contact us

Have a Baja Moment! Dive into the Seasonal Marine Scene With Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Have a Baja Moment! Dive into the Seasonal Marine Scene With Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Summer and early fall are two of the most active times for marine wildlife in Baja California Sur, and therefore two of the most exciting times to dive into the local activities scene with Todos Santos Eco Adventures.  Here are three incredible seasonal adventures that should definitely be on your bucket list:

Sea Turtle Camp Adventure: Volunteer Nest Monitoring Program

This is a thrilling opportunity to work with local biologists on the Pacific coast of Baja as they take action to protect endangered Olive Ridley marine turtles. This overnight adventure is available to volunteers for only 6 nights in August and 6 nights in September, and space is limited to just 10 volunteers each night.  In each month we’ve chosen nights around the time of the full moon when viewing is optimal for spotting the 100-pound female turtles as they haul their bodies out of the ocean and – driven purely by instinct – make their way to the rolling coastal dunes to find the ideal nesting spot. Each female will leave 90-120 white ping-pong shaped eggs in a sandy hole, camouflage the nest with a characteristic belly dance, then leave the offspring to chance.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Summer is the perfect time to join Todos Santos Eco Adventures in helping to protect endangered marine turtles.

That’s where the biologists and volunteers come in. Predators, coastal development and illegal poaching all threaten sea turtle populations throughout the world. At this sea turtle research station volunteers can help combat declining populations by working with biologists as they collect the eggs and relocate them to a protective nursery. In many cases volunteers will also be able to see mature nests bubbling with turtle hatchlings and have the opportunity to guide the hatchlings on their way to the sea.

The adventure starts in Todos Santos, where a late afternoon shuttle takes volunteers to Sea Turtle Camp. Volunteers  arrive in time to settle into comfortable, safari-style tents with raised cots during daylight, then watch the sun set over the magnificent Pacific beach that is home for the evening. A simple but tasty dinner is followed by an orientation by the wildlife biologist. When it is good and truly dark there is a magnificent bonfire in the specially-designed firepit that shields the firelight from prying turtle eyes; those so inclined can indulge in s’mores.

Todos Santos Eco Adventures

With a little help from their friends: turtle hatchlings make their way to the sea.

Volunteers can then sleep for a few hours until the patrol starts in the wee morning hours, or they may decide to stay up and feast their eyes on the gorgeous moon and a sky free of light pollution. The biologists will gather everyone around 1:00 AM to start the 4-kilometer roundtrip patrol of the beach on foot to scout for nesting females and assist in relocating the eggs to protected corrals. Some nights volunteers may see several turtles, some nights they may find the nests after the females have returned to the ocean. And with any luck they’ll see some nests in which the baby turtles are hatching and have the opportunity to help the hatchlings make their way into the sea. In the morning volunteers enjoy a full Mexican “Turtle Camp Graduation” breakfast then head back to Todos Santos. One short night, but a lasting contribution to the revitalization of the marine turtle population in Mexico.

2013 Sea Turtle Camp dates: August 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28 and September 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25.

Swimming with Whale Sharks

Well, is it a whale or is it a shark?! Hint: it is the world’s largest living fish species (whales are mammals, sharks are fish). In other words, it’s a whale of a fish! The Sea of Cortez is one of the few places in the world where it is possible to see these mammoth fish (up to 40 feet and 20 tons!) and snorkeling with these amazing creatures is an incredible life experience. And while your mother probably told you to stay away from sharks, these gentle giants are only interested in plankton—all human flesh is safe!

Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Want to swim the world’s largest fish?

The whale sharks generally start arriving in the Bay of La Paz around mid-to-late July and stay until the food supply moves out. While in other parts of the world you may have to take a boat ride of an hour or three to have such an experience, in the Bay of La Paz the whale sharks feed in the shallows just 10 minutes from shore.  We generally like to leave Todos Santos early in the morning so that we can get out on the water before the wind picks up and makes spotting the whale sharks more difficult. We usually spend about two hours out with the whale sharks, then head back to town for an afternoon siesta. Pure summertime bliss!

Fishing

The 4th generation fishing captains who ply their trade off the shores of Todos Santos will all tell you that August, September and October are absolutely the best months for fishing in Baja California Sur, and that the waters around Todos Santos are some of the richest on the Cape. The Pacific here is chock full of Dorado, Roosterfish, Marlin, Tuna, Cabrilla – and many Todos Santos restaurants are happy to cook up your catch of the day, or make it into a nice ceviche!

Todos Santos Eco Adventures

Baja Sur is famed for its spectacular sportfishing.

For more information on any of these exciting summertime adventures please contact Todos Santos Eco Adventures.

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.

Related articles

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


Have A Baja Moment! Todos Santos Hosts 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival

Have A Baja Moment! Todos Santos Hosts 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival

What better way to spend a sunny, gorgeous Sunday afternoon than drinking fine Mexican wines accompanied by samplings of great Baja cuisine! The 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival brought over 700 people out to the plaza of the Pueblo Magico, Todos Santos on Sunday, May 5th, to celebrate the food and wines of Baja.

Gastrovino Festival

The 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival was held on May 5th in Todos Santos.

Eleven wineries offered tastings of some of the finest vintages from the Valle de Guadalupe and elsewhere in the Baja. Combined with tapas from 17 different local restaurants and caterers, the large crowd was treated to the many different flavors and creations that represent Baja cuisine.

The competition was fierce, but the crowd voted Cavas Valmar’s Chenin Blanc as their favorite white and Vinos Shimul as their favorite red. Local winemakers Sierra Laguna won the favorite rose category with their unique fruit-wine showcased in a beautiful bottle painted with scenes of Todos Santos.

The gastronomy was just as special, with a guest visit from San Jose del Cabo Chef Drew Deckman, who wowed the crowd with his octopus and pork belly tacos. Todos Santos’ favorite chefs Sergio Rivera from La Casita served up hearty paella, Angelo Dal Bon from Tre Galline shared a rich pasta with duck, and Dany LaMote from Santo Vino featured his Barbacoa. There were some wonderful healthy choices served up as well. Whole wheat crepes by Dominique Catering, spring rolls and vegan “cheesecake” from Pura Vida, and a choice of yummy options from Bistro Magico, one of Todos Santos’ newest restaurants.

Gastrovino Festival

Eleven top Mexican wineries were represented at the 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival, showcasing wines from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe.

But Gastrovino is so much more than just the Sunday afternoon event. Throughout the weekend there were several wonderful opportunities for a more intimate experience with food and wine.

On Friday night, thirty lucky guests enjoyed a wine pairing feast combining the culinary artistry of our own Chef Dany LaMote from Santo Vino with the wine creations of Cava Maciel, a small family-run winery from Valle de Guadalupe. The diverse menu started with the local bounty of fresh shellfish, paired with chardonnay from stainless steel, and organic local produce with duck breast and chevre with an oaked chardonnay. The main course of panfried local halibut in green mole was partnered with the Cava Maciel Luneo Mouvedre, and a barbacoa of rabbit with wild mushroom risotto was beautifully complimented by their Merlot. They poured their Chardonnary and an herb dessert wine, along with Damiana to accompany the Drunken Thyme cake and zabaglione. This feast was truly a gastronomic dream!

Gastrovino Festival

The 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival was hosted by La Bodega de Todos Santos, one of Baja’s best wine shops.

The festivities continued on Saturday with “Bubbly Time” – a tasting of Freixenet sparkling wines paired with tapas by guest caterer Stilleto & Spyce from San Francisco. It was another lovely afternoon at our host, La Bodega de Todos Santos, with music to accompany the creative preparations of gazpacho, crostini, sesame-crusted ahi, and lemon chia tapioca paired with four varied champagnes. Cavas Freixenet originated in Spain and has expanded throughout Europe, California, and South America, and they are now producing their great “espumas” on mainland Mexico, in Queretero.

Saturday night featured a choice of events. Chef Dany was at it again at Hotel California presenting a selection of appetizers, accompanied by eight select wines from Cava Valmar, Cava Maciel, Freixenet and Vinart. It was an elegant affair with live music. The Distillery also hosted a special showing of the ever-apropos film “Sideways” while offering tastings from Sierra Laguna, L.A. Cetto, Casa Madero, and MD Vinos.

All of these great events led up to the big day on Sunday, where all of the guest wineries shared their vintages, and the phenomenal local chefs displayed their culinary talents. The plaza was alive throughout the afternoon with musical performances by Los Shamanes, Sexto Sentido, and Alex Torra and Kurtis Parsons. And a fashion show even graced the stage which was beautifully adorned with murals by artist Sebastian Diaz Duarte, specially designed for Gastrovino, and featured in the program and posters. The festivities continued on Sunday night at the Hotel Guaycura after-party on their rooftop deck.

Gastrovino Festival

Los Shamanes perform live at the 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival.

While indulging ourselves, those less fortunate were not forgotten. The silent auction raised nearly 40,000 pesos to assist the Bomberos and the local DIF, who provide much needed health services. Clearly, Gastrovino is quickly becoming a proud, signature event for Todos Santos. A full weekend of gastronomy, Baja wines, music and friendship is a privilege to share on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

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 by Mayra Diaz Vivian.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival, May 3-5 in Todos Santos: Have a Baja Moment!

2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival, May 3-5 in Todos Santos:  Read More for a special offer by Boutique Hotel Guaycura!

Home to the historic Hotel California and one of Mexico’s most celebrated artists’ colonies, Todos Santos is also celebrated for its celebrations. The scenic Pueblo Magico – literally, magical village – throws some of the best parties in Baja, including annual festivals that celebrate art, cinema, music, and, for the second consecutive year, food and wine. And then there is the Gastrovino Festival!

Gastrovino, which premiered last year to widespread acclaim, returns Friday, Saturday and Sunday, May 3-5, with more food and wine tasting, wine pairing dinners, live music, and a silent auction to raise money for the local fire department. Organizers Mac Sutton and Perla Garnica of La Bodega de Todos Santos, the best wine shop in Todos Santos (heck, all of Baja Sur), are promising this year’s event will exceed the inaugural festival in both size and scope.

festival

Baja’s best wineries are promoting the region’s liquid treasures at the 2nd Annual Gastrovino Baja Food and Wine Festival in Todos Santos.

The three-day event will promote the food and wine of Baja California, as well as the small-town treasures of Todos Santos, a charming community on Baja Sur’s Pacific Coast, and a one hour journey by car from Cabo San Lucas. La Bodega de Todos Santos, a shop specializing in wines from Baja’s best wine making region, Guadalupe Valley, will spearhead the event, but area sponsors will also include Baja.com, Hotel California,  Wide Open Excursions, and Cabo Mil.

food

Todos Santos’ top chefs will showcase their talents at the 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival.

 

Gastrovino 2013 will include three days of  food and wine-related fun, with dinner on Friday, a cocktail party, champagne tasting, and movie screenings on Saturday, and plenty of wine pouring on Sunday, May 5th. Participating wineries will include Baron Balche, Bodega de Santo Tomas, L.A. Cetto, MD Vinos, Vinart, and Sierra Laguna, with plenty of food pairing options from top area restaurants, wine bars, and bistros like Guaycura, Santo Vino, La Santena, La Casita, Bistro Magico, Carlito’s Place, and Hotel California.

la bodega

Local wine shop and tasting bar La Bodega de Todos Santos is sponsoring the 2nd Annual Gastrovino Baja Food and Wine Festival

 

Speaking of oenophiles…for those not familiar with La Bodega, the festival provides a perfect opportunity to become better acquainted with this local landmark. When the festival is not taking center stage, La Bodega is the center of wine culture in Todos Santos. Stop in, peruse, and taste the peninsula‘s best selection of Baja-based wines and olive oils. Regularly scheduled weekly events include Flight Night Mondays, with samplers of Baja wines, tapas, and live music; and Big Red Wednesdays, with bold Baja reds paired with tamales, tostadas, and classical Mexican guitar courtesy of Tolin.

Traveling for the festival? Todos Santos treasure Guaycura Boutique Hotel is offering the best deals in town. Known for its luxurious accommodations, pampering spa, and culinary mastery, Guaycura is located in the historic heart of Todos Santos. Their current promotion promises an unbeatable combination: upcale luxury lodging at affordable rates. Choose comfortable Classic rooms from $117, decadent Deluxes from $166, and elegant Oasis suites from $220 nightly.

1

Few places manage to be both hip and historic, but Guaycura Boutique Hotel manages the trick. The chic lodging is offering discounted rates for Todos Santos’ upcoming Gastrovino Festival.

If last year’s virgin voyage was any indication, this year’s Gastrovino food festival promises to be a rousing success.  After all, many of the same sponsors and wineries are back on board, and throngs of food and wine loving visitors are expected not only from regional resort areas like Los Cabos and La Paz, but from the U.S.,Canada, and beyond. And why wouldn’t they come? Didn’t I mention that Todos Santos knows how to throw a party?

For more information on the 2nd Annual Gastrovino Festival, visit the Baja.com events page with detailed information.  And for more info about tickets and sponsors, visit www.gastrovino.mx, email festival@gastrovino.mx, or call (612) 152-0181, or (612) 176-1910.

For help with your travel planning please do not hesitate to call Baja.com, toll free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA (2252)-411 or email info@baja.com to reach one of our expert travel agents.

Want to find out more about Todos Santos and what other things to do while you are visiting the Gastrovino Festival? 

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.

Photos courtesy of La Bodega de Todos Santos.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


One of the Top Todos Santos Restaurants, La Garra Claws its Way Back

One of the Top Todos Santos Restaurants, La Garra Claws its Way Back from Fire Damage.

The fire in Todos Santos in February, 2013, did some serious damage. Not only were homes lost, several local businesses were affected, perhaps none so much as the popular restaurant and sports bar La Garra, one of the top Todos Santos restaurants. Despite the best efforts of owners, employees, neighbors and the volunteer fire department, the popular local hangout lost its palapa roof, and sustained a good deal of additional property damage. But when your name means “eagle claw,” you don’t quit. You fight your way back.

fire in La Garra Restaurant bar Todos Santos

The palapa roof was a casualty of last month’s fire, but the restaurant remains among the top Todos Santos restaurants.

Owners Jesus and Happy Cota are a resilient couple and with the help of their family, friends, and the Todos Santos business community, they hope to repair and replace that which was damaged or lost. The fact that the fire occurred hard on the heels of La Garra’s hugely successful 3rd anniversary celebration was a tough blow, but there is never really a good time for adversity. And despite the misfortune, the restaurant remains open, and remains busy.

“It’s been very humbling,” Happy said, “to see the huge support from the community.”

aniversary La Garra Bar

Things have changed since January’s 3rd anniversary party, but La Garra is still pulling in the crowds.

A little more than one month removed from the fateful day, La Garra is still trying to get back to normal. In addition to the building of a new taco stand out front, repairs continue in the interior dining areas, and it may be several more months before the restaurant begins to resemble what it was before the fire. But the important thing is that La Garra survives. The restaurant is still keeping the same hours, and is still dishing up some of the best Mexican food in Baja Sur.

chiles food

Comfort food and healthy seafood and salads have made La Garra one of the top Todos Santos restaurants.

The chile rellenos are as good as they ever were, which is to say spectacular. Made from an old family recipe, the shrimp or cheese  stuffed chiles are certainly La Garra’s most celebrated dish, although Jesus’ special fish and scallop sashimi is rapidly gaining ground. La Garra excels at serving up comfort food favorites, but they manage to do so without artery-clogging cooking methods (their excellent fish tacos are neither breaded nor deep fried, for example), and their heart-healthy salads are nearly as beloved amongst locals and expats as the hamburgers and cold beer.

interior

Artsy appointments and vintage Mexican movie posters add to La Garra’s charm.

 

Although several televisions were damaged in the fire, this is still the best sports bar in Todos Santos, and you can still show up to cheer on your favorite teams, whether they play baseball, basketball, football, hockey, or soccer. On the subject of entertainment, most of the restaurant’s beautiful old movie posters – donated by a relative who owned a theater during the golden age of Mexican cinema – also survived, although there were a few casualties. For those who know love popular Mexican culture and remember movie stars like Maria Felix, Pedro Infante, and Cantinflas, these framed posters are a priceless part of La Garra’s charm, and virtually irreplaceable. Luckily, the bulk of the collection was unharmed.

music

Live music and live sporting events are staples at La Garra.

 

Live music remains the big draw on weekends, from jazz and blues to reggae, rock and roll, and traditional Mexican standards. A benefit is the planning stages that would help local families who lost homes during the late February blaze, and other community-based recovery efforts are also expected. In short, La Garra was bloodied, but unbowed. So, too, the town of Todos Santos, which banded together to protect its own.

But don’t take my word for it. Stop by and see for yourself, and help support the repairs and renovations. And find out more about Todos Santos and places to stay on Baja.com.

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

Photos courtesy of La Garra Restaurant and Sports Bar.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


Spirits Live On at the Historic Hotel California in Todos Santos: Have a Baja Moment!

Spirits Live On at the Historic Hotel California in Todos Santos

Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range, Todos Santos is one of Baja Sur’s most charming and picturesque towns. Long popular as a haven for artists and expatriates, the legally designated Pueblo Magico also consistently draws visitors eager to visit its many fine arts galleries, attend its well-received art, music, and film festivals, explore its cobblestone streets and colonial-style architecture, and bask in the year-round warmth offered by its tropical climate.

 

Hotel California logo

Given this litany of enchantments, it may seem somewhat strange that the town’s most popular landmark isn’t a gallery, a cinema, or a golden sand beach. Instead, it’s a lodging: the legendary Hotel California.

 

Construction on the Hotel California began in 1947, and the doors were opened to the public three years later.

Construction on the Hotel California began in 1947, and the doors were opened to the public three years later.

The Hotel California has been welcoming guests for over sixty-five years. The town’s top accommodations option was originally founded in 1947 by a Chinese immigrant named Mr. Wong, whose ill-fated attempts to acclimate to Mexican culture included changing his name to the somewhat florid Don Antonio Tabasco, conjuring images of a respected hot sauce hacendado. The locals called him El Chino (the Chinese man) anyway, but his family’s 16-room hotel proved popular with visitors and locals alike. The former were drawn to the comfortable lodgings, the latter because the Hotel California served the only cold beer in town.

Nestled between the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, Todos Santos boasts one of Baja’s most spectacular natural settings.

Nestled between the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range and the Pacific Ocean, Todos Santos boasts one of Baja’s most spectacular natural settings.

Eagles legend Don Henley has disputed claims that the landmark Todos Santos lodging helped inspire the group’s 1977 hit song Hotel California. Nonetheless, the legend persists. Perhaps it is hotel’s bohemian boutique chic atmosphere, or the eerie similarities between the Baja Hotel California experience and so many of the song’s lyrics. Guests arrive after traveling down a long “desert highway,” will frequently hear the “mission bells” from the nearby church, and, at least during the 1970s, the warm smell of colitas (marijuana joints) was often “rising up through the air.”

Bold colors and artful design are signature touches at the new look Hotel California.

Bold colors and artful design are signature touches at the new look Hotel California.

The Hotel California’s renaissance began a dozen years ago, when the property was purchased by Canadians John and Debbie Stewart. The couple oversaw an award-winning renovation of the historic hostelry, fusing traditional colonial-style appointments with vibrant colors and an aesthetic sensibility that reflects Todos Santos’ artistic heritage. The new look lodging features distinctive eye-catching decor, the superb La Coronela Restaurant & Bar, and an art gallery/curio shop on the site where Don Antonio Tabasco had formerly installed the town’s first gas station.

Bold colors and artful design are signature touches at the new look Hotel California.

Bold colors and artful design are signature touches at the new look Hotel California.

The Hotel California isn’t terribly expensive, but it is exclusive. There are only eleven rooms and suites, each individually decorated with original art and colorful furnishings from around the world.  Relax on a private terrace amidst lush foliage and fragrant tropical flowers, or soak up the warm Baja sun poolside. The hotel’s eccentric charm and luxuriant setting make it a popular choice for weddings, receptions, and renewal of vows ceremonies, and Todos Santos’ fine arts galleries and historic monuments are within easy walking distance.

The bar at La Coronela is a perfect place for a Happy Hour cocktail.

The bar at La Coronela is a perfect place for a Happy Hour cocktail.

La Coronela is one of Baja Sur’s best restaurants, with eclectic cuisine courtesy of Belgian chef Dany Lamote. Lamote’s reliance on organic and locally grown ingredients reflects the environmentally-friendly ethos prevalent throughout Baja Sur, and his creative menu and attention-getting presentation mark him as one of Todos Santos’ most talented artists. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and live music is a staple on weekends. Belly up to the bar for tropical cocktails anchored by generous helpings of the house tequila, or dance the night away to romantic Mexican ballads around the festively lit, colonial-style fountain.

Hotel California’s signature tequila is available at the onsite Emporio Gallery & Store.

Hotel California’s signature tequila is available at the onsite Emporio Gallery & Store.

Todos Santos is home to a thriving artists’ colony, and the local creativity is on full display, not only in the hotel’s individually decorated rooms and suites, but at the onsite Emporio Gallery & Store. From funky trinkets and charms to hand-crafted jewelry and original paintings by the town’s top artists, the Emporio bazaar is the perfect place to commemorate a visit to the historic hotel. You can even pick up a bottle of Hotel California Tequila. The signature house spirit packs a bit more punch than pink champagne on ice, but you’ll be reminded of your visit to this unique lodging every time you pour a Heavenly Hotel (2 oz. Hotel California Blanco Tequila, 2 oz. of fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a slice of lime).

For more information about Todos Santos and the Hotel California, 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 atinfo@baja.com.

All photos courtesy of Hotel California.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


Have a Baja Moment at the 16th Annual Todos Santos Art Festival

Have a Baja Moment:  The 16th Annual Todos Santos Art Festival is a feast for the eyes and a real display of local color!

Todos Santos is perhaps best known for hosting one of Mexico’s most prolific artists’ colonies, an asset the legally designated Pueblo Magico – literally, magical village – shows off to great advantage in its yearly art festival. The 16th incarnation of the annual Todos Santos Art Festival is scheduled from February 13th through 17th,  2013, and will feature works from local artists and galleries, as well as showcasing traditional Mexican performance arts like folk dancing.

The festival’s goal is to promote and celebrate contemporary art and the richness of traditional Mexican culture in this charming town on the Pacific Coast of Baja California Sur, and for each of the last fifteen years the talent and creative output of local residents has been on full display, from live bands and public dances to gallery exhibitions and artisanal food and beverages. This year’s festival promises similar pleasures, albeit with all new offerings from some of Todos Santos’ most sought after names.

Galeria Indigo present Violín, an oil on canvas, by Carlos Castro Diaz, at the Todos Santos Art Festival.

Galería Indigo represents many of the best artists in Todos Santos, including Carlos Díaz Castro, a La Paz native known for his evocative paintings, photographs, and graphic designs. This gifted artist excels in honest yet emotionally compelling portraits that unerringly capture the pulse and poetry of life in Baja California Sur. Violín is a vibrant study that sings with the spirit of the Mexican countryside, and imbues traditional virtues with a youthful vigor and vivacity.

La Montana Azul II by Jill Logan at the Todos Santos Art Festival.

“An interesting phenomenon has emerged over the years I have been painting whereby something makes its appearance that was previously hidden beneath the linear view of the subject,” states Jill Logan, one of Todos Santos’ most passionate and prolific artists. “This ‘something’ seems to be the very piece that breathes the life force into each object and from there emerges a unique and individual personal stamp. I am fascinated with catching this ‘something’ in its purest essence and reproducing it in color, form and emotion.”

Angel de Armegeddon, a ceramic tile work by N. E. Hayles, at the Todos Santos Art Festival.

With a facility that allows her to work with a variety of mediums and styles  - landscapes, seascapes, abstracts, ceramics, paper tile mosaics, and one-off furniture are some of her specialties – N.E. Hayles is one of Baja’s most proficient and versatile artists, and a master at iconography.  A resident of Todos Santos for more than twenty years, Hayles has exhibited her work in the U.S., Mexico, and Japan.

Living it up at the Hotel California (such a lovely place). Image: Hotel California

The colorful Hotel California has been a landmark in Todos Santos since its opening in 1950. Once owned by a Chinese immigrant who changed his name to Don Antonio Tabasco, the legendary lodging has been completely renovated, and features individually decorated rooms and suites, and a boutique art gallery and bazaar called Emporio. The hotel is famed for showcasing work from top local artists, and is also rumored to have provided inspiration for at least one well-known musical group.

For more information about the Todos Santos Art Festival, as well as other happenings and events throughout the Baja Peninsula, visit Baja.com. And find out where to stay when you are visiting this lovely place!

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.

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


Todos Santos Music Festival: Let the Music Play

(Beginning January 9, and running for the next three consecutive weekends, Peter Buck presents the Todos Santos Music Festival to benefit The Palapa Society of Todos Santos. The Legend, Hotel California once again hosts the music extravaganza.)

by Lisa Green

Founding member of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame band REM, Peter Buck has made Todos Santos his second home. And he wanted to have an impact on his new community. He also wanted to share his Pueblo Mágico (the  Pueblos Mágicos are unique towns and villages that the Mexico government has identified as those that offer visitors a ‘magical’ experience in terms of natural beauty, cultural riches, or historical relevance) with some of his talented friends. So he conceived this festival a year ago and, in just nine weeks, put together three weekends of music, culminating with a concert on the town plaza, and ultimately raising over $50,000 for charity.

It was such a huge success that sponsors stepped up.  Now, the Second Annual Todos Santos Music Festival is under way. Mexican music television Telehit joined forces with US concert promoter Live Nation and local developer FarmMeetsBeach.com and many local hotels and businesses to advance the festival. Mexican government Boards of Tourism, SECTUR, Turismo Los Cabos and LaPaz Hotels & Tourist Association joined in their support. Baja.com is also supporting the fest.

Peter Buck, Bill Rieflin on drums, Kurt Bloch and Scott McCaughey are featured at the Todos Santos Music Festival. Photo by Lisa Green.

 

“Peter Buck has created a a hallmark event for Baja and especially Baja Sur, and we are proud to be part of it,” said Jim Pickell, CEO of Baja.com.  ”Baja is rich with culture and arts, and the Todos Santos Music Festival sings out that message, loud and clear.”

Musicians like Robyn Hitchcock and The Venus 3, and The Minus 5, both featuring Peter Buck along with Scott McCaughey, John Ramberg, Dave Depper, and Bill Rieflin are all back on board again this year. They were the featured artists for the opening weekend, appearing at Hotel California on Thursday-Saturday, January 10-12.

Sean Nelson and Peter Buck add beautiful music to support Robyn Hitchcock. Image by Vivian Johnson 2013

After the great experience they had last year, The Baseball Project will be returning for performances on Thursday, Friday and Sunday, January 17, 18, and 20 along with The Posies, making their first festival appearance. Saturday night, January 19, these bands will be joined on the Town Plaza by The Twin Tones, Kev’n Kinney, Jon Langford, and The Elected for a special night of music. Peter Buck will sit in with all of the performers.

The final weekend will commence on Thursday and Friday, January 24-25 at the hotel, and feature returning artist, Chuck Prophet and festival first-timers Alejandro Escovedo and Joseph Arthur. They will all perform at the finale concert on the Town Plaza on Saturday, January 26. In addition, they will be joined by The Sensitive Boys, Torreblanca, Mission Express, and a few surprises to bring an impressive finish to another hugely successful music festival.

The Palapa Society is a non-profit organization supporting the local community, families and children with medical services, English language classes, and general educational support, including college scholarships. With the help of the funds raised by the Music Festival, additional programs are available and more students are receiving advanced educational opportunities.

To find out more about Todos Santoshotels and vacation rentals and activities, go to 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 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

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


Tips for Picking the Perfect Vacation Rental in Baja Sur

Picking the perfect vacation rental in Baja Sur can be a challenge:  There are so many beautiful choices!

By Yesica Pineda

“As the season ramps up in beautiful Baja Sur, visitors from all over the world want to come to this region of southern Baja to enjoy the warm, sapphire-blue waters, white sand beaches and to participate in any number of water sports, hiking and nightlife activities.  The question becomes, “Where to stay?”  For some, a boutique hotel might be the answer. For others, a full-service resort provides much-needed pampering. And for others, having a place to call home is exactly the right idea. Should we write about that?”  Carla White, Editor, Baja.com

What do you think about when picking the perfect vacation rental in Baja?

Writing beautiful things about Baja is not a very hard job, really. All beauty that inspires exists in this part of the world; we writers only have to observe it, experience it and describe what we see. As I write this now, I remind myself  to see things (and write about them) as they are, and not as we want them to be. But the wonderful thing about Baja is that, here, things often are exactly what we want them to be!

Picking the perfect vacation rental starts with awareness.  First, understand that Baja Sur encompasses a pretty big region — Loreto, La Paz, East Cape, San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, Todos Santos, and realms in-between!   Baja.com gives you the opportunity to explore your different options from the comfort of your computer.  It is easy! You start where you are and plan your travels accordingly.  Feel free to contact us for help anytime needed.

Picking the perfect vacation rental (like this at Don Cardon) starts with you and knowing what will make you feel good.

Here are five tips on how to select a vacation rental and what to look for:

1. Environmental beauty. Baja is beautiful from every angle; its beauty is right in front of you and hard to miss no matter where you stay. Nonetheless, choose to stay in a place that is in sync with your preferred lifestyle. (Am I looking for the perfect golf resort, or would I rather be fishing?) And study up at Baja.com on what each region has to offer in the sense of environment:  Cabo Pulmo and its stunning coastline, Todos Santos and its verdant fields bounded by white sand beaches, La Paz on the maginificent Sea of Cortez, and so on.

2.  Walking Distances. Walking is a great way to know the local energy and the native people. Plus it cleanses the mind and heals the body. Choose a place that allows you to walk to the shops or parks or beaches that you are most interested in experiencing.  Walking and proximity can also be important considerations if you want to be buying foods and local products to create fabulous vacation meals!

Picking the perfect vacation rental: What calls to you?

3. Activities.  Fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, whale and bird watching, yoga, art galleries, local artisans, music, film, diving, snorkeling, gliding, swimming, tennis, golf…the list goes on and on. Choose a place that likes what you like and ask what they know about the activities you are into. For instance, Todos Santos is known as ‘an art community’, while camping might be something to do on Isla Espiritu off of La Paz.  

4.  Amenities. Sure, the amenities are important. Most important is to ask yourself what kind of days you want to have. If you want to stay in just one place, a spa resort with vacation rentals by the beach sounds ideal.  Want home-made food but don’t want to cook?  A house with Chef services will do nicely, thank you. If you plan to be out and about, you might only need a bed to sleep in! Listen to what your head is saying  and honor what  YOU feel.

5. Budget. Yes, money, money, money!  A good piece of advice for Baja travelers is to review the first four tips we’ve offered,  and then match your budget.  And there are, indeed, accommodations to match every budget.  One of the beauties of vacation rentals is that they generally come with kitchens…allowing you to make the most of local products and actually cook fantastic meals with things like fresh dorado, organic veggies, and succulent shrimp.

Leo's Baja Oasis is one choice when picking a perfect vacation rental

Here are some examples you can start with:

Todos Santos – Casa Don Cardon

Todos Santos — Casa Tortuga

San Jose – Baja Hacienda Surf

Cabo – Villa Las Arenas

East Cape – Studios La Playa

La Paz –  Leo’s Baja Oasis Lodging

Safe travels, happy exploring and may you find joy and beauty wherever you are!

Want to find out how to swim with the whale sharks?  Or where you can see the California gray whales and their babies?  Read more 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 localrestaurants,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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


Todos Santos Music Festival 2013: Musical Line-Up Announced

The Todos Santos Music Festival was created by Peter Buck of REM and brought to life by The Hotel California to add music to the long list of artistic endeavors hosted in this Pueblo Magico in Baja Sur, Mexico.

Todos Santos Music Festival

And now, Buck has announced the talent lineup for the second annual Todos Santos Music Festival, a ten-day music event benefiting the Palapa Society of Todos Santos, A.C. The festival, presented by The Hotel California, will be held in Todos Santos, January 10-26, 2013.

 

Todos Santos Music Festival 2013

The Todos Santos Music Festival will feature ten full nights of entertainment throughout the town, including eight days of music on the patio of Hotel California, a special Alejandro Escovedo concert in the town plaza, and a large concert on the beach at Punta Lobos.

The lineup of artists, hand-selected by Peter Buck, features an eclectic array of musicians ranging from industry legends to emerging local talent. The first wave of confirmed acts includes the return of: English legend Robyn Hitchcock, rock industry super groupb Steve Wynn and  the Baseball Project,  and American rock band Scott McCaughey’s The Minus 5. The roster will also include performances by revered singer-songwriter Alejandro Escovedo, 90’s alt-rock darlings The Posies, indie rock artist Joseph Arthur, Chuck Prophet’s Mission Express, and breakout Mexican indie-pop group Torreblanca. The Elected, Kev’n Kinney, Jon Langford, and Ken Stringfellow will also appear, with set times to be revealed in advance of the festival.

“This festival is the most fun I have ever had playing music with the chance to perform at an amazing location with some of my favorite musicians,” says Buck. “It is an incredibly entertaining way to raise funds that give local children more educational opportunities and share a diversity of musical talent.”

 

Bill Rieflin, Peter Buck, Steve Wynn, Scott McCaughey and Robyn Hitchcock at the Palapa Society of Todos Santos

 

The Todos Santos Music Festival celebrates the rich creative culture of the town of Todos Santos, and aims to make a difference in the community by fundraising for important local causes. This year’s festival will benefit The Palapa Society of Todos Santos A.C., which provides educational after-school programs for local children. Baja.com is proud to support this event and Todos Santos.

Tickets for all Todos Santos Music Festival events will be available for purchase on October 15th .

To find out more about Todos Santos, hotels and vacation rentals and activities, go to 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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts:


The Todos Santos Inn: Ideal Accommodation in the Heart of Todos Santos

By Dawn Pier

A stay at the Todos Santos Inn in the heart of Todos Santos‘ downtown feels like taking a step backwards in time to when women wore hats, gloves, deep red lipstick and nylons with a seam that they positioned strategically to run in a straight line up the back of their legs. As I enter, I expect to see the cast of Casablanca standing at the bar and a ruckus of manly laughter emanating from the tequila tasting room–perhaps it’s the cast from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre. If I really use my imagination, I can hear the clip clop of horse hooves trotting up and down the streets outside the inn’s brick walls.  This is my go to place when I visit the charming town of Todos Santos.

Todos Santos Inn

The Todos Santos Inn is an atmospheric boutique hotel that occupies what was once the home of one of the town’s sugar barons. Built in the late 19th century, its red brick, adobe and stone construction has been carefully restored to exhibit the traditional Mexican hacienda style with a central courtyard and breezeways throughout. The first thing you’re likely to be impressed by is the mural, painted in 1935 by noted Mexican artist C.C. Zamora, that adorns the walls of the portal to the reception area. The high-ceilinged reception room is tastefully decorated with antique furniture and oil paintings. The inn’s eight rooms face a central sunken courtyard where there is a small dipping pool and sun bathing area with chaise longue (towels provided), a lovely patio on which to dine and a tequila-tasting room with interior dining area.

Closer to the registration area, there is also an outdoor sitting area that surrounds a lovely three-tiered water fountain, and a bar that Hemingway himself would approve of. The dark wood and leather begs you to come in and order one of the many delicious sipping tequilas they have on the menu. And it’s air conditioned in the hotter months, so it’s a great place to hang out and meet other guests.

The rooms themselves are well appointed with comfortable beds, quality linens, and private bath. Bathrooms are finished in off-white talavera tile and are kept impeccably clean. All the rooms come with mosquito netting over the beds, air conditioning, complimentary breakfast and wireless internet.

The four Garden Suites sit apart from the rest of the rooms, offering greater privacy and luxuriousness. They sit sunken at pool level and are accessed by foot paths that wind through tropical landscaping. Garden Suites #5 and 6 boast their own patio area and a bathtub. The suites all have separate living rooms.

Todos Santos Inn: Heated Swimming Pool

Regular rates range from US$125 for the Terrace rooms to US$225 for the Garden suites. Due to demand rates between Christmas and New Years are higher (US$165-325). Rates are discounted during the less-busy summer months (US$95-165).

The Inn is ideally located in the heart of downtown, within walking distance of all of the many excellent restaurants, shops and galleries that Todos Santos has to offer. But if you’re like me, you just might find it difficult to tear yourself away from the charming Old World atmosphere of the Inn.

Have you visited the Todos Santos Inn?  What did you think?  Share your comments and experiences with us below.

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.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Possibly Related Posts: