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Travel News

By Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Mexico makes list for Top 10 wine travel destinations

The leading wine lifestyle magazine, Wine Enthusiast, recently released its top picks for this year’s must-visit wine destinations in its third annual travel issue. The issue showcases the editors’ favorite wine finds from around the globe and offers readers a unique insight into each destination’s distinctive culture. Profiles on the best places to stay and visit, and where to dine and taste outstanding wines, transport readers deep into each location.

This year, the magazine gave recognition to Mexico, highlighting Valle de Guadalupe in Baja California and included exclusive tips on the region. The wine region produces incredible wines that have been gaining international recognition for decades.

A great Mexico Wine and Cheese tour has recently been created by a respected Mexico tour operator. Not only does the itinerary include sampling Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Nebbiolo, Syrah, and Tempranillo wines, but also a visit to a local ranch and cheese factory, a boat excursion to mussel farms, and dining at some of the area’s finest restaurants.

Leisurely manatee encounters in Mexico’s Caribbean

There are no quick rides or splashy acrobatics on a manatee encounter, unlike the popular swim with dolphins’ experience. Nor are there any fast movements: No matter how accustomed to humans certain manatees might be, the creatures still get spooked easily.

The slow-moving, whiskery creatures need to graze almost constantly—hence their nickname of “sea cow.” A manatee encounter mainly consists of feeding them lettuce and petting them while they munch and snuffle in your general direction.

There are three species of manatee and all are endangered in the wild. Mexico’s Antillean manatees are found in southeastern coastal regions, from Veracruz to Quintana Roo. Quintana Roo has one of the highest populations of wild manatees and the proliferation of quality marine parks made it an obvious choice for fledgling manatee rescue/education programs.

For those who have wondered whether animals in these programs actually enjoy interacting, the manatee encounter is ideal because, clearly, manatees can’t be talked into anything. They move to their own beat and interact as much or as little as they want to. The whole experience is more free-flowing and organic than other aquatic encounters. It’s a little bit meditative, a little bit silly and more like a play date than a performance.

Did you know? The assassination of Leon Trotsky

Leon Trotsky was a Russian revolutionary and Marxist theorist and one of the key leaders of the Russian October Revolution. In the Communist Party, Trotsky was second in stature only to Lenin. His opposition to the rise of Joseph Stalin, however, earned him powerful enemies. Trotsky was cast out of the Communist party and deported from Russia.

On August 20, 1940, Ramón Mercader, an assassin in the employ of Russian agencies, hit Trotsky in the head with an ice axe in Mexico City where Trotsky lived in exile. Mercader was convicted of murder and sentenced to 20 years in prison. Upon his release, he moved to the Soviet Union and was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union Medal.

International News

China train reaches the gates of Everest

With its new connection between Lhasa and Shigatse, the highest railway in the world, the Qinghai-Tibet Railway can now bring passengers from Beijing to the gateway to Mount Everest without their feet touching the snow. The new US$2.2 billion 150-mile long connection is now complete after four years of construction on what has to be the world’s most scenic train ride. The view from the train gives passengers a veritable wonderland of Himalayan splendors of the world’s highest peaks, deepest valleys and swiftest rivers.

Shigatse is the second largest town in Tibet after Lhasa. On August 16, the train made its inaugural run on the three-hour journey that traveled at an average speed of 72 miles per hour. According to the China Post, the new service cuts travel from six hours on the bus to a three- hour ride by train, with a fare of 45 yuan (US$7.31).

The Tibetan railway is a marvel of modern engineering with the numerous bridges and tunnels that had to be built at the world’s highest altitudes ranging from 11,000 to 13,000 feet. Six airports now operate on the Tibetan Plateau with plans for two more.

Cruise News

Oceania plans another epic 180-day cruise

Got six months to spare to travel the world? Upscale line Oceania Cruises has begun taking bookings for an epic, 180-day voyage that includes stops in South America, Africa and Asia. The unusual around-the-world sailing on the 684-passenger Insignia will kick off January 4, 2016 in Miami and includes calls in 92 ports.

Deal of the Week

Silver Select – the privilege of choice

Book by October 31 and choose one of three great offers on a magnificent voyage to the Mediterranean, Alaska, Caribbean, South America or the Far East aboard an intimate, ultra-luxury Silversea ship. You can choose a two-category suite upgrade, a US$500 per guest air credit or an extra US$500 to spend for shore excursions or on board. The choice is yours.


Judy Newell heads the travel company Perfect Journeys, which specializes designing tours, cruises and independent travel for discerning travelers. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone at 415-111-8765, email, or view the latest travel specials on the website where you can book your hotels, tours and cruises on line.

Sources: Journey Mexico, TravelAge West, Travel Plus, USA Today, Silversea


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