Mexico - live it to believe it - with Transat Holidays

This week on the Travel Show - spectacular, diverse Mexico - the most popular vacation spot for Canadians seeking the sun. Discover Cancun, Cozumel and the Riviera Maya on the Caribbean side, and the Pacific Coast destinations of Manzanillo, Huatulco, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit.

Transat and Nolitours have the widest choice of Mexican vacations with frequent flights and small, cozy hotels to the biggest all-inclusive resorts. Frequent flights mean that some destinations offer you a more flexible choice to go for eg 10 days rather than the regulation 7 or 14 day vacation. Plus Transat’s Experience Collection offers unique cultural or ecological adventures and twin centre options.

Mexico has ancient cultures including the Maya and Aztec people, and a rich Spanish colonial heritage. The dramatic landscapes span towering mountains, deserts and lush rainforest. Enjoy nature, soft adventure, and sports. Savour the delicious cuisine, shopping and spas. And meet the warm and welcoming people.

Here is a brief guide to Mexico’s major tourist destinations.

Cancun/Riviera Maya

Cancun and the Riviera Maya are one of the most popular tourist destinations in the northern hemisphere. And they are vacation favourites for a good reason. Whether you'd like to dive with sleeping sharks, shop with the local merchants or climb the steps of a Mayan ruin - Cancun and the Mayan Riviera have it all.

Cancun is famous for turquoise waters, trendy nightclubs, great restaurants with International and Regional cuisine and world class shopping from street vendors to chic boutiques. There are a spectacular assortment of activities and tours to satisfy even the most seasoned of travellers. There is soft adventure from dolphin swims to ATV rides. And discover the Mayan culture at a traditional village or visit the ancient Mayan ruins at Chichen-Itza, Coba and Tulum.

The Riviera Maya is known for white sand beaches and warm tranquil waters, protected by one of the world’s largest barrier reefs.  The destination also offers wonderful snorkeling and scuba diving, plus an 18 hole championship golf course. And the Riviera Maya offers one of the greatest choices of luxury, all inclusive resorts anywhere in the world.


Cozumel is a treasure for travellers in search of sheer relaxation. With an abundance of peaceful beaches, clear waters and multicoloured reefs, Cozumel is rich in natural beauty and steeped in Mayan history. With the Palancar Reef close by, the Island of Cozumel is totally geared up for the needs of divers and snorkellers.


The city of Manzanillo is famous as the "Sailfish Capital of the World" for its exceptional and abundant deep sea fishing. There are also water sports, diving and two popular golf courses in the area. Manzanillo is a bustling sea port as well as a tranquil and traditional Mexican town. The resort offers wide, curving beaches and a tropical setting with vast groves of tall palm trees, abundant mango trees and lush mountains that rise along the shoreline.


Huatulco is still relatively unknown to many vacationers and an area of pristine natural beauty. Visitors can raft the Rio Copalita, or ride on horseback through the jungle. If you are a java junkie you can visit a coffee plantation, such as La Gloria, to meet local farmers and see where the world famous Pluma coffee comes from. Beginners and experts can try diving and snorkelling at one of the over thirty beaches, and if you are a golf enthusiast, enjoy a round at the challenging 18-hole Tangolunda Golf Course.

Much of the appeal of Huatulco is that today, despite the fact that many luxury resorts have been developed along its magnificent bays, little has changed. Recognizing the ecological importance of this entire region, it has been designated a national wildlife preserve, and all development has been planned and carried out sensitively. In fact, several of the bays remain wholly undeveloped today and can only be accessed by boat.

Los Cabos

The area of Los Cabos is made up of two small and very different towns - San José del Cabo to the northeast, Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip. Between the two cities lies a thirty kilometre seacoast with splendid countryside, breathtaking scenery and a range of elegant hotels. Along with nice beaches, Los Cabos is known for its championship golf courses, whale watching (from January to April) and deep sea fishing.

Vallarta Nayarit

Founded in 1851, Puerto Vallarta was still a simple hamlet a little over a century later, but has since become a world-renowned beach resort. Despite being a top Mexican holiday destination, the resort town of Puerto Vallarta has preserved the rich culture and traditional architecture of its downtown core.

Stroll along the Malecón (Sea Wall), wander inside one of the city's magnificent art galleries or visit a museum. Or laze on one of Puerto Vallarta’s magnificent beaches. The sunset is at its most dazzling along The Malecón, which comes to life at sundown.

15 minutes north of downtown Puerto Vallarta, Marina Vallarta is Mexico's most sophisticated marina complex with moorings for over five hundred boats, two kilometres of beachfront, aqua sports and dive facilities offering PADI certified training – plus an excellent 18-hole golf course. Marina Vallarta can accommodate yachts of all sizes and it is popular with boaters from all over the world thanks to the depth and shelter offered by the calm Bay of Banderas. The beautifully landscaped Marina Malecon is filled with excellent shops, art galleries and restaurants.

Riviera Nayarit, stretches along 192 miles of pristine Pacific coast framed by the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains just ten minutes north of accessible Puerto Vallarta International Airport. The region extends along the entire coast of the Pacific state of Nayarit - including the resorts of Nuevo Vallarta, the historic colonial town of San Blas, exclusive Punta Mita, picturesque fishing villages, miles of serene beaches and spectacular Banderas Bay.

Famous for its glorious beaches, Riviera Nayarit also offers countless affordable activities. There are PGA golf courses and luxury spas - plus enjoy International and local cuisine. There are countless activities for the adventurous such as whale watching, turtle release, zip lining, surfing, record deep sea fishing and bird watching. And you can also discover the history and culture of the area or shop for local artwork and traditional Huichol handicrafts.

Mexico Trip Showcase

Here are two great resorts on offer with Transat Holiday on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the Vallarta-Nayarit region.

The Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa is located in a tropical paradise and surrounded by lush vegetation. This 4 star resort overlooks the stunning Bay of Banderas and is located in front of a private beach approximately 50 kms from downtown Puerto Vallarta.

This hotel is part of the Transat Distinction Collection – which means extra inclusions and services for Transat Guests at this hotel such as 5 guaranteed à la carte dinners / week at the Resort’s 4 restaurants (Asian, Mediterranean, Steakhouse/Grill and Mexican) plus a bottle of tequila, fruit basket, bathrobes, slipper and beach towels in your room upon arrival - and much more!

The hotel is also part of the Transat Family Collection – which means it is particularly suitable, and great value, for kids. The transfer time from the airport is less than 1 hour, there are 3 Kids Clubs spanning ages 1 to 17 years and facilities including a wading pool, playground, kids menu, video games and disco. The hotel also has “Kids Stay and Eat free” offers and discounts on kid’s excursions.

On top of all this – with Transat Holidays you can book an “Escapades Package” when you choose the Grand Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa. Escapades are exciting overnight excursions that really allow you to really discover your destination. From this hotel the Escapade takes you through the mountains to one of Mexico’s “Magical Cities”. Eat at an authentic Mexican restaurant, take part in a cooking workshop and overnight at a traditional hacienda.

The Velas Vallarta Suite Resort is a 4 star property located 2 kms from the airport and 8 km from down town Puerto Vallarta, close to the the trendy marina area. Families will appreciate the short transfer time from the airport - plus the well equipped suites that include kitchenette and living area. Studio as well as 1, 2 and 3 bedroom suites mean there is lots of room for the whole family - seven adults and two children can share the largest suites. Plus two kids under 5 stay and eat free at this resort!

The resort offers two à la carte restaurants (Mexican and Italian) as well as three pools, a gym, spa and nightly entertainment. There is a golf course nearby. And for kids there is a Kids Club (ages 4 to 12).