Mexico and Caribbean

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Home to many highly developed tribes before Europeans arrived; Aztec, Mayan Ancient Aztec capital is still the capital One of the most populated Spanish speaking countries in the world Tourism Mecca Mexico
Mexican accommodations Budget hotels in Canada may be substandard in Mexico Always try to upgrade from moderate to deluxe (cost goes towards better security, more fumigation and hot running water)
Mexican transportation Lots of charters (air transat, sunwing, westjet vacations)Try not to drive here (can be expensive, insurance issues and unsafe areas)Taxis are cheep, try to negotiate price before you get inLocal buses are very economical, see lots of authentic
Separates the Pacific Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico Most northwest region of Mexico Dry, desert climate with little to no rainCool in the winter time Baja peninsula
Largest city in the baja peninsula Shares a us/ Mexican border with San Diego Great shopping, markets, cafes and nightlife Must be very careful here; it is not recommended for tourists Tijuana
Coastal city located south of San Diego Cruise ship destination for 3 and 4 day cruises from LAKnown as a beach and party town Ensenada
Located on the pacific side of the peninsula Waters are rich in marine life with sea turtles and blue whales Largest wildlife refuge in Mexico Animals and plants have adapted to the extreme desert conditions El Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve (UNESCO)
Central Baja and south Includes the main cities La Paz and Loreto Baja California Sur
What is La Paz known for? Eco tourism
What is Loreto known for? Deep sea fishing
Includes 244 islands Almost all oceanographic processes occurring in all the planets ocean are at work here Huge variety of plant and animal lifeStriking natural beauty with high cliffs and sandy beaches Diving, snorkelling, kayaking are popular Gulf of California islands
30km strip of resorts, beaches and secluded covesTwo main towns San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas Los Cabos Region
SDJTraditional Mexican town San Jose del Cabo
Cruise port and upscale town with nightclubs, tours and lots of celebrities Golfing, deep sea fishing, whale watching, day cruisesEl Arco- rock formation at the south Cabo San Lucas
Includes Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Manzanilla, Ixtapa/ Zihuatanejo, Acapulco and HuatulcoKnown for its beaches and large selection of resorts Less expensive than the Gulf of Mexico sideWarm year round; hot and humid in the summer Mexican Riviera
Cruise port with a large harbour Regular ferry service to Cabo San Lucas Known for its shrimping industry Considered the "shrimp capital of the world"Traditional bull fights and carnaval Mazatlan
Highest natural lighthouse in the Americas Can hike up to the top to see the lighthouse and enjoy the view; it is a challenging hike El Faro Lighthouse Mazatlan
Golden zone where the best hotels are located along the beach Safe to wonderIn Mazatlan Zona Dorada
Revitalized and refurbished all the way to the cruise pier Open air plazas, cafes, marketsIn Mazatlan Historic Downtown
Twenty kms long One of the longest boardwalks in the world In Mazatlan Malecon
South of Mazatlan on Banderas BayCruise port and vibrant fishing community More of a traditional, Spanish colonial atmosphere Popular with families, seniors, golfers Sand is more pebbly than fine, white sand Puerto Vallarta
Icon for the for the city that dominates the skyline Landmark on most Puerto Vallarta souvenirs Named after Mary, the mother of Jesus Our Lady of Guadeloupe Church
Beach walk along the water to downtown See landmarks along the way In Puerto Vallarta Malecon
Group of interesting rock islands in a marine preserve Reefs, tunnels, caves and arches Most popular diving and snorkelling destination in the area One of the few places outside the Galapagos where you can see blue-footed boobies Los Arcos
Group of uninhabited islands Location of "Hidden Beach" a crater that is only accessible by swimming in at low tideNobody is legally allowed to step foot on the island Marietas Islands
Two bays with crescent-shaped beaches; Manzanillo Bay (older tourist section) and Santiago Bay (newer, upscale)Sailfish capital of the world- many fishing competitionsCruise port Beaches here are sandy, warm all year round Manzanillo
"The Fairies" is a famous resort known around the world Self-contained with a marina, golf course and restaurants In Manzanillo Las Hadas Resort
Planned resort area and traditional fishing villageMiles of white sand beaches Guaranteed hot weather Strong surf and undertow Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo
Ixtapa or Zihuatanejo Planned resort area Ixtapa
Ixtapa or ZihuatanejoTraditional fishing village Zihuatanejo
Cruise portOne of Mexico's oldest and most well-known resort areas Three hour bus ride from Ixtapa Drug war had a negative effect on tourism in the areaMost tour operators have pulled out and even cruise ships do not stop here often Acapulco
Divers jump off either a 40ft high ledge or an 80ft high ledge Sometimes the jump with a torch in handThere is a path and restaurant in one of the cliffs for visitors to watch the diving Cliff Divers of La Quebrada
Most important fort on the pacific coast Built in the shape of a five pointed star Houses Acapulco's History Museum which portrays the area's history and the role the fort played Fort San Diego
Located at the end of the Mexican Riviera Sits on nine secluded bays with 36 white sandy beaches Centred around two towns: Santa Cruz and La CruecitaHot and dry weather Huatulco
Protected area containing lowland jungle and marine areasFive of nine bays are included in the parkMost important coral developments in the Mexican Pacific First sustainable tourist community in the Americas Huatulco National Park
25000 year old archeological site which is open to the publicLandmark of the site includes two temples a ball court and on-site museumNetwork of walking trails with beautiful views of the ocean Bocana del Rio Capalita
OK there's two more downscale an eclectic clientele; surfers, backpackers one of the top 10 surfing destinationsLooking to three hours from Huatulco Puerto Escondido
Largest archeological site close to Oaxaca city, small site museum"White Mountain" in Spanish Includes a main plaza accessible by huge staircase and several hundred terracesIntact ball court Mount Albain (UNESCO)
Group of six canyons in north western MexicoLargest complex of canyons in the worldBeautiful to visit in the fall when the leaves are changing Copper canyon
Most scenic Railroad trip on the continent; 37 bridges, 86 tunnels and passes the continental divideRailway runs from Chihuahua to Los Mochis16 hour ride on a luxury train with dining car Copper Cayon Railway
Country's historic coreHigher elevation and cooler temperaturesShopping: leather goods, pottery and crafts; excellent workmanship Central Mexico
Capital city of Mexico, built on top of the ancient capital of the Aztec'sLook at it almost 2300 m above sea level which keeps the temperature coolThe worlds largest cities with over 21 million peopleIncreasing population creates more and more smog Mexico CityLots of poverty people live in shantytownsHost of the 1968 Olympics summer games; first and Latin America
Code: MEX Mexico City
Zocalo- main square in the heart of the city Gathering for Mexicans since Aztec times At one end is Cathedral Metropolitan, one of the most popular cathedrals in Mexico Also can see the National Palace Historic City Centre (UNESCO)
Largest and most visited museum in Mexico Significant archaeological and anthropological artifacts Includes the "Stone of the Sun"- Aztec calendar stone Located in Chapultepec Park, a green space with a zoo, playgrounds and lakes Museum of Anthropology Mexico City
Made up of over 170km of canals Visitors ride on the gondola-like boats through the canals Canals are becoming increasingly polluted Xochimilco (UNESCO)
One of the most important archaeological sites in Mexico Called the "City of the Gods" by the Aztecs who believed the gods had gathered here to make the sun and the moonNo one is completely sure who built it At its largest it was the size of Rome Teotihuacan (UNESCO)With a sophisticated centre and around 150,000 people
Avenue of the Dead is the central avenue that runs through itPyramid of Sun- third largest pyramid in the world, built on top of a four leaf clover shaped chamberPyramid of the moon Murals, palaces and temples Teotihuacan (UNESCO) cont'd
"Silver City"- known worldwide as an artisan of silver Mine and crafted into jewelry locally with excellent craftsmanshipPopular stop over between Mexico City and AcapulcoVisited architecture and cobbled streets Taxco
Birthplace of Ignacio Allende- captain in the Spanish army who fought with the rebels for Mexican independence Known for its beautiful Baroque architecture, which attracted many artists to the area San Miguel de Allende (UNESCO)
What is the main church at San Miguel de Allende Unique to Mexico and one of most photographed, contains a crypt with remains of several Mexican warriors Parroquia
Located between Guadalajara and Mexico City Narrow cobblestone streets, underground tunnel system and great architecture Silver mining Major part in history of Mexican independence Guanajuato
Where was the First battle between insurgents and royalist troops Guanajuato
Modern mummy museum The mummies were preserved accidentally most likely due to the warm, dry climate Most of the bodies were located in above ground tombs Museo de las Momias
Small town close to Guanajuato Hildalogo was a Roman Catholic priest who gave an important speech as his cry for independence This event was considered the beginning of the Mexican Idependance Day Dolores Hidalgos
Built on a major fault line so it experiences more than its share of earthquakes European influence in its architecture Home of mariachi music Host of a number of large scale cultural events Guadalajara
GDL Guadalajara
Has been damaged by earthquakes six times since the 1930sUnique architecture with many different styles In Guadalajara Guadalajara Cathedral
One of the oldest and largest hospital complexes in the Americas Built originally as a shelter for homeless, orphans and people with mental illness Designed with beauty inside and outside blendedMurals depicting its early history Hospicio Cabanas (UNESCO)Guadalajara
Located in the centre of Guadalajara pedestrian only square with shopping and restaurantsBeautiful sculptures and parks Plazza Tapatia
Separate the Caribbean Sea from the Gulf of Mexico Mayan influenced area with a number of archaeological ruins Great weather year round (June to October is rainy season with hurricanes)Known for its water sports YucatA?n Peninsula
CUN Cancun
Planned resort area started in 1970Some of the nicest beaches in Mexico Considered a party city as all of the all-inclusives and resorts are located in the hotel zone close to bars and nightclubs Great accessibility to ruins and archaeological sites Cancun
Island in the Caribbean SeaFerry runs between Cancun and hereQuieter destination; relaxation, snorkelling, and scuba diving on the coral reef, sea turtle facility Playa Mujeres is a new hotel on the mainland Island Mujeres
Located in the Riviera maya Tourist destination and cruise port Busiest area is Fifth Avenue with its shops bars and restaurants Playa del Carmen
Island off the coast from playa del carmenCruise port Scuba diving is the main attraction due to its coral reefMain town is San Miguel; restaurants bars and shops Cozumel
CZM Cozumel
Located south of playa del carmenTheme park set among Mayan ruinsRecreational activities (swimming, snorkelling) and cultural activities (re-enactments) Xcaret
Day trip from the Mayan Riviera Aquatic theme park centred around a natural lagoonOpen sea aquarium, swimming with dolphins, snorkelling Cliff jumping and jungle cycling Xel-Ha
Site of a walled Mayan city, historically WAS used as a cruise port for CobaSituated on tall cliffs along the coast of the Caribbean Sea One of the last cities built and inhabited by the mayaOne of the best preserved cities and popular tourist spot Tulum Actually quite small compared to others
Ancient Mayan city located inland from tulumOvergrown by the jungleThe site is considered the largest network of stone causeways of the ancient Mayan world Visitors can still climb up the pyramid (130 steps)Walkways, statues and carvings Coba
Extensive archaeological site of a Mayan city Located on the northwest side of the peninsula by MeridaDesigned to reflect their knowledge of astronomy Ceremonial centre, pyramid, ancient roads, other villages Uxmal (UNESCO)
One of the best preserved Mayan cities in the world Three hours from cancun by bus or very expensive flightThe site contains many stone buildings in various states of preservation Chichen Itza
Three main complexes: Great North Platform, Osario Group, and Central Group Temple of Kukulan or El Castillo was not built as a tomb but as an alter to the gods and a place for human sacrifices Chichen Itza
Temple of the Warriors complex consists of a stepped pyramid with rows of carved columns depicting warriors; Built as a stronghold for the city El Caracol observatory was round building on a large, square platform with a stone spiral staircase inside, Chichen Itza Doors and widows on the El Caracol observatory were aligned to astronomical events
The Great Ball Court is the largest Mayan ball court ever discovered and it is very well preserved, carvings on the sides explain how the game was played, Team sport like basketball except the winning captain was sacrificed to the gods Chichen Itza Was an honourable way to did
Largest city on the Yucatan Peninsula Located inland from the Gulf of Mexico Spanish colonial city with brightly coloured architecture Less tourist than more popular resort areas Merida
Located southwest of the Yucatan in a remote area with a lush mountainous backdrop Some of the finest architecture and sculptures , stuck facade was considered quite elegant Much of the history has been determined from the hieroglyphic inscription Palenque (UNESCO)Estimated less than 10% of the city has been explored so far
Consists of the Caribbean Sea its islands and the surrounding coastsRegion is always warm but best weather is December to May Hurricane season is June to NovemberSun, beaches and water sports The Caribbean
Bermuda airport code BDA
Not a Caribbean country but in Atlantic one; I thousand kilometres east of North Carolina, cruise away from New YorkBritish territorySeven islands connected by bridges and causewaysBanking industry (secure and private)No inland water Bermuda All drinking water comes from rainPink sand beaches, clear blue water and coral reefs
Capital of Bermuda Commercial centre of the country Cruise portColour architecture Day cruises and water sports Fort Hamilton is located on the hill above the city Hamilton
First permanent English settlement on the islands and the original capital city Many museums, historic buildings and 17th century re-enactments Cruise port St. George's (UNESCO)
Archipelago of the Atlantic islands, only 22 are inhabited site of colombus' first landfall in the New World on San SalvadorBecame a British colony with the British clamp down on piracy; the island had became a haven for Pirates Like, Blackbeard The BahamasThe descendants of slaves and free Africans make up 90% of the population
Airport code for Nassau NAS
Where is Nassau New providence island
Capital city of the BahamasCruise portMost popular destination in the islandsPartying, gambling, shoppingStraw market a?? locally made crafts and jewellerySome of the best scuba diving Nassau
Located about 10 miles from NassauHotel district (five large hotels) dining, casino and city the beautiful beachNo nightlife here Cable beachNassau New providence islands
Located just off the shore of Nassau; connected by two bridges from Nassau Harbour Best known for the Atlantis resort which attracts more visitors than any other resortOcean themed resort waterpark rides pools beaches and casinos"Bridge suite" Paradise islandThe bridge suite is one of the most expensive hotel rooms in the world at $25,000 USD per night
Airport code for Freeport FPO
Where is Freeport Grand Bahama Island
Cruise portOnly 130 km from West Palm Beach FloridaChoir island with less gamblingNo beach in the city The location of filming for Pirates of the Caribbean and James Bond Freeport
The better known of the more remote islandsLong and thinBerries from pink sand beaches the ancient coral reef'sOnce side faces the Atlantic and the other faces the Grand Bahama bankFor those interested in history and natural attractions Eleuthera island
Largest island in the Caribbean Spanish influence in the language and customs One of the last communist countries in the world Large number of charter flights from Western Canada, less expensive to visitVibrant culture, cabaret shows, music CubaSalsa dancingCuban rum and cigars
What is the airport code for Havana HAV

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