jeff Turner©

New Orleans; Credit: Jeff Turner ©

Ireland in March

You’d think with St. Patrick’s Day in March, Ireland would be a giant island of festivities and high hotel prices. Actually, the holiday in its homeland isn’t the drinking day it’s become in the U.S. It can cost $200-$300 less to travel during early spring, namely March, than in the summer. Don’t worry about the weather; it’s rare to have anything more than an occasional flurry in Ireland’s winter due to The Gulf Stream, and by March, some of that famous green is starting to regain it’s hue. Book now so you can start planning your itinerary.

Muckross Head, County Donegal, Ireland; Oisin Mulvihill ©

Muckross Head, County Donegal, Ireland; Oisin Mulvihill ©

Mexico in summer

Northern Americans and anyone who shares their latitude, know that the only thing getting them through winter is the dream of a beach vacation in the spring. To Mexico they go! Spring breakers, families, couples, girls weekends, everyone. Except you, you savvy little cheapo, you. All-in-one packages for July travel will only set you back about $800-$900, while the same package in February and March clocks in at $1,000-$1,100. Hold off on the all-inclusive Cozumel package until June or July. It’ll be hot, but you’ll have constant access to a pool and/or beach, and your tan will be legend. Be careful of hurricane season, which is known to pick up in August toward the end of the summer.

Playa del Carmen, Mexico; ramonbaile ©

Playa del Carmen, Mexico; ramonbaile ©

Costa Rica in July and August

Central America is a beautiful destination where most nations are affected by a wet and dry season. Costa Rica’s wet season runs June to November, which leaves it pretty empty of tourists. No one wants to go and get rained on, true, but this wet season acts a lot like an isolated daily shower. July and August typically see the least amount of rain within this time period. The short-lived rains sometimes happen over night and if they strike during the day, it’s usually not enough to ruin your plans.

La Fortuna Falls, Costa Rica; Credit: Kyle May ©

La Fortuna Falls, Costa Rica; Credit: Kyle May ©

 

Cheap, cheaper & cheapest: 3 travel deals for Isla Mujeres

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Fertile grounds: Ixchel Beach Hotel in Isla Mujeres is ripe with cheap hotel deals -- and breathtaking views.

By Valerie Moloney

The Mayans were onto something when they named this 5-mile-wide island after the goddess of fertility. With sugary beaches and water tinted the perfect aquamarine, it’s easy to see how lovers could lose themselves in a sea of coral, fresh ocean eats and tequila.Well here’s another reason: price. Isla Mujeres, or the Island of Women, rules as a budget beach destination. Think boutique hotels with some of the same amenities as pricier Cancun hotels – sans the partiers – and on a stretch only accessible by ferry. (more…)

Spotting the spouts: Whale watching tips from an expert guide

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

Gray whales near Baja, Mexico that interact with humans are called "friendlies." Credit: Jim Dorsey.

By Blane Bachelor

When it comes to whales, especially gray whales, Jim Dorsey knows his stuff. The Los Angeles-based naturalist is trained by the American Cetacean Society and for 15 years has been the resident naturalist in the Gray Whale Nursery of the pristine San Ignacio Lagoon in Baja, Mexico. A popular destination for cheap Mexico vacations, the Baja Peninsula also boasts some of the world’s best whale watching, as its warm, protected waters draw thousands of once-endangered gray whales from January through April. Here, Dorsey offers his years of experience on how to get the best out of any whale watching excursion. (more…)

F(r)eeliz Navidad: Affordable Mexican Christmas traditions

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Feliz Navidad: Colorful pinatas mark holiday celebrations in Mexico. Credit: Yankara.

By Blane Bachelor

It’s no secret the holidays can be expensive, what with all that merry-making and gift-giving. But travelers who are spending Christmas in Mexico will find plenty of reasons to rejoice when it comes to affordability. Getting into the spirit without spending a peso is a cinch, since Christmas traditions in Mexico can be found on nearly every corner, from simple poinsettia displays to spectacular Nativity scenes — including the world’s largest, in Mexico City, which set a Guinness World Record this year. (more…)

Life is suite: 2 cheap Playa del Carmen condo hotels

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Consider a cheap, roomy alternative that's still close to the beach: condo hotels in Playa del Carmen.

By Renee Juszczak

Dreams of heading south-of-the-border to sunny Mexico and tropical seaside resorts don’t have to end in a cramped hotel room or all-inclusive resort.  I’m a frequent visitor to Playa del Carmen and really enjoy the options offered by condo-hotel resorts, like Aldea Thai and Pueblito Escondido.  A living room, kitchen and multiple bedrooms make it perfect for family or group vacations.  Yet, I book the suite just like a normal hotel room.  It’s so simple.  In addition to all the room, I get to enjoy traditional resort amenities, including restaurants and pools with swim-up bars. (more…)

A cheap Cancun hotel for less than $100 a night

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

Cancun under a C-note: Gran Melia Cancun treats guests to all-inclusive luxury for under $100 a night.

By Vince Font

A hundred bucks doesn’t go nearly as far as it used to in today’s world, but believe it or not it’s still possible to score cheap Cancun hotels without even hitting the centennial mark for a night’s stay. One such place is the Gran Melia Cancun Beach and Spa Resort, which on first view might give you cause to think you were quoted the wrong price. This place certainly doesn’t look like a cheap hotel – and it’s anything but. (more…)

Luxury for less: How to get a cheap Mexico vacation

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Start your cheap Mexico vacation at GR Solaris Cancun Resort & Spa, where luxe meets cheap.

By Vince Font

If you’re in bad need of a vacation but don’t have all the money in the world to spend — who does? — you can still land some pretty sweet Mexico deals that are so low cost you just might pull a double-take. You simply have to know where to look and how to do it. Although there are no real secrets to finding cheap Mexico vacations, there are some common sense tactics that a lot of people overlook. (more…)

3 cheap Cancun hotels for weekend getaways

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Gran Melia Resort's lagoon-style pool overlooks the many shades of the Caribbean Sea.

By Maria Mora

In the vacation world, Cancun hotels hold evergreen status for their ability to deliver a little piece of paradise that won’t break the bank. From all-inclusive vacations to boutique charmers, Mexico resorts pack so many activities — spa treatments, water sports and the like — into a getaway that you’ll probably leave with more than just a tan. Behold three discount hotels that marry great prices with multiple amenities: (more…)

Cheap Mexico vacations to cure post-holiday blues

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011
Beautiful oceanview rooms

Enjoy oceanview rooms on a shoestring budget at the InterContinental Presidente Cancun.

By Nina Gass

You survived the hustle-and-bustle of the holiday season, spreading gifts and good cheer to everyone you know. There’s no need to wait for a spring break vacation — now is the time to treat yourself to a cheap vacation. Grab your SPF and your new swimsuit, and escape to a place where it’s always summer: Mexico. For exotic getaways that won’t break the bank, take your pick from these top three cheap Mexico vacations:

(more…)