Show Your Puerto Rican Pride This Halloween with a Vejigante Costume!

It is rare to find costumes that represent the Puerto Rican culture, but I have found a Vejigante costume for both adults and kids! What is a vejigante you say? The history of the vejigante goes back to medieval Spain, when St. James defeated the Moors, and masks with horns wore worn representing the defeated infidels. Over the years, the Puerto Rican natives used the vejigantes as a symbol of patriotism and self identity, and it is now deep rooted in Puerto Rican culture, especially in places like Ponce and Loiza. A Puerto Rican even celebrating our history and culture is never complete without the vejigantes.

The costume is customizable and made to order. First you pick the colors you want for your mask. Here is an example of masks:

mask

Then you pick your costume, you can get more elaborate ones, for an extra charge.

costume

All costumes are custom made, orders need to be placed with sufficient time, in order to ensure completion and delivery before Halloween. Make sure you check out the other products Isla Online has to offer, straight from Puerto Rico.

Isla Online
Call: 1-800-575-4752
Email: IslaOnline@prw.net

Check out these other Halloween deals still available:

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Seven-Night Stay at Barefoot Cay Resort in Roatán, Honduras

Private Island Resort with Plenty of Onsite Activities

The 4-acre, privately owned Barefoot Cay is one of a string of cays that lies along Roatán island’s southern edge, separated from Roatán by a 75-foot channel. Barefoot Cay Resort has dotted the islet with only a handful of bungalows and villas—just nine accommodations total—lending it an air of seclusion. You can get a sense of the solitude on the resort’s south shore, where an undeveloped stretch of sandy beach overlooks the reef that shelters the cay. This is a great spot for snorkeling, too—the water is usually calm, and the reef comes up close to the surface, showcasing countless fish and corals. The resort also offers guided snorkeling trips to locations outside the reef and provides gear free of charge from its onsite PADI-certified dive center.

The resort’s facilities include a marina and its thatch-roof palapa, which has a lowered platform for easy access to deep-water swimming and kayaking. Most of the inland action centers on the pool area and its adjacent two-level cabana, which has 360-degree views of the cay and serves meals in a guests-only restaurant. Head up to the cabana’s second floor if you want to relax; the Lookout Lounge here is a good place to read a book or watch a sports game on one of the flat-screen TVs. There’s also a full-service spa with treatments ranging from mocha-infused body scrubs to deep-tissue massages.

Both the studio lofts and two-bedroom loft suites have views of the ocean and louvered wooden doors that open onto a balcony. The fully equipped kitchen features stainless-steel appliances and cookware.

Roatán, Honduras: Diver’s Paradise with Dense Jungle Interior

Though Roatán—the largest of Honduras’s Bay Islands—used to be plagued by pirates looting the gold of Spanish galleons, most of the popular shipwrecks were purposefully sunk for divers. But that doesn’t make the many dive sites surrounding the island any less appealing. Walls of coral and more than 800 species of fish have turned them into natural wonders. Starfish, sea turtles, and eels are common sights during scuba-diving and snorkeling trips.

Farther inland, dense jungles and grassy hills stretch across the surface of the island. From the secluded bays of Roatán’s East End, you can get a change of scenery by taking winding dirt roads to smaller villages. The towns of Coxen Hole and French Harbour in particular provide a taste of local culture in the form of street vendors, an iguana farm, and shrimp fishers working the docks.

What You Get

Seven-night stay

  • Option 1: $699 for a stay for two in a studio loft, valid through 12/22/12 (up to a $1,195 value)
  • Option 2: $1,399 for a stay for four in a two-bedroom loft suite, valid through 12/22/12 (up to a $2,390 value)
  • Option 3: $1,999 for a stay for four in a two-bedroom loft suite, valid through 12/20/13 (up to a $3,380 value)

Book by: 12/7/12

Travel window: 10/9/12–12/22/12 (Options 1 and 2) or 10/9/12–12/20/13 (Option 3)

Amenities

  • Beach access
  • Swimming pool with cabana and lounge
  • Private restaurant
  • Full-service spa
  • Complimentary snorkeling gear and kayaks
  • Onsite PADI five-star dive center
  • 24-hour transfers between the cay and Roatán

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$16 for Two Entree Platters and Two Drinks at Freda’s Caribbean & Soul Cuisine (Up to $35 Value)

Hearty sides can make a good meal even better, as can good company and a waiter who rubs your throat as you chew. Chow down with this Groupon.

$16 for a Caribbean Meal for Two (Up to $35 Value)

  • Two entrees, each served with rice, peas, and two sides (up to a $15 value each)
  • Two homemade lemonades or sorrels, sweet iced teas, sodas, or bottled drinks (up to a $2.50 value each)

Freda’s Caribbean & Soul Cuisine

Visitors passing under Freda’s Caribbean & Soul Cuisine’s green, brown, and orange sign soon find themselves surrounded by the scents of authentic Caribbean grub. Platters of curried goat and jerk chicken arrive flanked by peas and rice, and side orders of candied yams and fried plantains bolster main dishes. Sweet-potato-pie slices cling to fork tines as they travel into mouths to silence the yammering of impatient sweet teeth. A large window at the storefront admits bucketfuls of the sun’s warming rays, providing ample opportunity for those seated nearby to show off half-eaten red snapper and enrage passing bears.

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Three-, Four-, or Five-Night Stay for Two with Daily Rental Car at The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa in St. Maarten

4-Star Seaside Hotel in St. Maarten

When U.S. News Travel crafted its list of the Best Islands in the World, it was looking for more than just pristine beaches—staffers sought out spots that had what they referred to as a “magical spark.” They found it on “feisty” St. Maarten, a 37-mile island surrounded by the aquamarine Caribbean Sea and filled with restaurants, nightclubs, and casinos. The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa is nestled between St. Maarten’s French-owned north and Dutch-owned south, atop a serene strip of beach named for its stunning sunrises.

The hotel takes advantage of its prime location on the island’s east coast. A waterfront pool faces sailboats cruising past or being slowly sucked into the horizon, and many of the 310 guest rooms overlook the ocean—and so does the fine-dining steak house, Aura. Play blackjack or slots at the onsite Vegas-style casino, or unwind with massage treatments at Hibiscus Spa before heading down to the pool for drinks at the swim-up bar. Many beaches are located close by, and you can explore the island easily with the rental car included in this getaway.

St. Maarten: Island Paradise with Split Cultural Heritage

Located in the northern Caribbean, the 37-square-mile island of St. Maarten has been peacefully shared by the French and the Dutch for more than 350 years, giving the island two very distinct yet harmonious personalities. On the southern Dutch side, crowds gravitate toward the neon-lit clubs and live-music bars at Simpson Bay. When those establishments close, revelers make their way to the 24-hour casinos. The northern French side, meanwhile, is more secluded and less developed. It has some gorgeous beaches, and the emphasis here is on relaxation.

To get an understanding of St. Maarten’s blend of cultural influences, consider its restaurant scene, which encompasses more than 400 eateries. Many travelers praise the authentic French cuisine and fine wines at Grand Case Beach Club on the French side, known as the Culinary Capital of the Caribbean. Casual barbecue restaurants, known as lolos, are located along the beach and serve up spicy shrimp, ribs, chicken, and heaping helpings of side dishes complemented by guava-berry rum. The quieter Back Street, on the Dutch side, is lined with some authentic—and inexpensive—Chinese eateries.

Both parts of the island boast crystal-clear bays filled with palatial coral structures and tropical fish. Take a guided snorkeling trip to Pinel Island, or to Creole Rock to see reef-ringed boulders. Deep-sea fishing charters send anglers out in search of marlin, blackfin tuna, and wahoo.

What You Get

Stay for two in an oceanfront room

Travel window: now through 12/21

  • Option 1: $659 for a three-night stay (up to a $1,322 value)
  • Option 2: $879 for a four-night stay (up to a $1,763 value)
  • Option 3: $1,099 for a five-night stay (up to a $2,204 value)

Travel window: 1/3/13–3/31/13 (peak season)

  • Option 4: $859 for a three-night stay (up to a $1,722 value)
  • Option 5: $1,139 for a four-night stay (up to a $2,296 value)
  • Option 6: $1,429 for a five-night stay (up to a $2,870 value)

Book by: 11/30/12

Included in all options:

  • Daily rental car
  • Resort fee and taxes

Amenities

  • Two restaurants
  • Beach
  • Casino
  • Spa facilities
  • Outdoor pool
  • Fitness center
  • Kids’ club

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Three-Night Stay at Villas Sur Mer in Negril, Jamaica

Four-Star Oceanside Villas near Prime Cliff-Diving Sites

One of the most famous spots in Jamaica is Rick’s Cafe, an open-air bar and restaurant in Negril where you can listen to live reggae music, take in a dazzling sunset, and watch intrepid souls leap from 35-foot cliffs into the Caribbean Sea below. Travel writer Patricia Schultz named Rick’s one of the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die, and it’s only two minutes from Villas Sur Mer, a tropical resort. It sits atop scenic cliffs of its own and its grounds brim with verdant tropical foliage. The resort is made up of 11 one- and two-bedroom cottages spread throughout the property. Each villa is individually decorated. One treehouse-like cottage overlooks the waterfall at the lagoon-style pool; another has a Moroccan theme and a pair of hammocks flanking the front door. As many as 12 guests can comfortably stay in the six-room seaside villa, which features a fully equipped kitchen, complementary private chef, and a private pool overlooking the ocean. Follow an underground walkway to find the ocean deck area, where you can make use of complimentary snorkeling gear and swim the crystal-clear sea. Seven Mile Beach, one of the most popular attractions in Negril, is about a 10-minute drive from the resort.

Negril, Jamaica: Laid-Back Beach Town with Picturesque Sunsets, Snorkeling, and Cliff Diving

Located on Jamaica’s western coast, Negril is known for its white-sand beaches, dramatic cliffs, and coral reefs lying just offshore in the Caribbean. Its underwater beauty makes Negril Marine Park a popular spot for scuba diving and snorkeling, and many people fish for blue marlin, wahoo, and mahi-mahi in its depths. Negril enjoys a front-row seat to some of the world’s most beautiful sunsets, too; it’s worth it to climb to the top of waterfront cliffs to watch one. Farther inland, the terrain becomes mountainous, and you can go hiking, ziplining, or take waterfall tours. Take a 60- to 90-minute drive east to reach the cascading YS Falls or Mayfield Falls, where you can wade in 21 natural pools shaded by exotic tropical flowers and ferns. Or stay close to Negril and visit the Royal Palm Reserve, where 300 acres of swamp forests and wetlands shelter more than 300 types of birds, butterflies, and abandoned Rubik’s cubes.

What You Get

Three-night stay

  • Option 1: $359 for a stay for 2 in a one-bedroom cottage (unit 1A, 1B, or 1C), valid 10/2/12–12/20/12 (up to a $600 value)
  • Option 2: $629 for a stay for 4 in a two-bedroom cottage (unit 2, 4, 5, 6 up, or 7), valid 10/2/12–12/20/12 (up to a $1,050 value)
  • Option 3: $2,849 for a stay for 12 in a seaside villa, valid 10/2/12–12/20/12 (up to a $4,800 value)
  • Option 4: $465 for a stay for 2 in a one-bedroom cottage (unit 1A, 1B, or 1C), valid 1/6/13–1/31/13 (up to a $780 value)
  • Option 5: $755 for a stay for 4 in a two-bedroom cottage (unit 2, 4, 5, 6 up, or 7), valid 1/6/13–1/31/13 (up to a $1,260 value)
  • Option 6: $3,329 for a stay for 12 in a seaside villa, valid 1/6/13–1/31/13 (up to a $5,550 value)

Book by: 11/30/12
Travel windows: 10/2/12–12/20/12 (Options 1–3); 1/6/13–1/31/13 (Options 4–6)

Amenities

Lagoon cottages:

  • Large gazebo bar and bistro
  • Lagoon-style pool with waterfall
  • Complimentary snorkeling gear
  • Kitchenettes
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Complimentary turn-down service
  • Free long-distance calls to U.S.

Seaside villa:

  • Pool
  • Hot tub overlooking the ocean
  • Hammocks
  • Games and books
  • Barbecue pits and outdoor dining tables
  • Full kitchen and private chef
  • Complimentary housekeeper
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free long-distance calls to U.S.

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Magazine Deal of the Day

Today’s deal is for Caribbean Travel and Life magazine. The focus of this magazine is on the culture, history, resorts, shopping, cuisine and water sports of the Caribbean, Bahamas and Bermuda. It features articles about the things which are new and trendy in life and travel in the Caribbean.

Two-years of Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine $4.99 (85% off)! Use Promo Code: 1846

Ongoing Promotions

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Three-Hour Caribbean Cooking Class for One or Two at TriniSoul (Up to 76% Off)

The kitchen is statistically the most dangerous room in a home because it contains the highest concentration of knives, open flames, and pots full of freedom-hungry lobsters. Learn to navigate this danger zone with this Groupon.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $25 for a three-hour adult Caribbean cooking class for one (up to a $95 value)
  • $45 for a a three-hour adult Caribbean cooking class for two (up to a $190 value)

TriniSoul’s seasoned chef, Bryan, and Trinidad-born Chef D tutor budding cooks in proper Caribbean culinary techniques mixed with Southern soul influences, showing more than a dozen group classes how to dice and apportion ingredients and arrange finished meals. The Taste of Jamaica class covers staples such as jerk chicken, fried or baked plantains, and steamed cabbage. Alternatively, a roti-making class teaches hands to knead, roll, and fill dough with curry chicken and chickpeas.

TriniSoul

Inside the kitchen of TriniSoul, students get the opportunity to face down the scotch bonnet—a lantern-shaped pepper that smolders with 50 times more heat than a jalapeño. The heavy-duty pepper is just one of the extraordinary ingredients introduced to students by Chef D, a Caribbean native who holds court during cooking classes that center around the recipes she grew up enjoying. Her foray into culinary instruction started as a few simple classes on the cuisine of Trinidad and Tobago, but her teaching style developed a rabid following, and Chef D’s curriculum has grown to cover many types of Caribbean cuisine as well as American-style soul fare. More than 6,000 students have enrolled in Chef D’s classes, which can accommodate groups of up to 24 in TriniSoul’s kitchen as well as private instruction in one’s own kitchen or properly equipped subway car.

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Four- or Seven-Night All-Inclusive Stay in a Garden-View or Beachfront Room at Braco Village Hotel & Spa in Runaway Bay, Jamaica

Winner of TripAdvisor’s 2012 Excellence Award

Pastel-colored houses line cobblestone streets and a white sand beach at Braco Village Hotel & Spa, which was modeled after an old-fashioned Jamaican village. Gingerbread architecture, noted for its decorative verandas, conveys the island spirit at the hotel—as do the slew of palm-shaded hammocks found along the shoreline. At night the plaza glows under string lights while street musicians serenade diners, while the resort’s disco pulsates with island rhythms well into the night.

Much of Braco’s activity centers on the town square, which is lined with boutiques, restaurants, and a sidewalk café. The many facilities include a pair of pools with swim-up bars, and courts for tennis, beach volleyball, and basketball. Nonmotorized land and watersports come with this all-inclusive package; for an additional fee you can go scuba diving or rent golf equipment to play on the nearby 18-hole course.

Among the five gourmet restaurants, your best bet to sample the local flavor will come at One Love, which serves jerk chicken and other Jamaican staples. Other cuisines range from teppanyaki-style dishes and sushi at Akai to fresh Italian pastas at Mezzaluna.

Rooms face either the ocean or the tropical gardens, and all include a terrace or balcony for enjoying the views or serenading a star-crossed lover.

Trelawny, Jamaica: White Sand Beaches and Tropical Forests Close to Montego Bay

Situated on Jamaica’s northwest coast, Trelawny is less than an hour away from many of the island’s top attractions. The waters near Montego Bay are famous for their dive sites and deep caves that are frequented by barracudas and nurse sharks. Montego Bay, the heart of Jamaica’s tourism industry, features a lively entertainment district packed with reggae clubs and beach bars.

But if you’re looking for a more relaxed itinerary, Trelawny has all the staples of an island getaway. The beaches are pristine and calm, with crystal-clear waters ideal for kayaking and snorkeling. Heading a bit inland, you’ll find hiking trails that wend over hills and into the tropical forests of the Cockpit Country, one of the largest remaining Jamaican wildernesses.

What You Get

All-inclusive stay for two

  • Option 1: $575 for a four-night stay in a Royal garden-view room (up to a $960 value)
  • Option 2: $999 for a seven-night stay in a Royal garden-view room (up to a $1,680 value)
  • Option 3: $629 for a four-night stay in a Royal beachfront room (up to a $1,056 value)
  • Option 4: $1099 for a seven-night stay in a Royal beachfront room (up to a $1,848 value)

Book by: 10/19/12
Travel by: 12/21/12

Included in all options:

  • Unlimited meals and alcoholic and nonalcoholic drinks at any onsite restaurant, bar, or café
  • Nonmotorized land and watersports
  • Daily group activities including cooking and aerobics classes
  • All taxes, fees, and gratuities

Amenities

  • Beach with loungers and hammocks
  • Five restaurants and several bars
  • Pools with swim-up bars
  • Spa and jacuzzis
  • 5 acres of hiking and jogging trails
  • Live entertainment and dancing at onsite disco

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Puerto Rican Dinner for Two for Four at Sazon (Up to 53% Off)

Taking loved ones on dinner dates makes them feel special, much like hiring a loud person to shout their name on the sidewalk. Make your sweetheart swoon with this Groupon.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $35 for one appetizer and two entrees (up to a $70 total value)
  • $85 for two appetizers, four entrees, and four sangrias (up to a $180 total value)

The menu includes appetizers (up to a $16 value each) such as the sweet plantains stuffed with beef picadillo, and classic Puerto Rican entrees (up to a $27 value each) such as the calamari paella and the mar y tierra, a Caribbean-style surf ‘n’ turf with churrasco, shrimp scampi, and fried green plantains. Foursomes wash down their meals with glasses of sangria (a $10 value each).

Sazon

Genaro Morales is no stranger to New York’s restaurant scene; his first Puerto Rican restaurant, Sofrito, still draws diners to its midtown Manhattan and White Plains locations. Sazon marks Morales’s first venture into the crowded, hip market of downtown eateries, and he’s already made his mark, attracting celebrity patrons such as Adrian Grenier. The authentic Caribbean dishes, such as mofongo and ropa vieja, earned a rating of “very good to excellent” from Zagat as well as a spot on Gotham magazine’s list of must-visit Tribeca eateries.

Inside the two-story establishment, multitiered chandeliers and bright orange quilted walls bathe diners in a warm glow. The curvaceous bar wends serpent-like through one end of the space, covered in small tiles patterned to resemble snakeskin. Behind the scenes, chefs stuff plantains with beef picadillo or grill up slabs of spicy churrasco sausage to complement fruits of the sea such as calamari, shrimp, and red snapper.

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All-Inclusive Four-, Five-, Six-, or Seven-Night Stay at Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino – Saint Maarten

Sweeping Ocean Views and Buzzing Nightspots in the Heart of Maho Bay

The view from St. Maarten’s west coast is most dramatic around dinnertime, when the sun dips below the Caribbean horizon—a sweeping, peach-hued sky that’s uninterrupted save for a few sailboats. There are few better seats for this nightly show than at Ocean Terrace Restaurant, a Mediterranean-inspired eatery with patio tables overlooking the water. It’s one of several picture-perfect settings at the all-inclusive Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino – Sint Maarten, located along 10 beachfront acres.

You can enjoy some of the best vistas from the privacy of your pool/ocean-view balconies. In deference to the natural splendor outside, rooms are simply furnished with cream-colored wood furniture, one king bed or two full beds, and tropical bedspreads in red, gold, and blue. In addition to Ocean Terrance Restaurant, the resort’s other onsite dining establishments pair delightful dishes with tranquil views: The Point Restaurant serves fresh seafood and a wide selection of wines in a tropical garden setting, and cooks at the more-casual Palms Grill barbecue meat and toss salads alongside the beach.

The palm-shaded swimming pool is one of the resort’s social hubs. A wooden footbridge spans the water, just a few strokes away from a fully stocked swim-up bar. For a livelier atmosphere, take a stroll to Casino Royale, one of the island’s largest casinos. You can wager your $20 resort credit at any of the 400 slot machines or try your luck at craps, blackjack, poker, and roulette. The party continues into the wee hours at the resort’s Tantra nightclub, where DJs spin Latin, reggae, and R&B beats next to a swirling dance floor.

St. Maarten: Tropical Paradise with Vibrant Nightlife

Located just south of Anguilla in the Caribbean, the island of St. Maarten was ranked on U.S. News & World Report’s list of the Best Islands in the World for its “soaring mountains and cream-colored shorelines.” The island is split between the French northern half and the Dutch south, with the resort located just below the border in Dutch St. Maarten. From here, the hotel’s activities desk can help to organize several memorable outings, including parasail flights, kayak or waverunner tours, deep-sea fishing, and leisurely horseback rides through wooded mountains.

Arguably the nightlife capital of St. Maarten, Maho Village hums with excitement after dark, especially when the Casino Royale dancers take to the streets to light up the night with sassy Caribbean dance moves. At the Maho Promenade, situated in the center of Maho Village, 40 duty-free boutiques sell fine jewelry, watches, and handsome handicrafts. Most shops, cafés, and restaurants stay open until 11 p.m., allowing travelers to enjoy their nightcaps on warm, open-air patios surrounded by a soundtrack of music and revelry.

What You Get

All-inclusive stay for two in a pool/ocean-view room. Combine up to three Groupons to extend your stay.

  • Option 1: $899 for four nights (up to $2,084 value)
  • Option 2: $1,099 for five nights (up to $2,605 value)
  • Option 3: $1,299 for six nights (up to $3,126 value)
  • Option 4: $1,449 for seven nights (up to $3,647 value)

Included in all options:

  • All meals and snacks at any of the resort’s restaurants
  • Unlimited alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages
  • Minibar refreshed daily with soft drinks and bottled water
  • $20 in match bets for each person 18 or older at the resort’s Casino Royale
  • Guest pass to Sonesta Great Bay, a sister resort
  • Reservations at resort restaurants
  • All hotel taxes and gratuities

Book by: 10/5/12
Travel by: 12/21/12

Amenities

  • Two swimming pools and a swim-up bar
  • Spa
  • Casino Royale
  • Four restaurants
  • Tantra nightclub
  • Tennis courts and fitness center
  • Children’s programming

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Five- or Seven-Night Stay in a Marina Hotel Room or Ocean Suite at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino in Aruba

AAA Four Diamond Resort with a Casino and Private Beach

The four-pointed red star on Aruba’s national flag represents the four points on a compass, a symbol of the country’s multinational appeal. Situated just off Venezuela’s northwestern coast, the island has benefitted from its warm climate, low annual rainfall, and convenient trade winds that first attracted Arawak Indians, followed by Spanish, British, and Dutch colonists. Its multicultural history contributed to the creation of Aruba’s official Papiamento language, a Creole dialect that borrows from Spanish, Dutch, English, and Amerindian languages. At the AAA Four Diamond Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino located in the capital, Oranjestad, you can see a diverse assortment of national artifacts from Aruba’s past, including shell and stone tools and excavated skeletons.

The resort is made up of two distinct properties. The first is Renaissance Marina Hotel, an 18-and-older resort with an adults-only pool and easy access to a 24-hour casino, where you can play blackjack or roulette. This hotel also contains the Okeanos Spa, which offers aloe facials, seaweed body wraps, and access to a private beach concealed by mangroves. Just a few steps away, families stay in the Marina’s sister property, Renaissance Ocean Suites. Guests of both hotels have access to 40 acres of beachfront property, a fitness center, spa, and restaurant on Renaissance Island, just 10 minutes offshore. Here, the staff facilitates kid-friendly activities, including kayak rentals and hikes on a nature trail where guests can watch daily iguana feedings.

Guest rooms at either property put you close to shopping, dining, and nightlife at the Renaissance Mall or in nearby Oranjestad. Onsite restaurants include L.G. Smith’s Steak & Chop House, where Angus-beef steaks and coconut-lime ceviche are paired with an extensive wine list.

Oranjestad, Aruba: Dutch Capital with Exotic Wildlife and 18th-Century Fort

In the late 1700s, Dutch settlers founded the capital city of Oranjestad on Aruba’s southwestern coastline to serve as a transitional harbor for trade between Curacao and Venezuela. Today, their influences can be seen in the city’s colorful and ornate Dutch Colonial architecture, most especially in the sherbet-colored buildings that line Wilhelminastraat, one of Oranjestad’s main streets.

Oranjestad’s proximity to the Caribbean Sea and its trade winds make it a nice spot for casual trips to the beach as well as other outdoor activities. Just 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the hotel, Aruba’s Butterfly Farm is home to hundreds of exotic butterflies, including the iridescent blue morpho. To the north, the Aruba Ostrich Farm lets visitors feed the large birds and taste ostrich meat. Before leaving the island, make sure to walk a few blocks east of the hotel to Fort Zoutman, Oranjestad’s oldest structure. Built in 1798, the restored fort and tower houses a history museum inside its barriers.

What You Get

Stay for two adults 18 or older in a Marina Hotel room (kids 17 or younger not allowed)

  • $699 for a five-night stay
  • $999 for a seven-night stay

Stay for four in a family-friendly Ocean suite

  • $999 for a five-night stay
  • $1,399 for a seven-night stay 

Book by: 9/14/12
Travel by: 12/21/12

Amenities

  • Fitness center
  • Adults-only and family-friendly pools
  • Kids’ activities in the day and evening
  • Kayak rentals (extra fee)
  • Nature trail and iguana feedings
  • Onsite restaurants and bars
  • Free parking
  • 24-hour casino
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MetLife Second Sundays: Caribbean Traditions At The Queens Museum Of Art

To celebrate the opening of its Caribbean exhibit, the Queens Museum of Art invites you to experience Caribbean traditions firsthand. Take a tour of the costumes, photos, and more, then make your own masks and instruments in the studios. Robert of Steel Drum Mania will be performing, and snacks will be provided.

Sunday July 8, 2012

1:30-4:00pm

New York City Building
Flushing Meadows Corona Park

Pricing & Ticket Info: Free

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Four-Night All-Inclusive Stay at Jewel Runaway Bay Resort in Jamaica

All-Inclusive Resort on the Caribbean with 18-Hole Golf Course

Though many hotels tout their good service, few can say that their staff will swim to your pool float to replenish a dwindling drink. At Jewel Runaway Bay Resort—which stretches across 20 acres on the Caribbean Sea—the pool concierge does just that while bringing guests skewers of fresh fruit and cold face towels and misting them with cool, eucalyptus-infused water. The concierge also serves homemade “gem of the day” cocktails in flavors such as Jamaican ginger and lychee, and demonstrates how to make the tropical concoctions during afternoon mixology classes.

In addition to its luxurious service, the hotel offers a range of complimentary activities, including beach volleyball games, tennis matches, and water aerobics classes in the ocean. Guests can also cozy up in a poolside hammock or take to the waters on one of the multicolored sailboats or kayaks that cluster along the white-sand beach. For an especially scenic stroll, head to Jewel’s onsite 18-hole golf course, a challenging track that’s hosted the Ryder Cup and Heineken World Cup qualifier and is known for its long, rolling fairways.

During their stay, travelers can dine at any of the property’s five restaurants and bars, and indulge in a continental-style breakfast in bed. After dinner, the hotel’s Bling nightclub, festooned with disco balls and neon spotlights, fuels dance marathons into the wee hours.

Runaway Bay, Jamaica: Quiet Resort Area near Natural Wonders

Runaway Bay is nestled on Jamaica’s famed north coast, between the cultural hubs of Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The secluded town is one of the island’s smallest—Lonely Planet calls it “a one-street village”—and is noticeably quieter than its tourist-laden neighbors. Despite its size, Runaway Bay has some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean—200 yards from the hotel beach, at the iconic Canyon Wall dive site, two underwater reefs form a breathtaking natural gorge filled with sea turtles and Bermuda chubs. About 4 miles (6.5 km) west of the resort, explore the limestone expanses and subterranean lakes of the Green Grotto Caves, which were used as a hideout for Spaniards during 18th-century English colonization.

A scenic, 25-minute drive from the hotel yields one of Jamaica’s most famous attractions, Dunn’s River Falls. This natural wonder consists of a series of waterfalls cascading from the mountains to the sea, and served as a filming location for the first James Bond movie, Dr. No. Today, tour groups frolic at the bottom of the waterfall or make the 600-foot climb to the top in a daisy-chain fashion behind a local guide.

What You Get

Four-night all-inclusive stay for two in a deluxe room

  • $739, valid through September 7
  • $649, valid September 8–October 31

Book by: 8/31/12

Included in all options:

  • Unlimited meals and drinks at any onsite restaurant, bar, or cafe
  • Non-motorized land and water sports
  • Daily group activities including cooking and aerobics classes
  • Snorkeling, sailing, and rounds of golf
  • All taxes, fees, and gratuities
  • Complimentary shuttles to and from MBJ

Amenities

  • White-sand beach
  • Three pools, including an infinity pool
  • 18-hole golf course
  • Sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and windsurfing
  • Five restaurants, swim-up bars, late-night nightclub
  • Private balconies
  • Onsite spa
  • Fitness center

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Five-Night Stay at Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa in Aruba

Aruba Resort Minutes from Palm Beach Oceanfront

Although most Caribbean islands receive abundant tropical rain, Aruba enjoys the near-constant sunshine of a dry savannah climate, thanks to its location off the coast of Venezuela. With frequently agreeable weather for beach lounging, there are few spots on the island more popular than Palm Beach, a 2-mile strip packed with high-rises and restaurants. Coconut palms dot the powdery shore of the calm, bathwater-warm bay, where visitors might spot parakeets and iguanas. Located just inland, out of reach of the crowds yet within a few minutes’ walk of the oceanfront, Brickell Bay Beach Club & Spa offers a graceful and charming retreat, a place where bellhops whisk away your bags and bartenders pour a welcome cocktail upon arrival.

There’s similar swift service at the poolside bar, a pagoda-like structure lined with barstools submerged beneath the water. For a night on the town, take the free shuttle to the nearby casinos, including Aura and Excelsior, where match-play vouchers essentially double your bet (up to $100 match-play value). The shuttle also takes the 200-yard journey to the beachfront, where seaside visitors can stretch out on private lounge chairs or underneath thatched palapas.

Back at the resort, superior rooms set an airy mood with marble floors and all-white linens. The next morning, enjoy an upgraded American breakfast on the open-air terrace of Tomato Charlie’s Pizzaria. Juice and coffee pair with a hot entree from the menu, such as blueberry pancakes or a three-egg omelet with chorizo.

Aruba: Idyllic Seafront and Cactus-Strewn Hills on Former Dutch Colony

From end to end, the former Dutch colony of Aruba measures about 22 miles, making it easy to hop between shorelines. Just southwest of Palm Beach on the island’s northwest coast, Eagle Beach has been called “the best beach on Aruba” by Fodor’s for its broad, less-crowded stretch of sand. To the north, Arashi Beach and Malmok Beach are popular spots to kick off boat rides to renowned dive sites such as the wreck of the MS Antilla, a 1939 German freighter now 60 feet underwater and covered with brain coral, anemones, and gorgonian fans.

Although the beaches are beautiful, there’s another side to the island: the Arikok National Park, which harbors candelabra cacti and thorny bushes. Thanks to its arid climate and limestone formations, Aruba is home to several animals found nowhere else, including the Aruban rattlesnake and the Aruban burrowing owl.

What You Get

  • $542 for a five-night stay for two adults in a superior room; up to two kids 11 or younger stay free
  • Upgraded daily American breakfast for two
  • Bottle of champagne
  • $100 match-play casino credit, valid at Aura Casino or Excelsior Casino
  • $50 spa credit

Book by: 6/30/12
Travel by: 9/30/12

Amenities

  • Free lounge chairs on nearby Palm Beach
  • Outdoor pool with swim-up bar
  • Onsite restaurant
  • Full onsite spa
  • Free shuttle to beach, casino, or mall
  • 24-hour gym and mini market

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Four-Night All-Inclusive Stay at Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace Resort in Dominican Republic

All-Inclusive Resort with Eclectic Dining and Secluded Beach

Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace Resort bears all the hallmarks of a Caribbean island getaway, including thatched-roof cabanas, swaying palms, and sugar-sand beaches. But there are a few unexpected sights, including the trapeze platform and juggling acts at the adjacent sister property, Dominicus Beach. If you find the beach a little mellow or the fitness center a shade conventional, you can sign up for trapeze lessons and swing with professional acrobats.

Ocean-view rooms overlook the resort’s secluded, mile-long beach, dotted with loungers and palms that stretch horizontally as if playing limbo. There are four restaurants scattered throughout the property that serve cuisine ranging from grilled local fish to upscale Mediterranean. Il Palco specializes in hearty Italian fare and boasts an extensive wine list. The broad columns, chatty atmosphere, and priceless Renaissance art call to mind a Florentine palazzo.

In addition to all-inclusive activities that range from dance nights to yoga classes, you’ll get to participate in the Palace Resort’s Viva Eco Wellness program. Fitness experts first craft a personalized health plan based on your metabolism and body type. Armed with a balanced meal plan for your four-day stay, you can chase away calories in boot camp, Thai step classes, and fitness sessions in the pool. You’ll even have access to the program website for an additional six months of online consultation.

Bayahibe, Dominican Republic: Fishing Town with Beautiful Beaches

Small fishing villages such as Bayahibe are common along the Dominican Republic’s southeastern coast. Though the upscale resorts have given rise to a modern tourism infrastructure, the area still has plenty to offer in the way of culture. Remnants of Bayahibe’s 19th-century roots are still on display in the wooden, beachside churches and the merchants who sell pots and other wares on horseback.

Bayahibe also serves as a staging ground for scuba excursions and day trips to nearby Saona—a barely-inhabited island a few miles offshore. As part of this vacation package, you’ll get to visit Saona on a chartered sail. The boat cruises across the Caribbean to one of the island’s pristine beaches, and you’ll later have a chance to dine at a restaurant in Saona’s tiny village, Mano Juan. On the journey back to Bayahibe, the boat will stop off on the mainland at a natural swimming pool filled with colorful marine life, including a large population of starfish.

What You Get

Four-night all-inclusive stay for two adults and two kids in an ocean-view room

  • $799, valid May 1–June 30
  • $959, valid July 1–August 31
  • $849, valid September 1–October 31

Book by: 5/31/12

Included in all options:

  • All meals, snacks, and drinks
  • Daily activities and unlimited nonmotorized watersports
  • Four-day eco-wellness program for two
  • Boat trip for two to Saona Island
  • All taxes, surcharges, and gratuities

Amenities

  • Four restaurants and three bars
  • Onsite spa (services not included)
  • Access to freshwater pool, restaurants, and other facilities at nearby sister property
  • Dive center (dive trips not included)
  • Tennis courts, soccer field, and archery center
  • Fully equipped gym

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Latin Fusion Dinner with Appetizers, Entrees and Drinks for Two or Four at Common Space in Forest Hills (Up to 56% Off)

Hunger can turn otherwise well-behaved adults into children, much like reruns of ’90s cartoons, fights with siblings, or Steve, the neighborhood wizard. Maintain your dignity with this Groupon.

Choose Between Two Options

  • $21 for dinner for two (up to a $43.98 value)
  • $39 for a dinner for four (up to an $87.96 value)

Each dinner includes:

  • One appetizer per person (up to a $5.99 value)
  • One entree per person (up to an $11 value)
  • One house drink per person (up to a $5 value)

Common Space

Inside Common Space’s corridor-style restaurant, chefs infuse Latin American cuts of skirt steak, pork chicharrón, and shrimp with cilantro, garlic, and other staple Caribbean spices. Set against the backdrop of an exposed-brick wall, diners chat in elegant backless chairs as waiters parade tapas, seafood, and pasta dishes to waiting tables. On the outdoor patio beyond the dining room, breezes tease hair, whisper through spherical shrubs, and gently blow on hot entrees before swallowing them whole. In addition to its Latin fusion dining, Common Space bustles with nightlife every night of the week as DJs spin records and guests guzzle fishbowl drinks or smoke hookahs on the patio.

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$797 for a Four-Night, All-Inclusive Stay for Two at Sunset Lagoon in Cancun (Up to $1,680 Value)

Chic Cancun Resort on Nichupte Lagoon

Less than 50 years ago, Cancun’s 14-mile barrier island was overrun with mangrove jungles inhabited by a few indigenous coconut farmers. It wasn’t until the early 1970s that Cancun began its transformation into a world-renowned tourist destination. Today, millions of visitors flock to the Caribbean city each year to take in its tropical climate and rollicking nightlife. Sunset Lagoon Resort lies in the heart of it all. Its distinctive, angular, white buildings are located in the lively Hotel Zone, just steps from Nichupte Lagoon.

In roomy executive suites, natural-wood and wicker furnishings enhance the warm, tropical vibe. From the balcony you can look out onto the lagoon and catch breezes from the Caribbean Sea. The all-inclusive stay gives you the pick of the resort’s dining options, which range from Italian fare at La Vela to an international buffet at La Pergola.

Outdoors, the crystal waters of the lagoon are almost always stirring with vacationers taking advantage of yacht rentals, windsurfing lessons, and kayak tours. Beneath the surface, scuba divers busy themselves with exploring coral reefs and staging adaptations of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. For a slower pace, kick back in the lagoon-side hot tub, or take the shuttle to the hotel’s sister resort, Sunset Royal. The all-inclusive plan is valid here too, allowing for limitless cocktails on cool sand beaches overlooking the sea.

Back at Sunset Lagoon, Ya’ax Che Spa offers spa treatments incorporating natural elements and traditional Mayan practices. Most evenings end in late-night dancing at one of the onsite bars or treks to the many nightclubs populating the Hotel Zone.

Cancun: Cool White Sands and Mayan Relics

Cancun is on a barrier island shaped like the number seven. It juts into the Caribbean Sea at the northeast tip of Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula. With the sea on one side and freshwater lagoons on the other, it’s a popular spot for sailing and snorkeling. Although the beaches and barrier reefs are a major draw, the geography is equally enticing further inland, where you can dive into an underground cave or speedboat through a mangrove jungle.

Within the city’s Hotel Zone, the modest stone columns of El Rey Ruins stand as a vestige of ancient Mayan culture. The archaeological site is home to scores of wild iguanas that can be seen lounging in the sun and reading Tom Clancy novels. At night, the Hotel Zone’s neon-lit bars and late-night cantinas spring vibrantly to life.

What You Get

$797 for a four-night all-inclusive stay for two in an executive suite; two kids 11 or younger stay free

Book by: 6/30/12
Travel by: 3/31/13

Included in all-inclusive stay:

  • Transfers to and from Cancun International Airport (CUN)
  • Unlimited meals and drinks with tips included
  • One sunset lobster dinner
  • Resort fees and taxes
  • $30 USD credit to Ya’ax Che Spa
  • Yoga and scuba-diving classes
  • Guided bike tours
  • Shuttle service to beach at Sunset Royal
  • Cell phone with with 60 minutes of air time to contact personal concierge 24 hours a day

Amenities

  • Snorkeling and windsurfing
  • Complimentary bike rental
  • Two international restaurants
  • Open-air theater
  • Pool and water slide
  • Spa treatments available

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Four- or Six-Night Stay for Up to Four in a One-Bedroom Suite at Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort in the Bahamas

Sprawling Tropical Resort with Sandy Beaches and Golf Course

Called “blissfully tranquil” by Frommer’s, the uncrowded white sand beach at Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort resembles the idyllic image sometimes used to beautify computer desktops. Located on the eastern side of the Bahamas’ Great Abaco, Treasure Cay’s 3.5-mile beach is where soothingly soft sand meets the Caribbean’s blue-green waters. The resort’s 150-slip marina serves as a launch pad for fishing and exploring nearby cays and reefs. On land, villas and private condos welcome those visiting this island oasis, home to perennially warm weather and numerous activities ranging from tennis to golfing to snorkeling.

Simply decorated with tropical motifs, Treasure Cay’s two-story suites have terraces overlooking the marina. Dense vegetation also surrounds the links at the resort’s 18-hole championship golf course designed by famed course architect Dick Wilson. Golf carts help to navigate the 7,000-yard course, and they’ve also been used for easy transportation around Treasure Cay, a relaxing alternative to driving cars or futilely using ice skates.

For dining, Bahamian chefs prepare seafood and other island specialties at the waterfront Spinnaker Restaurant and Lounge. A more casual alternative, the CoCo Beach Bar serves local grilled fare and tropical cocktails steps from the beach. Live music and dance parties create a festive atmosphere at the poolside Tipsy Seagull.

Treasure Cay, Bahamas: Small Coastal Town and Hub for Diving, Canoeing, and Other Watersports

Treasure Cay is located on part of the eastern shore of Great Abaco, the largest islands in the northern Bahamas. Home to a weather-protected marina, the coastal community is a hub for island hopping, diving, and fishing activity. Canoeing nature tours with Abaco Gal Island Adventures explore the watery sinkholes that populate the island, some nearly 300 feet deep and filled with prehistoric fossils of extinct crocodiles, tortoises, and first-generation PlayStations. Commonly known as “blue holes,” these flooded limestone caves are beautiful to look at but can be dangerous to swim in due to subterranean gases and narrow passageways. But there are plenty of more-inviting diving sites nearby, as the waters around the Abaco encompass the world’s third-largest barrier reef.

What You Get

Stay for up to four in a one-bedroom suite

  • $459 USD for four nights
  • $689 USD for six nights

Book by: 4/14/12
Travel by: 6/14/12

Amenities

  • 150-slip marina
  • 18-hole championship golf course
  • Restaurant and beach bar
  • Garden- or water-view terraces
  • Swimming pool and wet bar
  • Wired and wireless Internet

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Seven-Night Stay with Dinner at Blue Waters Inn in Tobago

Oceanfront Boutique Hotel on South Caribbean Coast

In the waters surrounding the island of Tobago, a kaleidoscope of coral polyps flourishes along its banks of volcanic rock. It accounts for the some of the best scuba diving in the Caribbean. Inland, the colors are just as blinding: more than 200 species of multicolored birds flutter through the canopy in one of the oldest protected rainforests in the Western Hemisphere. All of this is easily accessible from Blue Waters Inn, a boutique resort on the island’s eastern shore. An onsite scuba-diving company can set you up on trips to the reefs, and the hotel can also arrange tours of the rainforest and neighboring Bird of Paradise Island.

AquaMarine Dive, the onsite Gold Palm scuba facility, is staffed by expert guides who can put you on your way to earning PADI certification. They lead dives in the shallow coral areas, some of which are located just five minutes from the private dock. Aside from bright coral, exotic fish, and natural saltwater taffy, the waters here are also full of nutrients; that’s thanks to Venezuela’s mineral-rich Orinoco River, which dumps into the sea nearby.

Above the surface of the water, guests can keep active with the 46-acre resort’s complimentary kayaks and tennis court. Bartenders at the beachfront Shipwreck Bar mix signature island cocktails, and chefs at The Captain’s Table seafood restaurant whip up fresh dishes from locally sourced ingredients.

Balconies overlook the turquoise Caribbean Sea from each of the inn’s Blue View rooms. Rooms are cream-colored and sparsely decorated with Caribbean affectations.

Tobago: Lush Rainforest with Waterfalls Off the Coast of Venezuela

The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago lies east of the coast of Venezuela; Tobago, the smaller of the two islands, sits just northeast of Trinidad. Collectively, they mark the southernmost country of the Caribbean. They also fall outside of what is known as the hurricane belt, an area at risk for storms. Tobago has been affected by only two hurricanes in the past 50 years.

Tobago’s protected rainforest reserve, the Main Ridge, covers the heart of the island. Hundreds of birds, butterflies, and nonpoisonous snakes make their habitats here. Amid the lush green are some gorgeous waterfalls. Just a 15-minute hike from Blue Waters Inn is Argyle Falls, the island’s tallest, which gushes into a series of natural swimming pools and doubles as a margarita mixer.

What You Get

Seven-night stay for two in a standard king or double room with daily dinner

  • $1,219, valid for travel through April 30
  • $739, valid for travel May 1–August 31

Amenities

  • 38 ocean-view rooms
  • Beachfront bar and seafood restaurant
  • Onsite scuba-diving facility
  • Complimentary kayaks
  • Sunrise and sunset yoga
  • Game room with table tennis

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$199 for a Two-Night Cruise to the Bahamas for Two from Celebration Cruise Line in West Palm Beach (Up to $478 Value)

For centuries, pleasure mongers have enhanced the flavors of smoked meats and cheeses by feasting atop the high tides of their waterbeds. Merge seafaring and supping proclivities with this Groupon: for $199, you get a two-night cruise from the Port of Palm Beach to the Bahamas for two guests, including meals aboard the ship, from Celebration Cruise Line in West Palm Beach (up to a $478 value).

A mobile bastion of relaxation and entertainment, Celebration Cruise Line coasts through serene Caribbean waters, providing seafarers with adult and children’s amusements, gorgeous views, and complimentary meals at four distinct restaurants. Spend two nights inside a Category 4 ocean-view cabin, a 144-square-foot room equipped with a flat-screen TV and water vistas. Cruise hounds also get access to the top-deck swimming pool, luxury spa, Las Vegas–style casino, and vibrant nightclub teeming with boogying, martini-swilling crustaceans. Guests can opt to purchase additional excursions from the ship, such as a glass-bottom-boat tour ($49), snorkel adventure ($49), dolphin swim (up to $200), and Jeep tour (up to $79). Check out Celebration Cruise Line’s two-day cruise itinerary for additional cruise details. Celebration Cruise Line’s policy lets pregnant passengers sail up to the 24th week of pregnancy only.

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