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A Day at Xplor Park

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Of the beautiful Xcaret by Mexico parks, Xplor is one of the most adventurous, right next to adrenaline-filled Xavage.  As the most visited zipline park in the world, Xplor is jam-packed with exciting activities for the whole family.  My husband and I explored (pun intended) the park on our honeymoon and we had the most amazing time!  While I was there, I couldn’t ignore how ideal the park is for a wedding group excursion, with its wide range of experiences and family-friendly appeal.  If you’re interested in Xplor for your next trip, here are all the things you can expect!

Our trip to Xplor Park was during our honeymoon in Riviera Maya.  This was our first time at an Xcaret by Mexico park, although I knew much about them from my position here at Weddings by Funjet.  We were looking for a fun excursion for the middle of our week, and Xplor caught our eye because of the amphibious vehicles  that our Amstar tour representative pointed out (more on those later).  We arrived there in the morning after a short drive from our resort and entered through the park’s extensive cave system.  Immediately we were wowed by how different this felt from other parks we’d been to.  Right from the get-go you could tell that the natural environment played a large part in the park’s theme.  We purchased a photo package so we didn’t have to lug around our phones and dropped off our things in one of the lockers.  For a largely outdoor park, we were amazed by how clean it was, and you can tell right away  how much pride the park takes into giving guests a great experience.

A Day at Xplor ParkA Day at Xplor Park

Our first stop was El Corazón (pictured below).  It’s truly the heart of the park with its center location and is a perfect meeting point for families or just an easy way to remember where things are.  In this area you will also find the activity board.  Next to each ride, there are red, yellow and green light bulbs.  These lights indicate how busy each attraction is.  If it’s red, you know you might be better off hopping on to something else in the meantime.  It’s a brilliant way to maximize your time.

A Day at Xplor Park

The morning hungers came in, so we made our way to the juice station where an assortment of cookies, juices, and smoothies were waiting to give us energy for the park.  All of your food and drinks are included in your visit, just don’t expect any alcoholic beverages.  It’s a nice, safe family park with activities that you want to be sober for!

A Day at Xplor Park

 A Day at Xplor Park

Our first activity after eating was the Underground River Swim.  Because we were there quite early, there was hardly anyone else in the park yet and we had the whole river to ourselves.   For that reason, I suggest doing this activity first if you’re a couple looking for something romantic to start off your day.  The water is a little chilly upon entering, but you warm up quick and the underground caves are breathtaking.  It’s also a relaxed experience, so from little ones to grandparents, all guests can enjoy it.

A Day at Xplor ParkA Day at Xplor Park

Then there were the amphibious vehicles… oh, the amphibious vehicles!  These were our favorite.  There was never a wait for this ride, so we went back-to-back a few times.  The trail you follow is not like your hometown go-kart track.  Both trails had us driving for a solid 15 minutes, if not more!  They wound through the jungle, barreled over streams, and dove into caves.  We felt like giddy little kids on them and it was fun whether you were the driver or the passenger.  These were honestly worth the price of admission in themselves.

Following our amphibious driving spree, we were famished, so we strolled over to El Troglodita restaurant for a buffet lunch.  The meal was fantastic!  There were a lot of options, everything was fresh, and the breeze that blew through the open-concept dining area was so refreshing.

A Day at Xplor Park

Now the moment you’ve been waiting for!  How was the ziplining?  I’m happy to report it holds up to its high standards.  There are two tracks totaling over two miles and each with varying intensities.  For beginners, a lower track is offered, while those looking for more of an adrenaline rush can ride the higher line.  Being our first time ever ziplining, we chose the former.  There are six lines total in this one, with a waterslide in between and a final line leading to a drop in the water.  My husband decided he really didn’t like heights after the first line, so it’s good to keep in mind that once you’re on the track, there isn’t a way to get off until the end.  If you want to feel like you’re flying through the air, then you will definitely love this!

For those that want a little less intense version of the ziplines, the Hammock Splash is a blast.  Another ride with short wait times, it’s a great little dip into the cenote.  I would definitely suggest bringing water shoes, which are versatile enough for the Hammock Splash as well as all the other rides.

A Day at Xplor Park

Along with a secluded kid’s zone, there are plenty of ways to relax as well.  After we’d hit the trails with the amphibious vehicles about a hundred times, our old selves were happy to walk leisurely through the miles-long cave system.  I can’t even explain how beautiful the caves are in person.  It’s a part of the natural beauty of Mexico that we tend to forget because the white-sand beaches and tropical jungles tend to keep our attention.  It was an amazing experience and we can’t wait to go back!

I would definitely suggest Xplor as an excursion for wedding groups.  It has a little something for everyone from thrilling adventures to low-key exploration, is almost completely under jungle cover so less worry of sunburn, and it’s easy to get to it from virtually anywhere in Riviera Maya.  For even more excitement, Xplor Fuego offers their fun activities at night!  Twilight Ziplining?  Yes, please!

Feel free to send us an inquiry form to start your wedding group travel today, and check out more Xplor photos below!

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Megan

Content Coordinator

Megan was recently married to the man of her dreams! Her insight into what it feels like to be a blushing bride paired with her experience in the travel industry gives couples and their guests a personalized experience from start to finish. Megan contributes her best tips, inspiration and first-hand experiences on the blog!

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The Best Things to Do at Disney World

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

What’s one thing you can’t leave Disney World without doing?

 

The Best Things to Do at Disney World

Rides, shopping, entertainment: There are plenty of reasons people call this the most magical place on earth.

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Pigeon Island, Saint Lucia: A Gorgeous Slice Of History

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Pigeon Island is one of the most vibrant and beautiful points of interest in Saint Lucia. It is truly an historic area that has changed in significant ways over the years. Pigeon Island was once just that; an island, until it was later connected to the northern portion of Saint Lucia in 1971, via a causeway.

In this article you will discover that the events that preceded the development of the causeway, and of Pigeon Island, are so significant that they are part of the local curriculum of most history students in St. Lucia.

Whether you set foot on Saint Lucia or not, you might catch wind of tales of the battle for the island’s heart – seven times British, seven times French. Events that are so engrained in the culture that the English and Creole speaking locals won’t let you forget them. Just a brief look back at the history of the island proves just how important the area was to both the French and the British, during their individual rules.

According to the Saint Lucia National Trust, the non-profit-organization that is responsible for the upkeep of the Pigeon Island National Landmark, ‘it is a vivid representation of the cultural and historical monuments of international, civil, military and cross currents, characteristics of West Indian cultural change,’ – simple words to underscore the extent to which a brutal history, somehow transmuted into something that can now be treasured, forever shapes the identity of the island.

Pigeon Island, like many other parts of Saint Lucia and some other islands of the Caribbean, was first inhabited by the Amerindians; the Caribs and the Arawaks. The Caribs, who had a history of being that much fiercer than the Arawaks, had a bigger presence. Sometime later pirates also materialized on the island, notably a captain known as ‘Jambe de Bois’, whose real name was Francois Le Clerc. His name literally translated to peg leg, and all because he walked around on a wooden leg. He conducted many attacks and raids in the Caribbean, and beyond. Jambe de Bois and his crew of 330 men were the first Europeans to establish their presence and settle into the island of Saint Lucia. Pigeon Island for them was home, and they used it to target Spanish ships.

Jambe du Bois wasn’t the only one to take advantage of the clear views from Pigeon Island, which made it a great watch location. Several Forts were built in the area and operated by both the French and the British. The British, during initial take overs of the island used a heavily fortified Pigeon Island to spy on the French in Martinique. Admiral Rodney was famous for doing this and would often monitor Fort Royal, and the French naval base in Martinique from this location. Still today evidence that this happened can be seen, particularly on days when it is clear enough to easily spot the island of Martinique from Pigeon Island.

In this article on the Sandals Blog:

Fort Rodney
Other historical points
Pigeon Island & soul collide
Things to do at Pigeon Island
FAQ’s

Fort Rodney

fort rodey pigeon island

In the 18th century, George Rodney, a British Admiral changed the face of Pigeon Island by building forts, which served to protect him and his army from enemy attacks. One of these was Fort Rodney, constructed in 1778. Fort Rodney was built on the smaller of two peaks located within the Pigeon Island National Landmark. This and other forts in the area (including Signal Hill) afforded the British firsthand information on whomever was approaching the island. Fort Rodney, was a top-rated fortification during times of war, and today many old cannons and other ruins remain, adding color to historical accounts. At one point, the Admiral ordered all trees on Pigeon Island to be cut down, for a better vantage, but today you won’t be able to tell at all. The area is lush, green, and simply magical.

Other historical points

  • A whaling station was established on Pigeon island in 1909, and then shut down in 1952 when legislation was put in place which restricted whaling activities.
  • Pigeon Island was also leased to an actress from the D’Oyle Carte Theatre in England in 1937, who left Saint Lucia in 1940s when the United States built a naval base in Rodney Bay. She returned in 1947, with a passion for yachting that she wanted to share with the locals. Back in her heyday, she helped establish the island as a paradise, entertaining many guests. She gave up the lease in 1970. If you look you can see that some remnants of her house remain in the park.

Ruins-in-Fort-Rodney-on-Pigeon-Island-1

  • After a war-filled history, the Saint Lucia National Trust took Pigeon Island into its hands, and started restoring the area, developing it in ways that would not compromise its rich history, and abundant greenery.
  • A museum and interpretation Center were incorporated into the island’s attractions, with a theme that mostly focused on the Battle of the Saints, and battles in and around Pigeon Island over the years. The building that houses the Interpretation Center had previously been a Mess Hall for soldiers. Though it is now closed, many people benefited from the valuable history shared through the endeavor.

Pigeon Island & soul collide

With the Caribbean Sea on one side, and the Atlantic Ocean on the other, Pigeon Island has served many uses over the years, including being a venue for the Saint Lucia Jazz Festival. The showcase with international flair has featured many mega stars on its lineup, including Rihanna, UB40, Neyo, John Legend, The Jacksons, Mary J Blige, Elton John, and more. The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival is now part of a larger product in Saint Lucia which incorporates several festivals including the Roots & Soul Festival (Reggae), and Saint Lucia Carnival held annually in July. Saint Lucia Jazz is one of many events held in Pigeon Island National Park annually. Even during while these events are packed with entertainment, the focus is often on just how beautiful the area is, and despite small upgrades, its ambiance remains pure.

Things to do at Pigeon Island

1. Explore the Ruins

fort rodeny canon and view

‘Ruins’ isn’t a bad word where Pigeon Island is concerned. Everyone from hikers to newlyweds enjoy this slice of paradise, in and out of the park. If you’re into hiking, you can hike one or both peaks located within the park. Fort Rodney is 225 feet high, while Signal Peak reaches 330 feet. It’s a little challenging to get to the top, but it doesn’t measure up to some of the more difficult climbs in Saint Lucia, like the Gros Piton or Petit Piton climb. To get to Signal Peak’s highest point, you’ll have to climb a tall ladder, which is relatively easy to do. The ocean breeze and the amazing view from the top are simply heavenly!

2. Bathe at secret beaches

Pigeon-island-beach-with-umbrellas

While there are many bays in the general Pigeon Point area, in the park you’ll find two relatively secluded ones. If you go midweek, on a day when there are no cruise ships in port, you’ll find the beaches almost deserted. On other days, you won’t be able to find a spot. The water is clear, and the sand is white and well kept. There are even bathroom facilities. Beaches within the park are popular for picnics, snorkeling, and snuba tours.

3. Tie the Knot (if you haven’t already!)

pigeon island

Pigeon Island, particularly the Pigeon island National Park, is a popular wedding site. Locals and visitors alike find that they get their money’s worth when deciding to exchange vows there as the site is peaceful, beautiful, and historic. What more could a person ask for to set the tone for their happily-ever-after?

 

Expert Tip: After the ceremony, make some time for photos in the Ruins!

4. Walk the nature trail

Pigeon-Island-Hike

Nature lovers will enjoy what the Park has to offer on the inside – 44 beautiful acres of protected greenery, packed with history, waiting to be explored. Pigeon Island makes for a great half or full day outing.

5. Dine with family and friends.

For a great location with delectable meals, check out the Barnacles restaurant located within the Pigeon Island National Park. It’s private, has an exclusive feel, and the food and service make a stop here well worthwhile!

6. Schedule a photoshoot

woman-at-pigeon-island-ruins

From beachside views, to ancient ruins and grassy slope lands, you’ll find just the right backdrop for your vacation photos at the park. There are bathrooms for outfit changes, and showers for freshening up.

7. Check out nearby locations

golf-resort-saint-lucia

The Sandals Golf and Country Club is a short distance away from Pigeon Island, and it is the perfect place to hone your game. Grab your gear (or rent) and get ready for some action at one of the most popular golf courses in the Caribbean. This site is up to international standards, and you’ll spend a great day out on the green.

Frequently Asked Questions

When can I go to Pigeon Point Beach?

Pigeon Point beach is accessible year-round. The beach is particularly hopping on weekends, with beach parties and local bars in full swing. You’ll find a quieter experience inside the park.

pigeon island beach at sunset

What is the view like?

Views from Signal Point at the Pigeon Island National Park are amazing – on clear days you can see the Pitons in the south of the island, and the island of Martinique, which is located a short distance away from Saint Lucia. There are also views of Rodney Bay and Gros Islet from some areas of the park.

View-of-pigeon-island-causeway-1

What kind of visitor is this point of interest good for?

The adventurous. The Park is great for people who love to be outdoors, take photos, and hike.

How much does it cost to enter?

The entrance fee is $8, a private tour may cost more.

How much is a tour?

Tours cost around $58 – and this price usually includes the entrance fee, transport, lunch, and a walk around with a guide who will share the history and background of the site.

Pigeon-Isalnd-causeway-3

How do I get there?

You can get to Pigeon Island via boat (there’s a dock inside the park), or by car. If you’re driving, you’ll find the island about five minutes away past the road leading into the town of Gros Islet. Continue along the Gros Islet Highway in the direction of Cap Estate and take a left turn near the sign marking the entrance of Pigeon Island. Follow the road and take a right turn. At the end of that road, just past the Sandals Grande Saint Lucia Beach Resort & Spa, you’ll find the Pigeon Island National Landmark.

How far are Pigeon Island and Fort Rodney from the different Saint Lucia Sandals resorts?

Sandals Grande St. Lucia resort

Picture: Sandals Grande St. Lucia resort with Pigeon Island in the background.

If you’re staying at any of the Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Saint Lucia, the Pigeon Island National landmark is not too far away. It is a breezy five-minute walk away from the Sandals Grande Saint Lucia Beach Resort & Spa. It is only 0.5miles/2.6km from the resort, a 2-minute drive. The Park is about 36 minutes from Sandals Regency La Toc, and about 20 minutes from Sandals Halcyon.

How long does it take to hike up to the fort and back down?

The hike up the Fort is relatively easy and takes about one hour and 15 minutes both ways (some steep areas exist along the paths). This does not include time spent taking photos or enjoying the views. You can stay as long as you’d like!

 

Expert Tip: Bring water if you’re hiking. You’ll need it!

pigeon island coast

Pigeon Island is filled with charm and beauty…

And you’ll notice it from the minute you veer off the Gros Islet highway, just before driving into Cap Estate. You’ll will sense a shift in the atmosphere, and you will know you’re in the right place. The closer you get to the Pigeon Island National Landmark, the more pronounced the feeling becomes, and soon… you’ll find yourself engulfed in an environment of pure bliss. Go for yourself to experience this gem in Saint Lucia that is full of history and overflowing with opportunities for a laid-back (and super informative!) break from the norm.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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BRB, taking Sunday Funday to the next level! #GreatStirrupCay: Felicia S.

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Norwegian Cruise Line. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

BRB, taking Sunday Funday to the next level! #GreatStirrupCay📸: Felicia S.

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Aruba – One Happy Honeymoon

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

Aruba is the picture-perfect backdrop for your dream honeymoon. We make it a reality.

Click on the link for some great ideas and itineraries!

Aruba – One Happy Honeymoon

Let us take you there.

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Cancun Excursion Guide: Family Edition

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

Mexico’s eco-theme parks are where it’s at.

 

Cancun Excursion Guide: Family Edition

Do your kids have something different in mind for their vacation? Don’t worry, Cancun has more than enough adventures to keep the whole family busy.

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Ireland is more than just a destination. Come discover the endless adventure!

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Delta Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814


Ireland is more than just a destination. Come discover the endless adventure, culture, and hidden treasures this country has to offer. Book now and save up to $200 with a car rental. Terms apply. #DealOfTheWeek https://bit.ly/2MfUvOp


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Alaska Peninsula Evening Twilight

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

Look at this beautiful Alaskan scenery! Call me to book your cruise today! 810 877 1814

Posted by MarculescuEugenIancuD5200Alaska on 2010-06-15 00:13:10

Tagged: , Alaska , Anchorage

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

15 Best Things to Do in Orlando (Beyond The Theme Parks)

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

If you’re looking for a good mix of Florida’s theme parks and sights outside of them, here are some ideas.

 

15 Best Things to Do in Orlando (Beyond The Theme Parks)

In addition to the theme parks, this Florida destination offers a remarkable variety of interesting things to see and do.

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*Update: The opening has been moved to 10/1/19 in order to confidently deliver t…

By MM Travel and Tours on in Travel

From our friends at Funjet Vacations. Call us to get your reservations made today! 810 877 1814

*Update: The opening has been moved to 10/1/19 in order to confidently deliver the best possible vacation experience to guests.*
Sunscape Akumal Beach Resort & Spa opens June 1st. It’s family-friendly with an adults-only oceanfront terrace featuring Bali beds. The pools are fabulous like their infinity pool and the kids pool with their own swim-up bar. 💦 Learn more: http://ow.ly/meDY50umRw6


*Update: The opening has been moved to 10/1/19 in order to confidently deliver t...

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