Grand Velas Los Cabos -Elevating the Bar Once Again

There’s something slightly silly about being followed by your personal waiter to your breakfast table - him carrying your morning breakfast plate in his hands while walking directly behind you at the Grand Velas. As I sit, he takes my napkin and places it in my lap, asking me if there is anything else that I might need. Seriously, what else could I need? Feeling


A Night at Hacienda San Antonio El Puente, Cuernavaca, Mexico

For years, I have been enamored with Spanish architecture of colonial origins, from Mérida and Oaxaca City to Guanajuato, Puebla, and Cuernavaca, Mexico. Back the day, it was called "New Spain" during the colonial era of Mexico in the 16th to 19th centuries. Mexico has more sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list than any other country in the Americas with its 29 sites, many of


Holland America Experience – MS Westerdam

I recently returned from my first Holland America experience - a cruise to the Mexican Riviera. I was so impressed with the service of the staff and crew that I received from this group of highly trained workers! After multiple inquiries, I soon found out why from the Captain Mark Rowden of the MS Westerdam. Holland America Experience Holland America uses many of its mandates


Living it up at the Hotel California

  “Ain't it funny, rumors fly, And I know you heard about me.” - Taylor Swift Have you heard? I’ve been living it up at the Hotel California in Todos Santos, Mexico… with “mirrors on the ceiling” and “the pink champagne on ice”… I was dangling my feet in the refreshingly cold swimming pool of the Hotel California in Baja Mexico on a hot, late-fall


A visit to Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico

Photo by Cantimplora Travel During my recent trip to Oaxaca City with Cantimplora Travel, I had a chance to visit an interesting natural site not too far out of the city called Hierve el Agua, Oaxaca, Mexico. It is a petrified waterfall in what seems to be in the middle of nowhere in the state of Oaxaca! Photo by


Día del Niño – A Mexican Tradition

How will you be celebrating Día del Niño this year?  I love to cook with my ninos - Diego and Christian, to help celebrate them and in a small way, pass down some authentic Mexican traditions, even though they are not Mexican, but Chilean. Since we live in Arizona and have such a close connection to the Mexicans and the Mexicans traditions, this holiday means so


Oaxacan Mezcal and the Passion of One Man

Photograph by PointsandTravel I was peering at him from the distorted window. His eyes smiled to his ears as I saw him wipe the sweat from his brow with the back of his wrist. He was ruggedly handsome, mid 50’s and had the roughness from years of manual labor. The lines on his face were deep and his skin tone told me he


Travel Trend: Hire a Local Photographer

Travel with a private/personal photographer Photo Courtesy of Cantimplora Travel I am crazy excited to tell you about an upcoming adventure I am taking! I have decided try something totally different in the travel world and go off-the-beaten path this month with a private, local photographer and a small group from Cantimplora Travel. Why? So that I can put down my camera (well a


Grand Velas: Raising The Bar on All-Inclusives

Raise the Bar: Achievement is largely the product of steadily raising one’s levels of aspiration and expectation ~Jack Nicklaus I was on my way to the Grand  Velas in the jungles of Mexico. I was hired to photograph the 10th anniversary of the Festival of Life and Death (Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead) for Experiences Xcaret. I couldn’t be more excited


Behind the Scenes: Cancun Xcaret’s Espectacular

By Cacinda Maloney Behind the Scenes: Cancun Xcaret's One by one, they would climb the 17 dingy white stairs to the tiny crowded, dimly-lit room. They needed to get out of the sweltering heat and were dressed in the brightest blues, vibrant yellows and heart-stopping red colors. Never have I seen such a stunningly beautiful group of women with matching beads and flowers in their


Xel Ha, Mexico: Land Where the Water is Born

By Cacinda Maloney Plopping into my clear plastic tube, I was ready for cool relief. It had been scorching and sweaty hot, as the temperatures soared to over 100 degrees for the last few days. I had come to the golden lands of Mexico. I was in search of the festivals surrounding the “Dia de los Muertos” -those days in November where Latin Americans celebrate


Las Posadas: A Mexican American Tradition

By Cacinda Maloney Las Posadas: A Mexican American Tradition Do you know the story of Las Posadas? Posadas means “accommodations” in Spanish and Las Posadas is a Mexican tradition that has been celebrated for over 400 years. Its roots are in Catholicism, yet even Protestant Latinos follow the tradition. It is the nine-day journey of Mary and Joseph in search of a place to stay


Poseidon’s Adventure: Cancun’s Underwater Museum

By Cacinda Maloney He is of Mayan Indian decent and I am following him, although I know not where. He is the expert and I am his inept follower.  Soon we approach what appears to be a fire ring, but it is not ablaze.  He enters first and motions for each of us to go thru the ring.  I follow, being sure to keep  myself


Gliding Thru Hidden Worlds: Riviera Maya, Mexico

By Cacinda Maloney Rio Secreto, Yucatan Mexico He instructed us to turn off our headlamps and lay back with our eyes closed. I felt a chill come over my body as goosebumps began to arise within my diveskin. I did what was instructed, but hesitated for a bit. Lying there in the stillness, I heard a drip, drip, drip in the stillness. With


Foodie Heaven: Benazuza, Cancun, Mexico

By Cacinda Maloney Benazuza, Cancun, Mexico The mysterious drink appeared at the bar, sugar cane chunks immersed in a cocktail. The bartender instructed us to “chew the sugar cane to soak up the drink!” What a fun way to “drink a cocktail”, by not actually drinking it, but chewing the juice out! When foodies go on vacation, they dream about adventures in flavor.


Stone Island, Mexico: A Surprising Cruise Stop

By Cacinda Maloney Stone Island, Mexico Blazing through the deep, deep ocean, I look out my balcony to see the fast approaching colorful houses by the water's edge.  Excitement fills the room, as I know what is about to approach:  Mazatlan, Mexico!  Stuffing my swimsuit, flip flops, camera and sarong into my beachy bag as fast as I can, I head on out


Arizona’s Beach: Rocky Point, Mexico! Part 3

By Cacinda Maloney Once all sunned out and beached out, we head to the room for some R & R. Puerto Penasco, Rocky Point, Mexico Puerto Penasco, Rocky Point, Mexico The boys, by now, are wanting to go out and pop the firecrackers that they bought at the local stores and so off we go into the night, because one thing I know, teenage boys


Arizona’s Beach: Rocky Point, Mexico! Part 2

By Cacinda Maloney After lunch, we go for our usual stroll for nick-nacks of all things Mexico.  Shopping really for nothing, but enjoying with pleasure all the hand crafted items we see. Puerto Penasco, aka Rocky Point, Mexico Puerto Penasco, AKA Rocky Point, Mexico One thing is for sure, the sights are colorful, but it is scorching hot outside, which shortens


Arizona’s Beach: Rocky Point, Mexico!

By Cacinda Maloney The road is long and too weary for many, but each year we make our annual trek down across the border from Phoenix, AZ to Puerto Penasco, Mexico, better known as "Rocky Point" by most Phoenicians, or "Arizona's beach."    Really it is an easy jaunt, but the difference between there and here are worlds apart. Arizona, close to the border


Xcaret, Mexico: What is it?

By Cacinda Maloney SoyMexico courtesy of Xcaret It is hard to explain, but basically it is an eco-friendly park in the Yucatan area of Mexico.  My family and I had more fun there than we ever dreamed, as we really had no idea what it was, but kept hearing from tourist and locals alike that we shouldn't miss it.  And I agree, it makes


Diving the Cenote Kukulcan, Mexico

Updated August 2015 By Cacinda Maloney Cancun Diving Diving Cenote Kukulcan, Yucatan Mexico Cenote Kukulcan, Yucatan, Mexico The stunning Kukulcan Cenote is a 33 feet(10 meters) deep blue cavern that is part of the Chac Mool caving system in the Yucatan, Mexico.  It has a jungle scenery with fresh and salty water, lots of fossils, and even a few stalactites. The main attraction,


Step back in time: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

By Cacinda Maloney San Miguel de Allende, Mexico San Miguel de Allende, Mexico I was talking to my friend today, and she was telling me about her quick trip to San Miguel de Allende over the long weekend.  She was in Mexico City and decided to take a drive up to San Miguel.  By car from Mexico City, you can get there in approximately


Zihuatanjeo, Mexico: Simply paradise unpluggged

By Cacinda Maloney I chose this photo of a flower with all its blemishes, for that is how Mexico is, Zihuatanejo means "place of beautiful women" in the Nahuatl language.  Nahuatl has been spoken in Central Mexico since at least the 7th century AD.  It was the language of the  Aztecs, whose empire expanded into most of Mexico during the centuries preceding the


Mexico’s Independence 202nd Anniversary Celebration, Phoenix, AZ USA

By Cacinda Maloney The Consulate General of Mexico and The City of Phoenix request the pleasure of your presence for a Cocktail Reception followed by the Official Ceremony to commemorate the 202nd Anniversary of Mexico’s Independence at The Orpheum Theatre.   September 15th 2012, 5:00 p.m.   I was honored and did attend the event at City Hall and The Orpheum Theatre. The evening consisted


Remember how I told you the secret about my lover?

By Cacinda Maloney San Miguel de Allende, Mexico captured my heart.  It is the quintessential town for me.  It answered all my prayers about a place that I thought could exist.  You see, I have always been in love with colonial architecture, interior design, music, art and the language of Mexico for a long time (plus I love Mexican food!).   It romances me.  Coming

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