Stepping out of our plane into the brilliant Dominican Republic sunshine after a non-stop flight from Canada, we were very impressed by the low rise, thatched roof buildings of the Punta Cana International Airport. Even better, in spite of several planes unloading guests, the customs formalities were brisk and efficient.
The Haven Riviera Cancun Resort and Spa, a 333 room all-inclusive, all-adult property, has an ideal location, just a 15 minute ride from the Cancun airport. It sits next to acres of mangrove on a pristine, sandy beach facing the warm Mexican Caribbean.
According to the Berlitz Cruise Guide, Sea Cloud is “the most beautiful cruise-sail ship in the world…and one of the world’s best travel experiences.”
Most of the popular all-inclusive resorts along the Mayan Riviera, stretching south from the crowded beaches of Cancun to the historic Mayan ruins at Tulum, are large, crowded and lively.
Zoëtry Paraiso de la Bonita Riviera Maya is the exception.
It’s rare to combine history and luxury in a single Caribbean resort.
But Sandals Royal Bahamian, on Cable Beach adjacent to the city of Nassau, has managed to preserve The Balmoral Club, the original section of the 400 room property which was the exclusive gathering place and playground for Bahamas high society in the early 1940s.
We were heading to the major Panhandle city of Amarillo, the “Yellow Rose of Texas”, whose growth in the late 19th and early 20th century was enhanced by the railroad, cattle drives and Route 66, the famous trans-continental highway that wound its way from Chicago to Los Angeles.
We’ve visited this part of the US on several previous occasions and, in spite of typical Canadian trepidation about guns and violence, have never failed to be impressed by the genuine hospitality, tons of attractions and outstanding cuisine in the Lone Star State.
We loved our earlier visits to Punta Cana but we were enchanted by Puerto Plata and the opportunity to enjoy its excellent wide, sandy beaches (among the best in the Caribbean) and wonderful mountain views, but also the many attractions beyond our Iberostar resort.
The Al Capone lecture was the perfect introduction to our tour the next day of Chicago neighbourhoods that were notorious in the 20s and 30s for illegal activities and major crimes.
Labrador has a sparse population but spectacular scenery. Few landscapes on earth are as dramatic as those in Torngat Mountains National Park at the northeast corner of Labrador