Day Trips from Club Regina Resorts

Staying at a Club Regina resort in Mexico packs plenty of opportunity for fun, relaxation, and great food. But during your stay you might also want to get out and explore the surrounding areas, taking day trips to coastal towns nearby, lounging on a hidden beach, or snorkeling among coral reefs.

Whether you’re in Baja California Sur, or Puerto Vallarta, or on the east coast in Cancun, consider these day trips for a travel adventure in Mexico. You can dive deeper into the history and culture of Mexican peoples, or strap on a mask and navigate the waters on the coast. Whatever you choose, your experience will only add to your appreciation and love for Mexico.

Todos Santos

Guests at the Club Regina Los Cabos resort might want to make room in their vacation for a day trip to Todos Santos, a 1 hour 21 minute drive northwest from the resort. Todos Santos is known for its adobe and brick buildings. After Mexican authorities designated the town as one of the country’s Pueblos Mágicos (Magical Towns), money has been invested to help develop the town and preserve its history. Originally founded as a mission in 1724, Todos Santos has that old world charm you don’t find just anywhere.

“But climb the hill to its old colonial center with its mission church and blocks of restored buildings, and the Todos Santos that is gaining rave reviews in tourism circles is revealed.”

Stay: Club Regina Los Cabos

Club Regina Los Cabos’ is just a short drive from San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, Los Cabos’ two main towns. The resort sits at the intersection of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean, a major migratory site for whales and dolphins.

Bucerías

You can get to Bucerías from Club Regina Puerto Vallarta in just 31 minutes. When you get there, you’ll find miles of sandy beaches, old mission-style churches, and an art walk in the evening. Located on Banderas Bay, Bucerías derives its name from the Spanish word for “diving.” Some of the first inhabitants were oyster fisherman, who used simpler methods with handheld instruments.

Travelers who spend some time in Bucerías always note the cobblestone streets and the slower pace of life here. But that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of things to do. Whale watching, deep sea fishing, spotting sea turtles, and becoming acquainted with the Blue Footed Booby (bird) are just some of the ways you can connect with nature here. Islas Marietas is a 20 minute boat ride away, an island with “underwater caves, reefs, and neat tunnels.”

“Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets in Bucerías, it’ll be like a stroll back in time, enjoy the colorful houses, where people will greet you while they talk to their neighbors, . . . art galleries, a local market with many Huichol works of art and even small eateries where you’ll be offered fresh oysters off their shell, maybe you’ll feel tempted to stay there more than a day.”

Stay: Club Regina Puerto vallarta

The resort offers comfortable amenities, on-site dining, and easy beach access right in the exclusive Marina Vallarta.

Club Regina Puerto Vallarta

Club Regina Puerto Vallarta

 

villa vera puerto vallarta

The resort is located near the restaurants and bars of the exclusive Marina Vallarta just a few miles from Puerto Vallarta’s beaches and best attractions.

Villa Vera Puerto Vallarta

Villa Vera Puerto Vallarta

Garrafon Natural Reef Park

Isla Mujeres is a long, skinny island just a 25-minute boat ride across the sea from Cancun. When staying at Club Regina Cancun, day-trippers often beckon to the call of the underwater wonders and exotic beaches of Garrafon Natural Reef Park on Isla Mujeres.

Named for the beautiful coral reef, Garrafon Natural Reef Park offers an all-inclusive package for a day trip. Spending a day to escape and take in the natural beauty around you has never been so easy. Visitors pay an entrance fee which gives them access to bungee jumping, ziplining, the “Blue Eye Cave,” snorkeling, the Sculpture Garden, kayaks, hammocks, an infinity pool, and guided tours. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., if you plan it right, you can experience the whole park in a fun-filled day.

Stay: Club Regina Cancún

The resort is located near the gorgeous beaches, high-end shopping malls, and upscale restaurants of Cancun’s famous Hotel Zone, as well as stunning Mayan ruins and traditional Mexican towns. 

Club Regina Cancun

Club Regina Cancun

 

Eco Friendly and Stylish: Summer Must-Haves

It probably doesn’t surprise you, but many of the products we use while traveling can hurt the environment. Thankfully, summer vacation does not have to be synonymous with words like wasteful, harmful to the earth, or filling up landfills. As a consumer, you have the power to make a difference by choosing biodegradable products, using products made from sustainable resources, and following the principle of “Leave No Trace.”

Don’t feel like you need to revolutionize your spending habits. Just tweak them a little. If everyone was a little more thoughtful about Planet Earth this summer, it could make a huge difference. When you’re traveling this summer, or even in the planning stages, consider some of these products to help reduce waste and be a little more eco-friendly.

Sunscreen

When you’re snorkeling among the coral, or just swimming in your favorite bay, you need protection from the sun. But not all sunscreens are equal. Some are known to hurt the coral and other sea life because they are made from oils that don’t break down.

“Sunscreens are one of the biggest causes of bleaching to our reefs, and the death of much of the world’s coral.”

Look for sunscreen products that specify they are safe for the marine ecosystem. Mexitan is a company that offers such products. Their sunscreens and tanning oils are biodegradable, not tested on animals, and are safe for coral and fish.

Mexitan Coral Safe

Watches & Sunglasses

It may not be quite the fashion statement, but Sprout has developed eco-friendly timepieces. They saw the need because when a watch breaks, usually people just throw it away, adding to our landfills. Instead, if you lose or throw away a Sprout watch, it will not harm the environment because it is made with sustainable elements like “corn resin, bamboo, cork, and organic cotton.”

Sprout Watches

Also, think about how many pairs of sunglasses you’ve owned over the years. What happened to them all? It’s likely they broke or were lost. When you think about the impact on nature, you realize that companies like Zeal Optics are seeing the bigger picture. It’s possible to make a great product and protect the environment, too. Check out their sunglasses and goggles, made with plant-based materials.

Zeal Optics

Diapers

When traveling with children this summer, it is inevitable that some families will use a lot of diapers. What if someone made diapers that were environmentally-friendly? Would you consider using them? Well, the first option is cloth diapers of course. But if you’re looking for disposable diapers, consider Bambo Nature Disposable Diapers. They are 100% free of chemicals, allergen-free, additive-free, and friendly to the environment.

“Diapers release volatile organic chemicals. Toxic chemicals such as toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and dipentene have been linked to adverse health effects in humans with long-term exposure.”

Bambo Nature

Travel Journal

Jotting down notes “along the way” is both fun and creative. It helps you remember your experiences, capturing those moments in a way that a camera just can’t. Why not choose a journal that is made with sustainable resources? Paperblanks is one possibility. They make journals with Planet Earth in mind, by using “acid-free, sustainable forest paper and 100% recycled binder boards.”

Paperblanks

 

As you’re out and about this summer, think of your vacation as a way to enjoy the earth, while preserving it, too.

Travelers aren’t always known for being kind to the environment. Won’t it feel good to know that you can make a difference for the earth and for the generations to come?

Swimming with Whale Sharks

If you haven’t added this to your travel bucket list for 2017 yet, do it now. Whale sharks might have a terrifying name, but really they’re passive sea creatures that feed on plankton. The Sea of Cortez in Baja California Sur is a place whale sharks like to congregate, which gives snorkelers and free divers an opportunity to look in the eye of a magnificent beast of the ocean.

Whale sharks aren’t whales, and though they technically are part of the shark family (Rhincodon typus), they don’t remind you of a shark at all in their behavior or lack of teeth. Being filter feeders, they take in lots of water to filter out their main source of food; microscopic plankton (not humans!).

“A shark the size of a whale might sound like a science-fiction nightmare, but whale sharks, which are three times the size of the biggest great white shark, are peaceable creatures unperturbed by visits from curious humans.”

Why might the adventurous traveler seek out a whale shark? Because of the incredible rush to swim alongside the largest fish in the ocean. It can be a little intimidating the first time, because you can actually see a fin sticking out of the water, and the body of a huge fish underneath the surface. But once you jump in the water, your eyes will behold one of the gentlest creatures of the sea.

“But even though whale sharks are humongous, they are really just ‘gentle giants.”

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Photo taken from the video lilvikings82

Whale sharks are known to migrate to the Sea of Cortez in winter and spring, mostly between October and February. Two places you can find licensed tour companies are in La Paz and Cabo Pulmo, both a reasonable drive from Travel Raintree’s Club Regina Los Cabos.

Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • It is safe to swim with whale sharks, but always follow the tour guide’s directions.
  • Whale sharks are endangered, so private boats are not allowed to offer tours. Be sure to find a licensed company like Cabo Expeditions.
  • Don’t touch the whale sharks; human touch could expose the whale shark to infection.
  • Wear a wetsuit for warmth. Water temperatures could be chilly.
  • Take an underwater camera for both pictures and video. Check out this promotional video from Los Cabos Whale Shark Eco Experience.

Whale sharks are an animal to be seen to be believed. When you’re traveling this year, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more exhilarating experience.

Where to Stay

Club Regina Los Cabos is located just an easy fifteen-minute drive away from the heart of Cabo San Lucas, and even closer to San Juan del Cabo! The resort rises above the shoreline where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean. Every unit faces the ocean and you can enjoy colorful sunsets and sunrises from many of the terraces.

 

History is cool, y’all!

Vacations should be good for the body (like a hike in the mountains or an afternoon at the spa), but they can also improve the mind when we take the time to learn about our heritage, culture, history, and art. We suggest you think about visiting some museums the next time you stay in one of our resorts.

Museums do more than just make information accessible. They invite us to walk in the shoes of those who’ve gone before us for a little while, to experience the wonder and pain they experienced, to see the world through their eyes.

Heard Museum in Phoenix

“The arts matter because they touch our hearts and minds and bring us closer as we appreciate humanity in all its diversity,” says Ann Marshall, director of curation and education at the Heard Museum. When you stay at WorldMark Phoenix South Mountain Preserve, carve out some time to visit one of the “world’s preeminent” museums of American Indian Art and History.

Founded in 1929, the Heard Museum is known for its award-winning exhibits, collections, and festivals. Highly rated on TripAdvisor, visitors are always impressed by beautiful displays, friendly staff, and even the gift shop.

“The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona uniquely showcases Native arts and culture to visitors by presenting personal perspectives and first-hand narratives told by Native people.”

Alf Engen Ski Museum in Park City

Near Park Plaza is one of the most interactive museums you’ll ever find. Full of photos, trophies, ski gear, medals, and history, the Ski Museum will help you appreciate the progress of the sport over the decades. Housed in the Joe Quinney Winter Sports Center at Utah Olympic Park, you can spend a few hours strolling through the museum before or after you ride the Winter Comet Bobsled or attempt the Summit Adventure Course nearby.

“Here you are more than a spectator – you’re a participant! That’s because our state-of-the-art interactive and virtual exhibits place you in the epicenter of the past, present and future of winter sports in the Intermountain Region, including an Olympic downhill course.”

ski

Palm Springs Air Museum

In southern California, when you are staying at the Cimarron Golf Resort, you don’t want to miss your chance to visit a famous World War II air museum. Founded in 1996, the Palm Springs Air Museum showcases “over 40 vintage aircraft,” including planes from both the European and Pacific Theaters during WWII. After spending an afternoon there, Avenger, Red Tail P-51 Mustang, and the Spitfire will mean more to you than just random names of aircraft.

Featuring three hangars, engine displays, mechanics working onsite, and even tours inside the B-17 and C-47 airplanes, the museum continues to grow with plans to expand and include more warplanes from the Korean and Vietnam wars in the near future.

“The Palm Springs Air Museum is a living history museum dedicated to educating the public about the role Air Power played in preserving American liberties and way of life.”

A day at a museum is just one way to fully engage the places you visit. Being a world traveler brings certain perks (like photos to make your friends jealous), but it can also bring unexpected benefits like greater appreciation for military heroes and greater cultural awareness of peoples of the past and present.

Springtime is for Nature Lovers!

When you think of the upper northwest corner of Washington State, I doubt your first thought is of gorgeous flowers! But spring pushes out the gray clouds of winter and ushers in a season full of life. Nature lovers come here year-round, and in spring they come especially to see the birds and the tulips.

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Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival

Blaine, Washington, a little town sitting right next to the U.S.-Canadian border, hosts its 15th annual Wings Over Water Northwest Birding Festival March 10-12, 2017. Birdwatchers come to take in the “incredible variety of migratory birds” and join in the festivities. Festival participants can take a guided field trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary in British Columbia, Canada, enjoy the All Day Birding Expo, go on a Birding Field Trip to Semiahoo Spit, and see a Live Raptor Presentation.

“The sheer number of birds that winter here is one of the key elements that led to this area being designated as one of the premier sites on the Washington state Important Bird Areas program. This is an international effort to recognize and protect areas that are vital to life cycles of migratory birds.”

One of the best ways to view the birds is on the Salish Sea Open Water Birding & Wildlife Cruise. The Festival always features an artist—this year it is Kay Dee Powell, a silk painter and resident of Blaine. The featured speakers will focus on photography and wildlife.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

If you come to Skagit Valley in April, you will see more tulips than you’ve ever seen before. RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town have acres and acres of picturesque tulip fields. Over 1 million tulips of all different colors and over 150 flower varieties are on display for your viewing pleasure.

“The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is the largest festival in Northwest Washington State. Each year more than 1 million visitors come to experience over 300 acres of brightly colored tulips.”

Visitors can enjoy the tulips where they have been planted, or purchase some to take home. Among the numerous events from February – April include a garden show, scrapbooking, art festivals and exhibitions, wine festival, 5K run, street fair, princess party, children’s art, cycling, wood crafting, and barbecue. The best time to come is based on when the flowers bloom. Check the bloom status at http://www.tulips.com/bloommap. Download the festival brochure here.

Check this incredible video!

Where To Stay

Sandcastle at Birch Bay is a comfortable condominium resort located directly across from Birch Bay’s picturesque shore. During your stay, you’ll enjoy unbeatable views of the shimmering blue waters of Birch Bay or the towering Mount Baker from the resort’s rooftop terrace or your own private balcony. In addition to all the eye candy, you’ll enjoy on-site amenities such as a heated outdoor pool and a fitness center. Your well-appointed one-, two-, or three-bedroom condominium has everything needed to comfortably accommodate up to six guests.

Each unit features a full kitchen with granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, a washer and dryer, a flat-screen TV with a DVD player, and a fireplace.

 

2017 Bucket List Adventure: Our top 5 picks

Our bucket list for 2017 is geared for the travel adventurer. At Travel Raintree we know that most of you include excursions as part of your stay at a Raintree resort. So doing something outdoors might not be much of a resolution for this new year, but there’s probably something on this list that is new to you. When you’re traveling in 2017, put these on your bucket list:

  1. Surfing in Oaxaca

When you find the conditions in Oaxaca coming together at the right time (weather and tides), you’ll be treated to some killer waves. Many of the hottest spots take a little more effort to reach, but they’re worth your time if you’re passionate about surfing. Chris Wilson’s experience was incredible:

“The culture, weather, people, food, and (of course) the waves all added up to this being one of the best trips I have ever been on.”

Stay: Casa Divina Oaxaca

  1. Releasing turtles in Puerto Vallarta

Add some education and eco-tourism to your life! Travelers to Puerto Vallarta can attend a lecture on the turtles’ breeding and then join in the fun of preserving these courageous animals, including visiting the newborn turtles in the nursery, scouring the beach in search of newly laid eggs, and helping the baby sea turtles release into the ocean at night. This New Year’s resolution helps the environment and gives your family a memory of a lifetime.

“In Puerto Vallarta, hotels, restaurants and also tour operators, have joined forces making the annual turtle breeding season (which runs from about July to December) . . . a new sustainable eco-tourism event.”

Stay: Club Regina Puerto Vallarta

Turtle release

  1. Wildlife viewing at Grand Teton

This is why we come to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park: to experience wildlife. Anytime of year you can view wildlife in Wyoming. Grand Teton is especially known for its moose, mule deer, bears and bison. You might also encounter mountain lions, wolves, wolverines, and long-tailed weasels, although these are a bit harder to spot. Spending a day in the presence of such creatures gives us a thrill and helps us understand their environment and what they must do to survive.

“No matter the season, Jackson Hole teems with wildlife.  The 17 million acres that comprise the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem enable visitors to see many of the species that have come to define the West, including the iconic grizzly bear, wolves, moose, pronghorn and elk.”

Stay: Teton Club

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  1. Swimming in Cancun’s cenotes

A cenote (suh-NOH-tee) is a deep natural sinkhole in Mexico.

“These secret underground caverns are formed when limestone caves in, leaving a hole in the earth that leads to a pool of often gorgeous turquoise-colored water.”

There are just under 7,000 cenotes already discovered in the Yucatán Peninsula. These pools are almost Cancun’s best-kept secret. You don’t have to be an expert cliff jumper or scuba diver to enjoy these hidden caves. These beautiful underground attractions often have staircases and lighting to make them more accessible to tourists. The crystal clear water must be seen to be believed.

Stay: Club Regina Cancun

  1. Rafting in Park City

With over 8 miles of river terrain, a rafting trip on the Weber River near Park City, Utah, includes class II rapids your whole family will enjoy (children ages 4 and up). If you go with a company like All Seasons Adventures, your trip down the river will be led by a trained guide. Floating down the Weber is all about the rapids, but don’t forget to take in the spectacular scenery around you.

“The river cuts though a stunning canyon comprised of red and orange sandstone conglomerate rock that has formed arches, caves and precariously balanced rocks.”

Stay: The Miners Club

New year: Snorkeling in Kona

Snorkeling invites you to discover and relish the secrets of the underwater world. When you don the mask, breathing tube, and flippers, you become immersed in a whole other world, seeing what lies beneath come alive right before your eyes. Snorkeling is better to experience first-hand than to take someone else’s word for it.

snorkeling

Snorkelers come to Kona, Hawaii, to experience some of the best snorkeling available on the planet. What makes Kona so special? You might say . . . everything! Incredibly clear water (visibility up to 50 feet or more in some places), various depths, variety of sea life, warm weather, and availability of rental gear make Kona, the leeward (or dry side) district on the western coast of the Big Island, a must-see for snorkelers.

“The best snorkeling spots of the Big Island are concentrated at the west coast beaches of the Big Island.”

Snorkeling Hot Spots

When nature lovers travel to Hawaii Island, they’re looking to dive (literally) into the wildlife around them. Snorkeling is a water sport that has its own special place among the many ways to experience nature. Here are some of the best places to go in search of manta rays, cauliflower coral, and spotted puffer fish.

Kealakekua Bay, a 24-minute ride south from Kona Reef Resort, is frequented by locals and tourists alike. If you spend enough time there, you’re likely to see “whales, manta rays, spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, and more.”

“Kealakekua, also known as “Captain Cook” is an underwater marine sanctuary, with dolphins and sea turtles.”

La’aloa Bay Beach (or Magic Sands Beach Park) is a bit closer to the resort. Snorkelers can find coral arches and caves. Beware of tidal shifts and sea urchins. Body surfing is especially popular here.

The closest snorkeling haven is Kamakahonu Beach, just a mile from the resort. By swimming out to the right, beyond the pier into Kailua Bay, you can avoid the boats. Here you’ll find coral, fish, and sea turtles.

“Kona snorkeling offers dozens of truly great spots to see hundreds of species of fish–from small yellow tangs and rock sitters to larger parrot fish, peacock groupers, and jacks. You may even see manta rays, spotted eagle rays, turtles, dolphins, and moray eels.”

Of course there are dozens of other bays and coves worth exploring. Several are farther north of Kailua-Kona. If you’re willing to drive a bit, you might explore the east coast as well. Outfitters can take you on a variety of snorkeling tours, even promising you’ll encounter a manta ray or two. Snorkeling is the way humans can act like a fish – to learn about them, we must become like them!

Where to Stay

Kona Reef is a comfortable four-story resort located on the lush western coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. The resort features a swimming pool, hot tub, and barbecue grills, and each unit has either a patio or balcony. From some units you can enjoy views of a verdant garden or the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean. Kona Reef is just a 10 minute walk from the historic fishing village of Kailua Kona, a quaint town home to many wonderful restaurants, cafes, shops, and art galleries.