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Rolling out the Red Carpet: Baja International Film Festival Announces Event Schedule

by Chris Sands

Event Schedule Announced by Baja International Film Festival

Anticipation continues to build for the First Annual Baja International Film Festival, which will be held in Los Cabos from November 14th – 17th. The festival’s organizers, who include Vail Film Festival and Colorado Film Institute co-founders Sean and Scott Cross, hope the inaugural four-day fête will strengthen ties between the U.S. and Mexican film industries, and that the cinematic celebration will become an annual event on the level of the Cannes, Toronto, Berlin, Venice, and Sundance Film Festivals.

Event scheduled announced by the Baja International Film Festival at a press conference.

In the last several weeks, organizers have released information on the festival’s advisory board, its hotel and travel partners, the list of films to be screened at the festival, competition categories, cash and prize information, the event schedule, and, most recently, the subjects to be discussed at the filmmaker panel discussions. An announcement has not yet been made of the three finalists in the screenplay competition.

The festival will begin on Wednesday, November 14th, with an activities slate that includes a film screening and an opening night cocktail party. The kick-off events will take place at the new Los Cabos Convention Center, an expansive 75,000 square foot facility built for June’s G-20 summit of world leaders. The convention center is scheduled to host the majority of the festival’s events and screenings, although selected films will also be shown at Puerto Los Cabos, Plaza Mijares in San Jose del Cabo, and the Cultural Pavilion in Cabo San Lucas.

In addition to the opening night excitement, other festival highlights are expected to include Thursday’s Filmmaker Reception at Puerto Los Cabos’ Wirikuta Cactus Garden, the largest cactus garden in the world, and Friday’s Art Walk and L.A. Hotel Cafe Concert featuring singer-songwriter Sara Barreilles, the Grammy award-winning Cary Brothers, popular indie band Harper Blynn, as well as singers Madi Diaz and Holly Conlan.

 

Los Cabos Convention Center will most most of the Baja International Film Festival's events and activities.

Closing night begins early, with a 5 p.m. red carpet event at the Los Cabos Convention Center featuring some of the festival’s celebrity attendees, followed by the festival’s final film, and a post-screening Q & A session. Red carpet festivities will then continue with a walk up to the VIP cocktail reception and subsequent awards ceremony dinner. The guest list at the sit-down dinner will include some of the U.S. and Mexican film industrys’ most acclaimed filmmakers, with awards handed out in several categories, including Feature Films, Short Films, and Documentaries. After dinner and the awards presentations, the festival will conclude by honoring selected actors and directors with achievement awards.

An announcement has also been made about the subjects and schedule for the festival’s panel discussions, which will feature distinguished groups of actors and directors discussing topics relevant to the industry. The panel discussions will be part of Friday’s Film Forum Mexico-USA, and  will primarily touch on challenges associated with investment and funding. The forum is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the Los Cabos Convention Center, with specific issues to include tax incentives, investment mechanisms for producing in the U.S. and Mexico, production costs, locations and facilities in Mexico, distribution in the U.S., and opportunities for Mexican talent in the U.S.

Still pending is information on the winner of the screenplay contest, which is being co-sponsored by Virgin Produced, the film and television division of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group.The grand prize winner of the screenplay contest will receive a complimentary stay at a local luxury resort for the duration of the festival, as well as two all-access VIP passes for screenings and events. The winning screenplay will also be given production consideration by Virgin. The submission deadline was October 26th, and information on the top three finalists will be announced via press release during the run-up to the festival.

For more information about the First Annual Baja International Film Festival, visit www.bajainternationalfilmfestival.com, or email info@bajafilmfest.com.

All photos courtesy of the Baja International Film Festival.

Want to find out where to have a great pre-film festival dinner?  Where to stay in Los Cabos?  


Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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32nd Annual Bisbee’s Black & Blue: Winner Takes Home $2.396 Million

by Chris Sands

Results for the 32nd Annual Bisbee’s Black & Blue and Los Cabos Offshore Tournaments

Billed as “The World’s Richest Fishing Tournament,” the 32nd Annual Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament was held last week, with top honors going to angler Dave Sanchez, who bagged a 465-pound blue marlin off Cabo San Lucas aboard Frantic Pace. Bisbee’s awarded nearly $2.473 million in prizes this year, with almost the entirety going to Sanchez and his team, who earned $2.396 million as the only group to meet the 300 pound qualifying limit. Although this year’s payout fell short of the record $4.165 million awarded in 2006, which included $3.9 million to a single team, Sanchez didn’t seem terribly broken-hearted.

“I’m really starting to like this offshore fishing,” said a jovial Sanchez, whose largest catch prior to the tournament was a largemouth bass he reeled in near his home in Kansas City, Missouri. “We had a lot of fun, it was a great team effort and I’m just glad we ran across that fish. We found one, caught it, and as luck would have it that was all it took.”

 

32nd Annual Bisbee's Black & Blue

The huge prize money, as always, was a major lure, attracting top big-game fishermen from more than a dozen countries to the southernmost tip of the Baja Peninsula, an area known for its superb marlin fishing. More than 740 anglers aboard 106 boats competed in the 2012 event. Entrants had to put up $63,100 to enter in all jackpot levels, including $10,000 daily. The Frantic Pace team swept the major categories this year, taking home Top Tournament, Top Jackpot, and Top Captain. This year’s Black and Blue was presented by Cabo Riviera Marina and Golf Resort, and major sponsors included the Hotel Buena Vista Beach Resort, Baja Cantina, Montauk Tackle Company and David Wirth

A few days earlier, Bisbee’s held their other major October tournament, the Los Cabos Offshore, affectionately known as “Little Bisbee’s.” Although Little Bisbee’s doesn’t feature feature the enormous prize money of the Black and Blue, it got plenty of attention this year, donating the entirety of the tournament proceeds to charity for the first time. A check for over $102,000 was presented to Casa Hogar, a local orphanage, and all future LCO events are expected to adopt the same charitable format.

 

Frantic Pace at the 32nd Annual Bisbee's Black & Blue

“Thank all of you for making this possible,” said Wayne Bisbee, the tournament’s director, speaking to anglers at the awards banquet. “You caught some really nice fish, released a bunch more and helped make things brighter for some boys who really need a boost. This week, the Los Cabos Offshore Charity Tournament grew up in a big and special way.”

Sea Angel is blessed with a winner.

A total of 466 anglers on 80 teams competed for the LCO’s nearly half a million in cash prizes, with nearly three-quarters of the boats entering across the board. The biggest prize went to Chupacabra, a 64′ Hatteras helmed by Capt Jesse Scarborough, with Roy Oliver and his team of anglers awarded $206,973 for sweeping the Day One Marlin Jackpots and the 1st Place Marlin with a 583-pound blue. Sneak Attack, a 65 American Custom Yacht skippered by Capt. Sammy Talbert, earned $189,837 for weighing the second largest fish and garnering all of the Day Two Marlin Jackpots, with angler Darin Antin bringing in the team’s 565-pound blue.

In other Bisbee’s news, the schedule for next year’s events has already been announced. The East Cape Offshore Tournament will kick things off, and is slated for July 23-27. The Los Cabos Offshore Tournament, also known as Little Bisbee’s, will be held October 18-20, with the Black and Blue Marlin Tournament to follow on October 22-26. For more information, visit www.bisbees.com, or email wayne@bisbees.com.

Fishing and fun are synonymous with Cabo San Lucas!  Find out where to stay, when to go and more at Baja.com.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.

All photos courtesy of Capt. Dave Lear.

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Baja International Film Festival Unveils Slate

Over 70 Films From Around the World Will Be Shown At The Inaugural Festival

By Chris Sands

The Baja International Film Festival has unveiled the movie slate for their inaugural event, which will be held in Los Cabos from November 14th through the 17th. Over 77 films from around the world have been accepted for the “Cannes of Latin America,” including several eagerly awaited features from top cinematic talent in the U.S. and Mexico. The scheduled screenings, which will be shown at select locations in San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, will include ten international features, seven Mexican features, six Mexican documentaries, 30 international shorts, 13 Mexican shorts, two environmental films, and two tribute films from legendary Mexican filmmaker Nicolas Echevarria.

The big budget animated feature Rise of the Guardians is among the festival’s most anticipated offerings.

Perhaps the most heavily anticipated film scheduled for screening at the festival is Rise of the Guardians, an animated adaptation of the popular children’s book series from Dreamworks, the studio founded by industry heavyweights Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen. Mexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro, who directed the acclaimed Pan’s Labyrinth, is the executive producer of Rise of the Guardians, whose characters includes legendary childhood favorites like Santa Claus, Jack Frost, the Easter Bunny, and the Sandman. The big budget extravaganza – which showcases voice work from top Hollywood talent like Alec Baldwin, Hugh Jackman, Jude Law, and Isla Fisher – isn’t slated for wider release until November 30th, so the BIFF will provide a sneak peak at one of the big picture releases of the holiday season.

Other films of note include The Sky in Bloom, a stylish revenge thriller set against a backdrop of human trafficking; For Lovers Only, a romantic romp from director Michael Polish about a photographer who encounters an old flame in Paris; Mariachi Gringo, which recounts the adventures of a man who runs away to Mexico to become a mariachi; and While We Were Here, a film about a married woman (Kate Bosworth) who has an affair with a younger man while visiting an Italian island.

Mariachi Gringo promises to be one of the festival’s most intriguing films.

The majority of the festival’s screenings will be held at the Los Cabos Convention Center, a 72,000 square-foot event space that was built for the recent G-20 conference of world leaders. Select free screenings are also scheduled for the four day festival, and will be shown at the Cultural Pavilion in Cabo San Lucas, and at the town square, Plaza Mijares, in San Jose del Cabo. In addition to the screenings, the festival will also feature nightly galas, panel discussions, filmmaker receptions, an awards ceremony recognizing the outstanding work of leaders in the film industry, and a live music program highlighted by performances from Sara Bareilles and other musicians from L.A.’s famed Hotel Cafe.

The First Annual Baja International Film Festival was co-founded by Sean and Scott Cross, who also founded the Vail Film Festival and the Colorado Film Institute. The brothers are also serving as two of the film festival’s three artistic directors, along with former Guadalajara Film Festival head Jorge Sanchez Sosa. Support for the inaugural event has come from prominent Los Cabos business people and well-placed members of the Mexican tourism agency, as well as many respected international film industry artists and executives. Foremost among the latter is Academy Award nominated actor and director Edward Norton, who has signed on as the festival’s Special Advisor.

Cash prizes will be awarded for the best film in each category, with $10,000 going to the winners of Best International Feature and Best Mexican Feature. The Mexican feature category is of particular interest, given the festival’s location and focus, and strong candidates for the award include Fogo, a film by director Yulene Olaizola that was also shown at the Cannes Film Festival, and Un Mundo Secreto, whose settings include Baja Sur’s capital city of La Paz. Other award categories at the festival will be Best International Documentary, Best Mexican Documentary, Best International Short Film, and Best Mexican Short Film.

The revenge thriller The Sky in Bloom will be competing in the International Narrative Features category

The festival will also feature a tribute to renowned Mexican director and cinematographer Nicolas Echevarria. Born in Tepic, the capital city of the state of Nayarit on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, Echevarria has made over 25 movies since 1973. Two of his directorial efforts will be screened at the festival, including Cabeza de Vaca, a 1991 feature about the Spanish explorer that was showcased at the 41st Berlin Film Festival, and El Nino Fidencio, a 1980 documentary which examined the life of a famous Mexican faith healer.

Want to visit the Baja International Film Festival?  Need to know where to stay in star-quality lodgings?

For more information about the festival, visit www.bajainternationalfilmfestival.com.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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Sponsors Are Rallying Behind the SUP Mexico Championships: Quick Facts and Info

by Meghan Fitzpatrick

Sponsors Are Rallying Behind SUP Mexico Championships!

November 3rd marks the beginning of the 3rd Annual SUP Mexico-Mike Doyle Los Cabos Classic Stand Up Paddle Race & Hennessey’s World Paddle Championships at Palmilla Beach. The two-day event will involve a lot of activities, events and general fun things during the action-packed 3-day championships. Both the community and sponsors are rallying behind the SUP Mexico Championships; the event has all the markings of a huge success.

 

Businesses involved in the event (sponsors, organizers and contributors) include Campamento Tortuguero Don Manuel Orantes (Cabo Tortugas), Yellow Tail, Clase Azul Tequila, Alecran Tequila, Peligroso Tequila, Tecate Beers, Don Sanchez Restaurant, Habaneros Restaurant, Royal Solaris Resort, Baja.com, Alaska Airlines, SUP Mexico, Bliss Events Los Cabos, Hennessey’s, Hobie, Snell Real Estate and Del Mar Development. Obviously, with this many big names involved, the event is not just about stand up paddleboarding – there will be a lot of other things going on! Aside from all of the aforementioned businesses somehow involved in the event, many businesses (local and from much further afield)  will have booths at the event. This will be a great event for the community of Los Cabos, as well as for the SUP community.

Sponsors are rallying behind the SUP Mexico Championships that will benefit sea turtle preservation

Campamento Tortuguero Don Manuel Orantes (Cabo Tortugas) is a charity dedicated to helping Baja’s endangered sea turtles, and the organization that the 3rd Annual SUP Mexico-Mike Doyle Los Cabos Classic Stand Up Paddle Race & Hennessey’s World Paddle Championships will benefit from. The organization helps to protect the turtle eggs before they hatch and then during the “hatch and release” process they help the turtles find their way to the water safely. They hold their turtle releases in a sanctuary next to the San José del Cabo estuary. Campamento Tortuguero is a non-profit organization. Donations, volunteering or sponsoring a turtle are the best ways to help Campamento Tortuguero Don Manuel Orantes. Look forward to a turtle release at the championship!

Yellow Tail, Clase Azul Tequila, Alecran Tequila, Peligroso Tequila and Tecate Beers are all providing drinks for the event; Don Sanchez Restaurant and Habaneros Restaurant will be providing the food. Don Sanchez is also hosting the grand opening and closing ceremonies. The championships are sure to excite any gourmets, culinary enthusiasts and drinkers from all walks of life.

Other highlights and things to look forward to throughout the weekend include bootcamp classes from Cabo local fitness god/guru Modu (http://www.moduvated.com/Moduvatedtobefit/MDVFIT_Home.htm), a local school art and essay competition, a beach concert and what is sure to be a great raffle with some very impressive prizes up for grabs.

The two primary sponsors for the event are Snell Real Estate and Del Mar Development. This will be the third year running that Del Mar Development has sponsored the SUP championships. Both organizations do a tremendous amount of work in the Los Cabos community.   The SUP event organizers are quick to point out that the success of this program will be due to the community, as a whole, and to the many sponsors who have stepped up to the cause.

Quick Facts and info about this year’s SUP Mexico event!

1.  More SUP industry vendors/sponsors present
2.  More Pro’s in attendance
3.  Full Bar (Vodka, Rum & Tequila drinks available)- $50 pesos
4. Larger cash prizes for pro’s ($16,500 usd)
5. Saturday Beach concert by Pura Vida
6. Daily tequila tasting (Peligroso, Clase Azul & Alacran)
7. Fun photo booth on the beach for families to enjoy
8.  Ceviche cooking demonstration by Tadd from Don Sanchez
9.  Presenting sponsor lounge with waiters

Closing ceremonies will be held at the NEW Don Sanchez restaurant. Buffet/Open Bar/DJ/Dancing/Photo Booth. Racers get tickets with their registration. Each sponsor has tickets. General ticket price – $350 pesos.

Want to go to the beach, eat amazing food, and have a wonderful visit to Los Cabos?  Visit Palmilla Beach…and find out more on Baja.com.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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Baja International Film Festival Announces Hotel and Travel Partners

by Chris Sands

The organizers of the Baja International Film Festival have announced their hotel and travel partners for the inaugural event, which will be held in Los Cabos from November 14th through the 17th. This release, following on the heels of the recent announcement of the festival’s advisory board, fills out the roster of industry leaders and local partners supporting the eagerly anticipated destination event, which is being billed as the “Cannes of Latin America.”

The First Annual Baja International Film Festival is being spearheaded by co-founders Sean and Scott Cross, who also started the Vail Film Festival and the Colorado Film Institute, and will feature four days of screenings, presentations, panel discussions, award ceremonies, and other galas and receptions. The slate of films for the festival has not yet been released , but it is expected that up to 70 films will be picked, of which an estimated 30 will be feature length.

Baja International Film Festival will feature walks down the red carpet

 

Festival guests will be welcomed at some of the area’s top luxury hotels, including the boutique Hotel El Ganzo on the Marina at Puerto Los Cabos; Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe, Holiday Inn Los Cabos, and Hola Grand Faro on San Jose del Cabo’s Playa Hotelera; and the Tourist Corridor resorts One & Only Palmilla, Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos, Secrets Marquis Los Cabos, Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort, Zoetry Casa del Mar, Dreams Los Cabos, and Hilton Los Cabos.

Guests will also have access to first-class services from the festival’s travel partners, with Grupo Aeroportuario assisting with air travel, Easy Cell Rentals with local cell phone rentals, Transcabo with local ground transportation, and Baja.com with general travel needs.

For additional information on the Baja International Film Festival, visit www.bajainternationalfilmfestival.com.

Want to find out where to stay when in Los Cabos?  What to do when in Los Cabos?

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

All photos courtesy of Baja International Film Festival.

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Baja Brewing Company: Craft Beer and a Microbrewery in Baja Sur

 

“Burro is a bold survivor, an independent wanderer, a hard-headed master of his terrain, and the representative ambassador of the Baja.  In homage of this noble beast, the Baja Brewing Company has been established to create great ale beers that match the splendor and majesty of our oh-so-loved Burro.” Baja Brewing Company

 

Baja Brewing Company:  Craft beer and a microbrewery in Baja Sur!  The Baja Brewing Company opened it’s doors in 2007 in San Jose del Cabo, the first microbrewery in the state of Baja California Sur.  The beers and food were a hit from the start and it wasn’t long before they opened a second location…and now there are three.  Just like that old and bold survivor, the Burro, Baja Brewing Company keeps on truckin’ down the road to beer success.

Want a change from Pacifico? Try the Baja Blonde. Prefer Negro Modelo? How about the Oatmeal Stout.  And there are plenty more varieties to try!

With three locations, or cantinas, in Los Cabos–just off the plaza in downtown San Jose del Cabo,  above Cabo Villas on the rooftop, and on the marina in Cabo San Lucas–Baja Brewing has become a favorite hangout among locals and tourists alike. It doesn’t take long to get to know the friendly faces of the staff and the regular patrons who come by to take advantage of the daily happy hour specials.

Baja Brewing Company at Cabos Villas Beach Resort

The beer selection varies, featuring seasonal beers, a pale ale, and even a raspberry lager. New recipes are always in the works. The company now distributes its beer up and down the peninsula, as well as across the globe — in fact, a company in Australia recently discovered the delicious flavors of Baja Brewing Company’s beers. Look for it on menus from Loreto to Sydney.

You don't have to be at the Baja Brewing Company to enjoy a cold one!

Where to taste a Baja brew?  Well, besides anywhere including the beach, your bed, a boat deck, etc., you can just go to the following hot spots to find craft beer and the Baja Brewing Company!

Baja Brewing Company:
Downtown San José del Cabo in the
Historic Art District Ph 624-146-9995


Roof top terrace of Cabo Villas resort
On the beach behind Baja Cantina
Ph 624-143-9199 (ask fo Baja Brewing Company)


Ground floor of Puerto Paraiso mall on the Marina
(next to Ruth’s Chris and Jonny Rocket’s)
Ph 624-144-3805

 

Read more restaurant reviews. 
Find more things to do in Los Cabos.

What’s your favorite Baja brew? Even if you don’t have one yet, you’re bound to find one at Baja Brewing Company!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

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Quintessential Quaffs: Signature Cabo Cocktails

by Chris Sands

As a former bartender, I have nothing but respect for a well-crafted cocktail. But the drink-maker’s art goes beyond creative recipes or mere technical skill. The true art lies in creating a drink that personifies the place in which it was born. We can argue all day about whether the martini originated in Martinez, California (I’ve got plenty of free time, and some very strong opinions), but there is little question that the daiquiri will forever be associated with Havana. In that spirit, if you’ll pardon the pun, here are five delicious cocktails that, once tried, will forever remind you of Cabo San Lucas. They are all quintessential quaffs:  signature Cabo cocktails.

Capella Sling, Capella Pedregal

Cabo’s most luxurious resort also boasts one of the area’s better cocktail menus, with some creative tropical quaffs that are perfect for afternoons by the pool. Margarita lovers will want to try the Spicy Mango variation of this popular Mexican cocktail, enlivened by the addition of half a teaspoon of Tajin Chipotle. But remember, you shouldn’t neglect your antioxidants just because you’re on vacation (permanent, in my case). That’s why I prefer the Capella Sling, made with pomegranate-infused tequila, premium vodka, raspberry, grenadine, fresh lime juice, soda, and garnished with an orange wedge. Try one of these tasty treats, and you’ll instantly understand why Capella is one of the world’s most highly rated resorts and why this is a signature Cabo cocktail.

The Capella Sling is one of the Quintessential Quaffs: Signature Cabo Cocktails

The Waborita, Cabo Wabo Cantina

Everybody knows Cabo Wabo. Former Van Halen frontman Sammy Hagar also fronts this famed downtown cantina, known for its live music, lively atmosphere, and impressive array of creative tequila-based cocktails. The Waborita is one of the cantina’s most addictive offerings. The colorful concoction is made with Cabo Wabo tequila, of course, which is poured into a salt-rimmed glass with Damiana, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and a splash of Blue Curacao. Damiana, by the way, is a Baja liqueur known for its qualities as an aphrodisiac. But don’t take my word for it. Try a couple of Waboritas and see for yourself. Here’s the recipe:

     Ingredients:

Directions:  Combine the ingredients in a shaker, with ice.  Shake a few times, strain and pour into a salt-rimmed   margarita or martini glass!
 

 

Guayaba Mojito, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Regional Mexican Cuisine is the calling card of Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, the onsite restaurant at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences, and the homegrown flavors extend to the cocktail menu. The restaurant boasts several outstanding margaritas, including a well-built Jamaica Margarita with a splash of syrup made from dried hibiscus flowers. But let’s face it, great margaritas aren’t exactly scarce in Los Cabos. Great mojitos, on the other hand, are a bit harder to find. The traditional Cuban cocktail gets some non-traditional, Cabo-style twists at the Hacienda, and my personal favorite is the Guayaba, made with rum, tropical guava puree, mint, lime, sugar cane syrup, and a splash of soda. Pair it with a Cohiba, then sit back and enjoy the restaurant’s spectacular Land’s End views.

Xtabentun Flaming Coffee Cocktail, Lorenzillo’s Live Lobster House

After you’ve tucked into the langosta at this popular live lobster house, remove your bib and try one of the restaurant’s flaming coffee cocktails. These caffeinated postprandials are available with a variety of premium liquors, including Sauza’s Tres Generaciones triple-distilled tequila and Jameson’s Irish Whiskey. But given that this is a big year for followers of the Mayan calendar, I recommend trying the D’Aristi Xtabentun. This delicious Yucatan liqueur is made from rum, anise, and fermented honey, and provides an excellent base for the restaurant’s signature cocktail. The liqueur is heated and poured into a sugar rimmed glass, then topped with coffee, whipped cream, and cinnamon. If the world does end on December 21st, you’ll want to have a couple of these in your system.

 

Flaming coffee, anyone? Quintessential Quaffs: Signature Cabo Cocktails

Cabo Fire, Cabo Lounge

I know what you’re thinking: “What if I love flaming drinks, but it’s too late for coffee?”

Good question. Rips’ Bar may have the town’s coolest drink (and the preparation of their colorful rainbow shots has to be seen to be believed), but Cabo Lounge has the hottest. The Lounge is beloved amongst locals for its $1 food menu and free internet access, but owner and bartender Juan Tatemura’s most popular contribution to local culture is the Cabo Fire shot. Juan’s creation is a combination of Smirnoff vodka and banana liqueur mixed with a flaming shot of Cointreau, and served with an apple slice and cinnamon powder. Don’t forget to blow out the flame before drinking. Liquor-induced lip injuries aren’t covered by most major insurance providers.

General Information:

Capella Pedregal – 1 Camino del Mar, (624) 163-4300

Cabo Wabo – Calle Guerrero, between Madero and Lazaro Cardenas, (624) 143-1188

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina – Calle Gomez Farias, (624) 163-3144

Lorenzillo’s – Boulevard Lazaro Cardenas. (624) 105-0214

Cabo Lounge – Marina Boulevard, (624) 116-2238

Want to try some of those Quintessential Quaffs:  Signature Cabo Cocktails?  Fine out more about Cabo San Lucas Hotels, Cabo San Lucas Restaurants, and more.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us atinfo@baja.com.

 

 

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Baja International Film Festival Announces Board/Awards Categories: Actor Edward Norton Signs On

The Baja International Film Festival Announces Board/Awards Categories: Actor Edward Norton Joins the Board
By Chris Sands

The first annual Baja International Film Festival will be held in Los Cabos, and the festival’s organizers made news earlier this week when they announced the membership list for their advisory board, as well as the categories for this year’s awards and prizes. The inaugural event will be held November 14-17, with screenings at the new convention center and other select area locations.

An influential name on the advisory board is noted actor Edward Norton. The star of Fight Club and American History X has agreed to act as a special advisor for the film festival, joining an esteemed group of movie industry insiders, as well as business figures in Los Cabos and representatives from Mexico’s culture and tourism sectors.

The inaugural Baja International Film Festival Announces Board/Awards Categories: Actor Edward Norton has joined the Advisory Board

Baja’s inaugural film festival has many prominent backers, including Academy Award nominated actor Edward Norton.

Norton rose to prominence with a star making turn the 1996 thriller Primal Fear, for which he won a Golden Globe and received the first of his two Academy Award nominations. Norton is considered one of Hollywood’s most respected actors, with credits that include Fight Club, Frida, Red Dragon, Rounders, 25th Hour, The Illusionist, The Incredible Hulk, and, most recently, The Bourne Legacy. He was also an uncredited writer on Frida, a biopic of Mexican artist and icon Frida Kahlo, and made his directorial debut in 2000 with Keeping the Faith, a romantic comedy co-starring Ben Stiller and Jenna Elfman.

Other actors and filmmakers on the advisory board include Carlos Reygadas, Kuno Becker, and brothers Mark and Adam Kassen. Reygadas originally hails from Mexico City, and has forged a reputation as one of modern cinema’s most talented writer-directors, most notably for his film Silent Light, which competed for the coveted Palme d’Or at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. Actor Kuno Becker has worked in both Mexican and U.S. movies, and is most recognizable for his work in telenovelas and the football movie Goal! Filmmakers Mark and Adam Kassen premiered their latest film, Puncture, at last year’s Tribeca Film Festival.

Special events at the Baja International Film Festival will include an opening night cocktail reception.

Speaking of brothers and film festivals, Baja’s version is helmed by artistic directors and co-founders Scott and Sean Cross, who also founded the Vail Film Festival and the Colorado Film Institute. The third artistic director will be Jorge Sanchez Sosa, director of the Guadalajara Film Festival from 2006 to 2010. Apart from Reygadas, Becker, and Sanchez Sosa, Mexican advisory board members will include Rodolfo Lopez Negrete, Director General of the Mexico Tourism Board; Isaac Masri, promoter of the arts; Alfonso de Maria y Campos Castello, Director General of the National Institute of History and Anthropology; Ruben Reachi, Secretary of Tourism for Baja California Sur; and Jacobo Turquie, Municipal Secretary of Los Cabos Tourism.

In addition to the announcement of the advisory board, festival organizers also released the award categories earlier this week, as well as the cash prizes for winners:

Best International Feature, $10,000

Best Mexican Feature, $10,000

Best International Documentary, $5,000

Best Mexican Documentary, $5,000

Best International Short Film , $2,500

Best Mexican Short Film, $2,500

The slate of films is still being determined, but it is expected that the festival will screen in the neighborhood of 70 movies, 30 of which will be features. For more information on scheduling and special events, visit www.bajainternationalfilmfestival.com or email info@bajafilmfest.com.

Want to find out where to stay when in Los Cabos?  What to do when in Los Cabos?

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

All photos courtesy of Baja International Film Festival.

 

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Inaugural Los Cabos Open Golf Tournament Set to Tee off at Puerto Los Cabos and Palmilla Golf Club

Los Cabos Open Golf Tournament

by Chris Sands

Local golfers are working on their waggles, and smoothing out the kinks in their putting strokes.  The Open is coming to Los Cabos.  No, not the US Open. Not the British Open. The Los Cabos Open Golf Tournament. If Bobby Jones were alive, he’d be shoving his plus fours in a steamer trunk, because the inaugural event is for amateurs only. The golf tournament will be held from October 4th through the 6th, with rounds scheduled at Puerto Los Cabos and Palmilla Golf Club. Winning the Los Cabos Open may not guarantee the golfing immortality enjoyed by course designers Jack Nicklaus and Greg Norman, but it’s a good start.

Inaugural Los Cabos Open Golf Tournament Set to Tee off at Puerto Los Cabos

The Los Cabos Open Golf tournament will be comprised of 36 holes of stroke play on two of Los Cabos’ most celebrated courses, with players being grouped by handicap into three separate categories. Category A is reserved for players with handicaps ranging from scratch to 10, Category B for bogey golfers in the 11 to 18 range, and Category C for high handicappers whose number is between 19 and 36.  Although each player is responsible for his own handicap, the tournament committee reserves the right to adjust the handicaps of sandbaggers, even if the sandbagger’s playing partners have already thrown him in a water hazard.

The opening round to be held October 5th at Puerto Los Cabos, with the first group teeing off at 8:30 a.m. The course is a collaborative effort between Norman and Nicklaus. The Great White Shark designed the front nine Mission Course, the Golden Bear the back nine Ocean course. Eventually, each designer will expand his nine hole layout into a full loop, but for now, golfers can check out the contrasting design styles of these living legends. Prizes will available on several of the holes. Closest to the hole on the par 3 6th gets a free car, so participating golfers will want to tighten up their iron play. All they have to do is hold the green after a hundred foot drop from an elevated tee box, and they can drive home in a new Jetta.

Hole #8 at Palmilla Golf Club will present challenges at the Los Cabos Open Golf Tournament

The action shifts to Palmilla Golf Club on October 6th, with the first golfers going off at 7 a.m. Jack Nicklaus, the godfather of golf in Los Cabos, also designed Palmilla, and the championship-level course has been ranked among the 100 best in the world. Palmilla consists of Mountain, Arroyo, and Ocean nines, but for a little consistency, only the Ocean and Mountain layouts will be used for the tournament. Prizes include another new Volkswagen model, a Movado watch collection, and a three night stay for two at the fabulous Sheraton Hacienda del Mar. Courtesy food and beverages will be available for participants at both Palmilla and Puerto Los Cabos.
A welcoming cocktail reception is scheduled for the evening of October 4th at Sheraton’s Pitahayas Restaurant, with festivities to begin at 7 p.m. The closing awards dinner will also be held at Pitahayas, and in addition to the restaurant’s excellent Pacific Rim cuisine, will include prizes, awards, raffles, and live music courtesy of Cabomax and The Twins. Sponsors for the inaugural event include Sheraton, Puerto Los Cabos, Palmilla, Telmex, Avaya, Cuervo Tradicional, Cabo Faces, Bisbee’s, Volkswagen, and Diamonds International. For more information, visit www.loscabosopen.com.

Don’t forget!  The Inaugural Los Cabos Open Golf Touranment is Set to Tee off at Puerto Los Cabos and Palmilla Golf Club…make your plans now!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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A Taste of Mexico at One & Only Palmilla

by Chris Sands

Second Annual Mexican Culinary Festival Offers a Taste of Mexico at One & Only Palmilla

The Second Annual Mexican Culinary Festival will offer attendees a taste of Mexico at One & Only Palmilla, which has been ranked as Mexico’s best resort for eight consecutive years.  In addition to its luxurious accommodations and private butlers, its world-class Nicklaus-designed golf course and posh, pampering spa services, the area’s benchmark vacation destination is also making a name for itself as a collector of top culinary talent. Onsite fine dining restaurants Market and Agua are overseen by celebrity chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Larbi Dahrouch, respectively, and other top food and beverage professionals are being brought in for the Second Annual Mexican Culinary Festival, scheduled from November 7-11.

Larbi Dahrouch, Executive Chef at Agua Restaurant, will act as host for the festival that will give attendees a taste of Mexico at One & Only Palmilla.

The Mexican Culinary Festival opens with a cocktail party at One & Only Palmilla’s Villa Cortez, an expansive and lavishly appointed 10,000 square foot vacation rental overlooking the Sea of Cortez, followed by a welcome dinner courtesy of event host Larbi Dahrouch, Executive Chef at Agua Restaurant. Other festival highlights will include daily cooking demonstrations from guest chefs in the resort’s Herb Garden, daily tastings of mezcal, tequila, and premium Mexican wines from Guadalupe Valley, expert discussions and seminar sessions with noted sommeliers and winemakers, and nightly dinners prepared by chefs from a few of Mexico’s most celebrated restaurants.

Last year, the festival focused on the culinary delights of Mexico City, and featured chefs from some of the capital’s signature restaurants, including Enrique Olveda from Pujol, Daniel Ovadía from Paxia, and Edgar Nunez from Sud 777. This year’s festival, which focuses more broadly on giving a taste of Mexico at One & Only Palmilla, has drawn a more regionally representative cast of the country’s top kitchen talent, and lucky participants will be treated to demonstrations and dinners from a lineup that includes hospitality industry heavyweights such as Olveda, Roberto Solis from Merida’s fine dining landmark Nectar, and Jair Tellez from Laja in Baja’s Guadalupe Valley and MeroToro in Mexico City.

One & Only Palmilla excels at tailoring special events for the luxury travel market.

Baja Norte’s Guadalupe Valley is Mexico’s wine region, and many of its liquid treasures will be on hand for the festival. One & Only Palmilla’s Head Sommelier, Manuel Ortega, will host the beverage side of the proceedings, ably assisted in tastings, expert discussions, seminar sessions, and dinner pairings by an all-star cast of oenophiles. Notable guests include Reynaldo Rodriguez of Guadalupe Valley’s Quinta Monasterio; Andres Blanco, who together with Laja partner Jair Tellez, makes Ulloa wines from the Agrifolia Winery, and also excellent red blends like Antitesis and Viceversa from his Moebius label; and Humberto Falcon, formerly of Vinoteca, Mexico’s largest wine importer and distributor, and now a certified sommelier, wine producer, and successful food and beverage writer. Silvia Philion, co-owner of the Oaxacan tasting room Mezcaloteca, will pour selections from premium producers of this traditional maguey-based liquor.

The resort is offering festival-related vacation packages that include access to all dinners, tastings, and events, as well as luxury accommodations, round trip airport transfers, and a culinary gift bag. For more information, call (888) 382-4166, email reservations@oneandonly palmilla.com, or visit the website at palmilla.oneandonlyresorts.com.

Do you want to try a taste of Mexico at One & Only Palmilla?  Find out how at Baja.com.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Photos courtesy of One & Only Palmilla.

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