All posts filed under: Destinations

Whale Watching Season in Cabo

One of the most exciting activities to do in Cabo is whale watching! During the winter, Humpback whales and Gray whales migrate from the northerly waters of Alaska, British Columbia, and Washington State to the warmer waters of the Pacific coast of Mexico, including the Cabo San Lucas area. In the Mexican Pacific, whale watching season runs from mid-November to mid-April each year. Humpback whales arrive in mid-November through early December, with the peak number of adult Humpback whales in December through January. During this time, it’s most common to see adult whales on your tour. In late December to early January, newborn baby Humpback whales start to appear, and then by early February the babies start to become very active and they are quite often seen on tours between February and April. Gray whales are not as common as Humpback whales, but they can still be seen in the waters around Cabo. Gray whales arrive in early January and stay until March. Gray whales do their mating north of Cabo, so it’s not very …

Cancún Prohibition of Plastics

Regulation of the use and consumption of plastics is growing in Mexico, due to public concern about how plastics are destroying the environment and its wildlife.   One of the main challenges in highly touristic cities is the eradication of the use of disposable plastics in public places, specifically on beaches and in parks. Straws, glasses, cutlery, bags, bottles, styrofoam, and a wide variety of non-biodegradable products are the current focus of attention due to the ease with which they reach our hands and with which they are wasted.   In December of 2017, the city of Querétaro became the first city in Mexico to ban plastic bags, by unanimous city council approval of the Regulation of Environmental Protection and Climate Change, which allows for a fine of up to 200,000 pesos to anyone who violates the new provision. Earlier this year, the state of Jalisco announced a plan to prohibit the use of plastic straws and plastic bags, starting awareness campaigns in January 2019 and moving into a ban on those products in 2020. …

Puerto Vallarta Center Receives Appointment as Cultural Heritage

In July 2018, the Historic Center of Puerto Vallarta was designated a Cultural Heritage location by the Ministry of Culture of Jalisco. This designation will go a long way toward preserving the image and essential characteristics of the “typical Mexican village on the seashore.” This year marks the 100th anniversary of the creation of the municipality,   The protected zone includes the area from the hotel Rosita at the beginning of the Malecon, through the Romantic Zone and Conchas Chinas.   The government recognizes the architectural, historical and cultural value of these areas of Puerto Vallarta, as well as the enjoyment these areas provide to international tourists who come to visit the city. This designation is good news for the Puerto Vallarta Tourism Board, the agency responsible for generating good publicity for the city, as PV is the most important city for tourism in the state of Jalisco.   “Puerto Vallarta’s historic center is the heart of our city and a major attraction to our visitors and, like all world heritage sites, it must be …

Isla Mujeres Day Trips

Isla Mujeres, named for the small female figurines discovered by the Spanish during their arrival in the 16th century, is a tiny islet stationed a 20 minute ferry ride off the eastern coast of Mexico. Home to sugary white sand beaches and some of the most scenic snorkeling sites on the planet, Isla Mujeres has become a popular day trip from Cancun, attracting a global complement of visitors yearly. While splashing in the island’s cerulean waters or passing a lazy afternoon in a breezy hammock on the beach is a perfectly good way to spend the day, the island is also home to a small but thriving town with an array of attractions. The island measures less than 5 miles across, making it extremely easy to get around on foot. However, golf carts and scooters are other widely used methods of transportation on the island, and are readily available to rent. Inland from the shore is a network of artisan vendors offering one of a kind souvenirs such as colorful hand blown glassware and fine …

The Origin of Mexican Chillies

Christopher Columbus is most commonly credited with aiding the spread of chillies (and their popularity) across the globe, but did you know that these spicy little plants originated in Mesoamerica? Particularly in ancient Mexico. Long before Columbus ever reached the “New World” the ancient Aztecs and Maya had domesticated the chilli plant; archaeologists can trace them as far back as 5000 BC in the Tehuacán Valley! The word chilli comes from Nahuatl (an Aztec language from which many modern terms and words are derived). The plant itself had many uses beyond spicing up food and drinks; it was used for medicinal purposes and for the fumigation of homes in certain cultures!   So you see, the chilli has been popular for a very long time! In fact, research conducted near Chiapa de Corzo has turned up some interesting results concerning the use of chilli peppers in beverages amongst the Mixe-Zoquean peoples. The site, found in Southern Mexico, turned up a number of pottery vessels (some believed to be for holding drinks); the sides of these …

How John Huston Put Puerto Vallarta Center Stage

While Puerto Vallarta is currently celebrating its 100th year as an incorporated municipality, the transformation that has taken it from humble coastal Mexican fishing village to globally celebrated travel destination has only unfolded relatively recently. In search of a setting for his cinematic love story “Night of the Iguana,” legendary director John Huston looked far beyond the well traveled beaches of Hawaii and Florida in favor of a more idyllic backdrop. The tropical paradise known as Puerto Vallarta was unknown to all but the rich and famous in the 1960s, but everything changed when the silver screen visionary flew co-stars Richard Burton and Liz Taylor, two of the most famous faces in film, to the secluded town for a visit. Huston had lived in Mexico for many years, and was familiar with the Banderas Bay region in particular. Wanting the most authentic performances from the on-screen couple, he constructed a set simulating a small Mexican town just south of the city, in Mismaloya. The area was extremely remote, only accessible by boat and without infrastructure …

Understanding Los Cabos

With the opening of Garza Blanca Los Cabos just around the corner, we want to share some information about the area, for those who might not be familiar. The term “Los Cabos” refers to the area of the southern Baja California Peninsula that includes Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and the corridor in between the two cities. Cabo San Lucas is at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. It is the largest city in the Los Cabos area, and perhaps the well-known city in the area. Swimmable beaches, water activities, entertainment and nightlife can be found here. Medano Beach is the main beach in Cabo San Lucas. You can go parasailing, jet skiing, paddleboarding and kayaking off Medano Beach. The Marina and Downtown are walkable areas full of shops, restaurants and bars. You can indulge in high-end luxury shopping at stores such as Louis Vuitton,  Coach and Rolex Luxury Avenue in the Marina, and Plaza Puerto Paraiso downtown. You can take high-end charter boat rides and glass bottom boat rides from the Marina. …

Summertime Scuba Diving in Cancun

Every summer, scuba divers from all over the world flock to Cancun to experience its legendary dive sites. Garza Blanca Residence Club members who enjoy diving can take advantage of Cancun’s coral reefs, and experience an unforgettable adventure swimming with whale sharks, manta rays, sea turtles and more. Unique Diving Sites Cancun and the nearby areas are famous for having every kind of diving you could want. There are several shipwrecks, underwater caves, lagoons and cenotes, each one containing different varieties of marine life.   There is also the Underwater Museum of Art (MUSA) which features over 500 life-sized and monumental-sized underwater sculptures in the shape of human beings, animals, houses, cars and other objects. These sculptures were made out of material that is designed to promote regeneration of the coral reefs. MUSA is one of the largest underwater art attractions in the world, and is definitely a must-see for divers.   As a member of Garza Blanca Residence Club, you have access to Villa Del Palmar Cancun’s tour agency which can coordinate tours and …

Puerto Vallarta for Art and Galleries

Puerto Vallarta has long been a go-to vacation destination for sun worshippers, water sports enthusiasts, and luxury seekers of the world, but did you know that it is also one of the best places in Mexico to come to if you’re an art lover, or have an interest in art works of any kind. The galleries here are all unique, and each have a specialization in what they exhibit and display. In Puerto Vallarta everything from ceramics to glasswork and paintings can be found with ease. Whether you consider yourself a real connoisseur of art, or have just a passing interest you should really consider looking around when you’re in Puerto Vallarta; there are few better places in the country to get acquainted with Mexican art. Here are the highlights of the art scene in Puerto Vallarta: Galeria Uno A true cornerstone in Puerto Vallarta’s art scene, Galeria Uno specializes in works which are colorful and vibrant, no matter their style. Omar Alonzo Omar Alonzo is a sleep gallery which regularly rotates its exhibits, and …

Protecting Mexico’s Turtles

The sea turtle is by far one of the most beloved sea creatures to be found along Mexico’s coastline, and in its waters. The country’s stunning beaches are home to nesting grounds for loggerhead, hawksbill, and green turtles. Nesting Turtles in Mexico For thousands of years, female turtles have made the long, and often arduous, journey from their feeding ground to the beaches on which they themselves hatched. This ritual, and the effort the gestating female turtle’s make as they pull their heavy bodies up the sand and dig secure nests, is a huge part of the survival of this wonderful species! Protecting Turtles in Mexico Sadly, hunting, pollution, and overfishing, amongst other things, have devastated sea turtle populations. Because of this, all sea turtle species are now classed as endangered. Thankfully, countries like Mexico are taking action to ensure that these stunning sea creatures are with us for generations to come. These measures are both legal and practical; in Mexico it is now illegal to hunt sea turtles or disturb their nests, but there …