lunes, 28 de febrero de 2011

Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun

Swim with Whale Sharks in Cancun

Whale Shark Tours CancunDuring the summer months, mid May to mid September, the Whale Shark is a welcome visitor to the waters around Cancun Mexico and provides a perfect chance to be at one with nature as you swim and snorkel alongside these fantastic underwater giants.
The Whale Shark (Rhincodon typus) is the biggest fish in the world and grows up to 40 feet in length with the biggest specimens weighing over 75,000 lbs. Despite its name and size the Whale Shark is not a Whale at all, it is a filter feeding shark which eats algae and plankton. In fact, it is the traveling plankton it feeds upon that brings this fantastic creature to the crystal clear blue sea of the Mexican Caribbean.
In the Cancun area of Mexico, Whale Sharks gather off the coast of Isla Mujeres, Isla Contoy and Isla Holbox and provide a great day trip diversion for those holidaying in Cancun and the Riviera Maya.
The traditional boats that take you to visit the Whale Sharks are small craft with room enough for around 10 persons plus staff , and the numbers of craft are strictly enforced via licensing . It’s usually an early start (7am) and you’ll return in the early afternoon (2pm). During your tour soft drinks and a light lunch is provided, and many offer an open bar on the return journey.
The whale sharks are more often than not easily located and once their location is pinpointed guests enter the ocean two at a time to swim and snorkel beside them . This ensures that the Whale Sharks are not frightened and also gives maximum time for some superb unobstructed underwater photography. Whale Sharks travel at a velocity of only 3mph so it is easy to stay alongside them. Each turn lasts around 10-15 minutes per two people , and during the trip there will be 3 or 4 opportunities for a total swim time of up to an hour per person. All participants must wear lifejackets and no feeding or touching of the whale sharks is permitted. Non eco-friendly sunscreen is also prohibited.
Most whale shark tour companies , including those below, also include a second stop to snorkel at a close by reef to enjoy the colorful and varied underwater flora and fauna that this particular area of the Caribbean is famous for.

viernes, 25 de febrero de 2011

Spring Break

Spring arrives
Spring arrives
After the cold winter, spring arrives and with it the renewed desire to enjoy life outdoors. Tropical beach destinations, such as Cancun and Playa del Carmen, become particularly attractive to those who have spent several months living with rain and snow.
The spring break tradition started in 1945 at the end of World War II, when thousands of students from universities and colleges in Canada and United Statestraveled to the warm coasts of Florida to celebrate the Easter holidays.
old cancun picture
Vacations in the 60's

Years later, due to the development of tourism infrastructure in the Caribbean, students preferred to travel abroad to spend their holidays and to be in contact with different cultures and customs.
In addition to enjoying sun and sand, young people have the opportunity to attend concerts of popular singers and to explore the natural attractions of the area. The favorite tourist destinations for young people are Acapulco, Bahamas, Barbados, Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya.
Cancun beaches
Mexican Caribbean
In this season, which began on February 21st and ends around April 11th, is difficult to find available rooms in hotels. Most of them are booked by big North American companies who organize vacation packages, which may include charter flights, airport transportation, rooms, tours or attractions, and entrance to various local clubs. Many companies also offer 24 hour escort service and assistance to ensure that the experience is pleasant and safe for everyone.
Springbreak Cancun
Night fun in Cancun

And after several days of fun, students will be ready to return to classes with renewed spirits and fond memories of idyllicCaribbean destinations.

Cozumel Spring Break

Mayair shuttleThe name Cozumel (Isla Cozumel) means "Land of the Swallow" in Mayan, and was named so due to the indigenous, graceful birds that can be seen regularly patrolling Cozumel's beautiful beaches and coastline. Cozumel was settled roughly 2000 years ago by ancient Mayans, a seafaring people, who saw Cozumel as a commercial trading stop as well as a sacred shrine. 
The island of Cozumel was a mecca to Mayan women who made the voyage from the mainland to Isla Cozumel in large dugout canoes to worship Ix Chel, the Goddess of fertility. Leaving the mainland from what is now Playa del Carmen and Tulum, Mayan women crossed the treacherous channel in open canoes to give offerings at the alter site of Ix Chel. What remains now of the altar and ceremonial center of Ix Chel can be seen at the San Gervasio ruins site near the center of the island. 
It was Spanish Conquistador Juan de Grijalva who first discovered Cozumel in 1518 as he was blown off course during a journey to Cuba. Grijalva left a golden statue as a gift when he departed which now resides in the downtown San Miguel Cathedral. scuba diving , lomas travel
Shortly thereafter, the infamous Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés found his way to Isla Cozumel in 1519 and with his influence, which included the destruction of the many temples and the spread of the smallpox disease, Cozumel's inhabitants went from 40,000 to just 30 people by 1570. Cozumel's ancient Mayan civilization lied in ruins, and by 1600 Cozumel was uninhabited. 
By the early 17th century pirates had discovered Cozumel and used it as a safe harbor. Legendary pirate Henry Morgan fequently used Cozumel as a stopover during his raids around the Caribbean between 1658 to 1688. Later on in the early 1800's, another famous Caribbean pirate Jean Lafitte, hid from his pursuers in the waters near Cozumel as well. But in general, Cozumel remained uninhabited until 1847, when a few families fleeing the Spanish backlash over the Maya rebellion during the War of the Castes settled on the island. 
The War of the Castes
In 1847 Mayans from the Yucatan initiated an uprising that would be remembered as one of the greatest civil wars Mexico has ever experienced. Known as the War of the Castes (classes), this uprising caused a group composed of both Spanish Indians and Mayans who had been living in Valladolid to begin a journey two years later that would result in the permanent repopulation of Cozumel Island. 
mayairHistorically speaking, the group's migration was doubly important. First, because the Mestizos and Mayans would be responsible for permanently settling the Mexican Caribbean coast; and secondly, because repopulating that area ultimately produced a consolidated group with economical and political power that continues to this day. 
The genesis of the Yucatan's east coast development, which later became the state of Quintana Roo, was a direct result of the War of the Castes. It was a conflict that changed the economic, demographic, and political geography of the peninsula and initiated the process of subdivisions and territories as the population was pushed out of the region. 
So it is also that the Mestizos and white Yucatecans that lived in the South of Quintana Roo, in Bacalar and the surrounding area, went to repopulate what today is known as Belize, specifically Orange Walk, Corozal and Ambergris. Most of these settlers returned to Mexico at the end of the 19th century and populated Payo Obispo (Chetumal), Bacalar and Xcalak. The north was repopulated with emigrants from Valladolid, Espita, Tizimin and other villages. From that point on, the islands of Holbox, Mujeres and Cozumel would always maintain a population. mayair transportation to cozumel
During this same period of time newly authorized officials divided up sections of Cozumel Island and distributed lots among the island's new settlers. These first citizens were Spanish descendants, some of whose surnames were: Novelo, Angulo, Alcocer, Cardenas, Rivero, Vivas, Aguilar, Anduze, Ezquivel, Vega, Martin and Coral. One of the elements that unified the group was their Catholic faith, which was the dominant religion among Yucatecos. One of the immigrants, a Catholic priest, had brought an image of Saint Michael with him, and San Miguel quickly became the patron saint of the island. The power of the church also worked well in controlling the Mayan farmers who had settled in El Cedral because they too were profoundly Catholic. 
Once political and religious power had been established and the land distributed, the citizens set about establishing occupational specialization between ranchers, artisans and merchants. It would be the merchants who would consolidate the island's interior market, which initially grew out of the necessity for bartering between the citizens of San Miguel and the residents of El Cedral; and between the Cozumeleno merchants and seasonal fisherman from Cuba and Belize. The Cuban fisherman exchanged manufactured products from Havana for fresh food and drinking water. 
mayair vip serviceIn actuality, two different immigrant groups made it to the shores of Cozumel that first year. The first group was made up of 51 middle class families who made their way from the city of Valladolid, accompanied by 86 mestizo male servants. The second group consisted of 350 poor Mayans who came from the outskirts of Valladolid, but felt ideologically connected to the more urban group and elected to join them. Thus the first people to repopulate Cozumel arrived as a group with a history that instantly divided them according to work assignment and class distinction. 
The mestizos that formed the dominant group of the newly born society had a European-Mayan culture, were bilingual and dressed like white Yucatecans. Their experience in the market economy would be determined by events that had taken place as the island was first repopulated. 
The best land was appropriated in parcels of 10 to 200 hectares and the village of San Miguel was divided into lots for building homes. 
The field workers, who had arrived in the second wave of immigrants, were relocated in the El Cedral area and given excellent agricultural land. They, in turn, organized their own disbursement system that tended to parcel out land based on the individual's ability to work. 
The first action by the dominant group was to communicate with Merida and advise them of the new settlement, and so it was that on November 21, 1849, only two years after the War of Castes was initiated, Quintana Roo Governor Barbachano established the village of San Miguel on Cozumel Island. 
By 1970, Cozumel's population had grown to 10,000 inhabitants and by the year 2000 had reached 65,000. Now, almost a decade later, the island boasts a population of more than 85,000 residents. The only explorers that visit Cozumel these days are those looking to discover the beauty of the sun, sand, and sea.

lunes, 21 de febrero de 2011

Links interesantes

Tulum, where the sun rises…

The archeological site of Tulum
The archeological site of Tulum
The ancient Mayan civilization left a great legacy of traditions and ceremonial buildings in Mesoamerica, but only one archaeological site stands by the sea: Tulum. Located 130 kilometers south of Cancun, it is truly a historical and cultural jewel of the Riviera Maya.
Zamá, its original name in Mayan language, was a city walled on three sides and protected from the sea by a cliff of 12 meters of height. It has an emblematic lighthouse known as “The Castle”, and it served in antiquity as a reference point for navigation, trading port and as a center of astrological studies, particularly of the sunrise and sunset. According to the Mayan cosmovision, the planet Venus was as important as the Sun, as it too arose at dawn from the East as “Ah Chicum Ek”, and descended at dusk in the west as “Lamat”. The structures in this place were built and oriented in such a way that you can see, even in our days, the Sun and Venus moving through specific areas of the building on dates of particular relevance to the Mayans, like the starting and finishing dates for sowing and harvest.
Tulum was the last ceremonial center that remained active in the years of the Spanish invasion and conquest of America. Thanks to its strategic location and its strong defenses, it withstood several attacks of the Spanish armies. Due to nearby coral reefs, capturing the city from the sea was practically impossible, as the European vessels risked being damaged irreparably.
Mayan dignitaries.
Mayan dignitaries.
It was precisely because of these reefs that the most emblematic love legend of the Mayan Riviera arouse: Gonzalo Guerrero left Darien August 15ht 1511 with good weather.  But at the dawn of the third day of sailing, a great storm broke. Flying fish jumped to the deck of the ship, which was considered a bad omen. Gale-force winds ripped the sails and broke the masts, while giant waves swept the deck.The vessel was prey to deranged elements that rapidly dragged it into a ruthless Ocean. All of a sudden, a brutal movement made the ship crash. He shipwrecked near these shores and was rescued by the native population. By a quirk of fate, Princess Zazil Há fell in love with the captive and marriedhim, thus beginning the mixed-race breeding in Quintana Roo. Gonzalo eventually learned the Mayan language and instructed his captors in European war strategies and techniques, helping the city of Tulum to resist longer the Spanish attacks.
Hand crafts market.
Hand crafts market.
This story of love and adventure can be sensed today in thearchaeological site of Tulum. Upon arrival, the visitors are greeted by lush vegetation that hides the centuries-old buildings behind it. Following the white trails, one arrives at the thick city wall, and from there, the beautiful turquoise sea can be seen by all. History-filled buildings have been carefully restored and many retain even in our days, colorful murals and stucco reliefs. There is a trail that leads to the small beach at the foot of the cliff, where you can enjoy the warm waters and experience a calmness that few places can offer.
Lots of fun at the Riviera Maya!
Lots of fun at the Riviera Maya!
Outside the walled area is a lively market, filled with hand crafts and samples of the diverse Mexican culture. From here it is possible to arrange a transfer to nearby places to enjoy the many water sports and excursions that this beautiful area offers, such as a Romantic Dinner at the seashore or perphaps swim with Dolphins or for the more adventurous asnorkeling tour in the Coral reef.
Due to its rich history, its options for fun activities and its beautiful hotels Tulum is a must during your vacation in the Mexican Caribbean.

viernes, 18 de febrero de 2011

Mexico City, a Place that has Everything You Need

Mexico City
Mexico City
Mexico City is the heart of the Mexican Republic and since it was founded by the Aztecs, it has been a place to see and admire the exquisite cultural fusion.
In this city it’s hidden the magic of pre-Hispanic buildings, the mystery of architectural constructions of the Colonial Mexico and the controversial contemporary life.
Architectonic buildings
Architectonic buildings
With beautiful buildings, Mexico City has the title of one of the largest and most beautiful cities in the world; it has the best infrastructure of tourist services in the country so restaurants, museums, galleries, entertainment, travel agencies and hotels have a very big boost. In Mexico City you can find of all kind of services and places, from the most expensive to the cheapest.
Get to know Mexico City
Get to know Mexico City
Mexico City is modern and at the same time completely traditional, it combines elegance with the elements of historical inspiration that can captivate anyone.
Have you been already there?
Visit it and be witness of the cultural richness that surrounds this beautiful city!

Burn down your wedding dress

How much money is usually spent in the purchase of the famous wedding dress? Usually for its very significant importance, this costume is not something in which many people skimp.
This attire which traditionally is white, with all that this implies, remains impeccably pristine and flawless for thebig wedding day. But then … what’s next? What most people do with this item is to keep it in the closet and leave it there, why not? forever!, which today this could be, in my opinion, an ecologically barbaric act, but hey!, this time we are not talking about environmentalism, but of a postmodern trend that as time goes on is becoming fashionable and is called “trash the dress“. The photographer John Michael Cooper has coined this term and shows great pictures about it.
Tearing apart the dress
Tearing apart the dress
To trash the dress could be to dive into the water with the dress on, to be covered with mud, to cut it with scissors or simply to set fire to it, and all this usually registered under the lens of a professional photographer.
Coverting with mud
Muddy dress
Why do something like that? It would be interesting to hear the opinion of brides who opt for this trend. Some people say it could be an act to show that the trappings of a weddingare just that, something of no real importance; for other people it may be fun to destroy something that at certain point it was so relevant and significant. In short, the photos of this process can be absolutely stunning.
Submerging into water
Submerging into water
This trend may have several levels because the bride can decide only to be photographed in unusual places like an alley, a barn, in the field, etc., or she can really strive and take seriously the role of completely destroy her dress.
Painted dress
Painted dress
For weddings in the Riviera Maya or weddings in Cancun, what brides with taste for the “trash the dress” trend usually choose, is to make their photo session at the sea or in the crystal waters of the cenotes4 as you can see it in this video.
All this can be very subjective and controversial. What do you think? Is this trend appealing to you? Would you ruin such an important and expensive garment? Share your opinion with us.
Trash the dress
Trash the dress