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!

La Paz Carnival

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The end of February marks the beginning of traditional carnival festivities in more than 200 of Mexico’s town and cities.  While some towns celebrate in small and uniquely traditional ways, others organize large and spectacular carnival festivities, which makes them a must see event.  Three of the most popular places to see the carnival in the country are Mazatlan, Veracruz and Cabo San Lucas’ neighbor town, La Paz.  I am already making my plans to attend, and if you are in Baja between February 27 and March 4, I recommend you to visit as well!

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The first La Paz Carnival (we call it Carnaval La Paz) was organized in 1898, making it one of the oldest in the country.  The carnival is a week long party on the main seaside street Malecon, where the Sea of Cortez makes a beautiful backdrop to all the festivities.  The carnival usually starts with the condemning of an effigy called mal humor (bad mood) and the electing of a Carnival Queen and a King of Happiness.  There are fun parades with floats, street parties and street vendors (you must try their churros filled with caramel), and in the evenings there are concerts by popular Mexican musicians with festivities that go on until early morning hours.  Costumes worn by participants are very creative and vary each year, and I can’t wait to see what people will come up with this year.

Carnival in Mexico ends on Mardi Gras, or Martes de Carnaval, when another effigy Juan Carnaval is burned; he represents all the wanton revelry associated with the festivities.  This marks the end of the debauchery and return to temperance.  On Ash Wednesday people go to church to receive ashes and the abstinence of Lent will begin.

One of the things that make a visit to La Paz Carnaval special for me is that all the festivities happen at the Malecon, with fantastic sea and sunset views.  During the day I love watching the dolphins playfully jump out of the sea just by walking on Malecon, visiting their beautiful beaches or taking short trips to the adjacent islands.

If you are interested in visiting La Paz or attending our traditional Carnaval, please contact your Personal Assistant at pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com or call us at (624) 163-4300.

Photo: Carnaval La Paz

Carnaval De La Paz

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El fin de febrero marca el inicio de las tradicionales fiestas de carnaval en más de 200 entidades de México. Mientras que en algunas ciudades se realizan pequeñas y singulares celebraciones, otras tantas organizan grandes y espectaculares fiestas de carnaval, lo cual las hace una experiencia que se tiene que vivir. Tres de los sitios más populares para vivir la fiesta de Carnaval son Mazatlán, Veracruz y la ciudad vecina de Cabo San Lucas, La Paz. Desde ya tengo planes para asistir a el Carnaval de La Paz, y si te encuentras en la Baja Sur entre Febrero 27 y el 4 de Marzo te recomiendo ampliamente que lo visites!

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El primer Carnaval de La Paz se organizó en 1898 lo cual lo hace uno de los más antiguos en el país. El carnaval es una celebración que dura una semana y se desarrolla principalmente en el Malecón, donde el Mar de Cortez actúa como un magnífico telón de fondo para las festividades. El Carnaval usualmente inicia con la condena al “mal humor” y la elección de la reina y el rey de la felicidad. Hay divertidos desfiles con carros alegóricos, fiestas en la calle, y puestos callejeros (mis favoritos los de churros, donde tienen que probar los churros rellenos con cajeta), y durante las tardes y noches se organizan conciertos con músicos normalmente populares en México y fiestas que duran hasta las primeras horas del día siguiente. Los disfraces que utilizan los participantes son muy creativos y varían cada año, no puedo esperar a ver con que cosas salen disfrazados este año.

El carnaval en México termina el Martes de Carnaval, cuando otra imagen, la de Juan Carnaval se quema; esta imagen representa toda la juerga desenfrenada asociada con las fiestas. Esto marca el final del derroche y el regreso a la cordura. En Miércoles de Ceniza, la gente se dirige a la iglesia y recibe las cenizas que marcan el inicio de la Cuaresma.

Una de las muchas cosas que hacen especial una visita al Carnaval de La Paz es que todas las fiestas suceden en el malecón, con vistas al mar y espectaculares atardeceres. Durante el día me encanta ver a los delfines brincar y juguetear en el mar mientras caminas simplemente por el malecón, visitar las excelentes playas de La Paz o tomar pequeños viajes a las islas cercanas a La Paz.

Si estás interesado en visitar La Paz o asistir a su tradicional Carnaval, por favor contacta a tu Asistente Personal en el mail: pa.pedregal@capellahotels.com o llámanos al (624) 163-4300.

Foto: Carnaval de La Paz

Wellness Activities in Baja

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Happy New Year!  I hope the year started wonderfully for you!  For me personally, the New Year is always a time to reflect on all the good things in my life, my achievements in the previous year, and plans to start new beginnings with fresh ideas.  I like to start off with good intentions to make positive changes in my life.  This year especially, I want to focus on wellness in all areas of my life.  In Baja there are many activities that promote wellness and I wanted to share three of my favorites with you.  I believe they are a great way to connect with nature, your body and your spirit and I plan to experience them as frequently as possible this year!

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SUP Yoga:  I love SUP yoga, because it allows me to practice yoga in my favorite environment: the sea!  If you are not familiar with SUP yoga, it is yoga but done on a stand up paddle board (SUP) on the sea.  I love how it enhances the yoga experience and benefits, and really strengthens your core and balance.  You can partake SUP yoga classes at Medano beach in Cabo San Lucas (please check with your Personal Assistant on the dates, as they are organized as special events).  I also love to take an unplugged weekend in Los Barriles and attend SUP yoga classes with the locals.

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Surfari Trips:  If you like safari, you need to try a Baja surfari; a surf trip around Baja, where you get to surf some of the best surf spots in Baja!  Surfaris provide a very unique opportunity to experience nature, the ocean, hidden bays and small villages—all while learning new surfing skills and spend quality time with friends or family.  I love surfaris in Baja, as you can join them any time of year – because we are surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, there are always great surf breaks somewhere.

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Spa Time:  for a complete restoration of body and health there is nothing like a visit to the spa.  At Capella Pedregal’s Auriga spa we have just launched the entirely new wellness program with wellness treatments and 1- to 3-day wellness packages based on moon phases.  One of my new favorite treatments is Harmonyum. Gabby, the therapist, who was trained exclusively on this treatment, explained that our body has the power to heal itself when we are in perfect harmony and it all starts in the spine, which connects and protects all the nerves in our body.  She explained that the Harmonyum method, which is based on curing with energy, works on the spinal column and the organs.  It transmits positive impulses to the body through the nervous system.  The experience is extremely relaxing, and you can feel the benefits throughout your body for days.  You will feel energized physically, mental and emotionally.

 

For more information on any of these and other wellness activities in Baja, please contact our Personal Assistants.

 

Photo source:
SUP Yoga Cabo
Baja Surfari
Auriga spa

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.

Surfing Southern Baja

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Surfing Southern Baja is a favorite pastime of visitors and locals alike.  Especially in spring, when the wind combines with the currents to create the prefect conditions to take (or rent) your surfboard and head into the water.

There are several surfing spots in Baja, but some of the favorites are Acapulquito and Cerritos beach.  Both beaches offer waves for beginners as well as for experienced surfers.  After work you can often find some of my colleagues at the Acapulquito Beach in San Jose del Cabo, just 20 minutes from Capella Pedregal.  This is a perfect beach for beginners.  The waves break here from mid-March through September, although with proper weather conditions you can surf all year long.

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My personal favorite is Cerritos Beach. While it is slightly further from Capella Pedregal at a 45 minutes drive, it is just a couple of minutes from the village Todos Santos.  Cerritos is a world famous beach not just for fantastic surf all year long (experienced surfers will like the break best from October to March), but also for miles of sandy beach and a beautiful location for swimming and spending the day with family and friends.

If you like surfing, or have always wanted to learn to surf, but never dared to try, a visit to Los Cabos makes for the perfect opportunity!  Surfing trainers in Baja will have you standing on your board in less than a day (I promise!).  When planning your stay at Capella Pedregal, contact your Personal Assistant, who will be happy to organize a surfing day for you.

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Photo credits:
1.  Costa Azul Surf Shop: http://www.costa-azul.com.mx
2.  Your Capella Pedregal Insider