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Sweet Spot! Nicklaus’ Quivira Golf Club Headlines the Amenities at the Copala Luxury Development in Cabo San Lucas

Sweet Spot! Nicklaus’ Quivira Golf Club Headlines the Amenities at the Copala Luxury Development in Cabo San Lucas

Since its opening last December, the Jack Nicklaus designed Quivira Golf Club has been showered with awards and acclaim.

GOLF Magazine called the stunning 7,139 yard layout – set on the Pacific Coast of Cabo San Lucas – the “Best New International Course” in its January 2015 issue, and hailed Nicklaus as “Architect of the Year.” The luxury Quivira community, meanwhile – residents of which, along with those of neighboring luxury developments Copala, Novaispania and Montecristo Estates, as well as guests at Pueblo Bonito’s Blanco, Pacifica, Rosé and Sunset Beach Resorts, have exclusive access to the course – was named “Development of the Year” by Golf Inc., and the “Best for Living Abroad” by LINKS Magazine.

Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas

The cliffside 6th is one of the signatures holes at the newly opened Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas. Photo: Nicklaus Design

These early accolades hint at the excitement that surrounds the opening of Nicklaus’ latest offering – his sixth design effort in the Los Cabos area – and suggest the world-class challenges in store for those lucky enough to tee it up at Quivira. But no amount of awards or encomiums can adequately prepare one for the majesty of the course itself, and the breathtaking beauty of some of its signature holes.

The par-four 5th, for example, features a tee box that seems carved out of sheer cliff above the crashing waves of the Pacific – and can only be reached after a long switch-back drive up a mountainside. The 7th is framed by El Faro Viejo, a 19th century lighthouse that also happens to be the oldest structure in Cabo San Lucas, and the seasonal sight of breaching whales.

Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas

Scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and El Faro Viejo (The Old Lighthouse) greet golfers at the 7th hole tee box. Photo: Quivira Golf Club

Named for one of the lost cities of gold sought by 16th century explorer Francisco Vazquez, Quivira is a memorable mix of windswept dunes, rolling foothills, and gorgeous views – it has more oceanfront holes than any course in Los Cabos – and certainly a match for Davis Love III’s magnificent Dunes Course at Diamante, which is currently ranked 52nd best in the world.

Nicklaus himself may have said it best: “Our team worked with the canvas Mother Nature provided to create one of the most spectacular courses in the world.”

Quivira Golf Club in Cabo San Lucas

The 12th and 13th holes at Quivira Golf Club are spectacular, seen from air, land or sea. Photo: Nicklaus Design

As one might imagine, access to Quivira is a main selling points for Copala, the gated home and condo community from Pueblo Bonito founder Ernesto Coppel Kelly that’s slated to be ready for occupancy by June of this year.

Following a robust pre-sale period, the project is more than 60% sold out. “Copala has sold three times faster than we imagined,” said Maria Norton, the development’s Chief Marketing Officer.

At full completion, Copala will comprise a total of seven six-floor towers containing 36 condominium units per building. Attractively priced at roughly $230 per square foot, Copala’s condos range in price from $280,000 to $600,000. First-floor units feature a garden in front of a terrace; penthouse condos offer a rooftop terrace with a splash pool, fire pit, outdoor grill and other amenity upgrades.

The custom homes at Copala, ranging in size from 1,800 to 2,400 square feet, are available in multiple layouts and six different floor plans to suit individual lifestyle preferences. Each residence boasts Spanish Colonial, hacienda-style charm that honors the region’s Mexican heritage. Copala’s homes are priced from $480,000 to $1 million. A total of 86 houses will be built on a lovely ocean-view site terraced below the condos.

Quivira Golf Club

The gated and scenically situated Copala community will be ready for occupancy in June 2015.

In addition, a 60,000-square-foot clubhouse is under construction to serve the needs of Copala residents. The handsome hangout will offer two infinity-edge pools, a spa, business center, children’s playroom, restaurants and banquet space. Natural conservation areas, walking and hiking trails, and gardens will be situated nearby. Another feature of Copala ownership is beach club membership, with a soon-to-be-built beach clubhouse in the works.

“We’re not only selling homes and condos, we’re providing access to a full range of amenities within the entire development,” Norton stated. “It’s rare to have a project of this magnitude that’s situated only 10 minutes from the marina in downtown Cabo San Lucas.“ Moreover, the completion later this year of a new interior highway linking San Jose del Cabo to Cabo San Lucas will reduce the drive time from the airport to the property to 35 minutes. The new highway will also shorten the driving time to Todos Santos, the thriving arts colony that’s approximately a one hour drive from downtown Cabo San Lucas..

Copala’s target market is primarily families ages 35 to 60. Nearly 80% of the buyers hail from the U.S., with the balance drawn from Mexico (10%), Canada (5%) and from international locales ranging from Australia to Singapore.

Norton noted that Copala is offering direct financing unaffiliated with a banking institution. Five-, 10- and 15-year programs are available at fixed interest rates ranging from 6.0% to 6.5%, a very competitive rate in Mexico.

For reservations or further information, visit Quivira Los Cabos and Quivira Golf Club, call (619) 677-5750, or email dortega@quiviraloscabos.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.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

Southern Rock Stars to Headline Beachfront Music Festival in Cabo

Southern Rock Stars to Headline Beachfront Music Festival in Cabo

Fans of classic Southern rock n’ roll are in for a treat, with veterans of legendary outfits like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet and the Marshall Tucker Band slated to headline a beachfront music festival on Saturday, April 4, in Cabo San Lucas.

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Southern Rock Stars to Headline Beachfront Music Festival in Cabo

The festival proper kicks off at noon, with vendors selling beer and cocktails; comfort food favorites like hot dogs, burgers, and cotton candy; and face painting and other activities for kids. But the music itself does not begin until 4 p.m., with a few local performers – what better place to be a would-be Southern rocker than the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula? – followed by Miguel Hill & the Cabo Cowboys, Strogeno (a long-time local draw as house band at the Jungle Bar), Jay Johnson, Mike Estes, and the Brian Flynn Band and Friends.

Flynn, of course, is a long-time fixture on the local music scene, but cut his teeth playing with bands like Molly Hatchet and The Marshall Tucker Band. Mike Estes and Jay Johnson currently front modern Southern rock standard bearer Skinny Molly, but Estes also performed with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot, while Johnson had stints as vocalist for Blackfoot and member of the Southern Rock Allstars.

 

The festival is sponsored by local restaurant La Palapa – home to the best chili and chicken fried bacon in Los Cabos, as well as other Texas style favorites – and will take place on a gorgeous 300 acre property with a private beach and spectacular views of Land’s End. The property – dubbed La Palapa Beach for the duration of the event – is located behind Office Max in the tourist corridor (Km. 4.5). Free parking is available for the first 100 cars, with overflow slotted to a nearby lot.

For those interested in a sneak peek, La Palapa is hosting a meet and greet at 7 p.m. on Friday night with Johnson, Estes, and Flynn; and the headliners are expected to perform a few songs together. Flynn is a seasonal mainstay at La Palapa (located on Calle Ninos Heroes, behind El Squid Roe), and typically performs at the restaurant Thu. – Sat. nights.

Tickets for the festival are $20 in advance – call La Palapa at (624) 141-9569 – or $25 day of show, with a percentage of each ticket sale going to support medical costs for local bar owner Juan Tatemura Quesada, who is currently fighting cancer (The night following the festival – Sunday, April 5 – Cabo San Lucas bar Baja Maria will also host a fundraiser for the popular proprietor of Cabo Lounge. Call 624-105-0477 for details).

 

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.

 

March Madness: A Local Answers FAQs about Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

March Madness: A Local Answers FAQs about Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

Each year herds of North American college students head south to warm weather climes to participate in that seasonal rite of passage known as Spring Break. Baja California Sur’s southernmost resort destination, Cabo San Lucas, is a prime beneficiary of this mass migration, hosting thousands of bikini and board shorts clad collegians annually for mid-semester fun in the sun.

With that in mind, here are a few answers to frequently asked questions about Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas.

Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

Photo by Camilla Fuchs.

Where does Cabo San Lucas rank as a spring break destination?

Cabo San Lucas is consistently ranked as one of the most attractive and popular destinations in North America. The city draws particularly well from the Western part of the United States and Canada (those on the Eastern seaboard tend to see Cancun as the Mexican destination of choice). Although exact numbers are not available, anecdotal evidence suggests there are at least several thousand youthful partiers present at all times during the month of March.

When is the peak time for Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas?

March is THE Spring Break month, but the mid-semester vacation period in Cabo San Lucas stretches from late February into early April, and involves three distinct waves of Canadian, U.S., and Mexican college students.

Canadian students traditionally break a little earlier than their counterparts in the U.S., and are often the first to flood area hotspots like Medano Beach (see below). U.S. students begin arriving en masse in early March, with peak occupancy during the middle part of the month.

The third wave is contemporaneous with Semana Santa (Holy Week), the week that precedes Easter. Semana Santa is a popular vacation time across Mexico, and a standard mid-semester break period for students (it’s no coincidence that Semana Santa is colloquially known as “Mexican Spring Break”). The country’s collegians frequently take advantage of this time off by heading to major resort areas like Cancun, Los Cabos and Puerto Vallarta.

What are the most popular gathering places?

Playa El Medano is ground zero for much of the Spring Break action. This two mile stretch of golden sand showcases popular party places like Mango Deck Cantina – AKA Cabo’s unofficial Spring Break headquarters, and the home of the sex position contest – as well some of Los Cabos’ best seaside resorts. After dark, the scene is primarily centered around Plaza Bonita, at the juncture of the main drag (Blvd. Marina) and the road that leads out of town (Lazaro Cardenas). This Marina adjacent area boasts many of the city’s most boisterous late night clubs, including El Squid Roe, Pink Kitty, Mandala, Baja Junkie, La Vaquita and Knotty Social Club.

Spring Break in Cabo San Lucas

Photo by Camilla Fuchs

When do students typically start making their Spring Break plans?

Students typically start discussing Spring Break plans during the preceding semester, 4-6 months in advance. For best results, they should book their flights, and confirm their Los Cabos accommodations at least three months in advance. The 90 day window also allows those without passports ample time to make the necessary arrangements.

Is Spring Break related tourism expected to suffer in Cabo San Lucas due to the aftermath of Hurricane Odile?

Los Cabos has made a rapid recovery from Hurricane Odile, and the outlook for the area, as well as México as a whole, is extremely positive for 2015 (translation: tourism numbers are expected to be up from 2014). There are a handful of local hotels that have yet to reopen, but these are by and large luxury properties that are well out of the budgetary reach of most Spring Breakers.

 

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.

 

A Legacy of Luxury: The History of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences in Cabo San Lucas

A Legacy of Luxury: The History of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences in Cabo San Lucas

For generations, this property has played host to Hollywood royalty, from John Wayne and the Rat Pack to Raquel Welch and Reese Witherspoon. Its owners over the years have included three of the area’s most historically important figures. Its excelsior-like evolution – from palm-shaded retreat to five-star enclave – epitomizes the growth of Cabo San Lucas as a tourist destination. And more than 50 years after its birth, it remains the cynosure of luxury in Cabo San Lucas.

In the Duke’s day, it was called the Hotel Hacienda. It was the brainchild of Abelardo “Rod” Rodriguez, son of a Mexican president and husband to an actress who twice danced with Fred Astaire in films. Rodriguez built Baja California Sur’s first fly-in fishing resort, Rancho Las Cruces near La Paz, as well as Los Cabos’ first benchmark lodging, Hotel Palmilla (now One&Only Palmilla).

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

An aerial view of Cabo San Lucas during the heyday of Hotel Hacienda (at the foot of Medano Beach).

But Hacienda may have been his masterwork, a gorgeous seaside getaway in the years when the hotels in Cabo San Lucas could be counted on one hand:  Finisterra, Hacienda, Mar de Cortez, Solmar Suites. That was the list. But there were two other resorts of note at that time, both located in what is now called the Tourist Corridor, the coastal stretch that connects cape cities San Lucas and San Jose. One was Rodriguez’s Hotel Pamilla, the other Bud Parr’s Hotel Cabo San Lucas.

Rodriguez, Parr, Luis Bulnes (Solmar Suites), Luis Coppola (Finisterra) and Don Koll were the faces of Cabo San Lucas development, the architects behind the transformation from fishing village to international tourist destination. Newport Beach-based developer Koll, among his many other accomplishments, was the man who brought links legend Jack Nicklaus to Cabo, spearheading the Los Cabos golf boom with world-class designs at Palmilla and Cabo del Sol.

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Looking out towards Land’s End from the infinity pool at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences.

Three of those five project pioneers, those titans of the local tourist age, helmed Hacienda during its first half-century as San Lucas’ luxury lodging non pareil. Rodriguez built the original hotel in 1963 and sold it to Parr in 1981. Koll bought it from Parr’s heirs in 2005, and transformed it from Hotel Hacienda to Hacienda Beach Club and Residences, from upscale seaside resort to a gated enclave of luxury villas.

What attracted so many important and influential people to this iconic property?

The answer is the first law of real estate:  location, location, location.

Simply put, there is no better address in Cabo San Lucas. Hacienda sits at the very foot of Medano Beach, presiding over a full quarter mile of golden sands, with commanding views of Bahia San Lucas and the evocatively shaped granitic monuments at Land’s End. Villas and residences are mere steps from acres of privacy on the area’s biggest and most popular beach, a stone’s throw from the marina – which terminates at Medano Beach – and a five minute walk from downtown shopping, dining and nightlife.

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Moonlight view of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Today, the five star service, accommodations and amenities synonymous with Hacienda Beach Club and Residences are available to owners, or as vacation rentals for those seeking the ultimate in resort style living. Two and three bedroom residences and expansive beachfront villas showcase fashionable contemporary décor in a seamless flow of elegant indoor and outdoor spaces.

The amenities, like the views, are world-class, and range from an infinity pool and kid’s club to concierge and catering services and spa and fitness facilities. And the onsite restaurant, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, is considered one of the best in Los Cabos, offering breakfast, lunch and dinner menus filled with traditional regional Mexican specialty dishes and hand-crafted cocktails. Prefer a light nosh? The Spa Café serves up healthy snacks, espresso style coffee drinks and fresh fruit smoothies.

Hacienda Beach Club and Residences

Mastering the fine art of living at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences.

With its privileged and unparalleled location, Hacienda Beach Club and Residences is not just a favored hideaway for celebrities and captains of industry, but also a much sought after site for special events like weddings and renewal of vows ceremonies. Hacienda’s events specialist is on call for such occasions to help with floor plans that take advantage of the property’s wealth of picturesque places  – including elaborately manicured grounds and festively bedecked terrace, pool and beachside areas – as well as “day of” details.

The backdrop? It’s the same as it was 50 years ago. The Sea of Cortez framed by sun, sky and the southernmost point of the Baja California peninsula.

 

The restaurant and spa are open to the public, but require advance reservations. For more information, visit www.haciendacaboresort.com, email reservations@cabohacienda.com.mx, or call +52 (624) 163-3100.

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.

 

Christmas in Cabo San Lucas: Seasonal Cheer at Land’s End

Christmas in Cabo San Lucas: Seasonal Cheer at Land’s End

There is something very special about the holidays, particularly in Mexico, where the festive season persists for close to two months and includes many holy days that are not commonly celebrated in the U.S. It is a period of frequent fiestas – so much so that the month long holiday period between December 12, the day honoring the Virgin of Guadalupe, and January 6, the remembrance of Los Tres Reyes (the three wise men), is only half-jokingly referred to as the Guadalupe – Reyes marathon. But despite the plethora of parties that accompany holiday-themed events, the Christmas season in Mexico is in large part a time of devout observances and intimate gatherings with family and friends.

That will certainly be true this year, as Cabo San Lucas, and indeed much of Baja California Sur, rebounds from the worst storm ever to strike the peninsula. Although much of the damages inflicted by Hurricane Odile – the category 4 storm that made landfall on September 14, with winds ripping through Los Cabos at up to 165 miles per hour – have, thanks to the assistance of Mexican military, police and CFE (the national electric company) workers, been repaired, the Christmas season promises a much needed respite following months of rebuilding efforts.

For locals, this December offers a much needed time out for sober reflection and gratitude, affirmation of traditional religious values, and celebration of triumph over adversity. For visitors, it’s a perfect time to bask in the winter warmth and beauty of Los Cabos, and to see how the holidays are observed south of the border.

Christmas in Cabo San Lucas

Seeking warm seasonal cheer? Celebrate Christmas in Cabo San Lucas. Photo by John Schrantz.

The town square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes, is annually strung with enough holiday-themed ornaments and decorations to wrap the central gazebo in a veil of bright, carnivalesque colors. The plaza is also home to a large, lavishly bedecked Christmas tree, and a beautiful nativity scene (in Spanish, nacimiento) that is located near the natural  history musem’s whale skeleton exhibit (sadly short of bones post Odile). Sponsored programs and presentations are a holiday staple at the plaza, and include art, music, food tastings, and recreations of events surrounding the birth of Christ.

Nativity scenes are commonly displayed here, both publicly and privately, and in addition to the nacimiento at Plaza Amelia Wilkes, there is always an excellent display at Plaza Bonita near the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Beyond the lovely holiday decorations, however, the spirit of the season is expressed in the succession of holy days that stretch from the beginning of Las Posadas on December 16th through Candlemas on February 2nd. These religious holidays each have their own traditions and rituals, and for curious visitors, provide interesting insights into the Catholic core of Mexican culture.

Christmas in Cabo San Lucas

A nativity scene, or nacimiento, at Plaza Bonita in Cabo San Lucas.

Las Posadas

Las Posadas last for nine days, from December 16th through the 24th, and commemorate the journey of Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Each night there are candlelit processions and reenactments, which culminate in house parties after admittance has been granted at the “inn.” The most important day of the season in Mexico is not Christmas, but Christmas Eve (Nochebuena). This is the last night of the posadas, and the birth of Christ is celebrated at midnight. Traditionally, families then attend a midnight mass, followed by dinner and presents. Christmas Day is quite low-key and leisurely, with most feasting on the leftovers (called recalentado) from the previous night’s dinner.

El Dia de los Santos Inocentes

Holy Innocents Day, also known as Childermas, is on December 28th, and is a remembrance of King Herod’s decree that all male infants in Bethlehem should be killed in order to eliminate the threat to his throne posed by the baby Jesus, whose birth he had learned of from the three wise men. The day is also celebrated as a Mexican version of April Fool’s Day, with jokes, pranks, tall tales, and elaborate hoaxes. One should greet all statements made on this day with a healthy amount of skepticism, and under no circumstances should money be lent, as tradition holds that any debts incurred on this day do not have to be honored.

Nochevieja

The relationship of New Year’s Eve to New Year’s Day is somewhat like that of Christmas Eve to Christmas, meaning the first day is given over to family dinners and celebrations, while the second day is for rest, relaxation and the enjoyment of leftovers.  After the dinner on New Year’s Eve, many people go out to enjoy the local parties and theme nights, which run the gamut from barefoot beachfront formals to masked carnivals. Fireworks are a staple of virtually every Mexican celebration, but the New Year in Cabo San Lucas is always greeted with a particularly dazzling display over Medano Beach. Once the clock strikes midnight, it is also traditional to eat twelve grapes, with the grapes representing good fortune for the next twelve months.

Christmas in Cabo San Lucas

Rosca de Reyes is a special bread made to celebrate Three Kings Day.

El Dia de los Tres Reyes

The three kings are better known to English speakers as the three wise men – Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar – who journeyed to Bethlehem with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  As with Christmas Eve, this is a day for children to open presents, and for gatherings of friends and family. One of the signature treats associated with this holiday is a sweet bread called rosca de reyes. There is a miniature figure of the baby Jesus hidden inside the bread, and the person who finds it is expected to have a tamales party on Candlemas, February 2nd.

Candlemas marks the end of the long Christmas season in Cabo San Lucas, but one of the heights of the tourist season, as snowbirds flee frigid temperatures north of the border for sunshine, beaches, whale watching, golf, and other activities not normally associated with wintry cheer.

 

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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Ultimate Baja Playlist: The 5 Best Songs About Cabo San Lucas

Ultimate Baja Playlist: The 5 Best Songs About Cabo San Lucas

Sammy Hagar may have said it best  – “Land’s end, you have to see it/Ain’t no picture ever say it right” – but he’s not the only one to sing the praises of Cabo San Lucas.  The pleasures of life at Land’s End have been lauded by a host of famous musicians, including many of the hottest names on the contemporary country scene.

 

 

Cabo San Lucas by Toby Keith

Perhaps it was the 2003 duet by Alan Jackson and Jimmy Buffet, It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere, that proved country music’s compatibility with sultry sea breezes and golden sand beaches. What’s certain is that Cabo San Lucas has been a big beneficiary of this burgeoning subgenre of “permanent vacation” narratives extolling the simple pleasures of life in tropical latitudes. Oklahoma born singer-songwriter Toby Keith is a master of the form, and one of the biggest proponents of the Cabeño lifestyle in recent years. Stays in Mexico was his first nod to the area, but the baritone ballad Cabo San Lucas, off the 2008 album That Don’t Make Me A Bad Guy, is undoubtedly his best. The song perfectly captures the feeling of drifting down to the southernmost point of the 800 mile long Baja peninsula (and discovering you don’t ever want to leave): I’m leavin’ you this message and if you give a damn/And you wanna call me you know where I am/In Cabo, Cabo San Lucas/Way down in Mexico, way down in Cabo.

 

 

Beer in Mexico by Kenny Chesney

According to the liner notes for his album The Road and the Radio, country music superstar Kenny Chesney wrote Beer in Mexico while vacationing in Cabo, and hanging out with Sammy Hagar during the latter’s annual birthday bash at Cabo Wabo Cantina. The song peaked at 51 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart back in 2007, but has since become a classic of its kind, albeit with a bit of a twist on the standard “permanent vacation” narrative. Rather than being seen as a final destination, Mexico is posited as a sort of sun-soaked limbo: the kind of place where one can escape, regain some much needed perspective, and “Let the warm air melt these blues away.” The narrator, at a crossroads between getting married and settling down, or staying single and free, puts off any ultimate choice with the sensible decision to “Sit right here and have another beer in Mexico.”

 

 

A Lot to Learn About Livin’ by Easton Corbin

Easton Corbin likes to point out that the farming community he comes from in Florida is a long way from the swaying palm trees and bikini-filled beaches of Miami. But the popular country singer – his eponymous debut album featured two #1 hits, A Little More Country Than That and Roll With It – definitely understands the allure of scenic seaside getaway destinations: “Taxi driver took my two bags/He saw me lookin’ at my watch/He said, “You won’t need that here/’Cause time disappears/In paradise there ain’t no clocks.” While the above stanza is a semi-poetic summation of Cabo’s timeless appeal, You Got a Lot to Learn About Livin’s chorus suggests a long-time local explaining the area’s laid-back ethos to a recent arrival. “You got a lot to learn about livin’/It’s a different world down here/Our biggest problem’s decidin’ what fish we’re fryin’/Does it go with tequila or beer?”

 

 

Stays in Mexico by Toby Keith

Las Vegas gets a lot of publicity for promoting the “what happens here, stays here” philosophy, but such sentiments are taken for granted in Cabo San Lucas. The sea and oceanside playground – with its abundance of lively bars and clubs, and surfeit of romantic luxury resorts – has long been a haven for those who want to shake off their inhibitions, do things they’d never dream of back home. “His name was Steve, her name was Gina/They met at a bar called Cabo Wabo Cantina.” So begins Stays in Mexico, Toby Keith’s paean to whirlwind vacation romances. The song ends with the lovers at the airport, ready to return to their separate lives. But neither will ever forget the time “They walked down to the beach and started drinking again/Jumped into the ocean for a dirty swim/One more margarita they were falling in love/One more is never enough.”

 

 

Cabo Wabo by Van Halen

No celebrity is more closely associated with Cabo San Lucas than Sammy Hagar. The former Montrose and Van Halen frontman famously sang of the town’s charms on the latter’s 1988 album OU812There’s a sleepy town as south of the border/If you go there once, you’ll be there twice/Lots of pretty girls, coming by the dozens/The white sand sure makes a tan look nice – two years before the band opened up a cantina with the same name as the song: Cabo Wabo. Hagar eventually bought out his erstwhile bandmates, and turned the place into one of the area’s most successful clubs. He still shows up for his annual birthday bashes (this year the concerts were moved to Las Vegas in the wake of Hurricane Odile), and to this day, no one evokes (or embodies) the town’s party hearty atmosphere quite like “The Red Rocker.”

 

 

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.

 

 

Los Cabos Rebounding Quickly From Hurricane Odile

Los Cabos Rebounding Quickly From Hurricane Odile

Eleven days after Hurricane Odile made landfall in Los Cabos, it’s much easier to be optimistic about the area’s ability to bounce back quickly from the strongest storm ever to hit the Baja peninsula. Many shops and restaurants are now reopening in Cabo San Lucas, and thanks to determined efforts from Mexican military and resilient residents, the downtown area is beginning to look refreshingly familiar.

It’s quite amazing considering the initial devastation caused by the category 3 hurricane (she was category 4 at one point, but blessedly slowed down a bit before making landfall), which arrived locally on Sunday evening, September 14, with an average wind speed of 125 mph. Odile battered Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo until the wee hours of the morning, and went on to deliver widespread damages throughout many areas of Baja California Sur.

JCorona

Hurricane Odile caused widespread damage in Los Cabos. Image: Johnny Corona

The sound of the wind as the storm tore through it very hard to describe, although it’s something no one who heard it will ever forget. The same goes for the sights. By midnight, entire tin roofs were blowing down the middle of Marina Boulevard, mature trees were pulled up by the roots or broken in half, cars were flipped over, glass was blown out everywhere…it was a terrifying spectacle.

And it looked even worse the next day. Returning to downtown Cabo San Lucas to survey the damage, it seemed as if a bomb had gone off. An ambitious filmmaker tasked with portraying the aftermath of a serious natural disaster would be hard pressed to come close to recreating the scene.

Los Cabos Rebounds Quickly From Hurricane Odile

Image: Johnny Corona

Los Cabos Rebounds Quickly From Hurricane Odile

Image: Johnny Corona

But there was little time for local residents to take in the sights. Most were initially concerned with trying to repair the damages to their homes – if indeed they still had any – and adjust to life without any modern conveniences. All of Los Cabos was basically blown back into the 19th century. Buckets of water were filled from cisterns for makeshift showers, or from swimming pools or other sources to flush toilets. Candles were lit. Dinners were shared affairs, with neighbors pitching in supplies.

In retrospect, that is the thing I will remember most about Hurricane Odile: how generous so many people were, and how so many neighborhoods banded together to help and protect each other.

Los Cabos Rebounds Quickly From Hurricane Odile

Cleanup efforts in Cabo San Lucas. Image: Johnny Corona

Given that spirit and the huge amount of progress made with cleanup efforts, it’s easy to be optimistic as high tourist season approaches. Some rapidly approaching events, such as Cabo Comedy Festival and Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash, have been, respectively, postponed or cancelled. But Bisbee’s is proceeding with both its annual October fishing tournaments, Los Cabos Offshore and the lucrative Black & Blue, and the 3rd annual Los Cabos International Film Festival will take place as scheduled in early November.

Please feel free to visit.

Los Cabos Rebounds Quickly From Hurricane Odile

Day 6, post Odile: Rainbow over Pedregal. Image: Chris Shuler

All images courtesy of Caboholics.

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.

 

 

Letting it All Hang Out at Land’s End: 5 Great Los Cabos Adventures

Letting it All Hang Out at Land’s End: 5 Great Los Cabos Adventures

One of the best things about Los Cabos is that the area offers an incredible array of activities for all ages and all tastes. If you like relaxing pursuits like golf or sailing, shopping or seaside spa treatments, you’re in luck. There is certainly no shortage of tropical, sun-soaked diversions.

Then again, if your idea of fun isn’t par putts and umbrella-shaded lounge chairs, but exciting excursions and outdoor expeditions, you’re definitely in luck. The region’s incredible geographic diversity—from desert and mountain terrains to the confluence of the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean—is perfect for both land and sea based adventures.

Here are five of our summer favorites, guaranteed antidotes to the dog days of August.

Los Cabos Adventures

Looking for summer adventure? Try soaring like a superhero with Cabo Flyboard.

Flyboarding

Flyboarding was invented in 2011 by a French jet ski champion named Franky Zapata (no relation to Emiliano), and if you’ve yet to try this popular new pastime, here’s how it works: you strap yourself into a pair of boots attached to a board, which itself is attached to a jet ski by means of a long hose. The jet ski driver/instructor throttles to generate power through the hose, enabling  you to twist, turn, and levitate up to 35 feet above the water. Cabo Flyboard is the top outfit in Cabo San Lucas, and after a few test runs with their instructors, you’ll be ready to try a few flips and other maneuvers perfect for impressing the bikini and board shorts clad crowds on Medano Beach.

Los Cabos Adventures

Cabo Adventures’ mountain biking tours offer a perfect introduction to the flora and fauna of Baja California Sur.

Mountain Biking

Want a great workout and a perfect introduction to the flora and fauna of Baja California Sur? Try top tour provider Cabo Adventures’ mountain biking excursion through a protected nature preserve 30 miles north of Cabo San Lucas. The desert terrain is challenging, but intrepid participants are rewarded with spectacular scenery, ranging from 50 foot high Cardon cactus to gorgeous Pacific Ocean vistas. Bikes, helmets, gloves and water bottles are all provided, and knowledgeable guides are on hand to point out indigenous wildlife and unique properties of local plant life.  Afterwards, take the gloves off for a traditional Mexican feast, followed by a celebratory tequila tasting.

Los Cabos Adventures

The 6 star ASP sponsored Los Cabos Open of Surf is held each June, but good waves can be found year round.

Surfing

Surfing is a year round pursuit in Baja Sur, although the top spots varying from season to season. Summer is the perfect time to ride the waves off Tourist Corridor beaches like Acapulquito, Monuments and Playa Costa Azul, the latter home to the Zippers surf break that draws the world’s best each June for the 6 star ASP sponsored Los Cabos Open of Surf. Summer and autumn also see excellent waves at East Cape gems like Shipwrecks and Nine Palms, while winter visitors will want to grab their boards and head for Pacific Coast beaches like Los Cerritos, La Pastora, and San Pedrito. Los Cerritos is the most popular place for beginners, with lessons offered by Mario Surf School and High Tide Sea Expeditions (instructor Alan Blyth is the former surf champion of Mexico).

Los Cabos Adventures

A snorkeler explores the fish rich waters of the Sea of Cortez with High Tide Sea Expeditions.

Snorkeling and Diving

From colorful puffer and parrot fish to manta rays, dolphins, sharks and whales, the incredible underwater diversity of the Sea of Cortez—it’s home to over 800 species of marine life—famously led Jacques Cousteau to dub it “the aquarium of the world.” Cabo Pulmo, a protected marine sanctuary with eight fingers of living coral reef, may be Baja Sur’s best known dive destination, but outstanding snorkeling and diving conditions may be found at dozens of Los Cabos sites, most notably Pelican’s Rock, Neptune’s Finger and The Point near Land’s End. Many local boats offer afternoon snorkeling expeditions, including “three bay” tours that showcase the fish rich waters of Cabo San Lucas, Chileno and Santa Maria Bays. 

Los Cabos Adventures

At Baja Buggys, off’-road adventurers must tackle beach, desert and mountain terrains.

Off-Road Racing

The peninsula is famed for punishing off-road races like the Baja 1000, and those keen to experience high-speed runs in rugged conditions will find opportunities aplenty in Los Cabos. Wide Open Cabo offers arrive and drive racing programs, as well as single and multi-day jaunts in authentic, custom made Baja Challenge race cars. Tour highlights include lunch runs from Cabo San Lucas to Todos Santos, with memorable pit stops at the legendary Hotel California. Thrill-seekers will also want to buckle their seatbelts for Baja Buggys’ All Terrain Xrail Adventure, an exhilarating  jaunt across disparate terrains that that begins on the beach in Migriño and winds through a 300 year old mountain village.

 

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.

 

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 and Destination Weddings Go Hand-in-Hand.

Cabo San Lucas and Destination Weddings Go Hand-in-Hand

Few places on earth can match Cabo San Lucas when it comes to spectacular seaside settings and year round sunshine, and over the past two decades this charming resort town situated at the Baja Peninsula’s southernmost point has become a mecca for destination weddings, honeymoons, and renewal of vows ceremonies.

But the popularity of Cabo San Lucas as a destination wedding site is not solely attributable to Land’s End monuments, golden sand beaches, and glorious sunsets. From wedding planners to photographers, catering companies to horse-drawn carriages, the Los Cabos area offers a rich array of first-class event service providers, as well as a generous collection of luxurious accommodations options.

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Secrets Marquis Los Cabos provides beautiful ceremony and reception sites on the shores of the Sea of Cortez.

Hotels & Resorts

Looking for a storybook wedding setting? Tourist Corridor resort Secrets Marquis Los Cabos offers couples the opportunity to say “I do” in a beautiful gazebo on a gorgeous private beach overlooking the crystal blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, Afterwards, guests may adjourn to the opulent onsite ballroom for drinks and dancing. Wedding and honeymoon packages at the luxe lodging include pampering accommodations, wedding cakes and other food and beverage options, many elegant extras, and the services of professional wedding coordinators.

For those who don’t want a big wedding, but would like a ceremony to remember, it’s hard to beat Medano Beach based Bahia Hotel and Beach Club, which recently became the first local property to offer underwater weddings and renewal of vows ceremonies. Wedding packages include dive training and rehearsal dives, underwater decorations such as arbors and railings, a seagoing minister, and signature touches like bow ties, boutonnieres, veils, white lace garters, stand-in rings, and of course a bouquet. The photos are priceless, and after surfacing, a bottle of Champagne is popped to toast the happy couple.

Bahia Hotel

Bahia Hotel and Beach Club is the first resort in Los Cabos to offer underwater wedding ceremonies.

Prefer a more traditional wedding experience? The boutique resort Casa Natalia boasts a central downtown location in San Jose del Cabo, and can host up to 100 guests for wedding services and receptions. Plus, with 16 rooms and suites, it is a perfect lodging for wedding parties. The onsite restaurant, Mi Cocina, is helmed by ace chef Loic Tenoux, and features custom menus for receptions.

Couples can honeymoon like royalty at Castillo Escondido near San Jose del Cabo.

Rental Properties

Private villas are always in high demand, not only for ceremonies, but as accommodations for the wedding party and guests. Want to feel like visiting royalty? Try Castillo Escondido, a magnificent architectural blend of Moorish castle and Mediterranean Villa located right on the beach at La Laguna. Home to stone turrets, heavy wooden gates, and Mission-style roofing, this expansive property has over 4,500 square feet spread across four levels, with exquisitely appointed suites and ample deck space. There is a pool, jacuzzi, and fire pit onsite, and plenty of room beachside for wedding services.

Baja Hacienda Surf is one of Los Cabos’ most spectacular vacation rentals, and can host up t0 100 guests  for weddings and receptions.

For a chic option that won’t break the budget, Baja Hacienda Surf is an excellent alternative. This superb beachfront rental property is blessed with high-end amenities, easy access to sea, sand, and surf, and prices that start as low as $50 per person, per night. Located on Playa Costa Azul near Zipper’s, Baja Hacienda Surf offers three suites with private kitchens and Sea of Cortez views, all within a private, walled compound. The site can host up to 100 guests, and the onsite property managers are happy to recommend wedding planners, caterers, and other vendors.

Don Sanchez in San Jose del Cabo is an excellent choice for large receptions and rehearsal dinners.

Restaurants

The best address in Cabo San Lucas belongs to Hacienda Beach Club & Residences, a benchmark property set at the juncture of Medano Beach and the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Sand, sea and romantic Land’s End backdrops are big draws at onsite Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, but the resort’s signature restaurant also serves up superb regional Mexican specialty dishes, and is a preferred site for weddings and receptions, honeymoon and anniversary dinners, and renewal of vows ceremonies. The scenic property boasts nearly a dozen separate event areas, and there is an onsite events specialist on hand to walk couples through venue, entertainment and menu options.

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Hacienda Cocina y Cantina specializes in regional Mexican cuisine, and wedding and reception venues with scenic Land’s End backdrops.

Don Sanchez is the top choice in San Jose del Cabo for larger reception dinners. This fine dining landmark is located in the heart of the city, and specializes in “Baja Contemporary” cuisine. Soak up the gorgeous courtyard ambience, dance the night away to an eight-piece Cuban orchestra, relax in the tapas lounge, or sample premium selections from the onsite wine bar. This spacious eatery has something for every taste, and provides excellent service for up to 300 guests.

For a touch of traditional elegance, horse drawn carriages are available from Cuadra San Francisco.

Wedding Services

Sunset Weddings is the best of the area’s full-service event providers, and handles every detail imaginable. Whether it’s legal documents, blood tests, floral arrangements, or transportation, the team at Sunset removes all stress and worry from the process. They offer several superb locations for ceremonies and receptions, including secluded beaches and private villas, and have custom-tailored packages available to suit every budget.

For that special touch of traditional Mexican elegance, master equestrian Francisco Barrena’s Cuadra San Francisco has a fleet of horse-drawn carriages to transport the bride and groom and other members of the wedding party to and from the ceremony or reception in the highest of Cabo style.

And to capture all the memorable moments on your special day, Cabo Pictures is one of the top local specialists in wedding photography. Noted photographers Camilla Fuchs and Stephanie Olveda excel at both candid shots and professional portraits.

 
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from  Tijuana  to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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