Cozumel – Island of Swallows

Josef W.Walking down the stone streets of Playa del Carmen, past the numerous vendors and quaint shops, the ferry to Cozumel slowly comes into view. It looks sleek, fast and modern sitting atop the crystal clear blue water of the ocean. As we wait in line with mild trepidation to board, we watch the families play along the pristine white sand beach, bathed in the warm sunlight. Boarding the ship is quite a breeze once the gate opens and we are soon under way heading to Cozumel. As Cozumel slowly comes into focus, small droplets of ocean water cool us off during our complimentary sun tan on the 30 minute ferry ride. Arriving in Cozumel proves to be as easy as boarding was and we are soon on our way to the resort.

One of the first things that we noticed about Cozumel was that it feels like mainland Mexico, yet feels very different as well. There were numerous places to rent scooters on the side of the road, offering adventurous travelers the opportunity to explore the island on their own. They seem to be quite the popular mode of transportation to get around for the tourists and locals alike. We quickly leave the town limits of San Miguel de Cozumel, the capital, and drive along the highway towards our vacation destination. The resort staff is quickly at our service with towels and fresh drinks upon our arrival. We are quickly checked in and on our way to explore the resort. Having the ocean right outside our door along with a convenient ocean-side bar made this stay quite the treat.

The island seems to move at a slower pace than the mainland which makes everything more relaxing. We managed to spend some time exploring the local shops and dining at a quaint restaurant in the heart of San Miguel. The locals are eager to show you their items for sale and are quite friendly.  The food was amazing in both taste and presentation. We truly enjoyed spending a nice evening exploring this charming city. Don’t forget to also spend some time snorkeling at the largest reef in the Western Hemisphere, located off the coast of Cozumel. Make Cozumel your next vacation destination and enjoy the tranquility and beauty of Mexico!

We hope you enjoyed all of the great photos shared by RCI subscribing members. Be sure to check back with us next week!

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Puerto Vallarta – The Convergence of Contrast

Jozef WPuerto Vallarta, a city rich in culture and excitement, is a wonderful location to relax while still offering the opportunity to experience adventure. What strikes me each time I visit Puerto Vallarta is the meeting of opposites.

It has always fascinated me that a location so well known for Mexican culture can also feel so American. Puerto Vallarta is one of the top spots abroad, where some Americans choose to settle down after retirement. This speaks to the fact that many of the people in Puerto Vallarta speak English, as well as, Spanish. There are also many American-style stores and restaurants to enjoy.

However, if you are looking to experience traditional Mexico, head into town. There you will find Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, which was constructed in the 19th century. Near this church you will find an open air market to shop for local crafts. Don’t forget to head a bit southwest of the church to find the newly remodeled Malecon, a boardwalk in Puerto Vallarta. The Malecon is teeming with life, from shops to live statues to impromptu fire shows… the Malecon offers it all!

Puerto Vallarta is located on Banderas Bay, the third largest bay in Mexico. You can swim in the warm ocean water, as most of the resorts are located on or near the beach. You will also see cruise ships docking into the ports, which can make for a nice evening activity, watching as the sun sets on the horizon.

Another benefit of Puerto Vallarta is the easy access to the ocean while still maintaining the enjoyment of the Sierra Madre Mountains. The Sierra Madre Mountains are within easy access if you’d like to add some adventure to your trip. There are opportunities to partake in adventurous activities such as ATV riding and hiking. Spend the day in the lush mountain jungles as you explore the rivers and trails that Puerto Vallarta has to offer.

Want to hear more? Come back to the RCI Blog this week, where we will be sharing stories and photos from RCI subscribing members who have visited Puerto Vallarta as well.

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Los Cabos – No Bad Days

Jozef W. - North America Travel StoriesHave you been enjoying these fantastic photos so far?

What is there to say about Los Cabos that hasn’t been said?  Maybe not much, but I will attempt to provide some insight into one of the most popular Mexico vacation destinations.

Los Cabos is made up of three main areas for tourism and averages only 6 days of rain per year.  Let’s start at the Eastern side of the Baja Peninsula and take the coastal highway heading west.

Starting in San Jose del Cabo provides us a glimpse of traditional Mexico.  The vibe from the people is very laid back with a charming small town feel.  There are many options to enjoy, such as the local taco stand or a stroll on the pristine beach.  San Jose del Cabo offers the opportunity to have an exciting vacation with the luxury of staying in the quieter area of Los Cabos.

Driving west on the coastal highway, we begin to enter the Corridor.  This area contains some of the larger and newer resorts in Los Cabos.  It also has become a popular surfing area if you are looking to catch some waves.  This puts you closer to the action yet still distant enough to get away from it all.

As we reach our final destination, the Arch comes into view.  The Arch is a magnificent natural rock formation that provides ample photo opportunities for everyone.  It is especially mesmerizing when you take a catamaran to ride out closer to the Arch as you may even catch a glimpse of a sea lion!

The final stop on our journey is Cabo San Lucas.  This town is the heart of the Los Cabos Area as it is where all the action begins.  You have a large amount of shopping to choose from, ranging from flea markets to full size malls.  The nightlife here is fantastic as well with many restaurants and bars to choose from for a wonderful evening.  The beach, shopping and bars all within a 5 minute walk….what’s not to like?

Los Cabos is a wonderful place to visit, discover, and explore.  “Leave it all behind” and go to the place with “No Bad Days”!

Keep coming back to the RCI blog this week to see more photos about this amazing destination!

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