Los Cabos Hotels & Resorts Offer Guests an Impressive Menu of Interactive Culinary Experiences

Los Cabos, Mexico  – Los Cabos is home to the world’s most sought after golf courses, most luxurious spas and the most exclusive resorts, but one of the destination’s biggest attractions remains the impressive array of culinary delights. With exciting restaurants and award-winning chefs, even the most discerning palate will be impressed by the delicious cuisine and tantalizing flavors offered at “Land’s End.”

Travelers to Los Cabos may further explore the destination’s delectable gastronomy by participating in any of the numerous interactive and personalized culinary programs offered. From wine tasting events to cooking classes, the following select Los Cabos hotels and resorts offer a unique way for travelers to experience the gastronomy of Baja Sur:

One of the newest resorts in Los Cabos, Capella Pedregal, offers guests an exclusive look into a “day in the life” of an Executive Chef. This exciting one-day cooking class, allows guests to accompany the chef as he shops at the local farmers markets and meets the fisherman at the pier with their daily catch. Following this, guests will return with the chef to the resort’s hacienda style kitchen and learn how to prepare ceviche with the fish bought at the pier that same morning while enjoying a delicious breakfast and lunch. For those looking to immerse themselves in an authentic cooking experience, Capella Pedregal also offers a three-day cooking class, focusing on the regional cooking which highlights the flavor and techniques of Mexico. As part of the three-day cooking class, guests learn how to make salsa, classic Mexican dishes and traditional desserts. Lunch is provided each day along with a personalized chef jacket to commemorate the experience. The one-day class is $70 per person and the three-day class is $200 per person plus tax and gratuity. For more information, please visit http://www.capellahotels.com/.

Fiesta Americana Grand Los Cabos Golf & Spa Resort is home to one of the most unique spas in all of Mexico, the SOMMA WineSpa. Devoted to life, serenity and longevity, the resort has paired their exclusive wine-based spa treatments with a special wine tasting that takes place every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Guided by the resorts’ Sommelier, the tasting takes place on the wine spa’s expansive terrace and includes four Mexican wines that are each paired with signature canapés. The SOMMA WineSpa tasting is $36 per person and includes tax and gratuity. For more information, please visit http://www.fiestamericanagrand.com/.

Guests can learn the secrets of the award-winning cuisine of Las Ventanas al Paraiso by participating in cooking classes with the resort’s chefs. This one-hour lesson is held every Saturday in the open-air demonstration kitchen located in the property’s herb garden. Chef Fabrice creates a different menu each week, and the dishes he prepares are then served to participants for lunch. Cooking class price is $110 per person plus tax and service fee. Also available at Las Ventanas are tequila lessons, which take place every Tuesday and Friday. Specially trained “Tequileros” teach guests about different types of tequila, the distillation process, and the appropriate way to drink it. The price for the tequila lessons is $75 per person plus tax and service fee. For more information, please visit http://www.lasventanas.com/.

One&Only Palmilla takes guests on a cultural journey with a choice of three interactive culinary experiences. Take part in a cooking class with famed Chef Larbi Dahrouch and learn how to create his renowned Mediterranean cuisine. For $120 per person, lunch includes a pairing with wine from the resort’s 700-bottle cellar with wines from around the world as well as local options. Sample Mexico’s most famous spirit – tequila – with a tasting of eight varieties from different regions. Served with canapés, this tasting will give guests a true sense of Mexico. Guests can also sample six sakes along with canapés while learning about the sake production and the different categories. Both tastings are $50 per person. For more information, please visit http://www.oneandonlyresorts.com/.

Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach offers guests a variety of classes where they can get involved in the making and tasting of their own food and drink. With three bars located within the resort, guests can taste and make drinks with tequila tasting, available for $25 per person. Also available are complimentary Mexican wine tastings as well as mixology classes, where guests can learn to make their own tasty creations, offered for only $5 per person. For guests interested in how to re-create the colorful cuisine they enjoyed during their stay, there are two cooking classes hosted by the Sunset Beach chefs. For $100 per person, guests can watch Chef Antonio de Livier of La Frida Restaurant create his signature dishes and enjoy the menu afterwards or enjoy the fresh seafood of Los Cabos with a Japanese flair as they take part in Chef Kata’s sushi making lessons and sake tasting for $75 per person. For more information, please visit http://www.pueblobonitosunsetbeach.com/.

The Westin Resort & Spa’s “Westin Unwind” experience takes place each evening, featuring the tastes, sights and sounds of Los Cabos. Each night, at the hotel’s fire pit, guests can enjoy tequila tastings, tips on mixing margaritas and lessons on damiana, an herbal-infused Mexican liqueur, while enjoying taquitos and guacamole. This complimentary program is available to all guests and encourages them to socialize, make new friends and create a special memory during their vacation.  For more information, please visit www.westin.com/loscabos.

Families, honeymooners, mature travelers, golfers, eco-tourists, artists, photographers, sightseers and others find what they are looking for when they visit Los Cabos. Located at the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos offers travelers an exotic escape within easy reach of most U.S. cities.

With non-stop flights or convenient connections available from Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York/Newark, Oakland, Phoenix, Portland, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, California, Seattle and more, Los Cabos is both accessible and exciting. For more about Los Cabos and a copy of its informative travel planner, call 1-866-LOS-CABOS or visit http://www.visitloscabos.travel/.

Day of the Dead in Vancouver

By John Mitchell

This year Vancouverites didn’t have to travel all the way to Mexico to celebrate the Day of the Dead. On Thursday, October 29th, the Mexico Tourism Board hosted a Day of the Dead fiesta at the Roundhouse located in the historical Yaletown district of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The MTB is also sponsoring a Mexican Altars Competition that will run at the Roundhouse until November 2nd.

I dropped by the Roundhouse last night to enjoy the festivities, which included live music, dancing, plus the serving of traditional pan de muerto (bread of the dead) and hot chocolate. I also took photos of some of the Day of the Dead altars that have been entered in the contest, so that you can be the judge.

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Day of the Dead altars – Images by John Mitchell

AREA International is Appointed the Exclusive Representation of Oasis12 Luxury Boutique Condominiums in Playa del Carmen

AREA International, a Real Estate Brokerage and Consulting firm, based in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, is proud to be appointed the exclusive representation of Oasis 12, Luxury Boutique Condominiums by the Canadian-Mexican partnership Lisgar Capital, S.A. de C.V. AREA International is launching a brand new ownership experience to accompany an already stellar level of development and design.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico, –(PR.com)– The 28 unit luxury boutique development, Oasis 12, located on Calle 12 and Avenida 20 in the vibrant caribbean town of Playa del Carmen, Mexico, has been under development for the past 18 months. Now with construction advancing to its final stages, AREA International is proud to announce the completion of the condominium regiment, enabling buyers to take title at the final closing. Oasis12 is taking the real estate market of Playa del Carmen to a new level by offering expansive floor plans, bright and airy loft units in addition to the oversized penthouses with private terraces, plunge pools and outdoor kitchens. This development stands out in its intelligent design and unique residence features, taking pre-emptive measures for comfort and security, intellectual and physical at all levels. The common area features lush tropical landscaping, a pool with a waterfall lit up in soft colors at night, creating a unique cosmopolitan ambiance true to Playa del Carmen.

With closing and delivery of titles and residence within 60 days of signing a promise to purchase agreement, Oasis 12 is one of the securest investments available in the Riviera Maya and Playa del Carmen. Units will also be available for rent by night or week, with reservations starting Dec 15th 2009. Oasis 12 offers customized transactions to each buyers individual needs, from rental guarantees to optional developer financing and other benefits, Oasis 12 is your investment opportunity for elegance, luxury and lifestyle.

“Oasis 12 represents something new in my 14 years of experience in mexican and international real estate. Being appointed the exclusive representative of a development like Oasis 12 is a true privilege for me and my company.

It is a development that brings avant-garde thinking and really aims to stand out by oversizing floorplans and rooftops, thinking expansively with big open spaces, lots of lush landscaping and waterfalls in common areas. Oasis 12 goes over the top with its design, the quality of craftsmanship and materials used. The features such as garbage shoots, elevators, smart house design options, air-conditioned owner storages and much more that Oasis 12 offers are very hard to find here in Playa del Carmen. Playa doesn’t have the infrastructure of the bigger resort towns which allows it to keep a very intimate feel, that being said, many developments have a shoebox feel and are generally not very practical, catering mainly to vacation renters. I take pride in the vision of Lisgar Capital and what they have produced at Oasis 12, the construction methods and solid feel, as well as pre-emptive thinking and intelligent features brings confidence to any potential owner and my job is to ensure that taking posession will be as effortless as can be.” are a few words from AREA Internationals Principal and broker, Bjoern Koch. AREA International is not limiting itself to only ensuring a secure and effortless investment process, but aims to stay there for the new owners with its complete rental management system. This includes online owner monitoring of future reservations, including income and expenses, enabling complete owner insight, even at great distances.

About Lisgar Capital S.A. de C.V.
Lisgar Capital S.A. de C.V. is a partnership of Toronto based Lisgar Capital development company with over 50 years of international construction experience and Guadalajara based Unique Homes S.A. de C.V. The Oasis 12 development is in essence a demonstration of their commitment to Playa del Carmen and what they intend to bring to the area.

About AREA International S. de R.L. de C.V.
AREA (Advanced Real Estate Advisors) International, a Real Estate sales and marketing company founded by Bjoern Koch offering Real Estate sales and marketing innovations and consulting for buyers and sellers. AREA Interntaional specializes in Resort Real Estate investments, this has been the company’s main area of focus, with successful sales registered in Park City UT, Cabo San Lucas, Baja California Sur, and the Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo. The company has extensive experience in Resort Real Estate, where amongst others, Bjoern Koch successfully oversaw and closed 40% of total sales for Tides Playa del Carmen, a success story not beaten yet in the Riviera Maya by a single Property advisor for a single development.

Teotitlan Hosts Delicious Corn Fair

by Ron Mader

Celebrating more than 7,000 years of culture and history in Oaxaca’s Central Valleys, Teotitlán del Valle pays tribute to the mainstay of agricultural sustainability in Mesoamerica – corn. It’s a grassroots campaign that is educational and delicious fun.

The 4th annual corn fair takes place November 7-9, 2009. The event is hosted by the Balaa Xtee Guech Gulal Community Museum.

Lanii Xtee Xub: Feria del Maiz 2009


CHICAGO, IL (October 26th, 2009) – The Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) and the state of Guanajuato announced their plans for the BICENTENNIAL EXPO PARK (Expo Parque Bicentenario) during the 5th Annual Vive la Hispanidad which took place in Chicago commemorating Hispanic Heritage Month.

Located in Guanajuato, the Bicentennial Expo Park encompasses more than 245 acres and will include exhibitions and photographs that will transport visitors into the past and allow them to reflect on the future of our environment.  This expo is set to be open from July 10th through November 20th, 2010.

A grand opening is planned to take place on July 10, 2010, the Park’s celebrations will be over a period of four months featuring artistic, gourmet tastings and folkloric events as well as the presence of 10 countries.

In addition, a stellar event will be celebrated on September 15th, 2010, with the traditional Independence Day “Grito” (shout) and the presence of popular artists.  Finally, commemorating the 100 years of the Mexican Revolution, an extraordinary celebration will mark its finale on November 20th, 2010.

Guanajuato is known for its splendid monuments and buildings that make up an architectural landscape full of culture and history. Its colonial constructions have been kept intact for hundreds of years and it is a state known for its cultural and artistic lifestyle. More information about the project can be found at http://www.bicentenarioguanajuato.gob.mx/turismo/iberoamerica/.

See you on the Metrobus — a new way to get around Mexico City

By John Mitchell

Metrobus at a station on Avenida Insurgentes
Metrobus at a station on Avenida Insurgentes

Mexico City is an endlessly fascinating place to explore, but getting around one of the world’s largest metropolises can be exhausting and frustrating to say the least. I usually take the speedy Metro (subway) whenever I can. If it gets overcrowded, as it often does, I can always resurface for air and hail a taxi. However, on a recent trip to La Capital, I also rode the Metrobus, a new rapid transit system running north-south along the entire length of Avenida Insurgentes, which is said to be the longest urban avenue in the world.

The bright red, serpent-like, articulated Metrobuses have their own dedicated lanes, and they stop at 45 modern stations on Avenida Insurgentes. I found the buses to be quite comfortable. Most of the time, I was able to find a seat right away or after standing for a stop two, not bad in a city with millions of potential passengers. The fare is paid electronically with a rechargeable “smartcard,” and at five pesos (less than 50 cents) per ride, it’s a real bargain.

The Metrobus system also qualifies as sustainable, relatively green public transportation. It has replaced hundreds of conventional buses and reportedly has reduced annual carbon dioxide emissions by more than 35,000 tons. Another environmentally friendly feature is that cyclists are allowed to bring their bikes on board during non-peak hours.

In early 2009, a newly completed second Metrobus line with 36 stations started operating east-west along Eje 4 Sur. I haven’t traveled this route yet, but I’m looking forward to using it to explore more of “El Monstro” (The Monster), as the locals sometimes call their hometown.

For more information and route maps, visit the Metrobus (in Spanish) website.

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Mexico City Landmarks – Images by John Mitchell

Sanofi-Aventis Group Promises Early Delivery of One Million A/H1N1 Flu Vaccinations

Swine FluMexican President Felipe Calderón met with the directors of the Sanofi-Aventis Group, led by Director General Chris Viehbacher, at the official Los Pinos residence today.

During the meeting, it was announced that the company will provide Mexico with a million A/H1N1 flu vaccinations of the 20 million that will be purchased in order to ensure that by the end of November, health personnel that have direct contact with patients infected with this virus will be vaccinated. Another four million vaccinations will be delivered in late December followed by 15 million in late January.

They also discussed the joint project between the Government of Mexico, through the Biological and Reagent Laboratory of Mexico (BIRMEX) and Sanofi-Avenis for the production in Mexico of flu vaccinations. Production is expected to begin in 2011 with all the tests of stability and security so that it is produced commercially in 2012, with a total output of approximately 25 million doses.

The representatives declared that they have already obtained permission from the Federal Commission for Protection from Health Risks to commercialize the vaccine in Mexico.

President Felipe Calderón was accompanied by Health Secretary José Ángel Córdova Villalobos

Sanofi was represented by Director General of Sanofi-Pasteur, Wayne Pisano; Vicepresident for Latin America of Sanofi-Pasteur, Guillaume Leroy, and Director General of Sanofi Aventis of Mexico, Juan Carlos Valdés.