BUSINESS TRAVELERS ENJOY SPECIAL OFFER AT SELECT FIESTA AMERICANA GRAND, FIESTA AMERICANA AND FIESTA INN HOTELS

Business Travelers Receive Discounted Nightly Rates and Exclusive Amenities at Select City Hotels in Mexico

MEXICO CITY, Mexico (July 2010) – Now through December 31, 2010, business travelers can enjoy the comfort and luxury of the world-class Fiesta Americana Grand, Fiesta Americana and Fiesta Inn brands at city destinations and with an incredible value. Rates start at just 79 USD per room, per night at select Fiesta Inn business class hotels; 108 USD at select Fiesta Americana properties; and 155 USD at select Fiesta Americana Grand destinations.

At all participating hotels, guests will also receive the following amenities:
–  A refreshing cocktail upon arrival
–  Complimentary daily breakfast buffet
–  Free Wi-Fi and local calling
–  Complimentary laundry service for two pieces per stay
–  Unlimited access to the hotel’s fitness center

Designed for even the most discerning international business traveler, Fiesta Americana Grand, Fiesta Americana and Fiesta Inn properties offer unparalleled accommodations, authentic Mexican hospitality and a wealth of locations all across Mexico. Plus, with a selection of diverse brands to choose from, business travelers will be able to meet budgets with the facilities, amenities and uncompromising service that make it easy to have a successful stay.

This promotion is subject to availability at time of booking, does not include taxes, does not apply for group reservations and is not applicable with any other promotional or discounted rate.  Travel reservations must be booked before December 31, 2010, for travel now through December 31, 2010 by calling 1-800-FIESTA-1 or visiting http://www.fiestamericana.com/go4.

Alaska Airlines Announces New Service Between San Jose, California, and Los Cabos, Mexico

SEATTLE, July 29 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Alaska Airlines will inaugurate thrice-weekly service between San Jose, Calif., and Los Cabos, Mexico, starting Nov. 20, 2010, subject to government approval. The nonstop flight will operate on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
“With its pristine beaches, great restaurants and world-class hotels, Los Cabos will be a welcome getaway this winter for our Bay Area customers,” said Joe Sprague, Alaska Airlines’ vice president of marketing. “We are pleased to offer more service to Mexico, along with the new Hawaii service we’ve recently added from San Jose and Oakland.”
  Summary of new service:
  ———————–
  Start Date         City Pair         Departs    Arrives   Frequency
                      San Jose-Los                           Wed, Sat,
  Nov 20              Cabos            10:30 a.m. 2:30 p.m.  Sun
                      Los Cabos-San                          Wed, Sat,
  Nov 20              Jose             3:20 p.m.  5:35 p.m.  Sun
  Times are based on local time zones.

The new flights will be operated with Boeing 737-700 aircraft, accommodating 12 passengers in first class and 112 in the main cabin. Alaska Airlines Vacations offers a full line of vacation packages for travel to Mexico. Packages include air transportation, hotel accommodations, ground transportation and tours. For more information about Alaska Airlines Vacations, visit www.alaskaair.com/vacations.

Alaska Airlines introduced service to Mexico in 1988 and flies an average of 1 million passengers annually between the U.S. West Coast and Mexico. Alaska and Horizon Air provide service to seven Mexico beach destinations: Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, La Paz, Loreto, Los Cabos, Manzanillo, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta, in addition to flights to Guadalajara and Mexico City.
Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air, subsidiaries of Alaska Air Group, together serve more than 90 cities through an expansive network in Alaska, the Lower 48, Hawaii, Canada and Mexico. Alaska Airlines ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction Among Traditional Network Carriers” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2008, 2009 and 2010 North America Airline Satisfaction Studies (SM). For reservations, visit alaskaair.com. For more news and information, visit the Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air Newsroom at www.alaskaair.com/newsroom.
.

Special $100 Travel Writer Rate in August and September at Los Cabos’ “Hotel with a Heart”

Los Cabos, Mexico (July 22, 2010) – Calling all travel writers, bloggers and tweeps, the posting has finally paid off! During the months of August and September 2010, all travel writers are invited to enjoy the 237-suite Marquis Los Cabos, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, for only $100 per night. The “travel-writer” rate applies to the resort’s spacious Junior Suites that feature breathtaking ocean views, private balconies, luxury toiletries and Frette linens, as well as a Marquis continental breakfast delivered daily to a private en-suite niche. 

Located on the Sea of Cortez, called “the world’s aquarium” and the “Galapagos of North America,” Marquis Los Cabos features a profusion of soothing water features, including a 36-foot waterfall cascading from the lobby into the central pool, serpentine infinity pools overlooking the ocean with pods for sunset gazing, and a total of 40 pools, including private plunge pools.  Prior to or upon check-in, writers must send in a link to an article or post published in 2010 in order to receive the reduced rate.  Tax and service charge is included.  For more information or reservations, please email Sterritt@kwegroup.comhttp://www.marquisloscabos.com/

Featured in National Geographic Traveler’s “Hotels with a Heart,” the Marquis Los Cabos donates five percent of the hotel’s annual revenue for the staff’s education and healthcare in its Marquis University.  Since 2003, the resort has helped on average 20 employees a year obtain primary schooling and bachelor degrees.

About Marquis Los Cabos
The 237 all-suite beachfront Marquis Los Cabos Resort is located on the southernmost tip of the Baja California península, where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean, and is minutes from the authentic Old World village of San Jose del Cabo as well as the lively town of Cabo San Lucas.  The resort features a 15,000 square foot holistic spa and fitness center, an exclusive gourmet restaurant where a Michelin-pedigreed chef prepares a nightly prix fixe menu and an extensive collection of Latin American sculpture and painting on display in public areas and guest suites.  Since its 2003 opening, Marquis Los Cabos has earned the travel industry’s most coveted awards including “World’s Best” (Travel + Leisure); “Gold List” (Conde Nast Traveler); “Best Value” (Conde Nast Traveler); the AAA Four Diamond, and the Five Star Diamond for its Canto del Mar restaurant.  Marquis Los Cabos is a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World and the only member of Leading Spas of the World in Los Cabos.

Mazatlán Voted Best Family Beach by Mexican Travelers in Travelocity ‘Battle of Destinations’ Contest

Mazatlán (July 20, 2010) – Mazatlán has claimed the title of Best Family Beach as part of Travelocity Mexico’s 2010 “Battle of Destinations.”

Hosted by Travelocity.com.mx and the Mexican Council for the Promotion of Tourism (CPTM), this online competition featured weekly match-ups between 14 competing Mexican destinations this summer. Travelers were asked to vote for their top pick in four travel categories, including Family Beach, Luxury Beach, Urban City and Colonial Town.

More than 2.3 million people living in cities and towns throughout Mexico cast their online ballot for Mazatlán in the battle for Best Family Beach Destination, held during the week of July 1. With a grand finish of more than 73 percent of votes, the seaside destination known as “The Pearl of The Pacific” celebrated a landslide victory over the rival beaches of Cancún, Acapulco and Ixtapa.

“We are honored to be recognized as Mexico’s top family beach destination,” says Carlos Berdegué, vice president of the Mazatlán Hotel Association and Tourism Board. “Visitors to Mazatlán enjoy 16 miles of golden-sand beaches along the Pacific Ocean, as well as rich culture, historic sites,  world-class resorts, authentic cuisine and unique events that draw families from across North America year-round.”

Mazatlan garnered more than half of the total ballots cast in the Battle of Destinations. The competition drew a total of nearly 3.9 million votes in all four categories.

Mazatlán: Top Family Beach Destination

To find Mexico’s top spot for authentic culture and miles of scenic coastline, travelers in the know follow the gnome. Mazatlán welcomed Travelocity’s roaming gnome to its shores on July 9 – 11. The tiny traveler was on hand to present the honor for Best Family Beach Destination during a special award ceremony, accompanied by Rodrigo Cobo, Director General for Travelocity México. Raúl Llera Martinez, Undersecretary of Tourism Operations and Promotions for the State of Sinaloa, accepted the award on behalf of Mazatlán, with Mazatlán Hotel Association and Tourism Board members attending.

“We wish to thank the multitude of supporters who voted for Mazatlán as part of the Battle of Destinations,” Llera says. “This competition underscores our ongoing investment in Mazatlán’s tourism product, with landmark restoration projects and new development that have continued to grow the destination over the past seven years consecutively. We are confident that Mazatlán will draw millions of travelers this year, and invite all visitors to experience rich offerings of this beautiful city.”

Gnome On The Roam In Mazatlán

Following the reception, the gnome ambassador set off to explore Mazatlán’s renowned beaches and cosmopolitan tourism district, known as the Golden Zone. Many of the luxurious resorts here have completed upgrades and extensive renovations to showcase award-winning spas, high-tech fitness centers, championship golf and nightlife. Premier restaurants serve up gourmet cuisine with panoramic sunset views, while the oceanfront malecón promenade offers a taste of Mazatlán’s fresh Pacific seafood in outdoor markets and beachside palapa huts.

Gnome-LosOsunaVisitJust north of the Golden Zone, the gnome made a stop at the state-of-the-art, $70 million-dollar Mazatlán International Center and new growth as part of the Marina Mazatlán project – at more than 15 square miles, one of the largest urban and tourist developments in Mexico and Latin America. Marina Mazatlán’s master plan calls for new high-rise luxury hotels, residences, gourmet restaurants, spas, shopping and recreational areas. The Marina Mazatlán Golf Course recently debuted the first nine of its 18-hole course, designed by David Fleming.

Ecoadventure and pristine scenery were among the highlights of the gnome’s excursions to nearby colonial towns in the Sierra Madres foothills. In the mountain village of La Noria, this savvy traveler explored the 130-year-old La Hacienda De Los Osuna tequila distillery and plantation. Daily walking tours take guests through the agave fields, where plantation guides explain the growing process and demonstrate how the blue agave is harvested before touring the ancient and modern distillery. Afterward, the gnome took off on a heart-pounding zipline tour through jungle treetops as part of the Huana Coa Canopy Adventure.

Rich culture awaited the gnome back in Old Mazatlán, home to more than 479 national historic sites like the 135-year-old Angela Peralta theater and bustling Pino Suárez open-air market, which has operated since 1899. In Plaza Machado, the gnome joined visitors and locals strolling alongside unique shops, art galleries, jazz clubs, museums, contemporary dance studios and outdoor concert halls. Old Mazatlán’s sidewalk cafés featured al fresco dining against a colorful backdrop of neoclassical architecture.

To follow the Travelocity gnome’s adventure in Mazatlán or for more information on the Battle of Destinations, visit www.batalladedestinos.com or www.gomazatlan.com.
# # #

About Mazatlán
Mazatlán is located on Mexico’s Pacific Coast at the foot of the Sierra Madre Mountains. As Mexico’s second largest coastal city, Mazatlán has nearly 600,000 inhabitants. The city is divided into two main areas: Old Mazatlán and Zona Dorada or Golden Zone, with a seven-mile coastal road between the two.  Mazatlán has an international sport-fishing reputation. Sites of interest include: the Angela Peralta Theater, Archeological Museum, Republic Plaza, Ocean Museum, Botanic Garden, San Jose Chapel and the world’s second-tallest lighthouse. Transportation is available via the local “pulmonías” or four-person open-air vehicles that have become a symbol of the city. Visit Mazatlán on the World Wide Web at www.gomazatlán.com.

teotitlan

by Ron Mader

My good friend Marlene Ehrenberg took this photo ‘la esposa de Moctezuma y la Malinche’ while attending the town festival in Teotitlan del Valle.

For me this photo is a good example of responsible tourism photography. Marlene asked permission to take the photo and visited the family of the girl on the left. This was a slow visit to a rural town, respecting the rhythm and valuing the traditions of rural Mexico.

Could California Help Bring Down The Cartels?

David Simmonds

Pot

We, the California People, might be a factor in significantly reducing the power and wealth of the Mexican drug cartels. How could that be? Well, California, mired in a fiscal budget crisis (way-to-go, Ahnold) that won’t go away, will be voting in November on whether to pass Proposition 19,  the Regulate, Control and Tax Cannabis Act of 2010. This would ” will legalize various marijuana-related activities, allow local governments to regulate these activities, permit local governments (but not the state government) to impose and collect marijuana-related fees and taxes, and authorize various criminal and civil penalties”. It would also pretty much take care of that budget problem pronto. Recent polls show it at about having a 50/50 chance of passing (Dems favor, GOP opposes).

But maybe, more importantly, passage would be a staggering blow to the cartels, who derive about 70% of their income from pot. Here’s an explanation of how that might work on this Newsweek web site:

http://www.newswek.org/2010/07/17/how-legal-pot-could-harm-the-cartels.html?from=rss

CANCUN WELCOMES RENOWNED MARINE BIOLOGISTS DURING THE 2010 WHALE SHARK FESTIVAL IN ISLA MUJERES

Whale Shark Festival Academic Conference Program Announced

Renowned Marine Biologists from Georgia Aquarium, Mote Marine Lab, Ecocean and Project Domino to Speak About Conservation, Whale Shark Preservation

Cancun, Mexico  – Noted marine biologists from some of the world’s most prestigious research institutions will present their research at the Third Annual Whale Shark Festival in Isla Mujeres, Mexico, this July, have been announced.

The scientists – who hail from the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, the Center for Shark Research/Mote Marine Laboratory in Florida, the nonprofit Ecocean and Mexico’s Project Domino — will discuss marine conservation and whale shark preservation during an Academic Conference to be held concurrently with the Whale Shark Festival July 16-18, 2010 in Isla Mujeres, Quintana Roo, Mexico.

The Academic Conference will be held July 17, 2010 at City Hall, Isla Mujeres.  Admission is free.  Members of the scientific community as well as the general public are welcome.

“It’s exciting for the Georgia Aquarium to continue working with Project Domino in studying the whale sharks of Quintana Roo.  The waters of Quintana Roo are home to the most exceptional gathering of whale sharks known to science and a host of other beautiful and important marine species,” said Dr. Al Dove, Senior Scientist, Georgia Aquarium and presenter at the Whale Shark Festival.

“We are thrilled to have such noted researchers participate in the Academic Seminars.  They have come from all over the world to present their conclusions on whale shark migration and preservation,” said John Vater, co-founder of ecotourism travel agency Ceviche Tours, a key sponsor of the Whale Shark Festival.  “This is an important time to study marine conservation and how to protect our oceans and its inhabitants.”

The schedule for the Academic Conference is as follows:

July 17, 2010
4:30-5:15pm
“The Utila Connection”
Research collaboration program of the Whale Shark between México-Honduras
Presented by Biol. Beatriz Eugenia Galván Pastoriza
Project Domino, Mexico

5:15-6:00pm
“Afuera 2009, an extraordinary aggregation of Whale Sharks.”
Biol. Rafael de la Parra Venegas, Research Coordinator
Project Domino, Mexico

6:00-6:45pm
“Threats for Whale Sharks in the Gulf of Mexico.”
Dr. Robert Hueter, Director, Center for Shark Research
Mote Marine Laboratory, Sarasota, Florida, E.U.A.
www.mote.org

6:45-7:30pm
“Whale Sharks: from the aquarium to the sea.”
Dr. Al Dove, Senior Scientist
Georgia Aquarium
www.georgiaaquarium.org

7:30-8:00pm
“Whale shark community monitoring: understanding a threatened species”
Darcy Bradley, International Outreach Coordinator
Ecocean
www.ecocean.org

“Spotting and then swimming with a whale shark is a sensational experience, watching an enormous shark gracefully moving and approaching in reciprocal curiosity is a lifetime memory,” said Rafael de la Parra, Research Coordinator, Project Domino.  “Now studying ‘dominoes’ for almost ten years learning about their biology and natural history, we will produce several publications this year allowing us to compare and discuss on different topics concerning their behavior, movements, physiology and population dynamics.”

About the Whale Shark Festival
The Whale Shark Festival is an effort to raise awareness of the need to preserve the area’s marine ecosystem.  It is a community extravaganza that showcases the achievements, the traditions and the environmental splendor of Isla Mujeres.  Last year thousands flocked to the family-friendly Whale Shark Festival, which offers guests an opportunity to participate in ecotourism adventures such as swimming with whale sharks, the largest fish in the ocean and an endangered species; traditional dancing performed by local troupes; exploring ancient Mayan ruins and much more.

A portion of the Festival proceeds will be donated to several environmental not-for-profit organizations.

Booking Travel
Travel arrangements and bookings for whale shark tours can be made through the Ceviche Tours Website (www.cevichetours.com).

For More Information
For a complete listing of 2010 Whale Shark Festival activities and for more information, visit www.whalesharkfest.com.

About Ceviche Tours

Ceviche Tours provides sustainable ecotourism and travel services to the Yucatan and Isla Mujeres, Mexico. Founded by John and Adriana Vater of Spa Adriana in Huntington Village, NY, with longtime friend and Isla Mujeres native Luis “Cuco” Refugio and his family, Ceviche Tours works with the indigenous islanders of Isla Mujeres to help preserve their culture and maintain the integrity and beauty of the surrounding marine environment.  Through education and photo identification efforts, Ceviche Tours joins the worldwide effort to protect and preserve whale sharks.  As participants on our whale shark tours, guests are invited to be part of those identification and tracking efforts.  For more information, please contact www.cevichetours.com.
About Cancun

Cancun is located in the northern part of the southeastern Mexican state of Quintana Roo. It is Mexico’s number one tourist destination and is known all over the world for its spectacular beaches, unique beauty and breathtaking turquoise waters.

Cancun’s shoreline recently underwent a $71 Million Dollar makeover, that featured 1.3 billion gallons of sand to renovating the Hotel Zone’s seashore.  The most popular tourism destination in Mexico and Latin America has also added to its sun, beach, and nightlife, by creating a unique five-day route that will offer visitors a chance to experience adventure and interaction with nature. Cancun and the Treasures of the Caribbean invite travelers to discover the vast natural, cultural and gastronomical cultures of Puerto Morelos, and the four islands of the Mexican Caribbean: Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Contoy and Cozumel. Cancun is a multifaceted destination that combines nature, historical Mayan Culture, glamour, luxury and world class tourism with the seduction for adventure, the passion for paradisiacal nature and the enchantment of gastronomical magic.

For more information, visit the Cancun Convention and Visitors Bureau website at: www.cancun.travel.