Primer on Tulum, Mexico (Mayan Riviera Region, Mexico)


Tulum is a few hours south of Cancun, Mexico in what is known as the Mayan Riviera region of Mexico.  Distinguished by its beautiful white sand beaches and Mayan ruins it is in a region that offers an abundance of activities and is much less developed and some say much more authentic than Cancun.  Hotels and resorts (other than the large all-inclusive resorts that tend to be between Tulum and Cancun) in Tulum tend to be much smaller than the high rises that are typical in Cancun but sometimes offer fewer amenities overall but possibly more atmosphere and vibe.  The beauty of this region is that between Cancun, Tulum and the rest of the Mayan Riviera you can find a wide variety of accomodations (from luxurious to more understated, and from very large all inclusive resorts to small inns) and all give you access to some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.  Due to the popularity of this region it tends to be much more affordable than many parts of the Caribbean and beginning on Feburary 1, 2015 the region is changing its time zone to Eastern Standard Time making it much more convenient for the majority of toursits hailing from the East Coast of the United States.


Magens Bay Beach St. Thomas US Virgin Islands!

Magens Bay Beach on St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands is on most of the lists of top Caribbean beaches.  The beach is around a mile long, and while it can get crowded on days when there are many cruise ships in the port, it is still a beautiful place to visit.  For more seclusion you can go over to Little Magens Bay Beach nearby, but note that Little Magens Bay is more of an adult beach than for families.

View from nearby mountain top of Magens Bay Beach.




Extreme Diving in Bahamas! Dean's Blue Hole.

Blue holes are vertical caves, and some of the best known and deepest are located in the Bahamas.   Dean's Blue Hole in the Bahamas is the deepest known saltwater blue hole and plunges down 663 feet.  It is a haven for extreme divers from around the world.  According to the Bahamas Tribune there is a 30 acre beach front parcel surrounding Dean's Blue Hole that was recently put up for sale for $10,000,000 and there is speculation that it could be developed someday as a luxury dive resort.




St. Maarten Plane Spotting!

Looking for a unique experience in the Caribbean, how about feeling the blast of a jet engine, or having one pass just a few feet over your head as you relax on the beach?  For those looking for a different and memorable experience try going to Maho Beach on St. Maarten.  As you can see, unless you want to get sand blasted and/or lose your belongings it is best to heed the warning signs and stay out of the danger areas.  There are two bars just adjacent to the more dangerous areas that probably are a safer bet for people and plane watching.


St. Lucia Anyone?

St. Lucia is one of the most photgraphed islands due to the two volcanic pitons that rise dramatically from the ocean.  It is also one of the more remote and easternmost islands in the Caribbean.  

You can even climb the pitons!  There are many tour companies and guides that will take you to the top, but be prepared for a challenging climb!


St. Croix Holiday Boat Parade

The holidays in the Caribbean are a little bit different, which can be a great thing!  St. Croix hosts an annual holiday boat parade.


World's Largest Cruise Ships

Royal Caribbean's Allure of the Seas and its sister ship Oasis of the Seas are the two largest cruise ships in the world and can hold more than 6,000 passengers each.  Both ships feature luxuries such as two-story loft suites and onboard recreational activities such as zip-lines, casinos, mini-golf, multiple swimming pools, bars and nightclubs. These ships sail throughout the Caribbean. See this video from Forbes:


Also, see this funny video that demonstrates the scale of these ships, as the Oasis of the Seas sucks all of the water off of Fort Lauderdale beach as it passes by:




Active Caribbean Volcano

The island of Montserrat has an active volcano with recent eruptions.  Located near Antigua, Montserrat like most of the islands in the region was formed by volcanic activity.  See this interesting video (with melodramatic introduction and music!!) for some interesting facts:


Beautiful Barbados!

Barbados is the easternmost Caribbean island and one of the islands that retains much of its early English heritage.  Barbados is a favorite stop for Caribbean cruises focusing on the "Southern Caribbean" routes which usually depart from the port of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

See this video for some great highlights of the island from the TravelChannel:


Caribbean Honeymoon Ideas  

This 2 part video from theKnotTV has a great list of romantic honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean!!  Check it out!

Dont's forget to view Part 2 which has the top 5 recommendations!!