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Travel News


by Judy Newell

Mexico Travel News

Isla del Coral, a Gift from Nature

Less than two miles from Rincón de Guayabitos, also known as the Heart of the Riviera Nayarit, lies an oasis of white sand, turquoise water, and coral reefs. It is Isla del Coral—Coral Island—a 30-acre island that has become an icon of the Rincón de Guayabitos tourism corridor.

Located in Nayarit in the municipality of Compostela on the Jaltemba Bay, Isla del Coral can justly be called a natural aquarium. Here it’s easy to see manta rays, turtles, starfish, and multicolored fish in its crystal-clear water. The beach is soft and sandy with a pearly finish, bathed by clean, gentle waves.

To reach the island, you have to hop onboard a panga, a local motorboat. You can hire one at the Bahía de Banderas Coop Society in Rincón de Guayabitos or Los Ayala. The average price for the trip is about 180 to 230 pesos per person.

International News

Free International Air to Africa

Tanzania Adventure, 10 days, month of November 2018. Free roundtrip international economy air from New York to Arusha (JRO). From US $5,345 per person.

Arusha | Lake Manyara | Serengeti Park | Ngorongoro Crater | Tarangire

This Tanzania Adventure is a great value safari, visiting amazing game-rich areas of Tanzania. The scheduled departures feature classic-level accommodations for a great value without sacrificing safari quality.

The Great Wing Safari Botswana, 10 days, October 20–30, 2018, one date only. Free international air from the US gateway cities to Johannesburg and Maun, Botswana, and internal flights within Botswana included.

US $8,995 per person. Classic-level accommodations, book now with a 20 percent deposit, limited availability.

Johannesburg | Chobe National Park | Okavango Delta | Moremi Game Reserve

“Old Africa’s Last Refuge”—Botswana is a truly wild destination, and the Great Wing Safari Botswana highlights three unique destinations on a rotating circuit via bush plane jumpers, including dry game drives, canoeing wet safaris, exciting walking safaris, and more.

Two nights will be spent at each of three distinctly different Botswana camps that are unique in design and personality (most are tented) and are located in specific ecological enclaves that offer a smorgasbord of activities.

If you have more time to explore, consider adding a Victoria Falls stopover, or a visit to a lodge in the fabulous Hwange Park.

Cruise Travel

Literature Festival at Sea

You can join the inaugural Queen Mary 2 Literature Festival at Sea, in association with the Cheltenham Literature Festival and the Times and the Sunday Times. This exclusive voyage offers book lovers an opportunity to join some of the smartest journalists and best-loved authors and thinkers on both sides of the pond aboard the Queen Mary 2 as they sail from New York to London.

Queen Mary 2, New York to London, 7 nights, November 10, 2019. Inside fares from US $999. Taxes, fees, and port expenses of up to $80 per person are additional and subject to change.

Scenic’s Summer 2019 River Cruises on Sale

Scenic has decided to reward travelers who plan well in advance with a new All-Inclusive Plus summer 2019 sale. The river cruise line known for all-inclusive luxury European river cruises is adding several enhancements to its early-bird deals.

Guests booking any June, July, or August 2019 European sailing by August 31, 2018, will receive a €200 (US $233.50) per suite onboard credit. Those booking sailings of 11 days or longer will get free roundtrip door-to-door US airport transfers.

These offers are combinable with the free air, free single supplement, discounted flight upgrades, and pay-in-full offers already available. It is not combinable with National Geographic sailings.

A couple booking a 15-day “Jewels of Europe” sailing between Amsterdam and Budapest can get free roundtrip air, a €200 (US $233.50) on-board credit voucher, free round-trip home-to-airport transfers, and up to US$1,000 per couple savings by paying in full by August 31, 2018.

Scenic is the only river cruise line to include a river cruise guarantee, which automatically covers every guest for any delays or cancellations due to weather, high or low water issues, natural disasters, mechanical breakdowns, or labor strikes, reimbursing approved claimants up to $750 per day instead of the industry standard of future cruise credits.

Scenic’s Space Ships offer all-inclusive luxury experiences, including private butler service, unlimited complimentary beverages and spirits, including a mini-bar that is restocked daily, and full-size private balcony staterooms. There is a vitality pool on the Sun Deck, a guest lift between decks, a wellness area, and a fitness center.

Each ship has multiple dining options. As with all Scenic river cruises, tips and gratuities, expert local guides, all Scenic Free Choice activities and Scenic Enrich events, are included in the price.

Words of the Wise and Well-Traveled

“What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do—especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” —William Least Heat Moon

Deal of the Week

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica Special

November 20–25, 2018. 6 days, US $959 per person, land only.

This year, give thanks to Mother Nature on a perfect Thanksgiving holiday with your family and friends in Costa Rica.

Spend two nights in the Monteverde Cloud Forest and two nights at the glorious Playa Carillo beach, where you’ll find aquamarine waters and a gorgeous palm-fringed beach. Then head to the capital of San Jose in the Central Valley for your last night.

Daily breakfast, all transportation and transfers within Costa Rica, hotel taxes and services of local representatives included. This package is a special promo; book early.

Judy Newell, an international travel consultant for over 40 years, heads Perfect Journeys and specializes in unique travel experiences to destinations around the world. She custom designs journeys that are tailored to suit your interests, abilities and budget. Please contact Judy for further information on Travel News topics and around-the-world travel; cell phone 415 111 8765; Vonage 949 300-3682; email Her office is in Rancho Los Labradores, carr a Dolores Hidalgo. View the latest travel specials on the website

Sources: Riviera Nayarit CVB, Great Safaris, Cunard Line, Insider Travel Report, SunnyLand Tours


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