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Destination Spotlight: Modesto, CA

Modesto, ca THL VacationsModesto, originating as a stop on the railroad connecting Sacramento to Los Angeles, was founded in 1870. Since then it has grown into so much more:  Modesto ranks as the 18th largest city in the state of California. According to legend, the city was to be named after William C. Ralston, an early California financier. However, he declined the honor, and a Spanish-speaking railroad worker said that Ralston was “Muy modesto,” or very modest. Thus, the town was named Modesto.

Nevertheless, while modest is in the name, Modesto is not modest about its attractions, as it is home to the critically-acclaimed Gallo Center for the Arts, the Prospect Theater Project, the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, the State Theater, the Modesto Nuts, a Colorado Rockies Minor League Baseball affiliate, and the Amgen Tour of California. The Xclamation Festival, also known as X-Fest, has become the city’s largest entertainment and cultural gathering. It is an annual festival that takes place on the streets of downtown Modesto, usually on the first Saturday in August. Founded in 2000 and organized by Chris Ricci Presents, the day is known for its Mardi Gras party atmosphere, concert performances that go all night, and a motto of “Good Times, Downtown.” It features 50 bands on eight stages in eight hours. It is 21 and over only, and has bragged of crowds that average 15,000 people, the capacity limit set by the city of Modesto. In 2009, however,  X-Fest had an estimated 16,000 attendees enjoying music and food on the streets of downtown.

modesto x fest thl vacationsDowntown Modesto is known for having a variety of great restaurants and fun night life attractions. It also hosts a multi-venue Art Walk year around on the third Thursday of every month. This walk is free to take, and maps for it are available. Modesto has hosted many music festivals, such as SummerFest, a downtown summer concert series.

Another Modesto attraction is the McHenry Mansion, built by hand in the early 1880s by Robert McHenry, a local rancher and banker. The mansion is included on the National Register of Historic Places, and tours of it are available. Then there is the State Theatre, dating back to the 1920s. It was renovated in recent years, and serves as a local performance arts center and as a movie theater specializing in independent and foreign films. Sports fans will love to know that the Modesto Nuts MLB team is the main attraction for locals between Easter and Labor Day.

McHenry Mansion thl vacationsIn 1973, Modesto was immortalized by George Lucas in the film American Graffiti, in which Ron Howard, Harrison Ford and Richard Dreyfuss starred. Lucas’ film paid homage to teenage life in Modesto in 1962 based on his own experiences growing up there. Ironically, most of the movie was filmed elsewhere, because the Modesto city council refused to let Lucas film Graffiti in Modesto. Since then, the city of Modesto has realized the strength of its connection to the award-winning film, and is now planning and preparing new tourist attractions and events for American Graffiti tourists. An annual festival paying homage to the movie, Graffiti Summer, is held in Modesto and lasts the entire month of June, when it draws thousands of visitors and car enthusiasts, along with hundreds of classic and antique cars.

Destination Spotlight: Colorado Springs

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Nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, Colorado Springs has come a long way from its mining town days. With a population of 416,427 as of the 2010 Census, it is the second most populous city in the state of Colorado, behind Denver, and the 41st most populous city in the United States. The city covers 194.7 square miles, making it Colorado’s largest city in area. With the city’s location close to the Rocky Mountains, it is a popular destination for visitors, offering a multitude of trails, parks, and open spaces. They include Pikes Peak, Seven Falls, and Cave of the Winds, to name a few.

Colorado Springs has more than 55 attractions and activities to offer visitors. They include the ProRodeo Hall of Fame & Museum of the American Cowboy, Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the American Numismatic Association Money Museum, Peterson Air and Space Museum, and the Cheyenne Mountain Heritage Center.

The city thrives on culture, with the Colorado Springs Philharmonic and Pikes Peak Center for performing arts. But there’s even more to attract and hold visitors’ attention. One of the nation’s three U.S. Olympic Training Centers is located here, where visitors can watch top athletes in action. Another world-class attraction is the U.S. Air Force Academy, an elite military training academy located just north of the city. You can visit several areas of the academy, including the Cadet Chapel and the Honor Court.

One of the nation’s most beautiful city parks, Garden of the Gods, is nestled in the foothills of Pikes Peak. The stunning red rock formations draw tourists to try and capture their beauty.

If you want to take a break from the outdoors, then check out Colorado Springs Downtown, the oldest part of the original city, which has many shops and interesting buildings, including the city’s oldest high rises. The Lon Chaney Theater, housed in the Colorado Springs City Auditorium, is another must-see on the National Register of Historic Places. The Pioneers Museum, originally the county courthouse, offers an extensive collection of early city history. Giuseppe’s Depot Restaurant is an eatery located in the historic downtown 1880s railroad depot. The Pikes Peak Center houses traveling and local musical and theatrical performances. Just south of downtown is the Bristol Brewing Company, a prized microbrewery that offers tours and tastings.

Then there is Old Colorado City, a National Historic District with many art galleries and boutiques. It is home to the Michael Garman Museum, which housed Magic Town, a 3,000-square-foot sculptural theater paying homage to Garman since 1975. One of the country’s many Carnegie Libraries is located here as well. Tourist attractions north of Old Colorado City include Flying W Ranch, a cowboy ranch. The Old North End of the city is home to the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the American Numismatic Association, and Colorado College. The Van Briggle Pottery kiln works, founded in 1899 and specializing in art nouveau vases and decorative tiles, was originally housed here in a building now owned by Colorado College.

Visiting New York for the winter holidays

The state of New York offers so much to do. With its great cities such as New York City, Buffalo and Rochester and its man outdoor opportunities New York is a vacationers playground.

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New York has many state parks and preserves including the Adirondack Park, the Catskill Park and the Montauk Point State Park with the Montauk Lighthouse. During the summer the weather is mild and the winter is very cold. These areas have surrounding camping, hiking, wildlife resorts, lodges and accommodations. The Hudson River runs through New York, and has many landmarks including West Point, Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site, Bard College, Thayer Hotel, Bannerman’s Castle, the Hudson River Islands State Park, and home of the Hudson River School art movement. The Hudson River School painters captured the natural beauty of this area. Houses of the painters can be visited as well. Travel in this area can be done by car or boat through the New York State Canal System. New York also offers several beaches near New York City and along the Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.  The popular beach areas like the Hamptons, Oyster Beach, Rochester, Buffalo and Irving have many restaurants, bars and beach resort, beach club accommodations.

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New York is the 3rd most populated state in the US. New York City megalopolis is a world-class city. New York City has many famous attractions such as The Statue of Liberty, the Ne York Stock Exchange, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Central Park, Empire State Building, Ground Zero, Times Square, Grand Central Terminal, Broadway, as well as, endless shopping, art galleries, restaurants, people watching and many unique neighborhoods like Chinatown and West Village. New York City is home to the New York Mets, New York Yankees, New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets and more sports teams.  Buffalo in upstate NEW York is another popular city- it is near Niagra Falls, has great buffalo wings, great hotels and shopping and during the winter seasons becomes a winter wonderland of sledding and snow activities.

New York has man large chain hotels and resorts especially in the metro areas. In the country are many remote lodges. Upstate Lake Pleasant areas offer several lodges and resorts such as Lake Placid Lodge.  This area also has ski areas such as Whiteface Mountain.

New York State has a lot of locally grown organic foods such as blueberries, apples, beans, greens and wine.  Butcher shops still exist commonly in New York with fresh local meat.  Western New York makes Buffalo wings and Weck Sandwiches. New York city is a mecca of fine dining, diners, bakeries, bagels & coffee chops, new york pizza and hot dogs and street food vendors- when deciding where to eat in the city it is best to keep your budget in mind.

Travelling in New York can be done by air, car, bus or train. In state travel is best by train if you don’t want to take on the weather. Major New York airports include John F Kennedy International Airport, LaGuardia Airport, Greater Rochester International, Syracuse Hancock International Airport, Plattsburg International Airport, Stewart International Airport, Albany International Airport and Buffalo Niagra International Airport.

New Years Travel Destination

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All over the globe partygoers hunt for the best New Year’s Eve bash. Major cities have an excessive amount of bars, clubs, and restaurants however it can be exhausting to find a really original and exciting way to bring in the new year. For those searching for different ways to celebrate the occasion, consider these ten spectacular New Year’s Eve destinations across America.

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Emphasizing its stand as an eternal party city, Las Vegas are flocked by thousands of revelers to welcome the new year. Clubs, casinos and hotels take it to the next level with special shows, however several lock their doors round the midnight hours, thus you will have to come to a decision whether or not you would like to be in or out. we tend to suggest out, since the four-mile-long Strip becomes a vehicle-free promenade (starting at six p.m.) you’ll be able to you can drink, mingle and watch fireworks shot far from encompassing rooftops. For a rockin’ experience, hit up The Joint at the Hard Rock hotel where the theme this year is Empire Records — spinning recognizable 90s bands like Nirvana and no doubt, also as pop and R&B hits from Mariah, Britney and so much more. For one thing a bit mellower, enjoy the music of The Beatles with Cirque du Soleil’s New Year’s Eve performance of affection at The Mirage — what better way to celebrate the arduous day’s night that’s New Year’s Eve in Las Vegas?

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It may be obvious but there’s a reason such a large amount of folks opt to celebrate the New Year in the city that do not sleep. Renowned as the most iconic city celebrating the dawn of the new year, with all of it’s confetti that includes wishes written by visitors to Time Square, and the biggest media event: Time Square Event. Why not rent a slick, chiq hotel right in the middle of Times Square? Watch the ball drop from your space that overlooks the festivities. Have a cocktail and while you enjoy an aerial view of the chaotic lots as you stay cozy within your deluxe New York luxury room.

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Walt Disney World Resort is the top destination for families to greet the New Year if you ever are in Orlando. Enjoy dancing, the music, spectacular fireworks and the parade to make sure that it’s an evening that you will never forget. Animal Kingdom closes at 8pm but never miss the chance to celebrate at the many other attractions such as the Hollywood Studios, the Epcot Center, and The Magic Kingdom as they are open late. Adults may indulge at the Pleasure Island where an enormous street party is fired up by a generous buffet, live amusement, dancing, lots of party favors and a midnight fireworks show.

Parks reach limits through the day and additional admittance may not be allowed thus arrive early and spend the whole day.

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The fiery nightlife in Miami Beach-South Beach surely heat up when it’s time to celebrate the New Year, and many flocks to Miami with the yearly Hilton Miami event in mind. If you’re not the clubbing sort, the Hilton Miami celebration is not solely what you should be considering when its regarding the New Years Eve in Miami. There are many family-oriented events such as the concert at the Bayfront Park and party.

Miami New Years Eve events are available in different of shapes and sizes, therefore you may want to expand your horizons. The free concert party is something worth keeping in mind, although you may want to entertain the possibility of taking Miami New Years Eve cruises. Either way, doubtlessly, you’re gonna have a blast unveiling the New Year 2013 in this Magical and fiery city.

Welcome 2014 with a blast and book all-inclusive packages through THL Vacations (www.thlvacations.com) or give us a call! 855-674-0415

Black Friday – Cyber Monday Travel Deals!

Thanksgiving is fast approaching, and little do we know, everyone is booked for their travel. If you really want to find the perfect getaway that will fit your budget then travel on Black Friday through Cyber Monday, where we know the best places where you can relax and enjoy. Make this year the most memorable of all!

 

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If you’ve been having a lucky year, then push it further to the city of luxury, cocktails and fun. Las Vegas is the place to be if you wish to be entertained! Relax at the ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter, The Venetian Resort, or at the Bellagio, and stay on reduced rates just by booking with us. Hit the casino, watch world renowned performances, dine with the stars or relax at the spa, surely, Vegas has something for you to enjoy.

 

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Popularly  known for its year-long perfect weather, beaches, events, culture, arts, cool breeze, soft sand and excellent drinks with those tiny, tiny umbrellas, Fort Lauderdale is definitely a treat for everybody! If you are looking for the best deal, we suggest the Sheraton Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel where we can throw you in a midsize rental car, and more, if you book through THL Vacations.

 

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In case you want a cultural fusion but still looking forward to the powdery white beaches, then head to Oahu, Hawaii, where the culture of the west magnificently collides with the east, embedded to the traditions and values of the Native Hawaiian people. Have a lei greeting and stay at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani where you can revel in reduced rates if you book through us.

 

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If you wish to experience what so many loyal tourists have already discovered as the best way to experience Florida, then come and visit the Palm Beach. Countless water sports, dining options and recreational activities, you and your family may do to make your travel the best ever. Relax at the Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island where kids 17 & under may stay free. If you book through THL Vacations, we’re going to throw in a midsize rental car and the 4th night free.

 

Save yourself the hassle and book your reservations now to enjoy the discount. Call a travel agent or visit our website, www.thlvacations.com!

Tips in Travelling for the Thanksgiving Holiday

Undeniably, the Thanksgiving holiday is the busiest period of the year with ill-famed transportation wait, heavy traffic, and meeting travelers at each turn. However, with a little of foresight and some critical planning, you will ease some travel headaches whether or not you are heading home for the holidays or escaping for a drama-free journey. No matter your plans, you will be grateful for these travel tips.

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• Download Travel Apps

With the help of technology, you can easy yourself with worry when you are travelling. Apps like GateGuru and GrabaTaxi will be your key in cheating your way to the hassle and the bustle of travelling. You may also go online and surf the websites of your Airline to confirm you seats, or check the status of you flight.

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• Leave Unnecessary Items at Home

Since every airline and air carrier are charging for checked-in luggage, it will be a wonderful idea to travel light and bring things that could easily fit on a carry-on bag. If there will be things that are absolutely necessary, consider sending some of your belongings ahead of time to your destination. These things are the ones that you really won’t need for the journey.

• Make a Plan Ahead of Time

Holiday travel planning is never too early. You may want to grab the opportunity in looking for the lower rates when seats are still well available. You can plan as early as 6 months prior, and you would be delighted as how much it will save you, financially and mentally. Follow airline and cruise related Twitter accounts, or sign up for notifications via email with your preferred airline of choice, this way you will be given the chance to book them before they are even available to the general public.

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• Know the Best Day to Travel

If you really want to enjoy your holiday, its best to avoid the travel rush. No one wants to be stuck in a traffic jam for three hours when they could have been sipping their margaritas on their perfect travel getaway, right? Try travelling on Monday or on a Tuesday as the other days are when people often rush to where they want to go and eventually clogging up the highway, bus stations and airports.

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Hopefully, this helps you in travelling this coming Thanksgiving Holidays. If you wish to book a reservation for your dream travel, you will be glad to know that we, at THL Vacations, have the best deals for you. Get in touch with a travel specialist now! Learn more, visit www.thlvacations.com now!

5 Reasons Why Cruising Is The Best Way To Travel

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What is your idea of a dream vacation? Does it involve a hassle-free, relaxing accommodation without having any transportation issues? Do you love great food? Are you looking for a variety of activities that you can choose from, which may include scuba diving, sight-seeing; the luscious white sand beach relaxation or a dip in the pool? If your answer is yes to all, then a cruise is your perfect travel getaway.

As we celebrate the National Cruise Week, here are 5 reasons why cruising is the best way to travel:

It’s hassle-free. We know planning a vacation may be a headache to some, most especially if you are planning for a family trip. You have to consider the places to dine, the transportation schedule, the airport and train transfers and the traffic along the way, check-in time for your accommodations and the list goes on that can keep you busy for days.

With a cruise travel trip, you can just book a reservation and think of all activities you can do while on it. Never mind the hassle of a conventional trip at all.

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You may sample destinations for your future travel. Not everyone is a Florida person, and it’s safe to say that not everyone loves the Caribbean. What if you booked a week-long reservation to Florida only to find out that you prefer being in the Caribbean. With a cruise, you can experience a little of each place and then decide where to stay next time!

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You get the same accommodation, always! How many times do we hate packing and unpacking our things after every time we decide to visit a new place while on vacation? Cruising is all about relaxation, you will be in a different place by the time you wake up and all you have to do is to step out of the cruise ship and enjoy. You don’t have to worry about getting your rooms clean as it will be made ready by the time you call it a day!

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It’s your money’s worth. Traveling conventionally can get pricey once you add up the cost of accommodations, airfare, food, transportation and activities. When you are on a cruise, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Entertainment is provided for you. The food served will always be as great as if you were dining in a luxury 5-star restaurant, and it’s all included in one low price.

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It’s kid-friendly. How many times have you dreamt of having a quality, quiet time with your beloved better half while enjoying the scenery? You would not like to spoil that by chasing your kids all day, right? Most of the cruise ships employ highly-qualified staff to look after your children as you relax and spend time alone with yourself or with your partner.

Cruising used to be only for the extremely wealthy and the popular crowd, now anyone and everyone can cruise on any budget to just about anywhere. Enjoy big saving when you book your cruise through THL Vacations today!

Destination Spotlight: Miami

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The so-called “gateway of the Americas” is a dynamic, rapidly changing city that is swiftly becoming a chic cultural destination. Situated on the Atlantic coast in Southeastern Florida, Miami has long been a favorite getaway place to many due to the immense number of different things to do, eat and see. Whether you love the beach, exploring the culture, or you simply want to enjoy the nightlife, the possibilities for you and your family are endless.

Whatever may be your interest, Miami has a wide range of magnificent travel spot for you that will surely please your budget and taste. Due to its perfect location and coastal climate, the beach in Miami is one for the books. Most people who flock to Miami are visitors who love the sun and the water sports like scuba, snorkeling, parasailing and surfing due.

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If the ocean isn’t your thing but rather a cultural experience, then head over to Downtown Miami where numerous museums can be found. These include the Miami Art Museum, History Miami, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, Miami Children’s Museum, Miami Science Museum, Miami-Dade Cultural Center, and the Frost Art Museum. It is also a home to the world’s largest art exhibition, Art Basel Miami, where it charms thousands of guests annually from all over the globe.

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With Miami’s tropical weather, strolling and exploring the city is also a must-do once you’re there. A variety of parks can be found in Miami which displays picturesque backdrop for everyone to indulge. The more popular parks are the Bicentennial Park, Bayfront Park, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Peacock Park and the Virginia Key. Although, one should not miss the Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park which is situated in the southern end of Key Biscane. This park is a home to the oldest standing structure in Miami, the Cape Florida Lighthouse, which features a strip of photographic white sand and lustrous waters.

Don’t get left behind, pack your baggage and head to Miami and experience the best of what life has to offer. Book your reservations now via THL Vacations thru http://www.thlvacations.com.

Halloween

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Halloween is drenched in gore, darkness and macabre. A time to glorify the more nightly vibes of the year, the occasion makes way to affect everyone’s cognition and its capacity to manifest fear in the human mind. It has always been an occasion filled with magic, superstition and mystery.

As one of the most amusing holidays, Halloween brings out the artistic and wicked in individuals. THL Vacations offer packages that will bring out bliss and fun at this celebrated time of the year, so skip the office party and go where the freaks flock at night time!

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Halloween Horror Nights, Orlando’s Islands of Adventure
Halloween Horror Nights yearly attracts many horror fans worldwide to this unique event that showcases spooky street experiences, extravagant live shows, brand new haunted houses and more! Running from September 20 to November 2, see your worst nightmares come to life as Universal Studios Florida® transforms to Halloween Horror Nights. Attractions such as the “Resident Evil”, the “Cabin in the Woods”, and “The Walking Dead” will leave you with a memorable experience that you and your family can laugh about for years, while “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Halloween Adventure” and “Rocky Horror Picture Show” are shows that everyone will surely enjoy!

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SeaWorld Orlando Halloween Spooktacular
Celebrate Halloween in a sea full of exciting adventures in SeaWorld Orlando, where the spooky meets the ocean every weekend of October! A treat for every member of the family, the Halloween Spooktacular offers Cookie Decorating Stations, Trick-or-Treat Sea Sweets, Frozen Fun Zone and Strolling Entertainment. Relive your dreams and enjoy a one-of-a-kind experience in SeaWorld Orlando.

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Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
Magic, surprises, tricks and treats awaits you this festive season at Walt Disney World Resort. The renowned Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party will get you in the mood for celebration and fun. Now that the party adds a newly expanded “Boo-To-You Halloween Parade” and the spectacular fireworks display, Happy HalloWishes, this party will belong to your book. It also boasts live shows, storytelling and face painting while everyone enjoys an unlimited use of the attractions!

What are you waiting for? Pack the bags and don’t miss the chance to bond with your family in the spookiest time of the year. Have fun this Halloween! Book your reservations now through THL Vacations!

Destination Spotlight: Cancun, Mexico

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When most think about Cancun, Mexico, their first thought is a big escape. Many have the notion of untamed parties, fun under the sun, and water sports. All are widely available in this exotic piece of paradise. However there’s a lot more to Cancun than that! It’s excellent for those who love parties and the clubbing scene, or for visitors who just love to lay under the sun while sipping their favorite cocktails. It’s also equally enjoyable for those who are curious about the Mayan history and culture an exclusive travel, or a strictly colorful vacation.

While discovering the wonders of the beaches and town of Cancun, take a glance around and you’ll realize a town with a chic and distinct history that dates all the way back to the Mayan times.

The name Cancun started showing up on maps in the eighteenth century, when the Spanish colonists began exploring the picturesque town. Cancun was originally famed by the Mayan’s as Nizuc, which means “point of grass”.

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Places like El Rey permit folks to go to the ruins of 47 structures, where you may wander through spiritual areas where pieces of wall paintings justify what life was like once when the city was still a Mayan hub. The remains of the pyramid is still the tallest structure of this extraordinary travel destination, and is regarded to be a site where individuals of high importance were buried and offerings were given.

Numerous sites similar to this can be found around the city, like Chichen Itza, Tulum and Coba, where anyone can explore and wander through historical ruins that can’t be found any place else on Earth.

Enjoy a vacation of a lifetime in the wonderful paradise of Cancun! Visit www.thlvacations.com for last minute travel deals.