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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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The Best of Baja: Luxury Vacation Villas in Los Cabos

The Best of Baja: Luxury Vacation Villas in Los Cabos

If you’re one of the privileged few who demand the absolute best in service, style and extravagant surroundings, then forget about five-star hotels…You’re ready to enter the exclusive world of villa rentals in Mexico’s most spectacular setting, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, and lavish Land’s End luxury lodgings overlook the dramatic coastline of Los Cabos at the southernmost tip of the Baja peninsula.

Luxury Villas Collection

Luxury Villa Collections Vacation Rental and Property Management offers an elegant collection of private residences in some of Los Cabos’ most exclusive communities, including three stunning properties near Punta Ballena, an upscale neighborhood in the Tourist Corridor which connects cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Access to world-class golf courses and spas may be arranged through your round the clock concierge, with optional amenities that include private chefs and private transportation services, like a driver to meet you at the Los Cabos International Airport and whisk you away to your seaside aerie.

Villa Victoria

Villa Victoria

Villa Victoria

Boasting a privileged location among the Auberge Private Residences at Esperanza near Punta Ballena, this immaculately appointed 3750 square foot, three bedroom villa sleeps up to eight at rates that belie the luxurious surroundings. Luxurious amenities include spectacular poolside views, temporary membership in the Auberge Private Residences at Esperanza Owners Club and Punta Ballena Beach Club, as well as convenient access to the Spa at Esperanza, which has been ranked the best spa in Mexico by Travel and Lesiure Magazine.

Villa Rendezvous

Villa Rendezvous

Villa Rendezvous

A nearby neighbor of Villa Victoria, the three bedroom penthouse at Villa Rendezvous offers many of the same Auberge Residences amenities: a fully equipped kitchen, luxurious living areas, jetted tubs and marble walk-in showers, and of course gorgeous views of the Sea of Cortez. Feel like a round of golf? You’re a stones throw from Jack Nicklaus’ stunning Cabo del Sol Ocean Course, which has been ranked among the world’s 100 best golf courses. Need a massage? Visit the Spa at Esperanza, or arrange for a visit from a highly-trained masseuse. Villa Rendezvous offers penthouse living at its opulent best.

Villa Las Arenas

Villa Las Arenas

Villa Las Arenas

Las Arenas means “the sands,” and this magnificent four bedroom, 3300 square foot villa is the perfect introduction to life at Land’s End. Watch the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez, or the sun sink into the sea beyond Cabo’s famous Arch, but by all means do so from the comfort of your Infinity pool, jacuzzi, or private, secluded cove. Everything at Villa Las Arenas is top of the line, from the furnishings and appliances to the the marble floors and floor-to-ceiling sliding doors which when opened blur the lines between indoor and outdoor living.

Cabo Villas

Los Cabos’ most exclusive addresses are found in the hillside enclave of Pedregal, the Cabo San Lucas community that is home to the seasonal residences of billionaires and movie stars. Cabo Villas’ Pedregal rental collection is non pareil, and includes breathtaking properties with sumptuous surroundings and awe-inspiring views of Land’s End, the Sea of Cortez, and the Pacific Ocean. Amenities include personal concierge service from onsite staff; private chefs, butlers and housekeepers; and customized event planning. Private jet charters are also available, of course.

Villa Joya del Mar

Villa Joya del Mar

Villa Joya del Mar

This roomy 3500 square foot, four bedroom villa is awash in elegant accents: classical stone columns, slate and marble floors, tile roofing, unique artwork, granite outcroppings that accentuate the pool and spa areas. Perched high above the Pacific Ocean, the panoramic vistas at Joya del Mar are to die for – during the winter migrating whales are visible as they head to their seasonal breeding grounds – and the expansive terrace is the perfect place for a cocktail party, or a romantic dinner for two.

Villa Marcella

Villa Marcella

Villa Marcella

Villa Marcella has played host to some of Los Cabos’ most elegant soirees, and it is the perfect villa rental for visiting royalty, or at the very least those with regal standards. The 10,000 square foot luxury estate opens directly onto Pedregal Beach, steps from the Pacific Ocean, and features a graceful mixture of amenities old and new: a massive marble fireplace and billiard room; a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and wet bar; state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems; and enough room to entertain up to 200 of your closest friends.

Villa Turquesa

Villa Turquesa

Villa Turquesa

The best of the best. For a mere $3500 per night you can enjoy the height of Land’s End luxury at Villa Turquesa, an incredible property perched 350 feet above the beach. Words like spacious and expansive are inadequate to describe the myriad comforts offered at this sprawling 10,000 square foot, four bedroom ne plus ultra dream estate. The main terrace includes a lap pool with a swim-up bar, and the outdoor dining area can accommodate up to 60 guests. With the addition of the lower lever, Villa Turquesa can be expanded to nine bedrooms, making it the ultimate destination wedding party accommodation option.

 

Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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Have a Baja Moment! Go Whale Watching in Los Cabos

Have a Baja Moment! Go Whale Watching in Los Cabos

Whale watching is one of the most popular seasonal activities in Los Cabos. Each year roughly 10,000 whales migrate to the warm waters of Baja Sur to breed, from humpbacks and gray whales to blues, fins, sperms, and orcas. Humpbacks and gray whales are the most commonly sighted cetaceans in the waters off Los Cabos, and humpbacks are the unquestioned stars of most local whale watching tours. The season officially runs from December 15 to April 15, although whales often begin arriving as early as November, and frequently begin the long journey to their summer homes by March. During the winter whale watching season, virtually every seaworthy craft in Los Cabos offers some sort of whale watching excursion, from small pangas to enormous luxury yachts.

Humpbacks make the world’s longest mammalian migration, traveling over 10,000 miles from the Bering Sea to their breeding grounds in Baja Sur. Certainly, they are the most photogenic of whales, indulging in a variety of flamboyant behaviors, including spectacular breaches (lifting their enormous bodies almost completely out of the water), spyhopping (lifting their heads out of the water for a quick look around) and lobtailing (smacking the water with their tail flukes). The best photo opportunities for tourists are typically of humpback whales, but grays are also seen regularly. Grays migrate to their traditional breeding grounds in Magdalena Bay, about 170 miles up the Pacific coast from Cabo San Lucas, and often do a bit of Land’s End sightseeing before leaving for the summer.

Whale Watching in Los Cabos

A breaching humpback is the highlight of any whale watching excursion.

Since the whales were born in Mexico, it’s is commonly joked that they’re Mexican citizens, and certainly the leviathans do enjoy some legal protections, particularly in regards to the approach distance of tour boats. Small, fast boats like Zodiacs are probably the best way to see whales at relatively close range, although visitors prone to mal de mer may prefer a more stable or luxurious ride. There are several fine sailboats and catamarans offering whale watching cruises out of Cabo San Lucas, and these craft are equipped to provide fine food, fine wines and cocktails, and a host of other amenities during their daily cruises.

The top tour options for fast boats, sailboats, and luxury cruisers are listed below:

Whale Watching in Los Cabos

A spyhopping humpback provides a great photo opportunity for guests aboard one of Cabo Adventures’ Apex inflatables.

Cabo Adventures

It should come as no surprise that the area’s premier outdoor adventure company offers some of the most memorable whale watching tours. Cabo Adventures uses inflatable Apex boats, and their experienced captains have the speed and maneuverability to anticipate the movements of whales and get their guests some great photo opportunities. For those who want to get as close as possible, this is the way to go. Bilingual guides are on hand to assist in identifications of whales and other local marine life, and the photo safaris also include hydrophone listening technology.

Whale Watching in Los Cabos

Want to whale watch in style? Charter a sailboat from Cabo Sails.

Cabo Sails

Cabo San Lucas offers great sailing outside its protected bay, and there is no more elegant way to whale watch than with sails up and Champagne flutes in hand. Cabo Sails is the top sailboat charter operation in the area, with 28′ to 44′ food cruisers, and expert captains and bilingual crew knowledgeable in both whales and sails. See all the local landmarks en route, enjoy delicious appetizers and fruit and vegetable platters, sip fine wines or premium cocktails, and settle in for an unforgettable whale watching experience.

Whale Watching in Los Cabos

Looking for comfort and a smooth ride? The triple-decker catamaran Caborey is the top option.

Caborey

If you’re used to traveling in high style, it’s hard to beat the Caborey experience. This enormous triple-decked catamaran offers the best dinner cruises in Baja – lavish five course meals and Las Vegas style floorshows – and their whale watching tours provide such a smooth, easy ride that even the most landlubbery of guests will be able to enjoy the magnificent sights, which not only include leviathans of the deep, but Land’s End and Lover’s Beach. Whale watching tours are offered three days a week during the season, and feature a delicious breakfast buffet and an open bar with over 50 types of tropical drinks.

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Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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Cabo San Lucas’ Hidden Beach: Playa Coral Negro

Cabo San Lucas’ Hidden Beach: Playa Coral Negro

There is a beach in Cabo San Lucas that goes by many names – Playa Coral Negro, Cannery Beach, and Old Peoples’ Beach, to name just a few – yet seems to be little known by any of them. Playa Coral Negro is the name I have heard most often, although Playa Escondida, the name of neighboring sands in the collective group of so-called Cannery Beaches, is perhaps more accurate: Hidden Beach. Hidden in plain sight.

Playa Coral Negro

The sands of Playa Coral Negro slope gently away from the old Cannery.

I have never seen this beach mentioned in guidebooks or articles about Los Cabos, although it has more tradition than most, and is often thronged with people on weekends. The sandy stretch offers safe swimming and good snorkeling, enjoys a privileged location between the Cabo San Lucas Marina and Lover’s Beach, and looks out across the restaurants and resorts that line Playa El Medano.

Why isn’t Playa Coral Negro better known, or written about in travel guides and round-ups of the best local beaches? Perhaps because it is the traditional Mexican beach–the one that hasn’t been given over to tourists. There aren’t a lot of white faces to be seen here, particularly on weekends, and the beach lacks the amenities associated with the more popular seaside tourist haunts.

Every Sunday, Playa Coral Negro draws huge crowds of Choyeros (the name comes from the cholla cactus, and is used to describe natives of Baja Sur), with umbrella-shaded vendors selling food and drinks, and families sitting together near the shore. A wooden deck winds around the walls of the old cannery, and serves as a sort of makeshift pathway from the vendor carts to the rocks rimming the far side of the beach.

If you look out toward the rocks guarding Lover’s Beach on a Sunday afternoon, you’ll see enterprising youths carefully climbing around them, making a fairly difficult if not very dangerous traverse past the remaining Cannery Beaches to Playa del Amor. There is a reason guidebooks often claim that Lover’s Beach is only accessible by boat or water-based transportation. Local officials don’t want tourists hurting themselves. But this climb is something of a rite of passage for many who live here, and falling into the calm waters of the bay isn’t the worst thing that could happen (unless you’re run over by a rogue wave runner).

Playa Coral Negro

A lifeguard stand and some palapa-topped umbrellas are all the amenities you’ll find at Coral Negro Beach. Playa Grande is seen in the background.

For many years, the cannery was the center of commerce in Cabo San Lucas. In fact, as recently as fifty years ago – when the population numbered about 300 people – it was about the town’s only industry. Playa Coral Negro was the town’s most important beach. Visitors may notice that the entrances to two of Cabo’s earliest hotels, Finisterra and Solmar Suites, are only  a hundred yards or so from Coral Negro beach. The early developments moved incrementally inland, slowly edging away – both commercially and geographically – from the old cannery and its beach.

Nowadays, the cannery is in ruins, and the beach is virtually deserted for most of every week. Still, it’s a pretty place, and a strategic spot to watch all the boats motor in and out of the bay. It’s within easy walking distance of Pedregal and the Marina, and well worth a visit for those who like hidden treasures.

 

Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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Have a Baja Moment! Attend the Baja International Film Festival in Los Cabos

Have a Baja Moment! Attend the Baja International Film Festival in Los Cabos

Hard on the heels of the inaugural Cabo Comedy Fest, the Baja International Film Festival returns next week for the second consecutive year, bringing international filmmakers and a bit of red carpet glamor to Los Cabos from November 13-16. The second edition of Baja’s answer to Cannes and Sundance will feature four days of screenings, social and charity events, and a fresh line-up of short and full-length films culled from hundreds of worldwide entries.

During last year’s maiden voyage, most of the movies were shown at the Los Cabos Convention Center in San Jose del Cabo, which had recently been built for the G-20 summit of world leaders. This year, Cabo San Lucas takes center stage, hosting screenings and charity events at the Marina-based Pabellón Cultural de la República (also known as the Cultural Pavilion), with additional films shown at the Cinemex theater at Puerto Paraiso.

Baja International Film Festival

The 2nd Annual Baja International Film Festival brings back red carpet glamor to Los Cabos.

In addition to the glitz and glamor of last year’s original incarnation – which included celebrity appearances by Edward Norton, Diego Luna, Matt Dillon, Virginia Madsen, Gael García Bernal, and Melissa Leo, as well as large parties and events that ranged from an outdoor screening of the film Hecho en Mexico among thousands of succulents at the Wirikuta Cactus Garden to an outdoor concert featuring Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles at Puerto Los Cabos – the primary goal was to strengthen bonds between the U.S. and Mexican film industries.

This year, North American neighbor Canada has also been included in what is expected to be a more industry focused event. “Reaching out to Canada was natural,” said Alonso Aguilar-Castillo, the new Festival Director for BIFF’s sophomore effort. “The U.S. is key for the festival, but in many ways Mexico and Canada have more in common.”

Also on tap are several new programs designed to help promote Mexico’s domestic film industry, including the Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund (named for the legendary Mexican cinematographer, this program provides money to help support production and post-production of Mexican films), the Works in Progress Mexico initiative (which allows distribution agents early looks at Mexican films), as well as Sales and Distribution workshops.

Baja International Film Festival

Last year’s Baja Film Fest featured a concert by Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles at Puerto Los Cabos. Social and charity events are also on tap for this year’s incarnation, scheduled for November 13-16.

The two most prestigious competitions this year are for the Los Cabos and Mexico First prizes, with eight films chosen to compete in each category. Los Cabos Competition category entrants include the Canadian films The Dirties by Matthew Johnson and Sarah Prefers to Run by Chloé Robichaud, as well as Who is Dayani Cristal?, a joint Mexico/U.K. production from director Marc Silver. The Mexico First category will showcase films such as Cumbres by director Gabriel Nuncio, Estrecho de Bering by Lourdes Grobet, and Luto by Katina Medina Mora, with the latter two making their world premiers at the Baja International Film Festival.

Special presentations are expected to include a screening of Machete Kills, attended by film and television star and Hotel El Ganzo habitué Charlie Sheen, as well as the international premier of hipster auteur Jim Jarmusch’s film Only Lovers Left Alive. Acclaimed director Peter Greenaway, best known for helming The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, will also be honored. The opening night film is Metegol (Foosball) by Argentinean filmmaker and Academy Award winner Juan José Campanella, who will be in attendance.

 

Planning to attend the 2nd Annual Baja International Film Festival? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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Have a Baja Moment! Attend One of Cabo’s High Profile October Events

Have a Baja Moment! Attend One of Cabo’s High Profile October Events

After the heat and humidity of September, October traditionally marks the return of milder weather to Cabo San Lucas. The month also signifies the start of tourist season, with several high-profile events drawing large numbers of visitors to the southernmost point of the Baja peninsula. This year’s big four are in a certain sense emblematic of why Cabo became popular in the first place: Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament showcases the area’s natural beauty and world-class conditions for big-game sportfhishing; the Cabo Comedy Festival brings a little Hollywood star power (as does next month’s Baja International Film Festival); and both Sammy Hagar’s yearly birthday bash and the annual Pimp N’ Ho Costume Ball, held each year around Halloween, highlight Cabo’s “anything goes” nightlife scene.

Cabo Comedy Festival

Cabo Comedy Festival

The first annual Cabo Comedy Festival is the “new kid on the block,” and runs from Wednesday, October 2nd, until Sunday, October 6th. Billed as “where the land ends and the laughter begins,” the inaugural festival is hosting an all-star line-up of comedians at three different venues in downtown San Lucas; Desperado’s, Hard Rock Cafe, and the Pink Kitty nightclub. The most highly recognized comedians scheduled to appear are Paul Rodriguez (Juan in a Million, AKA Pablo), Carlos Alazraqui (Reno 911), Bobby Slayton, Kevin Meaney, John Mendoza, and Kevin Pollak. Admission is $20 U.S. per show, or $175 for an all-access pass.

Sammy Hagar

Sammy Hagar’s Birthday Bash at Cabo Wabo Cantina

The popular Sammy Hagar Birthday Bash at Cabo Wabo, immediately follows the Comedy Fest, with the red haired rock and roll star’s first performance scheduled for Monday, October 7th. Hagar will be celebrating his 65th birthday this fall, and will be joined onstage by an assortment of special guest stars, as has been the case every year since 1992. Scheduled to share the Cabo Wabo Cantina stage with Sammy during the other concert dates  – October 9th, 11th, and Sunday the 13th – are Chickenfoot band mates Chad Smith, Michael Anthony, and Joe Satriani., as well as Billy Duffy of The Cult, and Jerry Cantrell of Alice In Chains.

Tickets for the famous Birthday Bash are distributed to the general public through a lottery, the deadline of which has already passed. The only type of tickets still available are dinner show combo packages sold at Cabo Wabo on a first come, first serve basis for selected dates. This year, those tickets are being made available fo the shows on October 7th, 9th, 10th and 11th, and cost $90.

Bisbee's Black and Blue

Bisbee’s Black and Blue Marlin Tournament

Bisbee’s Black and Blue, also known as the world’s richest fishing tournament, starts on Tuesday, October 22nd, and ends Saturday, October 26th. The Black and Blue was started in 1981 by Bob Bisbee, and has grown over the past 32 years from a purse of just $10,000 to today’s multi-million dollar payouts. Wayne Bisbee, his family, and dedicated sponsors have turned this once humble event into the Super Bowl of big-game sportfishing. Over its three decades in Baja California Sur, Bisbee’s has given out over $60 million in prize money.

The event’s record fish are a 993 pound blue marlin caught by angler Rocky Gentile of the Tollycraft team, and a 645 pound black marlin brought in by a female angler, Martha Mcnab, from Balboa Island in California. Minute by minute scoring and weigh-ins are broadcast live over the internet at select websites.

Cabo Pimp N Ho

Pimp N’ Ho Costume Ball

Last in the October line-up of fabulous festivities is the 15th Annual Pimp N’ Ho Costume Ball, which takes place on the night of Saturday, October, 26th. The Pimp N’ Ho rotates its venues, and this year’s bash take place at the renovated Baja Junkie, located next door to local party landmark El Squid Roe.

Entrance to this risque party, which always boasts several Hollywood stars in attendance, is limited to 200 men and 400 seductively costumed ladies. The men pay $150 per ticket, while the ladies dish out a mere $50 dollars for sexy festivities and free premium cocktails from 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. A $1,000 dollar cash prize will be awarded to the ”sexiest ho”’ costume. Tickets are on a first come, first serve basis and doors will close once the party has been sold out.

 

Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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Have a Baja Moment! Savor Land’s End Views and Traditional Mexican Cuisine at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Have a Baja Moment! Savor Land’s End Views and Traditional Mexican Cuisine at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

The best address in Cabo San Lucas belongs to Hacienda Cocina y Cantina, the signature restaurant at Hacienda Beach Club and Residences. Set at the foot of Medano Beach near the entrance to the marina, the area’s premier purveyor of authentic Mexican cuisine and standout service boasts a majestic perch that looks out over golden sand and the Sea of Cortez to the granitic monuments at Land’s End that form the southernmost point of the Baja peninsula.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Casual fine dining favorite Hacienda y Cantina boasts one of the best locations in all of Los Cabos.

The value of this spectacular location has been apparent since 1963, when the original Hacienda Hotel became the first luxury resort in Cabo San Lucas. Opened by Palmilla developer Rod Rodriguez, the landmark lodging was a popular vacation spot for visiting Hollywood stars like John Wayne, Desi Arnaz, and Bing Crosby. This legacy of luxury and exclusivity continues to the present, with a new generation of casual elegance and gracious living ushered in by the development of Hacienda Beach Club and Residences, and its collection of high-end accommodations and pampering amenities.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

The seaside eatery looks out over Medano Beach and the Sea of Cortez to the natural rock formations at Land’s End.

Of course, the charms of Hacienda Cocina y Cantina extend well beyond the first-class service and world-class views that have traditionally distinguished this historic property. The restaurant also showcases authentic Mexican cuisine made with only the freshest local ingredients. Regional specialties from the culinary hotbeds of Guerrero, Oaxaca, Puebla and Vera Cruz highlight Chef Andrea Blanco’s classical menu, and the delicious dishes are lovingly prepared by Executive Chef Octavio Hernandez and his talented staff.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina offers indoor and outdoor seating areas, as well as romantic “tables in the sand.

Did I mention world-class views? Guests at Hacienda Cocina y Cantina may enjoy these time-honored delights in indoor comfort, amidst tropical breezes on the outdoor terrace, bellied up to the beachfront palapa bar, or seaside at one of the restaurant’s romantic “tables in the sand.”  The casual dining fixture is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and even offers a special menu for children, featuring comfort food favorites sure to please younger palates.

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

The restaurant’s generous menu includes a superb selection of wines, tequilas, and handcrafted tropical cocktails.

Need a pairing option for your marlin empanadas? Hacienda Cocina y Cantina features a superb collection of wines from Mexico’s premier growing region, Valle de Guadalupe, as well as liquid treasures from Argentina, Chile, France, Italy, Spain, and the U.S. Benchmark Italian producer Alois Lageder’s “Dolomiti” Pinot Grigio is a perfect complement for dishes featuring the fresh local seafood, such as the sea bass in garlic and chile sauce. Prefer something with a bit more bite? How about a taster from the restaurant’s top shelf tequila menu, or a handcrafted tropical cocktail to sip while watching the sun descend beyond the majestic rock formations at Land’s End?

Hacienda Cocina y Cantina

Given its privileged beachfront location, Hacienda Cocina y Cantina has long been a popular spot for weddings and other special events.

Hacienda’s landmark location and luxurious surroundings – which include an expansive infinity pool deck, and a charming colonial style courtyard with a traditional fountain – have long since made it a popular setting for special events, particularly romantic celebrations such as weddings and receptions, honeymoon and anniversary dinners, and renewal of vows ceremonies. The property boasts a trained onsite events specialist, and nearly a dozen separate event areas, all of which offer sumptuous appointments and spectacular views of Land’s End, Medano Beach, and the Sea of Cortez.

 

Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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Have a Baja Moment! Attend the World’s Richest Fishing Tournament

Have A Baja Moment! Attend the World’s Richest Fishing Tournament

World's Richest Fishing Tournament

When he held his very first Black and Blue Marlin Tournament back in 1981, Bob Bisbee had no idea he just established an angling legacy that was destined to span well over three decades and eventually offer some of the highest cash payouts in the world of sportfishing competition. Since its beginning with only six teams and a purse of $10,000, it has grown to an event that regularly hosts over 150 teams, with millions of dollars in prize money on the line.  In 2006, the Black and Blue Tournament had its biggest overall cash payout: $4,165,960. This was, and remains, the largest payout in sportfishing tournament history.

World's Richest Fishing Tournament

Today Bob, his son Wayne, and grandson Blake produce three competitions each year: Bisbee’s East Cape Offshore Tourament at Buenavista on the East Cape, which is held in July and includes tuna and dorado; and the Los Cabos Offshore Charity Tournament and Black and Blue Marlin Tournament, which both take place every October in Cabo San Lucas. This year’s Black and Blue is scheduled for October 22-26.

Over time, each of these competitions has developed its own individual personality. While the East Cape event is more informal and laid back in the old Baja style, the Los Cabos Offshore Charity Tournament offers a convivial social gathering where old friends and fishing buddies are able to reminisce and swap fishing stories a few days before the biggest event of the series.

World's Richest Fishing Tournament

The finale, Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament, has been described as five days of organized chaos, replete with competitive excitement as literally thousands of people crowd the walkways of the marina to shop, dine, party and watch the weigh in of huge fish on the scales in front of Puerto Paraiso Mall in Cabo San Lucas. This popular gathering place combines indoor shopping and entertainment with cascading waterfalls, restaurants, and open areas for strolling and relaxing. 

One of the most remarkable moments in this ongoing saga occurred last year when Kansas City resident Dave Sanchez, while fishing with the rest of his team aboard the boat Frantic Pace, caught the first billfish of his life; a 465 pound blue marlin. While it was not amongst the largest of this species ever taken in the Black and Blue, it just happened to be the only qualifying marlin that was weighed in during the 32nd annual tournament. Since the team aboard the Frantic Pace happened to be entered in all cash categories, they ended up taking home almost $2.4 million dollars. This incredible payout is the second largest for a single team in history of Bisbee’s tournaments.

 World's Richest Fishing Tournament

Prior to his big win, Sanchez had never caught anything bigger than a Missouri freshwater bass. When asked how he felt after the victory, Sanchez remarked with a grin, “I’m really starting to like this offshore fishing. We had a lot of fun. It was a great team effort, and I’m just glad we ran across that fish. We found one, caught it, and as luck would have it, that was all it took.”

While Cabo San Lucas may have a well-deserved reputation for uninhibited nightlife, the good times are certainly not restricted to the downtown area.  Nearby San Jose del Cabo and the corridor connecting the two towns offer many entertainment options, including sports bars, microbreweries, and live music venues.

World's Richest Fishing Tournament

If you’re looking for activities that are not focused on shopping, dining, or big-game sportfishing, it should also be remembered that the Los Cabos area has become one of North America’s hottest golf destinations, with championship layouts from Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Tom Weiskopf, and Davis Love III. Three of the region’s courses have been ranked among the 100 best in the world, most recently Love’s spectacular Diamante Dunes.

One place that always seems to draw anglers, locals, and tourists this time of years is the Bisbee’s Store in Cabo San Lucas, which offers tournament related memorabilia as well as handcrafted fishing lures and sportswear.

But whether you are an angler or not, attending Bisbee’s Black and Blue can truly be an unforgettable experience. Even if you don’t walk away with millions of dollars, you’ll take a home a treasure trove of Baja memories.

 

Planning a trip to Los Cabos? Talk to a travel agent at Baja.com.

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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