By Judy Newell
Mexico Travel News
San Miguel de Allende Food Festival
Lauded as one of the most celebrated annual culinary fetes in Mexico, the San Miguel de Allende Food Festival is set to present its 2016 edition from July 15–17.
Some 3,000 foodies from across the globe are expected to converge to savor noshes prepared by 20 national and international chefs, an interactive “Chefs Table,” live musical performances, and food-centric exhibitions by 100-plus restaurants, artisans, caterers, hoteliers, wineries, and local food producers.
Setting the stage for the gourmet hoopla is July 14’s Kick-Off Dinner at the buzz-generating Moxi restaurant in Hotel Matilda. Moxi’s delicious menus are created by local star chef, Matteo Salas, and Mexico’s renowned international celebrity chef, Enrique Olvera.
The Kick-Off Dinner can accommodate only 120 people. To book a seat contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is 2,500 pesos—or about US$141—exclusive of service.
Radisson Blu to Make a Splash at Mexico’s Lake Chapala
Mexico’s largest freshwater lake is preparing to welcome a fresh, international name to its accommodations scene. With construction slated to begin in the fourth quarter of 2016, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa Ajijic will bring a luxury hotel experience to the popular Lake Chapala destination located 30 miles south of Guadalajara, which currently has no internationally-branded hotels.
The former fishing village of Ajijic appeals to visitors with its cobblestone lanes, central plaza thriving with civic celebrations, vibrant gardens, sidewalk cafes, galleries, boutiques, and curio shops. A backdrop of lush green mountains surrounds Lake Chapala. Visitors can hike along trails to explore waterfalls, petroglyphs, caves, and indigenous sacred sites. Ajijic has also attracted an expat community of artists and writers that contribute to its lively social scene.
Bordeaux Wine Festival
Europe’s biggest biennial wine bash, the Bordeaux Wine Festival, celebrates its 10th edition from June 23–26 with wine tasting pavilions and food trucks along two kilometers of riverfront, art shows, son et lumières onto the Place de la Bourse, firework displays, and gaiety a-go-go. The city is expecting 700,000 festive folk. Book your tasting pass online at bordeaux-wine-festival.com; it’s £12, as opposed to £16 during the festival.
Sunken Cities You Can Visit
A new exhibition, “Sunken Cities: Egypt’s Lost World,” has opened at the British Museum. It features objects ranging from “magnificent colossal statues to intricate gold jewellery” recovered from the two lost cities of Thonis-Heracleion and Canopus at the mouth of the Nile.
Get It All with All-Inclusive Cruises to the Caribbean
Caribbean cruise planning is easier than ever with all-inclusive cruise packages on MSC Divina. Starting from US$798, you can experience the ultimate cruise vacation, plus unlimited drinks, Wi-Fi, and a tour excursion credit. Visit stunning Caribbean destinations such as Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and the Bahamas. All cruises sail from Miami, Florida. The MSC all-inclusive cruise includes:
7-night cruise–Beautiful accommodations on the ultramodern MSC Divina
•Meals—Dine at the buffet and main dining rooms
•Unlimited drinks—Cocktails, beer, wine, coffee, soft drinks, & more (US$315 value)
•Wi-Fi Internet Surfer Package, including email and social media (US$33 value)
•Tour excursion credit—Receive a shipboard credit which can be used for a tour or for whatever you desire (US$40–US$75 value)
Kids Sail Free—Kids 12 and under sail free on select sailings
Book now and upgrade to a balcony stateroom for just US$99! Offer expires July 9, 2016. A discount of up to 10 percent is also applicable to active and retired US and Canadian military, civil service, and interline personnel and their spouses, dependent children, parents, and parents-in-law.
Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled
“I just wish the world was twice as big and half of it was still unexplored.” –David Attenborough
Deal of the Week
Amazon & Galapagos. Small Ships. Huge Savings
International Expeditions’ expertise in the Peruvian Amazon and Galapagos Islands spans four decades—enough time to discover that the distinct combinations of curious wildlife, exceptional naturalist guides, and delightful expedition ships create two incredible “must do” experiences for the entire family.
Join IE this year and discover your true nature while plying the storied waters of the Amazon River or Galapagos Islands. Reserve your cabin on select departures by July 1, 2016, and save up to 25 percent. Space on these specially discounted departures is limited and filling quickly.
Amazon & Galapagos—Kids Sail Free: Jump start adventure for the children in your life! Kids travel free and adults enjoy discounted fares on the select expedition cruises. Galapagos: Aug 19; Sep 9; Oct 7. Amazon: July 15, 22, 29; Aug 5; Sep 23; Oct 14; Nov 4, 18, 25.
10-Day Amazon—Save up to US$1,200: Delve deep into the Amazon—a living labyrinth of verdant rainforests, spectacular wildlife, and warm, friendly people. Seven nights aboard the 31-guest La Estrella Amazonica. 10 days tour from US$3,598. Save US$750: July 8; Aug 12; Oct 7. Save US$1,200: July 15, 22 & 29; Aug 5; Sep 23; Oct 14; Nov 4, 18 & 25.
10-Day Galapagos—Save US$1,500: Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador are the volcanic islands of the Galapagos, an incredible living museum of evolutionary changes famous for birds, animals, and landscapes found nowhere else. 10-day tour from US$4,998 with seven nights aboard the 32-guest Evolution. Valid: Aug 19; Sep 9; Oct 7.
Judy Newell, an international travel consultant, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She designs journeys tailored to suit a client’s interests, abilities and budget. Contact Judy for reservations or further information on any Travel News topics; cell phone 415 1118765; Vonage 949 300 3682; email email@example.com. Office: Rancho Los Labradores; hours Mon–Fri, 11am–4pm. View the latest travel specials on the website www.perfectjourneys.net.
Sources: Travel Pulse, Bordeaux Wine Festival, Telegraph (London), MSC Cruises, International Expeditions