6 Things to Know About Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

We knew we wanted one last family trip before our toddler turned the magical age of two and we’d have to shell out the cash for an extra plane ticket. As we typically do when we’re planning a trip, we looked at a map and threw around ideas: Fiji? Tahiti? Hawaii? Costa Rica? No. Four nights seemed too short to travel the distance. Besides, did I mention the toddler? We needed close, easy, and all-inclusive to counteract the stress of work and everyday life.

Los Cabos, Mexico? Bingo.

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Once we nailed down the destination, I did my usual searching through travel review sites like TripAdvisor and Oyster. It didn’t take long to decide on the family-friendly Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos, the first-ever all-inclusive Hyatt hotel.

It was a quick shuttle ride from the airport, and once we arrived, all our worries melted away. If you’re considering a stay at the Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos or have already booked a vacation, here are a few things you should consider:

1. A swim-up suite might be worth the extra money.

swimup suite hyatt ziva los cabosThe view from our Swim-Up Suite

It was worth every penny for our family. We knew our son would be too young for the kids club and we’d be stuck in the room at naptime each afternoon, so we splurged on a swim-up suite. Instead of being confined to the room, we’d put him to sleep in the crib and hang out on lounge chairs or take a dip in the pool… literally feet away from the room and within earshot.

When you book this suite, you gain access to Premium Level services including access to the Exclusive Premium Level Lounge with premium drinks, light snack options, and appetizers all day. While I wouldn’t normally consider this a perk worth the extra money, we had our “this is awesome and so worth it” moment when we went up for drinks on their spacious patio and nobody else was there. As any parent can attest, it’s a very good thing when your toddler can roam and run without bothering anyone. So yes, we quietly sipped margaritas and held hands while the tot tested out every single seat on the balcony. And then started over again. It was a relaxing 30 minutes. We headed back to the Lounge a few more times throughout our stay and had the same experience.

Tip: If you don’t have a swim-up suite, be warned that people head to the pools early to reserve lounge chairs for the day. You snooze, you lose.

2. Book a family photo session.

Adventure Photos has a storefront at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos and you can make an appointment for a photo session. What’s the coolest thing about this company? Your 30-minute photo session is free and you only pay for the photos you like. At the time of our stay, photos were $15 each and you can get them in digital format with copyrights. If you end up wanting many of the shots like we did, it’s cheaper to buy a package.

adventure photos hyatt ziva los cabosA few of our favorites from the Adventure Photos session.

Tip:  Book your appointment as soon as you get to the resort because time slots fill quickly. I’d recommend not waiting until the last day for your photo session. This way, if for some reason you aren’t completely satisfied with the pictures, you can rebook before you leave.

3. They don’t have the best swimming beach – but it doesn’t matter.

The surf is way too rough.  If you spend a few minutes reading Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos reviews online, you’ll figure this out. We knew before booking, but because we planned to spend most of our time in the pool, it didn’t matter. We headed to the beach for pictures and to play in the sand. Within minutes, we were back at the pool because we couldn’t take the heat.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABring your own beach toys to Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos

4. Relax and enjoy the night sky on the lounge beds by the firepits.

They’re awesome and the best place at Hyatt Ziva Los Cabos to enjoy a nightcap. Enough said.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe firepits glow at night.

5. Kids will love it.

If your kids are old enough to head to the kids club, awesome. If not, depending on the age and your budget, consider that swim-up suite. For the younger crowd, there’s also a splash pad and playground.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASwim-Up Suite fun for the whole family. Mom relaxes and toddler plays. 

We arranged our swim-up suite lounge chairs to make a kiddie pool and the tot had a blast with his pool toys we brought from home. Yet another reason we loved that upgrade.

6. Couples can enjoy the quieter adults-only pool.

I made a point to spend a few child-free hours at this pool while the boys napped one afternoon.

swimup suites adults only pool hyatt ziva los cabosThe Swim-Up Suites that connect to the quiet adults-only pool.

While the other pools offer ocean views and a swim-up bar, this pool is secluded and quiet. No screaming, no crying. It was heavenly. I also noticed some of the swim-up suites connect to this pool, so if you’re on a honeymoon or aren’t vacationing with kids… take note!

Mexican airline Interjet now serving Orange County

Mexico’s second largest airline, Interjet, now offers daily non-stop service to Mexico City and Guadalajara from the John Wayne International Airport in Orange County, California.

With an inauguration ceremony, the airline began operations last Thursday, October 11 at John Wayne Airport Terminal B.

This represents a great step for Interjet as it becomes the first Mexican airline to service this important region in California.

Additionally, Interjet is now covering the west coast of the United States, adding another great destination to its American portfolio of cities which include New York, Miami, and San Antonio.

José Luis Garza, CEO of Interjet, mentioned there are great advantages to operate from John Wayne Airport as it is smaller, convenient, simpler, and decongested. He added that travelers will also find custom clearance to be fast and easy here.

In addition, Garza said they are always innovating and invites people to discover the advantages of flying with Interjet. “There are plenty of differentiators apart from the price, like legroom, leather seating, 110 lbs. bag allowance, free onboard snacks and beverages, and a lot of flexibility in the ticketing.”

Alan Murphy, John Wayne Airport Director, also mentioned this partnership with Interjet will continue to build strong relationships in business and in tourism between Mexico and Orange County.

He added travelers can actually reach many more destinations with Interjet, as they can connect to the many cities that Interjet services in Mexico and Central America.

Following Interjet’s “we give you more for less” tagline, their inaugural promotion fares are $289 round trip to Mexico City and $299 round trip to Guadalajara.

For more information and booking visit Interjet website: www.interjet.com

Boomer Fest Days will Rock Mexico in 2013

The Mexico Tourism Board Office in Los Angeles announced the creation of “Boomer Fest Days” during a press conference last Friday, September 14 in Los Angeles.

“Boomer Fest Days” is a Music, Food & Wine Festival that will take place in the coastal town of Puerto Peñasco (Rocky Point), Sonora, Mexico on May 1-5, 2013.

This five-day event will be a first of its kind and will include 24 top music bands and comedians from the 60s, 70’s, and 80’s. The organizers will be revealing some of the band names in the next few weeks.

The Managing Partner of the event, Henry Altman, is bringing together a world-class production team who has been involved in some of the most famous and spectacular events in the world.

Altman also mentioned the importance of “Boomer Fest Days” has to do with the fact that there are millions of baby boomers out there who have disposable income and who are at a time where they want to have fun and enjoy life.

With that in mind, some of the activities prepared for the visitors of “Boomer Fest Days” include:

  • Celebrity & Sponsors Golf Tournament
  • Celebrity & Sponsors Sport Fishing Tournament
  • Food & Wine Festival
  • Arts & Crafts Sales and Exhibitions
  • Motor Sports Exhibit, featuring Vintage Cars & Motorcycles
  • On-Stage Performances
  • Laser Light Show & Mega Fireworks
  • Carnival Games and Ferris Wheel
  • And many more…

The organizers expect a crowd of about 50,000 people attending the five-day event and encourage visitors to make their reservations on time. Tickets for “Boomer Fest Days” will officially go on sale in mid-November through their website.

Why Rocky Point, Sonora? Because this area is not only a booming touristic attraction enjoying a beautiful coast line on the Sea of Cortes, but also because there are over 31 million Americans living within 400 miles of the Festival site.

“Boomer Fest Days” has the support of the Mexico Tourism Board, the Sonora Tourism Board, and Puerto Peñasco Visitors Bureau.

For more information please visit www.boomerfestdays.com

 

Enjoy Paradise in Loreto, Baja California Sur, Mexico

We recently had the chance to visit Loreto and discover the magic, the beauty, and the real paradise that this destination has to offer.

Located on the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in the State of Baja California Sur in Mexico, Loreto is an ideal place for the perfect escape.

Whether you are looking for a quiet place to relax from it all or a more adventurous vacation full of fun and exciting things to do, Loreto will not disappoint you.

And the best place to stay just happens to be the only Five-Star resort in Loreto: Villa del Palmar Beach Resort & Spa at the Islands of Loreto.

Villa del Palmar is a fantastic resort with 180 luxury rooms with a Jacuzzi tub in each suite and well equipped with full kitchens. It is located on 1,800 hectares of property surrounded by nature and its own beach cove at Ensenada Blanca Beach.

The resort also has 5 pools, a world-class spa, a mini market, a kids’ area, and three restaurants.

The entertainment at Villa del Palmar is endless. Every day there are fun activities scheduled all day long. Start early with a morning hike on one of the trails that overlook the beautiful islands of Loreto.

Throughout your hike, you will see the diversity of vegetation in the area, the amazing water colors of the Sea of Cortez, and if you are lucky, you could spot Baja condors flying around the coast. Just make sure you are wearing enough sunblock.

If you wish to enjoy the resort’s activities, you can join the aqua-aerobics classes at the main pool every day. On different nights, they have a variety of great shows. Don’t miss Mexican Night on Saturdays; it is a fun, colorful display of all the important traditional dances of Mexico.

As far as water activities, Loreto is a true paradise. Not only is Loreto one of the best whale-watching spots during the winter months, but all year round you can enjoy great kayaking, snorkeling, scuba diving, and paddle boarding.

The late Sea Explorer Jacques Cousteau actually dubbed the Sea of Cortez “the aquarium of the world” due to the hundreds of species unique to the region.

Wild Loreto is a company with friendly staff and many years of experience who have an office in Villa del Palmar’s lobby.

Their staff can help you choose among all the fun activities and tours you can do during your stay in Loreto. They also have kayaks, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment for rent.

If you wish to ride on a catamaran boat around the islands, they can help you as well.

We took a boat to Danzante Island and it was an incredible experience. We saw many dolphins on the way there and we snorkeled at Honeymoon Beach, where we saw starfish and other types of sea life.

Historic Downtown

Not many know that Loreto is of great importance in the history of California. Actually, of both Californias: the Alta California and the Baja California.

The first mission was established in 1697 in Loreto, which also became the capital of the Californias.

And it is from here that the Spanish went on to build missions and presidios that went all the way up north ending at the Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma following El Camino Real.

Furthermore, the famous “Camino Real” actually starts in Loreto. Despite this importance, the town of Loreto has remained small, with a population of about 10,000 people.

If you want to be closer to the historic downtown, Hotel Santa Fe Loreto is a great place to stay. The spacious rooms are equipped with full kitchens and the hotel offers a pool, hot tub, and plenty of parking. It’s only a short walk to visit the historical Mission of Loreto.

How to get there

Loreto is such an easy destination to get to. From LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) there are several airlines that fly there. You can get great specials on a charter flight with CalJet Airlines.

They have a fantastic schedule leaving and returning on Saturdays. And best of all, the flight only takes 1 hour 40 minutes. It’s that fast!

If you love adventure and beautiful scenic road trips, you can go by car. Driving from San Diego is about 13 hours.

Most people drive to the town of Guerrero Negro on the Pacific side and spend the night, arriving in Loreto the next day.

If you’re looking for a relaxing beach getaway paired with authentic Mexican charm, Loreto is a destination you won’t want to miss. But hurry before it’s discovered!

 

On Travel Alert, But Mexico’s Top Destinations Remain Safe

On Monday, February 22nd a Travel Alert was issued by the U.S. Department of State regarding travel to Mexico.

For the many tourists who have been loyal to visiting Mexico over the years, this news wasn’t cause for concern. However, Mexico attracts new visitors every day and this Travel Alert could have potential tourists feel a little worried about traveling to Mexico.

CancunLeBlancBeachMexicoTo begin, this is not a new Travel Alert, but an update from a Travel Alert dated August 20, 2009 and is reviewed every six months. The main revisions on this version have to do with a few additional border areas where extra caution is recommended.

If you read the document, you will see the U.S. Department of State mainly refers to cities like Tijuana, Ciudad Juarez, and Nogales, where there has been an increase in violence along the U.S. – Mexico border.

Clearly, the Travel Alert has put an emphasis on the border area. But Mexico is a big country and fortunately the top touristic destinations are far from those border cities.

So what does it mean to travelers and how should we respond to this alert?

One of the things that we need to understand is that there is a big difference between a Travel Alert and a Travel Warning.

Basically a Travel Alert informs the public about short-term conditions, meaning U.S. citizens should take common-sense precautions (we hope you always use your common sense, regardless!).

OlmecaHeadTabascoMexicoOn the other hand, Travel Warnings are issued to describe long-term, protracted conditions that make a country dangerous or unstable.

So, it is very important U.S. citizens understand that this alert is not to discourage Americans from traveling to Mexico’s tourist destinations.

As I mentioned before, the top tourist destinations in Mexico are far from the areas included in the alert. For example, the distance from Cancun to Ciudad Juarez is 1,312 miles – approximately the same distance between New York and Miami (1,290 miles).

Other tourist spots like Los Cabos, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, and Acapulco, are about a two-hour flight away from the areas identified in the alert. In other words: no need to get up from your hammock, so relax and ask your waiter for another Margarita!

Putting things in perspective

Big fact: U.S. and international travelers continue to visit Mexico because they feel safe; they know the violence in the northern border cities is unrelated to Mexico’s main tourist areas.

Tourists who visit Mexico find the friendliness, warmth, and hospitality like no other place. Because of this, Mexico welcomed almost 22 million international tourists in 2009. In addition, over one million Americans choose to reside in Mexico.

Always remember: As with any other place in the world, you should always be a smart traveler, use your common-sense, be informed about the place you will visit, respect the local customs, and take any necessary precautions.

If you have any questions about what places to visit in Mexico, contact the Mexico Tourism Board or go to www.VisitMexico.com