Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

Air Canada Vacations - Page 24 of 31 - Travel Blog

14 Apr

By

Saint-Lucia

April 14, 2014 | By |

Must Experience

Land and Sea

This popular tour provides two contrasting perspectives of the western side of the island. Visit the only drive-in volcano and Sulphur Springs, Toraille Waterfalls and Gardens, and stop for swimming.

Rainforest Sky Rides

Traverse the rainforest in an aerial tram gondola zip-line on this fun and unique tour, and view the lush scenery below. Fruit drinks and water are included.

From Sugar to Rum

This tour focuses some of Saint Lucia's major industries, past and present. Sample over 20 different blends of rum. Stop at Marigot Bay for photos and refreshments.

Must see

Les Pitons

Epic, grand and serene, the two iconic hills of Saint Lucia rise from the shimmering Caribbean, signaling your arrival to this island paradise.

Must do

Snorkelling & scuba diving on the coral reef

The Anse Chastanet reef is home to more than 150 different species of fish and comprises of a marine plateau and dramatic slopes that fall away to a depth of more than 140 ft.

Must try

A Shandy

Light, refreshing and tangy, a shandy is the perfect drink for a hot island afternoon. Mix local Piton beer with ginger ale, lemon or sorrel (a slightly bitter herb). Stir and enjoy.

Must bring Home

Madras

Found throughout the Caribbean, these bright prints are the national dress of Saint Lucia. Bring home a full outfit or a traditional headpiece known as a tête-en-l’air.

07 Apr

By

West Coast of Mexico

April 7, 2014 | By |

Puerto Vallarta and Los Cabos boast incredible water sports and pristine landscapes. Mexico's diverse regions all offer spectacular beauty, delicious cuisine, and unforgettable memories.

Los Cabos

Deep Sea FishingDeep Sea Fishing

Los Cabos is known as the “Marlin Capital of the World,” and deservedly so, as more marlin are caught here than any other place on Earth. Experience the thrill of battling these incredible creatures!

Todos SantosTodos Santos

Explore this quaint turn-ofthe-century sugar cane milling town, now a charming artist's sanctuary. Visit the regional anthropological museum, break for a delicious Mexican lunch, and enjoy free time for shopping.

Baja BuggiesBaja Buggies

Enjoy a thrilling ride on an all-terrain vehicle through mountains and canyons to La Candelaria, a 300-year-old aboriginal village. Next, travel to the river's delta where the desert meets the Pacific.

Ixtapa / Zihuatanejo

LLas Gatas Beachas Gatas Beach

Spend a perfect day on a beautiful, secluded white sand beach, accessible only by boat. Snorkel or swim in clear waters, or just soak up the rays. Lunch on the beach is included.

Fiesta MexicanaFiesta Mexicana

Kick off an unforgettable night with a traditional welcome by a mariachi band! See folk dances from around Mexico, and enjoy a delicious dinner buffet and exotic cocktails from the open bar.

Puerto Vallarta / Riviera Nayarit

Discover Yelapa Discover Yelapa

Sail to Yelapa, a charming fishing village. Snorkel in secluded coves, see the work of rosewood artisans, hike to a waterfall, or relax on the beach. Lunch is included.

Sun Sea and Sail Sun, Sea and Sail

Sail onboard an authentic pirate ship! Enjoy a thrilling pirate show en route to  beautiful beach. Soak up the sun, snorkel, kayak or take a banana boat ride.

Rhythms of the Night Rhythms of the Night

Enjoy a romantic candlelight dinner in Las Caletas, followed by a spectacular torch-lit show set in a natural amphitheatre. The night continues with music, drinks and dancing.

Huatulco

Customs Traditions Customs and Traditions

Learn about Huatulco's artistic and culinary traditions. Visit La Crucecita and admire the largest Guadalupana painting in the world. Taste Oaxaca's delicious cuisine and learn all about mezcal—and enjoy samples!

Huatulco Bays Tour Huatulco Bays Tour

Discover Huatulco's beautiful and unspoiled bays by boat. Relax onboard and marve at the scenery, or snorkel in a dazzling coral reef. Swim, suntan and relax on a secluded beach.

01 Apr

By

East Coast of Mexico

April 1, 2014 | By |

Mexico is the land of colour, flavour, beaches and, of course, fiesta. In Cancun and Riviera Maya, remarkable Mayan ruins and beautiful beaches abound.

Riviera Maya

Chichen ItzaChichen Itza

Chichen Itza is one of the most studied and visited ruins of the Mayan world. Learn about the Castle of Kukulcan, the Ball Court, and much more.

Xcaret Xcaret

Xcaret, or “little inlet,” is an eco-archeological park where you can find underground rivers, a butterfly pavilion, turtle farm, horses, a beach and Xcaret's one-of-a-kind celebration, Xcaret Mexico Espectacular.

Cozumel

Scuba DivingScuba Diving

Cozumel's spectacular reefs are without a doubt the region's best-known attractions. The reefs offer dazzling variety and beauty, and incredible formations. Packages are available for both experienced and non-experienced divers.

Cancun

Xplor Xplor

From ziplining to underground river rafting, journeying through the jungle, and swimming in an amazing underground cave system, Xplor promises an unforgettable day of adventure!

Tulum and Xel-Ha Tulum and Xel-Há

Discover Tulum, one of the most beautiful Mayan cities, with incredible ruins and historical artifacts. Next, journey to Xel-Há, the world's largest aquarium, and enjoy snorkelling, wall climbing and cliff jumping.

28 Mar

By

What to do in Barbados

March 28, 2014 | By |

Events not to miss

Top Gear Festival Barbados

May 17-18

Celebrity hosts Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May bring an awe-inspiring line up of cars and driving talent to Barbados for the shows Caribbean debut. Join The Stig, the Top Gear Stunt Team and international guest drivers for this action-packed weekend. topgearfestivalbarbados.com

Food & Wine and Rum Festival

November

Welcome to the epicurean capital of the Caribbean and a vibrant international festival of the very best of local and world cuisines, wines and Bajan rum.

Crop Over Festival

July 4 to August 4

The Caribbean’s longest carnival, Crop Over is an iconic celebration of music, parades and costumes.

28 Mar

By

Quick travel facts about Barbados

March 28, 2014 | By |

Fun facts

  • Mount Gay Rum, the oldest rum in the world, has been made since 1703. The Mount Gay visitors centre offers sampling of this delicious rum
  • The beaches of Cattlewash, in Saint Andrew, were once known for their healing qualities, drawing people from all over the world
  • The Lord Nelson Statue in Bridgetown was erected in 1813, 30 years before the famous statue in London's Trafalgar Square

Need to know

  • Language: English is the official language. A Bajan dialect of English is spoken
  • Electricity: 110-120 Volts (same as Canada)
  • Currency: Barbadian dollar (BBD). The US dollar is also generally accepted. Many popular Canadian banks are available.
  • Famous landmark: St. Nicholas Abbey, a plantation house in Saint-Peter, is one of only three Jacobean mansions in the western hemisphere.
  • Flights: Non-stop flights from Toronto year-round and from Montreal between December and April. Connect to your nearest international airport from 66 cities across Canada.

28 Mar

By

Brighter Barbados – 65 years of dream vacations

March 28, 2014 | By |

For 65 years Air Canada has proudly flown Canadians just like you to the beauty, culture and charm of Barbados. Air Canada Vacations has a complete collection of hotels, all-inclusive resorts, villas, B&B's, activities and more so you can create the vacation you've always dreamed of; whether that's surfing in Bathsheba, spending a day at Crane Beach, participating in an exciting festival like Crop Over, or enjoying mouthwatering cuisine or an elegant afternoon tea.

 

Don't forget to sample some local rum. Barbados, known as “the birthplace of rum,” has some of the best in the world. No trip here is complete without a little taste of Mount Gay or Malibu special blends. A friendly local will be happy to point you in the direction of their favourite haunt; or you can tour the distilleries and the island, just ask your Air Canada Vacations destination representative.

That's Air Canada Vacations. That's your brighter Barbados.

28 Mar

By

Kim’s Barbados – a true Bajan experience

March 28, 2014 | By |

Kim Odle, mother and native to the island, shares her unique perspective of Barbados and gives you the inside scoop as only a true Bajan can.

Favourite place for a day at the beach?

So many beautiful beaches! Browns and Paynes Bay are great for a picnic with family and friends.

Where can I get the best rum punch?

Mojo’s makes amazing cocktails and the vibe is nice, great hang out spot. Word of advice, rum punch is sweet with a kick, so be careful.

One place from your childhood everyone should visit?

Harrison’s Cave. You go underground on a tour of the cave. Flowing streams, deep pools, towering columns of limestone. It’s really beautiful and unique to the island.

What would surprise most Canadians about your island?

We invented rum. Mount Gay Rum is the oldest rum in the world.

When you’re feeling quiet, you go…?

To Bathsheba. It’s one of the most relaxing places on the island. Amazing views and landscapes, right by the ocean.

For a night on the town, you go…?

To St. Lawrence Gap, lots of clubs and restaurants. 2nd Street is on the West Coast and it has a mix of bars and restaurants. Oistins is in the South, and has the famous Fish Fry on Fridays.

The best place to go with kids?

Farley Hill is a park in the north of the island, amazing views and a play area for the kids.

A Bajan food we have to try?

So many choices: flying fish, fish cakes, pudding and souse, fried pork, macaroni pie. All very different and all local. Just try them all.

11 Mar

By

Our top diving picks in the Caribbean

March 11, 2014 | By |

by Michael DeFreitas

Amazing, fantastic, spectacular – Caribbean diving

Twenty metres above us, the sunlight danced on the surface like a giant disco ball. Streams of sunbeams pierced the pristine blue water, spotlighting the shallow West Caicos reef. I was trying to photograph a pesky, three-centimetre, spotted cleaning shrimp, wedged amid the tangle of stinging tentacles of a giant Caribbean anemone. Every time I had the frisky critter in my sights it would dart back among the tentacles before I could snap the shot.

I finally managed to get off a few shots when my dive buddy tugged my arm. Turning his way, I found him frantically gesturing and pointing upwards to a creature every diver dreams of but few ever experience. Floating less than five metres above us was a giant manta ray performing an underwater ballet of loops and rolls. Its enormous wings propelling it effortlessly through the water, while its cavernous mouth gathered in a feast of plankton and thimble jellies.

I raised my camera, my heart pounding. Then it hit me my first manta sighting and my camera rig was setup for macro instead of wide-angle photography. All I could do was admire the magnificent creature until it disappeared into the blue abyss.

Encounters like this are one of the main reasons scuba diving is becoming one of the fastest growing adventure sports in the world. And when it comes to exciting underwater experiences, few destinations can match the Caribbean. With easy access from Canadian gateways, 25˚ to 30˚C waters, 30-metre visibility and a variety of dive sites, it's no surprise that many Caribbean islands consistently rank in the top ten best destinations in the world.

Cozumel's strong ocean currents create some of the world's best drift diving. Divers pushed along by these fast currents literally ‘fly' over the reef. Zipping through the underwater caverns at Devils Throat is one of the Caribbean's most exciting drift dives.

Aruba's shallow water dive sites team with tropical fish and are ideal for divers of all skill levels. The island's premier dive site is the 135-metre Antilla shipwreck lying in 20 metres of water.

Grand Cayman offers the unique experience of interacting with playful southern stingrays and nurse sharks at their Stingray City dive site. Saint Lucia's incredible Coral Gardens offer a kaleidoscope of colourful sponges, corals and thick clouds of tropical fish.

I have been diving the Caribbean for almost 15 years and still have a few more destinations to cross off my diving list. Later this year, I'll check off a few more entries when I dive into the crystal clear waters of Curaçao.

Over the last 25 years, award-winning freelance writer and photographer Michael DeFreitas has authored and illustrated more than 150 stories and three guidebooks on the Caribbean.

No excuses… It's time to get certified

It's never been easier to get certified. PADI's referral program allows you to start your open-water certification program at a Canadian dive centre and complete the course at an affiliated PADI resort in the Caribbean. This program eliminates the need to make your compulsory open-water dives in cold water. Simply attend the classroom and pool sessions in Canada, then complete your certification dives on your next Caribbean vacation.

Many Caribbean resorts offer scuba-diving introductory courses and tours for certified packages. Check out our full-list of diver-friendly caribbean resorts.

03 Mar

By

Weekend Beach Bliss

March 3, 2014 | By |

by Fina Scroppo

Make a great escape with three or four days of sun, sand and sumptuous pleasures

Like most people, between work and family, it feels like I'm on the go 24 hours a day. Though I'd long been dreaming of silvery beaches and sultry breezes, the thought of taking the time off work and the hassle of coordinating babysitting was overwhelming enough to keep me firmly chained to my desk. But the clouds parted when I discovered weekend beach getaway packages, and I turned my fantasies of exotic escapes into a sun-drenched reality.

Getting away for three or four nights was a snap with daily departures to a wide selection of tropical locales. Over the last few months, I've popped into paradise, for several days at a time, in some of the most stunning spots under the sun.

 LeblancIn Cancun, I indulged my senses with a luxe spa experience at the LeBlanc Resort, including a massage in one of the hotel's serene suites overlooking the lush tropical gardens. In this sanctuary of quiet beauty, I was pampered by the beach concierge, a true master of tantalizing tropical cocktails, and spent hours lounging at a tranquil infinity pool overlooking the Caribbean Sea. A world away from email, cell phones and household chores, I savoured the abundance of fresh local fruit and basked in the rejuvenating warmth of the sun. I'll always remember the feeling of the powdery sand between my bare toes.

sandalsbahamianA few months later, my husband and I were fortunate enough to take a long weekend getaway to the Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort in Nassau, Bahamas. A clever mélange of old-world charm and modern amenities, it was the ideal place for a romantic reconnection. We had lazy breakfasts of fresh fruit and pastries on the beach, took stand-up paddleboard lessons together in the afternoons and enjoyed decadent meals at the resort's many restaurants. The impeccable white-gloved service and sumptuous meal we enjoyed in the Crystal Room was a feast for the palate and for the senses. A jewel nestled in the turquoise waters, the resort's private island was the perfect place to spend our last day. We lounged on a secluded beach and soaked up the extraordinary natural beauty of the Bahamas. It was the perfect way to recharge our batteries before heading home.

Somehow, amidst the chaos of our busy family and work schedules, we managed to squeeze in another extended weekend trip, this time to pristine Punta Cana. We devoted the entire trip to one theme—relaxation. I tucked two good books into a bag, loaded my iPod with some great tunes, and I checked into a hammock on the beach for two days straight. It was sheer, unadulterated bliss. At some point, I abandoned the iPod and just rocked in the hammock, listening to the sound of the waves kissing the sand and the wind in the palms.

A week away can be tough to organize, but three or four days? It's the perfect amount of time for a quick trip to paradise.

Fina Scroppo is a freelance writer and editor in Vaughan, Ontario. When she's not escaping to the beach, she enjoys a refreshing mojito in her garden.

28 Feb

By

The best of Bahamas

February 28, 2014 | By |

Brighter Bahamas

Head for a short or long stay to the over 700 islands in the Bahamas, an idyllic oasis just three hours from Toronto. Walk the perimeter of the capital, indulge in surf and sand, or snorkel the distinct green-blue waters of the Exumas, exploring hidden grottos and Blue Hole diving universes. Discover the local specialty, conch salad, accessorize with a Panama hat from Nassau’s straw market or catch up on local pirate history.

For over 30 years, Sandals Resorts and Air Canada Vacations have partnered to provide excellence and luxury to Canadians. Let Sandals Royal Bahamian and Sandals Emerald Bay escort you to a personal paradise in this unbelievable aquatic nation.