Riviera Maya Magic

Sunset on the beautiful Riviera Maya

Sunset on the beautiful Riviera Maya

As I found myself traveling a great deal for work throughout the summer and fall, I also found myself daydreaming of a vacation where I was not on the move and could simply be. Be with my boyfriend. Be on the beach. And be in a luxurious location within easy travel distance from the United States. Mexico fit the bill, but a mega resort in a touristy locale—à la Cabo or Cancun—most certainly did not. While I had previously vacationed at the Viceroy in Zihuatanejo, Mexico, I wanted to try something new yet stick to a familiar luxury. The logical choice was the Viceroy Riviera Maya.

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Celebrating Day of the Dead in Malinalco, Mexico

Flowers, candles, and food are carried to the cemetery

Flowers, candles, and food are carried to the cemetery

Total immersion Day of the Dead celebrations occur all over Mexico, but some places receive more press than others and the holiday comes with hotel and restaurant prices doubling and crowds morphing into raves. On my third trip to Malinalco, I came for the Day of the Dead celebration. I keep returning because it’s a quintessential Mexican pueblo with cobblestone streets lined by wedding cake-white walls looped with cascades of purple and orange bougainvilleas. The zocolo is the true center of the town and everyone from school children to shoppers to venders are apt to pass by at least once a day. Most points of interest are within a few blocks of the zocolo, and a constant parade of taxis are available for longer distances. And, so far, prices for the Day of the Dead celebration have remained the same as few foreign tourists have discovered it.

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A Food Lover’s Guide to Mazatlán, Mexico

Plants and a cartful of colorful produce at the entry to El Meson

Plants and a cartful of colorful produce at the entry to El Meson

While there are many reasons to visit the coastal city of Mazatlán, the food is a major enticement, particularly if you’re a lover of fish and other seafood. Located next to the Sea of Cortez in the Mexican state of Sinaloa, Mazatlán is a true shrimp mecca. Aguachiles and ceviches, along with other shrimp and scallop dishes, are omnipresent, as are lobster, baked oysters, smoked marlin, and calamari.

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Chasing the Many Charms of Chalma

Waterways behind the church

Waterways behind the church

When it was over, I couldn’t believe I hadn’t visited Chalma, Mexico, before. After all, it is the second-most visited religious destination in Mexico after the Virgin of Guadalupe near Mexico City. The Virgin of Guadalupe, who appeared before a poor Native American man named Juan Diego, gave to Mexico its own Indian virgin and 10 years later, from a dark cave in Chalma, an image of a black Christ miraculously appeared, completing the two most important icons of the Catholic Church and facilitating the conversion of the Native Americans.

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Discovering My Inner Hemingway in Baja Mexico’s San Felipe

On our morning walk, we shared the beach with various sea birds

On our morning walk, we shared the beach with various sea birds

Our introduction to San Felipe, Mexico, began as we sat in the shade of a palapa admiring the turquoise waters of the nearby Sea of Cortez, when suddenly our guide pointed to a mysterious speck high in the sky. It steadily approached until we could see an ultra-light aircraft swooping down in a graceful arc and halting abruptly on the sandy beach nearby.

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