Capella Pedregal’s Signature Todos Santos Day Tour

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There are so many wonderful towns in and around Los Cabos and visiting them is something both locals and tourists love to do.  One of the most popular day tours is a trip to the idyllic town Todos Santos, which translates to All Saints.  According to legend, the city takes its name from the saints hung outside local’s homes.  Marina, Capella Pedregal‘s Lead Personal Assistant, invited me to try the Signature Todos Santos Day Tour. I gladly accepted so I could experience it myself and tell you everything you need to know about this unique experience.

rsz_323Fabrizio, certified guide and driver, picked me up at 9:00 am from the hotel in a beautiful Escalade (not a bad way to travel!), and we began our journey.  The town is located about 45 miles north of Cabo San Lucas and is a peaceful and relaxing town that shines for its art community, surfing and unique natural beauties. This small town is an oasis located where the desert meets the ocean and Sierra la Laguna Mountain. The Mexican Tourism Secretary named Todos Santos a “Pueblo Magico” (Magical Town) in recognition of their efforts in keeping the cultural and historical wealth of Mexico. The beauty of this special town has attracted a large number of Mexican and international artists who find inspiration in its surroundings. Todos Santos is now considered a destination for artists, musicians, poets, and surfers.

Our first stop on our way to Todos Santos was to a local blown glass factory, where the glassmakers showed me the process of making a glass heart.  This was especially interesting, because this glass heart is used as decor around Capella Pedregal!  We spent about 30 minutes at the factory, as  I wanted to try and blow glass myself. It was such an interesting process and admittedly, much more difficult than it looked.  Moving forward, I’ll leave it to the experts!

Artist Carlos Diaz Castro , Indigo Gallery

Artist Carlos Diaz Castro , Indigo Gallery

The drive to Todos Santos is complete with beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean on one side and the desert and cactus on the other.  Once we got there, our first stop was Hotel California, founded in 1950.  For several years, it was the only bar and hotel and therefore the house for surfers and people looking for a special place to relax and unwind.  The hotel is famous for the Eagles song “Hotel California,” although there are no records or proof that the musicians were actually there.  There is a photo of one of the band members that was taken during his visit to Todos Santos.  If you listen to the song carefully, you find a lot of similarities that make fans believe the hotel is the one.  Each day, tourists go there looking for souvenirs and to listen to the famous song that plays in the gift shop throughout the day.

Steps away, you will find the Mission of Todos Santos, from which the town adopted its name. The mission contains the statue Virgin of Pilar, which is the focus of Todos Santos’ main festival in October each year. A must see!

Sculpture Benito Ortega Vargaz showing us a mold

Sculpture Benito Ortega Vargaz showing us a mold

We continued our tour visiting Indigo Gallery and Galeria Logan were we found artist Jill Logan painting. We also met local sculptor Benito Ortega Vargaz and pottery artist, Ruben Gutierrez.  Every corner of this town has something interesting!  After exploring and enjoying art, we stopped at a traditional Mexican restaurant for lunch.  Fabrizio gave me the option of having some free time for shopping or visiting Cerritos Beach.  I decided to finish the tour with a little of both.  I did not want to miss a thing!

If you are interested in experiencing the local culture of Todos Santos, please be sure to talk to your Personal Assistant at pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com. They would love to help you!

Favorite Things To Do In Cabo San Lucas

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December is here and with it the most festive and traditional season of the year!  This is also the month with the most visitors to our town, and the month when my Capella Pedregal colleagues and I receive many questions from our guests about what to do in Cabo San Lucas.  If you are planning your trip to our small piece of paradise, I hope you find my list of things to do in Cabo San Lucas useful!

Things to do in Cabo 1For Families:

-  Whale watching – a unique Baja experience from December to March.  You can enjoy whale watching from your Capella Pedregal suite, pool, or beach, or join a whale watching tour.

-  Baby turtle releases– each year, turtles come to our beaches to lay eggs.  You can participate in a baby turtle release and watch the hatchlings make their first journey to the sea.

-  Swim with dolphins, or become a dolphin trainer for a day – just steps from Capella Pedregal you can spend time with these beautiful and gentle animals.  Ask your Capella Pedregal Personal Assistant for more details.

-  Enjoy Los Cabos’s unspoiled beaches – spend the day at some of our most popular swimmable beaches: Medano beach, Santa Maria bay, El Chileno bay; or visit La Paz for many swimmable beaches.

For The Romantics:

-  Sunset Cruise – enjoy the view of Cabo San Lucas from the sea at a wine and jazz tour, or other sunset cruises.

-  Picnic or Private Dinner on The Beach – our team will help you create a wonderful experience with a romantic setup and delicious treats that will help you enjoy and cherish the moments together with your loved one.

-  Cooking classes and/or margarita making classes – two of our most popular and fun classes; learn to make dishes that you can share with friends and family.

-  Wine or tequila tasting– visit our wine and spirits cellar and learn more about the wines and try some of our Wine Director’s favorites.  Or learn about the history of tequila.  You can taste the many varieties and pick your favorite!

For Ocean Lovers:

-  Surfing, SUP, kayaking, kiteboarding – Baja is the best place to engage in water sports.  If you are skilled or ready to learn, experienced professionals will teach you any sport you’d like!

-  Snorkeling and diving – Jacques Cousteau named the Sea of Cortez “The Aquarium of the World” for a reason!  Explore the rich sea world of Baja in any of the numerous snorkeling and diving spots from Cabo San Lucas to Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park and beyond.

-  Visit Baja’s islands – visit UNESCO protected and uninhabited island Espiritu Santo, Coromuel island and others, and explore these beautiful remote places of Baja.

For The Adventurous:

-  Explore the Baja desert on ATVs – go deep into the desert with guided tours and live Baja as never seen before!

-  Swim in the hot springs of Santiago – nestled in the Sierra de La Laguna mountain range, a protected biosphere, these hot springs are a true gem for nature and adventure lovers.

-  Explore adjacent towns like San Jose del Cabo, Todos Santos, Los Barriles, La Ribera, El Triunfo, La Paz, and others – each of the towns will charm you in its own way.

For more ideas and recommendations for things to do in Cabo San Lucas and Baja California Sur, please email Capella Pedregal’s Personal Assistants with your desires and needs.  They will be able to help you plan and organize your ultimate Baja experience!

Have you visited Cabo San Lucas and/or Baja yet?  I would love to hear about your favorite activities in the comments below.

Actividades Favoritas En Cabo San Lucas

Things to do in Cabo 1

Con la llegada de diciembre llega también la época más festiva y llena de tradiciones del año!  Este es también uno de los meses con mayor afluencia a nuestro destino, y el mes donde mis colegas en Capella Pedregal y yo recibimos muchas preguntas de nuestros huéspedes sobre que hacer en Cabo San Lucas.  Si estás planeando tu viaje a nuestro pequeño pedazo de paraíso, espero que encuentres útil mi lista de cosas que hacer en Cabo San Lucas!

Things to do in Cabo 1Para familias:

-  Avistamiento de Ballenas – De diciembre a marzo puedes disfrutar de una de las experiencias únicas de la Baja, el avistamiento de ballenas ya sea desde tu suite de Capella Pedregal, la alberca, playa, o incluso tomar un tour de avistamiento de ballenas.

-  Liberación de tortugas bebé – cada año las tortugas llegan a nuestra playa a desovar.  Tu puedes participar en una liberación de tortugas y observar como las crías realizan su primer viaje al océano.

-  Nadar con delfines, o incluso ser un entrenador de delfines por un día – a sólo unos pasos de Capella Pedregal puede pasar tiempo con estos hermosos y nobles mamíferos acuáticos.  Pregunta a tu Personal Assistant de Capella Pedregal más detalles al respecto.

Disfrutar de las prístinas playas de Los Cabos – pasa el día en alguna de nuestras playas para nadar más populares:  El Médano, Bahía de Santa María, Bahía El Chileno; o incluso visitar La Paz para muchas playas para nadar.

Para los románticos:

-  Crucero a la puesta del sol – disfruta las vistas de Cabo San Lucas desde el mar en un tour de jazz y vino, u otras opciones para cruceros al atardecer.

-  Picnic o cena privada en la playa – nuestro equipo te ayudará a crear una maravillosa experiencia con un decorado romántico y deliciosos manjares que te ayudarán a disfrutar y valorar esos momentos especiales junto a tus seres amados.

-  Clases de cocina o clases de margaritas – dos de nuestras actividades más divertidas y populares; aprende como preparar los mejores platillos para disfrutar con tus amigos y/o familia.

-  Cata de vinos o tequila – visita nuestra cava de vinos y aprende más acerca de los vinos y prueba algunos de nuestros vinos favoritos.  O también aprende sobre la historia del tequila.  Puedes probar la basta variedad y elegir tu favorito!

Para los amantes del océano:

-  Surfing, SUP, kayaking, kiteboarding – Baja es el mejor lugar para practicar deportes acuáticos.  Ya sea que tengas experiencia o estés listo para aprender, profesionales expertos podrán asesorarte en el deporte de tu elección!

-  Snorkeling y buceo – No por nada Jacques Cousteau llamó al Mar de Cortéz “El Acuario del Mundo”!  Explora este rico mundo submarino de la Baja en cualquiera de los varios sitios para practicar snorkel o buceo de Cabo San Lucas al parque nacional de Cabo Pulmo y aún más allá!

-  Visita las islas de la Baja – Visita la virgen Isla Espíritu Santo protegida por la UNESCO, Coromuel y muchas otras que puedes explorar y sentir lo remoto de la Baja.

Para los aventureros:

-  Explora el desierto de la Baja en ATV – adéntrate en el desierto con tours guiados y ve la Baja como nunca la has visto!

-  Nada en las aguas termales de Santiago – a los pies de la Sierra de la Laguna, una biósfera protegida, esta agua termales son una verdadera gema para los aventureros y amantes de la naturaleza.

-  Explora poblaciones cercanas como San José del Cabo, Todos Santos, Los Barriles, La Ribera, El Triunfo, La Paz y muchos otros – cada uno de los pueblos te encantará con sus colores y costumbres.

 

Para más ideas y recomendaciones de que hacer en Cabo San Lucas y Baja California Sur, por favor envía un email a nuestros Asistentes Personales con tus deseos y necesidades.  Ellos serán capaces de ayudarte a planear y organizar la mejor experiencia de la Baja!

Has visitado Cabo San Lucas y/o la Baja ya?  Me gustaría escuchar cuáles son tus actividades favoritas en los comentarios abajo.

Visiting The Tomás Saraceno in orbit Exhibit

Tomás Saraceno in orbit

I am always on the lookout for fun and educational experiences and fortunately Dusseldorf offers a great deal of these!  Recently I asked one of Breidenbacher Hof’s Personal Assistants for some of her current favorite activities around town.  Her immediate suggestion?  The Tomás Saraceno in orbit exhibit at K21 Art Museum.  Intrigued, I had to check it out.

The exhibit, installed in the glass dome of the building, 25 meters above the ground, begins with a web that spans 2500 square meters broken into three levels.  From there six inflated spheres balance like bubbles atop the structure.  The structure can be viewed from below and above.  And the best part?  This is a hands-on exhibit!   My friends and I (and other visitors) were able to climb among the spheres and through the webbing!  I felt a bit like a spider and a bit like I was floating through clouds.

Tomás SaracenoAlthough there was a sense of weightlessness and airiness when exploring the sculpture, I learned that was far from the case.  The webbing of the structure actually weighs a few tons and the largest sphere is about 1000 pounds!  A lot of time also went into creating it, as Saraceno spent more than three years designing and planning the project with a team of engineers.  This piece is the perfect example of how looks can be deceiving!

I loved my visit to Tomás Saraceno in orbit and definitely suggest you visit it during your next trip to Breidenbacher Hof, A Capella Hotel.  Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant about this and other fantastic activities to experience around town, I’m sure you will be amazed by what you may discover!

 

 

Image info: 
© Studio Tomás Saraceno 2013
© Kunstsammlung NRW

Get To Know Zihuatanejo

Zihuatanejo

“I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams,” is one of the iconic lines from the movie The Shawshank Redemption.  This film, along with with When a Man Loves a Woman, are just two of the movies filmed in beautiful Zihuatanejo.  The Pacific here is as blue as you can imagine, and the Mexican way of life is just as you have dreamt about.  If you haven’t been to Zihuatanejo these films will surely inspire a visit.  But just in case you need more, here are some facts about the town:

History:

  • In the native Nahuatl language Zihuatanejo means a “place of women.”  We pronounce it “zee-watt-a-neh-ho.”
  • The city was founded in 1520s, with roots stretching back to the Olmec, Toltec and Tarascan tribes.  In the days of Spanish colonization, Zihuatanejo bay was a stopping point and safe haven for Spanish galleons, pirates and privateers.  Today the municipality has approximately 105,000 residents.

Weather:

  • The climate is warm, with an average yearly temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F).

ZihuatanejoBeaches & Activities:

  • In Zihuatanejo you can practice many water sports; it is famous for fishing, sailing, diving, snorkeling and surfing.
  • Some of the most amazing and swimmable beaches can be found in Zihuatanejo; Playa Principal, Larga, Blanca, La Madera, La Ropa, Las Gatas, to name just a few.  Read more about them here.

Wild life:

  • Lush nature and tropical landscape make Zihtauanejo a great destination for nature lovers: here you can see whales, turtles, crocodiles, endemic bird species, and other wildlife.  Don’t miss to visit the wildlife refuge El Refugio de Potosí.

Zihuatanejo BeachExperience:

  • Zihuatanejo is a small town, which was able to keep its historic charm and friendly atmosphere of an old fishing village.  I recommend exploring the city by foot: visit downtown “El Centro” and feel the vibe of the town and its colorful stores, cafes and restaurants, then continue the walk at the Paseo del Pescador, a beachfront promenade.  Sit at an adjacent restaurant and enjoy the view and the people watching.
  • Visit the colorful artisans market, where you can purchase ceramics, woodcarvings, weavings, sculptures, jewelry and clothing by talented local artisans.  My other favorite market is a food market – an unforgettable and delicious experience!

Food:

  • Try Zihuatanejo’s most popular and traditional dish tiritas (Thin slices of the freshest fish slightly cooked in the grill).  Our Chef Miguel Baltazar prepares it with fresh catch of the day.  I love how refreshing it is!

Twin Destination:

  •  Together with the resort town Ixtapa (home of Capella Ixtapa), Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo is referred to as one destination, which offers two distinct lifestyles and experiences.  The experience in Zihuatanejo, traditional port and fishing village, is combined with the comfort of a modern infrastructure and luxury services in Ixtapa.  The towns share 24 km of golden coastline with small bays and lush green hills.

Zihuatanejo is a wonderful place for vacation, relaxation, exploring nature and pristine Mexico.  Best part?  It is just a short drive away from Capella Ixtapa!

 

 

Images:
1. Zihuatanejo Bay by hmerinomx via Flickr
2. La Madera beach by chrismar via Flickr

Visiting Capella Ixtapa and Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Capella Ixtapa, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Capella Ixtapa is located in a unique and beautiful area of Guerrero, Mexico.  Blending into the lush green backdrop of the Sierra Madre mountain ranges, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo lies along a hilly tropical coastline and is surrounded by dozens of white sandy beaches.  I am fortunate to live in a paradise that blends two diverse destinations into one.  Ixtapa is a modern, master planned resort town with perfectly maintained landscaping, vanguard architectural design and services, a luxurious Marina with yachts from all parts of the world, exclusive residential areas, boutiques and two 18-hole, designer golf courses.  Meanwhile, Zihuatanejo is a charming traditional fishing village, rich in folklore and history and complete with its harbor, market, townsquare, beaches and main street.  Though the two towns have their differences in habitat and style, they share that same wonderful sense of Mexican hospitality.

Capella Ixtapa, Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo

Both of the towns and the hotel offer a myriad of opportunities to explore the area and enjoy its surroundings.  In this blog post I list some of my colleagues’ and my favorite activities in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo.  If you are interested in any, please send us an email, we’d be happy to organize the experience during your visit to Capella Ixtapa:

A visit to Petatlan, a town known for it’s gold market, church and typical Mexican street scene. You can learn more about Petatlan in our previous blog posts here and here.

Eco Tourism: Experience the eco-tourism in Ixtapa while biking, kayaking, snorkeling or visiting the wildlife refuge, El Refugio de Potosí.

A visit to Barra de Potosí: This small beachside village has endless fine-sand beaches and a large lagoon brimming with bird life.  You can swim, take boat trips, rent a kayak and paddle around the estuary or go horseback riding.

Golfing: Golf courses in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo are carved into some of the most stunning landscapes that you have seen, designed to seamlessly blend in with natural landscape.  Capella Ixtapa guests are granted access to the best area courses to enjoy during a golf vacation in Mexico.

Deep-Sea or Small Game Fishing Trips: Go deep-sea fishing with experienced and local captain and crew for Marlin, Sailfish, Dorado or Tuna.  While small-game fishing, you can reel in Bonita, Yellow Fin Tuna, Snapper, and many others.

Cook Your Own Catch: Bring your catch back to the hotel, and our Chef will prepare a delicious feast for you (you can even help the Chef prepare your lunch or dinner with a personalized cooking tutorial!).

Private Picnic on the Beach: Enjoy this lunch Oceanside listening to the sound of the waves crushing on the cliffs or in the privacy of your suite.

Swimming and Snorkeling at Ixtapa Island or Las Gatas beach: both beaches offer one of the best snorkeling experiences in the Pacific area.  The Ixtapa Island   (our General Manager’s favorite spot to swim and relax) has four different beaches to explore and enjoy, and Las Gatas Beach will enchant you with its white coral sand beach and crystalline water.

Sunset Cruise: Experience Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo from the Ocean, and enjoy the sunset with a grand view of the hotel zone of Ixtapa.

Shopping and City Tour: Take those postcard perfect pictures and shop for traditional Mexican artisan souvenirs.

Zihuatanejo Market (or a visit with our Chef): A small town market is a place where the sentiment of old Mexican tradition of “trade” still lives on, el Mercado is a place where farmers meet and sell their goods.  Experience the stalls full of colors, textures and smells where you’ll be able to buy some of the freshest fish, meat and produce.  You can accompany our Chef during his trip to the market and once you arrive back at the Hotel, you can join the Chef in the kitchen for cooking lessons using your purchases, and enjoy your creations in your private lunch set up overlooking the Pacific.

Swimming with Dolphins: A favorite activity with both children and adults; swim with dolphins and learn about these amazing mammals.

Horse Back Riding: Ride along the beach at Playa Larga or trot along picturesque countryside trails throughout our mountain ranch tour.

Canopy Tour: Enjoy a family adventure that provides just the right mix of fun, physical challenges and pure adrenaline rush.  There are different high ropes activities such as hanging and moving bridges, ladders, and zip lines up to 250 meters long and 30 meters high that allow you to fly through the trees.

We also have some fantastic activities on property, including:

Capella Signature Margarita Making Classes

Educational Tequila Tasting

Mexican Wine Pairing Dinner

Mexican Cooking Classes

 

For more information on any of the above mentioned activities – or any other activity you are interested in doing in Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo please contact our Personal Assistant at pa.ixtapa@capellahotels.com or call them at +52 755 55 5 11 00.  Your PA looks forward to helping you experience Capella Ixtapa and our beautiful Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo!