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Latin Distractions: Escapes, Experiences and Events

Chilean Destination Embraces Criteria for Sustainable Tourism

August 21st, 2013

Chilean Destination Completes “Early Adopter” Assessment of Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations

Image from Lake Llanquihue area

The Chilean destination of Lake Llanquihue has completed the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Early Adopters pilot program to test its new Criteria and Indicators for Destinations. The destination joins the Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu corridor in Peru as the first South American destinations to participate in and complete the GSTC Early Adopters program.

The Early Adopters program is overseen by GSTC’s Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International (STI). The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which is the worldwide sustainability standard for tourism businesses.

Located in south central Chile in the Los Lagos Region, this tourism destination notably features Lake Llanquihue, the second largest lake in Chile, and the lake resort towns of Frutillar, Puerto Varas, Llanquihue, and Puerto Octay.  Tourism is economically vital to the region, where visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding volcanoes, and partake in outdoor recreation such as skiing, hiking, hot springs, and activities in and around the lake.

“We are pleased to welcome Peru and Chile to the Early Adopters Program,” said GSTC Board Chairperson Kelly S. Bricker, Ph.D. “These two iconic South American destinations are demonstrating true global leadership. We are confident that this second and final round of our pilot program will help the GSTC continue our effort to incorporate diverse perspectives and improve the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations for world-wide application through a transparent, collaborative process,” she said.

“Chile’s participation in the GSTC Early Adopter Program is part of our national strategy to position ourselves as a sustainable destination,” Fernando Ortúzar, Regional Director of Tourism Los Lagos said. “It is a tremendous challenge for the region and posed an extraordinary opportunity for the four municipalities, the private sector and all Lake Llanquihue stakeholders to lead the development of sustainable tourism,” he said.

During a 10-day span, a sustainable destination specialist from Sustainable Travel International met with key stakeholders in Lake Llanquihue to discuss tourism, entrepreneurship, economic development, environmental conservation, and heritage protection.  In Santiago, the on-site meeting opened with tourism leaders from the public and private sector, including national representatives from SernaturCorfo,Subsecretaría de Turismo, FEDETUR, and the tourism program at Andres Bello University, as well as individual business owners.

Sustainable Travel International met with a small working group at the beginning and end of the evaluation period, and also conducted stakeholder meetings and site visits throughout the period. More than 30 leading organizations and local leaders in tourism were consulted during the evaluation, which included a comprehensive review of the legislative and policy framework relevant to the GSTC Destination Criteria.

The report also included key sustainability areas covered by the GSTC Destination Criteria that the destination can improve upon based on the findings.  Stakeholders in the destination participated in the Criteria and Indicators development process by adding their feedback.

Additional Early Adopter destinations will be announced in the coming weeks.  Once feedback has been collected from the Early Adopter destinations and synthesized, the GSTC will develop and distribute a final version of the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations.  The final version is expected in November 2013.

About the GSTC
The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. Housed within the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit www.gstcouncil.org.

About the GSTC Destination Criteria
A panel of business owners, academics, government officials, and other experts, who examined the UN World Tourism Organization’s Indicators of Sustainable Development and other such guidelines currently in existence, developed the GSTC’s Destination Criteria. Because the criteria are intended to describe a globally applicable set of minimum steps needed to approach sustainability, the criteria are seen as a baseline that each destination should add to or adjust as needed.

The GSTC does not aim to certify destinations as sustainable; rather, the Council will review existing certification standards and acknowledge those that meet their criteria. However, any destination will be able to use the new criteria as a guide to becoming environmentally, culturally, and socially sustainable.

About Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We’ve been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.

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Matías Meyer’s The Last Christeros

August 21st, 2013

The Last Christeros

Cinema Tropical presents the U.S. Theatrical premiere of ‘The Last Christeros’ (Los últimos cristeros) by Matías Meyer, a highly unusual historical film that takes a meditative, nearly non-narrative approach to portraying the experiences of those who continued to resist the Mexican government’s anti-Christian (especially anti-Roman Catholic) persecution, even following the official end of the Cristero War in 1929. The film opens on Friday, August 30 for a one-week exclusive engagement at Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

Devoted to the cause, despite their increasing desperation and fatigue, and their yearning to rejoin their families, this band of rebels – whose genuine religious faith and spiritual innocence is apparent despite their paradoxical embrace of armed struggle – trudges exhaustedly through the hills and mountains of rural Mexico, experiencing moments of grace and beauty amid the violence and suffering. Eschewing a narrative chronicle of the War’s events, Meyer instead puts us in his weary fighters’ shoes, and emphasizes the quiet, strangely tranquil moments between battles.

Winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Director, this third feature by Meyer (following Wadley and The Cramp) decisively establishes him as one of the most gifted of young Mexican filmmakers, and represents a striking combination of minimalist cinema and historical depiction. Based on Antonio Estrada’s acclaimed novel Rescoldo, the film was nominated for eight Ariel Awards, Mexico’s national film prize, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The film is presented in anticipated of GENMEX PART II, a series featuring some of the most inventive and cutting-edge filmmakers working in Mexico today, running September 6-12 and presented by Anthology Film Archives, Cinema Tropical, and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York.

“The final days of a band of 1930s Christian rebels in the central Mexican wilderness are depicted with majestic stoicism in Meyer’s elegant ode to independence (…) the film is free of factoidal narrative, and has been de-dramatized to convey the experience of being a guerrilla fighter.”
–Robert Koehler, Variety

About the filmmaker: Matías Meyer was born in Perpignan, France. A graduate of the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in Mexico City, he is one of the founders of the independent production company Axolote Cine, created in 2006. His first feature filmWadley, premiered in the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2008. El Calambre / The Cramp, his sophomore production based on a short story by Gao Xingjian, premiered in the same festival in 2010. His work has been screened in numerous film festivals including Locarno, Morelia, FICCO, Buenos Aired Independent (BAFICI), Cinéma du réel y Clermont Ferrand, among others. He’s currently developing his new project untitled Yo, for which he received support from the Hubert Bals Fund.

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Old Charm Within A New Patagonian Restaurant

August 20th, 2013

The Singular Patagonia Transforms 100 Year Old Blacksmith Forge Into Authentic Patagonia BBQ

© The Singular of Patagonia

Allow us to introduce you to a charming new Patagonian restaurant. The Singular Patagonia, which will enter its third full season on October 1, will unveil a new restaurant along the shores of the Fjord of Last Hope Sound overlooking the Andes. The award-winning resort, which opened in 2011 as the result of a luxurious re-purposing of a century old former cold storage plant in the heart of Southern Patagonia, is fashioning the restaurant through the restoration of the old blacksmith forge, a space once responsible for creating tools and spare parts essential to the plant’s operation. In its place, rustic iron tools will be traded for more modern kitchen utensils as Chef Laurent Pasqualetto creates an authentic open-air Patagonian barbecue experience. 

Maintaining the original infrastructure where the factory’s blacksmith worked and showcasing antique circa 1890 forging machinery originating from the London-based Pooley & Sons, the new El Asador restaurant will welcome up to 60 guests to feast on wood-grilled meat including lamb, guanaco, rabbit and other locally sourced delicacies. The Singular culinary team will use the region’s best ingredients to create a simple, yet savory BBQ menu in a relaxed casual setting with items such as Costillar de Cordero (lamb ribs with honey and lemon chimichurri) and Filete de Guanaco (guanaco filet with Calafate sauce and herbs). There are lighter items as well, mostly as starters, including: “Betarragas con Queso Cabra” (beets with goat cheese, garlic chips, warm chickpeas, roasted peppers and arugula); a selection of local charcuterie; and a soup of the day.

El Asador will be open to hotel guests as an alternative to the main dining room and dinner there will be included in the Full Board plan for those participating.  An a la carte menu will be available for non-hotel guest diners.  The new barbecue restaurant will be open Tuesday through Sunday 7pm to 10:30pm.

The Singular Patagonia opened in December 2011 and sits on nearly 30 acres of breathtaking land in Puerto Bories deep in the heart of Southern Chile’s Patagonia region overlooking the Fjord of Last Hope. After a meticulous 10-year restoration and renovation, the post-Victorian 1915 Bories Cold Storage Plant, once the epicenter of the sheep farming industry and now designated a national landmark, breathes new life as a 57-room luxury resort offering globe-trotting guests an unparalleled experience. The new property, resurrected by fourth generation relatives of the plant’s founders (Patagonian pioneers and members of the Sociedad Explotadora de Tierra del Fuego) who developed the area nearly a century ago, pays homage to its historic past by returning the building to its original industrial grandeur while using modern, green technologies to deliver all of the conveniences and comforts guests expect today. Guests of The Singular Patagonia feel like true pioneers as they explore private, pristine reserves accessible only to hotel guests. From trekking a private mountainous reserve to sailing the fjords, connecting and communing with nature is guaranteed. After a day of adventure guests can retreat to The Singular to be pampered in the spa or indulge in the gastronomic delights of the hotel’s restaurant – both of which use local sustainable ingredients to enhance the experience and illustrate the property’s dedication to responsible tourism. Rates start at $350 per night.

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How To Master The Art of Travel: A School of Guides

August 13th, 2013

South America’s leading adventure travel outfit educates 10 new guides with a 100-day learning experience

explora guide training © explora travel

Have you ever wanted to explore the art of travel?

The beauty of nature, fascinating culture, authentic adventure, and the luxury of the essential are what draw travelers to discover the remote regions of South America with explora. But there is more to travel with explora. When travelers head out on explorations from explora lodges – Hotel Salto Chico in Patagonia; Hotel de Larache in the Atacama Desert; and Posada de Mike Rapu on Easter Island – their experience is in the hands of the best guides in the adventure travel business.

Guides are essential to the explora experience, in fact, the company has not only developed a rigorous recruitment process to pick and choose the best but has created the explora School of Guides to train new hires in explora’s “art of travel” that keeps travelers coming back for more – whatever the destination.

The training graces guides with a thorough knowledge of the regions explora calls home, as well as the ability to aid travelers in choosing the most appropriate explorations for their interests and abilities. On Easter Island for instance, explora employs many guides that were born and raised on the remote landmass, making them direct heirs to the island’s rich culture and traditions and real authorities on the most interesting ways to experience it.

Always putting safety first, all explora guides are prepared to wade into unforeseen opportunities and are adept at creating circumstances that enable travelers to make discoveries on their own. explora guides are also well aware of the beauty of silence: Though typically youthful and garrulous by nature, they respect moments of quiet contemplation so prized by many travelers.

School of Guides 2013
This year’s School of Guides unfolded in mid-July at 5,000 feet in the Colunquén region of central valley of Chile about an hour from Santiago. Ten participants arrived to set up camp and spend six preliminary days learning what it takes to be an explora guide. It was a diverse group including an architect, a designer, an economist, a rugby player, a veterinarian, and a former Jesuit seminarian looking for a new calling after 14 years. The school was led by Guillermo Parra, explora’s Explorations Manager; Jessica Dill, a former explora guide, now an Operations Assistant; Pedro Ibáñez Jr., former head guide of explora Patagonia; and Elisa Ibáñez, explora’s Executive Director.

The training was thoroughgoing befitting the responsibility guides hold, with lessons in the history and philosophy of explora taught by company founder Pedro Ibáñez; the development of the tourism industry in Chile; Chilean history; oratory and guidance techniques; glaciology; geology; archeology; local flora and fauna; and an introduction to horses and the equestrian arts by Gaela Hourcq, explora’s head horse trainer. There were also team-building experiences to build camaraderie and confidence created by Vertical, a Chile-based pioneer in the use of experiential learning as a resource for the development of organizations.

As any explora guide will tell you, the learning never stops. Indeed, for attendees of the 2013 School of Guides, it continued immediately following graduation with placement at an explora lodge and three months of in-field training before they can officially be called “explora guides.” Come experience why the World Travel Awards – a.k.a., the Oscars of the tourism industry – recently recognized explora as South America’s Leading Expedition Company, and why explora’s guides are the best in the adventure business.

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Big Step Toward Sustainable Tourism in Peru

August 13th, 2013

Cusco Region of Peru Completes Assessment Of Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria for Destinations

Cusco, Peru

 

Here’s big news regarding sustainable tourism in Peru. The Destination Cusco-Sacred Valley-Machu Picchu, Peru, known locally as the Cusco region and globally for the Historic Sanctuary of Machu Picchu and City of Cusco World Heritage Sites, has completed the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) Early Adopters pilot program to test its new Criteria and Indicators for Destinations. The Cusco region is one of Peru’s most visited tourist destinations, and joins the Chilean destination of Lake Llanquihue as the first South American destinations to participate in and complete the GSTC Early Adopters program.The Early Adopters program is overseen by GSTC’s Destination Working Group and managed by NGO partner Sustainable Travel International (STI). The Destination Criteria complement the existing GSTC Criteria for Hotels and Tour Operators, which is the worldwide sustainability standard for tourism businesses.Tourism is a key driver of the Cusco region’s economy, as it is the second largest foreign exchange earner. It sits 3,399 meters above sea level in the heart of the Andes and was once the center of the Inca Empire. It is widely considered the archaeological capital of the Americas due to its unique blend of colonial and ancient Inca architecture.“The Cusco Region’s leadership in sustainable destination management is truly noteworthy,” said GSTC Chair Kelly Bricker. “This iconic South American destination is demonstrating true global leadership in adopting the GSTC’s baseline Criteria and Indicators for Destinations,” she said.

Machu Picchu

“The outcomes of the GSTC Early Adopter Program will help us to prioritize the development of a regional destination sustainability action agenda for Cusco, Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu. This is an important first step for our destination,” said Fernando Santoyo Vargas, director of Cusco Destination Management Organization.

Sustainable Travel International conducted an on-site evaluation in the Cusco region over a period of 10 business days. The lead sustainable destination specialist met with key stakeholders involved in tourism, environmental conservation, heritage protection, physical planning, and the provision of utilities. A small working group was established consisting of MINCETURSwisscontact Peru and DMO Cusco. In addition, a number of focus group meetings were held with the tourism private sector, environment and utilities experts, and tourism marketing and management staff, which included a comprehensive review of the legislative and policy framework relevant to the GSTC Destination Criteria. A total of 41 leading organizations and local leaders from the tourism sector were consulted.

A comprehensive report was provided by Sustainable Travel International, which included key sustainability areas covered by the GSTC Destination Criteria that the destination can improve upon based on the findings.  Stakeholders in the destination participated in the validation of the report and the Criteria and Indicators development process by providing their feedback for improving the GSTC Destination Criteria.

Once feedback has been collected from the Early Adopter destinations and synthesized, the GSTC will develop and distribute a final version of the Criteria and Indicators for Destinations. The final version is expected in November 2013.

Travel Forever: Global Sustainable Tourism Council

About the GSTC

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council is a global initiative dedicated to promoting sustainable tourism efforts around the world. Housed within the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the GSTC works to expand understanding of and access to sustainable tourism practices; helps identify and generate markets for sustainable tourism; and educates about and advocates for a set of universal principles, as defined by the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria. The Criteria, a set of voluntary principles that provide a framework for the sustainability of tourism businesses across the globe, is the cornerstone of our initiative. For more information, visit http://www.gstcouncil.org/.

About the GSTC Destination Criteria
A panel of business owners, academics, government officials, and other experts, who examined the UN World Tourism Organization’s Indicators of Sustainable Development and other such guidelines currently in existence, developed the GSTC’s Destination Criteria. Because the criteria are intended to describe a globally applicable set of minimum steps needed to approach sustainability, the criteria are seen as a baseline that each destination should add to or adjust as needed.

The GSTC does not aim to certify destinations as sustainable; rather, the Council will review existing destination-level certification standards and recognize those that meet their criteria. However, any destination will be able to use the new criteria as a guide to becoming environmentally, culturally, and socially sustainable.

About Sustainable Travel International
Sustainable Travel International is a non-profit organization with a purpose. We’ve been collaborating with destinations, businesses and travelers to implement innovative sustainable tourism development and conservation solutions since 2002. We combine the mission and transparency of a non-profit NGO with the business acumen and expertise of the private sector, ensuring our partners achieve their desired results and receive a strong return on investment.

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Compliments of the Chef: Manuel Peruyero’s Mango Salad

August 11th, 2013

 

Mango & Arugula Salad, Compliments of Chef Manuel Peruyero

During the entire month of August, Starwood Hotel Group’s The Westin Resort & Spa, Los Cabos is celebrating the fruit of the season – the mango – by introducing new menu items and specials during its Mango Festival.

There are a thousand types of mangos and the Criollo variety that is grown along the Peninsula of Baja California Sur – and especially in the area of Los Cabos — is in its peak season from mid-July through August.

Under the helm of Manuel Peruyero, executive chef for The Westin, Los Cabos, the resort’s Four Star Diamond award-winning Arrecifes Restaurant debuts menus this month that feature appetizers, entrées, desserts and cocktails, all made using fresh, local mangos.

Chef Manuel Peruyero has been kind enough to share with us his recipe for mango salad. ¡Buen provecho!

Ingredients:

mango
arugula
frisse
pumpkin seeds
fennel
Tajin chili seasoning
Ramonetti cheese with basil

Dressing:

sherry vinegar
roasted shallot
olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper

Instructions:

Peel and cut the mango into bite-size pieces
Wash the arugula
Clean and wash the frisse
Roast pumpkin seeds in a pan; once they are roasted, mix in Tajin seasoning
Clean the fennel and put into cold water
Cut the cheese into bite-size pieces

Mix first four dressing ingredients together, finishing with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange mango and cheese on the plate and surround with fennel, arugula and frisse. Top with the dressing and finish with the roasted, seasoned pumpkin seeds.

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‘Spearheading’ Lionfish Conservation In Belize

August 6th, 2013

Lionfish are Destroying Reefs in Belize. ReefCI and SafeSpear Need Your Help!

An end to a successful day of hunting lionfist

Calling all divers, snorkelers, journalists, underwater photographers and videographers.   Come join ReefCI in the FIRST EVER month long lionfish derby. Stay for 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks and help the ReefCI spear them, dissect them, analyse them, prepare them and eat them! This is all in the name of lionfish conservation.

Bring your cameras, bring your videos and help spread awareness about the lionfish invasion! Their aim is to break every record and remove as many lionfish as possible during a 4-week period.  The ReefCI already holds the record for the LARGEST lionfish caught in Belize, and now is your chance to help them break many more……

ReefCI is so passionate about the issue they are offering a 15% discount on their standard rates for all bookings during lionfish September.

Included in the trip:

  • Island transfers.
  • All island accommodation.
  • All meals on the island.
  • All diving.
  • PADI Open Water and Advanced Open water certifications (a $50US admin fee applies).
  • Diving equipment.
  • Spears and bags will be supplied.

This is the start of an exciting new collaboration between ReefCI and SafeSpear! At the end of the trip, everyone will be a ReefCI & SafeSpear certified “Lionfish Hunter” and will receive a certification. Click here to learn why this program is so important to the Caribbean belt environment.

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South America’s Leading Destination: Quito, Ecuador

August 6th, 2013

Magnificent mansion hotel overlooking Plaza San Francisco puts guests front and center for engaging the World Travel Awards’ pick for best destination in the continent

Casa Gangotena In Quito, Ecuador

Thanks to a collective effort by entrepreneurial locals and impressive government-sponsored initiatives, Quito, Ecuador’s nearly 500-year-old center is experiencing a beautiful revival. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is growing into a vibrant community of churches, monasteries, museums, restaurants and cafes.  Further supported by jet-lag-free time zones and direct flights from three U.S. cities (plus easy connections from many others) experiencing Quito is easier than ever. Where to stay to get the most from the best destination in South America? One of the best hotels in town, of course. Casa Gangotena is located at San Francisco Square in the heart of the recently designated Leading Destination in South America 2013 by the World Travel Awards.

Located overlooking Plaza San Francisco, Casa Gangotena puts guests front and center for engaging the vibrant heart of Old Town Quito and in convenient proximity for departures to the Andes, the Amazon, the Pacific Coast and the Galápagos Islands beyond.

The three-story restored historic mansion offers 31 guest rooms, each a showcase of eye-catching style and contemporary design highlighted by modern technologies and quintessential comforts. Elsewhere, restored interiors draw the eye with Art Nouveau and contemporary touches combined with original Neo-Classical architecture, while the hotel restaurant dazzles visiting and local palates with refined Ecuadorian classics.

Opened in October 2011, Casa Gangotena was honored as one of “The World’s Most Exciting New Hotels 2012” on Condé Nast Traveler’s annual “Hot List” and was included in Travel + Leisure’s 2012 “IT LIST” of the 50 most exciting new properties around the globe.

The hotel’s private terrace offers a superb perspective on Plaza San Francisco, making it the perfect spot for watching the Easter festivities in Quito, which completely transforms the Old Town as tens of thousands turn out to reenact Christ carrying the cross and participate in other traditional religious rituals.

Along with rewarding guests with award-winning hospitality and stylish comforts, Casa Gangotena is committed to improving the quality of life and culture in the city it calls home. Long before opening, the hotel signed on to support its neighbors of the San Roque Neighborhood, who decided to guard their cultural heritage throughout activities and projects with merchants and artisans.

Experience the finest hospitality in the World Travel Awards’ pick for the Best Destination in South America and save doing it with special 25% off promotion during the month of September and December 1-15, 2013.

Regular rates at Casa Gangotena from $375, including buffet breakfast and Quito-style afternoon coffee snack, but excluding taxes.

Reservations are being accepted for Casa Gangotena at info@casagangotena.comor through http://www.casagangotena.com.

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Grand Velas Resorts Open High-Tech Teen Lounges

August 6th, 2013

Grand Velas Resorts Open High-Tech Teen Lounges with all the Extras; Expands Kids Club for Under 12 Set

The AAA Five Diamond “Beyond All-Inclusive, Beyond All-Compare” Grand Velas resorts in the Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit have opened spacious, new high tech teen lounges with everything a teen could want. Features, which vary by resort, range from games like billiards, air hockey , foosball and arcade games, to video game systems Xbox and PS3, special seats with built in speakers for enhanced game play, and individual cubicles with a 40” LED TV. When evening sets in, the fun continues with a disco dance floor with surround sound and special lighting, and karaoke complete with 45,000 songs in multiple languages.

A separate bar area serves a wide selection of teen friendly soft drinks and concoctions and favorite snacks, or teens can order room service if the dancing works up an appetite, with all food and beverage included in the daily room rate. Four 55” LED TVs project current sports programs and music videos, while Apple TV lets them connect their iPhone or iPads.

Video games take center stage with everything from five individual cubicles, each with Play Station 3 console, and special seats made for video gaming. Extra consoles feature Xbox and Kinect. At Grand Velas Riviera Maya, younger kids ages 4 to 12 can enjoy an expanded kids club complete with seven video game consoles with Xbox, Wii and more than 30 games as well as equipment for projection of Blu-ray films, and comfortable tables and chairs for all kinds of board games and craft projects.

Both resorts have a special summer camp from now until the end of August. The camps include welcome gifts for young people, adventure activities (climbing wall, zip-lining, horseback riding), authentic Mayan arts and crafts, a teen’s program and weekly themed activities for the whole family, including a Mexican Fair, Summer Olympics, Culinary Contest and Picnic Parties. They also have Leading Spas of the World, where Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit offers Kids’ Spa treatments, as well as a Family Spa Collection that includes mother-daughter rituals. Each resort has its own mascot for kids – Pancho the monkey for Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit and Amy the raccoon for Grand Velas Riviera Maya.

In Grand Velas Riviera Maya, the Teen Lounge is open year-round from 11 a.m. from 12 a.m.; Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. in the summer and holiday periods.

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The Rise of Argentine Malbec

August 6th, 2013

Boom Varietal

The buzz among wine connoisseurs and novices alike, is one word – Malbec. Argentine Malbec. Originally from France, Malbec found its perfect home, its perfect terroir in the dry Argentine climate. Its booming popularity has swept through the US and the world, reviving a varietal that has been nearly lost. Documenting how an inexpensive blend originally only intended for local demand rising to become an international star, Boom Varietal interviews winemakers spearheading the rise of Malbec, wine connoisseurs, as well as foreign investors hoping to profit from the boom. Boom Varietal will inspire not only your palate, but a love for Argentina’s rich culture.

• Winner! Gold Kahnua Award, Honolulu Film Festival
• Silver Ace Award, Las Vegas Film Festival
• Bronze Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival

“A great documentary…the film is excellent and truly portrays the passion and struggles behind the great Malbec wines we do enjoy here in North America.” – Mano a Vino

“The film captivated me, drawing me into the world of Malbec and the people and places associated with it.” – WineEconomist

Packaged in a 100% Certified Green Forestry Practices Eco Pack

72 minutes, documentary, color, English & Spanish w/English subtitles, 2011

A film by Sky Pinnick & Kirk Ermisch

 

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