By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
Cancun: Archeological and Caribbean Paradise
Cancun, synonymous with the Mayan culture and legendary Mayan ruins, is home to the world’s second biggest reef. The diversity of underwater species, rich coral reefs, and gorgeous white sandy beaches makes this a sought after destination.
Visitors are mostly looking for fun in the sun, but during their visit they can also learn about the ancient Mayan civilization that developed in the area. Reopened to the public in November 2012 after a six-year renovation, the Maya Museum is located in the heart of the Cancun hotel zone. The huge edifice was built in 1987 by the Mexican National Institute of Anthropology and History.
The San Miguelito archaeological site is on the same grounds. The Maya inhabited the site more than 800 years ago until the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors (roughly 1250–1550 AD). The site contains some 40 structures, five of which are open to the public.
The Maya Museum boasts three exhibition halls of more than 4,400 square feet and showcases 350 Mayan artifacts that were discovered in the region. The artifacts displayed include burial masks, ritual objects, tools, weapons, pottery, and carvings. Among the prominent highlights is a 14,000-year-old skeleton discovered in Tulum’s underwater caves. The remnants offer important clues about the arrival of mankind to the American continent.
Museo Maya is located in the Zona Hoteleira and open 9am–6pm, Tuesday to Sunday. The archaeological site is open 9am–5pm.
Egypt Opens Tombs to Spur Tourist Interest
Three tombs in the ancient city of Luxor were recently opened for the first time. Their opening is part of the government’s plans to highlight new archaeological sites to spur interest in Egypt tourism.
The most significant tomb opened was that of Huy, viceroy of Kush under the famed King Tutankhamun. Inside the tomb, wall paintings depict a great festival with southerners from Nubia paying tribute, confirming Egypt’s domination.
The newly opened tombs in the Qurnat Marey area of Luxor are among the most important ones made for nobles of the New Kingdom period, which ended more than 3,000 years ago. Most of the tombs in Luxor are secured against unauthorized entry, but the ministry keeps several open at any given time, rotating access regularly to give them a rest from humidity and visitors.
The two other tombs opened are known as Tomb TT 277 of Amunemonet, a priest in the funerary temple of Amenhotep III; and Tomb TT 278 of Amunemhab, who was the keeper of the cattle belonging to the temple of the god Amun Re.
TV Personality Jeff Corwin to Headline Panama Cruise
Have you always wanted to meet Jeff Corwin? Now you can on a cruise. With the same passion he brings to Ocean Mysteries and Animal Planet’s Jeff Corwin Experience, Corwin will take guests on an eye-opening journey through one of the most dazzling ecological reserves on Earth.
Corbin will be the guest of honor on a Costa Rica and Panama Canal sailing aboard a Windstar Cruises ship. This opportunity sets sail one time only, March 5, 2016. The seven-night voyage on the 212-passenger Star Breeze will include a private event that Corwin will host at Isla de Coiba, an island off Panama’s Pacific coast that is known for its wildlife. The island is a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site. The event will offer passengers the chance to view howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, turtles, and other wildlife in their natural environment, and Corwin will lead a talk on animal conservation. Corwin is also slated to give an onboard lecture during the sailing, joining passengers for dinners.
The Costa Rica and Panama Canal cruise features eight ports: Colón, Panama Canal, Balboa/Fuerte Amador, Isla de Coiba, Golfo Dulce (Puerto Jimenez), Bahia Drake, Quepos, and Puerto Caldera. Fares for the voyage start at US$3,599 per person, based on double occupancy.
Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled
“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list” − Susan Sontag
Deal of the Week
Free Air to Europe
AmaWaterways has great news. Their popular free airfare offer has been extended on select 2016 departures. Reserve a French balcony or twin balcony stateroom on select 2016 sailings and you’ll receive free airfare to Europe from more than 38 major gateways in the United States and Canada.
The cruise rates below are per person for new double occupancy reservations and include the 7-night cruise in a balcony stateroom and round-trip transatlantic airfare.
Taste of Bordeaux: 7-nights roundtrip from Bordeaux; Mar 25 from US$3,798
Paris and Normandy: 7-nights roundtrip from Paris; Oct 28 from US$4,298
Provence and Spain: 7-nights Lyon to Arles; November 11 from US$3,998
The Romantic Danube: 7-nights Vilshofen to Budapest; Nov 4 from US$3,898;
Nov 18 from US$3,698
Melodies of the Danube: 7-nights Budapest to Vilshofen; November 10 from US$3,698
The Legendary Danube: 7-nights Nuremberg to Budapest; March 31 from US$3,498; November 10 from US$3,698
Blue Danube Discovery: 7-nights Budapest to Nuremberg; March 24 from US$3,398;
Nov 3 from US$3,898; Nov 21 from US$3,698
The Enchanting Rhine: 7-nights Basel to Amsterdam or reverse; April 22, October 26, October 31 from US$3,998; October 24 from US$4,098; November 9, November 21 from US$3,698
The free airfare offer is valid for reservations booked and deposited from December 1 to December 31, 2015. It includes round-trip transatlantic tickets, fuel surcharges, taxes, and round-trip airport transfers between the airport and ship and/or hotel.
Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for more 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in personalized cruise and land itineraries. She designs trips that are tailored to suit a client’s interests, ability, and budget. Please contact Judy for reservations or further information on any of the Travel News topics; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email firstname.lastname@example.org. View the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net where you can book your hotels, tours, and cruises online.
Sources: FareBuzz, Travel Pulse, Windstar Cruises, AmaWaterways