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Water World: Cabo Marine Show Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Water World: Cabo Marine Show Celebrates 5th Anniversary

Cabo Marine Show

The Cabo San Lucas Marina has long been the heart and soul of the Land’s End city. It’s the first stop for incoming cruise ship passengers; home to hotels, restaurants, and tourist shopping meccas Puerto Paraiso and Luxury Avenue; a seasonal home to luxury yachts; and the launch point for fishing charters, whale watching excursions, snorkel and dive trips, sunset sails, and the rest of the area’s world-class, water-based activities tours. But rarely is the marina the official center of the city’s attention, as it was last weekend, May 15 – 17, when the 5th annual Cabo Marine Show drew thousands of locals and visitors to Docks L-M-N at the IGA Marina, behind the Wyndham Cabo San Lucas Resort.

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Although only five years old, the Cabo Marine Show is already the longest running boat show in Mexico, and the most important nautical expo on the country’s Pacific Coast. Each year, it features the latest goods and services from some of the top names in the maritime industry, with dozens of booths set up along the marina boardwalk. But five years in, the show continues to evolve, and this year’s event saw a subtle shift in focus, with much of the attention turning to the new and used boat market, and the 20 plus boats and yachts on display in the water beyond the booths.

A host of big-name yacht brokers were on hand to show off their top seagoing listings, including Otaduy Yachts, United Yacht Sales, Emerald Pacific Yachts, Hallmark Yachts, Picante Sportfishing, La Paz Yachts, and Pisces Group Cabo. And Cabo Marine Show organizers were clearly interested in expanding upon the expo’s early success as a social networking platform and showcase for the premier purveyors of offshore gadgets and playthings, and moving the boats themselves into the spotlight.

“We are pleased to see that our boat show has been taking a constant and natural evolution from the traditional exhibitors on the floor to a more pronounced in-water display of both new and used vessels — which is the purpose of any boat show, departing from the usual convention center format to an in-water exhibit more similar to boat shows of international stature,” said Oscar Avalos, Director of MAA+Eventos Meetings and Conventions, which partnered with show founder and organizer Sergio Igartua.

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10374103_10152076763972021_5979212319762831030_nDespite the millions of dollars worth of boat sales, however, the latest edition of Cabo Marine Show retained many of its familiar touches: live music enlivened the evening hours; VIP cocktail parties offered yacht club ambiance; wandering visitors made pit stops at marina drinking and dining landmarks like Solomon’s Landing, Baja Cantina and Tiki Bar; and of course a bevy of well-known vendors promoted their their latest products from booths set on prime waterfront real estate, from tropical sunglasses king Maui Jim to the Los Cabos Tourism Board and Bisbee’s, host of the world’s richest fishing tournament. Even a few local artists and artisans got in on the act, offering up nautical themed paintings and jewelry.

Five years is a significant anniversary, and the latest show was something of a landmark, not only in terms of Cabo Marine Show’s age and expanded focus, but its further entrenchment in the Los Cabos festival firmament. It’s now a fixture of the annual event calendar, and one of the key showcases of the the city’s de facto commercial center: the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Bisbee’s Black and Blue may still boast a higher profile, but the marlin tournament, at heart, is all about what’s lurking under the local waters. The Cabo Marine Show is about what floating on top, and where they call home.

 

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.

Photos courtesy of Cabo Marine Show and Los Cabos Tourism.

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Cabo San Lucas Activities: King of the Dinner Cruises

By Chris Sands

Looking for Cabo San Lucas activities?  Every resort destination boasts a few must-see sights and seemingly mandatory excursions, trips or tours so closely associated with the area that to skip them is almost unthinkable. As far as Cabo San Lucas activities go, Caborey certainly qualifies as a “must do.” This 144′ triple-decked catamaran is the largest and most luxurious tour ship in Los Cabos, with sunset margarita and dinner cruises that are among the area’s most sought after tickets.

Luxury dinner cruise: One of the top activities in Cabo San Lucas.

Pick up a cold beer or a margarita from the open bar, then kick back and relax with cocktails and classic rock as a live band rocks into a set list of popular hits from the 1970s and 80s. This is when the music mattered–at least if you’re my age–and if you’re not, you’ll still enjoy the campy, good-natured appeal of these retro stylings as the boat cruises into Cabo San Lucas Bay.

Tables and chairs are set up along the rails, and provide perfect vantage points to take in the spectacular sunset views of Bahia San Lucas, as well as a scenic panorama that encompasses both Medano and Lover’s Beaches, and all the unique rock formations at Land’s End. This is an excellent time to get some pictures, of course, and the captain is nice enough to turn the boat around so that people on both sides of the rail get great looks at all the local landmarks.

Two belowdeck areas are set aside for dinner, depending on which ticket you’ve bought. On the middle deck, margarita cruisers can attack a snack buffet loaded with Mexican favorites like taquitos, burritos, and chips, salsa, and guacamole. There is a VIP area forward, where the fortunate few can feel the salt spray from their lounge chairs as they succumb to a comfort food coma.

For those who have chosen the sit-down dinner option, Caborey provides a guests with a choice of six delicious entree options, ranging from chateaubriand and grilled lobster to sea bass and jumbo shrimp. Vegetarian pastas are available, as is a kids menu with chicken fingers, spaghetti,  and other simple selections sure to please the ten and under set. Salads and desserts are also included in this multi-course extravaganza, with opera chocolate cake and petit choux a la creme among the most satisfying of the meal cappers.

After dinner, enjoy Latin American singing and folk dancing. Caborey

After coffee and dessert is served, the lights dim in the dining room for a Las-Vegas style floor show showcasing Latin American singing and folk dancing. Mexico and Argentina are the featured countries, with the latter included, presumably, for the sultry and sexy tango numbers. Mexican contributions include traditional mariachi ballads and energetic renditions of regional folk dances. The after-dinner show is, for me at least, the highlight of the tour. The performances are exhilarating, and the performers are nice enough to stick around for photos afterward, as the boat cruises back into port.

As if dinner, drinks, and tango dancing weren’t enough, Caborey is a full-service tour provider, and also offers snorkeling trips to Chileno Bay, as well as telescoped two hour tours on a Rolls Royce fast boat. Parasailing and seasonal whale watching tours are also available. If you’re looking for Cabo San Lucas activities, this is the ‘king’ of choices!

General Information

Where to Go: Caborey boards at the cruise ship terminal. Dinner and margarita cruises leave at 6 p.m. and return at 8:30 during the summer months, one hour earlier during the winter months. Snorkeling and seasonal whale watching tours depart at 10 a.m. There are two Rolls Royce fast boat tours offered daily, from 10-11 a.m.  and 5-6 p.m. Fast boat whale watching tours are available from December through March, and go out from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

What to Bring: Hats and sunscreen are highly recommended during daylight hours. For sunset tours, jackets and sweaters are a good idea, particularly during the winter months.

Cost: Tickets for the dinner cruise are $92 U.S. The margarita cruise is $55, snorkeling $49, and seasonal whale watching $50. Children under 10 years of age pay half the adult cost for all four of these tours. Rolls Royce fast boat cruises are $29, seasonal whale watching $39.

How to book: For tour reservations, call 1-866-460-4105.

Want to find our more about Cabo San Lucas activities?  

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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Cabo Catamaran Sails from Sea to Sea

By Chris Sands

The Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean just beyond the granite rock formations at Land’s End, and unlike sailing in Cabo San Lucas Bay, which provides superb views but only moderate breezes, the winds blow with a bit more authority outside the protected bay. I rediscovered this phenomenon on a recent tour aboard the catamaran Tropicat, when I could hear the creaking of rigging and feel the boat shifting beneath my feet as the sails filled and we ran downwind away from the luxury resorts above Solmar Beach.

Sunset from the Sunderland. Image: Chris Sands

Sailing is a popular pastime in Cabo San Lucas, and although there are several companies that will charter boats by the day, most of the larger sailboat operations specialize in public tours, usually for snorkeling, seasonal whale-watching, sunset, or dinner.

There are a wide variety of boats from which to choose, from the gaff-rigged schooner Sunderland, built in 1885 and one of the last remaining tall ships, to more modern vessels like the gorgeous 65-foot catamaran Tropicat, known for its Sunset Jazz & Wine tours. I’ll cover Sunderland and some of the other top sailboats at a later date, but for now I’d like to focus on Tropicat, which I think provides a good example of the type of sunset cruise commonly available for visitors to Cabo San Lucas.

Tropicat, like the majority of local cruisers, is a catamaran, and this type of boat is popular for two reasons. Because of their tandem hulls, catamarans provide a steady ride. They are also very fast (catamarans have little draft, so they often seem as if they are gliding over the water). These characteristics make cats very attractive to visitors, particularly those who have spent little time on the water or become easily seasick, because there is almost no rocking motion, and a lot of local landmarks can be covered during the guided tour portion of the cruise.

What sets Tropicat apart from the competition is that the food and beverage selections, service, and sailing are all of superior quality. In addition to enjoying stationary platters of fruit and crudités, my fellow passengers and I tasted fine wines and nibbled on delicious hors d’oeuvres as the boat cruised under power for photo opportunities of local landmarks like Medano Beach, Lover’s Beach, and The Arch.

Once clear of Land’s End, Tropicat’s crew raised the sails and put the boat through her paces amidst the brisk Pacific Ocean breezes, showing off her speed during an exhilarating downwind run into open seas. Later, after the sun descended into the Pacific, Tropicat’s cabin area was transformed into an impromptu cocktail lounge, with a backdrop of cool jazz and rhythm and blues music, and a final round of Dirty Monkeys (in addition to wine, Tropicat also offers a selection of tropical drinks), as the boat returned to the marina, giving us one last memorable view — the city lights tracing the hillsides of Pedregal as night fell.

View of El Arco from Tropicat. Image: Chris Sands

General Information

How to Get There: Tropicat is at the Cabo San Lucas Marina, Dock #4, across from Gali Plaza. Check-in time is 5:30 p.m. for the sunset tour, and the boat returns at 8 p.m.

What to Bring: Sunscreen and sunglasses are both highly recommended, as the sun is brighter and more intense when reflected off of water. A sweater or light jacket is suggested for the sunset sail, especially during the winter months, as the weather can cool considerably after the sun goes down.

Cost: $59 dollars for adults, $29.50 for children ages 5 to 11.

How to Book: You can book online at www.tropicatcabo.com, or call (624) 143-3797 for reservations.