Cancun Vacation

We have timeshare accommodations in Cozumel which we hadn't been to in several years. We wanted to get back to Mexico this year and thought we'd give Cancun a shot. We always thought Cancun would be too wild for our taste, but we were wrong and pleasantly surprised! We stayed at a beautiful all-inclusive resort on the ocean and it was fantastic. There were no bugs, the beach was perfect, the activities were lots of fun, and the people were terrific! It was safe and clean and friendly and we'd go back in a second! I can't speak for the rest of the country, but the Yucatan Peninsula area is fantastic.


- The Driscoll's from Bath, ME

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Love Mexico

We have been going to Mexico since the 70's. We ended up going to Puerto Vallarta 17 years ago and I say we saved the best for last. We go every year and have found the best time for us is early November to early December. The weather is typically in the mid 80's with very little rain. It is not real crowded. We have not had problems getting into restaurants or on a golf course. The people are extremely friendly, the city is clean and we feel safe. We love the fact that when you go to Puerto Vallarta you have vast diversity. Go north, you have Punta Mita at the tip of Banderas Bay or go across the tip and you can be in several small towns on the beach. Go south and you are in the mountains and jungle. The city itself has many areas: downtown, old town, the marina or Nuevo Vallarta. All with a different flare. Hundreds of restaurants from gourmet to the local haunts. If you are a golfer, like us, you have several courses to choose from. When we get to our resort we feel like it is our home away from home. As you can tell we are big fans of P.V.


- Marlene M. from Nisswa, MN

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Mexico Vacation

We stayed for a week at the Moon Palace in Cancun. It was outstanding!! Everything was perfect, the weather, the service and the food. We went on day trips away from the resort to see the Mayan Ruins and to snorkel. The people and hotel employees were so friendly and extremely gracious that we were visiting their country.


- Marvie & Joseph R. from Mahopac, NY

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Mazatlan, Mexico

I went to Mazatlan in August 2011 and spent two weeks at my home resort  (Pueblo Bonito Resort at Emerald Bay). I had a wonderful time! The personnel was very friendly, helpful, and kind. The food was delicious, the drinks were tasty, the spa there was fabulous! I spent a lot of time in the pools--yes, there are several. I took a tour and ate dinner downtown at the other Pueblo Bonito on the beach. My room was always cleaned well. The entire staff was so supportive in every way. My Mexican vacation was truly that--a great vacation!!


- Wilma S. from Westfield, IN

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RCI Subscribing Members for over 20 years…WOW!

Helen F. - UK and Travel Destination NewsFor Joan K. from Northamptonshire, England, an RCI subscribing membership unleashed her inner adventurer and she has enjoyed two decades of travelling the world with RCI. Joan has always been passionate about travel and this independent divorcee made sure her son, Mark, grew up with the same appreciation for the wonders the world holds for the curious mind. For Joan, a week’s timeshare in Antigua was the perfect gift for Mark. “I wanted to enable him to see the world and to share the experience with friends,” she explained. “Through travel I’ve discovered that I have a real sense of adventure – not for me lying around on a beach all day! I want to get out into the local communities to experience different cultures and the different ways of life the world over.”

After joining RCI in 1991 when she bought a week at Club Tarahal in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, Joan immediately exchanged for a week in Acapulco in Mexico and loved it so much she bought a second week of timeshare, there and then at the resort. Joan shared some of the most exciting and memorable moments of two of her RCI exchange holidays in the European edition of Holiday, The RCI Magazine. Her story (read it here!) sees her on safari in South Africa where she witnessed a ‘kill’ first-hand, and sharing a quiet bathing spot in a hilltop lagoon with monkeys in India. Of course, she got some much needed R&R in fabulous RCI affiliated resorts along the way to recharge her batteries!

This week on the RCI blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from those of you who have been RCI subscribing members for 20 years or more. Be sure to check back to hear about all the great places our members have traveled over the years.

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Ixtapa, Mexico

Ixtapa is an up and coming resort area, not yet overgrown with tourist traps or overcrowded with tourists but seems to stay busy. Best part about our trip was the fishing. We caught fish bigger than I had ever seen - a 50 lb. dorado and 120 lb. sailfish. Talk about delicious. When you come back to the dock, you're captain will slice off a fresh filet to walk over to the nearby restaurant to have it cooked for you. That's fresh!!

- Carlos R. from Luray, VA
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Hilton Head

Back in 1989 we went to the Island Club Resort on an exchange from Lakewood Resort in the Missouri Ozarks. RCI was wonderful and the exchange was so easy. On that trip we fell in love with Hilton Head and the Island Club Resort so much that we became owners a few short years later. RCI has always been such a blessing to our family. We have been able to take many wonderful trips using our exchanges with RCI. Our children have been able to share in our experiences. Hilton Head might not be Mexico or even Europe, but to our family it is this side of heaven.

- Jen S. from St. Louis, MO
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Puerto Penasco, Mexico

Puerto Penasco, Mexico - This was one of the many beautiful sunsets we experienced while at this beautiful resort.

This was one of the many beautiful sunsets we experienced while at this beautiful resort.

- John from Alexandria, MN
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Puerto Penasco, Mexico 2004

We were so surprised and thrilled at the Grand Mayan Palace Resort in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. It was such luxury and delightful. The hotel is magnificent, and they have the greatest amenities. We did not want to leave.

- Glenda K. from Oceanside, CA
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Mexico Puerto Penasco

One fabulous week, definitely too short. I almost want to keep this resort quiet so that it won't be too difficult to find accommodations the next time. The resort was still being developed but even so, it was great. The staff couldn't have been more friendly and helpful, from check-in to check-out. The restaurants, Swedish massage, pool, activities for youngsters as well as adults, everything was really well thought out and most enjoyable. We had the 2 bedroom suite, which was large, light, sufficiently equipped and well maintained. Isabel, our daily maid was super helpful even though my Spanish was worse than her English. The beach I'm leaving for last - Wow - the water was warm and clear and there were hardly any waves. The rocks had been removed for some distance out and all there was, was sand, sand, and more sand. Oh yes and lots and lots of shells. What a great place to vacation. I'm not a golfer, but there's a beautiful golf course right along the ocean. Before leaving, friends had told us that it was too dangerous to go to Mexico - I am so very glad that we didn't listen. I would hate to have missed out on this fabulous treat.

- Susan M. from Encino, CA
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Mayan Palace Puerto Penasco, Mexico

We have been going to Mayan Palace in Puerto Penasco for the past 6 years. Our first trip was months after it first opened. We love the pools and the white sand beaches at this resort.

We have been going to Mayan Palace in Puerto Penasco for the past 6 years. Our first trip was months after it first opened. We love the pools and the white sand beaches at this resort.

- Sandra Z. from Escondido, CA
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Dirt Road

My trip to Puerto Penasco, Mexico started out with traveling a few miles from the town. The road came to an end which was just a dirt sort of a road. We thought, "Oh Lord, what are we getting in to?" After a few miles of dirt and dust the most beautiful resort appeared. It turned out to be a wonderful vacation with lots of memories.

- Kay C. from Weatherford, TX
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Puerto Peñasco…one of Mexico’s Oldest Tourist Destinations!

Roberto L. - Latin America Vacation StoriesHome to the largest sand dunes in the western hemisphere and once a host for NASA lunar excursion trainings, the Piñacate Peaks have welcomed travelers to Puerto Peñasco, Sonora for the past 90 years, making this world class tourist destination one of Mexico’s oldest. Just a 4 hour drive south from Phoenix Arizona, Puerto Peñasco has something to offer for just about every traveler.

Since the 1920s, North Americans have been vacationing here and since then many have made it their home. Today, Sandy Beach boasts of modern vacation condominiums, luxurious resorts, and championship golf.  I have been traveling here frequently since 2006, and being the small community it is, have found it easy to call this my second home, of which I will share with you travelers a quick tour of the “house”:

“The Kitchen” – Whether its pizza at Capone’s, breakfast at the legendary Coffee’s Haus or fine international dinning at the 4 diamond awarded La Maria Bistro at Las Palomas resort, you are guaranteed authentic atmospheres, Mexican hospitality and happy taste buds.

“The Living Room” – Take a load off and relax on a 40 ft. fishing boat while cruising off the archipelago of San Jorge Island (Bird Island) and wait for the sawfish, grouper and horse mackerel to bite. Or, live the experience at Mayan Palace’s Peninsula de Cortez Golf Club, home to the Uniting Nations Cup and its nine ocean front holes that are up to par with its northern counterpart, Pebble Beach.

“The Back Yard” – A day trip to the Piñacate volcanic crater will provide incredible images for your photo album, as will the vast desert that surrounds with its 553 species of plants, 237 species of birds (the red-tailed falcon being my favorite to spot!). This nationally protected biosphere is a must for all travelers. ATV rides along miles of sand dunes are also highly recommended, and with a coastline of over 100 kilometers, long walks along the Sea of Cortez are very enjoyable.

Whether you enjoyed a delicious meal, took a relaxing boat ride or collected sea shells on the beaches of El Mirador, La Cholla or Las Conchas, you will have many memories to share with family and friends. But one will stand out…and that is the plan to return and continue living the experience.

Mi casa es tu casa.

This week on the RCI Blog, we will show you stories and photos from other RCI subscribing members who have visited Puerto Peñasco. Be sure to check back!

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Joining RCI has been life changing!!

Since my wife and I have been with RCI we've had the greatest vacations. We exchanged once for a two bedroom unit in Phuket, Thailand. We've had a chance to stay at wonderful resorts in Mexico and have been able to send family and friends to great locations as well. We just love RCI!!! Joining RCI has been life changing!!

- Michael M. from Pittsburg, CA
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Mexico 2008

We stayed at the Mayan Palace near Playa del Carmen. It was enormous. The pool is the biggest I have ever seen. Well thought out too. Deep and shallow areas and swim up bars. Quiet and loud areas. Our son was almost 3 years old at the time. He is a fish so we spent a lot of time at the pool. He loved the waterfall from one part of the pool to the other. It's about a 3 to 4 foot drop and he loved jumping off of it. The ladies at the bar loved him when he would swim up with his dad. We really enjoyed that resort and the relaxation. The staff liked that he would say "hola" to them. Lots of fun exploring the area too!

- Amanda F. from Yosemite National Park, CA
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Mexico Trip 2007

Our family usually vacations with our good friends. Our first trip to Mexico, was at a spot of their choice. We decided to go back in 2007, using our RCI deposited time. The wife was very hesitant about staying at a "timeshare resort" as her past experience was poor. However, we stayed at the Mayan Palace on the Riviera Maya. Well, safe to say, she was very impressed and no longer worried about the timeshare horror stories. Our friends were also on hand for our 2009 Cancun visit to the Moon Palace Golf and Spa, which was also an exchange through RCI. I do not think we will be able to go anywhere now without them. Thanks RCI, and our friends thank you too.

- Lee J. from Redding, CA
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Riviera Maya, Mexico 2008

In May 2008, my husband, daughter and son went to the Grand Mayan at Riviera Maya. We had coordinated our trip with my brother-in-law and his wife and daughter who also exchanged a room for their timeshare week. The Grand Mayan had large rooms for ourselves and our adult children to share. There was plenty to do at the resort. We explored the Riviera Maya activities, and even enjoyed some spa treatments. The highlight was celebrating our son's 21st birthday...The most difficult part of the trip was navigating the Mexican highways. I'm just glad that my brother-in-law did all the driving instead of my husband. I also came to understand what a terrible backseat driver I am. Both couples came away from that trip appreciating our own spouses. We had a great time and enjoyed the pampering of a luxury resort. Now to plan another trip...

- Jane K. from Denver, CO
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Family Friendly Holidays in Playa del Carmen & Riviera Maya

Jorge H. - Latin America Travel TipsLast week on the RCI Blog, we talked about Ixtapa and Nuevo Vallarta – two of the places that were included on TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice 2011 list for the Top 10 Family Vacations in the Caribbean and Mexico. This week, I’ll be telling you about Playa del Carmen and Riviera Maya…two more destinations that are fantastic for family traveling.

When I visited Playa del Carmen, I stayed at BlueBay Grand Esmeralda, an all inclusive resort with excellent food, drinks and service. Besides the great resort in Playa del Carmen, one of the most amazing things about this place is the Mayan civilization. Chichen Itza – a large archaeological site – is a pyramid shaped structure that was constructed over 1000 years ago. To be honest, I couldn’t even begin to explain how the Mayan civilization built it! Another can’t-miss place for Mayan ruins is Tulum, where ancient ruins are right on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. It is gorgeous and you can even get some of the best views of the turquoise blue waters there.

Riviera Maya is another attraction-packed destination in Mexico. One of my favorite things to see is Cenotes, an underground river system that the Maya thought to be sacred. If you and the family are looking for something to do other than visit ancient ruins, head over to La Quinta Avenida, which is the main street that runs parallel to the ocean and provides 2 miles of shopping and restaurants.

Whether your family and you are looking for a vacation filled with tourist attractions, relaxation or shopping and dining (or all!), these destinations are the places to go! This week on the RCI Blog, we’ll be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have taken trips to Playa del Carmen or Riviera Maya. And if you missed last week’s blog on Ixtapa and Nuevo Vallarta, you can check it out here.

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Grand Mayan 2009

When I called RCI to plan our spring break vacation to Mexico, we didn't have a specific resort in mind. We knew that we wanted to go to the Puerto Vallarta area. The vacation guide that I spoke with was over-the-top excited to be able to offer us a 2-bedroom and a 1-bedroom at the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta. His exuberance about this resort led us to book it right away. We were beyond happy when we arrived at the resort. The six of us spent our days floating in the lazy river and sunning ourselves at the palapas on the beach. We had a dipping pool on our 10th floor deck and a hot tub in our bedroom! The staff at the Grand Mayan was helpful with any needs. While the Grand Mayan is a good distance from the fun of Puerto Vallarta and the quiet town of Bucerias that we love so much, we would go back in a heartbeat. Thanks so much for the great recommendation

- Patrick D. from Hillsboro, OR
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Mexico Trip 2009

We booked a vacation to the Grand Mayan in Nuevo Vallarta in June of this year. We were treated exceptionally well by everyone at the resort. The resort itself was amazing. There was never a boring moment, always something fun to do on the grounds. The lazy river was our favorite - so relaxing. Our room was perfect. We had our 2 teenage daughters with us and they had their own beautiful, oversized bedroom and bath, and the master bedroom and bath was lavish. Our room and balcony overlooked all the pools and the beach - 5 star all the way! Thanks to RCI for helping us with our reservations.

- Sheila O. from Springfield, MO
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