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Comfy Hacienda Flamingos in San Blas, Mexico

In San Blas, Mexico, the Hacienda Flamingos is two-story traditional hotel complex around a courtyard. It's full of tile, with big, comfortable rooms and a good location between the town zocalo and the dock. Not expensive. From $64; two-night minimum preferred.

Hotel Hacienda Flamingos, 105 Juarez, San Blas, Mexico; 011-52-323-285-0930, http://www.rivieranayarit.com/hacienda_flamingos_nayarit

Eric Mankin

Los Angeles

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Festival of Books: Travel talks on Cuba, travel bargains and TSA singers

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books at USC this weekend will feature hourlong sessions on travel topics like how to get the best deal for your next vacation and what the eased rules mean for travel to Cuba.

Presentations are scheduled Saturday and Sunday, most at the Travel Smart Stage near the festival's Jefferson Boulevard entrance. The stage is at the corner of McCarthy Way and Trousdale Parkway (maps will be available at the site).

Here's what you can expect to find:

10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday: With U.S. travel restrictions eased and President Obama removing Cuba from the state terrorism list, there's a lot to sort out. Travel writer Catherine Watson will talk about the island nation at the Times California Pavilion.


11 a.m. Discover Incredible India presented by India Tourism Los Angeles.

12:15 p.m. "More for Your Money" on how to find the best travel bargains of 2015. Travelzoo's Gabe Saglie and Johnny Jet (a.k.a. John DiScala) talk deals with moderator Jen Leo.


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Video: In the Bahamas, a busy street and a private beach

For years, cruise ships have been stopping at Nassau in the Bahamas. This video shows the touristy main drag that passengers find when they debark. But wait.

This video, shot in February, also shows another side of the Bahamas, which includes more than 700 islands and a few hundred smaller cays. Coco Cay, leased and staffed by Royal Caribbean Cruises, is a private compound for cruise passengers spending a day at the beach.

The tides are gentle. The water is bright blue. The island culture is – well, it’s a sort of artificial construct of Royal Caribbean. But as the video makes clear, Coco Cay is a pleasant place to pass a day, if you've got sunscreen and a hat. Keep an eye out for the reptile at the end.

“A Minute Away” is a video series in which nothing much happens -- except you see the world, and hear it, and get a respite from workaday life. We’ve covered Machu Picchu, Red Square, the Yucatan, the Alamo, an Alaskan float plane and the reading room of the New York Public Library, among...

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Bill Clinton to mark 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing

Former President Clinton will speak at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum on Sunday to remember the scores of people killed and injured by a bomb blast at a federal building.

Clinton was president when one of the deadliest domestic terrorist attacks in U.S. history was carried out. The bomb was built and detonated in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols on April 19, 1995.

Clinton's comments will be part of the 20th Anniversary Remembrance Ceremony at the museum and memorial in Oklahoma City.

The number of people who died in the blast is still unclear. The tally is generally 168, but one body part that was never identified as from any other victim means the tally may be 169.

The ceremony is to observe 168 moments of silence at 9:02 a.m., the time of the blast. It will also kick off a campaign that asks residents to commit to one act of "service, honor and kindness" during the month of April in remembrance of the attack.

People will...

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Lionel Richie, The Band Perry to perform at Carnival's cruise concerts

Lionel Richie, country singers The Band Perry and rock bands Boston and Heart are the latest to be added to the lineup of concerts on Carnival Cruise Line sailings to the Caribbean starting this summer.

Carnival Live concerts are held in the ship's main theater while docked at Cozumel, Mexico; Nassau in the Bahamas, or St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

Tickets cost $35 to $75 for general admission and $125 to $250 for seats in the first four rows. (Theaters hold 900 to 1,300 people.)

The Band Perry, who won a Grammy this year for best country duo/group performance, will appear in Nassau on the Carnival Sensation on July 28, the Carnival Fascination on July 29 and Carnival Magic on July 30.

Boston will appear in Nassau on Aug. 19 to Aug. 22 aboard four Carnival ships docked on successive nights. Grammy and Oscar winner Lionel Richie also will appear in Nassau on Oct. 14 on the Carnival Freedom and Oct. 15 on the Carnival Pride.

Rock & Roll Hall of Famers Heart will play in Cozumel on Oct....

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Airfare: From LAX, $290 to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Southwest

Fort Lauderdale, Fla., is about 25 miles from Miami, so it’s a good alternative to Miami International Airport.

Southwest is offering a $290 round-trip fare, including all taxes and fees, to Fort Lauderdale from LAX. It is subject to availability; there is no minimum stay but you must purchase 21 days in advance.

It is for travel through Oct. 30, although July departures are scarce.

Info: Southwest, (800) 435-9792

Source: Airfarewatchdog

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