Yucutan Mayan Retreat, EcoHotel & Camping

Discover the Mayan World at …
Descubra el mundo maya en el…

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Nature Camping & Ecohotel
MEXICO YOKDZONOT, YUCATAN
10 MINUTES FROM CHICHEN ITZA!

WONDER OF THE WORLD!

10 MINUTOS DE CHICHEN ITZA!

MARAVILLA DEL MUNDO!
Snorkel, Bike, Rappel, Scuba Dive in our amazing Yokdzonot cenote (sinkhole)… Haga Snorkel, de un paseo en bicicleta, baje en Rappel, explore buceando en nuestro asombroso cenote Yokdzonot…
Welcome to the Yucatan Mayan Retreat!
Bienvenido al Yucatan Mayan Retreat!

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Located in the heart of Mexico’s Mayan Region, the Yucatan Mayan Retreat offers guests a personalized service of exploration and discovery of the Mayan culture and sites.
Ubicado en el corazon de la region Maya en Mexico, el Yucatan Mayan Retreat ofrece al huesped, un servicio personalizado de exploracion y descubrimiento de la cultura Maya y sus sitios.
Just 10 minutes away from the Chichen Itza ruins and 2 minutes away from the Yokdzonot cenote (sinkhole), guests of the Yucatan Mayan Retreat stay in a quiet and relaxing environment, away from noise, surrounded by the mystical trees and sounds of the Mayan jungle.
A solo 10 minutos de la ruinas arqueologicas de Chichen Itza y dos minutos del cenote Yokdzonot, nuestros huespedes en el Yucatan Mayan Retreat se hospedan en un tranquilo y relajante ambiente, lejos del ruido, rodeados por los arboles misticos y los sonidos de la naturaleza de la selva maya.
The Yucatan Mayan Retreat is for people who want to get away from the big hotels chains and receive personalized services in a private setting. Guests have the opportunity to interact with the Mayan community, making this experience one of the most unforgettable ones of their lives, especially for vacationers and adventurers who love travelling off the beaten path.
El Yucatan Mayan Retreat es para aquellos viajeros que quieren alejarse de las grandes cadenas hoteleras y recibir servicios personalizados en una atmosfera diferente. Los huespedes tienen la oportunidad de interactuar con la comunidad maya, haciendo de esta experiencia una de las mas inolvidables de sus vidas, especialmente para visitantes y aventureros que les encanta el contacto con la naturaleza.
Come and join us to discover the peace and serenity within the Mayan world…

Venga y descubra la paz y tranquilidad del mundo maya… www.yucatanmayanretreat.webs.com


Fort McDowell Adventures

Visit us at www.fortmcdowelladventures.com

La Puesta del Sol and The Ranch provide service to groups of 50 to 1,600 and offer an unparalleled southwestern catering experience. Both venues feature a stage, dance floor and covered dining area with some of the best catering in Arizona: Featuring western menus, Mexican cuisine, authentic cowboy cookouts, and fine dining in the desert.

Our live performers add serious sizzle to your off-site event with a wide variety of pop, country, jazz, salsa, club dance, blues, and rock music selections. Groups can add additional flair to events with our interactive cowboy games, try their hand at the black jack table or take a ride on Chewys Tequila Bus. Built solely for the purpose of extending Southwestern hospitality, Fort McDowell Adventures provides a Wild West experience your group will never forget.

Welcome to the Fort McDowell Resort Destination:
the adventurous side of Scottsdale.
For a Customized Proposal, Please Call 480.816.6465. Thank you.


Villas El Encanto Cozumel – The ideal refuge to find harmony of body and mind.

A new concept of lodging, the ideal place to relax and feel like at home. Villas “El Encanto” is a family business, personally attended by the owners. Inspired by the Mexican minimalist Architecture, surrounded by tropical gardens and jungle.

The ideal refuge to find harmony of body and mind, pleasant environment, where professional staff will help you with your needs. You will be able to enjoy our swimming pool from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. We do not have lifeguard service. Swimming pool towels are available.

Each Villa has its own personality, Mexican minimalist concept. Though for enjoying a great vacation in a relaxing way. Each Villa has its own terrace, fridge and safe box, queen size beds, cotton linens and air condition, hot and cold water. Maid services every day except Sundays. Wireless Internet.

In Common Areas: Swimming pool, fully equipped kitchen, living room with TV and DVD, garden and grill, fully equipped laundry room.

We can also help you with services like rent a car, scooters, scuba diving, discover scuba, snorkeling, fishing trips, helmet sea trekking, golf, wedding, souvenirs, shopping, etc. All Spa Services are upon request.

Food & Beverage: We offer with an extra cost delivery service from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. breakfast, lunch and/or dinner.


Madrid, Spain Top Pick – Hostal Madrid

Madrid is the capital of Spain and a city of over 3 million people.   Situated close to the geographic center of Spain, Madrid’s main attractions include three internationally acclaimed art galleries, a royal palace, grand public squares, and many museums filled with treasures of Spain’s history.  The city is surrounded by it’s own small province, the Comunidad de Madrid.  One of Spain’s most famous monuments, the palace of El Escorial, is also located in the Comunidad.

Stretching from the charming Plaza de la Villa to the busy Puerta del Sol, the compact heart of Old Madrid is easily navigated on foot.  Old Madrid is full of history and interesting sights.  Trials of the Inquisition and executions were once held in the Plaza Mayor.  This porticoed square is Madrid’s finest piece of architecture from the Habsburg period.

Sampling tapas and cocktails are an intrinsic part of Madrid culture.  Restaurants rarely open earlier than 8pm, and are typically open into the early morning hours.  One of the best ways to sample tapas in a unique lively environment is to sit at one of the stalls in the Mercado de San Miguel, which is half-market, half bar & restuarant.

For lodging in Madrid, our top pick is Hostal Madrid.  This apartment/hotel is an excellent place to stay if you are visiting Madrid for a few days or for longer periods. Situated in “Old Madrid”, one of two main historic districts in the central city, the location is excellent. Walking distance to some of Madrid’s most important attractions in the Old Town, one can easily reach the Palacio Real and the Plaza Mayor, within about 10 or 15 minutes.  Hostal Madrid is closest to the Puerta del Sol, one of the city’s liveliest areas with shops and cafes.


Lourdes France Top Pick – Appart Hotel Victoria Garden

Lourdes, France is a medium sized village in the south of France, bordering the Pyrenees Mountains that straddle the border of France and Spain.  From this town, many outdoor activities are available, including hiking, biking, fishing, water sports, etc.  But, Lourdes is primarily know as a veritable theme park of Christianity.  The sanctuary of Lourdes is among the most famous Roman Catholic holy sites in the entire world.  While truly Catholic in tradition, the Lourdes sanctuary is among the most international religious pilgrimage sites in the world, and receives about 6 million visitors every year from every continent around the world.  The global appeal reaches to all Christian sects, and even the Muslim and remaining outside world.

When visiting Lourdes for the first time, it appears that the entire town is dedicated to the history of it’s most famous citizen, Bernadette Soubirous, a Catholic Saint who lived in Lourdes as a child.  In 1858, she was privileged with 18 apparitions of the Virgin Mary, in what is largely regarded as a matter of historical fact among almost anyone visiting this area.  The circumstances of the apparitions, including the abject poverty of Bernadette’s family, the mysterious location of the apparitions in a rocky cave at the river (known as Massabielle), and the fact that the 14 year old girl foiled all attempts by experienced officials to suppress the events, all lead to an almost mystical attraction for this most holy of places.  In fact, it is commonly known today that many non-believers who come to Lourdes out of pure curiosity often leave changed in both mind and spirit.

The Lourdes Sanctuary offers Christian devotees virtually every activity that is available for devotion and prayer.  Among these activities are Catholic services, candlelight processions, participation in the sacraments, musical devotions, bathing in the holy spring waters,  healing services, walking or hiking the stations of the cross, historical and religious films, etc.  The town also features several tourist spots that are important in the life of Bernadette and history of the town, including the Boly Mill, Le Cachot, Hospice, and ancient Parish Church.

One day pilgrimage programs are available every day between May and October.  You can simply arrive and join in the program.  However, to participate and fully experience all that Lourdes has to offer, a minimum visit of 3-4 days is recommended.

Accommodation of kinds are available in Lourdes, ranging from youth camps up to fine hotels.  Our pick is Appart Hotel Victoria Garden.  Appart Hotel Victoria Garden is an excellent place to stay if you are visiting Lourdes for a few days or for longer periods. In the central part of town, the hotel is only a 10 minute walk to the sanctuary, local museums, and great tourist restaurants.  Offering hotel rooms as well as apartment-style accommodation, you can feel free to settle in and enjoy your visit according to your own travel style. 


Visiting Avoca, in Wicklow County Ireland

Avoca is a small village near Arklow in County Wicklow, Ireland, where Avoca Handweavers, the well known clothing manufacturing and retail business, first started out. The picturesque village of Avoca itself is the fictional home of the BBC’s Ballykissangel.

The Avoca brand has fast become a real success story and the company now employs around 600 people. The old mill at Avoca was originally established in 1723 as a farmers’ cooperative for grinding corn and spinning and weaving sheep’s wool.

In the 1920s three sisters, the Wynnes, inherited the mill which had become run down. They injected new life into the enterprise, introducing color from natural dyes and soon they were selling their famous Avoca Handweavers tweeds all over the world, designing cloth for the Parisdesigner Elsa Schiaparelli, a waistcoat for King George VI and baby blankets for the children of Queen Elizabeth II. But, as with many family run businesses, when the sisters passed away the mill became neglected and faced closure.

Then in 1974, Donald Pratt, a solicitor engaged to handle the sale of the mill decided to buy it himself. Along with his wife, he set about getting Avoca Handweavers back on its feet. The mill at Avoca Villagewas soon humming again, as the Pratts began exporting hand-woven rugs and throws first to the UK and then beyond.

The old mill at Avoca village is open for visiting seven days a week. You can tour the mill and see the whole weaving process first hand for free. Plus, there’s an Avoca shop and cafe onsite too.

The Avoca Company has now developed nine large retail outlets around Ireland and has opened one in Annapolis, Maryland. Many of these also have large food halls and cafes attached.

For accommodations, try the Ritz-Carlton, Powerscourt, County Wicklow, which follows the tradition of an elegant hotel fashioned with the latest amenities. In other words, this classical setting is a classic Ritz-Carlton. Expect the formal, but not stuffy entranceway, high ceilings, dark wood trim, velvety, oversized sofas, heavy drapes and courteous staff so familiar to visitors to the Naples, Bostonor most other Ritz Carltons.


Off the Beaten Track – Alternatives to Classic Tourist Destinations

Here are a few unique, out-of-the-way alternatives to classic tourist destinations, courtesy of “Art Wolfe’s Travels to the Edge” on PBS:

Japan: As a side trip from Tokyo during a winter trip, visit snow monkeys soaking in hot springs in Nagano, the site of the 1998 winter Olympics. Take a train from the city and transfer to a bus that takes you to Jigokudani Yaen= koen, the Wild Monkey Park in Hell Valley.

Australia: On the continent’s west coast, you will fmd Bungle Bungles, a collection of beehive-shaped hills with layers of rock. The area is sacred to the Aborigines.

Iceland: On the other side of the island from the capital of Reykjavik is the Jokulsarlon, a glacier-fed lake filled with icebergs a few hundred yards from the sea.

Bolivia: Beyond La Paz and Lake Titicaca lies the Altiplano, a high plateau dotted with snowcapped volcanoes and mirror lakes, which Wolfe calls “a landscape like no other on the planet:”

Nepal: After you have seen the temples and stupas of Katmandu, venture to the far west to Chitwan National Park, a marshy area that is home to rhinoceroses, tigers, and crocodiles.


Wicklow Ireland – Traveling Back Through the Ages

Want to travel back in time in Ireland? Wicklow County holds a treasure of site for the historically- and culturally-minded traveler. This story is courtesy of “West Coast Woman”, by Suzanne Barratt

First up is Powerscourt House and Gardens. Situated dramatically at the foot of Great Sugar Loaf Mountain in County Wicklow is one of the world’s great gardens and probably the finest in Ireland. It is without a doubt a place not to be rushed. It offers a sublime blend of formal gardens, sweeping Italian garden terraces, statues, fountains and ornamental lakes and a magnificent collection of over 200 varieties of shrubs and trees. Originally commissioned in the 1730s by the first Viscount Powerscourt, the gardens were finally completed in the 1870s by the 7th Viscount, who added the accessories of statues, urns and ornamental gates.

Sadly, the Palladian mansion, extensively altered between 1731 and 1741 by Georgian architect Richard Cassels, was reduced to a burnt-out shell after a fire in 1974. The Slazenger family, the present owners of Powerscourt, have restored the ground floor and upstairs ballroom. An exhibit at the entrance relates this and gives an excellent introduction to the history of the estate.

A suggestion: take a slow walk down the Italianate stairway to the Triton Lake and stand between the two statues of Pegasus to view the central fountain which is modeled on a 17th century work of Bernini. Energetic visitors might like to take in Powerscourt’s Waterfall-Ireland’s highest at 398 feet. Finally, do visit the cafe splendidly run by the Avoca Company and take tea or lunch on the outside terrace.

Next stop is Glendalough and the Military Road, without which, no stay in County Wicklow would be complete. Glendalough, “The Valley of Two Lakes,” is one of Ireland’s greatest wonders, sheltered by wooded slopes and containing the ruins of a monastic city and the spirits of generations of Celtic saints.

Founded in the sixth century by St. Kevin, this monastery was to become one of the most preeminent religious centers in Europe. For centuries it has attracted holy men and pilgrims to pray, and delight in the natural beauty of the place. St. Kevin, born in 498, was educated by monks and then ordained. Noted for his piety and disdainful of material wealth, he determined to live life as a hermit and sought out a secluded place in the Glendalough Valley.

Starting your visit at the excellent Glendalough Visitor Center is advised, as is taking a guided tour of the main monastic site to learn more of the signature landmark of the Round Tower, St. Kevin’s Cathedral, Celtic crosses and other monuments. The guides are extremely knowledgeable and helpful. If time permits you may enjoy a walk to both the Lower and Upper Lake. There is a cluster of more monuments, including St. Kevin’s Cell near the Upper Lake. It’s best to get to the site early so as to avoid large groups of students and allow you to wander freely among the ruins absorbing the powerful aura of timelessness and sanctity that pervades this fascinating place.

If you’re traveling by car it’s worth driving back from Glendalough to Powerscourt along the Military Road which is also known as the Wilderness Highway of Ireland or, more correctly, the R115. This road takes you through not only the very heart of the Wicklow Mountains, but across the most scenic, high heather desert and barren bog land of the county. You’ll pass through the remote and narrow Sally Gap which is the highest crossroads in all of Ireland and, as it happens, where St. Patrick is thought to have died. Built by the British to flush out Irish rebels after the 1798 uprising, the Military Road is said to be haunted by ghosts of the soldiers.

But enough of ghosts, the question is, do you believe in fairies? According to the guides at Bru na Boinne, Newgrange and Knowth, it is possibly the fact that people believed fairies could get “very upset” that has allowed these important archaeological sites to remain largely intact despite frequent invasions or more recent demand, or rural development.

Before the spread of the Celts, there was evidence that in the Neolithic and Bronze Ages, small, structured races populated parts of Europe and the British Isles. A Celtic foundation myth tells that in Ireland, the Thuathe de Danaan or the People of the Goddess Danu, built and resided in the great barrows and tumuli that dot the landscape to this day. Displaced by the stronger, fearsome Celts, they eventually evolved into being “the little people,” the fairies and other enchanted beings who are rumored to continually resurface to haunt and protect the tombs and fairy mounds they once built. According to myths that have survived through the ages, to do damage to these Neolithic mounds will unleash the anger of the fairies.

Nine hundred years older than Stonehenge, and five hundred older than the Pyramids, Newgrange, the centerpiece of the Briu na Boinne (dwelling place of the River Boyne) complex of prehistoric passage tombs, dates back over 5,000 years.

The visitor center tells vou more of what is known about tbe building and significance of these passage tombs and, while undoubtedly functioned as burial tombs, archaeologists think they were much more. They’re just not sure what exactly.

What is certain is that both Newgrange and Knowth were designed with the sun in mind. At Newgrange, on the winter solstice the sun sweeps down the 62-foot passageway to strike the back chamber wall. If you can’t make the trip on that day your guide switches off all the lights and then simulates the effect as if by magic. It’s very impressive.

At Knowth, which has both an east and a west facing chamber, the sun shines on the central chamber during both winter and spring equinoxes. Both sites are reached from the visitor center via a time-ticketed shuttle minibus service. Bru na Boinne is very popular. It’s best to get there early or travel with a tour operator.


Visiting Boston on a Budget

Boston is the cradle of patriotism, the site of Paul Revere’s historic ride and home to the USS Constitution. The combination of old and new, historic and trendy, gives Boston its personality – and provides limitless opportunities for a visit that doesn’t require help from one of the city’s leaders in venture capital.

For more information on Boston, check the Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, www.bostonusa.com. If you plan to stay in Boston, there’s no need to rent a car. The city’s public transit – known locally as “the T”, is an easy to follow color-coded system that is safe and inexpensive, just $2 per ride, with children riding free.

In good weather, the most affordable and efficient way to navigate Boston is on foot. And the best way to see the most historic sites – for free – is along the Freedom Trail.

One of the newest ways to enjoy Boston is with a stroll along the Rose Kennedy Greenway (www.rosekennedygreenway.org), which was officially dedicated in October. This string of parks and fountains replaces a giant eyesore of an elevated highway, which was taken down and buried beneath the city in the nation’s largest public works project known as the Big Dig.

Grab an ice cream, burger or fried foods at Sullivan’s on Castle Island in South Boston. From there, you can watch the boats heading in and out of Boston Harbor, feel the rumble of planes flying remarkably close overhead, and allow the children to let off some steam running around the playground.

Next best thing to Broadway? Get half-price sameday tickets to shows in Boston’s theater district at the BosTix booth at Copley Plaza or Faneuil Hall. The tickets also are listed online at www.artsboston.com.

Cheap Eats? If you can’t decide between Italian, Chinese, seafood, steak or virtually anything else, take a walk through Faneuil Hall Marketplace, where nearly every food or drink craving can be sati9fied. To save some dough, grab your food-to-go at one of the more than 40 restaurants and enjoy some people-watching instead of eating at a sit-down restaurant. There is seating available inside the hall (www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com).


Haunted Boston

Visit Haunted Boston. Some of the most intriguing figures in the nation are spending their eternal rest in the Boston area. Just one free visit to the Old Granary Burying

Ground provides a history lesson for the thousands who come each year to see the graves of noted patriots John Hancock, John Adams and Robert Treat Paine – who all signed the Declaration of Independence. Also buried here are Paul Revere and victims of the Boston Massacre. Established in 1660 in what used to be the southernmost portion of the city, the burial grounds are now in the heart of the downtown bustle, just steps from the Boston Common and the Park Street subway station. It’s one of three cemeteries on the Freedom Trail (www.thefreedomtrail.org).