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Caribbean and Mexico Archives - Air Canada Vacations

02 Aug

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Best Reason to Visit Jamaica: Jamaican Food!

August 2, 2018 | By |

Vacations often leave you looking slimmer, from all that on-the-go action and exploration. A trip to Jamaica might not be so kind to your waistline, considering the country serves up some of the best dishes in the Caribbean. Here are our picks of the Jamaican cuisine you need to try!

Jerk around

Jamaican allspice, Scotch bonnet peppers, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg–these are just a few of the ingredients found in the jerk seasoning that defines one of Jamaica’s most iconic dishes: jerk chicken. Sweet and spicy, perfectly grilled, the flavourful meat is traditionally served with rice and beans or bammies, a tasty fried flat bread of sorts. Of course, you can also get jerk pork, jerk fish, jerk…lobster (!). Find jerk dishes anywhere, from street vendors to your resort’s restaurant.

Patty cake, patty cake

What’s not to love about the Jamaican patty? It’s perfectly golden, flaky and filled with delicious, seasoned meat (or vegetables). This sublime snack is actually a product of colonialism: a derivative of the Cornish pasty brought over by the Brits, spiced by Indians with cumin and curry and kicked up by Africans with cayenne pepper. While awesome on its own, you can try it like a local and stuff a patty in some sweet coco bread for a unique Jamaican sandwich.

Feeling fruity

It’s not all starch and meats. Being a tropical island, Jamaica is ripe with exotic fruits you might have never heard of. Most often eaten with saltfish, ackee is the island’s national fruit, an alien-like cluster of black seeds and spongy yellow flesh. Kind of like a tropical potato, breadfruit can be roasted, steamed, mashed or fried and makes for a superb side-dish. There are countless others that sound as colourful as they look: the grape-like, gelatinous guinep, the juicy June plum, heart-shaped sweetsop, spiky soursop, and something called the Stinking Toe. Okay, we haven’t tried that last one, but you can do the honours!

Liquid lunch

You’ll need something refreshing to wash all that down. Try sorrel, a red drink brewed from hibiscus blossoms, often spiced with cinnamon and ginger, or punched up with some of that famous Jamaican rum, if you fancy an extra kick. Savour the soda suited for the sun: Ting, offering just the right amount of grapefruit-flavoured fizz to cool you down. Finally, you really can’t leave Jamaica without trying a hot cup of Blue Mountain coffee, one of the world’s best brews from Jamaica’s highest mountain.

What’s next

Yum, all this is Jamaican me hungry! Any of these dishes can be tasted in the Jamaican destination of your choice. Montego Bay, or “MoBay,” is a hip city and a popular spot for dreamy, waterfront hotels. It’s a great base to explore the spectacular shores and paradisiacal settings of the idyllic resort town of Negril or former fishing village of Ochos Rios. Meanwhile, Kingston is the cultural heartbeat of Jamaica, sitting at the foot of the dramatic Blue Mountains. Hot travel tip: Book your winter vacation to Jamaica with us by September 9 to get $600 off per family and 8 days of free airport parking!

Savour the flavours of Jamaica! 

26 Jul

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Top 6 Hotels in Barbados

July 26, 2018 | By |

Where to stay in Barbados

Sea Breeze Beach House

Sea Breeze Beach House Barbados
Tucked away on the southern coast, this newly renovated 4-star resort boasts two spectacular beaches, an adults-only Jacuzzi and a commitment to food culture that reinforces Barbados as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels

Turtle Beach by Elegant Hotels Barbados

Focused on pampering families against a backdrop that is as elegant as it is exotic, Turtle Beach ensures fine, authentically Bajan fun, food and hospitality for all. It’s also part of our Spotlight Collection, so every stay comes with exclusive perks.

The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa

The Club, Barbados Resort & Spa

Be it by high tea in the afternoon, high-end dining in the numerous culinary amenities on site or highly soothing days in their signature Spa & Salon, The Club will leave you feeling rested and rejuvenated. This adults-only escape is also part of our Spotlight Collection.

Accra Beach Hotel

Accra Beach Hotel

Oceanfront rooms giving way to pristine, powdery beaches are a mainstay here — as is every other amenity you’ll ever need. Be sure to schedule a drink at dusk to enjoy their signature Sunset Bar as day gives way to night… then hit the lively Lagoon Pool Bar.

Port St. Charles

Priding themselves on luxury accommodations, Port St. Charles lets you experience Barbados like a local with access to every extravagance. Whether you need a water taxi for pickup, a stocked fridge for tomorrow’s brunch, restaurant reservations for tonight, or a fully catered dinner party at your villa — it’s all on offer here.

Sandals Royal Barbados

Sandals Royal Barbados

Offering 24-hour Butler Elite service, swim-up suites, and a roof top pool and bar overlooking the Caribbean Sea, this all-new, adults-only resort is tucked away in the famously lively St. Lawrence Gap of bountiful Barbados. You’ll have full access to incredible gourmet eateries, a wellness spa, unforgettable nightlife, and every luxurious amenity your mind can hope to summon.

26 Jul

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Barbados: Savour the Sublime

July 26, 2018 | By |

Warm and fuzzy
Surrounded by the characteristic white-sand beaches and coral-dense, turquoise waters that define the varied isles and atolls peppering the Caribbean Sea, the spirited island of Barbados is a treasure trove of cultural and culinary variety sure to fulfill every traveller’s expectations of their idyllic dream destination. Fun fact: this paradise was named after the bearded fig trees once plentiful on the island.

Best Barbados beach

What to do

Map your memories by mood
Test your ocean mettle against local surf pros in the south. Golf from dusk until dawn in the island’s centre. Sneak away to explore the rare wonder of tiny sea creatures, nestled in secret water caves, in the north. Punctuate a breezy moped ride across eastern sea-cliffs at sunset with a night of dining and dancing in the south and west. Barbados has every experience on offer. Unsurprisingly, should sipping on a sweet, tall glass of Mauby Drink while unwinding in a swaying hammock be more your speed, the island is sure to oblige.

Golfing in Barbados

Mood: From golden feels to platinum feels

Home to Holetown, the epicentre of Barbadian history, the Platinum Coast is aptly named. A sprawl of sparkling oceanfront sands are its defining draw. Rainbow reef gardens, plentiful leatherback sea turtles and a sunken barge off Brighton Beach also make it a snorkeller’s sanctuary. Still, those content to stay sun-dappled on the surface can spend the day sea-sprayed on water skis instead. For infinite shopping, nightlife and native nibbles, the sizzle of the St. Lawrence Gap is just south of the strip.  Also, Rihanna’s from around here, so there’s something enchanting in these waters…

Diving in Barbados

Mood: Mysterious bliss for the naturalist

Named after the hungry anemones that populate its colourful, coral floor, the clandestine water grotto of the Animal Flower Cave atop the northern tip of Barbados is a mere rental car away. Enjoy the Caribbean breeze on your skin by bicycle instead and head to the stunning sea cliffs of Cove Bay — consider that the ride isn’t complete without a stop at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve to grab a selfie with a green monkey.

Barbados Animal Flower Cave

Mood: Elegant adventure and sport

If your tastes are more equestrian in nature, seek out the pristine Ape Hill Polo Club in the verdant parish of Saint Andrew. Or head out for a trek through the Scotland District — an explorer’s wonderland and, remarkably, the only part of the submarine Caribbean mountain range stretching from Trinidad to Puerto Rico that remains well above water. Stroll through rows of sweet-smelling mahogany boughs on Cherry Tree Hill pausing only for refreshments and energizing ocean views. The refreshment? Satisfying sips from freshly split coconuts — they’re an easy grab in these parts.

Horseback Riding in Barbados

Mood: Lushness, love and lunch

Taking its name from the frothy surf that licks its eastern shores, the swells of the Soup Bowl offer a romantic backdrop for an intimate beachside picnic. No basket? No worries. Tuck into some traditional food at the local restaurants on the sea cliffs of coastal Bathsheba. Dining at dusk overlooking the ocean always proves unforgettable, but a well-timed day trip to this region will end in sightings of seasoned surfers dominating waves along the shoreline. Do leave a little time to escape inland to six full acres of tranquil floral forests at Andromeda Gardens, the botanical beauty of this coastal region.

Best swimming Barbados

Mood: Turf and surf

Informed by an eclectic blend of influences from the African, Indian, Irish, and British islanders who’ve graced its shores, Bajan cuisine is a sensory indulgence with a sharp Creole flair. Snack shacks and fine eateries abound on the Christchurch boardwalk but local fare at Oistin’s Fish Fry, an authentic outdoor market, is a must-taste. Burn it all off at one of the many surf schools on the southern strip, or by hitting the links — the Barbados Golf Club offers leisure activities inland. But do save room for a cocktail or two after dining, surfing or golfing: Barbados is hailed as the proper birthplace of rum.

Best food in Barbados

Book your trip to Barbados! 

28 Jun

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Top 3 Hotels in Grenada

June 28, 2018 | By |

Sandals® Grenada Resort & Spa
Located on Pink Gin Beach, this couples-only resort features three unique villages, each with its own character and charm. The resort boasts a state-of-the-art fitness centre, 10 restaurants and 6 bars, plus lots of activities on land and in the water.

Grenadian by rex resorts

This family-friendly all-inclusive resort is perfect for beach lovers, water sports enthusiasts and guests of all ages. With three restaurants and bars, there are plenty of options for all tastes. Families will love the Explorers kids’ club for ages 4 to 14.

Radisson Grenada  Beach Resort

Ideally located on Grenada’s famous Grand Anse Beach, the Radisson Grenada Beach Resort features a spa, water sports and scuba centre, a free-form 300-foot pool with a swim-up bar and two waterfalls, as well as four restaurants and bars.

28 Jun

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Next Stop: Grenada

June 28, 2018 | By |

Welcome to Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean. Luscious rolling hills, white sandy beaches and turquoise seawater infuse Grenada with a singular Caribbean vibe. Boasting the beauty of Grand Anse Beach, the rich history and culture of St. George’s and the delectable flavours of spice plantations and rum distilleries, Grenada is a thrill to discover.

What to do in Grenada

What to do in Grenada

Get Out and About On The Island

Discover a large variety of activities, both on land and in the water. Hike along incredible trails, visit lovely national parks and tropical gardens, or snorkel in warm, clear waters. Indulge your body and spirit on this wonderful island and come out feeling fresh and rejuvenated.

Tall Trees and Waterfalls

Grenada is known for its stunning waterfalls and great hiking. Alongside a knowledgeable guide, trek through the rainforest to the first of the Seven Sisters Waterfalls and take a dip in its cool, refreshing waters. Race atop the forest canopy or zipline through the trees at Grenada High Wire.

Colourful Parks and Gardens

Known as a nature lover’s paradise, Grenada is home to several national parks and reserves. Grand Etang National Park and Forest Reserve features lush tropical flowers, a large variety of native bird species and majestic mahogany and gommier trees. For a different type of garden adventure, visit a herb and spice garden and learn all about Grenada’s unique flavours.

Snorkeling in Grenada

Underwater Beauty

Experience a new take on diving at the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, filled with over 100 underwater sculptures shaped out of old concrete and rebar. If you’d prefer something close to the water’s surface, check out Grenada’s water sports options and snorkelling to see beautiful coral reefs and vibrant marine life.

Rejuvenation, Island-Style

Soothe yourself—body and soul—at the island’s sulphur springs. Embark on a short hike through a beautiful forest, then soak in the natural hot springs and let your worries float away. Or, try out a beach yoga class, where you’ll take in stunning ocean views and practice with some of the island’s best certified yoga instructors.

Be Pampered in Paradise

Known for its luxurious spas and high-end retreats, Grenada is the perfect place to pamper yourself from head to toe with relaxing massages and body treatments. Then, soak up the sun on one of the island’s beautiful beaches. Morne Rouge Beach and Magazine Beach are popular choices, with fine white sand and clear, warm water.

25 May

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What to do in Samaná

May 25, 2018 | By |

Top 3 Excursions

Los Haitises National Park

Board a speedboat to cross the bay of Samaná and explore one of the most unique national parks in the world. Discover a sanctuary of wild birds, a multitude of small islands and magnificent mangroves, caves with stalagmites and stalactites, ancient paintings, and sculptures of the Taino Indians. Then it’s off to Cayo Levantado for a scrumptious lunch before heading back to Samaná pier.

Jeep Safari

Spend an unforgettable day aboard an 18-person truck with spectacular views of Samaná’s countryside. Visit a local farm to see how tropical fruits and vegetables are grown, all while tasting the local produce, including coffee and cacao. An untamed beach and a hidden waterfall deep in the tropical jungle await your discovery. Continue your day along a winding road with spectacular views of the Bay of Samaná.

Catamaran Cruise

You’ll be greeted with a cocktail as you board the catamaran and set out to tour the bay of Samaná. There will be snorkeling at Cayo La Farola, then off to Cayo Levantado to enjoy the white sand beaches and sparkling waters, where lunch will be served under the coconut trees. Set sail mid-afternoon for your trip back with some merengue beats and a last drink  to end a spectacular day.

Book your trip to Samaná!

25 May

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Where to stay in Samaná

May 25, 2018 | By |

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts: Experience Happiness
With four resorts in dreamlike locations throughout Samaná, in the north of the Dominican Republic, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts offers travellers a mix of modern amenities, romance, relaxation, all-inclusive fun, and special rooms for families, on great beachfront locations. Travellers looking for an intimate atmosphere and tranquil setting can enjoy one adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe hotel, with 24-hour room service and unlimited à la carte dining.

Samaná – Your Paradise
Explore charming villages, adventure into tropical forests, unwind on alcove beaches, and feel the European vibes in Samaná, one of the most beautiful regions in the Dominican Republic. The turquoise waters blend into sandy shorelines, the beaches are unspoiled, and the natural wonders will leave you awe-struck. Samaná really is the ultimate dream destination.

Grand Bahia Principe Samaná Roulette

When you book a Roulette vacation, you’ll stay at either Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa or Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo… but you won’t know which one until you land in Samaná! Both resorts are located directly on a beach and welcome families, wedding parties, and honeymooners. Perfect for travellers who enjoy the element of surprise, a Roulette vacation is a win-win for everyone! Offered exclusively with Air Canada Vacations.

Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

Lose yourself in the most spectacular views of Samaná and disconnect in this gorgeous natural landscape. There’s never a dull moment at this resort with endless entertainment and loads of activities, including  paddle surfing, kayaking, diving lessons in the pool, and so much more! Take a complimentary shuttle  to the Bahia Principe Village for some local shopping.

Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

Discover pure Caribbean paradise and crystalline waters at one of the island’s most spectacular beaches. Steps away from Las Terrenas, a little fishing town with leisure activities and a lively social scene, this resort has a children’s waterpark, kids and teens clubs, an exclusive chilling out area, and entertainment programs for all! Family Suites are located close to the fun-filled action and offer family-centric services and amenities (including welcome gifts for the kids)!

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Experience tropical luxury at the only resort on Cayo Levantado Island. Now welcoming guests of all ages, this resort offers daytime activities, nightly entertainment, 24-hour room service, free WiFi, evening turndown service, VIP amenities, and a butler service option. Embark on a secluded getaway where you’ll be surrounded by the island’s natural splendour.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Luxury Bahia Principe Samaná

This adults-only boutique resort is perfect for those looking to go on a dream vacation filled with romance and relaxation. A couple’s intimate escape is elevated with butler service, premium amenities, and the unique  WE Wellness Experience that offers exclusive personalized wellness plans, relaxing body treatments, and more.  Let yourself unwind into a resort experience you’ll never want to end.

Book your trip to Samaná

01 May

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Top 3 Hotels in Barbados

May 1, 2018 | By |

Port Ferdinand Luxury Resort & Residences

Embrace total wellness at Port Ferdinand Barbados. With the soothing spa services of The Sandbox Tree Spa, paddle board yoga, Pilates, personal training in their fully-equipped fitness centre, and quality time and entertainment in the Adult Recreation Centre, this resort makes your health, relaxation and leisure their top priority.

Waves Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels

New to the award-winning Elegant Hotels Group, the redesigned, eco-chic wellness Waves Hotel & Spa resort is located on the pristine beaches  of the island’s Platinum West Coast. You will find a selection  of island-inspired treatments and rituals that will provide a healthy escape to those seeking a holiday for the mind, body and soul.

Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa

You’re in for a sweet surprise at the Sugar Cane Club Hotel & Spa that offers a charming blend of luxury, serenity and seclusion on Barbados’ exotic West Coast. This adult-only boutique hotel combines Mediterranean design and tropical vibes with all-inclusive suite accommodations. Treat yourself to relaxation at the Sugar Cane Spa with hydrotherapy, massages, a dipping pool, and much more!

01 May

By

What to Do in Barbados

May 1, 2018 | By |

Mind, Body & Soul

Barbados is recognized as the home of rest and relaxation in the West Indies. Experience a refreshing mix of natural wonder, recreation, much-deserved pampering, and embrace music and fitness during the Barbados Beach and Wellness Festival. Wake up at sunrise for a peaceful yoga session by the ocean, compete in fun and friendly sports games, and indulge in spas of the utmost luxury.

Take it all in

With a cool breeze blowing from the ocean, yoga in Barbados will leave you feeling a calm like never before. Take part in a magnificent sunrise or panoramic rooftop class followed by a dip in fresh water lagoon pools. Then join in the excitement of the festival with activities such as the Sir Garfield Sobers Golf Classic, the Barbados Island Fit Games, the Barbados Cycling Festival and many others!

Retreat to Barbados

Offering an intimate connection with Mother Nature, the Naniki Retreat provides a home-away-from-home lifestyle in cottages with magnificent views of rolling hills and the Atlantic Ocean. Specially designed healing therapies include yoga, reiki, massages and an ozone sauna chamber that detoxifies the body. Make your way to an oasis of natural beauty where peace and serenity overcome the stress of daily life.

Yoga in Barbados

Invigorating yoga

Stand Up Paddle Yoga combines strength and stability, and the only requirement is that you don’t mind getting wet! If you prefer to be by the sea instead of in it, Samudra Yoga is definitely the right style for you, allowing you to feel refreshed and revived right by the turquoise waters. For an outdoor experience in an indoor environment, try Bawa Yoga, with classes taking place in a gazebo surrounded by beautiful almond trees.

The spa experience

Barbados offers some of the most lavish spas that will cater to all of your indulgent needs. Enjoy European style relaxation at the Red Lane® Spa in the luxurious Sandals® resort. Visit the Chakra Spa to experience true Barbadian treatment with the popular Chakra ceremony wrap using Barbadian cane sugar and spices. Or spend some quality time with your partner while enjoying a soothing massage on the beach. Whatever your spa preference, you’ll leave feeling completely rejuvenated.

Beach and Wellness Festival

This two-day festival consists of events that reflect the authentic wellness scene of the island to help you decompress, clear your mind, and revitalize your body. Take part in yoga classes of all styles, calming meditation sessions, fitness workouts for all, massages on the beach, a line-up of wellness experts, and plenty more!

It’s your chance to take in all the amazing things Barbados has to offer! Stroll through the open-air Kula market featuring vendors like Brighton’s Farmers’ Market and Holders Farmers’ Market. Wander around and discover arts and crafts, clothing, juice stations and other local goods. Resident chefs will be cooking up a storm of BBQ delights and well-known local artists will add to the vibrant outdoor atmosphere with live music.

Book your trip to Barbados!

28 Mar

By

Charming Curaçao

March 28, 2018 | By |

Explore the beauty of Curaçao, a blend of Dutch charm, Caribbean flair and Spanish heritage. Indulge in a culture, cuisine and lifestyle like no other. Home to golden beaches and crystal blue seas, it captivates visitors with hidden coves and intriguing underwater sites. Beautiful year-round weather and a sunny climate make for a perfect escape any time of year!

Our pick

Sunscape Curaçao Resort, Spa & Casino
This upscale resort has everything you need for family entertainment. It offers one of the largest and most visited casinos on the island, an in-house Dive Center, the Explorer’s Club for Kids and the Core Zone Teens Club. You can enhance your fun with a day trip to the National Underwater Park facing the resort or a trip to Willemstad, thanks to the resort’s complimentary shuttle service for guests.