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Have A Baja Moment! Top Chefs Coming to Cabo for 2nd Annual A Taste of Capella

Have A Baja Moment! Top Chefs Coming to Cabo for 2nd Annual A Taste of Capella

Widely considered to be the finest luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas, Capella Pedregal is not content with sumptuous accommodations, lavish amenities, spectacular Pacific Ocean views and world-class restaurants like El Farallon and Don Manuel. Like Los Cabos luxury market competitor One & Only Palmilla, Capella Pedregal is also importing world-class talent for annual culinary events. Just as Palmilla has hosted two Mexican Culinary Festivals with some of the Mexico’s top chefs in attendance, Capella is once again bringing in some of the finest chefs in the U.S. to participate in their 2nd annual food and wine festival, A Taste of Capella.

Taste of Capella

Celebrity chefs are headed to Capella Pedregal for the luxury resort’s annual food and wine festival.

Capella’s 2nd annual food and wine extravaganza is scheduled for July  10-14, 2013, and is limited to 120 lucky (and well-heeled) participants. The event will offer four days of cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, and tequila seminars with internationally respected chefs and sommeliers, and highlights will certainly include the welcoming wine and cheese tasting, the gourmet beach barbecue and the grand finale dinner, each of which will feature offerings from the visiting master chefs.

Taste of Capella

Capella Pedregal’s 2nd annual food and wine festival, A Taste of Capella, is scheduled for July 10-14, 2013.

The talent at this year’s event is certainly impressive, with a roster that includes Kent Rathburn, who opened Dallas’ renowned Abacus, and oversees six great Texas-based restaurants; Dean Fearing, creator of Fearing’s Restaurants and the “Dean” of Southwestern Cuisine; Tim Hollingsworth, former Chef de Cuisine at French Laundry and a winner of the prestigious James Beard Rising Chef of the Year Award; Philippe Schmit, Executive Chef at Houston’s Philippe’s Restaurant + Lounge, former Exec at New York’s celebrated Orsay and Master Chef of France designee; and Yvan Mucharraz and Lauren Sung Wong Tee, the Executive Chef and Pastry Chef at Capella Pedregal, respectively.

Taste of Capella

A Taste of Capella will include cooking demonstrations, wine tastings, tequila seminars, and a concluding dinner with each course prepared by a celebrity chef.

Vacation packages for A Taste of Capella include access to all official food and wine festival events, as well as round trip airport transportation, five days and four nights in an ocean view room or suite, a welcoming gift bag and bottle of tequila, breakfast each morning at Don Manuel’s, nightly turndown gifts and an after party with the master chefs following the grand finale dinner. For more information, visit Capella Pedregal or talk to a Baja.com travel agent.

Taste of Capella

The event kicks off with a wine and cheese tasting overlooking the Pacific Ocean, and ample opportunities to ponder the maxims of Brillat-Savarin.

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 Capella Pedregal.

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A Certain Sense of Place: For Over 50 Years, Marbella Suites en La Playa Has Offered Comfort, Class and Uncommon Charm

A Certain Sense of Place: For Over 50 Years, Marbella Suites en La Playa Has Offered Comfort, Class and Uncommon Charm

There is a certain style of decor found in all the larger hotel chains, one that transcends geography. It is found in Mexico City and Montevideo, Tokyo and Timbuktu. It’s a style that is comfortable yet impersonal, familiar yet unoriginal, and upon waking in the morning guests in such establishments can be forgiven a sense of displacement, a moment or two during which they struggle to remember exactly where they are in the world.

Fortunately, there are still alternatives, hotels that offer authentic experiences, glory in their locales, and reflect the history, culture and values of their communities.

Marbella Suites en La Playa

Marbella Suites dates to the early days of tourism in Los Cabos, and was constructed around natural rock formations in the Tourist Corridor that connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.

Marbella Suites en La Playa is a perfect example. This landmark Los Cabos lodging was built in the 1950s, during the infancy of the area’s tourist boom, and the original owners were so committed to maintaining the grandeur of the Tourist Corridor surroundings that they constructed the hotel around the site’s natural rock formations. Visitors to this quaint Hacienda-style property, with its colorful mosaic tiles and colonial fountains, will have no doubt that they’ve landed in Mexico. And once they take a longer look, glancing at the golden sands of El Tule Beach and the sun glittering off the azure blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, they’ll know they’ve reached the southernmost tip of Baja, just outside Cabo san Lucas.

This singular sense of place is what sets Marbella apart from so many of its competitors, what gives it its unique personality. Well, that and the service. With just 41 suites, Marbella is a small hotel by modern standards. But this sense of intimacy only adds to the hotel’s charm. The staff here remembers names, and for the loyal guests who return year after year, a visit here is not so much a vacation as a homecoming. Recent renovations have completely modernized Marbella, but this personal connection between staff and visitors is an integral part of the property’s enduring appeal. It doesn’t hurt of course, that the hotel is frequently booked solid by large groups – for reunions, wedding parties, company retreats, fraternity leadership academies, and the like – but a single night’s stay by a solitary guest qualifies one for membership in Marbella’s extended family.

Marbella Suites en La Playa

Marbella’s 41 suites are individually decorated, and feature original artwork.

All of Marbella’s suites are individually decorated and feature original works of art. Even the layouts vary from suite to suite. Some have ocean views, others garden views. Some have private patios, fountains, kitchens, hand-carved furnishings. The beauty of Marbella is that it is not a cookie cutter operation. From service to setting, everything is personalized. Each experience is unique.

Marbella Suites

Situated above Marbella’s lagoon-style pool, La Terraza showcases international cuisine made from locally sourced ingredients.

The historic hotel also hosts three bars and an onsite restaurant. The lobby bar, La Luna, is a popular meeting place, not only for beer from local craft brewers like Baja Brewing Company and Cerveza Ramuri, but adult-oriented activities like tequila tasting and cocktail parties. The restaurant, La Terraza, enjoys a magnificent location overlooking the Sea of Cortez, and offers a superb assortment of Mexican and internationally-influenced dishes, all made from locally sourced ingredients. Don’t feel like dressing for dinner? La Terraza is happy to deliver your meal, whether you’re relaxing in your suite, or soaking up some rays by the pool.

Marbella Suites

Beachside spa services are among Marbella’s most soothing amenities.

In addition to its culinary delights, Marbella also boasts a roster of premium amenities. Although the suites are not outfitted with televisions -why ruin the tropical mood with news programs and reality shows? – there is a large lounge area with a library and TV viewing area, as well as a computer room with internet access and free phone calls to the U.S. and Canada. That’s certainly a perk you won’t find in many Los Cabos hotels. The ping pong table is another nice touch. It’s downstairs by the large, lagoon-style swimming pool.

Fitness facilities and spa services are also available at Marbella, and the latter include massages on the beach under a shaded palapa, with relaxing seaside breezes caressing your skin as strong fingers knead the tension out of work-stressed shoulders. The primary expanse of gorgeous El Tule Beach is just west of the hotel, but a pristine stretch of golden sand is easily accessible from the pool area. In addition to relaxing spa treatments, the beach is also home to nightly bonfires, just as it was when the hotel opened.

Of course, that was back in the days when Marbella was still called the Maria Gaviota, and the major employer in Cabo San Lucas wasn’t a hotel, restaurant or shopping mall, but a cannery.

So much of Los Cabos has changed over the last half century.

Luckily, classics like Marbella were built to last.

Marbella Suites

Marbella’s recipe for romance includes a beach, a bonfire, and gorgeous views of the Sea of Cortez.

Traveling to Cabo San Lucas? Talk to a Baja.com travel agent!

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.

All photos courtesy of Marbella Suites en La Playa.

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Have A Baja Moment! CABO SUP Hosts 2nd Annual Paddle to the End

Have A Baja Moment! CABO SUP Hosts 2nd Annual Paddle to the End

Is there a better way to celebrate the world’s fastest growing water sport – stand up paddleboarding – than a weekend of races, clinics, parties, and prizes in one of the world’s most popular resort destinations? For those that attended CABO SUP’s 2nd Annual Paddle to the End event, held May 16-18 in Cabo San Lucas, the answer was pretty clear: this is as good as it gets.

CABO SUP

Stand up paddle boarding is the world’s fastest growing water sport.

Big crowds of locals and visitors turned out for Friday’s 6 mile distance race from Medano Beach to Misiones, for Saturday’s team relay races, and for the headliner, a scenic 2-mile paddle to Pelican Rock in Cabo San Lucas Bay. The final paddle was originally scheduled for Land’s End, of course, but wind conditions dictated a slight course adjustment, and no one seemed  to feel short-changed in the scenic views department.

Afterwards, there was an awards ceremony honoring the top three finishers in each race, a beach blanket bonfire party, a screening of a documentary on the history of stand up paddleboarding, and plenty of late night Cabo-style revelry at Bahia Hotel & Beach Club and Baja Junkie. Winners were also able to meet Ensenada-native and Mexican surf god Ignacio Felix Cota, and receive a signed copy of his book, Tribe of the Waves, Memories of Mexican Surfing

CABO SUP

A little less paddling, a lot more surfing…

“We’re fortunate to have the support of many people,” said Lee Vosburgh at Thursday night’s registration and cocktail reception in the lobby of Medano Beach neighborhood’s hippest boutique hotel. In addition to owning and operating CABO SUP, which hosted the Paddle to the End festivities, Vosburgh and his wife Meredith are the onsite partners in Bahia Hotel & Beach Club.

“We’re also fortunate to live in one of the world’s premier travel destinations, and to have access to a safe and beautiful environment for people to enjoy this wonderful sport.”

CABO SUP

Few companies in Cabo San Lucas offer more family-friendly fun than CABO SUP.

Safety and community were both stressed at the Thursday night kick off party, and with good reasons. CABO SUP is the only stand up paddleboarding company in Los Cabos whose instructors are certified by the ASI (Academy of Stand up Paddleboard Instructors). If that weren’t enough, volunteer firefighters and Mexican Navy personnel were on hand to provide an extra safe environment for the weekend festivities. Additionally, a community-friendly beach clean-up operation was organized early Saturday morning on Medano Beach, as the Vosburghs also believe strongly in environmental values.

In retrospect, it was another big success for CABO SUP, which in a relatively short time has become one of Los Cabos’ premier outdoor adventure companies. Apparently, fusing spectacular Sea of Cortez settings with a great workout and affordable pricing is a pretty good business model. Bahia Hotel & Beach Club’s proximity to Medano Beach, a two mile stretch of golden sand that hosts many of the areas top bars, restaurants, and hotels, certainly doesn’t hurt. Nor does the easy access to the superb Esquina  Bar and Restaurant.

CABO SUP offers equipment, lessons, and guided tours, as well as monthly memberships that are perfect for visitors and locals alike. For a monthly fee, members receive unlimited paddling (based on equipment availability), free parking, lockers, and board storage. First timer? No problem. All rentals come with a free lesson, and all the guides at CABO SUP are bilingual. One hour, half day, and full day lessons and guided tours are available.

CABO SUP

CABO SUP’s 2nd Annual Paddle to the End event was held May 16-18 in Cabo San Lucas.

In addition to CABO SUP, numerous local, national, and international sponsors supported the 2nd Annual Paddle to the End, including Los Cabos businesses Bahia Hotel and Beach Club, Esquina Restaurant and Bar, Snell Real Estate, Moduvated.com, Cabo Villas, Wild Canyon, Diamonds International, Lifestyle Los Cabos, Baja Junkie, Cabo Mar, Pez Gato, Tropicat, Pan di Bacco, and Medano Beach Cabo.

Ready for a trip to Los Cabos?  Check out our new School’s Out promotion, featuring great deals for two of the area’s premier hotels, Hotel El Ganzo in San Jose del Cabo, and Bahia Hotel & Beach Club in Cabo San Lucas. Better book now, the promotion ends on July 31st.

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.

All photos courtesy of CABO SUP.

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4th Annual Cabo Marine Show Exceeds Expectations

4th Annual Cabo Marine Show Exceeds Expectations

The Cabo Marine Show proved why it’s the biggest nautical-themed exhibition on the west coast of Mexico, drawing large numbers of visitors from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico for free weekend festivities that included showcases for top nautical and marine products and services, and live nightly entertainment from local musicians.

The show was held May 1-4 at IGY Marina in central Cabo San Lucas, directly behind the Wyndham Los Cabos, with exhibitor tents lining the boardwalk, and an impressive collection of gleaming vessels dressing up the adjoining docks. It’s estimated that upwards of 4,000 people attended this year’s show, suggesting the 4th annual incarnation of the nautical expo was the biggest and best yet.

Cabo Marine Show

The 4th Annual Cabo Marine Show was held May 1-4 on the Cabo San Lucas Marina, near Wyndham Los Cabos.

The four-day fest was kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony Wednesday morning, with appearances by Baja California Secretary of Tourism Ruben Reachi and Cabo Marine Show founder Sergio Igartua. Over 50 local, national, and international companies were represented at the show, including marine heavyweights like Azimut, Bertram, Beneteau, Fairline, Sea-Doo, Suzuki and Mercury Marine, and local sponsors and exhibitors such as Earth, Sea & Sky Vacations, Cabo Riviera Golf & Marina, Synergy Marketing & PR, The Old Town Art Gallery by El Encanto, FONATUR Port Authority and IGY Marinas, as well as Baja.com.

Spirit of 2010

The Spirit of 2010 was one of the highlights of the 4th annual Cabo Marine Show. Operated locally by Synergy, it’s the largest luxury yacht available for charter in Los Cabos.

As always, amidst the impressive array of boats, gadgets and gear, and there were several things that had everyone talking. One was the Spirit of 2010, a spectacular 120′ luxury yacht with a height equivalent to a four-story building. This state-of-the-art motor vessel is currently the largest boat available for charter in Los Cabos – it’s operated locally by Synergy – and one of Thursday’s highlights was a media tour to Land’s End and The Arch aboard this sybaritic mega-yacht. Short and long-term charters are now available, ranging from sunset sails to the highest of high-end snorkel, kayak, and fishing trips.

Cabo Jet Pack

Fly into the future with Cabo Jet Packs, a hot new activity option showcased at the 4th Annual Cabo Marine Show.

Also generating buzz were exhibition flights with the Cabo Jet Pack. The future is finally here, it seems, and this new activity allows visitors to fly, turn, hover, and actually walk on water. So in addition to the typical parade of stand up paddle boards, surf boards, kayaks, pangas, high-speed inflatables, fishing boats, sailboats, parasailers, and luxury catamarans, expect Cabo San Lucas Bay to also prove popular with those who prefer walk-on-water sports. Judging from the reception at the Cabo Marine Show, Cabo Jet Pack’s are going to be one of the area’s most popular new activities options.

Bisbee's

For the first time, early bird registration for Bisbee’s Los Cabos Offshore and Black & Blue Tournaments was offered at the Cabo Marine Show.

Other big news at the show was made by Bisbee’s, who for the first time accepted early bird registrations for their Los Cabos Offshore and Black & Blue Tournaments. The Black & Blue is the world’s richest fishing tournament, with million dollar plus jackpots awarded to winners each October. Bisbee’s partnership with the Cabo Marine Show was a big reason this year’s event was such a success. These are two of the biggest names in Los Cabos maritime circles, and the bright future for tourism and sport fishing is attributable in large part to events like the Cabo Marine Show and Bisbee’s trio of local tournaments: East Cape Offshore, Los Cabos Offshore, and the famed Black & Blue.

Cabo Marine Show

Over 50 top companies showcases goods and services at the 4th Annual Cabo Marine Show.

No word yet on dates for the 5th Annual Cabo Marine Show, but as soon as they’re announced, we’ll let you know what you need to circle on your calendar. It’s going to be tough to exceed this year’s showing, but expect that the event will continue to get bigger and better as Sergio Igartua, MAA+ Eventos and Synergy strive to make this the biggest nautical exhibition in all of Mexico.

Traveling to Cabo San Lucas?  Let a Baja.com travel agent make your reservations!

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.

Images courtesy of Cabo Marine Show, Cabo Jet Packs, Spirit Yacht Charters, and Chris Sands.

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Cabo’s Trendy Hot-spot is the ME Cabo Hotel

Cabo’s Trendy Hot-spot is the ME Cabo Hotel:  A Hipster Paradise

story and photos by Chris Sands

Cabo's trendy hot-spot is in full swing.

If asked to choose the most luxurious hotel or resort in Cabo San Lucas, few people could say with any degree of conviction. There are simply too many.

But which is the trendiest? That’s an easy one. It’s Melia’s ME Cabo Hotel, which offers an experience well beyond mere accommodation.

From the stunning Deco inspired lobby to the wraparound marble staircase that allows guests to make a Hollywood-style entrance to the expansive pool area, ME Cabo is equal parts upscale elegance and fashionista fantasia. The privileged property features spectacular room and suite views of Land’s End and the Sea of Cortez, with cruise ships often lying at anchor just beyond Medano Beach, and private beach access available to the hotel’s exclusive clientele.

Me Cabo is famed for its onsite club scene. This is the only hotel in Los Cabos with resident DJs. Nikki Beach Club hosts the top events in Los Cabos – such as the annual White Party, and the masked Venetian Carnival New Year’s Eve Gala – but the heart of the club’s appeal is the daily pool parties, with bikini-clad beauties reclining on white Bali daybeds while their consorts order cocktails at the swim-up pool bar, and resident mix-masters Sam Koen and Antonio Flores keeping up a steady stream of pulse-pounding house beats. If you’re feeling competitive, you can try to keep up with the interactive dancers as they shimmy and shake.

Live jazz and Cuban music are played on selected days, and there is a VIP fashion show on Fridays. Mexican and Mediterranean cuisine and high-quality tequila, meanwhile, are the house specialties at Tequila Fusion, one of the top onsite restaurants, and an oft used space for high-powered confabs and convocations. The resort also boasts an outdoor grill and fire pit, two bars, an enormous interconnected pool, and of course late night martinis and margaritas at the sexy and cosmopolitan Passion Club.

 

The rooms and suites maintain the maximum chic ethos, particularly on “The Level,” an adult-oriented VIP area which overlooks all the action on Nikki Beach. Depending on the suite type, guests have access to a host of plush amenities, including private balconies and terraces, private and shared whirlpools, private access to the Fire Pit and Passion Club, private sundecks with views of the ocean, lounge beds, and even outdoor rain showers.

Of course, if this sort of high-end hedonism starts to wear, you can always retire to the Yhi Spa for a hot-stone massage and an aromatic herb wrap, or take a tandem kayak trip to Lover’s Beach. If there is one thing you can count on at Melia’s ME Cabo, it’s that the party will still be there when you return.

 

Bikinis and giant champagne bottles at Cabo's trendy hot-spot, ME Cabo.

For more information about Cabo’s trendy hot-spot, ME Cabo Hotel, visit Baja.com.  Or email info@solmelia.com, or call (624) 145-7800.

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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Whale Watching Season Opens in Cabo San Lucas

Whale Watching Season Opens in Cabo San Lucas

by Chris Sands

“They’re back.”

I hear that sentence several times every December, courtesy of friends who spend the better part of each day working on the water.  It signals the unofficial beginning of Cabo San Lucas‘ most celebrated season, when migrating whales make their way south from Alaska and the Bering Sea to breed in the warm waters off the Baja coast. Whale watching season officially stretches from mid-December through mid-April, and sees an estimated 10,000 gray, humpback, blue, fin, sperm, and pilot whales – even the occasional orcas – cruising majestically through the local waters.

They’re back: a humpback whale announces his presence in local waters.

Grays and humpbacks are the whales most commonly sighted. The breeding grounds for gray whales are centered around Magdalena Bay, off the Pacific Coast of Baja Sur, while the humpbacks continue on into the Sea of Cortez. Humpbacks are more flamboyant of the two species, prone to spectacular breaching – leaping almost completely out of the water and displacing large amounts of water upon splashdown – but both grays and humpbacks make their presence known through behaviors like sounding (waving an enormous fluke) and spy-hopping (raising the head out of the water to check out the surroundings). The whales send up a huge white spray before breaching, and the trick for tour captains is to anticipate where the whales will surface based upon the the preceding spray.

 

Although whales can occasionally be seen from shore, most visitors interested in up-close-and-personal looks at these gargantuan creatures sign up for one of the many local whale watching tours. From December through March, seemingly every commercial boat in San Lucas offers some sort of whale watching excursion, from small pangas (water taxis) and fast inflatables to fishing boats, sailboats, and luxury yachts. There are advantages and disadvantages associated with each variety of watercraft, but depending upon whether you prefer high-speed action and adventure or comfort and style, there is a tour type that will appeal to virtually every taste.

 

A spectacular sounding captured on one of Cabo Adventures’ whale watching safaris.

There are often brisk winds outside the protected bay – the best place to see the whales, particularly photogenic humpbacks, is beyond Land’s End, where they turn to enter the Sea of Cortez – which is why, for my money, the best way to whale watch in Cabo San Lucas is aboard a sailboat. Sailboats don’t have the same degree of maneuverability enjoyed by pangas and high-speed inflatables, but they offer a mores stylish, exhilarating, and amenity-laden experience. The area’s premier charter company, Cabo Sails, offers private whale watching cruises aboard their fleet of 28′ to 44′ sailboats, each of which boasts a bilingual crew, an open bar, and a selection of snacks that include appetizers and sandwiches. The charters can accommodate two to twenty guests, with morning, afternoon, and sunset cruises available.

 

For the high-speed inflatable experience, join Cabo Adventures for one of their whale watching photo safaris. Their Apex boats were designed for whale watching, and will get you as close to the deep-sea leviathans as is legally allowed – The whales were born in Mexican waters, and locals like to joke that they are therefore Mexican citizens. That may be stretching the point, but the whales are legally protected, and there are rules and laws designed to protect them from overzealous boaters – That said, these tours are as intimate as whale watching gets, with excellent vantages from which to see and photograph these magnificent mammals. The tour guides are experienced and knowledgeable, and hydrophone listening technology is available for those who would like to hear the “songs” of the whales.

Humpbacks can be a bit flamboyant. Just ask the guests aboard this Cabo Sails charter.

 

A little unsteady on your “sea legs?” For those seeking stability, a smooth ride, and plenty of service, sign up for one of the whale watching cruises aboard Caborey. The luxury triple-decked catamaran is best known for its dinner cruises – complete with five-star cuisine and a Las Vegas style floorshow – but the 144′ ship also offers seasonal whale watching excursions. Relax on the top deck with cocktails and sushi rolls, and keep an eye peeled for the cetacean crowd as they continue on course towards their traditional breeding grounds. This is without question the most luxurious way possible to whale watch, and considering the complimentary food and beverages, surprisingly affordable. The tours are offered at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., January through March, and cost $50 U.S. for adults, $25 for children.

Want to find out where to stay in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo?  Visit 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

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SUP Mexico Offers Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga

by Yesica Pineda

Breathing, concentration and fun:  Anyone who has consciously experienced these three things all at once would agree that the feeling might be described as a moment of bliss.  These are the basic objectives of the latest trend, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga, according to those who teach the practice.

Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga

Society has always had a wonderful way of adapting and transforming ancient practices and philosophies to fit modern mentality and desires.  The practice of Yoga is a great example! How interesting it is that the oldest yoga texts which document this spiritual practice describe it mainly as a practice of meditation.  These writings note that the main goal of the practice is  to control the fluctuation of thoughts in order to awaken true awareness; additionally, the belief was and remains that by mastering the mind through a deeper understanding of natural laws, people can avoid illness and suffering.  Basically, the precept is that yoga helps us see things as they really are, and find peace within the fact (and even though) that we are always changing.

 

What better place to practice Stand UP Paddle Board Yoga than in beautiful Baja?

In the past, yoga practice consisted of long periods sitting in stillness, breathing, focusing, observing the sensations of the body, mastering the mind.  Yogis were so eager to reach the state of enlightenment that, in order to be able to stay sitting still longer, they developed body poses (asanas) to eradicate the discomfort felt by the body to enhance its flexibility, improve blood circulation, balance organ function and help detoxify cellular activity.  The physical benefits were outstanding, but only a bi-product of the real goal:  to experience true happiness.

Though consciousness is always evolving, in today’s society, physicality seems to be the priority.  Our modern mentality places more importance on the “How I look” aspect rather than the “How I feel,” and as a result yoga is mostly seen as a sport. Nonetheless, its true beauty always shines;  it really does not matter what makes you want to practice yoga — as long as you do practice it for whatever reason, you will eventually experience its original goal of true happiness.

So what makes our Baja experience unique when it comes to practicing Yoga? You guessed it:   Baja itself!

I only recently discovered that there is a sport out there called Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga.  Stand Up Paddle boarding or SUP  is a low impact sport that strengthens the core, tones every muscle and  gets you on the water enjoying nature. Women paddlers who love the ocean and are regular yoga practitioners find a perfect yoga  mat in their paddle board.

SUP instructor Pam Avila explains it like this: “I think the biggest challenge when you practice yoga is ‘living in the moment’.  Sometimes concentration can be really difficult, but when you are practicing yoga on a stand up paddle board you are 100 percent focused on what are you doing. The whole environment helps — the sun, the little waves on your board, the mountains around you. All these factors  help to really concentrate on trying to hold the posture longer, to focus on your breathing and also keep your balance.”

 

Stand Up Paddle Board yoga is about achieving balance, mentally and physically.

When you visit Baja, if you are looking for a fun water  activity that really makes you work the core, and at the same time gives you physical, mental and spiritual harmony,  this is the right one!  SUP Mexico  is  not just a store where you can find the best paddle boards brands on the market.  They also give SUP, SURF and SUP Yoga lessons, summer camps and trips to the most important break points and SUP sites that our beautiful Baja offers. Give them a call at 624 172 6046 from Mexico or 310 909 8533 from the USA. Or visit their websites at www.mexicosup.com or www.supmexicoclassic.com.  You can also follow them on Facebook / SUP Mexico and Twitter @ supmexico

Go SUP Mexico  and SUP Anywhere you can!!!

After getting your yoga fix, want to know the best Baja restaurants to visit during the holiday season?  Find out 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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Dressed to the K9′s Gala a Howling Success: Proceeds to Benefit Los Cabos Humane Society.

Proceeds from the 7th annual K-9′s gala event are going to the Los Cabos Humane Society

by Chris Sands

Los Cabos Humane Society benefits from the Dressed to the K9's gala event

Los Cabos loves its parties, and in Cabo San Lucas, the biggest and most elaborate galas are often those staged on behalf of local charities. That was certainly the case with the Los Cabos Humane Society’s 7th Annual Dressed to the K-9′s benefit, held Saturday, December 8th at Villa Marcella in Pedregal.

Dressed to the K-9′s has become a staple of the local social calendar, and kicked off the holiday season in splendid fashion, with many full and part-time residents of the area on hand to support the mission of the LCHS. The Humane Society receives no government support, so the annual fundraiser is crucial to their budget, with ticket sales and silent auction proceeds primarily going towards spay and neuter efforts. The event is also a great excuse for fancy dress and festive fun, with food, drinks, dancing, and live music.

Steve Apple headlined at the Los Cabos Humane Society event.

 

Apple & Co. may have been the headliners, the the stars of the event, as always, were the community members that donated their time, efforts, and services on behalf of the LCHS. Event chair Mark Poelvoorde and his co-chairs Elizabeth Schoell and Maye Cortinas oversaw the close to 50 volunteers who pitched in with this year’s gala. Local chefs Casiano Reyes and Denis Gabriel, of Casiano and Denni’s Catering, respectively, provided the gourmet feast. Chef and restaurateur Drew Deckman created the delicious welcoming cocktail, with shaking done courtesy of Martini Jungle. Yahwe Garcia of Del Cabo Events was responsible for the villa’s interior design and holiday decor, and staging and lighting was done by Ambar Productions.

“This year’s gala, our biggest and most elaborate, wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless efforts of dozens of volunteers, working as a team to make the event a success,” said LCHS President Aida Trujillo.

Poelvoorde agreed: “So many volunteers, donors and sponsors, committed to helping the animals and communities of Los Cabos is incredibly moving. Their contribution is truly the heart of all our fundraisers.”

Auction donations to the Los Cabos Human Society gala included a red Fender stratocaster guitar used by Sammy Hagar.

 

Tickets were $125 per person, and were sold out this year, with a record turnout of 300 attendees on hand to support the local pet population. Like last year, the gala was held at Villa Marcella, a spectacular beachfront vacation getaway in the gated Pedregal community. The spacious 10,000 square foot villa was decked out festive holiday fashion, and guests enjoyed plenty of food and drink, fabulous entertainment, dancing under the stars, and even a fireworks display. And why not? There’s nothing wrong with a good party on behalf of a great cause.  In spite of the huge success of this event, organizers note, though, that the Los Cabos Humane Society needs help throughout the year.

Los Cabos Humane Society helps K9's and kitties, too.

 

Local businesses were also very generous, and provided a terrific slate of goods and services for the silent auction, including custom jewelry, shopping sprees, golf outings at five championship-level courses, big-game fishing trips, cooking classes, five-star dinners, and accommodations at some of the area’s most luxurious hotels and resorts. But perhaps the most sought after item was the autographed guitar from Sammy Hagar. The former Van Halen frontman and Cabo Wabo founder donated a gorgeous Dakota Red Fender Stratocaster, along with other signed memorabilia.

 

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.

All photos courtesy of Dressed to the K-9’s.

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Camels in Cabo? A Little Bit of Egypt Comes to Baja!

Camels in Cabo?  A desert dream comes true on the Baja Peninsula.

by Jack E. George

No need to fly thousands of miles on an airplane just to have the experience of riding a camel. Camels in Cabo — and riding on them — are now a desert dream-come-true!  Now anyone can ‘rent’ a camel in Cabo San Lucas and have a ride of a lifetime.

 

Camels in Cabo? A desert dream comes true on the Baja Peninsula.

There are several companies offering camel rides, one of them being Cabo Adventures that takes small groups on the desert dream trek.  The only restriction is that you be at least six years of age and weigh no more than 265 pounds. The tour beings at the Cabo Adventures location at the Dolphin Center in Cabo San Lucas. Trips are offered seven days per week, 9 a.m.-noon,  and sometimes at 3 p.m. according to Maria Ines Brito, marketing manager for the operation. The journey takes about 4.5 hours.

According to Maria, Cabo Adventures takes extra precautions for every customer’s safety. She said, “We innovate, to make each customer have a wonderful experience each day, and one that will result in being a lifetime experience.”  It begins when adventurers of the Lawrence of Arabia ilk get into one of the company’s off-road Unimogs — trucks and are driven deep into the heart of the Baja outback.  Upon arriving at embarkation point, there is a huge sense of anticipation that excites adults and children, alike.

 

Arabia or Baja? Camels in Cabo offer a uniquely different travel experience.

 

Aside from the spectacular views, each visitor has his or her own knowledgeable guide, who ensure safety and lots of knowledge about camels in Cabo. Getting onto the camel, which could be daunting to some, is not a problem. There is a platform for you to climb on and the guide offers assistance. After riding through the outback, visitors enjoy an idyllic jaunt in Rancho San Cristobal. This beach ride is unlike anything else — right out of a movie.  If taking this camel excursion during the winter months, the guide will advise you to keep an eye out for humpback whales. These whales often swim past the ranch.

 

Up front and personal with camels in cabo!

There are two types of camels. You will be riding the one hump which is called the Arabic camel. They live in western Asia although they are being brought to specific areas in North America to which they adapt well. These particular eight camels, owned by Cabo Adventures, are actually from Texas. Camels have some amazing abilities. For example, they are capable of living for weeks without food or water. Their hump is actually filled with fat which allows them to use this when needed. When camels take a drink of water it takes them awhile to fill their needs as they consume about 40 gallons at one time.

 
During the last part of  the excursion, camel-riders stop at a local ranch where they are served a traditional Mexican meal which includes hand-made tortillas, beans, drinks, and salsas. Following the meal, the return trip to Cabo San Lucas offers fabulous views with outstanding photo opportunities of the Baja desert. You will need photos, after all:  You will need to prove that your stories about your unbelievable vacation, and camels in cabo, are true!

 
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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Luxury Lodging at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort in Los Cabos: “Find Your Balance”

Luxury Lodging, spectacular location, a fitness program and sea adventures are all at your disposal at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort

by Chris Sands

Luxury lodging at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort

Esperanza enjoyed its usual stellar showing in Travel & Leisure’s 2011 hotel rankings, placing second in Mexico behind One & Only Palmilla, and 92nd in the world, three spots ahead of the Four Seasons Maui. The rankings should come as no surprise to long-time visitors to Los Cabos. Esperanza is a member of the prestigious Auberge Resorts microchain, and has been honored with inclusion to the exclusive Relaix & Chateau collection. Along with One & Only Palmilla and Las Ventanas al Paraiso, Esperanza is one of the area’s most luxurious resorts, and one of the world’s most spectacular properties.

Located just outside Cabo San Lucas in the Tourist Corridor that links the two Cape cities, Esperanza enjoys a privileged position atop Punta Ballena, overlooking two private coves and the glittering waters of the Sea of Cortez. Since its opening in 2002, the resort has been at the forefront of hospitality in Los Cabos, offering expansive and elegant accommodations in casitas, suites, villas, and private residences, with onsite amenities that include several fine dining restaurants, a lounge bar and humidor with generous tequila and cigar menus, and a luxe and pampering spa that has been rated as the best in all of Latin America.

Esperanza offers a "Find Your Balance" fitness program, and luxury lodging in Los Cabos

In addition to its healthy and rejuvenating spa services, Esperanza has unveiled a slate of new fitness programs for the fall, highlighted by an “Auberge Trainer in Residence” guest instructor series, and a “Find Your Balance” four night wellness package. For the former, Esperanza is importing expert instructors from around the U.S. to lead beach boot camps, and teach classes in TRX training, yoga, and zumba. The “Trainer in Residence” program began on November 18, 2012, and runs through May 29, 2013, with featured taskmasters including Dirk Schultz of Aspen Club, Donovan Almond of Solage Calistoga, and Tracie and Chris Vlaun from V Art of Wellness in Miami.

The “Find Your Balance” package has been available since the first of September, and offers a four-night stay in the luxury lodging,  in an ocean view casita, as well as an array of wellness-based perks, from massages at The Auberge Spa to complimentary use of the resort’s fitness facility, and daily yoga classes for both adults and children. Yoga for Kids classes are open to children ages 6-12, and teach correct breathing, and basic Hatha poses and exercises. Package participants can also take advantage of vegetarian cooking classes, and enjoy vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free menus at Esperanza’s signature onsite restaurant, Cocina del Mar.

Want to swim with an enormous whale shark?

Esperanza’s exciting new “Sea Life Adventure Experiences” series also began in September, with the advent of the Sea Turtle Sunset Release program. Los Cabos is a breeding ground for several species of endangered sea turtles, and Esperanza guests can participate in area preservation efforts by adopting a baby sea turtle and releasing it on El Suspiro Beach at sunset. The three hour adventures includes an adoption certificate, round trip transportation, and food and beverage courtesy of the resort’s culinary team.

For a more sizeable seagoing adventure, sign up for one of the resort’s programs offering access to some of the world’s largest sea creatures, including exhilarating swims with whale sharks measuring up to 40 feet, and intimate looks at giant gray whales as they birth their calves. Whale Shark Swims started this month, and will continue through March, 2013. The Whale Watching Tour will be available from December through March, during the annual migration of gray whales to Magdalena Bay. Program participants will be flown by plane over the peninsula coastline to experience an up-close-and-personal-encounter with these leviathans of the deep, and may even witness the birth of a baby whale.

Ongoing programs and services at Esperanza include Spanish lessons, salsa classes, painting sessions, guided tours through San Jose del Cabo’s historic art district, guided shopping trips, and “Sea to Table” dining at Cocina del Mar. Esperanza is located at Carretera Transpeninsular Km 7, Manzana 10, Punta Ballena, Cabo San Lucas.

Want to find out more about staying in Los Cabos?  Great dining?  Visit 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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