Travel can be a fickle, unpredictable thing, governed by all kinds of forces, some large, some small ... and some in the form of an internationally spreading strain of the flu that we don't yet have vaccines for. Now that the U.S. Department of State has lifted its travel restriction to Mexico (even though the CDC still cautions that U.S travelers and citizens there take precautions), the country is literally on sale. Many of the promotions are for June -- no doubt a result of last-minute cancellations and unexpected vacancies otherwise attributable to the H1N1 influenza virus -- so that means you've got to book quickly. Some blackout dates may apply. Although the threat has passed, it's not a bad idea to read the fine print carefully for these packages: some vendors are more understanding and hospitable to changes, and get some travel insurance if you are at all concerned. Here are some packages for tourism-heavy destinations at prices that are hard to beat.
Dozens of properties are sale through Cheap Caribbean (tel. 800/915-2322; www.cheapcaribbean.com), which is running a "welcome back to Mexico" promotion, with a three-night all-inclusive vacation starting from $399 per person, based on double occupancy and including airfare. For the Riviera Maya, just south of Cancún and close to the ruins at Tulum, the Viva Wyndam Azteca is priced from $389 per person for travel June 12-30, as long as you book by June 13. There's also a special offer for kids to stay and eat for free. It's an all-inclusive property that's slightly smaller than its sister property, the Wyndham Maya -- to which guests also have access for various activities and amenities. Elsewhere in this part of Mexico, the all-inclusive waterfront Iberostar Paraiso Lindo Resort, with cobblestone walkways, an enormous spa, and shopping center, is priced from $529 per person for travel August 18-October 31. You must book by June 12 and it includes dining.
Beach Destinations (tel. 877/433-4378; www.beachdestinations.com) has Temptation Resort and Spa in Cancún, an all-inclusive, adults-only property, priced from $395. You must book by June 30 to take advantage of the package, which includes four nights and roundtrip airfare priced from Denver.
Travelocity (tel. 888/TRAVELOCITY; www.travelocity.com) has packages for flights from Los Angeles to Cancún from $483 for four nights at the Cancún Carbie Park Royal Grand. It's a AAA four-diamond rated property, the rooms have views of the ocean, with the usual amenities of pool, hot tub, and fitness facility.
On the Pacific Coast of Mexico, Cheap Caribbean's got offers for Presidente InterContinetnal Los Cabos, an all-inclusive resort on a non-swimmable beach overlooking the Sea of Cortez. Three nights with airfare are priced from $399 for travel June 6 through October 31, based on Los Angeles departures. Cheap Caribbean offers $100 rebate for bad weather and other traveler-friendly incentives -- just ask.
Beach Destinations has the Riu Santa Fe Hotel on Medano beach near Cabo San Lucas and priced from $420 for travel toward the end of August from Los Angeles. The starting price includes four nights at this hotel, which is less than two years old, and all meals.
Cheap Caribbean has the all-inclusive Palladium Vallarta Resort and Spa, available from $499 based on Los Angeles departures for stays through June 30; you must book by June 9. The rate includes a superior room at the hotel, airfare, meals, beverages, activities and gratuities; the property has a private beach.
Travelocity's range of Mexico packages includes Melia Puerto Vallarta, another all-inclusive resort, from $594 per person based on airfare and four nights. It has a very large pool, is close to the downtown and an 18-hole championship golf course.
For something a little more luxurious geared toward adults over the age of 21, BookIt.com (tel. 888/782-9722; www.bookit.com)has a sale on Casa Velas Hotel, a boutique resort that also is home to a golf course, available for three nights with airfare from Philadelphia from $779. An all-inclusive resort, it has 24 hours room service, a gourmet restaurant, and privileges at its sister property Velas Vallarta. The rates represent a 15% discount, valid for travel through December 18, with a $50 spa credit and free upgrade to grand class. There's also a bonus -- the seventh night is free -- if you choose to stay past six nights.
Talk with fellow Frommer's travelers in our Mexico Forum today.