Travel Weekly's Mexico E-Letter: January 6, 2003

SOUTH OF THE BORDER: Some 40 police on horseback outfitted in the trappings of a traditional Mexican charro, or cowboy, are on duty patrolling the 22-acre Alameda Park in the capital's historic district. Distinguished by their wide-brimmed sombreros, spurs and sabers, the mounted cops are part of the city's efforts to reduce crime, boost the capital's image and increase tourism. The new police unit, which includes some 30 horses, speak English, French and German, and are versed in the history of the area they patrol.

ALSO IN THE CAPITAL, the 457-room Sheraton Mexico City Historic Center Hotel and Convention Center is open for business. The hotel and adjacent convention center, which can host 6,000 people, are located on Juarez Avenue across from Alameda Park. For information or reservations, call (888) 625-5144.

THE MELIA CABO REAL Convention Center Beach & Golf Resort launched an all-inclusive program featuring all meals, golf course discounts, golf course transportation, activities, special theme parties, and tips and taxes. Prices vary by length of stay and room type. The package includes a 10% discount on greens fees at the Cabo Real and El Dorado golf courses, use of the kid's club and free roundtrip transportation to downtown Cabo San Lucas. For information or reservations, call (800) 336-3542.

VALENTINE'S PACKAGES: The 57-room Maroma Resort and Spa on the Riviera Maya is offering four Valentine's packages, each of which includes champagne upon arrival, daily breakfast, a three-course dinner with wine for two, a two- hour private sunset cruise, snorkeling excursions, roundtrip airport transfers and a Temazcal spa treatment consisting of a Mayan-style sweat lodge that incorporates heated volcanic stones and mud treatments. The hacienda-style Maroma features handcrafted tile bathtubs, carved furniture and a hammock big enough for two on every room's private terrace. Packages start from $1,436 per couple. For information or reservations, call (866) 454-9351.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS is offering reduced rates at the JW Marriott Casa Magna Cancun for guests who travel from May 1 to Dec. 22 and stay in gardenview, oceanview or oceanfront rooms. The JW Marriott Casa Magna Cancun features four restaurants and bars, two tennis courts, water sports, a fitness center and a supervised kids program. Five-night, land-only packages start at $366 per person, double, while seven-night, air-inclusive packages start at $901 per person, double. Packages include roundtrip airport transfers, hotel taxes and surcharges, and on-site assistance from Pleasant's customer service representatives. For information or reservations, call (800) 448-3333.

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