Amongst the most well-known long haul holiday destinations, Cancun, never ceases to amaze with its stunning white sand shores, tropical vegetation and vibrant spirit. This all inclusive holiday extravaganza has a lot to offer to anyone opting to spend some days away from home and as such, Cancun manages to be a thrilling overseas proposition regardless of what you might be looking for as a vacationer.
The decision has been almost taken. You are embarking on a tropical holiday to Cancun and that’s great! However, it’s once you start planning your trip when things become a bit more confusing. Choosing all inclusive hotels in Cancun vs choosing self-catered is in itself a big debate. Nonetheless both might be as good or bad as you make them to be. In this instance we will consider booking with a Cancun hotel all inclusive deal and what you have to gain by doing it.
Looking for exotic destinations to visit with family isn’t as easy as it initially seems. On one hand, the Majestic beaches, ruins and cenotes of Cancun, on the other the tropical, Caribbean goodness and stunning looks of the Dominican Republic. Say that you would like to visit both but realistically you only have the funds to do one. Which one do you choose? Choosing the ideal family holiday destination is not easy and the volume of information about both is simply too much to digest. Ideally we would advise you to follow your gut but in order to give it more of a reason to choose one destination over the other, here are the reasons and most possibly the answer to this mind boggling question. Family holidays in Cancun or Family holidays in the Dominican Republic?
We all know that February 14th marks a special occasion for couples worldwide. The day of love, hugs and all the romanticism of the world is sure something that should be celebrated and who would blame it! If flowers, romantic diners and gifts are one side of the coin, then a great exotic getaway with your loved one is probably the whole bank! Book your valentine’s holidays in Cancun and explore the Mayan ruins with your significant other or walk along the 7-mile beach in Jamaica holding hands -it’s all up to you and how you plan on showing your love. Choosing a destination to visit for valentine’s holidays however could be a daunting task, bearing in mind the multitude of options. Since we are amongst the undecided lot, we have decided to look at some of the most popular exotic destinations where the sun always shines and the picture perfect beaches are as indulging as ever, in order to help you decide on which is more appropriate.
Cancun can be one of your favorite places in Mexico, because it has everything you’d want: shopping and limitless water-sports, spa centres and amazing sandy beaches. Here, you can be spoilt for choice: luxurious resorts, mouthwatering goodies, unparalleled natural beauty & the famous Mayan ruins! Although Cancún is a magnet for young people, families are drawn to the pristine beaches and children’s activities including theme parks and amazing dolphin programs. Our purple travel wanderers unveil you the best of Cancun!
Let’s start our journey
Endless imposing beaches
Ultimate fun at Playa Delfines
Sipping on a refreshing Cosmo and splashing in the #Caribbean Sea. There are endless beach areas which can truly take your breath away, each one stands out because of its undeniable beautys. As for your next Caribbean getaway, here are the places we recommend so you can get the very best Cancun experience.
Playa Delfines One of Cancun’s largest beaches, where you can see plenty of jet skiers and parasailers!
Located in the famous Punta Cancun area, Playa Forum (or Playa Gaviota Azul) is the city’s most popular beach too. If you like a beach with a fun vibe, this is the place to be. Hang out on the sand or enjoy a more upscale experience at Mandala Beach Club.
It is a popular choice for families and locals. There is an oceanfront restaurant, a picturesque marina and a bungee tower over the water if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous.
Diving & snorkeling is a must
Exploring the divine marine world
The infinite Mesoamerican Barrier Reef begins just off the coast of Cancun. An unforgetable experience await you with an awe-inspiring dive, an underwater exploration can lead you to an epic backdrop of looming caves and vibrant reefs, delve into underground rivers, peek into ancient shipwrecks and even browse underwater art! Whether you’re interested in natural splendors or prefer to seek historic relics, there are plenty of dive tours available throughout the year to guide you to the immeasurable underwater beauty of Cancun.
MUSA Underwater Museum
MASA Underwater Museum
This bizzare museum features more than 500 underwater sculptures off the coast of Cancun. “Bodies”, heads in the sand, fill every corner… The artwork is as part of a major project called “The Silent Evolution.” The installation is the first endeavor of a new underwater museum called MUSA, which combines contemporary art with reef conservation.
Cenote Dos Ojos
Enter the underground rivers and caves of the Yucatan Peninsula through a natural spring found only here. Cenote Dos Ojos, or as they call it ”Two Eyes”, is named after the double rivers that come together. Located about two hours south of Cancun, it is the deepest known cave passage in the region.
Don’t miss a Day Trip
You know that something amazing and unexpected lies ahead… The breathtaking Caribbean is home to charming seaside villages, unmarked swaths of white sand beaches and mysterious ancient history.
On your next #Cancun vacation, make sure to set aside at least one day to step outside the resort and discover some of the region’s nearby attractions. Rent a car, grab a bicycle or board a ferry and embark on one of these amazing day trips.
We discovered heaven on earth!
This Caribbean island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from Cancun, You can rent a golf cart for the day to tour the island and visit the tortugranja,or as they call it ”turtle farm”, to watch cute baby turtles (Green Sea Turtles, Loggerheads). Head back to downtown Isla Mujeres for a Mexican delicious lunch followed by an afternoon swimming at Playa Norte.
Playa del Carmen
The beach city of Playa del Carmen, known by locals as the Playa, is a vibrant place for a day of swimming and fine dining! Spend your morning exploring Mexico’s 5th Avenue, Quinto Avenida, a charming street with some of the region’s best shopping.
Buzzy Nightlife Life in Cancun can be a never-ending party! The Glistening City’s most well known hotspots are among the best on the planet.
If you only choose one nightclub during your vacation, make sure it’s Coco Bongo. Cancun’s best and most famous nightclub is known for an over-the-top acrobatics show and celebrity impersonators
The biggest nightclub in Latin America hosts live concerts and the world’s best DJs, as well as the most crazy glow and foam parties…
What are you waiting for? Keep up the Cancun spirit!
Who doesn’t like holidays with a little luxury now and then? Eh… nobody, right?! So, we’ve got the best ideas for swim-up bars. These are more like little slices of luxury (mostly in the Caribbean) where you don’t even need to get out of the pool to enjoy a cocktail or a beer. Could you imagine anything more luxurious? Us neither, that’s why we’ve found the 10 best swim-up bars anywhere. Ever! Enjoy.
1. Catalonia Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Many of the islands now offer excellent budget getaways – thanks to an increase in affordable accommodations, food and shopping. And of course, the region’s biggest draw – those powdery white, pal tree-lined beaches – don’t have to cost a thing. We’ve compiled a guide to the Caribbean’s five most affordable destinations. Enjoy our 5 most affordable Caribbean Holidays.
Known as the Cancun of the Dominican Republic due to its huge amount of low-priced all-inclusive resorts, Punta Cana is a bargain-hunters haven. Offering everything from oceanfront views to delicious international cuisine, this tourist hotspot is one of the cheapest escapes in the Caribbean.
Cancun’s cheap price tag is just one of its many draws. As one of the most popular Caribbean destinations, from weddings and honeymoons to family getaways and holidays with friends, Cancun has steadily become one of the most recognised names in the travel world. Although a less authentic Mexican experience (the purpose-built resort was built up from nothing), you’re guaranteed a successful holiday-to-remember, at a fraction of the price of many other destinations nearby.
Powdery soft sands, shimmering turquoise water, fresh seafood in abundance, and lots of rum cocktails – Puerto Rico offers travellers the chance to experience all the Caribbean has to offer. Like most Caribbean destinations, staying inside the city itself or the surrounding area are both suitable ways to holiday on the cheap. Goods are also ridiculously cheap, but be careful not to go overboard with so much on offer!
Laid back, breathtaking scenery and with the best coffee in the world, Jamaica is a popular tourist hotspot for obvious reasons. This island appeals to all types and although it may be a little pricier than say, Puerto Rico or the Bahamas, travellers shouldn’t have too much trouble finding cheap flights and cheap, but comfortable accommodation.
According to Frommer’s, “Puerto Plata appeals to a mass-market crowd that prefers less expensive, all-inclusive resorts.” This Dominican Republic resort town is a fantastic choice for those looking for an action-packed holiday – there’s plenty for travellers to do away from the hotel, from watersports in Cabarete to spectacular sights like the Damajaqua Cascades (27 Waterfalls).
‘Museum’ probably isn’t the perfect word for the combination of art and nature you’ll find just off the Cancun coast. Holidays here are of course the stuff dreams are made of and for something really special we love a day at Mexico’s Underwater Sculpture Park. Sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor has installed hundreds of natural clay statues that will act as a reef to encourage coral and sealife growth.
The Cancun Underwater Museum acts as a restoration project, the statues have been built as artificial reefs to attract marine life and improve the natural reef that’s been damaged over the years. The displays are perfectly placed to attract glass bottomed boats, divers and snorkelers. Now 450 permanent life size sculptures make up one of the most ambitious and attractive underwater art works in the world.
Here are some of our favourites:
Man on Fire: This eerie sculpture was one of the first installed in 2009. It’s been cut with 75 holes, to allow fast growing fire coral to thrive. As the coral grows it will begin to bloom red, hence the name Man on Fire. It’s actually been cast from a local fisherman named Joachim and is meant to reflect the current world environmental situation.
The Banker: The meaning of this one is fairly clear cut. A suited man has his head buried in the sand. What’s that phrase, a picture paints a thousand words? Well this sculpture paints a lot more. It symbolizes the current economic crisis and the accountability of banking institutions. The sculpture itself is made for crustaceans and young fish to grow and breed.
The Silent Evolution: In the shape of an eye and the newest addition, this is an underwater village of hundreds of life size sculptures, all cast from local people. The silent museum takes you up, close and personal to view art in a way you may never have imagine. Like the others they’re made from special PH neutral clay to promote coral growth and life.
For more information visit the Aqua World Cancun website. You can find regular diving trips, including for beginners or certified.
Summer is still months away and it seems the list of short-haul destinations for winter sun are getting slim. If you still want to get away on a moderate budget, the Caribbean is the best alternative. We’ve narrowed down the most worth-while places to enjoy the best value Caribbean holidays. Light on the wallet but heavy on fun!
Dominican Republic – Punta Cana
The fantastic climate, coupled with excellent standard all-inclusive resorts, long sandy beaches, and moderate prices makes the Dominican Republic the destination of choice for a Caribbean holiday. The resort of Punta Cana is on the South-East side of the Island and is home to Bavaro – a stunning stretch of white sand beach leading into turquoise waters. If you’re looking at Dominican as an option, paying a slight premium to stay on this stunning shore as opposed to Puerto Plata is well worth it.
Cuba – Varadero
This beautiful island is not only the birthplace of the refreshing Mojito – it is the place to be if you’re looking to experience an incredible culture coupled with stunning beaches. Because of the vast size of the island, it is difficult to get to Havana’s gorgeous architecture if you’re staying anywhere other than Varadero. If you don’t want to compromise between a beach getaway of a lifetime and an unforgettable cultural experience, then Varadero is definitely the place for you. The abundance of reasonably-priced all inclusive resorts in this area are sure to delight you.
Jamaica – Negril
Jamaica is the place for lush landscapes, long sandy beaches, and fantastic nightlife. If you want it all, Jamaica is the definite must-see. Negril is the most popular tourist resort in the area. Located on the West Coast, here you will find all the famous Jamaican all-inclusive hotels lined along the 7-mile sandy beach. The abundance of shops, restaurants and bars in Negril are sure to keep every day as action-packed or as lazy as you want.
Mexico – Cancun
Cancun is a favourite destination for the entire family. Couples will love the luxurious all-inclusive hotels in the area, fantastic Mexican cuisine, and the stunning stretches of sandy beach. For the party animals, Cancun has a reputation for some of the liveliest nightlife in the Caribbean, which makes it a favourite spot for North Americans during their school holidays. Your little ones will be entertained by all the organized activities on the beach and the wide array of facilities for children at the hotels. Excursions are also widely available – a favourite being the Mayan Ruins of Chichen Itza, which are well worth the trip.
These destinations rank top for budget and value, but many other Caribbean islands are worth seeing if you can afford the premium price. St. Lucia and Barbados are top choices, as well as St. Maarten, Aruba, the US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Bahamas and Turks & Caicos just to name a few. For more information on the best value Caribbean holidays visit our website or give us a ring on 0207 993 9228.