CANCUN, Mexico -- Sick and tired of the snow and bitter cold and with a completely escapist frame of mind, recently we headed south... way south... for a few days of fun in the sun. Cancun is blessed with sun-drenched beaches and the most amazing sand, it's nearly as fine as powdered sugar. The combination of mother nature and a few margaritas quickly got us in the v-a-c-a-t-i-o-n state of mind.
While my affinity for travel is year round, nothing quite compares to the feeling of getting away in January. It happens that this year's escape occurred during the coldest days of the winter so far. Yes, we checked current conditions in the Twin Cities before heading out to the pool most mornings.
When I mentioned I was going to Mexico a few friends remarked, "really, isn't it dangerous down there?" The answer is no, the majority of the major tourist areas are actually quite safe. But the perception of crime is a major threat to tourism in Mexico. And the result is proving as devastating as the hurricanes, which have pounded the area in the past decade. During a time of year when hotels should be packed, they are half full at best. Pity, because I found the hospitality industry is as welcoming as ever in Cancun and the values offered provide some of the best bang for your buck anywhere.
A case in point is the Live Aqua resort. Wow. Recently, the hotel converted to all inclusive and while not cheap, the value is impressive. For example, in addition to all food and drink (the good stuff. by the way) phone calls, which can be some of the most expensive in the world, are complimentary. Wireless internet is also free. So is room service and the in-room mini-bar.
For the active traveler, there is plenty to keep busy. From snorkeling to parasailing and golf, the opportunities are plentiful. There is also world class shopping nearby, and partiers have multiple venues to shake their booties at nearby night clubs.
I did none of these things. The extent of my excursions included dipping into a tub of fresh guacamole and then into a refreshing pool. This was frequently followed by reclining on a chaise with a book. Sometimes the best vacation is doing absolutely nothing. And as our Mexican hosts might say, Si, Si, Si, to whatever you want to do.
(Copyright 2011 by KARE. All Rights Reserved.)