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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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4th Annual Cabo Marine Show Set to Get Underway in May: All Aboard!

Cabo Marine Show Gets Underway in May:  All Aboard!

by Chris Sands

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Already the most popular boat show on the Pacific Coast of Mexico, the Cabo Marine Show has its sights set on becoming the biggest nautical-themed exhibition in Mexico. The 4th annual event is scheduled for May 1-4, and upwards of 4,000 visitors are expected this year to explore top nautical and marine products and services and enjoy nightly entertainment at IGY Marina in the heart of Cabo San Lucas.

Because of its increasing popularity, the show has expanded to four days and for the second straight year will be held on Docks K-M behind the Wyndham Los Cabos Resort, allowing for bigger crowds and bigger boats. Upwards of 50 local, national, and international companies will showcase more than a dozen new vessels at this year’s show, plus all the latest in gadgets, gear, and marine products and accessories. In addition to a stellar group of exhibitors that includes Azimut, Bertram, Beneteau, Fairline, Sea-Doo, Suzuki and Mercury Marine, there are two splashy new additions to the 2013 roster.

Black-and-Blue

Bisbee’s Black and Blue fishing tournament

Bisbee’s will be at the marine show taking early bird registrations for its Los Cabos Offshore and Black & Blue Tournaments. The latter is the world’s richest fishing tournament – last year’s winners took home over $2 million dollars – and is a boon to the local economy, drawing eager entrants each October to compete in the jackpot-laden event. In fact, all of Bisbee’s competitions, including the East Cape Offshore, draw large crowds of participants and spectators, and the fact that Bisbee’s and the Cabo Marine Show are teaming up signifies an ongoing commitment by both to continue promoting tourism and sport fishing in Los Cabos.

The other big splash is the presence of the mega-yacht Spirit of Two Thousand and Ten, a 120-foot, 4-story, state-of-the-art, $15 million motor vessel operated locally by Synergy. This is currently the largest yacht available for charter in all of Los Cabos, and visitors to the marine show will be able to get a feel for what these luxurious charters entail, from sunset visits to the Arch to three bay snorkel and kayak trips and even deep sea fishing.

Wyndham Los Cabos

The Cabo Marine Show will be held on the dock behind the Wyndham Los Cabos.

Additional important sponsors and exhibitors signing on for this year’s event include Earth, Sea & Sky Vacations, Cabo Riviera Golf & Marina, the Los Cabos Winery, Synergy Marketing & PR, Maui Jim Sunglasses, The Old Town Art Gallery by El Encanto, and Baja.com, plus FONATUR Port Authority and IGY Marinas. The inclusion of so many varied local businesses suggests the marine show is growing in scope and impact, something that comes as no surprise to founder Sergio Igartua.

“The Cabo Marine Show is much more than a nautical event,” asserts Igartua. “It’s also about creating a network between exhibitors and local business owners.”

Although the entertainment schedule for the Cabo Marine Show has not yet been released, visitors can expect plenty of great live music, and dozens of terrific restaurants within easy walking distance of the show’s central location in downtown Cabo San Lucas. Wyndham Los Cabos is the official resort for the Cabo Marine Show, and given its proximity – the hotel is right next door to Docks K-M, where all the festivities are occurring – is a perfect fit.

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The Cabo Marine Show is free to the general public, and is will be held from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on May 1-4. For more information, visit www.cabomarineshow.com. For exhibitor rates and information, email MAA+Eventos at info@maaseventos.com. Booth space is still available, but is expected to sell out well in advance of the show.

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

Photos courtesy of Synergy, Bisbee’s Black & Blue Tournaments, and Wyndham Los Cabos.

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

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

story and photos by Chris Sands

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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Whale Watching Season Opens in Cabo San Lucas

Whale Watching Season Opens in Cabo San Lucas

by Chris Sands

“They’re back.”

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

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

Want to find out where to stay in Cabo San Lucas or San Jose del Cabo?  Visit Baja.com!

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

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A Los Cabos Golf Pro Talks about Fairways and Greens and Cabo’s Best Golf Value

An interview with Los Cabos golf pro Eric Grindereng 

by Chris Sands

Los Cabos is justifiably proud of its golf courses. Not only does the area boast three courses that have been ranked among the world’s 100 best – Palmilla, Diamante Dunes, and Cabo del Sol Ocean – there are more high-profile links slated for the coming years. Tiger Woods has recently signed on to design the second course at Diamante, and will join Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Tom Weiskopf, and Davis Love III as major champions who have crafted  first-class layouts in Baja California Sur.

 

Los Cabos golf is fun anytime…but it’s extra special played on the Sea of Cortez.

But despite all the big name designers and splashy seaside courses, one of Los Cabos most enjoyable loops is one of its oldest and least appreciated. Often attributed to Pete Dye, the Cabo San Lucas Country Club was actually designed by his brother Roy, and features a beautiful background of palo blanco trees, bougainvillea, and Land’s End views. For some inside knowledge on the underrated course, Baja. com talked to Eric Grindereng, Director of Golf at Cabo San Lucas Country Club.

Q:  What are the strengths of the course, both for the low as well as high handicappers?

With five sets of tees to choose from, Cabo San Lucas Country Club can test the mettle of golfers of all abilities. From the back tees, 7220 yards, low handicappers will be forced to hit many middle and long irons into some very small, undulated and well guarded greens. Those choosing to play from the middle or forward tees will also be challenged with more than 80 bunkers sprinkled throughout the course and water coming into play on 10 holes.

Looking for fun and value? Los Cabos golf at Cabo San Lucas Country Club!

Q:  If you were to make an argument that your course is the best in Los Cabos, what would be your reasons?

I would not say Cabo San Lucas Country Club is the best golf course in Los Cabos. We have ten highly rated championship golf courses in the area. However, I would argue that CSLCC is the best value and the most accessible to those staying in Cabo San Lucas or passing through on a cruise liner.

Q:  In what ways is the natural setting integrated into the course?

Framed by a desert landscape, mountains and crystal blue sky, Cabo San Lucas Country Club is literally carved from its surrounding terrain.  The Bermuda grass fairways and greens are beautifully juxtaposed against the rugged collections of Palo Blanco trees and colorful Bougainvilleas, all framed by breathtaking vistas of the Sea of Cortez and Land’s End. Very little dirt was needed to be moved to contour the course as it naturally slopes from the mountains towards the sea.

Q:  What is the signature hole on the course and why?

Though there are many to choose from, hole thirteen in my mind is the signature hole.  A par 5 measuring only 539 yards from the back tee, it plays downhill with a dog-leg to the right and has a beautiful vista of the Sea of Cortez as its backdrop.  Furthermore, there is a three tiered lake with two gently cascading waterfalls that comes into play all down the right side of the hole up past the green.  For the discerning player, this is a very risk – reward hole. For the rest of us it’s a perfect Kodak moment.

Q:  What do you consider the most challenging hole on the course?

Again, there are several I could consider. From the back tees I would have to say hole eleven is one of the most difficult. It is a par 3 measuring 205 yards and plays into a prevailing head wind with all carry over a lake into a very shallow green that drops off considerably at the back. For the resort player, hole seven is very challenging. It’s a very long par 5 with water that comes into play from 200 yards in all the way to the green which is well guarded with a bunker in front and water on the right.

Q: If you were to compare your course to a famous layout elsewhere in the world, what would it be? Or, if you believe your course to be incomparable, why?

I think just in general the courses in Los Cabos are unique because of the region. I can’t think of another place in the world where the desert literally descends down into the ocean.

 

 

 

Q:  Why is Los Cabos such a great golfing destination?

Los Cabos is a great golfing destination for many reasons. First and foremost is because of the quality and beauty of the golf courses paired with the fact you could play a different course every day of the week.  Secondly, Los Cabos has so much to offer as a destination. There are activities for everybody, golfers and non golfers alike.

Q:  What is the best amenity your course offers, either before, during, or after rounds?

We are known for having the “Best Burger in Town” according to the locals. And you can get this burger when you purchase our very popular “lunch card” which includes any three beverages of your choice (alcoholic beverages included) and any one menu item from our grille. The lunch card can be used before, during or after your round.

Q:  What is the course record?

From the back tees, it’s said the course record is a stubborn one under par 71. I have been the pro for ten years and no one has ever disputed that number.

Q:  Please tell our Baja.com readers a bit about yourself, your experience, and why being the pro at the Cabo San Lucas Country Club  is such a great job.

I moved to Cabo with my two children back in 2002. I was working for Intrawest Golf Management at a club in Phoenix when I transferred with the company after they were contracted to manage Cabo San Lucas Country Club. I stayed on with the club ownership after Intrawest Golf’s contract ended in 2005. Having grown up in Venezuela myself, I thought it would be a great opportunity for my children to experience a different culture and language as I had. We all have gained a great deal from the experiences we have been able to enjoy while being here.
I have enjoyed my time at Cabo San Lucas Country Club and have met as well as worked with some wonderful people.  The challenges I have faced over the years has allowed me to grow professionally and I am thankful for the opportunities I have been given.

 

Is there anything better than Los Cabos golf?

Photos courtesy of Cabo San Lucas Country Club. For more information about the club, call  (624) 143-4654.

What is the best course you’ve played in Los Cabos?  The best hotel you’ve stayed at in the area? Lets us know at Baja.com.

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

 

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The Holidays in Cabo San Lucas: A Little Christmas Cheer

 

The holidays in Cabo San Lucas can be illuminating.

There is something very special about the holidays, particularly south of the border 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, of course, but also of of devout observances and intimate gatherings with family and friends. In Cabo San Lucas, where the weather is warm and the beaches are crowded with migratory snowbirds, the yuletide season sometimes seems quite surreal, although visitors may find a comforting familiarity attending the bilingual masses held on Christmas Eve and Christmas at the Iglesia Catolica de San Lucas.

Celebrate the holidays in Cabo San Lucas with some holiday cheer! Photo by John Schrantz.

The town square, Plaza Amelia Wilkes, is located across the street from the old church, and 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 (nacimiento) that is located near the local Museum of Natural History‘s whale skeleton exhibit. 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 also an excellent shrine at Plaza Bonita near the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Beyond the lovely holiday decorations, however, the spirit of the season is found 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.

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 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 Years 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 at Casa Dorada to Nikki Beach‘s Masked Venetian Carnival. 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. Once the clock strikes midnight, it is also traditional to eat twelve grapes, with the grapes representing good fortune for the next twelve months.

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, with vacationers fleeing frigid temperatures north of the border for sunshine, beaches, whale watching, golf, and other activities not normally associated with wintry cheer.

 

Planning on spending the holidays in Cabo San Lucas?  Find out about great places to stay!

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


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How to Enjoy the Final Days of the Mayan Calendar in Cabo San Lucas

End Times in Cabo San Lucas: How to Enjoy the Final Days of the Mayan Calendar

by Chris Sands, author of Quintessential Quaffs (a related post)

I guess we’re all hoping that the Mayans got it wrong. If not, and the end of their long-count calendar on December 21st really does mean the end of days on earth, there are going to be a lot of disappointed people around here, particularly those that have just bought timeshares.

 

Our days are numbered, at least if you believe the Mayan long count calendar.

Personally, I’m keeping an open mind. I haven’t emptied out my savings account in hopes of one last monumental binge. La Grande Bouffe, as the French like to say. On the other hand, I’m not exactly wasting a lot of time with trivial pursuits such as working and sleeping. If this is to be my last week, I want to enjoy every single second.

And really, what better place to ride out the cosmic storm than in Cabo San Lucas? Not only  does the town boast gorgeous beaches, pampering spas, and championship-level golf courses (I must get my handicap into single digits before time runs out), but there are plenty of armageddon-appropriate activities on tap this week. Here are a few I have marked on my calendar.

The Last Supper

What could be more traditional and appropriate than a last supper with friends and family? That’s the thinking, anyway, behind Drew Deckman’s “End of the World” party. The Michelin star winning chef and owner of Deckman’s at Havana in San Jose del Cabo is upping the ante with an ambitious apocalypse-themed repast.  The dinner is scheduled for Friday night, December 21st, and will feature a five course fine dining menu paired with Mexican wines and craft beers, plus a tasting of the aptly named Buen Viaje mezcal. Don’t worry about that second helping of dessert. There’s a good chance all our dieting days are done. Tickets for the event cost are $100 U.S., but there is a money back guarantee if the world does actually end during your meal.

 

Casa D’Aristi is known for their Xtabentun liqueurs.

Casa D’Aristi is known for their Xtabentun liqueurs.

 

The Mayan Kiss

Want to toast eternity in style? Try a coffee cocktail or shot with Casa D’Aristi’s Xtabentun, a delicious Mayan liqueur made with rum, fermented honey, and anise seed. It’s sweet, but potent, and a few pops should have you attempting to build a pyramid from discarded swizzle sticks. Actually, if you’re looking for reasons to doubt the so-called “Mayan prophecy,” consider that the ancient mathematicians may have been liquored up on Xtabentun when they calculated the length of their famous long count calendar. Who knows? We might have a few good years left.

The best place to find Xtabentun in Cabo San Lucas is at Lorenzillo’s Live Lobster House. Try it with one of their flaming coffees, or as an integral part of two very satisfying recipes. Add a lime to equal parts tequila and Xtabentun, and you’ve got a Maya Margarita. Mix it with Kahlua, and you’ve got my personal favorite, the Mayan Kiss.  Lorenzillo’s overlooks the Marina, so if you see anything that looks like trouble, it’s no problem to grab a couple of stray donkeys and commandeer an ark.

World’s End over Land’s End

There is always a chance that the world  will end before dinner time on the 21st. In fact, it might end just after midnight, a startling prospect for fans of  Drew Deckman’s cooking and heady Xtabentun-laced elixirs (as well as the rest of humanity, one supposes). Assuming this is a possibility, the smart move is also to make a night of it on Thursday.

The Mayans would approve: a Thursday night fiesta at The Office.

The Mayans would approve: a Thursday night fiesta at The Office.

I recommend The Office on Medano Beach. They’ll be hosting their weekly Gran Fiesta Mexicana, with traditional folk songs, dancing under the stars, and other fun-filled festivities. It’s always a good fiesta, with a surfeit of free tequila shooters and plenty of convivial company, and I think the Mayans would have approved. Plus, the beach is the best place in Cabo San Lucas to watch fireworks, and there could be quite a lot of them.

What would you do if the world was about to end? Let us know at Baja.com.

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

 

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Dressed to the K9′s Gala a Howling Success: Proceeds to Benefit Los Cabos Humane Society.

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

by Chris Sands

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

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

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

Steve Apple headlined at the Los Cabos Humane Society event.

 

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

 

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

 

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

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

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

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

by Chris Sands

Luxury lodging at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort

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

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

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

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

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

Want to swim with an enormous whale shark?

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

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

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

Want to find out more about staying in Los Cabos?  Great dining?  Visit Baja.com!


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

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