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Bryn Symonds, Author at Air Canada Vacations - Page 2 of 3

23 Sep


Fun for Everyone

September 23, 2016 | By |

Beaches Negril Resort & Spa knows that you want a stress-free and fun vacation. That’s why everything, for everyone is all included, all the time.


Pirates Island Waterpark

Beaches has the best waterparks in the Caribbean and Beaches Negril is no exception. Kids of all ages will love this 18,000 square foot beachfront fun-filled park with 200-foot waterslides, 650-foot lazy river, splash deck, water cannons, whirlpools and swim-up soda bar.


Room for Everyone

Beaches Negril boasts over a dozen spectacular room categories including the incredible Together Nest Suites®. These luxurious suites and villas are the perfect home-away-from-home for couples or for families up to 12 and include world-class amenities and butler or concierge service.


ATV Safari Negril

Head out to explore the scenic Jamaican countryside. Your ATV is easy to handle and the perfect way to navigate the rugged terrain en route to a small Jamaican village and a historic Presbyterian Church. On the return trip, stop for some amazing views across the Caribbean Sea.


Sunset Horseback Ride and Swim

Enjoy a relaxing horseback ride from a private beach to an 18th-century sugar plantation and a unique experience of Jamaica’s history and culture. Then, ride bareback in the warm Caribbean Sea before toasting the sunset with a glass of bubbly.


Water Sports and Scuba Diving

Only Beaches includes motorized and non-motorized watersports in your vacation. Whether you want to try windsurfing, snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding or waterskiing, it’s all unlimited, all the time. If you’re PADI certified, enjoy two free scuba dives every day. If you’re not, the resort course will get you diving like a pro in no time.


Land Sports

The list of things to do at Beaches Negril is almost endless with activities for every age and member of your family, from beach volleyball and tennis to a state-of-art fitness centre.

23 Sep


Adrian Knows Families

September 23, 2016 | By |

Adrian Whitehead is the General Manager of Beaches Negril. He prides himself on delivering a family vacation that’s beyond expectation, where every member of your family, no matter how old or young, will find something unforgettable.


How do you help kids and teens have an amazing vacation?

We have programs for kids of every age group, from infants, toddlers, pre-teens and teens, as well as for children with special needs. There are activities designed to entertain them all.


How do you help parents get away for a few hours alone?

Our certified nannies are able to care and entertain the children while the parents spend time together. They can enjoy serious pampering in our Red Lane® Spa or dine on the beach with a romantic candlelight dinner.


Of all the Sesame Street® activities, what’s the most popular?

The parade is the most popular; it leads our guests around the resort to a beach party. The daily Sesame Street® stage shows and individual activities with all the characters are a big hit as well.


What will teens find in Trench Town?

There are fun arcade games including foosball, air hockey, electronic basketball cages and it is a great hangout spot for all teen gatherings and parties.


What’s new at the Xbox Play Lounge?

Both the Xbox Live and Xbox One are the most popular. There are weekly dance competitions and the Xbox Olympics that lead you to be the Ultimate Controller in our scheduled events.


Have you ever tried your hand at Scratch DJ Academy®?

Yes, DJ Whitehead is fully trained and actually won a spin-off against the General Manager from Sandals Negril at our year-end staff party.

23 Sep


Beaches® Brings Everyone Closer Together

September 23, 2016 | By |

Welcome to an all-inclusive vacation where worrying is the last thing you’ll do. At Beaches Negril Resort & Spa on the famous Seven Mile Beach, you can be carefree and casually cool because everything for every age is included, from the beachfront Pirates Island Waterpark, to nine gourmet specialty restaurants, and unlimited land and water sports including scuba diving.*

With everything taken care of, you and your family can focus on what’s important – having the time of your lives together. And with non-stop flights from across Canada, Air Canada Vacations can take you there any time you like. So, why wait?


*PADI certification is required to dive, but not included. PADI dive courses, night dives and kids’ dive programs are available on resort for a nominal fee.

19 Sep


Discover Another Side to Dublin

September 19, 2016 | By |

Dublin and Ireland are great destinations for fall and winter travel. The summer crowds are gone and you can really connect with the unique character of the city and its surroundings. You’ll discover an incredible array of cutting edge cuisine, fascinating history and lively festivals to fill your days. And remember, November to January averages 7ºC in Ireland, it almost never snows, and spring starts in February!

As a guide for the famous Irish Food Trail, Paul Kavanagh knows Dublin. He tells us why fall and winter is the best time to go.


Why is fall and winter such a special time in Ireland and Dublin?

This is a magical time of the year. The long summer evenings are just starting to leave us behind. Fall has arrived and the autumn leaves are changing colour. The cities are a lot quieter and everyone is just more relaxed.

Plus, there’s some great seasonal produce. The first Kerr pink potatoes of the autumn season are hitting the tables and they are delicious!


What festivals and special events can we look forward to?

Winter and fall have so much to offer. My favourite festival of the year is the Bram Stoker Festival in time for Halloween. Four days of living stories and four nights of deadly adventures. On the same weekend we also have the Cork Guinness Jazz Festival so you’ll be spoiled by choice.


Three places in Dublin we have to visit?

You have to visit some history. 2016 marks 100 years since the 1916 Rising that eventually lead to the Republic of Ireland. So no visit would be complete without the Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the General Post Office, the main stronghold of the Irish Volunteers.

The second place you have to visit is the Teelings Whiskey Distillery. It’s the only working distillery in Dublin’s city centre and the first distillery to open its doors in over 125 years.

Lastly, why not join me on one of our popular food trails. We offer a taste of traditional Irish fare and some of the newest cuisine.


The Irish Food Trail is an experience of the amazing food scene in Dublin. What are the most popular restaurants on your tours?

The Woollen Mills, The Winding Stairs, and Gallagher’s Boxty House are definitely some of the most popular. They offer seasonal Irish cuisine and know how to do it well. The Woollen Mills offers cockles and mussels on our tour. People really seem to love this.


Some call what’s happening with food in Ireland a complete cultural revolution. How do you feel about that?

What a great question. You just have to walk the streets of our cities and towns to see the level of great food on offer. We have just seen some new restaurants receive Michelin Stars in Dublin, Galway, Kilkenny, Waterford and Belfast and we have a growing number of celebrity chefs on TV shows across the world.


The best place for live music?

The most authentic live music is at the Cobblestone in Smithfield, Dublin. If you want something different why not try my local pub, Darky Kelly’s. It is just around the corner from our office and right next door to Christchurch Cathedral. They have live music every night.


The best place for a cozy afternoon?

The Black Sheep Dublin on Capel Street. You can sample the best modern Irish beers from the Galway Bay Breweries. There are 23 craft beers on tap and over 110 craft brews in house. It also has great food and chatty staff.


One historical fact that will surprise us?

The potato only arrived in Ireland about 450 years ago and came from South America thanks to Sir Walter Raleigh.


Three places outside of Dublin we all have to visit at least once this fall and winter?

Cork is the food capital of Ireland and a “must do” for any visit to the Emerald Isle. This is where the land meets the sea and local rules.

The famous Cliffs of Moher on the Atlantic coast are definitely not to be missed.

But for me the real treat is up north, in Donegal. You can watch the winter sun set over the Atlantic Ocean from the Slieve League Mountains. The sea cliffs here rise 1,972 feet above the ocean.


Ready for a your Ireland adventure? Check out our website to start planning today. #EatDrinkExplore

05 Jul


7 Family Adventures in Florida

July 5, 2016 | By |

Florida has some of the best beaches in North America and has long been a favourite winter destination for Canadians. But these days, there’s so much going on all year in the Sunshine State that the best answer to the question, “When should I go?” is quite simply: as often as you can. Enjoy theme parks, astronauts, surfing lessons and more.

1. Theme Parks

Orlando is the world capital for theme parks. Your family will love all the famous rides and attractions at Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld Orlando®, Universal Orlando® Resort, and LEGOLAND Florida.

2. Bike Shark Valley in the Everglades

Did you know you can bike through the Everglades? There’s a 15-mile paved cycling path known as Shark Valley that winds through these vast wetlands to an observation tower and back. For a different take on The River of Grass, try an airboat tour. We’ve got lots of choices from Miami or Fort Lauderdale.

3. Swim with Manatees


These gentle giants can grow as big as 12 feet long and weigh up to 3,500 pounds, but they’re still safe to swim with even for a young swimmer. Manatees love Florida’s Crystal River and gather there from November to March. You can book a convenient, family-friendly excursion from Orlando. 

4. Innertube the Ichetcuknee


There’s nothing quite like lazing down a refreshing river and Ichetucknee Springs State Park in North Central Florida is one of the best. It’s safe, well organized and offers you a close-up view of some spectacular wildlife. We have 37 hotels in nearby Jacksonville so you’re bound to find something to fit your style and budget.

5. Learn to Ride the Atlantic Blue Crush

Did you know you can learn to surf in Florida? Head to Fort Pierce, about an hour south of Cocoa Beach, for dependable waves that are just the right size for beginners. There are quite a few surf schools as well as rental outlets. Catch the life-size wave and surfboard sculpture at Cocoa Beach Pier, a thrill without the spills.

6. Lunch with an Astronaut

Who didn’t want to be an astronaut when they were a kid? At Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex you can actually have lunch with one of these heroes, like John Glenn, Jim Lovell, Story Musgrave, or Jon McBride. Enjoy a buffet lunch with 30 to 100 other visitors as you listen to one of these great space travellers. Ask questions, shake their hand, get an autograph and a picture. The Space Centre is on Florida’s central east coast, not far from Orlando or Cocoa Beach.

7. Theatre of the Sea in the Florida Keys

Paddleboard Icon

If sea creatures are on your must-see list, then Miami and the Florida Keys are your destinations. Theatre of the Sea in Islamorada lets you swim with rays, sea lions, and dolphins in a salt-water lagoon. The Miami Seaquarium has unforgettable dolphin encounters and helmet diving that lets you get up close to an amazing tropical reef exhibit.

Ready for a fun family adventure in Florida? Check out our website to start planning today.

17 Jun


6 Places You Have to Visit in the USA

June 17, 2016 | By |

The USA is full of surprises and wonders that should be on everybody’s bucket list. Family fun in Florida. Amazing adventures in Hawaii. And colourful charm in California. Here are 6 places you have to visit.


1. Orlando

The Theme-Park-Capital-of-the-World will never disappoint with world-famous Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld Orlando®, and Universal Orlando® Resort and tons of others choices. Discover great shopping and golf at more than 150 local courses. And be sure to check out the new dining and entertainment options on International Drive.

Where to stay

The Liki Tiki Resort by Diamond Resorts is a beautiful resort-style hotel with amenities for the whole family including a water park. Plus, you’re only minutes from Walt Disney World® Resort, SeaWorld Orlando®, and Universal Orlando® Resort.

At the International Palms Resort, you’re right in the heart of the theme park action of Orlando. Your family will love the free shuttle service to the parks, and great deals on dining.


2. Honolulu

The heart of Hawaii, the city of Honolulu on the island of Oahu is bursting with island magic. Try surfing or snorkelling at Waikiki Beach. Hike Diamond Head Volcano. Or make some colourful friends at the Honolulu Zoo. Enjoy it all with a tropical breeze and the easygoing spirit of the islands of aloha.

Where to stay

The beachfront resort-style Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort & Spa has everything you need for a great vacation including restaurants, a spa, a pool and live entertainment. Plus, Waikiki Aquarium and iconic Diamond Head Volcano are close by.

The vast Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort boasts Waikiki’s best stretch of white-sand beach and 22 acres of lush tropical surroundings. Enjoy daily activities, great dining options and luxurious rooms.

MAUI_BluePools Waterfall

3. Maui

Maui is marvelous. No island can boast the incredible diversity of this beautiful place.

Scenic Hana Highway winds through the deep pools and soaring waterfalls of Oheo Gulch. Mt. Haleakala towers above. Snorkellers discover incredible colours and diners delight in a rich and delicious food culture. It’s one adventure after another.

Where to stay

The AAA Four Diamond Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa offers you 40 acres of tropical gardens just minutes from the famous Whalers Village shopping complex. Enjoy 7 restaurants and bars, a water slide and kids’ lagoon, snorkelling and kayaking.

The completely refurbished oceanfront Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa delivers a stylish vacation of modern luxury and conveniences including a new restaurant, Humble Kitchen, by world-renowned chef and Hawaii native Roy Yamaguchi.

Los Angeles

4. Los Angeles

The City of Angels can make any dream come true. From the glitz and glamour of Hollywood and Rodeo Drive, to the cooling mountain air and rambling wine country, whatever you’re looking for you’ll find it. And if family comes first, you’ll find theme parks and activities for every age.

Where to stay

One of our most popular hotels in California, the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach offers spectacular amenities and great restaurants including Watertable, one of the top 100 Best Restaurants in America. Plus, scenic Orange County is just minutes away.

The Holiday Inn Anaheim at the Park is a great, affordable choice if you’re going to Disneyland! Enjoy the hotel’s facilities or head a few minutes down the street to all the restaurants, shops and entertainment of the Downtown Disney® District.


5. Miami

Miami is alive with a vibrant art scene, great shopping and activities for everyone. Hit the beach for long lazy days in the year-round sunshine, or go cosmopolitan with gourmet dining and a jumping nightlife. Miami is golden.

Where to stay

In stylish South Beach, the Eden Roc Miami Beach is an upscale oceanfront hotel with a glamorous pool scene. You’re just a 10-minute drive from Lincoln Road’s world-famous shopping.

The ultrachic beachfront W South Beach is across the street from the sophisticated Bass Museum of Art. Discover the hotel restaurants, lively poolside grill, opulent lobby nightclub, and rooftop basketball and tennis courts.

San Francisco

6. San Francisco

The City by the Bay is as beautiful and inviting as you’ve always imagined. Lose yourself in the shops, art galleries, restaurants and theatres around Union Square. Cross the famous Golden Gate Bridge. And be sure to wander through the Victorian architecture of picture-perfect Alamo Square.

Where to stay

Centrally located near Union Square, the upscale Westin St. Francis is just a 10-minute walk from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Enjoy a sophisticated steakhouse, cozy cocktail bar, and a serene beauty and wellness spa.

The contemporary Parc 55 San Francisco – A Hilton Hotel is just a 2-minute walk from Westfield San Francisco Centre Mall and offers a hip Thai restaurant, a gym, and a business center with free WiFi.

Ready to book your vacation in the USA? Get started today.

13 Apr


7 Reasons You Should Go To Portland

April 13, 2016 | By |

Keep Portland Weird is the city’s unofficial slogan and the drive behind what makes this such an eclectic, inspiring and wonderful place to visit. Here are 7 reasons you should go. And while you’re there be sure to share, hashtag #PDXNOW.

1. Food Is A Way Of Life

Portland basically invented farm-to-table. For delicious local fare, head to Clyde Common or DOC for seasonally inspired Italian like risotto with spinach-pesto-roasted pepitas. Be sure to stop at one of the 600+ food carts conveniently grouped in “pods”. For the best Thai chicken, look for Nong’s Khao Man Gai, or head to Grilled Cheese Grill where the simple classic is taken to new heights.

2. Coffee Culture Second To None

2013 Travel Portland spring/summer shoot. by Jamie Francis 5039755174

For lovers of good coffee and delicious pastries, take a break at one of the many artisanal cafés serving a mix of independent roasters. Head to Heart Roasters for a lighter Scandinavian-style roast with subtle fruit flavours and pastries from Bakeshop. Coava serves up some of the best single-origin coffee in the city, while Courier mixes micro-roasting and a deep collection of vinyl.

3. World-Famous Wine, Beer and Cider

2014 Travel Portland beer. by Jamie Francis 5039755174

The Willamette Valley Winery Tour is a great way to discover Portland’s most famous wine region. This self-guided tour includes stops at David Hill Vineyards & Winery, whose 2012 Estate Pinot Gris earned a rating of 91 from Wine Enthusiast, and Tualatin Estate Vineyards, one of the region’s oldest winemakers. You’ll also find urban wineries offering up sophisticated tasting menus in stylish settings like Hip Chicks Do Wine, which opened way back in 1999.

If craft brews are your favourite thing, Portland boasts over 65 local breweries. Pick up The Portland Beerbook for the most essential choices.

Local orchards support a vibrant cider scene, providing a huge selection of fresh opportunities like Reverend Nat’s blend of heirloom apples, or Swift Cider’s spicy barrel-aged creations.

4. A Whole Year Of Events And Festivals

With a full schedule all year long, you’ll definitely find something to pique your interest. How about the Holiday Ale Festival or the Oregon Brewers Festival for a good brew? If music is your travel passion, don’t miss the PDX Jazz Festival or the Waterfront Blues Festival. But if food is your love, check out the Portland Farmers Market and Dining Month every March.

5. The Great Outdoors

Great Outdoors

About 30 minutes from downtown Portland, you’ll find yourself in the untouched wilds of the great north Pacific Coast. Columbia River Gorge is home to 77 warterfalls and extensive trails. Iconic Mount Hood boasts the longest ski season in North America, old growth forest and 1,000 of miles of trails. Head west to the Oregon Coast for scenic shorelines, nautical history and tasty crabbing.

6. No Sales Tax So Shop Shop Shop

The city has no sales tax! So shop as much as you like, it’s a lot more fun this way. Head to Downtown Portland for famous department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s. Pioneer Place has major brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. For a bit more local whimsy, try the Pearl District and the Northwest / Nob Hill areas.

7. Urban Green

On March 13th, 2015 the cherry blossoms are in full bloom at the downtown water front along the Willamette River in Portland, OR. (NOT published)

Portland has 288 public parks ranging from the smallest park in the world, Mill End Park, to the sprawling 5,156 acre Forest Park with 113 km of trail right in the city. For a more polished green experience, head to the Lan Su Chinese Garden or the expanded Japanese Garden. For a daylong adventure, try the 4T Trail. It’s a self-guided tour that uses trails, trams, trolleys and trains for a close encounter with urban nature.

Interested in learning more about Portland? Click here to find out more or to start planning your trip today!

28 Mar


6 Reasons You Should Cruise with Princess

March 28, 2016 | By |

Princess Cruises is a true original. They’ve built their success on one simple premise: you ask, we deliver. That’s why on a Princess cruise, you’re bound to discover the unexpected onboard, at the table, and on shore.

1. The Itineraries

Let your floating resort take you to the fun and sun of the Caribbean. Or perhaps Europe is more your style with a unique perspective of some of the most fascinating destinations like Rome, Barcelona, and the Greek Islands, with special emphasis on UNESCO World Heritage Sites and late night departures. If nature and wildlife is your cup of tea, how about a cruise to Alaska where you’ll explore pristine waterways, glaciers and humpback whales. And with Princess’ newest enrichment program, “North to Alaska,” you’ll get a deeper sense of the history and culture of Alaska through presentations from lumberjacks, an Iditarod champion, National Park Rangers and signature authentic Alaska cuisine.

2. The Excursions

White Pass Railroad, Alaska, Skagway

White Pass Railroad, Alaska, Skagway

Princess delivers an unbeatable experience on shore with immersive shore excursions for every interest, from wildlife to culture and culinary traditions. They’ve even partnered with Discovery Communications™ to offer Discovery and Animal Planet Recommended tours that bring hit shows to life, like Deadliest Catch and Gold Rush. There are also Discovery and Animal Planet Exclusive tours that have experiences you can only get through Princess.

3. The Dining

On board everything is fresh, authentic and delicious but you asked for more so Princess delivered. Award-winning Chef Curtis Stone serves up SHARE, a new concept in dining, based around the connection between people, food and stories. Be sure to check out the exciting Salty Dog Gastropub, and to take a sip or two of Princess’s own brew, the Seawitch Craft Beer.

4. The Activities

There’s always something to do on board day and night. With Princess@Sea you can use your phone to plan your day’s events and activities, review the ship’s itinerary and port guides, browse restaurant menus, even access your stateroom account! Be sure to check out Festivals of the World that recreate all the splendor of Mardi Gras, Rio Carnival, the Carnival of Venice and many, many more.

5. The Fun for Kids and Teens

Fun for Kids

Princess has activities for every age. Their Youth Centers offer lots of supervised activities for ages 3 to 12. And their Teen Lounges, for ages 13-17, are packed with Play Station games, movies, karaoke, and more. Be sure to drop your kids off for a fun-filled kids-only dinner. They’ll have a blast and you can enjoy a few quiet moments to yourselves.

6. The Luxury Beds

Luxury beds2

Princess has thought of everything, including your wellness. They’ve partnered with leading experts in both the science and beauty of sleep to develop the new Princess Luxury Bed. You’ll enjoy the ultimate sleep at sea and come back from your vacation feeling refreshed, renewed and rejuvenated.

Ready to choose your cruise? Get started today!

22 Mar


8 Things You Probably Don’t Know about Hungary

March 22, 2016 | By |

Hungary may not be on the tip of your tongue when you think of where to go in Europe, but it should be. For centuries, this amazing country, and especially its capital, Budapest, were the heart and soul of Europe. Here are 8 things you probably don’t know about Hungary:

1. Incredible Architecture

Hungary’s artistic heritage survives in its architecture, from Roman ruins, medieval towns, baroque churches and Art Nouveau bathhouses. One of the grandest buildings of them all is The Hungarian Parliament in Budapest. Completed in 1904, this palatial building is the largest in Hungary and the highest in Budapest. Its construction included half a million precious stones and 88 lbs of gold. Hungary also boasts the second largest synagogue in the world.

2. The Year of Gastro Adventure

Year of Gastro Adventure2

2016 is a yearlong celebration of the variety and quality of the Hungarian culinary tradition. Hungary is the host country of the Bocuse d’Or European culinary championship. There are festivals throughout the year where you can taste traditional and international dishes, meet the farmers and craftsmen, and sample world-renowned wines, like the honey-gold Tokaj. The largest of these events is the Festival of Folk Arts in Budapest in August.

3. Over 1,000 Thermal Springs

Hungary has over 1,000 thermal springs and a rich spa culture to go along with it. From the Romans through the Ottomans to the present day, these baths have been developed, celebrated and preserved. Budapest alone has over 300 thermal springs including spectacular Turkish baths. Hungary also contains Héviz, the second largest thermal lake in the world, and Miskolctapolca, Europe’s only cave bath.

4. 200 Caves Under Budapest

The labyrinth of caves and tunnels under the streets of Budapest is rumoured to be more than 120 km long. Guided tours take you to the vast, museum-like Szemlő-hegyi cave, a WWII underground hospital and parts of the subway system (the 1st on the continent). For the more adventurous, caving expeditions are available.

5. 8 World Heritage Sites

World Heritage

Historically fascinating, culturally rich and vibrant, it’s no surprise that Hungary has 9 World Heritage Sites, from caves to abbeys to the Hortobágy National Park. The Banks of the famous Danube are recognized heritage and so is the delicious Tokaj Wine Region, well worth a trip. On the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage, you’ll find the Busó festivities at Mohács in southern Hungary that mark the end of winter with fearsome masks and costumes.

6. The Danube

Immortalized by Strauss’s The Blue Danube Waltz, Europe’s second-longest river has long held a special place in our collective consciousness. From its source in Germany, it winds through 10 countries before finally reaching the Black Sea. Many river cruises, starting or ending in Budapest, trace its journey.

7. Budapest Loves the Nightlife

Szimpla Kert is the most famous of a unique kind of nightspot found only in Budapest, the “ruins pub.” These pubs all share a few main ingredients: usually in an abandoned building, a bit of thrift-shop décor, and some of the best people you could ever ask for. At the other end of the spectrum is A38. Voted the Best Bar in the World by Lonely Planet, this multi-disciplinary institute lives on a reconstructed Ukranian ship on the Danube.

8. Classical Music Adventure

Hungary has always been celebrated for its classical music. Be sure to attend a performance and the beautiful Opera House, or a fascinating piano concert at the 150-year-old Liszt Academy of Music. And if you’re travelling in the spring, be sure to check out the Budapest Spring Festival.

Interested in learning more about Hungary? Click here to find out more or to start planning your trip to Hungary today!


30 Sep


9 reasons you need to visit Cancun now

September 30, 2015 | By |

Cancun and the Riviera Maya is one of our most popular destinations. On the Caribbean side of Mexico, this area has great beaches, a unique Mayan heritage, lots of resorts to choose from and tons of activities. Here’s what we love most.

1) Xcaret Park

This eco-adventure park is a great day for everyone. Explore underground rivers. Share an encounter with a stingray. Take in a spectacular live show that celebrates Mayan heritage. And enjoy some traditional dishes at one of the great restaurants. This may just be the best day of your trip.

2) Tulum ruins


One of the 3 most important Mayan sites in the Mayan Riviera, Tulum was once a thriving port. A guided tour here gives you a unique glimpse into the daily lives of the Maya from commerce to faith and family. Be sure to bring your swim gear because you can go for a swim after your tour. It’s a really nice stretch of beach and the view of the ruins is impressive.

3) The sea turtles of Akumal Beach

If you’ve ever wanted to swim with sea turtles, this is your chance. This secluded bay is a popular feeding ground for a population of sea turtles and they don’t mind sharing. You can make your own way here or you can book a boat trip which includes snorkelling gear, snacks and drinks. The turtles are as beautiful as you’ve always hoped.

4) JOYÁ by Cirque du Soleil

Did you know Cirque du Soleil has built a permanent show tent right in the Riviera Maya? The show is called JOYÁ and it’s inspired by Mexico's history and heritage. It’s an experience that will engage your five senses as you follow the story of a naturalist and his granddaughter and their transformative journey to uncover the secrets of life.

5) Playa Del Carmen’s 5th Avenue


Playa Del Carmen is the heart and soul of the Riviera Maya and one of its biggest draws is the famous 5th Avenue. You’ll find lots of great shops with works from local artisans, and some great places to eat. At night, this pedestrian road really comes alive as patios fill and the air hums with the buzz of happy people and live music.

6) Cochinita pibil & sopa de lima

There is lots of really great food in Mexico. But two of the most famous Mayan dishes that any visitor to the Riviera Maya must try are cochinita pibil¾pork marinated in achiote, bitter orange and spices, wrapped in banana leaves and barbecued in a pit; and sopa de lima (lime soup) made of shredded, lime-marinated turkey or chicken and topped with sizzling tortilla strips. Delicious.

7) Golf

It may not be top-of-mind when you think about Cancun and the Riviera Maya, but these days you’ll discover dozens of excellent golf courses, laid out by world-renowned designers. So whether you're a novice or pro, you’re bound to find something to challenge yourself, plus many of these courses incorporate natural features so it’s a beautiful experience all around.

8) Cenote diving


The soft bedrock of the Yucatan peninsula erodes in the most spectacular way. Rain water seeps deep down and forms underground rivers, and in some places the surface layer has opened up giving access to this amazing network. The cenotes (these openings) were sacred places to the Maya, seen as doorways to the underworld. Dive in and go for a swim you won’t soon forget.

9) Temazcal

This is the Mayan version of the sweat lodge. It’s deeply spiritual and deeply relaxing. Your shaman will guide you through a ritual ceremony before taking you into the temazcal, which is hot and dark and filled with the scent of indigenous herbs. The experience is believed to relax and cleanse the nervous system, help to eliminate fat and toxins and stimulate the digestive and respiratory systems. If you’re curious, many resorts feature a temazcal as part of their spa programs.


Interested in these activities? Read more about Cancun and Riviera Maya, or see your Air Canada Vacations representation at your resort to book.