Your Wedding Options for all inclusives

Palace Resorts

Mexico & Jamaica

The Palace Resorts offer a verity of options from in Cancun to a smaller towns or fishing villages. That does not mean that the service is less because it is further out. Each property offers a different feel but they all offer the same Palace experience for your wedding.

Personalized wedding ceremony giving the feel that it is uniquely you, down to the tiniest linen-wrapped detail. From color coordinated flowers to customized reception décor, if you can dream it, we can make it real. Need a spark to create your custom wedding ceremony? Our inspirations are a great place to start.

Pearl Shimmer $3,500.00 USD


Wedding ceremony location

White 3 panel structure with glass bead tear drops hanging from each panel

30 White Chiavari chairs with cushions in a variety of themed drapery

White ceremony podium with crystal silver lining with 1 small champagne colored ceramic vase with Football Mums and 1 large champagne vase with white roses

4 White columns lining the aisle; each with an ivory colored candle placed inside a glass cylinder vase and pavé white Carnations

White aisle runner

Themed Bridal Bouquet of 20 Roses and 4 Phalenopsis Orchids available in ivory, white or pink

Themed boutonniere

Themed wedding cake with natural flowers

Justice of the Peace or Minister to perform legal, symbolic or vow-renewal ceremony

$400 USD coupon redeemable for Dream Art packages of $3,000 USD or more.

Soloist for wedding ceremony (soloist options include flute, saxophone, violin or pipe)

Ground fireworks after ceremony

Sparkling wine during ceremony

One dinner reservation for up to 30 guests

Complimentary suite for the groom for 3 hours before the wedding when ceremony is scheduled at 11am; other ceremony hours will incur an additional charge (based on availability)

Breakfast in bed the morning after the ceremony

Honeymoon Wishes Wedding Website and Bridal Registry

CD system available for ceremony

Services of a Wedding Coordinator

Witnesses if required

Complimentary Honeymoon Package

Palace Pearl Shimmer

Pearl Shimmer Square/Round Reception Table $300.00 USD each

Square table with tablecloth accommodating up to 8 guests.

8 Chiavari chairs with cushions in a variety of themed drapery.

Floral centerpiece.

Glass candle votives, tumblers, wine glasses, napkins with napkin rings, charger plates, white plates, silverware.

Palace Pearl Shimmer

Karisma Hotels & Resorts (Mexico)

Karisma offers 3 different wedding's that could work for your Gatsby theme. The pure Glamour listed below. Sophisticated Soiree and Vintage Elegance.

THE PURE GLAMOUR CEREMONY INCLUDES: $2950.00 for up to 24 people; $3340.00 for 50 People; $4090.00 for 100 People.

High quality, designer inspired decor PLUS Ceremony Essentials that include everything you need to get married and Signature Inclusions that are sure to make your Gourmet Inclusive® Wedding Event even more unforgettable.


Ceremony Seating for 24 People: Breezy blush chiffon will drape the gold Chiavari chairs in which your guests will sit. Ruffled tails in varying shades of light pink and champagne complete the look.

Aisle Markers: Float down a shimmery ivory aisle flanked by delicate rose petals in shades of light pink, white and ivory.

Altar Table: A sleek, clear acrylic table topped with romantic gold candle pillars and glowing white candles will give your altar an ethereal feel.

Altar Décor: Sheer ivory chiffon will grace your altar, complemented by large light pink and ivory floral arrangements. The piece de resistance is the crystal chandelier, igniting instant glamour.

Signature Accent™: A mirrored sign with a gold frame will personalize your ceremony in a playfully elegant fashion.

Signature Cocktail: Greet your guests and add an element of surprise with this classic cocktail with a twist, the Rose French 75.

PURE GLAMOUR RECEPTION: $250.00 per table; 24 people $750.00; 100 people $3250.00

You've tied the knot, and now it is time to celebrate in paradise with the ones you love most. Follow your Pure Glamour ceremony with a carefully coordinated reception. Each detail has been perfectly paired, from the sparkling ivory table linens to the pearled napkin rings and mirrored charger plates. Add a delicious chef inspired four-course menu, pair it with Jackson Family Wines, and your private reception will transcend even your highest expectations.

Style your private dinner reception to the nines, then add lavish centerpieces and carefully curated Gourmet Inclusive® Pairings such as chef inspired menus, wines and sweet treats to really make a statement.

Reception Table Linens: An ivory satin table cloth topped with a pearle scent overlay is sure to set the tone for your elegant affair.

Reception Seating: Blush chiffon chair covers over gold Chiavari chairs finished with champagne and pink ruffled ties serve up stylish seating for your guests.

Mirrored Charger Plates: These unique charger plates provide the perfect backdrop for sumptuous gourmet fare.

Champagne Satin Napkins with Pearl Napkin Ring: This napkin and napkin ring pair is almost too pretty to use. They are the perfect glam addition to this private reception.

Signature Stationary Menu Card: Present your menu to your guests on a stylish card that mirrors the look and feel of your event.

Head Table Signature Accent™: Add a personal touch to your head table and declare to the world that you are officially "Mr. and Mrs." with this trendy gold letter display.

Pure Glamour 4-Course Plated Dinner

$39.00 Per Person

This 4-course plated menu was carefully crafted to complement the Pure Glamour theme and features a full International bar.


Sautéed Shrimp with Herb Risotto and Gorgonzola Cheese Sauce

Endive Salad with Parmesan Cracker, Bacon and Sundried Tomatoes

Petit Filet Mignon & Filet of Sole with Potato & Pea Puree, Crispy Onion and Sweet Corn Cream Sauce

Orange Floating Island with Blackberry Coulis

Pure Glamour Wedding Cake

The Pure Glamour Wedding Cake is classically elegant, adding a tasty yet refined element to your wedding reception. Topped with a combination of fondant and fresh flowers in shades of blush, cutting into this stylish cake will be a moment you will never forget. A 2-tiered cake will serve 20-30 people. $340.00 per 2 tiered cake. Cake Flavors, Red velvet, Oreo, Vanilla Rum, Coconut, Amaretto, Dulce de leche, Champagne, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Lemon, Carrot cake, Funfetti

All Inclusive Package by Caribe Photo $875.00 Per Package

Make your moments last forever with this package that includes everything from a DVD filled with 110 high resolution photos, a commemorative, hard cover coffee table book and a 30 minute video. There are other packages depending what you are looking for.

DJ Mix Package $1500.00 4 hours

Your entire guest list will be fighting for space on the dance floor all night long when you enlist the services of this DJ Package. You will receive 4 hours of DJ service plus top-of-the-line sound and lighting equipment to ensure that the quality of your entertainment is unmatched. As an added bonus, you will receive balloons and neon bracelets as a fun favor for your guests. Our music collection comprises over 3,000 titles. A suggested list of melodies has been made for key moments, like: First dance, Father & Daughter dance, Grand dance, Bouquet and Garter toss.

HardRock hotel & casino

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana & Mexico

At one time Palace and Hard Rock were together. They had Colin Cowie Design a number of collections to make wedding affordable. If you see something similar that is why. I see two collections that would fit into your theme. The Elegant Ivory collection and Metallic Dunes collection possibly White Rosette.

Elegant Ivory classic in every sense of the word. A tasteful white ensemble to make your true colors glow.

This destination wedding collection surrounds you and your guests in varying shades of white, off-white, ivory, and everything in between. Subtle floral hues and a shimmering translucent background add the finishing touches to your flawless beach ceremony.

Included in your Elegant Ivory collection

Wedding ceremony location

White trifold ceremony structure with curtains of sparkling tear drops hanging from each panel

White ceremony podium with floral décor

32 white Chiavari chairs in a variation of themed drapery

Themed floral and aisle décor

Themed two-tier wedding cake for 32 persons

Bridal bouquet

Groom’s boutonniere

Justice of the Peace or minister to perform legal, symbolic, or vow renewal ceremonies*

Softcover album (20 pages/36 pictures)

Soloist for the wedding ceremony (options vary depending on hotel)

Punta Cana: Violin, Saxophone & Guitar

Cancun: Violin, Saxophone, Guitar & Harp

Riviera Maya: Violin, Saxophone & Flute

Vallarta: Violin, Saxophone, Guitar & Keyboard

Bubble display after ceremony – available at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

Ground fireworks display after ceremony (ground fireworks/sparklers) – available at Hard Rock Hotel Cancun and Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Dove release after ceremony – available at Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta

Sparkling wine for 32 persons during ceremony

Honeymoon Wishes wedding website and wedding registry

CD system available during the ceremony

Wedding planner

Witnesses, if required

Complimentary Honeymoon Package

Price: $3,500 USD

*Additional fee applies to civil ceremonies

Elegant Ivory (Hard Rock)

Round Table $300.00 USD each

8 Chiavari chairs with cushions & covers

Themed tablecloth

Floral centerpiece & votive candles

Glass tumblers & wine glasses

Charger plates

White dinner plates

Silverware, Napkins & Napkin Rings

Flowers are available in multiple colors and additional flowers types are available upon request. Please contact our Wedding Specialists for additional information and options.

*Resort Credit cannot be applied to reception tables.

**These tables cannot be combined with non Colin Cowie designed reception tables.

Elegant Ivory Table setting


The famous birthplace of Bob Marley, reggae and the Rastafari movement, Jamaica’s cultural offering to the world is far greater than its size might suggest. With varying degrees of success, beach resorts around the world have attempted to emulate the Jamaican seaside vibe, but once you’ve felt the sand between your toes on this Caribbean island, you’ll accept no substitutes.

But it’s so much more than a beach destination. Beyond the swaying palms and white sands lie misty coffee plantations, the epic Blue Mountains, raging rivers prime for rafting and forests alive with exotic species. It’s not all wild. Manicured parks and gardens are a Jamaican speciality and you can spot exuberant clusters of tropical blooms on any street corner of this fertile island.

At the heart of it all, though, is music. From bass-heavy beats pumping out of Kingston’s frenetic nightclubs, to harmonious choirs singing in village churches, it is in the air wherever you go. If song satisfies Jamaica’s sensual needs, food and drink tend to its soul. Culinary delights range from gourmet seafood in award-winning restaurants to street-side jerk chicken washed down with a chilled can of Red Stripe. You can taste some of the world’s best rum and coffee here, not to mention a sumptuous range of tropical fruits.

Negril and Montego Bay are Jamaica’s two main coastal resorts, with exquisite sands, lively clubs, fine restaurants and world-class golf. And then there’s Kingston, the island’s spirited capital and home of the island’s music scene, where grand Georgian plazas and elegant mansions are serenaded by soca rhythms and the pulsating buzz of the city. Sleepy fishing villages offer a glimpse of Jamaica’s quieter side, but ultimately, whether it’s high-octane adventure or slow travel you’re looking for, you’ll soon be seduced by the rhythm of life on this irresistible island.

Jerked Chicken

Food and Drink in Jamaica

Although some Jamaican food is hot and fiery, a surprising number of dishes use subtle spicing and are free of chilli peppers. Local dishes include meat, poultry, seafood, fruit and vegetables and range from spicy and pickled to plain and deep fried. Restaurants are generally good quality, especially around Montego Bay.

Regional Specialties

• Ackee (the cooked fruit of the ackee tree) and salt fish (dried cod).

• Rice and peas. This actually consists of kidney beans mixed with white rice, coconut milk, scallions (spring onions) and coconut oil.

• Pepperpot soup contains chunks of salt pork and salt beef with okra and callaloo (Indian kale).

• Jerk chicken is marinated overnight in rich spices (cayenne pepper, garlic, chilli, limejuice and all spice) for a full flavour before being wood-smoked in strips.

Things To Know

Bars can open and close when they choose. They are no licensing hours, alcohol can be bought all day and most have table or counter service.

Tipping: Hotels and restaurants tend to add 10% as standard; otherwise 10 to 15% is expected. Tipping is banned in many all-inclusive resorts.

Drinking Age: 18

Sunny Day

Jamaica weather, climate and geography

Best Time To Visit

Consistently warm tropical weather ensures Jamaica is a popular destination year-round. On the coast, temperatures range from 22°C (72°F) and 31°C (88°F) with chilly mornings and evenings denoting winter. Peak season runs roughly from mid-December to mid-April when crowds swell and prices rise. The wettest months are May and October, but showers may occur at any time. Between June and November, Jamaica is prone to hurricanes. It also lies within the earthquake zone. The annual rainfall averages 1980mm, but nationwide there are some considerable variations, with the east coast receiving considerably more rain than elsewhere on the island. Parts of the Blue Mountains receive an average of 7620mm a year. By contrast, the south coast sees little rain and in places is semi-barren. Jamaica is a year-round destination, though there are seasonal differences to consider. Weather-wise, temperature isn't an important factor: winter is usually warm by day and mild to cool by night, and summer months are simply hot.

Required Clothing

Pack lightweight cottons and casual linens. Light woollens are advised for evenings when mosquitoes can make long sleeves more appealing than skimpy beachwear. Sunhats and waterproofs are handy all year round.


With an area of 10,911 sq km (4,244 sq miles), Jamaica is the largest island of the Commonwealth Caribbean and the third largest of the Greater Antilles, after Cuba and Hispaniola. A largely mountainous terrain reaches 2,256m (7,402ft) at the Blue Mountain Peak in the east, descending westward in a series of ridges and forested ravines. Over 1,000km (621 miles) of coastline offers fine beaches in the north and west. At its greatest extent, Jamaica is 235km (146 miles) long with a width that varies between 35 and 82km (22 and 51 miles). The island is a quarter the size of Estonia, half the size of the Scottish Highlands, roughly the same size of the American state of Connecticut.

Olympic winner

Things to do. If you want too!

Dunn's River Falls

Located in a dense tropical forest, Dunn's River Falls is Jamaica's most famous attraction. This Caribbean paradise consists of a number of waterfalls, which cascade over rock terraces down to the Caribbean Sea below, and beautiful natural pools that have formed in the rockface. The falls are shallow enough to enable visitors to climb the 183m (600ft) limestone tiers to reach a tropical shower, from where they can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. There are beautiful beaches at the bottom of these magnificent falls that are also famous for featuring in the first James Bond film, 'Dr No'.

Swim with dolphins and sharks

With its backdrop of tropical rainforest, Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios is Jamaica's largest natural lagoon, home to numerous bottlenose dolphins. Interacting and swimming with these magical creatures is sure to be one of your most unforgettable experiences in Jamaica. And if that's not enough of a thrill, you can also mingle with sharks and stingrays.

Tour historical Spanish Town

Stroll around the ancient streets of Spanish Town, Jamaica's former capital, on a historical walking tour. Under Spanish rule for over 200 years, it was once a magnificent and impressive metropolis. Some fine stately redbrick homes and grand monuments remain, including a resplendent plaza, Anglican cathedral and the magnificent Old King's House mansion.

Uncover Port Royal, Jamaica’s old capital

If you're fascinated by Jamaica's swashbuckling past, pay a visit to Port Royal, which is located at the mouth of Kingston Harbour. This fishing village was once a centre for rum-swilling privateers, who would spend their ill-gotten gains in the local inns. An earthquake in 1692 destroyed much of Port Royal, alas, but the village is still home to a number of historic buildings, which allow visitors a peek into the past.

Spelunk through limestone caves

Check out a huge labyrinth of limestone caves on Jamaica's north coast, a stunning natural phenomenon characterized by stalactites, stalagmites, overhead crags, tunnels, light holes and a subterranean lake. The Green Grotto was once used as shelter by the Arawak Indians (Tainos), Jamaica's now extinct original inhabitants. You can join a guided tour from nearby Ocho Rios or Montego Bay.

Go on a Bob Marley pilgrimage

Jamaica's most famous export is reggae and nobody on the island has done more to popularise this genre of music than Bob Marley. He lived in a modest wooden house at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, which has become something of a shrine to the dreadlocked star. Marley recorded some of his best-loved tracks at this address, which now serves as a museum and pilgrimage site for music fans.

Hike up the Blue Mountains

Follow one of many hiking and climbing trails up the Blue Mountains to heights above 2,100m (7,000ft). The stunning landscape ranges from gently sloping coffee plantations to dwarf cloud forest fringing the peak. Shrouded by mists that give the peaks their bluish tinge, the Blue Mountains are home to more than 200 bird species and 800 species of plants.

Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

Punta Cana

Recent years have been kind to the Dominican Republic, which is now ensconced as the Caribbean’s most visited destination. It’s not hard to see why. A seemingly endless spread of white-sandy beaches and palm trees play host to a similarly sizable range of holiday resorts (some of them ultra-exclusive, some of them less so) and the country has developed a reputation for a good-quality break at a reasonable price. The region around Punta Cana on the east coast is particularly popular, offering golf courses, all-inclusives and the usual fun-in-the-sun trappings.

To see the country purely as a beach destination, however, would be to undersell it. Making up one half of the island of Hispaniola – which it shares with Haiti in the west – it’s one of the most geographically diverse parts of the Caribbean, showcasing everything from tropical rainforests and alpine ranges to mangrove swamps and semi-desert. Mountain-bikers, windsurfers, hikers, climbers and even whale-watchers are well catered for.

No less notably, however, the Dominican Republic is also somewhere heaving with life, blending the heady rhythms of merengue and bachata music with a fondness for rum and religion and a near-unrivalled passion for baseball.

The country has a long history. It was the first part of the region to be discovered by Christopher Columbus, and a visit to capital city Santo Domingo still makes the most natural starting point for cultural visitors (particularly those who like their music loud). Colonial-era churches and fortress still stand proud, and the city as a whole is a thrusting, energetic destination full of speaker-blaring corner stores and dance-til-you-drop nightclubs.

While it’s a large country by Caribbean standards, it remains relatively easy to combine different elements of the destination on one itinerary. And whether you’re here for the beaches, the music, the countryside or the culture, the DR in full swing is a force to be reckoned with.

Another Sunny Day

Dominican Republic weather, climate and geography

Best Time To Visit

Hot with tropical temperatures all year with coastal areas being warmer than central regions. There are two rainy seasons; the heaviest is from May to August and the other is from November to December. Hurricanes may sometimes occur during these periods.

Required Clothing

Lightweight fabrics are best suited to the tropical temperatures. Waterproofs are essential during the rainy seasons.


The Dominican Republic shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the nation of Haiti. It is larger than its French-speaking neighbour, making up the eastern two-thirds of the landmass. A series of mountain belts stretch across the border region, most notably in the form of the Cordillera Central; at 3,175m (10,414ft) the peak of Pico Duarte represents the highest point of the country.

The Dominican landscape is frequently forested and often undulating, with a multitude of valleys, plains and plateaux. The soil is fertile with excellent white beaches on the north, southeast and east coasts. Ten per cent of the country was set aside in the 1970s to be protected as national parks and science reserves, and, in spite of occasional hurricanes and fires, these areas remain largely intact. Today there are 17 national parks in the Dominican Republic.

Capital city Santo Domingo sits on the south coast (providing a popular stop-off for cruise ships), while the country's second largest city, Santiago, is located in the central northwest region.

The Reserva Cientifica Banco de Plata is an underwater park located off the north coast, set up to preserve a breeding ground for the thousands of humpback whales that visit each winter.

Food and Drink in Dominican Republic

Native Dominican cooking combines Spanish and African influences with local produce. There is plenty of fresh fish and seafood, and the most popular meats are beef, chicken, and pork.

Island-grown tomatoes, lettuce, papaya, mangoes, passion fruit and citrus fruits are delicious, while rice, yucca, and sweet potatoes are staples. Meat dominates restaurant menus, with the gut-busting La Bandera (‘The Flag’) being the closest to a national dish – it comprises chicken or beef and is served with rice, plantain, avocado, yucca and salad.

As for drinks, the island’s traditional sugarcane is used to produce some fine rum, including blanco (white), dorado (golden) or añejo (aged). Delicious, though very sweet, fruit shakes are sold from street stalls. Known as batidos, they are made with fruit, milk, sugar and crushed ice – just the tonic for a hot day.

Regional Specialties

La bandera: Widely considered the national dish, comprising white rice, red beans, stewed meat, salad and fried plantain.

Pipian de chivo: Goat stew, a spicy dish popular in the northwest.

Asopao de pollo: Chicken and rice stew, a hearty winter’s dish.

Mofongo: Meat stew, with mashed plantain, garlic and pork crackling.

Mondongo: A traditional countryside dish of tripe and entrails stew.

Sancocho: A stew served on special family occasions, packed with several kinds of meat, vegetables, and plantain.

Lechónasado: Suckling pig, a popular feast at Christmas, roasted on the spit.

Chicharrones: Crisp pork rind, usually eaten as a bar snack with chilled beer.

Chicharrones de pollo: Small pieces of fried chicken.

Sopa criolladominicana: Native soup of meat and vegetables.

Pastelón: Baked vegetable cake.

RopaVieja: Literally ‘old clothes’, a rich stew of fried shredded beef, served with rice and salad.

Chimichurri: Pork sandwich, cooked on the spit and sold in street stalls.

Presidente: Popular Dominican beer, light lager, served chilled.

Rum: The country’s liquor of choice it’s the base for many cocktails.

Coffee: Dominican coffee is excellent and served very strong, usually black; best varieties are Baracona, Ocoa and Bani.

Things To Know

Beef is expensive (Dominicans raise fine cattle, but most is exported). Local favourites are pork, chicken and goat meat. Locally produced beer and rums are cheaper than imported alcohol, which tends to be expensive.

Tipping: Hotel and restaurant bills automatically include a 10% service charge (on top of a 12% tax), but an additional tip may be given as an appreciation of good service.

Drinking Age: 18

take me away

Things to see and do in Dominican Republic

Golf - Tee off

Enjoy a round of golf under the Caribbean sun. The sport has boomed in recent years, with dozens of luxury resort courses, including many that are considered in the top 50 in the Caribbean.

watch out for whales

Jump on a whale watching boat and go in search of the magnificent humpback whales, thousands of which make their annual winter arrival off the Samaná headland, on the northeastern tip of the island. The season for witnessing this thrilling spectacle generally stretches from mid-January to mid-March; you can find organized boat trips in the little port of Santa Barbara de Samaná.


Yucatan or Baja

spicy as salsa, intoxicating as tequila and surreal as a Frida Kahlo canvas, Mexico fills the senses, energizes the intellect and nourishes the soul. This huge country encompasses epic landscapes; from northern deserts and snowy peaks of the central sierra, to the jungle highlands of southern Chiapas and the beaches of the Yucatán Peninsula.

Pre-Colombian civilizations made their mark with the vast pyramids of Teotihuacán, stunning temples of Chichén Itzá and countless other archaeological wonders. The Spanish heritage has also been well preserved, with charming towns built around shady plazas and whitewashed churches; San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato and Dolores Hidalgo are treasures of the central Colonial Heartland.

Mexico today is a booming modern economy, led by its gargantuan capital, Mexico City. Once you adjust to the relentless pace of life in this metropolis, you can indulge in world-class museums, dine in exquisite restaurants, cut shapes in clubs and barter at sprawling markets. Beyond the modern cities, lie sleepy villages where age-old customs and ancient beliefs endure. San Cristobal de las Casas is a major hub, ringed by indigenous villages, with churches combining pagan beliefs with Roman Catholicism. Across the country, lively festivals reflect this blending of faiths, most famously at the Day of the Dead ceremony.

For visitors seeking outdoor adventure, Mexico delivers. Nature lovers can go whale watching in Baja California, reef diving off the Yucatán Peninsula and trekking through the jungle to glowing blue lagoons bordering Guatemala. Adrenaline activities are in amply supply too, from canyoning in Veracruz and hang-gliding in Hidalgo to volcano climbing, caving and river rafting.

One of the great joys of a visit to Mexico is its cuisine. Emulated around the world, its crispy tacos, mole sauces and burritos are amongst the mouth-watering specialties on offer. They are best washed down with one of Mexico’s many beers or a shot of mescal if you’re in the party mood, which everyone else here seems to be.

Mexico weather, climate and geography

Best Time To Visit

Mexico is a great destination to visit throughout the year. Altitude is a determining factor with regards to the weather, with cooler temperatures at higher elevations (Mexico City, Puebla, San Cristóbal de las Casas) and warmer, tropical weather as you descend to sea level (Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Cancun).

Along the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, the winter months (November-February) are warm and sunny. Many Europeans visit during this time to escape winter in their homelands. The summer months (June-August), meanwhile, are very hot and humid with heavy rain showers and the occasional hurricane.

October and November are perhaps the best months to visit the interior, after the rains have ended and everything is still green.

Required Clothing

This varies from area to area. Natural fibres are best in the heat, but have a sweater on hand as the nights are generally cooler. A sun hat will help to avoid dehydration. In the mountains, heavier clothing will be required.


Mexico is at the southern extremity of North America and is bordered to the north by the USA, northwest by the Gulf of California, west by the Pacific, south by Guatemala and Belize, and east by the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Mexico's geographical features range from swamp to desert, and from tropical lowland jungle to high alpine vegetation. Over half the country is at an altitude greater than 1,000m (3,300ft). The central land mass is a plateau flanked by ranges of mountains to the east and west that lie roughly parallel to the coast. The northern area of this plateau is arid and thinly populated, and occupies 40% of the total area of Mexico.


Food and Drink in Mexico

Corn is the main ingredient in Mexican cuisine, and every meal comes with a basket of hot tortillas - rounds of toasted cornmeal. Tacos, available everywhere, consist of hot tortillas topped with beef, pork or fish. Other common corn-based antojitos (snacks) include tamales (banana leaf or corn-husk packages of cornmeal laced with various spicy sauces), quesadillas (fried tortillas filled with cheese and/or vegetables) and flautas (chicken-filled tortillas rolled like cigars and deep fried). Zesty salsas, often served in clay bowls, are another must at any table or lunch counter.

Fresh fish and shellfish are the main attraction along both coasts. For vegetarians, nopales, the succulent and slightly slimy leaves of the prickly pear cactus are a good option, as are squash blossoms and all kinds of wild mushrooms. Also look out for exotic fruits like zapote (sapodilla) and tuna (cactus fruit).

Among local spirits, tequila, mezcal and rum reign supreme. Corona and Sol are the most popular beers - light and refreshing, and often drunk with a wedge of lime.

Regional Specialties

• Mole refers to a range of complex sauces based around chillis and a number of other herbs and spices. The most famous version, mole poblano, was reputedly created by nuns at a Puebla convent. The chocolaty blend is usually poured over turkey and sprinkled with sesame seeds.

• Guacamole is an avocado mole with red peppers, onions and tomatoes.

• Look out for exotic fruits like zapote (brown fruit resembling an avocado), and tuna (juicy prickly pear, fruit of the cactus).

• Cabrito asado (roasted kid goat) is a northern specialty: in Monterrey, Saltillo or Torreón, restaurant windows display whole goat carcasses grilling on a stake over a coals. Served on a bed of sizzling onions with cowboy beans and plenty of tortillas.

• Cochinita pibil is Yucatán's signature dish: suckling pig marinated in citrus juice and the reddish dye of annatto seeds, wrapped in banana leaves, then slow-roasted in an underground pit.

Tipping: Service charges are rarely added to hotel, restaurant or bar bills and many of the staff depend on tips for their livelihood. 15% is expected and 20% if the service has been very good.

Drinking Age: 18

Things to see and do in Mexico

Dive off Cozumel

From Baja California's deep Pacific waters to the warm Caribbean Sea, Mexico offers some fine dive sites. The reefs surrounding Cozumel island are prized diving spots known for their tropical marine life and unusual coral formations. Other fine spots for diving or snorkelling include Banco Chinchorro coral atoll off Yucatán's Costa Maya, and southern Baja California and Zihuatanejo on the Pacific coast.

Dip into an ancient Cenote

The limestone terrain of the Yucatán peninsula is peppered with deep, naturally formed sinkhole pools known as cenotes, ideal for swimming or diving. Some, such as Xlacah near the archaeological site of Dzibilchaltún, have ritual significance for the local Maya. Others, like Dos Ojos near Akumal in the Yucatán Peninsula, connect to extensive underground cave networks.

Experience the equinox at Chichén-Itzá

The ceremonial city of Chichén-Itzá was built over 1,000 years ago, but the Maya mystique still draws crowds. The best time to visit is during the spring or autumn equinox when shadows show Kukulcan, a Mayan snake deity, working his way up the steps. Other amazing but less-visited Maya sites include Calakmul in southern Campeche and Bonampak, with its polychromatic murals, in Chiapas.

Find your own personal beach paradise

Mexico boasts fantastic beaches along both coasts. On the Baja California Peninsula, many head for Los Cabos, to San Lucas and San José. On the Caribbean side, make for Isla de Mujeres, a slender island off the Yucatán coast fringed by crushed coral sands. Surfers wil be right at home on the Pacific coast, notably along the Costa Azul of southern Baja, as well as to Sayulita and Puerto Escondido.

Greet the dawn at Tulum

Seeing the sunrise over the Maya-Toltec ruins of Tulum, near Playa del Carmen, is well worth an early start. The intentionally top-heavy temples were dedicated to the setting sun, but if you want to avoid the evening crowds, explore in peace then take a pre-breakfast dip in the turquoise sea – the ruins virtually sit on the beach.

Party all night in Cancun

Hedonists should book a ticket to one of Cancún's 15,000-capacity beach parties, which go on all night and most of the day. Spring Break is the ultimate party period, when many American students come to town to let their hair down. For a more distinctively Mexican blowout, try the Pacific port of Mazatlán for Carnival (preceding Ash Wednesday).

Wedding Packages


Created with images by aitorstudio - "wedding rings marriage" • NGDPhotoworks - "ring wedding detail" • Kaloozer - "Hard Rock Casino - Las Vegas" • Peggy_Marco - "waterfall water flow" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Map of Jamaica : prepared from the best authorities by order of His Excellency Sir Henry Wylie Norman, G.C.B. G.C.M.G., C.I.E., Captain General and Governor in Chief" • Matt Spurr - "Jerk Chicken, Notting Hill Carnival '09" • ASSY - "palm in black and white palm florida" • Arian Zwegers - "Brussels, Memorial Van Damme, Usain Bolt" • Sarah_Ackerman - "Sol Melia Pool" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Carte de L'Isle de St. Domingue une des Grandes Antilles, Colonies Francoise et Espagnole" • photon_de - "Sunset" • colros - "Teddy's Island BBQ" • Altavoz - "catamaran sailing boat beach" • Mariamichelle - "mexican ruin cancun xcaret" • Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the BPL - "Transportation lines between the United States and Mexico, showing differences of elevation" • Christine Rondeau - "Lasagna at Shambala Petit Hotel" • dMap Travel Guide - "Coral Reef" • NGDPhotoworks - "flower wedding detail"

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