By ALG Vacations · November 2020
Dreaming of a vacation by the sea? We shine the light on safe harbors for beach lovers.
There’s something about the beach that gives you a certain peace of mind you can’t find anywhere else. You can’t imitate it, and you can’t mistake it. Sadly, if 2020’s been anything, it’s short on the above … But that doesn’t mean you can’t turn it around.
After months of research and innovation, we’ve found new ways to do the things we love again safely — including travel. In fact, with hygiene protocols rolled out globally and airlines and hotels sparkling, in many ways, destinations and modes of travel have never been so clean! So, if you’re in desperate need of an escape —relaxing vibes, tropical weather, beaches — know that, with the help of a travel advisor, you can seek refuge in retreats that are prioritizing sanitation.
Set along the Pacific Coast and lining Banderas Bay, one of the largest and most beautiful bays in the world, Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit has long been considered one of Mexico’s lesser-known gems. Now, however, this second city is basking in a well-deserved moment in the sun. Certified by the World Travel and Tourism Council as a “Safe Travels” destination—and maintaining a safely reduced occupancy level for hotels (less than 34% as of August, according to hospitality data company STR)— Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit has become our southern neighbor’s leading destination.
As people seek havens off the beaten path, it’s really quite easy to see why.
A 90% likelihood of sunny days alone gives Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit a winning hand … but it takes more than just clear skies to make a destination worth traveling for. Sure, laying around on a beach for days on end has its appeal. No one ever gets tired of that! But, especially now, it’s only natural to want to seek even more nature. And that’s where Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit really shines.
Biodiversity is one of this region’s greatest strengths, as you’ll discover in its open pockets of wilderness. Immense mangroves in mysterious forests, rivers and lagoons home to tropical fish and wild dolphins, islands alight with bougainvillea, orchids, wild mango, papaya, orange, and lime trees—these features are all alive and well here.
Of course, that’s not to say that it’s all a wild time in Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit. Golfers get outdoorsy their own way, on master-designed golf courses, and the more adventurous zipline, quad, hike, sail, kayak, and surf their way through the area. Stays at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit offers guests the opportunity to golf like a pro at the Nicklaus Signature Course. Dining in Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit is a treat as well, with the region considered one of the most important in Mexico for food.
… But that’s not the only heritage that’s well-protected. The indigenous Huichol, Cora, Tepehuanos, and Mexicaneros have an open-door policy to their communities, making it easy to turn a romantic getaway or family beach vacation into a cultural journey.
New favorites like Puerto Vallarta-Riviera Nayarit aren’t the only ones sunning in the spotlight, however. Tried-and-true all-inclusive brand RIU Hotels & Resorts, known from coast to coast in Mexico for their cheerful service and nonstop entertainment, is branching out to even more friendly shores. Reopening properties in Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Aruba, and the Bahamas are putting those golden-pick destinations — and sands! — back on the map.
A long-time go-to for beach lovers, these Caribbean islands are known all over the world for checking every box on a vacationer’s list: soft sands and warm waters, views worth traveling for, and exceptional experiences.
It’s the latter where RIU really stands out, earning guest loyalty year after year. Musicians, actors, and enthusiastic staff fill days and nights with performances, activities, and games for every age. Sit in a restaurant—socially distanced, of course—by the sea and let the sounds of a violin somehow make every bite you take taste even sweeter. See the kids grin wide as they show off their arts and crafts … and even a few facts they learned. Finally find yourself free of all those kinks and knots after a morning at Renova Spa, where exchangeable massage bed covers gave you even more peace of mind.
And that’s the theme you’ll notice over and over again, at any RIU hotel. New guidelines, developed with international consulting company Preverisk Group, have been introduced from Mexico to the Caribbean, to keep health and hygiene practices as high as their standards for guest satisfaction. It’s why they’ve earned Apple Vacations’ and Travel Impressions’ TripTrust™ badge of safety, reserved strictly for resorts reporting the highest levels of sanitation.
So, in the storm that is this tumultuous time, when you’re ready to set out again, ask your advisor about finding a safe harbor that suits you. Because if “it seems like years” since you’ve seen your family smile, it’s time to let the sun shine again.