Guys Won’t Want to Grow Up With Golf, Tequila Tastings, Zip Lining, Poker and More at the All-inclusive Velas Resorts in Mexico

All-Inclusive Guys Golf Getaways Available Now Through December 2010

Guys just wanna have fun!
Guys just wanna have fun!

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (June 29, 2010) –   Boys will always be boys and why should they grow up when they can go on an all-inclusive Guys Golf Getaway in Puerto Vallarta or Riviera Nayarit, Mexico.  The Velas Resorts’ Guys Golf Getaway not only includes golf rounds at Vista Vallarta or Marina Vallarta 18-hole, championship golf courses, but also luxury suite accommodations, VIP airport/hotel transfers, a zip-lining adventure, Tequila tasting, poker, domino or backgammon tournament for the boys and even a 50-minute spa massage. For six guys or more, a golf tournament with prizes can be organized upon request.  All-inclusive rates start at $275 per person per night at Velas Vallarta; $290 per person per night at the adults-only Casa Velas Hotel Boutique; and $360 per person per night at Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Riviera Nayarit.  Package offerings and minimum night-stay requirements vary by resort.

The Velas Resorts’ all-inclusive rates include suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a choice of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24 hr in-suite service, minibar, fitness center, taxes and gratuities and more.  This offer is valid now through December 23, 2010 at Casa Velas and Velas Vallarta and through December 21st at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit. For more information and reservations, please call Velas Resorts at 1-888-323-2776 in the U.S. or Canada or visit www.velasresorts.com.
Velas Resorts has earned numerous prestigious international awards for its services and facilities, among them Conde Nast’s “Most Excellent Spa Hotel,” AAA’s 5 Diamond Award, the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ 5 Star Diamond Award, and more.

Los Cabos Celebrates the Homecoming Of Baja’s Sea Turtles

Conservation Tours and Certified Hotel Programs Allow Travelers to Lend a Helping Hand and Experience a Natural Phenomenon

Los Cabos, Mexico’s premier resort destination, is currently preparing for one of nature’s most phenomenal events; the return of the sea turtles to the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Each year, five species of sea turtles return home to the beautiful beaches of Los Cabos to lay their eggs on the exquisite sand where they were born. In order to protect and observe this instinctive tradition, guests in Los Cabos can take part in special eco-tours and hotel programs offered throughout the destination and lend a helping hand to the sea turtle conservation effort.

Travelers can participate in the conservation effort with Baja Outback by adopting a baby sea turtle from the nursery camp and releasing it back into the ocean. Through the “Turtle Release” tour in San Jose del Cabo, guests will help to preserve the sea turtles and learn about their incredible life journey and habitat. This three-hour tour additionaly includes transportation via Hummer H2s, guidance from experienced naturalists, adoption certificates and healthy refreshments. For more information or to book an excursion, please visit www.bajaoutback.com.

Another popular tour operator, Baja Wild, invites visitors to experience the liberation of baby sea turtles back into the Sea of Cortes through their “Adopt a Turtle” program. Participants watch in awe as the baby turtles start their new life in the wild, and assist in protecting one of nature’s most magnificent endangered species. This once in a lifetime experience includes bilingual naturalist guides, transportation and more, all within an unforgettable two-hour adventure. For more information or to book an excursion, please visit www.bajawild.com.

In addition to the turtle release tours, many hotels throughout Los Cabos participate in the conservation effort by becoming certified as Sea Turtle Watch and Rescue Sites by PROFEPA (the federally funded organization dedicated to ensuring environmental justice in Mexico). Achieving this certification is an extensive process requiring numerous applications, workshops and close supervision by PROFEPA. Once certified, the participating hotels are able to ensure the safety of the turtles by safeguarding and relocating nests, recording numbers of eggs and varieties of species, registering dates of births, and warding off sea and land predators. Guests of these hotels are encouraged to help in the Sea Turtle protection process – from the incubation of the eggs to the birth and release of the healthy baby turtles.

Hotels and resorts hosting certified Sea Turtle Rescue programs include Casa Dorada Los Cabos, Crowne Plaza Los Cabos Grand Faro, Dreams Los Cabos Suites Golf Resort & Spa, Hilton Los Cabos Beach & Golf Resort, Hotel Finisterra, Grand Mayan Los Cabos, Marquis Los Cabos, One&Only Palmilla, Presidente InterContinental Los Cabos, Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos, Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa, Pueblo Bonito Rosé Resort & Spa, Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Resort & Spa, Royal Solaris Los Cabos, Sheraton Hacienda del Mar, Solmar Hotels & Resorts, Villa de Palmar, Westin Resort & Spa Los Cabos and Zoetry Casa del Mar Los Cabos.

Redesigning Mexico Routes

by Ron Mader

This ramble is inspired by the official Rutas de Mexico Website which frankly as of June 2010 leaves a lot to be desired. There are few ways to participate. No comments are allowed on the articles, there’s no forum or wiki. Inexplicably, the site announces press trips that have already occurred.

What would we like to see? I have a few ideas

It would be great if the official site could link to sites elsewhere on the web and if those in charge could develop the project from the ground up — asking locals and visitors what would be on their map of Mexico and then to create the corresponding materials, be they actual take-away maps or innovative mash-ups using Google Earth and the iphone!

If there is an opportunity to work with the Mexico tourism board or other tourism pros, I’d like to see a campaign directed toward the individual traveler who is the most likely candidate to go off the beaten route in search of the wonderful long tail of Mexico tourism! We’d like to participate in lively and helpful conversations, using Web 2.0 and face to face meetings.

Let’s reflect on how best to engage people seeking any of the following

  • authentic Mexican cuisine
  • interaction with Mexico’s indigenous population
  • understanding of Mexico’s fantastic biodiversity
  • understanding of Mexico’s colonial past, the independence movement and revolution

Let’s consider how to raise the capacity and web-savvyness of local artisans, mom and pop tour operators, restaurant owners and others catering to tourism. Let’s also get the government officials up to speed. Wish us luck and if you can help out, let us know!

Another view: Writer Carolyn Patten joins MP as guest blogger!

By Lola

Hear ye, hear ye! Let’s give a big MexicoPremiere welcome to Ms. Carolyn Patten, lovely human, Mexico fan and writer extraordinaire. Before I let you take a peek into the wonderful world of Ms. Carolyn, here’s a little background:

Carolyn got her taste for traveling at a young age, living in seven different states before she started fifth grade. Her love of the written word began early as well — by the time she was 15 she was writing headlines for her small town newspaper. With a journalism degree in hand at 21, she began a career that has encompassed fascinating jobs in writing, public relations and tourism promotion for clients throughout the U.S. and Mexico.

Based in San Miguel de Allende and Portland, Oregon, she enjoys wide-ranging freelance writing career and a teaching position on the faculty at Marylhurst University. Her website is http://www.thetravelwench.com

On that very happy note (we love the name of her website, by the way), here’s a look at Mexico through Carolyn-goggles:

Really, if I could put five bucks in the bank for every time someone in the U.S. has asked me about the “danger” in Mexico, I could probably create a nice bunch of scholarships for Mexican students to keep going to school past ninth grade.  Maybe earmark those scholarships for out-of-country schools where the teachers’ unions don’t have a death grip on the government dollars and where quality education is a priority…but I digress!

Here’s a typical question, which popped into my email this afternoon:

Carolyn:

I just read your article about Mazatlan.  I’m planning a trip there with girlfriends in September.  Do we need to worry about the drug cartels and all the nasty things we see and hear about on TV?  Are there areas to avoid?  We are staying at the Torres Mazatlan.

In response, I gently suggested that the woman do some reading about Mexico itself – not just the border cities where the nasty things are so common – and apply common sense to the question, rather than asking a complete stranger who wrote an article about Mazatlan two years ago. I also told her that the Torres Mazatlan is a nice place, with a lovely quiet beach, far from the Zona Dorada and all the loud discos where noreteamericanos typically hang out.

I did not recommend that she forget about the beach and come to San Miguel de Allende, because I live here now and I am becoming very selfish, wanting to do my small bit to cherish this magical town and keep its secret.

San Miguel is its own world. It is not a tourist town, though there are several thousand English-speakers who live here, both full time and for months at a time. There is no beach and no pumping disco music. There is a botanic garden, the Jardin where everyone hangs out, the Biblioteca with the largest collection of both Spanish and English books outside of Mexico City, a chamber music festival and parades and religious festivals most weekends.

Safety? Local nortes often grouse about how it’s changed, and how purse-snatchings or home robberies were unheard of ten years ago, but that is old news all over the world

Yes, San Miguel de Allende is safe, not to mention unbelievably sweet and savory, with its welcoming families who have lived here for generations, its gorgeous old buildings and cobblestone streets, its perfect weather, achingly blue skies and delightful obsession with fireworks.

Here are a few shots of this delight-full town…

by Parque Juarez
A shady home by Parque Juarez.

Vikings in SMA
Vikings in San Miguel de Allende (not the usual attire lol, scroll down for the reason...)
hot parade watchers
Hot parade watchers...
Dia de los Locos
It was the Día de los Locos parade - Crazy People Day!
Dia de los Locos more
More locos!

Mexico Boutique Hotels Represents Mexico (Of Course) During The First-Ever International Boutique Hotel Conference in Colombia

Puerto Vallarta, MEXICO (June 22, 2010) – This past weekend, the Colombian Hotel Association (COTELCO) and its Cartagena branch welcomed over 150 boutique hoteliers from around to world to discuss, debate and deliberate on just how and what makes a boutique hotel a success. Experts from Italy, Brazil, the United States, France and Mexico, were invited to the Hotel Las Américas Global Resort and Convention Center to analyze what that success truly means, and to give advice on how to obtain it. Every detail was scrutinized, from the administration, to the cuisine, the comfort, the design, the architecture, the style, the front-of-house operations, the back-of-house operations, etc. Thriving businesses were presented as examples and closely studied in order to help hoteliers mirror that success in their own properties.

It was an exciting event that made plain the need for collaboration among every aspect of the industry. Our very own Sylvie Laitre, Director of Mexico Boutique Hotels, was chosen to represent her adopted country of Mexico to highlight the importance of small hotels coming together to enhance their marketing and public relations impact, among other things. What several small, separate budgets would never be able to do, together they can move as one much more powerful entity to create a stronger impact on the market. In other words: there is strength in numbers.

Peter Kaiser, owner and operator of the successful Hacienda Los Laureles—a Mexico Boutique Hotels member—, also participated as an expert, holding forth on the administration, management and operation of boutique hotels.

“I thoroughly enjoyed participating in this unique event and applaud the Colombian Hotel Association for emphasizing the importance of excellence in the boutique hotel industry,” said Laitre. “At MBH we’ve worked very hard to maintain high standards and the true essence of what ‘boutique’ really is. It’s great to know there are others who feel the same way. I brought back many insights from this conference, and I’m sure my international colleagues did as well.”

To chat with Sylvie about what makes a boutique property tick in style or experience any of Mexico Boutique Hotels’ stylish properties, email her at Sylvie@mexicoboutiquehotels.com, call 1-800-728-9098 (US and Canada) or visit www.mexicoboutiquehotels.com.

About Mexico Boutique Hotels:

Established in 1999, MBH is a collection of upscale, independent member properties (located in 25 destinations throughout Mexico) handpicked for their intimacy, high level of service and outstanding attributes. Some are housed in exquisitely restored buildings, others are paeans to Mexican cui­sine, still others showcase the sleekly modern–but they each encourage guests to savor the many fascinating traditions of this vast country, and all offer guests a unique travel experience. Typi­cally less than 30 rooms in size, they are often destinations unto themselves. Based in Puerto Val­larta, MBH is staffed by an experienced team of multicultural—and multilingual—travel and hospi­tality professionals who both live and work in Mexico.

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President Launches Mesoamerica Health Initiative 2015

Mesoamerica

Mexico City. Earlier this morning, Mexican President Felipe Calderón led the launching of the Mesoamerican Health Initiative 2015 at the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City.

“Today, we have been brought together by solidarity, the will to cooperate, and a joint commitment to the inhabitants of Central America and the entire Mesoamerican region,” he remarked.

At the National Museum of Anthropology and History, the President declared that this is a shared effort by the Spanish government and the Carlos Slim and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations, which will contribute 150 million pesos, administered by the Inter-American Development Bank for the benefit of over 10 million people threatened by preventable or curable diseases.

“The project has proved that it is a powerful instrument for promoting economic and social development and that it involves the joint work of the countries in the region and of course, international cooperation,” he added.
Accompanied by his wife Margarita Zavala, the President said that this initiative will contribute to fulfilling the Millennium Development Objectives, in four ways:

First. By fighting extreme poverty and hunger, which will reduce child malnutrition and anemia. The goal is to reduce the prevalence of low stature from 30.5% to 25.5% and the incidence of anemia in children under five from 32% to 23%.

Second. By reducing child mortality. The goal is to achieve universal vaccination coverage and reduce neonatal mortality by 30 per cent.

Third. By improving maternal health. The goal is to achieve the UN commitment of reducing maternal mortality by 75% between 1990 and 2015.

Fourth. By reducing vector-borne diseases, in other words, those transmitted by the bites of insects such as mosquitoes. This will support programs to prevent, diagnose and treat cases of malaria and dengue. The goal is to reduce malaria control and halve the incidence of dengue in these countries.

“I know that by combining efforts between the public and private sector, sharing responsibilities and utilizing the transforming power of human solidarity, shared social responsibility and international cooperation, we will build a better Mesoamerica, advance towards combating the poverty suffered by our people and above all, guarantee better access to health conditions,” he said.

The event was attended by Princess Cristina of Spain; Bill Gates, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Carlos Slim Helú, of the Carlos Slim Foundation. Luis Alberto Moreno, President of the Interamerican Development Bank;  Marco Antonio Slim Domit, President of the Carlos Slim Health Institue; Trinidad Jiménez García-Herrera, Spanish Minister of Health and Social Policy; and Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, and Health, José Ángel Córdova Villalobos.