• Our Awards
  • Cancun, Mexico
  • Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
  • Jamaica
  • Dominican Republic
Our Awards

Company Comments
APPLE VACATIONS CRYSTAL AGENCY – TOP PRODUCER 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007,2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014
AMERICAN AIRLINES SOMETHING SPECIAL AWARD
CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES ADMIRAL OF THE FLEET AWARD
CELEBRITY CRUISES GOLD STAR AWARD
CLUB AMERICA FIRST PLACE – TOP PRODUCER
COSTA CRUISES AWARD OF MERIT
EASTERN AIRLINES OUTSTANDING SALES AWARD
FLING VACATIONS TOP PRODUCER IN SALES AWARD
FUNJET VACATIONS 500 CLUB - SALES EXCELLENCE RECOGNITION 2008, 2009, 2010
HERTZ RENT A CAR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE
NATIONAL AIRLINES TOP PRODUCER AWARD
NORWEGIAN CARIBBEAN LINES FIRST FLEET AWARD
ROYAL CARIBBEAN INTERNATIONAL GOLD STAR AWARD CERTIFICATE OF ACHIEVEMENT, HIGHEST AUTOMATION UTILIZATION
SKAL CLUB PRESIDENT – BALTIMORE CHAPTER
TRADE WIND TOURS OF HAWAII ALOHA & MAHALO CLUB AWARD
UNITED AIRLINES GOLD PLATE AWARD & ACHIEVEMENT
Cancun, Mexico

Once a small, unremarkable fishing village, the resort of Cancun is today the reason most people visit Mexico. It is made up of two parts: the glitzy hotel zone dedicated to tourism, and the downtown area inhabited by the permanent residents.

A different atmosphere prevails in each, with a dramatic contrast between the air-conditioned shopping malls, chic restaurant dining, and wealthy pleasure-seeking tourists in one; and bustling market street stalls, noisy vendors, and the daily grind of people at work in the other.

The hotel zone, situated on a thin strip of land (Isla Cancun) in the shape of a figure '7', is what people imagine when they talk about Cancun. It is a vision of Caribbean paradise with soft white sand beaches and clear blue-green waters.

There is plenty of high quality accommodation available, a wide choice of restaurants and shops, a notoriously energetic nightlife, and an array of activities, including both land and water sports.

The city is also a good base from which to explore some of the nearby attractions, particularly the ancient Mayan site of Chichén Itzá on the mainland, which is the best restored and most famous of the archaeological sites on the Yucatán Peninsula.

Chichén Itzá
The Mayan people are most well known for their advanced knowledge and brilliance regarding astrology, as well as for their incredible resilience. The stone remnants of their civilization can be found spread throughout Mexico and Central America.

Chichén Itzá, with its famous pyramids and temples, is the Yucatán´s most visited ancient Mayan site, set in the jungle and said to have been inhabited for more than 2,000 years. It was the center of political, economic and military power, and controlled trade in the region.

The main attraction is the Pyramid of Kukulkán (the plumed serpent god), or El Castillo, a grand pyramid topped by a temple that dominates the site. Each side has a stairway and the top affords excellent views over the area.

Inside the pyramid is a smaller pyramid, the inner sanctum, containing one of the greatest finds on the site, the brilliant red jaguar throne with jade spots, inlaid eyes and real jaguar teeth.

During the spring and autumn equinoxes (21 March and 21 September) an exceptional spectacle occurs, lasting for a few hours, that leaves crowds open-mouthed with wonder as the rippling shadows form the illusion of a snake slithering down the staircase.

The shadows seem attached to the great serpent´s heads at the foot of the main stairway. Another building of interest is El Caracol (The Giant Conch Snail), an observatory with slits in the dome aligned with certain astronomical appearances at specific dates.

On the far side of the site, reached by a causeway, is the Sacred Cenote, a huge natural well into which human sacrifices and other offerings were thrown to please the gods. Many other temples, platforms and an impressive ball court, are components of the ancient city, a site of enormous proportions, featuring many columns and intricate carvings, statues and relief's.

Transport: Bus services from Cancun or Playa del Carmen (2.5hrs by bus); Opening Time: Daily from 8am to 5pm;

Mexico Currency
Money: Mexican currency is the New Peso (MXN) divided into 100 centavos. Credit cards are widely accepted, particularly Visa, MasterCard and American Express. Travelers cheques are generally accepted, and are best taken in US Dollars.

ATMs are available in most cities and towns and are the most convenient way to get money, but for safety reasons they should only be used during business hours. Although most businesses will accept foreign currency it is best to use pesos.

Foreign currency can be exchanged at one of many casas de cambio (exchange houses), which have longer hours and offer a quicker service than the banks.

Currency Exchange Rates 1 MXN is equivalent to :
US$ 0.09 £ 0.05 C$ 0.10 A$ 0.11 R 0.64 EUR 0.07 NZ$ 0.12 Note: This is not updated daily and should be used as a guide only.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Puerto Vallarta is situated in the Bahia de Banderas, a 14-mile (22km) long bay lined with long stretches of sandy beaches. It is the second largest resort on the Pacific coast after Acapulco, but despite its resort status it has managed to maintain its own character.

Its charm is due to a comfortable blend of cosmopolitan first worldliness and the colonial features of its historic old town. The graceful center is embellished with quaint cobblestone streets that are lined with delightful white adobe houses, flower-filled wrought-iron balconies and red tiled roofs, making this one of Mexico's most picturesque coastal cities.

Luxury hotels, restaurants, bars, and shopping centers have spread out along the coast on either side of the original town, allowing Puerto Vallarta to grow without sacrificing its colonial charms. It is unrivalled as a city boasting the services offered by a cosmopolitan hub alongside the simpler pleasures of a Mexican village.

Outdoor recreation is limitless, especially the diversity of water sports available, including diving and snorkeling, while whales and dolphins inhabit the bay and can often be seen on organized boat trips.

Jamaica

It is easy to wax lyrical about the island of Jamaica in the north of the Caribbean. The glorious glow of its sunsets, the unique and engaging ways of its people, the alluring white sandy beaches and lush green mountains, the sparkling waterfalls.

All can inspire the poet in anyone. The beauty of this island paradise has drawn visitors for centuries: first it was the wealthy few who were privileged to enjoy the unspoiled tropical delights of Jamaica. Today the northern and western coastlines of the island bristle with tourist resorts and 'all-inclusive' hotels, and natural attractions have been commercialized to cope with the crowds and make the most out of the tourists.

Somehow the commercialization has not spoiled Jamaica, however. It still presents a magnificent kaleidoscope of color and beauty that makes holidaymaker's sad to leave, and vow to return.

The name Jamaica originates from the pre-colonial native inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, to whom 'Xaymaca' meant 'land of wood and water'. There is little left of the Indian culture: after being discovered by Columbus in 1494 Jamaica was ruled by the Spanish for 150 years, and then by the British for the next 300 years.

Independence came in 1962 to the Jamaican people who are now a warm blend of different cultures and nationalities, though significantly African based because of the influence of the imported slaves, who endeavored to keep their tribal traditions alive while being forced to labor on the island plantations.

There is, however, a little trouble in paradise: the Jamaican people on the whole are poor, and very reliant on tourism for their living. Some visitors object to being harassed by vendors, unlicensed taxi drivers, hair braiders and the like. Crime is also a problem.

These minor irritations however should not keep anyone away from savoring the spirit of Jamaica, which is as rich as the lilt of the local patois and the rhythms of the reggae music for which the island is famous.

Jamaica Currency

Money:
The Jamaican Dollar (JMD) is divided into 100 cents. The island is well supplied with ATMs, banks and bureaux de change. Banking hours are usually Monday to Thursday 9am to 2pm, and Friday 9am to 4pm. Cambio exchange offices are found throughout the country, open later than banks and offer better exchange rates.

Retain receipts as proof of legal currency exchange. Exchange bureaux at the airports and hotels also offer better rates than banks. Major credit cards and travelers cheques are widely accepted. Both cash and travelers cheques are best taken in US Dollars.

Currency Exchange Rates

1 JMD is equivalent to,
US$ 0.01 £ 0.01 C$ 0.02 A$ 0.02 R 0.11 EUR 0.01 NZ$ 0.02 Note: This is not updated daily and should be used as a guide only.
Dominican Republic

There are two sides to the Dominican Republic, just like there are two sides of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola on which the Republic is situated.

The Dominican Republic shares the island with neighboring Haiti. Inside the confines of the many resort hotels along the beautiful coastline, tourists languish in luxury, sipping cocktails under the palm trees and bathing in beautiful blue lagoons.

The other face of the Dominican Republic can be found along the country roads, among the sugar cane, coffee and cocoa bean fields, where people labor in the sun and men play dominoes outside tumble-down shacks.

For the local people (there are 8.5 million people on this well-populated part of Hispaniola island) tourism is an important source of income, and the thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the resorts and explore the Spanish Colonial legacy in this country, are welcome.

The South Coast contains some of the country's bigger cities and national parks. The capital, Santo Domingo, was the first Spanish settlement in North America. Christopher Columbus initiated the first European New World settlement here in 1496.

His legacy is preserved in the bricks and mortar of the historic old section of Santo Domingo, which has been turned into an entertaining and interesting Colonial 'theme park'.

The other tourist spots in the Dominican Republic are the northern Amber Coast region around Puerta Plata, the beautiful Samana Peninsula, and the resort communities of the east coast, where stretches of pristine tropical beach have been bought and developed into all-inclusive resorts.

However, those who take the trouble to explore a little behind the scenes will find plenty of unspoiled tropical paradise off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic, and locals ready and willing to offer warm hospitality.

Dominican Republic Currency

Money: The currency is the Dominican Republic peso (DOP), divided into 100 centavos.

Many of the hotels and restaurants in the main tourist destinations display their prices in US dollars as well as in Dominican Pesos, and some places will also accept Euros.

The peso cannot be exchanged outside of the Dominican Republic.

Major currencies can be converted into pesos at Central Bank approved bureaux; only 30% of the pesos bought can be re-converted and this only if the original receipts are produced, so it is best not to buy more pesos than you are likely to need for your visit.

Major credit cards are accepted everywhere, but a commission is usually charged. The best exchange rates are paid on US travelers cheques and secondly on US dollars cash and are best exchanged at exchange bureaux (casas de cambio).

Banking hours are Monday to Friday from 8.30am to 5pm; some banks also open on Saturday. ATMs are widespread.

Currency Exchange Rates:
1 DOP is equivalent to,
US$ 0.03
£ 0.01
C$ 0.03
A$ 0.04
R 0.21
EUR 0.02
NZ$ 0.04

Note: This is not updated daily and should be used as a guide only.
(c) 2010 Baltimore Travel Center