Category Archives: Mexico

Book online but keep your local support

There are so many options out there for booking that at times, it can feel overwhelming. That is why it’s great to use a travel agent. We can help narrow down what works for your destination, budget and travel needs. Plus, by booking your vacation package through us – you can put down a deposit and then your final payment isn’t due until 60-45 days prior to your departure instead of having to pay it all upfront. Of course, if you’re booking something within 60-45 days of travel, the total is due at the time of booking.

But, if you like doing your own research and booking things online; we have that too. Check out our BOOK IT NOW page on our website. It takes you directly to some of our favorite travel companies’ websites  – like Apple Vacations and Funjet Vacations for example. They have flight/hotel packages to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe and more. We also have the Globus Family which has escorted tours throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, South Pacific and the Middle East. They also have river cruises. This way, you can check out all the different aspects of your trip but still have our local support to help answer questions or take care of certain details. And, in the event of a problem with your trip, (the best laid plans and all), we’re there to help get things back on track.

If you have questions about any of these companies or their destinations, give us a call. Let us help you find the best deal for your dollar, needs and dreams. Or, book it online and have us as your backup should you need it.

 

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Filed under All-inclusives, Caribbean, Cruises, Family Travel, Florida, Hawaii, Jamaica, Mexico, Tour Packages, Traveler Tips, USA

Latin America’s Foodie Destinations

Most people visit Latin America for its sprawling coastlines, mountain vistas, spicy culture and lush rainforests. However, it’s the vibrant, bold, down-right-delicious food scene that keeps them coming back. From piping hot empanadas plucked from a street cart to tart ceviche enjoyed with an ocean view, these cities provide inspiring cuisine. Take these great ideas from our Travel Tips Quarterly. Give us a call for you next Foodie Adventure.

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Buenos Aires derives its incredible cuisine profile from a mix of Latin and European influences. Mostly known for beef, its world-famous Argentinian steak can’t be missed. Pick up a breaded meat fillet, known as a milanesa, from a street vendor or sink your teeth into the perfect cut of tenderloin at Cabaña Las Lilas, one of the city’s famed eateries.

Cartagena, Colombia – Any visit to this great walled city must include ample samplings of the street food, starting with the arepa. These soft baked corn pancakes are packed with a dazzling array off luscious fillings, ranging from melted cheese and steak to sweet dulce de leche. Along with arepas, the street food scene is buzzing with out-of-this-world dishes like chorizo kebabs, fresh squeezed juices, fried green plantains called patacones and tart, zesty ceviches.

Lima, Peru – Arguably one of the top culinary destinations in the world, Lima blends Incan, European and Japanese influences to create dishes with a seriously intense flavor profile. Visit the best-rated restaurant in Latin America, called Central, where you can enjoy beef ribs with blue-green algae or a coca leaf Pisco Sour. Thanks to the influence of Japan, make sure to try taradito, the city’s take on sushi, or succulent noodle bowls.

Mexico City, Mexico – To get a taste of everything the City has to offer, take a food tour with Eat Mexico – which will introduce you to antojitos, the “little cravings” street vendors hawk, as well as take you through the culinary hub of the city, the Mercado de San Juan. Definitely try a traditional taco, which will be the best you’ve ever had, but also step outside your comfort zone with a soft corn tortilla filled with grilled or fried bugs – it’s a Mexico City staple!

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Mexico, South America, Traveler Tips

World’s Most Unique Museums

Museums offer wondrous insights into culture, but sometimes it’s hard to get excited about shuffling quietly through yet another velvet-roped hallway, standing several feet away from prized artifacts while being closely watched by stern-faced security guards. If you’re ready to add a little shock to your awe, give us a call and consider visiting one of the following museums instead. Posted from our Travel Tips Quarterly Newsletter.

El Museo de las Momias (Museum of the Mummies): Guanajuato, Mexico
Mortality is on full display at the Mummy Museum, where the decayed remains of hundreds line the walls to haunt your vacation for a few hours. Here, the line between life and death is glass thin, yet the resulting effect on visitors is dramatically inspiring.

Museum of Broken Relationships: Zagreb, Croatia
Heartbreak is a gripping storyteller, and those stories are artfully displayed at this award-winning museum. You’ll find such relics of emotional collapse as video confessionals, a garden gnome used to smash a car window, and an axe that helped one jilted lover dismantle her ex’s furniture.

Museo Subacuatico de Arte (MUSA): Cancun, Mexico
Not only will you need a ticket to enter MUSA—you’ll also need scuba gear. While floating around this aquatic art gallery, you’ll find 500 sculptures up to 20 feet deep, all of which are slowly turning into coral reefs.

British Lawnmower Museum: Southport, England
Did you know that Princess Diana owned a lawnmower? You would if you visited the British Lawnmower Museum, which showcases the past, present and future of these landscaping yard cruisers.

Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments: Prague, Czech Republic
If “Iron Maiden” makes you think of the spiked body cabinet instead of the English metal band, then this is the museum for you. Sixty fascinating torture devices are on display, each with a useful tutorial on how they were used to extract top secrets from enemy spies.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Europe, Mexico, Traveler Tips, Water Adventures

Underwater Oxygen Bar?

Image result for underwater oxygen bar cozumelOkay, this one is a little crazy but since I love all adventure things in water – this one caught my attention. Clear Lounge® is the world’s first underwater oxygen bar (patent pending)! Using Sea TREK® helmet diving technology, guests enter the freestanding aquarium and breathe enriched, scented oxygen. Yes, aromatherapy scents such as peppermint or citrus. They claim that it helps reduce stress and increases energy levels. We could all use that.

Anyone up for jenga under water? They also have bubble guns and you can write messages to each other and friends on the outside. You can even have your picture taken at the photo booth.

It is located in Cozumel, Mexico at Carnival Cruise Line’s port – Puerta Maya. And, Clear Lounge® is open to the public. You must be at least 8 years old and be in good health. Even non-swimmers are welcome! On your next cruise to Cozumel or if you’re vacationing there, give it a go.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Bucket List Ideas, Cozumel, Family Travel, Mexico, Water Adventures

Book Online with Us

Without a travel agent, you're on your own.We know there are lots of you that book online and we want you back. We want your business. Our updated website now has a BOOK IT NOW page. If you’re looking for a package deal with air and hotel plus car or a shuttle – I would take a look  at Funjet Vacations or Apple Vacations and get ‘er done. They can get you to almost anywhere here in the U.S., the Caribbean, Europe, Hawaii, Mexico, or Central and South America. Looking for a DisneyWorld vacation to Florida or heading to California to visit DisneyLand? Funjet has you covered – from flights to hotels to shuttles along with theme park tickets. Both Funjet and Apple have charter flights (non-stop flights) to Mexico and islands in the Caribbean. There are so many wonderful places to discover. Book your vacation online on our website and have the local support you need in case you have questions or need help making a booking. Plus, in the event you need help while on the road – you have a familiar name to call on. Keep your peace of mind with our online convenience and local support.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Activities, All-inclusives, Bahamas, California, Caribbean, Central America, Costa Rica, Disneyland, DisneyWorld, Europe, Family Travel, Florida, Hawaii, Holidays, Honeymoons, Jamaica, Las Vegas, Mexico, New York City

Cozumel – Laid back paradise

When I think about laid back Mexico, a place where I can relax, get in some snorkeling, some scuba, a little beach time and some boating, I think of Cozumel. If you haven’t been there, it’s time to discover this little gem. Cozumel is the largest Mexican island in the Atlantic Ocean, but still spans only 10 by 30 miles, making the entire island easily accessible. Just 40 miles south of Cancun, Cozumel is more relaxed and secluded. Its pristine waters , friendly shops, bars and restaurants welcomes tourists from the world over and provides an authentic Mexico vacation experience.

Easily accessible via direct air service to Cozumel Airport or via Cancun, the hotels on Cozumel range from first class to budget, with most located on the west coast of the island that offer spectacular beaches and swimming . San Miguel, the only town on Cozumel Island, provides a fun, beach-town atmosphere offering dozens of restaurants and bars and colorful shops selling ceramics and Mexican handicrafts.

The Mayans were the first settlers to Cozumel. They viewed the island as sacred and dedicated it to Ixchel, the moon goddess, by building her honorary temples. The oldest Maya ruin on the island dates back to AD 300. It is believed that Mayan women made a pilgrimage to Cozumel to “connect” with Ixchel in the hopes they would give birth to healthy children. San Gervasio is the largest remaining Mayan archaeological site in Cozumel.

The Spanish conquistador, Hernando Cortes, later arrived in Cozumel from Cuba. Later, many notorious pirates, such as Henry Morgan, made Cozumel their lair. Morgan later became the British governor of Jamaica

Jacques Cousteau visited the island in 1959 and told the world about the beauty of Cozumel’s coral reefs. Cozumel quickly became a popular scuba-diving destination and diving charters are widely available today.

Cozumel’s economy is now tourism-based, offering a safe and comfortable vacation destination. The people here are friendly and service oriented, a much easier and slower pace than the one in Cancun. If you are looking for a laid back way to spend your vacation, Cozumel offers itself up for consideration.

Cozumel is host to truly excellent scuba and snorkeling activities for all ages and skill levels, and the Mayan ruins are also popular nearby attractions. Travelers enjoy the intimate setting and incredible beaches, undersea accessibility, and shore attractions, making this an attractive Mexico destination for anyone, from first-time family travelers to Cozumel regulars. Travelers looking for outdoor activities like diving, deep-sea fishing, snorkeling, kayaking and more will find in Cozumel a paradise awaiting. The territory at the center of the island is mostly undeveloped and covered by jungle and lagoons, perfect for exploration by bird and animal lovers.

Honeymooners will enjoy colorful sunsets, walks on secluded beaches, and swims through crystal clear water. The dining is excellent, and the nightlife lively, but much more sedate than on the mainland. A perfect mix of Mexico and the Caribbean, a great way to visit the great Mexican outdoors, Cozumel is a terrific choice for travelers.

What are you waiting for? Contact Thunderbird Travel IL and start planning your trip.

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Filed under Action/Adventure Travel, Activities, Mexico, Travel News, Traveler Tips

Get your teeth fixed in Mexico?

My husband and I just got back from getting our teeth fixed in Mexico. At first, I thought it was the craziest idea my husband had had in quite a while. However, when you get an estimate from your dentist for dental work that is going to run up a bill totaling $4600 and that was just for mine, you tend to look around for other options. We (who are typically FOX News watchers) were watching CNN one night where they did a segment on a dental company who has offices just across the border in Mexico. We did some research on it and called them. I gave them the list of things I needed done and they gave me a rate 50% less than the one from my dentist. So, since we have family in Houston and typically go visit once a year, we thought, “What’s a couple of days in Mexico.” Well, we did it. The best part is that it cost us less than what we were quoted. The offices had the same equipment as my dentist’s office. The staff was very friendly and helpful. It does help if you speak Spanish but don’t let that stop you. They do have someone in the office who speaks English well and can translate if needed. A lot of times, even with a long drive, gas, hotel stay and food costs – it can still save you money to get your teeth fixed Mexico.

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Filed under Activities, Mexico, Travel News, Travel Trivia, Traveler Tips