<![CDATA[Ana M Villagran - Blog]]>Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:53:49 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Family Adventure at Xcaret Park]]>Thu, 29 Jun 2017 20:28:54 GMThttp://anamvillagran.com/blog/family-adventure-at-xcaret-park “Don’t forget to enjoy the pleasures of Riviera Maya when visiting Xcaret.”
Xcaret Eco Park mexican Culture, Folklore and Typical Flavors, Underground rivers at Cancun and Riviera Maya.
On a most recent family trip to Playa del Carmen, located about 45 minutes south of Cancun on the Mexican Caribbean seashore, my family of five (three children ages 3, 4 and 11) visited Xcaret  (pronounced as eesh-ca-ret). We spent a whole day there, and we only did a small fraction of all the fun activities, focusing mostly on the water ones.  For families who are planning a visit to Xcaret, give yourself at least two days to visit the park. We only did one day, and we definitely have to go back. The park is huge, we did not even get to see or enjoy some areas we really wanted to go. It's really worth adding the second day if your vacation allows it, plus, you can get it at a discounted price. 

Some of the things we enjoyed doing was swimming in two of three underground rivers, admiring the giant sea turtles and their tiny babies at Xcaret Sea Turtle Farm, snorkeling at the Snorkeling Inlet and admiring the archeological sites of the Mayan ruins.  For lunch, food was amazing! We ate at a Mexican buffet, can't remember the name, but it was so delicious. I'm still thinking about it. Wish I could have a plate of food from there right now. 

Some of the cultural attractions at the park include an chapel of the Virgin Mary, a replica of a Mayan village with real artisans at work, and a Mexican cemetery. At night Xcaret  kicks it into high gear with a "Xcaret Mexico Spectacular" show featuring over 300 artists on stage that celebrate the rich and varied history of Mexico. If you're staying for the show, and want a good seat, I recommend you head over early to find a good seat. 

​Below, I'm sharing photos from our trip to Xcaret park. We purchased the Photo Pass and loved that it captured amazing photos!  These are pictures that we would not have been able to capture ourselves. Therefore, I highly recommend you do the Photo Pass. All pictures with Xcaret logo are from Photo Pass. Others without the logo are not. 

If you want to know more about a family trip to Xcaret  while your stay in the Riviera Maya, Cancun or Playa del Carmen, you can book these activities directly from their website right here: Xcaret. However, if you feel you need assistance, let me help you. I'm a Travel Agent Certified as an Xcaret Xpert for all Experiencias Xcaret adventures.  I can help you book any Experiencias Xcaret activities for you for no extra cost.  Just contact me via email or call me at (909) 566-2220
Book your best vacation! Choose Xel-Há, Xplor, Xplor fuego or Xenotes. Save up to 25% Off Transportation included!
Parque Xcaret una exposicion de colores, sabores y tradiciones mexicanas. Atracciones para toda la familia. Cancun, México
Experiencias Xcaret. Create your own combo with the best attractions in Cancun &amp; Riviera Maya.
<![CDATA[#LetHawaiiHappen]]>Tue, 13 Jun 2017 17:41:41 GMThttp://anamvillagran.com/blog/lethawaiihappenSix Hawaiian Islands.  Six Unique Experiences.
Hawaii is a place like no other. Six iconic islands. Six unique experiences. Each island so distinctive, yet all part of one ohana (family). Contact me today at (909) 566-2220 and lets book the vacation of your dreams! 
“Rejuvenating” is a word often used on Kauai, known for iconic spots like the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast, the panoramic views of Waimea Canyon and the peaceful currents of the Wailua River. But even more breathtaking discoveries await along Kauai’s one-lane highways. From hidden waterfalls to secluded beaches, the northernmost and greenest of the Hawaiian Islands is a place to take off your watch and turn off the GPS. So take a deep breath. Kick back, relax and unwind. Rediscover a special connection to nature on this beautiful, island paradise.
This is where the action is. The lively center of the Hawaiian Islands. A vibrant gathering spot with a unique blend of relaxation and excitement. Oahu is famous for iconic Hawaii locations like Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor and the surfing mecca of the North Shore, but there’s so much more to explore. From festivals to events, discover the diverse cultures that make Hawaii so unique. Get a taste of the celebrity chefs who put Oahu on the culinary map. And make time to stumble upon the special spots you won’t find in a guidebook. Veer from the itinerary and experience the buzz and energy of Oahu.
Romance is always in the air on Maui. And why shouldn’t it be? This is the best of both worlds, offering a unique blend of sophistication with a laid back, small town feel. Start your day atop the summit of Haleakala for an epic sunrise. Spend the day along the scenic, winding road to Hana or travel through the lush gardens and farms of Upcountry Maui. Or simply lounge pool-side at a luxurious resort, from Kapalua to Wailea. From friendly people to special places, there’s plenty to discover between stops on Maui.
Here, itʻs all about the simple things in life. Natural, unspoiled and rustic, Molokai remains true to its island roots. Where visitors can experience old-style Hawaii and feel the Hawaiian culture and aloha spirit permeate from the central town of Kaunakakai to revered Halawa Valley and sacred Kalaupapa. Trek through Halawa Valley. Explore the glorious North Shore Pali Coast to see the tallest sea cliffs in the world. Go on a mule tour and experience some of the islands’ most remarkable views. Or discover Papohaku Beach, one of Hawaii's largest white sand beaches.
Embrace serenity on the island where not one single traffic light can be found. Where luxury and privacy are a way of life. As the smallest inhabited island, Lanai offers an escape from it all. Indulge in world-class amenities and championship golf, or spend the morning exploring local shops in Lanai City. Take the rustic Munro Trail by bike and discover stunning canyon views of Maunale Gulch, or capture unforgettable sunsets at the iconic Puu Pehe, Sweetheart Rock. From land to sea, the unexpected awaits. 
Island of Hawaii
Take a road trip on the biggest of the Hawaiian Islands. This is a place of stark contrasts – from the crystal blue waters and white sands of the Kona Coast, to the rugged volcanic coastlines of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, to the lush botanical gardens and waterfalls of the Hamakua Coast. While the chance to witness an active volcano is a must for anyone, there’s so much more to see on an island just made for exploration. 

​Source: Vaxvacationaccess
<![CDATA[Planning a Destination Wedding? Here's How to Get Started]]>Thu, 01 Jun 2017 16:04:09 GMThttp://anamvillagran.com/blog/planning-a-destination-wedding-heres-how-to-get-started

One in four weddings is a destination wedding.

Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular with couples who are eager to skip the fuss of a traditional wedding and jump right into the fun. Around the world, you'll find hotels and resorts that offer on-site help to plan your wedding, or assistance through travel agents as myself. Whether the special day involves just the two of you or whether you'll be inviting friends or relatives to join the occasion, a destination can be a way to create wonderful memories. So let's gets started with some details:  

January to April and June to August are the prime seasons for destination weddings. The cooler months of the year (October, November and early December) generally have more rooms available and can be more affordable.

Most resorts will not reserve a wedding date until they receive a deposit, which is generally non-refundable but counts toward the overall cost of the wedding. So when you are ready to confirm your date with the resort, be ready to pay the deposit.

Since every resort operates differently, it's important to know the expectations your contact at the resort has. To make communication easy, I have the contact information for wedding departments at some key resorts.

Many resorts have wedding packages to choose from and there are often multiple options that can meet your preferences and budget. Plus, you can also purchase add-ons to your packages, like a champagne toast, spa services for the wedding party or an upgraded photography package to customize your wedding.

Resorts may also offer complimentary basic wedding packages or extra wedding perks with qualified group bookings, but it all depends on the resort, so it's an important job for me as your travel agent to communicate with the resort and learn as much as possible about the options available for you.

Picking the perfect wedding package
First and foremost it’s important to pick a hotel that you and your guests will be able to afford. However, keep in mind that sometimes paying a bit more for a hotel room could mean big savings on a wedding package. Here are more things to keep in mind:

  • Your price point ​  You should break down your budget by travel and wedding expenses. If you are not sure of what a destination wedding might cost, figure out what wedding events and amenities are important to you and start from there.
  • Total number of guests Some packages may look perfect until you read the fine print that says it only includes a certain number of guests. Make sure that the price per person above the package inclusion is affordable. If not, perhaps there is a more suitable package for you that may end up saving you a ton of money. In addition to this, some packages may cost less if you have a certain number of guests.
  • What’s included and what’s important to you  If you are looking for a simple and low-key wedding, a package that includes a cocktail hour or extravagant décor may not be for you. However, you will find that some hotels will bundle everything together (spa credits, private dinner reception, excursions, etc.) and it may be a better value than choosing a smaller package type.
  • For example, one resort may have a higher price point for your rooms, but has a $2,400 wedding package that includes a private cocktail hour and dinner. A different resort may have a lower price point for your rooms but it would cost upwards of $4,000 to have the same amenities.

Wedding Brochures
Here’s a list of brochures of some of the resorts that I work with:

Fiesta Americana Condesa Cancun
Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta
Grand Fiesta Americana Puerto Vallarta
Karisma Hotels & Resorts
Lat20 by Live Aqua
Live Aqua
Majestic Resorts
Ocean by H10 Hotels
RIU Hotels & Resorts
Sandos Hotels & Resorts

​A wedding in paradise is easier than you think. Contact me today at (909) 566-2220 to start planning!

(source: vaxvacationaccess)
<![CDATA[A little bit about Travel Agent Ana]]>Tue, 18 Oct 2016 15:55:35 GMThttp://anamvillagran.com/blog/a-little-bit-about-travel-agent-anaI love travel and I love helping people. And this is the industry that allows me to do both without having to charge my clients any fees! 

For our 5 year wedding anniversary, my husband and I chose Playa del Carmen, Mexico, which is located in the Riviera Maya. It was our first time traveling together, and it has truly been one of the most amazing experiences we have shared together. We took a vacation without our three kids for 4 days, in a Luxurious All-Inclusive Adults-Only hotel and resort. We visited Chichen Itza, one of the 7 wonders of the world, and had a fun adventure at the Xplor park. We swam in crystal clear waters under caves, zip-lined 9 circuits across the jungle, drove amphibious vehicles, and paddled in a raft. In addition, our hotel had it's perks too, such as snorkeling, sailing, and paddle boats use. Food was amazingly delicious and I couldn't stay away from those delicious Piña Coladas. To top off our experience, the hotel staff treated us like royalty. We were trully impressed. And I could go on and on and on about this wonderful experience, but instead, I'll leave it at that. Nothing compares to a real-life experience, and if you want to experience it, I'm here to help you create a memorable vacation.

Since becoming a travel agent 2 years ago, this was the first time I travelled. I had already booked various clients in the Riviera Maya and recommended places to them based on my research from reviews read from different sites. And with the positive feedback I received from my clients upon their return, my husband and I made the decision to book our first trip there. And now, I'm all about the Riviera Maya. I absolutely love it. The Riviera Maya is fun for all ages. There is something to do for everyone. And I love to sell it. 

Whether you go as a couple, a family or a group, I'm dedicated to creating fun, enjoyable and relaxing experiences.