WestJet's 4 new routes to Mexico and the Caribbean

Four more reasons to escape the cold this winter

It’s no coincidence that the new destinations to join the 2012-2013 WestJet winter lineup are all sun destinations. “Canadians love the sun, so we’re pleased to offer an evolving and expanding range of travel opportunities,” says Network and Schedule Planning Director Peter Tong. Passport? Check. Sunglasses? Check. Let’s fly!

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    Claim to fame

    Beaches galore! There are 365 in total in shades ranging from marshmallow white to cotton candy pink. Some are packed with people while others feel like secluded hideaways.

    Must list

    • Wander through the forts, exhibits and archaeological digs of Nelson’s Dockyard, the only continuously working dockyard in the world.
    • Check out Antigua Sailing Week (last week of April), one of the top regattas in the world. It brings together hundreds of yachts and offers a great excuse to party.
    • Visit Devil’s Bridge. Thanks to centuries of Atlantic wind and waves, the limestone of this natural wonder has been chiselled into a stunning formation.
  • Curaçao

    Claim to fame

    Not every Caribbean island has a world-famous liqueur bearing its name, but Curaçao does. It’s made from the dried peels of the local laraha citrus fruit and comes in a variety of bright colours.

    Must list

    • Explore the capital city of Willemstad. Founded in 1634, this UNESCO World Heritage site is a charming mash-up of Caribbean culture and Dutch architecture with its buildings painted in jelly-bean hues.
    • Go scuba diving at Mushroom Forest, a freakishly fascinating, underwater site where layers of star coral have formed into giant, mushroom-like structures.
    • On the walls of Hato Caves, see drawings made 1,500 years ago by the Caquetios Indians.
  • Liberia, Costa Rica

    Claim to fame

    The capital of Guanacaste province, Liberia is the gateway to many eco-related sites, from marine parks with nesting leatherback turtles to volcano-fuelled hot springs.

    Must list

    • Walk on the wild side. Santa Rosa National Park is the only one of its kind in the world—home to 10 distinctive habitats, from mangrove swamps to oak forests.
    • Take a leisurely stroll along the city’s main street and marvel at the colonial architecture and historical homes that blaze white in the sun.
    • Check out the local bullring and discover why bull riding and other rodeo events are considered some of the hottest pastimes in town.
  • Manzanillo, Mexico

    Claim to fame

    Its long stretches of powdery white-sand beaches have celebrity status: Bo Derek ran on them in 1979’s romantic classic,10, and they have starred in numerous other films.

    Must list

    • Catch a glimpse of authentic Mexican life along the new harbour-side boardwalk. Couples cuddle on benches while sailboats and pangas (fishing boats) bob in the nearby waves.
    • Stock up at Saturday’s Mercado Mania where local vendors peddle spices, tortillas and fresh produce.
    • Go fishing. As the sailfish capital of the world, sport fishermen gather here every November to land a big one at the annual tournament, but you can try anytime with a chartered boat.

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