Gems of Riviera Maya: Now Jade & Now Sapphire

Now Sapphire Riviera Cancun and Now Jade Riviera Cancun are truly “gems” in Riviera Maya.

Aside from their reputation of being family-friendly, fun and boasting luxurious accommodations, what makes these two resorts so special is that they are consistently included in great all-inclusive package deals!

They are both very unique and yet both provide wonderful vacation spots for the whole family. Here are my favorite things about each resort. Continue reading

Take Advantage of Local Food at Your Destination Wedding

Los Cabos - Pixan Photography

Los Cabos – Pixan Photography

Written by Ashley Surkin, AVDW Specialist 

Food is a big part of anyone’s special day and that doesn’t change on a Destination Wedding. Bring a touch of culture to your destination wedding menu with some of these local flavors.

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Watch: The Fray, Johnny Rzeznik & Josh Kelley Play Secrets Puerto Los Cabos

Apple Vacations and Chicago’s Morning Show, Eric & Kathy on The MIX, recently traveled to beautiful Secrets Puerto Los Cabos Resort & Spa for, “Chips, Dip and A Mexico Trip… CABO!”

To celebrate their 10th anniversary trip with Apple, they brought almost 300 passengers to resort and a few friends, including Johnny Rzeznik of The Goo Goo Dolls, American Authors and Josh Kelley.

To watch more videos from the trip, check out the Eric & Kathy YouTube page, here!

Escape the Typical, Go Tropical – Costa Rica!

Costa Rica Beach View 2

Written By: AVDW Wedding Specialist, Amanda Martin

Are you searching for the next up-and-coming destination for your big day? Somewhere where you and your guests can relax and explore without breaking the bank? Then look no further than that little country South of Mexico, Costa Rica!

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Destination Wedding Trends: Go Green with Your Bling

Dreams Tulum Green Wedding Beach

As told by Apple Vacations Destination Weddings Expert, Ashley Surkin

We’ve all witnessed the steps being taken towards creating a healthier environment; many of us have even participated in these efforts. If you choose reusable bags over plastic or are the ruler of the carpool trend, why shouldn’t you consider the impact your destination wedding could have on global warming, pollution, loss of animal habitats, etc.?

In fact, one of the latest trends in the bridal industry is wearing the Green Bride crown with pride. Here are a few helpful tips for having an environment-friendly wedding day!

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Escape the Chill with Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale

Want to save up to 40% on you next vacation to Mexico or The Caribbean? Well you are in luck, because Apple Vacations Spring SuperSale is on!

We have all “chilled out” enough this winter and more snow is in the forecast for many states this week. There is no better time to head south to the warm and sunny beaches of Mexico & The Caribbean and start the spring thaw.

Apple Vacations is offering some great pricing to Mexico & The Caribbean. Here are 5 helpful hints to help you navigate the sale and get the best deal possible during our Spring SuperSale.

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An itinerary for Panama to maximize your vacation!

Gina West, one of Apple Vacations’ Regional Sales Managers, recently returned from Panama. We were able to get her first impressions and now here is a sample itinerary that’s she suggests when visiting Panama:

First stop, Panama City… it’s actually two cities in one.  The historic area of “old” Panama City is experiencing a renaissance. The ornate architecture of decade old buildings are being painstakingly restored to their original condition.  Old Panama City is invitingly charming and yet eclectic with small boutiques, shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and gathering squares.  While it’s still a work in progress, witnessing its rebirth leaves visitors with a strong desire to return again and again.

The newer part of Panama City is home to over 80 world banks, many corporate headquarters and hotels. Dozens of skyscrapers have gone up just in the past 10 years! The city is host to countless corporate conventions in the dozens of trendy, chic sky-scraping hotels.  Currently the 80-story Trump Ocean Club Hotel is the tallest building in Panama City with magnificent views of the new skyline as well as old Panama and the ships in the distance waiting their turn to enter the Panama Canal. A visit or stay in Panama City is a must.  There’s so much to see and do, great restaurants to visit, quiet or upbeat bars and lounges. Stay in one of the hotels in the newer part of Panama City for two nights but be sure to visit both areas during your stay.

Next, head to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort and the second lock of the Panama Canal is just a short 30 minute drive southeast of Panama City. The tranquil and serene Gamboa Rainforest Resort is located minutes from the Miraflores Lock (the second lock of the three that make up the Panama Canal). The All-Inclusive Gamboa Rainforest Resort, not yet 10 years old, possesses a casual elegance and charm that you feel the moment you arrive.  The panoramic view of the river and mountains gives this resort the look and feel of a spa retreat. Guests of the Gamboa Rainforest Resort unwind and relax as the pace is much slower than the pulse and energy of Panama City.  Treat yourself to this experience. The Gamboa Tarpen Club at the Panama Canal is connected to the Gamboa Rainforest Resort. Be sure to take the water tour into the canal which takes guests into the canal waterway and its surrounding tiny islands teeming with wildlife. This was my favorite part of my week in Panama. The tour guides on these small 10 passenger vessels are excellent and able to spot various species of wildlife that inhabit this area. Spending a few days at Gamboa Rainforest while in Panama is an absolute must.

Finally to complete your stay, plan on spending your last few nights at one of the beach resorts in Panama. There is a beach resort to fit every desire and budget. The Westin Playa Bonita is just 45 minutes southwest of Panama City. As you drive further south, the beaches of Panama get even better. From the understated luxury and elegance of the Panama Marriott Hotel to the charm and energy of the family friendly All Inclusive Royal Decameron, there are many great beach resort in Panama. Spending the last few days of your visit to Panama relaxing at the beach!   

There is so much to see and do in Panama, but the good news is it can be done in a week with a little planning. In fact, Apple Vacations offers a 7 night package that incorporates a little bit of each part of Panama. Spend some time with your travel agent to make sure your Panama vacation is the best fit for you. 

 I didn’t expect to fall in love with Panama as much as I did, but I did. Besides the diversity of what Panama offers, there was an intangible element of the Panama experience that I couldn’t quite put into words. I consulted Wikipedia and I found that intangible element. According to Wikipedia, in “a 2012 poll, it was reported that Panama City was the city with the happiest people in the world” – So there you have it! Perhaps the most compelling reason to visit Panama. 

Add Panama to your bucket list and visit the city with the happiest people in the world!

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