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Mexico Archives - Air Canada Vacations

28 Oct


A Touch of the Unforgettable

October 28, 2016 | By |

Add some unforgettable to your vacation with these must-do activities.

Catalina & Altos de Chavon

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Cruise Chavon River aboard a Mississippi paddleboat before setting sail on a catamaran for some fun in the sun on beautiful Catalina Island. Your last stop is Altos de Chavon, an artist village modeled after a 16th-century Mediterranean town.


Arenal Volcano

Costa Rica

Arenal Volcano is the most active and iconic volcano in all of Costa Rica. Take a zipline adventure tour through the surrounding rainforest for an unforgettable experience of the canopy, views of the lakes and the mountain itself.


Chichen Itza and Mayan Heritage

Cancun/Riviera Maya, Mexico

Chichen Itza was recently voted one of the New 7 Wonders of the World. This Mayan temple is magnificent and the full site includes the famous ball court and a magical cenote. A journey here is a journey into the rich heritage of the Mayan world.


Off-Road Adventures


Aruba has some spectacular, rugged landscapes dotted by windswept divi-divi trees. Follow your guide as you drive your own ATV to natural wonders like the Black Stone Beach and the Conchi, a natural pool. A great experience if you crave a little adrenaline.

25 Jul


Nicole at the Spa

July 25, 2016 | By |

Nicole Simeone Volk manages all the IBEROSTAR spas in the Dominican Republic. She has devoted her life to creating the perfect spa experience and takes us into her world of healing hands and soothing spirits at Spa Sensations.

What is your personal spa philosophy?

I want to create a balance between body and mind for better wellbeing in everyday life.

What do you hope guests will take away from their experience?

An outstanding memory of their treatment at Spa Sensations which will help them to continue treatments at home and to come visit us again on their next vacation.

Are there signature treatments at each Grand Collection resort?

Every destination is different and although our Grand Collection brand is very consistent in quality and service, our guests do have local preferences. At IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso, the Mayan Sensation Massage includes the use of ancestral, ocarina music and volcanic stones. The Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee Sugar Scrub is the one to try at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall. And at IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro, the most popular is the Caribbean Ritual, a milk bath, body exfoliation, massage and honey mask.

Do you have a favourite treatment?

I love the Voyage to the East. It’s a deep massage inspired by ancient Indian principles for healing the body.

What’s the most appealing feature of the new Spa Sensations at IBEROSTAR Bávaro Complex?

The new pool area. I especially like to go from the Roman Bath at 28ºC to the Cold Well at 15ºC. It feels wonderful.

Do you have a recommendation for a first-time spa guest?

Try everything in one, the complete experience. The Spa Sensation Signature Massage offers a head massage, body massage and reflexology on the feet.


25 Jul


Star Resorts

July 25, 2016 | By |

From gourmet dining, personalized butler service and spectacular suites complete with pillow menu and free rounds of golf, everything here is created to spoil and pamper like never before.

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica

This adults-only, 5-star, Jamaican paradise is all about never-ending service and endless luxuries. The Colonial-style architecture offers a stunning atmosphere designed for maximum comfort and pleasure.

  • AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort
  • Intimate boutique hotel flare
  • Just 20 minutes from Montego Bay airport
  • Many oceanview rooms thanks to the resort’s unique u-shaped design

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Bávaro
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Located on the stunning Bávaro Beach just 30 minutes from the Punta Cana airport, you’ll find this exclusive resort filled with every pleasure imaginable.

  • World-class, two-storey, oceanfront spa
  • Sweeping, on-site golf course designed by P.B. Dye
  • Greco-Roman-inspired architecture for timeless grace and style
  • Access to all 3 IBEROSTAR sister properties and their amenities, located in the Bávaro Beach Complex

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Paraíso
Riviera Maya, Mexico

No expense was spared in creating this all-inclusive, all-suites playground reserved exclusively for adults. Stunning architecture, three unique pools, and worlds of flavours await those fortunate enough to find themselves here.

  • AAA Four Diamond award-winning resort
  • 18-hole golf course on site designed by P.B. Dye
  • Elegant and engaging Neo-Renaissance-style architecture
  • Secluded villas ideally designed for honeymooners

25 Jul


The Grand Collection

July 25, 2016 | By |

IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts delivers an unsurpassed vacation experience with their exclusive Grand Collection.

Escape completely to a world of refined gourmet dining, exquisite suites, luxurious spa treatments and championship golf. Indulge in impeccable service surrounded by graceful architecture and luxurious state-of-the-art facilities.

It’s all waiting for you at these exceptional adults-only resorts on the best beaches in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. And with non-stop flights aboard Air Canada or Air Canada Rouge, your getaway starts the minute you’re onboard.

26 Nov


7 Resorts for an Unforgettable New Year’s

November 26, 2015 | By |

Tired of the same-old, blasé New Year’s plans? We know the feeling – that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best places to ring in 2016. Exciting, luxurious, and boasting sand over snow, here are our top picks to kick-start your year.

1. Grand Bahia Principe Coba


The Grand Bahia Principe Coba in Riviera Maya offers great value for the whole family. There’s a waterpark and shows for kids, a golf course and casino for adults, and a beautiful beach for all only a short distance away (and yes, transportation to the beach is included!). It’s also part of our PLAY collection, which means everyone gets an exclusive flight experience and kids stay and eat for free. If that’s not impressive, then try this: stay in exclusive rooms with prime locations, thanks to our Privileges program.

2. Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an


Say hello to 2016 in style at the adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe Sian Ka’an in Riviera Maya, Mexico. This resort exudes elegance with its minimalist, modern décor and supremely outfitted rooms. And what’s a romantic getaway without 24-hour room service, waiter service at the beach, or “After Golf” treatments at the on-site spa? We especially love the spa’s Vitamin Bar, where you can enjoy exotic natural fruit juices.

3. Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica


The Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica is another excellent option for a family vacation. Situated right on the beach in Runaway Bay, there are 3 interconnected lake-style pools with 2 areas specially reserved for children. We’re also quite taken with the green spaces, tropical gardens and abundance of wildlife (keep your eyes peeled to spot long-tailed hummingbirds and green turtles). Bonus: Air Canada Vacations guests enjoy all the PLAY perks and access to an exclusive room section near the ocean.

4. Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay


The Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay is an adults-only paradise and a definite contender for New Year’s. Since early this year, the resort has undergone extensive upgrades and by December 2015, there will be many new additions to experience firsthand. These include a new swimming pool, a swim-up bar, a lounge and “chill out” areas.

5. Meliá Jardines del Rey


Treat your family to ultimate comfort at Meliá Jardines del Rey in Cayo Coco, Cuba. This 5-star beachfront resort has nightly entertainment, 3 swimming pools (don’t miss their pool parties with bubbles!) and designated activities and facilities for kids, including a playground and paddling pool.

6. Playa Costa Verde


Another family favourite is Playa Costa Verde in Holguin, Cuba – and not just because it’s part of our PLAY program. Located directly on the beach, we particularly love the availability of snacks 24/7 (you never know when you’re going to get the munchies, right?), salsa dance classes, and introductory scuba lessons in the pool. Be sure to take advantage of the morning room service, which means continental breakfast delivered to your door!

7. Sol Pelicano


The Sol Pelicano in Cayo Largo, Cuba, is a nature lover’s dream. Bring the whole family and check out their renowned turtle observation program, which includes egg-laying and the release of baby turtles. Combined with ecological excursions, this resort has everything to make your next family vacation an adventure!

With the holidays around the corner, there’s no better time than now to start making plans for New Year’s. Get started today!

28 Oct


Rick knows best

October 28, 2015 | By |

Rick McCauley is the Senior Director of Sales & Marketing for Barceló Hotels & Resorts. He travels a lot. And one of his most-loved escapes is the Riviera Maya. He takes us on a tour of his favourite places, and some of his top family-friendly features at the newly renovated Barceló Maya Beach Resort.

What’s the most exciting change at the resort?

My favourites would have to be the new Pirate Island Waterpark, and the bowling alley. The Maya Mall has new shops and we’ve added two great new restaurants. We’ve invested $50 million, so there’s a lot to see.

The U-Spa for kids is a new concept? How does that work?

It’s another experience for you and your kids to share. For kids, we’ve created a special ice cream pedicure, and our signature Imma Diva Facials. It’s just a lot of fun.

What can kids look forward to at the new kids clubs?

We have lots of supervised kids activities, like arts and crafts, walks on the beach, sand castle building and sports. There’s also lots of time for kids to just relax and be themselves, have fun and make new friends.

How did you make your Club Premium more family-friendly?

We’ve made our Club Premium rooms bigger and they’re all very close to the pool and beach so it’s really easy for families to go back and forth.

What’s your favourite meal?

That’s hard to pick. We have an amazing Mexican restaurant called Mexico Lindo and for Japanese we have the wonderful new Tokyo restaurant. They're both so good.

One thing we all have to try?

Definitely the FlowRider surf simulator. It’s great and it’s pretty easy to get the hang of it. 

One thing we should all bring home with us?

A lot of fantastic memories.


28 Oct


Our 6 favourite things in Riviera Maya

October 28, 2015 | By |

We love the Riviera Maya, and the all-inclusive Barceló Maya Beach Resort is right in the heart of it. It’s on an incredibly beautiful stretch of beach and has something for every member of your family. Off the resort, fill your days with the heritage of the Maya and Mexico’s unmatched natural beauty.

Stay at 1 and play at 4

Stay at the Barceló Maya Beach Resort and enjoy complete access to all the restaurants, bars, swimming pools and beach facilities of the Barceló Maya Beach, Barceló Maya Caribe, Barceló Maya Colonial, and Barceló Maya Tropical hotels. It’s like four resorts in one!

Club Premium

Treat your family to a vacation unlike any other with this resort-within-a-resort experience. Enjoy a room close to the beach, personal check-in and checkout in the exclusive Club Premium Lounge, priority reservations at à-la-carte restaurants, spa and shop discounts, complimentary internet in select areas, and lots more vacation extras that will have everyone asking to stay another week.

Dolphinaris at Barceló

Dolphinaris at Barceló offers four unique encounters with these incredible animals. Learn about them, get to know them and even kiss them – all in an enclosure that is certified by the European Association for Aquatic Mammals.

Xcaret Park

This unique adventure celebrates the natural beauty of the Riviera Maya and the unique legacy of the Maya themselves. Discover underground rivers, animal encounters with stingrays, sharks and more, spectacular live shows and great restaurants. It’s an eco-archaeological adventure to remember.

Pirates Island Waterpark

This is fun for the whole family with a kids pool play area, and slides for the adventure-seekers in your family. Be sure to try your hand at the amazing FlowRider surf simulator. It really is a blast.


One of the most famous Mayan sites, this once-thriving port offers a fascinating glimpse into the lives of the Maya, from commerce to faith and family. Bring your swim gear for a dip after your tour. It’ll be one of the best moments of your trip.

U-Spa and U-kids Spa

Over 1,500 m2 dedicated to pampering body and mind. Inspired by the deep spirituality of the Maya, the U-Spa offers the finest treatments including aromatherapy, reflexology and deep tissue massage. And with the U-kids Spa even your little ones can join in.


28 Oct


Barceló and the Riviera Maya

October 28, 2015 | By |

Welcome to the Riviera Maya and the newly renovated Barceló Maya Beach Resort. The Riviera Maya is one of our favourite vacation destinations. You’ll find great food, great fun and incredible historical heritage. Plus, the beaches are long and warm and perfect for building sand castles!

Our friends at Barceló Hotels & Resorts understand this. Their Barceló Maya Beach Resort is the family resort you’ve been looking for, with activities, games and dining for every age. This place is so good, you’ll never want to leave.


07 Oct


6 Reasons Why Los Cabos is Your Dream Winter Escape

October 7, 2015 | By |

With the temperatures dropping, this can only mean one thing: it’s time to pick your winter vacation destination. If you haven’t discovered Los Cabos already, or if you need a quick refresher of just how wonderful it is, read on. Here are 6 reasons why Los Cabos is your dream winter escape.

1) Los Cabos is endless summer.

Los Cabos beach

Want to know what an average 350 days of sunshine each year feels like? Experience it first-hand by spending a day, or several, at a Los Cabos beach. To kick your vacation into high gear, visit Medano Beach – a lively hotspot with plenty of beachfront bars, restaurants, watersports and local vendors. For a more quiet and secluded setting, pack a picnic lunch and head to Chileno Beach. It’s a 15-minute taxi drive from downtown, a popular hangout among locals, and a fantastic place for snorkeling.

2) Los Cabos is pageant-winning beautiful.

El Arco Land's End

We’ve always had a soft spot for natural beauties and let us tell you, Los Cabos is definitely a stunner. Located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, where the desert meets the sea, the views are nothing short of spectacular. Besides gorgeous landscapes and aquamarine water, there’s the iconic El Arco at Land’s End. This giant arch rock formation is a sightseeing must in Cabo! Get there by water taxi, glass-bottom boat, or take a sunset cruise. Pro tip: bask in the sun at neighbouring Playa del Amor (Lover's Beach) like the nearby sea lions.

3) Los Cabos is hobby heaven.

golf course

From golf to sport fishing, to adrenaline-pumping water activities, there’s always something to do in Los Cabos. For veteran golfers or even beginners, there’s the challenge of championship courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Tom Weiskopf, and Greg Norman. For avid anglers, there’s an abundance of black, blue, and striped marlin in the Sea of Cortez (nicknamed Marlin Alley); join an experienced crew and you’ll likely encounter dorado, snapper, tuna, whales, dolphins and more.

4) Los Cabos is art treasure galore.

art Los Cabos

If you have an appreciation for art and craftsmanship, prepare to find truly unique pieces in Los Cabos. Visit a glass blowing factory and you’ll have a front row seat to watch the artisans work. From margarita glasses to hummingbird figurines, you probably won’t leave empty-handed. For a memorable evening, we recommend checking out the Art Walk in San Jose del Cabo. Happening every Thursday night from November to June, it’s a great way to meet local artists. Start in the music-filled main square and then stroll along the cobblestone side streets. There, you’ll find charming art galleries open late – and some even offer wine!

5) Los Cabos is family-friendly.

family Los Cabos

Travelling with kids? Los Cabos is your no-stress holiday destination. The trick is to stay at a resort that caters specifically to families, such as the Royal Solaris Los Cabos or the Holiday Inn Resort Los Cabos. Both resorts offer supervised kids programs and as an extra perk, both belong to our PLAY collection of hotels. This means kids stay, play and eat for free, and everyone gets an exclusive flight experience; pre-boarding privileges, free seat selection and a $10 in-flight meal voucher.

6) Los Cabos is downright romantic.


Planning a special getaway for two? Los Cabos is the perfect backdrop. Not to mention it has a selection of spa resorts, where you can relax with a couple’s massage before dining by candlelight. Our top picks are the Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa and the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos; both resorts underwent extensive renovations and are newly re-opened. If you really want to heat things up, opt for the adults-only Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort. Bonus: All 3 resorts come with our Price Drop Guarantee – meaning you can get up to $800 cash back per couple if the price of your vacation package drops.

Want to know more about Los Cabos? Read more about Los Cabos and make your dream beach vacation a reality.


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.