MAGA ZINE 2018
B I E N V E N I D O TO T H E L AT E S T E D I T I O N O F V I S I T M E X I C O M A G A Z I N E . W E A R E E XC I T E D TO S H A R E S O M E C A R E F U L LY C U R AT E D I N S I G H T S O F T H I S I N C R E D I B LY V I B R A N T C O U N T R Y. F R O M T H E C O LO N I A L S P L E N D O U R O F T H E P U E B LO S M Á G I C O S TO T H E E C L E C T I C M E T R O P O L I S O F M E X I C O C I T Y, I T H A S B E E N A N E XC I T I N G Y E A R S O FA R F O R U S I N M E X I C O.
We are delighted to highlight some of our top tips and offer locations that are not to be missed. As a destination, there is something for everyone – from Holbox, for couples seeking a romantic getaway; to Potrero Chico Park in Hidalgo, Nuevo León, perfect for adrenalin junkies; to Puebla, for foodies looking to be tantalised by gastronomic delights; to the cultural spectacle of Merida. Mexico surprises and delights all its visitors. In this issue, we are excited to shine the spotlight on several destinations, including Creel – a magical town with a natural beauty that has to be witnessed first-hand. Travellers can experience the unforgettable scent of the pine forests, the beautiful waterfalls of the Sierra Tarahumara, and the Monje Valley, also known as the Valley of the Gods. When visiting Creel you will be immersed into the traditions of the Rarámuri culture, and
as the saying goes, when a Rarámuri smiles at you, a part of your heart will stay there. We are also showcasing the vibrant food scene of Oaxaca. It has an eclectic mix of colonial architecture alongside traditions from ancient civilisation, creating a culture and warmth that is embodied by its people today, who will welcome you with open arms to experience what the city has to offer. If you are seeking the perfect balance between relaxation and adventure, we are delighted to introduce the exquisite fishing village of Ixtapa. Surrounded by mountains extending down to the sea, it has a traditional atmosphere and peaceful environment with numerous beaches to choose from. At the same time activities, including scuba diving, bird watching and fishing, will keep you occupied if you are looking for more of an adventure on these idyllic sands.
Even if you have visited Mexico before, the country’s diverse offering means there is always something new to discover. As I enter my sixth year working for the Mexico Tourist Board, I still get excited when I stumble across a new bustling food market in Oaxaca or visit an ancient heritage site, such as the San Francisco Temple in Sombrerete, and learn more about my fascinating country. If you are planning a trip to Mexico and you want to find out more beyond the pages of the magazine, head to www.visitmexico.com for further inspiration and information on this magical destination. Come and discover Mexico with us, Vicente Salas Director of Mexico Tourism Board for UK, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Portugal, South Africa, Russia and Baltics
CONTENTS W E L C O M E TO M E X I C O, T H E V I B R A N T L A N D O F S U N S H I N E , C O LO U R A N D C U LT U R E . I N T H I S I S S U E W E LO O K I N TO S O M E O F T H E A C T I V I T I E S YO U C A N E N J OY, E V E N T S YO U C A N AT T E N D, C I T I E S YO U C A N V I S I T A N D C U LT U R E YO U C A N E X P E R I E N C E . E N J OY R E A D I N G.
SUN & SEA
MAGICAL TO W N S
ADVENTURE & SPORT
ART & C U LT U R E
P U E R TO VA L L A R TA
T R AV E L PA R T N E R S
AT A G L A N C E
BAJA CALIFORNIA I N C R E D I B L E B E A C H E S, WO R L D - C L A S S WAT E R S P O R T S, E XOT I C W I L D L I F E – B A J A C A L I F O R N I A I S T H E P R E F E C T S U N & B E A C H D E S T I N AT I O N . Mexico’s Baja California peninsula – comprising the states of Baja California in the north and Baja California Sur in the south – offers two of the world’s most attractive coastlines within a matter of kilometres of one another. To the west is the vast expanse of the Pacific Ocean, with
its exceptional surfing waves and picture-book sunsets; to the east, the peninsula is bordered by the magnificent Sea of Cortez, dotted with charming unpopulated islets and sustaining one of the richest marine ecosystems on the planet. Along each side, visitors can find
some of the country’s best beaches, including long, uninterrupted expanses of sand, as well as small, secluded coves, tucked away beneath the cliffs. Baja California remains among the most attractive destinations for the beach-lover to swim, surf or simply lie back and bask in the sun.
ENS E N A DA The 4 million visitors who flock annually to Ensenada know precisely why they come – it is one of Baja California’s most exciting cities, with excellent hotels and restaurants, plus a fine selection of beaches to match any in the region. The long oceanfront is characterised by its open public spaces, while the beaches welcome everyone from families looking to relax in the sun, to surfers seeking a thrill ride. Estero Beach favours those looking either to laze or to explore the brilliant underwater world populated by dolphins, sea lions and exotic reef fish. Meanwhile the likes of San Miguel Beach offers some strong waves ideal for surfing. Both Baja and El Faro beaches are slightly south of downtown Ensenada and popular with visitors of all ages. There are numerous options for places to stay, and a wide range of amenities close to the beautiful sands. L A PA Z The capital of Baja California Sur, La Paz, sits on a bay over the Gulf of California, towards the southern end of the long peninsula. Most visitors will want to spend some time getting acquainted with the region along La Paz’s malecón, or waterfront promenade, which offers uninterrupted views over the blue waters of the bay. You can find a place to eat and drink, or simply to watch the pelicans and herons swoop across the water and around the yachts moored in the harbour. Before too long, you’ll be drawn to the ocean yourself, and a short distance north of the city you’ll find the
Balancing Rock, Playa Balandra
likes of Caimancito, Coromuel,Tesoro and Pichilingue beaches, all of which are well equipped to cater for hours spent on the sand. Slightly further away, the beaches of Balandra and Tecolote are sublime examples of Mexico’s unrivalled coastal beauty. The waters are vivid turquoise and crystal clear; the sands white, wide and often empty. LO S C ABO S Situated at the southern-most tip of the Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos is the place where the Sea of Cortez meets the Pacific Ocean – and where the best of both regions sit side by side. For obvious reasons, the beaches and the water are the focal point of everything in Los Cabos, with possibilities for some of the best fishing, scuba diving, kayaking and relaxation in the whole of Mexico. Although undertows can be strong in the area, and swimmers should always check with locals to remain safe, there are several exceptional beaches with fine water conditions. These include the awe-inspiring Santa Maria Beach, which is a protected marine sanctuary, as well as Chileno and Pamilla beaches, which offer excellent facilities. The longest swimmable beach is Medano, while one of the most appealing, though accessible only by boat, is the secluded and aptly named Lover’s Beach. But beware – Divorce Beach, equally beautiful, is not too far away! RO SARI TO Only about 40 minutes south of the US border, the beach in Rosarito leaves you in no doubt that this is Mexico:
mile after mile of sand, with the pristine blue waters of the Pacific lapping peacefully over them. When you add the daily sight of the enormous orange sun disappearing into the ocean on the horizon, it’s easy to see why this area has proved a magnet to holidaymakers for nearly 100 years. Rosarito Beach is typically wide and features all the nearby amenities one could wish for: sun-shades, beach bars and options for equipment rental, all a short walk from numerous hotels. The city also comes alive at night, with a vibrant party scene. The elegant Rosarito Beach Hotel has long been the best known building in the area, dating from its heyday as the preferred destination for Hollywood stars in the 1920s seeking to defy the draconian prohibition laws of the US. TO D O S SA NTO S While plenty of beach resorts in Baja California make sure visitors are never too far from a restaurant or hotel, the shoreline near the “Magical Town” of Todos Santos tends to be far more secluded. This is the place to discover some of the most untouched coastline in the region, and enjoy Baja California at its most serene. The small Playa Las Palmas is a typical example – reached by a dirt road and tucked between two rocky promontories, it has the atmosphere of a private beach, surrounded by palm trees and a reed lagoon. Playa Los Cerritos is significantly longer and wider, and more popular with surfers, but is no less clean and pristine. Surfers also love Playa San Pedrito – as do visiting whales, which can often be seen blowing water into the air not too far from shore.
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I X TA PA & Z I H U ATA N E J O A T R I P TO T H E S TAT E O F G U E R R E R O, I N M E X I C O â€™ S S O U T H W E S T, O F F E R S T H E C H A N C E TO V I S I T T WO N E I G H B O U R I N G TO W N S W I T H D I S T I N C T B U T E Q UA L LY A L L U R I N G I D E N T I T I E S.
Playa Las Gatas
Only around 8 kilometres separates Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo – a short drive along the Pacific coast. But whereas the former is a purpose-built resort designed in the 1970s, now boasting some of the finest facilities in the country, the latter dates from the pre-Colonial era and has evolved over time from a quiet fishing village to a charming tourist destination. Both are wonderfully located and well appointed, sharing views across a beautiful bay and the region’s tranquil beaches. However, while Zihuatanejo encourages relaxation and calm reflection surrounded by the region’s rich history, Ixtapa is justly proud of its first-class modern hotels and its status as a destination that emphasises the sophistication of the region. Ixtapa also offers two magnificent golf courses – the newly renovated Palma Real Golf Course, and Marina Ixtapa Golf Club – designed by top golf professionals, Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Robert Von Hagge respectively. Both courses have played host to numerous national and international tournaments, and have the high-end amenities demanded of the world’s best. Thanks to the diversity and abun-
dance of underwater species in the area, Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo is among the world’s leading destinations for sport fishing.The climate and natural beauty, plus the region’s accessibility by both air and land, has made this small corner of the country one of the most attractive holiday spots in Mexico. HOW TO G E T H E RE The region is served by Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport, located a few kilometres southwest of the twin cities. There are direct flights from six Mexican airports (Mexico City, Toluca, Querétaro, Guadalajara, León and Monterrey); as well as from Los Angeles, Houston and Phoenix in the US; and Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and Calgary in Canada. By road, the Century XXI Highway connects Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo with Morelia, the colonial capital of the state of Michoacán, while Federal Highway 200 also connects IxtapaZihuatanejo with Acapulco, where the “Autopista del Sol” branches off to connect with Mexico City. W HAT TO D O Visitors to Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo have countless things to do, making a trip of any duration either as action-
packed or as relaxing as one desires. Many understandably head straight to the beach, with the warm clear waters particularly enticing. The best known spots in Zihuatanejo include Playa Principal, Madera, Ropa, Las Gatas and Playa Blanca. In Ixtapa, Playa El Palmar is a certified “Blue Flag” beach, an accolade issued only to those that pass stringent environmental, educational, safety-related and access-related criteria. Other excellent options include Playa Quieta, Playa Linda and Isla Grande (also known as Isla de Ixtapa). This is also, of course, a fine place for surfing. There are several breaks in Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo, plus others nearby. Whether you’re a top professional or an amateur on the board, you’ll find the waves you’re looking for. A recently upgraded bike trail is another excellent option for outdoor fun. Follow it on skates, on a bicycle or on foot – it’s probably the best way to get up close and personal with the beautiful vegetation that helps cool the surrounding air. The region is also a paradise for wildlife lovers and birdwatchers. More than 320 migratory or resident species of bird have been recorded on the coastline.
TRY A BI TE ! As with everywhere in Mexico, both Ixtapa and Zihuatanejo offer some spectacular gastronomy. There are restaurants to suit all budgets, all of which offer sumptuous and diverse local fare rich in the flavours that have made Mexican cooking so sought after the world over. Dishes are created using the freshest and most tasty seafood plucked right from the surrounding waters, in keeping with the recipes that made the region’s name. Zihuatanejo is home of the traditional – and famous – tiritas de pescado, an exquisite recipe created, as legend has it, by an imaginative local fisherman. Having found himself with very few ingredients back on the dock at the end of the day, he cut the fish he had into thin strips and then drizzled lime juice over it, the acidity “cooking” the meat. These days the recipe virtually unchanged, usually featuring black skipjack tuna or sailfish and served with onion and chilli. The similarly delicious jueves pozolero also originates from the area. A hot and hearty stew, the dish is traditionally served on national holidays. But even though its name suggests it’s only to be eaten one day per week (“jueves” means Thursday), there’s no reason not to sample some as soon as you get the chance. LE T TH E PA RT Y BE G I N! The nightlife in Ixtapa is as lively and intense as one would expect from one of Mexico’s foremost modern holiday resorts. The local bars and clubs are open until the early hours of the morning, catering for fans of all types of music. But if clubbing isn’t your scene, then the clutch of restaurants around the marina offer a wonderful backdrop for a pleasant evening dining al fresco, before taking a stroll alongside the yachts. Things tend to take place at a slower pace in the bars and restaurants of Zihuatanejo, which are found dotted among the town’s cobbled streets. Allow the food to go down while ambling along the waterfront promenade and watching the world go by.
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xxxxImage caption Church of San Mateo
C A P U L Á L PA M DE MÉNDEZ T H I S B E A U T I F U L O A X A C A N TO W N I S L I N E D W I T H T R E E S A N D M I S T Y F O R E S T S T H AT A R E H O M E TO E XOT I C B I R D S, W I L D B O A R S A N D J A G UA R S. Around 6500 feet (2000 metres) above sea level, in a valley of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountain range, lies one of Mexico’s most treasured yet largely undiscovered gems: the “Magical Town” of Capulálpam de Méndez. Setting foot in this tiny town, whose permanent population is only around 1,200 people, it immediately feels as if you’ve been let in on a highly prized secret. It is a breathtakingly beautiful spot, surrounded by dense forests spread across the mountainside,
which are packed with wondrous creatures and opportunities to explore. Capulálpam de Méndez, which was founded in 1200, also remains a place where centuries-old traditions live and thrive. It is the home to the Zapotec people, one of numerous ethnic groups found in the country’s most diverse state, Oaxaca. “Downtown” Capulálpam de Méndez, such as it is, is more reminiscent of a rustic village than an urban centre. A handful of streets
surround the 16th-century parish church of San Mateo, whose simple limestone façade conceals a lavishly decorated interior. The ceiling of the church is original, while several devotional altarpieces, known as “retablos”, are dotted around, displaying the very best of Mexican baroque art from the 17th and 18th centuries. They vary in style from the most sombre to the most lush and reward a visitor’s patience in paying close examination. Besides the church, the architec-
Abseiling & rock climbing
ture of the town – simple adobe houses with earthen floors, often adorned with mosaics – offers a reminder of traditional Mexican village life. Climb up to the Calvario viewing point to appreciate exactly how the town fits snugly into a broad and spectacular mountain landscape. Artisans in Capulálpam de Méndez have long produced the type of handicrafts much imitated across the world, including embroidered blouses, tablecloths, bags and other decorated pieces, as well as napkin rings, vases and carved wooden pen holders. As always, the best examples are the authentic pieces on offer right here and the thriving town market is always a hive of activity. Similarly, inside the kitchens of the town’s simple homes, local cooks have perfected the exquisite gastronomy for which this part of Mexico is particularly known. Be sure to sample the local tlayuda, a tortilla flatbread topped with delicious vegetables and cheese, as well as tasajo, thinly sliced grilled beef. This is as good a place as any to sample the famous mole sauces – black, red, yellow, green – and also beans with nopal, or enfrijoladas and seasonal mushroom dishes. There are countless types of traditional local breads, including one made with egg yolk. Meanwhile desserts include handmade chocolate delicacies as well as all manner of local fruits and
cakes, including the tejocote, the highly sought after Mexican hawthorn, which grows particularly well in mountain regions. You can wash all this down with a traditional tepache or pericón tea, both of which are flavoursome and invigorating. Atoles is another typical drink from the region: thick, hot and flavoured with anything from fruit to nuts, chilli to cinnamon. You’ll want to spend some time exploring the verdant forests that surround Capulálpam de Méndez, or delve into the caves, and there are several lodges and campsites deep in the woods that can provide a base close to the most magical parts of the region. There are countless trails that allow for excellent hiking, as well as the chance for more high octane adventures. Los Molinos Recreation Centre provides all the equipment, safety instruction and guides necessary for visitors to head out mountain biking or even abseiling over the mountainside.There’s a 330 feet (100-metre) long zip line too, which crosses a mountain river 100 feet (30 metres) below. It’s also possible here to stretch your legs along the 7.5 mile (12km) Cerro Pelado, a path that rises through the forest to a 2 mile (3,100 metres) high summit.The most adventurous will plot a trip to hit the peak at sunrise, when you can greet the new day with the sounds of the forest birds singing in your ears. There are many
camping options in the area – so you don’t need to hike through the night. When adventuring is done for the day, and muscles are weary, help is closely at hand. Capulálpam de Méndez has grown to be regarded as a hotspot for traditional treatments and medicines, designed to harness the generations of knowledge of local doctors in improving personal wellbeing. The Centre for Traditional Indigenous Medicine in the town, endorsed by Mexico’s Ministry of Health, draws on the richness of the vegetation that grows in the surrounding area – orchids, ferns, mosses, etc – to produce an abundance of natural remedies. The extraordinary wealth of natural resources combines with the wisdom passed down through centuries to treat all manner of contemporary ills and help restore a visitor’s spiritual balance. At the very least, relax in a temazcal steam bath: the Maya’s fragrant, refreshing practice offers a welcome oasis to grateful travellers. Capulálpam de Méndez distills everything most sought after in Mexico – a rich and vibrant heritage alongside fresh options for visitors – and was an obvious selection to be the first inclusion from Oaxaca on the country’s much-respected list of “Magical Towns”.
INTO THE W ILD Be one with nature Only in Mayakoba
CREEL A B R E AT H TA K I N G C H I H UA H UA N TO W N T H AT I S M O R E T H A N J U S T A G AT E WAY TO T H E S P E C TA C U L A R C O P P E R C A N YO N . The Rarámuri people of Chihuahua, in Mexico’s northwest, are known for their world-beating athletics abilities. With a name that translates as “the running people”, the Rarámuri (sometimes known as the Tarahumara) are the stars of science articles and best-selling books, and have been guests of honour at some of the biggest international sports meetings. They run barefoot, they run quickly and they’re reputedly the best endur-
ance runners the world has ever seen. But the Rarámuri don’t really enjoy the spotlight, and they don’t much like leaving home. And when you’ve visited the region they come from, and particularly the area in and around the town of Creel, you’ll quickly appreciate why sticking around is far preferable to travelling. Creel is one of Mexico’s 111 Pueblos Mágico, or “Magical Towns”, and it is truly enchanting. situated 7,500 feet
(2,330 metres) above sea level in the Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range, it has grown from a sleepy rural backwater into a highly desirable base for exploring some of Mexico’s most breathtaking scenery. There are pine forests and waterfalls; hot springs, cave paintings and rock formations. More impressive still, this is the region best known as the Cañon del Cobre, or “Copper Canyon”, a vast landscape of numer-
ous interlinked canyons spreading across a massive area of around 25,000 square miles (65,000 square km). That makes the area of the Copper Canyon larger than the Grand Canyon in the US and it is every bit as spectacular. The best way to visit Creel is by taking the Chihuahua-Pacific railroad, nicknamed “El Chepe”, which remains one of Latin America’s superlative engineering feats. Through more than 415 miles (670 km), the railroad crosses no fewer than 37 bridges and chugs through 86 tunnels, traversing some of the country’s most precipitous chasms and canyons, offering awe-inspiring views along the way. What’s more remarkable is that building of the railroad began in the late 19th century, survived the Mexican revolution, and was finally opened in 1961. It visits Creel at one of its highest peaks, and deposits travellers in the centre of the town. It really is the only
way to arrive in appropriate style to this elevated wonderland. Dotted around the streets of Creel you’ll find everything you need to make your visit comfortable: excellent restaurants, shops selling locally produced artworks, crafts and souvenirs, and well-appointed hotels offering all the comforts you could hope for. Other local landmarks include the neo-Gothic church in the Cristo Rey neighbourhood and the central Plaza de Armas, which has a bandstand at its centre. If you spend some time here, you’ll begin to appreciate Creel’s distinctive atmosphere as a place where locals and visiting parties happily intermingle. The small but charming town museum across from the station offers a chance to view some of the vivid artwork produced in the region, as well as to learn something about the indigenous people and their relationship with their beautiful surroundings. There are plenty of places to buy their
wares and admire their vibrant traditional clothing. A jaunt around downtown Creel is only an introduction, however, because the full expanse of the majestic Copper Canyon opens up a short distance outside the city limits. Distances now become far larger and buildings more sporadic as mother nature takes over in dramatic fashion. Access to the rugged scenery of the Sierra Tarahumara is simple and you should prepare for some wonderful views over waterfalls, into cave dwellings and across the expanses of the canyons. The spectacular rock formations of the Valle del Monje are a must see – and, in truth, cannot be missed. The area known as the Valley of the Gods is characterised by these extraordinary natural pillars, rising metres into the sky. Most visitors note that the Copper Canyon, despite its name, is greener than the desert expanses of, say
the Grand Canyon, and it’s possible to delve into the pine forests too and learn about the unique ecosystem that survives in the conditions. It owes a lot to the rivers that still course through the area, and then sometimes plunge with great velocity over the mountainside. The falls of Rukiraso and Cusarare are well worth seeking out. The method by which you choose to explore Copper Canyon depends on how far you wish to go, what you wish to see and how energetic you are feeling. There are tours possible in fourwheel drive all terrain vehicles (ATVs), many kilometres of bike paths, as well as popular eco-tour packages, during which guides introduce visitors to the ways of the indigenous people. Guides are highly knowledgeable about the history, archaeology and spirituality of the region. Of course, should you also feel like emulating the Rarámuri, there are hundreds of kilometres of running trails snaking all the way through the forests and over the mountains. Just don’t expect to beat the locals … nor to convince them to leave. Perhaps a better plan is simply to relax, and there is nowhere better than the hot springs of Recowata, at the bottom of Tararecua gorge. They are not easy to get to – you’ll need to descend a cobbled path, then take an ATV or horse riding trip another couple of miles – but they are well worth the effort. Surrounded by pine and juniper forest, and serenaded by the sounds of woodpeckers and bluebirds, you can bathe in pools of hot, natural spring-water, with an average temperature of around 95° F (35° C) and feel the stresses of life begin to ebb away.
Road to Copper Canyon Copper Canyon
A world where horizons falls into beautiful landmarks H OW
W I L L
G O ?
2017 Series Photo: Lloyd Images
EXTREME SAILING SERIES LOS CABOS TM
T H E H I G H - O C TA N E S A I L I N G S P E C TA C L E R E T U R N S TO T H E B A J A P E N I N S U L A I N 2 0 1 8.
Team Mexico Photo: Lloyd Images
To most people, the word “sailing” means a peaceful drift across tranquil seas, the lapping of the waves against the side of a boat providing a mesmerising accompaniment to a cocktail and the sunset. Drift off as the vibrant orange bleeds into the water; the gentle bobbing of the ocean lulling you to sleep. But the image changes immediately with the addition of the word “extreme”. The “Extreme Sailing Series”, which makes its second visit to Los Cabos towards the end of this year is a thrill-a-minute event that is like nothing you have ever seen. It takes everything you thought you knew about sailing and makes it 20 times more exhilarating. It also makes a trip to the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California peninsula an absolute must for the first week of December. Extreme sailing, for the uninitiated, brings all the high-octane thrills of competitive racing to a spectator-friendly environment. Some of the world’s most accomplished sailors take the helm of state-of-
the-art racing catamarans and steer them around the fastest courses, close to shore. It is a showcase for the highest skilled crews in the most challenging conditions, with the lightweight boats reaching speeds of up to 39 knots (around 70km/h), while the ocean roars beneath them. Events take place throughout the year and across the globe – from Italy to Russia; Oman to the US – but reach a climax in Los Cabos. For the second consecutive year, the waters of Mexico have been selected for the grand finale, where the title can be won or lost through 20 races across four days of competition. Last season, the SAP Extreme Sailing Team, from Denmark, was crowned series champions, even though they could only finish third at the final meeting of the series as the Swiss team Alinghi pipped the Oman Air crew in a nail-biting climax in Los Cabos. The local Team Extreme Mexico also drew on home support to record their first race win. And this
year they will all do it again, with the competition set to be even fiercer. The Extreme Sailing series promises thrills for both the hard-core fan or the wide-eyed newbie, with the spectator experience the most important part of planning. At every event, there is a free-to-enter Race Village, which offers the best view out to sea and over the course. It also offers a virtual reality experience, where spectators can get a taste of just how perilous, and hair-raising, the racing can be. VIP packages take the daring on to the boats, where the salty spray is real. Each of the 20 races lasts about 1520 minutes, during which the boats challenge each other around a course plotted between a number of coloured buoys. Wind and water conditions can vary dramatically, meaning crews need to constantly adapt strategies and tactics, finding a way to outmanoeuvre their opponents. It’s a tough job for the umpires too, with crews sometimes needing to be penalised for rules violations.
Team Mexico Photo: Lloyd Images
In the Race Village, you’re never too far away from an expert in the subtleties of the racing, ready to fill you in on the unfolding drama. Last year, the Race Village in Los Cabos was located on Medano Beach in front of Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort. As ever in Mexico, there was a packed schedule of entertainment, as well as exceptional hospitality on offer across the town. The waters here are perfect for the race – the meeting of the Sea of Cortez with the Pacific Ocean is unique – but it’s the amazing appeal of Mexican food, drink and good cheer that will really make the trip for visitors. Even in December, temperatures in Los Cabos will be around 77° F (25° C), which offers perfect conditions for exploring the long, deserted beaches of the region, heading on whale-watching excursions, or trying snorkelling around the distinctive rocky outcrops.
Danel Belausteguigoitia Fierro from Team Mexico Photo: Lloyd Images
There are also numerous much more sedate boat-trips on offer to visitors – as not everything needs to be extreme! Jacques Cousteau called the Sea of Cortez the “world’s aquarium” thanks to its abundant array of marine life, and the esteemed French explorer is also credited with discovering the extraordinary underwater sand waterfall, near to Mexico’s Land’s End. Experienced divers are consistently wowed by this remarkable rare phenomenon: sand pouring into a canyon, as though water over a falls. But this is around 90ft below the surface. This is also a tremendous region for surfing, and the area offers opportunities for golfing and fishing; for hitting the clubs or for unwinding quietly in one of the many peaceful, small restaurants and hotels. Each will serve up examples of the finest Mexican cuisine, including offerings made with the freshest fish drawn
from the surrounding waters. The region’s specialities include sumptuous shrimp, which makes for the best fish tacos, as well as the plentiful smoked marlin. The 2018 Extreme Sailing Series is the 12th season since its inception in 2007. It will be the fastest, busiest and most watched, with Los Cabos again playing host to the most significant meeting of the season. “We are honoured to have the Series back in 2018 for the season finale, showcasing Los Cabos around the world as one of the leading tourism destinations,” Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos tourism board said. Time to start booking the flights… The Extreme Sailing Series Los Cabos event takes place from November 29 – December 2, 2018.
Mayan culture that will leave you spellbound Made up of four hotels, the Bahia Principe Riviera Maya Resort allows you to immerse yourself in the essence of Mayan culture, without leaving the comfort of the luxury resort. Located within a jungle just 20 minutes away from the famous Mayan ruins in Tulum, the complex is surrounded by high-end residences and a remarkable golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. All this is enhanced by an extensive array of services, facilities and athletic activities you can enjoy night and day
Luxury Bahia Principe
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Grand Bahia Principe
www.bahia-principe.com Riviera Maya Âˇ Mexico
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SURFING PA R A D I S E N O WAT E R S P O R T AT T R A C T S S U C H PA S S I O N AT E PA R T I C I PA N T S A S S U R F I N G.
Nobody does it only once. The feeling of catching a wave, riding the water, glancing at the ocean below, the sky above and the beach ahead is like no other. It’s hypnotic. It’s addictive. It’s like a religion. In Mexico, all that is best about surfing is multiplied many times over. There are breathtaking beaches, warm oceans, tremendous waves and the most comfortable bars, restaurants, hotels and apartments in which to relax and relive the thrills. What’s more, there’s a great variety of options across the country, with natural conditions to suit all surfers, whether it’s their first or 10,000th trip.
Seasoned veterans marvel at how reasonable and relatively crowd-free Mexican surfing waters are. Though the sport is well established, with experienced guides always on hand to offer tips, lessons or to rent equipment – as well as locals making the most of the treasures of their homeland – Mexico rarely suffers from surfing overkill. It’s always simple to find the space and time one needs to feel as though the ocean belongs to you. Another key attraction to Mexico is the possibility of surfing year-round. Most holidaymakers will head to the country during the peak season be-
tween April and October, when temperatures are warmest both in and out of the water. This roughly translates to the period towards the end of the dry season and the first arrival of the rains. It’s also the time when the swell is most powerful, particularly in June’s hurricane season. Plenty of resorts offer their cheapest rates in winter, when surfers should seek regions that catch northwest and west swells. Insiders and locals often point to spring as arguably the best time: the early-season south swells gradually begin to appear, but the majority of the tourists have not yet arrived.
HE RE A RE S E VE N DE S T I N AT I ONS TO CONS I DE R: MA Z UNTE A ND P U E RTO ES CO ND I D O (O AX AC A) Oaxaca’s long stretch of coastline offers numerous potential stop-offs, including the towns of Puerto Escondido and Mazunte. Visitors flock to the world-renowned Zicatela Beach in the former, seeking to ride its highly sought-after tubular waves – locals say mornings and evenings are the best time to catch them. Waves can also be extreme in nearby Mazunte, though the town is also known as a spiritual centre, and is home to a sea turtle reserve. SAY UL I TA ( N AYA R I T) Both The Guardian and National Geographic Magazine have named Sayulita, in Nayarit, among the best surfing destinations in the world, pointing to perfect water conditions and one of the most charming, laid-back towns in Mexico. Sayulita is short hop from Puerto Vallarta and the awesome Banderas Bay, but it has a tranquil identity of its own: a quaint fishing town that has plenty of surf schools and elegant hotels and restaurants. ENS E NA D A ( B A JA CA L I F O RN I A) Only about 75 miles (120km) from the border with the US, Ensenada in Baja California is a melting pot of surfers
of all abilities from around the world. The waters are cooler here (a wetsuit is a good addition), but there’s swell year-round, including in winter. Beginners should head to Playa Hermosa, while experienced surfers will be thrilled by the consistent waves off the black sands of San Miguel beach. In the evenings, all can gather in one of Mexico’s most vibrant party towns. PASC UA LE S (C O L I M A) Colima is one of Mexico’s smallest states, but punches above its weight as a surfing destination thanks mainly to the legendary 30 feet (9 metres) waves that barrel from all directions into Boca de Pascuales. Riding these monsters is a rite of passage for experienced surfers, but the region still offers plenty to the beginner, including the magnificent sight of the “ola verde” – a vivid green wave – at Cuyutlán. TO DO S SAN TO S ( B A J A C ALI FO RN I A SUR) The tiny town of Todos Santos –one of Mexico’s designated “Magical Towns” – has a huge reputation, both for its arts and its surf scene. Though only around 6,500 people live there, and may of its roads are either cobbled or dirt tracks, it is well worth the trip, particularly to explore its long sandy expanses. Playa Cerritos has emerged as the best place to surf: the riptides aren’t quite as strong here as they are nearby, making the waters exceptionally welcoming.
TRO N C ON E S (GUE RRE RO) Given the awesome appeal of its surfing waters, it’s amazing the population of Troncones remains at only around 600. This isolated village offers a truly serene base from which to sample some of Guerrero’s best surf. Locals are known to favour Troncones Point (also known as Manzanillo Bay), a rocky point break at the end of the 3 mile (4.8km) beach, whose clear waters are very often entirely empty of others. It’s a similar story at the nearby Saladita – a rural spot, with a charming crescent-shaped beach, where the surf is so consistent it is known as the “wave machine”. M AZ ATLAN (SI N ALOA) The golden beaches in and around Mazatlan offer easy access to waves that will suit all levels of surfing experience – and in the case of Playa Olas Altas, which translates as “high-wave beach”, the name itself even offers guidance to the would-be surfer. It’s not always so reliable: Stone Island, despite its name, actually offers more than five miles of sandy beach, and some excellent swells, including Escollera, a fast and powerful pointbreak that will test all of your skills. Things tend to be a little calmer in Playa Bruja, where waves reach 8-10 feet (2.5-3 metres), offering a decent introduction to the less experienced explorer.
Cable car across Puebla
PUEBLA P R E PA R E TO B E A M A Z E D BY T H E S P L E N D O U R O F T H I S TO W N ’ S E L E G A N T C O LO N I A L B U I L D I N G S, I T S V I B R A N T S T R E E T S A N D T R A D I T I O N A L F L AV O U R S T H AT H O N O U R ITS NICKNAME ‘THE CIT Y OF THE ANGELS’.
The city of Puebla, around 120 kilometres southeast of Mexico City, is one of the most cosmopolitan destinations in the country, combining immense historical grandeur with a particular modern vibrancy. The Historic Centre of Puebla, founded in 1531, was recognised by UNESCO on its World Heritage List of 1987, and as you walk through the streets, stopping at its numerous attractions, you quickly come to appreciate its unique mix of history, gastronomy, culture, architecture and modernity. The city is alive with its traditions.
There are numerous ancient archaeological sites and religious buildings, plus museums and libraries to reveal and explain the significance of all around. Chief among them is the Amparo Museum, which opened in 1991 in two linked buildings dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. The buildings had previously been used as a hospital, a school and a colonial mansion, but now play perfect host to a phenomenal collection of artefacts from thousands of years of Mexican history and art. The permanent collection is divided into two main galleries, one featuring
exhibits from ancient Mexico and the pre-Columbian era; the second a collection of Viceregal and 19th-century art. Additionally, the museum organises and hosts a continuous stream of temporary exhibitions on themes related to Mexican art, history, architecture and design. Itâ€™s only a short stroll from the museum to the enchanting Palafoxiana Library, the oldest public library in the Americas, whose origins date from the mid-17th century. The library owes its existence to two bishops: Bishop Juan de Palafox y Mendoza, who donated his personal collection
Chile en nogada
of 5,000 books in 1646, and Bishop Don Francisco Fabián y Fuerobegan, who in 1773 ordered the construction of a building to house them. The stunning, 14 foot (43 metre) long main room exists almost as it was when it was first built, lined by three tiers of shelves hewn from ayacahuite pine and cedar. It has offered sanctuary to scholars through nearly 250 years, and rivals the finest libraries in Europe. Although damaged in the earthquakes of 1999, the World Monuments Fund assisted in its restoration and to this day more than 45,000 volumes are still held on the original 18th-century bookcases. It was included on UNESCO’s official “Memory of the World” list, and still captivates any visitor lucky enough to tour. Another of Puebla’s cultural delights, with a more modern twist, is the International Baroque Museum (MIB), designed by the renowned Japanese architect Toyo Ito. The museum’s 18,000 square metres of exhibition space house exquisite examples of Baroque art of all disciplines, with the building itself a spectacular modern representation of the Baroque movement. Drawing inspiration from a period during which established and restrictive rules were cast aside, the museum is an imposing structure of curved white walls and illuminated walkways, bathed in natural light and
surrounded by a crescent-shaped pond. “Conceptually we want the building to sprout from the earth like spring water and grow,” Ito’s studio explained on unveiling the design. It has been declared the most important new art museum in North America. Also dramatically sprouting from the earth is Estrella de Puebla, the “Star of Puebla”, aka the largest ferris wheel in north America. Opened in 2013, the 210 feet (64 metre) high wheel takes up to 432 passengers on a 30-minute ride, peering over the city from eight-seater capsules. If that’s not enough, Puebla’s new cable car system also gives visitors the chance to view the city from on high. The route flies over the historic battlegrounds where the Mexican army defeated the French in May 1862. Countless further adventures are to be found across the whole state of Puebla, which includes nine of Mexico’s “Magical Towns”. Nestled among the green vegetation on the mountainsides of the Sierra Puebla, each of Pahuatlán, Zacatlán, Chignahuapan, Cuetzalan, Huauchinango, Xicotepec and Tlatlauquitepec are charming rural villages and great places to discover local handicrafts, traditions and the warmth of the local people. Similarly, the towns of Atlixco and Cholula in the central “Valley of Mexico” throw their arms open to welcome visitors – and also offer a
glimpse of the pre-Columbian history of the region’s inhabitants and their remarkable feats of engineering. Specifically, the Great Pyramid of Cholula, the largest pyramid yet discovered in the world, is one of Mexico’s most visited attractions. From a distance, the site looks unimportant: a church sitting on top of an overgrown natural hillock. But it is actually, an enormous man-made construction, four times as big as Egypt’s Great Pyramid of Giza, measuring 390 feet (120 metres) on each side. It’s estimated to have a volume of more than 4.45 million cubic metres. The earliest parts of the pyramid are believed to date from the 3rd century BC and although much is still unknown about such an extraordinary structure, evidence of more than 400 human burials have been uncovered. Excavators have dug tunnels measuring at least 8 kilometres into the pyramid. Finally, Puebla is home to some typically mouth-watering Mexican cuisine. In addition to the traditional mole, the region is known as the origin of the distinctive chiles en nogada, a dish whose colours reflect the red, green and white of the Mexican flag. A poblano chilli pepper is stuffed with meat and then covered in a walnut cream sauce. Pomegranate seeds and parsley add the final flourishes to a dish that has become well-known across the country and beyond.
G U A N A J U AT O A U N E S C O - L I S T E D C I T Y T H R O B B I N G W I T H C U LT U R A L V I TA L I T Y.
For around 250 years, starting in the mid-16th century, 20 per cent of the world’s supply of silver came from one place in central Mexico: Guanajuato. For obvious reasons, the natural wealth of the region (there was gold too) turned the city at its centre into a shimmering, spectacular success story. The residents of Guanajuato built magnificent mansions spilling down
the sides of the mountains from which they hauled their rare treasures, and they constructed ornate places of worship in which to thank the God who had blessed them. Through the centuries hence, they added theatres, museums, parks and plazas, painting buildings in iridescent colours, and planting streets, gardens and open spaces with the most beautiful trees. Nearly 500 years
since the start of the rush for precious metals, Guanajuato’s majesty remains undiminished. UNESCO inscribed the city and its adjacent mines on its World Heritage List in 1988, describing it as home of the most beautiful examples of Baroque architecture in Central and South America, adding: “Guanajuato was witness to events which changed the history of the country.”
These days, Guanajuato is a must-visit location, throbbing with cultural vitality. It is the birthplace of artists, writers and performers, as well as intellectuals and revolutionaries. It is an inspiration to filmmakers, poets and musicians, who still flock here to immerse themselves in its unique ambiance. When the team behind the Oscar-winning Disney-Pixar movie Coco needed a real place on which to base their towering fantastical vision, they toured Guanajuato and found everything they sought. Life in the vibrant city pulses on numerous levels, from beneath the streets to the tops of the surrounding peaks. Most visitors will spend a while standing beside the statue of El Pipila, the hero of the revolution, whose imposing presence occupies the best vantage point from which to soak up one of Mexico’s most exceptional views. The brightly coloured city buildings stretch out below, seemingly wedged into the dramatic ravine between mountain ranges. There is even one street so narrow that it is possible to lean from a balcony and kiss a companion doing the same from the other side of the passageway. Rising prominently from the cityscape, the striking yellow of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guanajuato, originally built in 1671, is the city’s most significant religious construc-
tion. Meanwhile much of the region’s lasting intellectual and artistic power comes from the University of Guanajuato, whose beautiful central building, and long staircase, has become iconic.There are 34,000 students at the university (including campuses in other cities in the state) and their influence is keenly felt across all levels of the arts. Immediately below El Pipila, and accessible via a funicular railway, is the Teatro Juárez, a plush 19th-century theatre, whose ornate decorations offer convincing evidence of how highly valued cultural pursuits are in the city. The theatre’s design draws inspiration from ancient Rome and Greece, and has more than 900 seats in its sumptuous auditorium. There are regular performances, and tours available between productions. Every October, the Cervantino International Festival brings two full weeks of high culture to an already thriving city. Established in 1953 by a university professor, and expanded with federal funding in the 1970s, the festival has grown from an intimate homage to the Spanish writer Cervantes into what is considered by many to be the most significant cultural festival in the Spanish-speaking world. It now attracts major acts from across the globe, in all artistic disciplines, and packs culture into every inch of the city.
Numerous smaller festivals take place across Guanajuato year-round, and whether it is gala time or not, music and dance often spills onto the streets. Spend any time ambling around the labyrinthine network of narrow roads, or relaxing in a town square, and you’re sure to encounter a traditional brass band, or a student-led performance. They wander the streets in traditional black capes, serenading visitors as they explore. It is also possible, of course, to examine and buy fine examples of local crafts in a number of city markets. There are expertly produced leather goods, pottery and ceramics, as well as trinkets crafted from the precious metals that originally gave the city its unique standing. It is no surprise that Guanajuato is a hub of fine museums too, celebrating a vast swath of history. The legendary Mexican artist Diego Rivera – a muralist, who is also known for a tempestuous marriage to Frida Kahlo –was born in Guanajuato in 1886 and his childhood home now houses the Museo y Casa de Diego Rivera, which places his work in its historical context. The Museo Iconográfico del Quijote pays unique homage to Cervantes’ greatest creation Don Quixote, while both the Guanajuato Municipal Museum, located in the former mansion of a 17th-century mine owner, and the neighbouring Alhóndiga de Granaditas Museum also showcase the region’s glittering history. Meanwhile El Museo Bocamina San Ramon and La Valenciana Mine complex offer visitors the chance to visit former working mines. While it is not unusual for museums to remember figures long dead, Guanajuato’s famous Museo de las Momias offers a unique twist. Visitors can see the mummified remains of more than 50 former residents of the region (the total collection numbers more than 100), and, more significantly, learn how death plays a major role in understanding Mexican culture. While it may sound grisly – and visitor discretion is advised; the mummies are real and not for the faint-hearted – the museum is sensitive rather than sensationalist. Its motto insists: “To honour death is to give meaning to one’s life.”
PUERTO VA L L A R T A I N T H E S TAT E O F J A L I S C O O N M E X I C O ’ S W E S T C O A S T L I E S A C I T Y O F E X T R A O R D I N A R Y C O N T R A S T S.
Nestled between the mountains and the sea, this is a place where the traditional meets the modern; where people come seeking both adventure and relaxation. They find all of it in a town that balances the luxuries of contemporary tourism with the atmospheric charms of a small town. In the 19th century, what would become Puerto Vallarta was a tiny coastal village named Las Peñas, best known as the place for silver miners to find the salt they needed for their mountain-based production processes. Through the next 175 years, industries focused on fishing, pearl-diving and even bananas grew up in the re-
gion. Throughout it all, the beautiful Banderas Bay flanked the town on one side, with steep mountains and dense tropical jungles on the other. The town still boasts a quaint historical centre, with cobbled streets and beautifully preserved whitewashed houses, complete with wrought-iron balconies and red roofs. These days, they contain boutique hotels and fine restaurants, as well as art galleries and designer clothing stores. Visitors can soak up the atmosphere along the town’s boardwalk (Malecón), pausing to listen to any of the regular cultural performances that take place in the town’s main square.
To the north and south of downtown are further examples of Puerto Vallarta’s rich diversity. In the Marina Vallarta area are hundreds of lavish yachts, moored alongside swanky condos, boutiques and restaurants, as well as a golf course. But the South Shore is equally sought after for its isolated beaches and coves, some reachable only by boat. The jungle meets the ocean here, and visitors can find glorious seclusion. Boasting a consistently warm climate, Puerto Vallarta represents the finest of what Mexico has to offer. It is an delightful destination, with a great variety of options for any length of visit.
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Y U C AT Á N CUISINE M O U T H - WAT E R I N G D I S H E S T H AT A R E N OT TO B E M I S S E D.
Boasting a combination of ancient cultures, natural wonders, and contemporary luxury, the sun-drenched state of Yucatán in southeast Mexico offers plenty to intrigue every travel passion. Whatever journey you choose across the region, you’re sure to experience two regional signatures: the warmth and generosity of its people, and the tantalising flavours of its cuisine. Specialties like cochinita pibil – the state’s signature slow-roastedpork dish, cooked over charcoal for many hours – and papadzules – tortillas filled with hard-boiled egg and pumpkin seed sauce, and topped with tomato sauce and habanero chillies – offer unique insight into Yucatán’s indigenous heritage. As you explore, you can delve further into this rich history at local restaurants, cafés, and festivals, or on specialty tours where local food is the star attraction. The true secret of food from this area lies in the way it combines the long-established methods and ingredients of traditional Mexican cooking
with influences from further afield. Elements of Caribbean and Middle Eastern cuisine can be found in Yucatán specialities, as well as flavours brought from southern Europe. The core ingredients are reliably Mexican and are invariably grown locally: corn, beans and squash form the ballast, while most meals are in some way either flavoured or accompanied by a condiment made of habanero chillies. The Yucatán Peninsula is the world’s largest producer of the pepper that in some ways defines Mexico. There is extraordinary power to the flavours, made possible by plentiful natural resources and the manner in which they are grown. Many of the key ingredients come from small, self-sustaining farms named milpas, whose centuries-old methods of cultivation are free of artificial pesticides and fertilisers. They are often surrounded by dense tropical forest, and are dependent on the same rainfall that keeps the jungle thriving. Fields are left to fallow for several years until the conditions
become right to produce a suddenly bountiful haul. Other small, organic farms rear the animals and poultry for the numerous meat-based dishes – pork, chicken and turkey feature prominently – while the region’s fishermen have the expanse of the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea from which to haul an extraordinary variety of fish. All that is most vibrant about the region’s culinary excellence is concentrated in the city of Mérida, which has become a must-stop destination among globetrotting gastronomes. The renowned Lucas de Galvez market, housed in an enormous pink building, first opened to traders in 1887 and has been bursting with local colours and flavours for the past 130 years. Here, you can try everything, from the sweet pulp of the vivid red rambutan fruit, to the perfect citrus acidity of the Seville oranges or huaya lime, which are unique to Yucatán. Also why not pick up a kibis or two, a fried wheat snack filled with meat or cheese, and topped with onion or habanero. The
falafal-like snack is thought to have been brought to North America by Lebanese migrants, but now has a distinctly Mexican twist. You can fill bottles with fruit juice from vendors at the market entrance, and when you’re done it’s only a short stroll to Dulcería y Sorbetería Colón, a historic ice-cream parlour founded in 1907. And just when you thought the exquisite local fruits could not get any sweeter there is the champola – ice cream made with coconut milk. The stuff of Yucatán legend. Tourists rub shoulders at the market with local chefs, who fill their restaurant kitchens with the best and freshest of the region’s unique produce. Many of them also throw their doors open and run cookery schools
for newcomers. A few hours learning from the very best will revolutionise your approach to cooking for the rest of your life. F O UR M O RE MUS T - TRY D I S HE S I N Y UC ATÁ N: Sopa de Lima: Invented by the Mayans, this is a turkey broth, prepared through many hours simmering, that is given an extraordinary boost through the addition of unique flavours including the native xcatic chilli and the juice of the lime-like lima fruit. Poc chuc: A pork dish made by marinating strips of meat in orange juice before grilling. Typically served with grilled onions, whose sweetness complements the tanginess of the citrus fruit.
Queso Relleno: A dish that takes in influences from across the world: a holed out Edam cheese ball (Dutch explorers are said to have introduced their speciality to Yucatán), stuffed with ground pork, peppers, onions, capers, almonds and egg. Dulce de Papaya Con Queso: There’s no way to hurry this dessert – its preparation can take up to three days, during which a green papaya is soaked in lime juice, before being caramelised with sugar and flavoured with cinnamon and vanilla, then served with cheese.
E N C H I L A DAS VERDES M A R Y S O L A LVA R A D O, O W N E R O F M E S T I ZO R E S TA U R A N T & T E Q U I L A B A R I N LO N D O N , P R O V I D E S H E R E X P E R T TA K E O N A C L A S S I C M E X I C A N D I S H â€“ E N C H I L A D A S V E R D E S.
Any enchilada makes a wonderful lunch or supper dish, as it can be prepared and served quickly and is packed full of typical Mexican tastes. They come in a variety of sizes, colours and flavours, and are usually distinguished by the sauce with which they are served. Popular regional takes include con mole, suiza and enfrijoladas, but a firm favourite the world over is enchilada verdes. The distinctive tomatillos used in the verde salsa make this a stand out enchilada dish and one that can be prepared at home by cooks of all levels. Shredded chicken breast cooked and wrapped in corn tortillas, and smothered in a traditional green sauce of tomatillo, onion, garlic and serrano chillies decorated with queso fresco ranchero and sour cream, served with rice and beans. This is how we serve the dish at Mestizo, but each family will have slightly different variations, such as adding chopped onion and coriander to the finished meal. Mestizo Restaurant & Tequila Bar is located in London and Madrid. Go to www.mestizomx.com to found out more.
INGREDIENTS For the chicken: 2 chicken breasts 2 cups of chicken broth 1/4 white onion 1 clove garlic 2 teaspoons salt For the salsa verde: 1 lb of tomatillo 5 serrano chillies Âź white onion 1 clove garlic Pinch salt Chopped coriander To serve: 8 corn or flour tortilla Vegetable oil 1 cup of queso fresco ranchero Sour cream
1. In a saucepan, combine the chicken breasts with the chicken broth, a quarter of an onion, a clove of garlic and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to the boil and then boil for 20 minutes. Reserve broth, set chicken aside to cool, and discard onion and garlic. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken with your hands. 2. Place tomatillos and serrano chillies in a pot with water, enough to cover them. Bring to boil and continue boiling until tomatillos turn a different shade of green (from bright green to a dull, army green). Strain tomatillos, chillies, and chopped coriander then place in a blender with another quarter piece of chopped onion, a clove of garlic and a pinch of salt. Pour in reserved chicken broth so that liquid just covers the veggies in the blender by about an inch. 3. Blend all ingredients until they are completely pureed. Pour salsa in a medium saucepan and bring to a low boil. 4. Pour oil in a frying pan and allow to get very hot. Slightly fry tortillas one by one in hot oil, setting each on a paper towel afterwards to soak up some of the oil. Finally, dip slightly fried tortillas in low-boiling green salsa, until tortillas become soft again. Place on plates, 2 per person. 5. Fill the tortillas with shredded chicken, and roll them up. Add extra green sauce over the dish. Top with crumbled queso fresco ranchero, cheese and sour cream. 6. Serve with rice and Mexican beans.
EVENTS LOS C ABOS OPEN OF SURF 11-17 Jun Los Cabos The premier professional surf and music event in Mexico. The Los Cabos Open of Surf started in 2013 as an ASP 6-Star Men's event, and in 2014, it became the first Women's ASP 6-Star competition in México. loscabosopenofsurf.com
S TARS & S TRIPES TOURN AMENT 28-01 Jun Los Cabos The Stars & Stripes Tournament combines spectacular deep sea fishing and golfing on Mexico's finest courses with beautiful accommodation and top-notch musical entertainment. www.starsandstripes tournament.com
MONS TER ENERGY FREERIDE SERIES 15-17 Jun Ixtapa Zihuatanejo The IFWA Freeride World Championship Tour for 2018 will visit host locations in: Nazare Portugal, home of the famous big waves; Biscarrosse France near the wine region of Bordeaux; tropical and lush Ixtapa Mexico, among others. Each year brings new innovation to the sport and the incredible camaraderie of the sport of Freeride. www.ifwaworldtour.com /mexico
CRAFT BEER FES TIVA L 2-3 Jun Tijuana Nearly 68 local and national craft beer exhibitors will be participating in the eighth edition of the event facebook.com /EXPOCervezaArtesanal
THE ABIERTO MEXIC AN O DE TENIS MIFEL 30 Jul - 04 Aug Los Cabos The Abierto Mexicano de Tenis MIFEL presented by Cinemex will have a total financial commitment of nearly US$800,000, ranking it as the highest in its category in the Americas Region. www.atpworldtour.com/en/ tournaments/los-cabos/7480/ overview
INDEPENDEN CE DAY 15-16 Sep Puerto Vallarta Enjoy various activities such as: Civic Ceremonies, Traditional Dances, Commemorative Parades, Exhibitions, Mariachis & Food in an environment full of colour. visitpuertovallarta.com /events
ULTIMATE WATERMAN´ S C HALLEN GE 12-14 Sep Los Cabos UWC combines the best things in LIFE such as adventure, water sports, music, wellness and environmental education. uwchallenge.com
XTRAIL C HALLE N GE 20 Oct Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Xtrail challenge is a crosscountry race in some of the most spectacular and representative places in Ixtapa. xtrailmexico.com/ixtapa-2018
F ORMUL A 1 GRAND PRIX 26-28 Oct Mexico City The Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez is located just to the east of Mexico City, one of the world’s most populous and vibrant cities, so many fans jump at the chance to combine a trip to the race with the opportunity to explore the many delights of this particularly historic part of Latin America. www.formula1.com/en /championship/races/2018/ Mexico.html
DAY OF THE DEAD PARADE 28 Oct Mexico City The Day of the Dead, or Day of the Dead, is a centennial Mexican celebration that honours the lives of the deceased. It will be the third consecutive year of this great parade in Mexico City. www.visitmexico.com /day-of-the-dead
PUERTO VALL ARTA RIVIERA N AYARIT GAS TRON OMIC A 14-18 Oct Puerto Vallarta Dozens of chefs and sommeliers to present different creations that surely more than one tourist will want to taste. The gourmet creations will be on the public’s eyes and with good reason. Even the most demanding palates will be put to the test with the incredible dishes that you will be able to taste only in Puerto Vallarta. vallartanayarit gastronomica.com
DAY OF THE DEAD FES TIVAL 30-02 Oct Puerto Vallarta You will find art exhibits, mexican folk ballet, mexican parties, marichis a costume contest and many others will allow you to be a part of this festivity in its traditional and more modern ways and celebrate those who passed away. visitpuertovallarta.com /events
LOS C ABOS JAZZ EXPER IEN CE 01-04 Nov Los Cabos Life Luxe Jazz offers the ultimate experience for the discerning jazz aficionado seeking the best the world has to offer - pairing an upscale international destination with luxury accommodation, fine cuisine, top shelf libations, breathtaking golf, health and wellness options
IRONMAN 70.3 04 Nov Los Cabos The stunning landscape, weather and natural wonders of Los Cabos provide a perfect backdrop to a race that has marveled it’s participants. www.ironman.com/ triathlon/events/americas/ ironman-70.3/los-cabos. aspx#axzz5GQzNNQMc
INTERN ATION AL GOURMET FES TIVAL 23 Nov - 2 Dec Puerto Vallarta - Riviera Nayarit Dozens of chefs and sommeliers will present different gourmet creations that will satisfy even the most demanding palates. A chance to sample incredible dishes from Puerto Vallarta.
NEW YEAR’ S FIREWORKS 31 Dec Ixtapa Zihuatanejo Spectacular gala pyrotechnics in the Bay of Zihuatanejo and El Palmar Beach, where visitors can enjoy an extraordinary show accompanied with music. The perfect setting to see in the new year.
LOS C ABOS INTERN ATION AL FILM FES TIVAL 07-11 Nov Los Cabos Los Cabos International Film Festival aims to positively contribute to the growth of global film culture, focusing especially on Mexico, Canada and the United States while supporting their filmmakers. cabosfilmfestival.com
62TH ANNIVERSARY INTERN ATION AL FISHIN G TOURN AMENT MARLIN & SAILFISH PUERTO VALL ARTA 15-18 Nov Puerto Vallarta In 1950, a group of friends decided to get together and show the world what friendship and camaraderie can mean to this water sport and invited the best fishermen in the world to catch some of Puerto Vallarta’s endemic species. This edition of the International Fishing Tournament will be full of surprises.
EXTREME SAILIN G SERIES 29 Nov - 2 Dec Los Cabos The Series will head to Los Cabos, Mexico for the grand finale of the 2018 season. The teams will battle for the final time and, with double-points up for grabs, everything is still to play for. www.extremesailingseries.com /events/view/los-cabos -mexico-2018
SABOR A C ABO 1 Dec Los Cabos Sabor a Cabo is a fundraising event that gathers some of the world’s & Cabo’s finest international chefs, who prepare their signature dishes for the attendees while enjoying live music. visitloscabos.travel/event /sabor-a-cabo-2018
FEAS T OF OUR L ADY OF GUADALUPE 1-12 Dec Puerto Vallarta December is a month full of different events in Puerto Vallarta and for 12 days you’ll be able to live one of the most traditional, The Feast of our Lady of Guadalupe. Starting on December 1st and closing with a feast on 12th December to celebrate the saint patron of Mexico: our Lady of Guadalupe. The journey will begin in Puerto Vallarta’s downtown and end in the town’s church, the Parroquia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, where you will also be able to sing the mañanitas on the last day of the feast at 11:30 PM. visitpuertovallarta.com /events
NEW YEAR’ S FIREWORKS 31 Dec Puerto Vallarta Spectacular fireworks in Puerto Vallarta, where visitors can enjoy an extraordinary festive atmosphere before saying goodbye to 2018. visitpuertovallarta.com /events
T R AV E L PA R T N E R S AL AMOS TRAVEL www.alamostravel.com +52 (998) 887 13 23 o 89 The outstanding quality of our services is well recognised and we have an amazing customer satisfaction record. Our Tour Division, Individuals & Groups Department and Conventions Department will satisfy ANY request for hotel accommodation, tours or ground transportation ANYWHERE in Mexico, with a response assured within 24 hours.
AMS TAR DMC www.amstardmc.com +52 (998) 881 9590/87/66 Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Ixtapa, Huatulco, México DF, Acapulco and Mazatlán. Full service DMC that arranges everything from A to Z for any group, incentive and convention. Transportation, meeting and incentives, group events, optional excursions, hospitality service, assistance in contracting hotels and onsite inpections.
IVI DES TIN ATION MAN AGEMENT www.ividmc.com +52 (998) 287 1700 Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Los Cabos, Mexico City. A/V & Multimedia Equipment, Accommodations, Archaeological Sightseeing Tours, Out-of-the-box Theme Parties & Events, Philanthropic Projects, Pre & Post Tours, Registration Materials & Assistance, Skilled, Multilingual Communication Abilities, Transportation.
SAT MEXICO www.satmexico.com +52 (55) 3689 7600 All regions. Confences and convention, road shows, incentives, team,building, media production, online and on-site registratio, tours excursion, transportation, telemarketing, business travel.
ALTAMEX www.altamex.mx +52 (55) 5255 5929 All regions. Transportation, Accommodations, Activities, Circuits, Meetings / Conventions.
DES TIN ATION MEXICO www.destination-mexico.com +52 (777) 316 4622
GRUPO IN CENTIVOS TERRAMAR DMC www.terramardestinations.com +52 (624) 142 9200 Los Cabos, Panamá. DMC, PCO, transportación, servicios terrestres, actividades, amenidades, servición de marketing e impresión.
CTA C AN CUN & RIVIERA MAYA DMC www.cancuncta.com +52 (998) 484 0010 Cancun y Riviera Maya. Program Planning and Design, Hotel Site Research, Investigation and Selection for any Budget, Onsite Program Operation, Group Activities, Customised ground transportation, Archaeological tours, Echo-adventure activities, Water sports, Dine-around, Theme events, Teambuilding activities, Spouse programs, Registration & hospitality staff.
All regions. Incentive trips, airport/hotel transfer, special events, hospitality tables, dining in offsite venues, specialised tours, community, health programs, FIT, activities.
JAGUAR TRAVEL SOLUTIONS, DMC www.jaguardmc.com +52 (998) 214 4454 Cancun & Mayan Riviera, Merida & Cozumel. Hotel Selection, Ground Transportation, Dine Around, Tours and Excursions, AV, Theme Nights, Décor, Event Production, Customs Broker, Golf, Give-aways.
INTERN ATION AL IN CENTIVE TRAVEL www.iitdmc.com.mx +52 (998) 884 7880 Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos. Facilities for Congress and Conventions, Incentive Programs, Assistance with contracting hotels, Deluxe ground transportation services, Charity Projects, Team buildings, Multilingual staff, Customised activities, Theme events.
MEETIN G IN CENTIVE EXPERTS www.miexperts.com +1 (312) 842 3600
GO MEXICO GROUPS & IN CENTIVES +52 (55) 636 4386
Cancun-Riviera Maya, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta.
Personalised meet and greet, transportation, luggage handling, venue selection, creative incentives, special programs, event co-ordination, theme parties, team-bulding, spouse programs, video photography services, gold and spa, original itineraries.
Transportation, Team Building, Excursions, Social Responsibility, Site Selection, Room Gifts.
TROPIC AL IN CENTIVES GLOBAL EVENT PARTNER www.tropicalincentives.com.mx +52 (998) 193 3940 Cancun, Riviera Maya, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Los Cabos, Mexico City. Transportation, tours, excursions and activities, theme parties, shows and performances, exclusive venues, fun and motivation, graphic design, gifts, communication and audiovisual eqipment, support team, team buildings and community projects.
CONDOR VERDE TRAVEL www.condorverdetravel.com +52 (55) 5524 7317 All regions. Analysis of Needs, Budget Analysis, Creativity, Planning, Site Inspections, Logistics, Marketing, Communication Management, Hotel Accommodations, Air & Ground Transport, VIP Management, Mobile Registrations and Web Services, Technical Supply, Food & Entertainment Management, Give Aways, Onsite Program, Team-Building Activities, Foto & Video Service.
BUEN OS DIAS MEXICO BUSINESS & TRAVEL www.buenos-dias-mexico.com +52 (442) 214 4106 Queretaro Tailor-made individual travel for FITs and Business clients to nearly all parts and destinations of Mexico. We offer travel packages, organised tour modules, specialised tours, incentives, daytrips and rental car travel. The tours include the planning and organisation of overnight stays, transfers & tours.
KETZALTOUR www.ketzaltour.travel +52 (55) 5553 4242 All Regions.
JULIATOURS IN COTRAVEL MÉXICO www.incoravel.com.mx +52 (55) 5514 4300 ext 136 All Regions. Ground services, Cultural tours. Special groups.
OLYMPUS TOURS / OLYMPUS IN CENTIVES www.olympus-tours.com +52 (998) 881 9030 Cancun, Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico City.
Hotels, Transportation, Guides, Tours, Meetings, Rooms.
Meet & greet, airport transfers, tours and excursions, accommodations, special events, gala dinners, giveaways.
KOMEX TOURS / GRUPO ROYALE www.gruporoyale.com +52 (55) 5615 8741
ALICO TOURS www.alico.com.mx email@example.com +52 (55) 5575 1745
Cancún/Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Mérida, Acapulco, Pto. Vallarta, Los Cabos, México, DF. Conventions, Congresses: Transportation, Excursions, Events, Logistics.
VIAJES MEXICO CON AMIS TAD www.viajesmeca.com +52 (55) 5203 4155 All Regions. Circuits, beaches, culture, incentives.
MEXICO TOURIN G www.mexicotouring.com.mx +52 (55) 5212 0441 Mexico and Guatemala. Venues, Hotels, Land Services, Logistic, Exhibition Centres.
MEXCELLEN CE TRAVEL www.mexcellence.com.mx +52 (55) 5533 7223 All Regions. Transfers/Transportation, Accommodation, Venues, Events, Catering, Translations, add ons for leisure/culture etc, guides and more.
VIAJES DE GAL A www.vdegalatours.com.mx www.skihouse.com.mx firstname.lastname@example.org +52 (55) 5250 4201 Cuvier 101, Col. Anzures CP 11590 Ciudad de México, MEXICO
EN CUENTRO T www.congressandtours.com email@example.com +52 (55) 5096 7750 Bruno Traven 166 Jacarandas 702 Col. General Anaya Del. Benito Juárez C.P. 03340 Mexico City
VIVA ZAPATA www.grupovivazapata.com firstname.lastname@example.org +52 (55) 52 07 64 36 Tailor made itineraries: cultural, incentives, gastronomy, adventure, ecotourism and more
AT A GLANCE CU R R EN C IES AND EXC HAN G E R ATES In Mexico, any tourist can obtain Mexican pesos in the following places ... Bureau de Change: You will usually find bureau de change offices at international airports throughout Mexico; you can identify them by the “change” announcement. You will need to show your passport to exchange the money. The exchange rate is usually shown as “buy”, which indicates how many Mexican pesos you should receive for each British pound or other European currency. Banks: Not all banks provide the service of exchanges of Mexican pesos and British pounds or European currencies, some require you to have an account with them. Check in your hotel, so that you are told which is the nearest bank that serves tourists to exchange money. Here you will also need a valid passport to make the exchange. ATM: One of the most comfortable ways to buy Mexican pesos is to use an ATM. You will often receive better exchange rates, although you will have to pay a commission for the service, as with most ATMs outside your banking network. Please do not accept help from people outside the bank. Credit card: If you have a credit card, you will realise that this provides one of the best exchange rates. Although you will not receive Mexican pesos directly, your monthly balance will reflect the exchange rate you received when shopping with your credit card.
Summer and winter timetables
A I RPO RTS A ND E NTRY RE Q UI RE ME NTS
In Mexico there are three-time zones: the Northwest, Pacific and Centre. Between the first and second there is an hour of difference and between the second and third is also an hour. From the first Sunday of April to the last Sunday of October, summer time is used in most of the country, which seeks to take advantage of the sunlight in the afternoon and save electricity. At this time, the clocks are delayed by one hour. Sonora is the only state in Mexico where the schedule change is NOT applicable.
- British/Schengen nationals must present a valid passport at the time of the intended date of entry to Mexico. - British/Schengen nationals wishing to travel to Mexico on holidays are exempted of visa and can be allowed to stay in the country up to 180 days. - At the port of entry, the immigration authorities may request additional information such as main destination, hotel accommodation, return ticket, proof of financial means (international credit cards, debit cards or traveller’s cheques).
W E AT HE R
ht tp://serviciosconsulares.sre. gob.mx/images/stories/dgsc/pdf/ visasordinarios.pdf
C L I M ATE A ND TI ME ZO NE S
When planning your trip, we recommend you to know the weather of the state you will visit, in order to pack the right clothes. Many travellers assume that the weather in Mexico is always warm, but the reality is that it can vary greatly from one destination to another. The climate in Mexico is as varied as its topography: there are tropical forests, arid deserts, fertile valleys and snowy mountains. The coasts are usually hot throughout the year, although in some months it rains a lot. In Mexico City the climate is quite pleasant; neither too hot nor too cold. In the central plateau the climate is cool, as in the mountainous areas. In some northern states, such as Monterrey and Chihuahua, it is very hot in the summer season and extremely cold in the winter. Before travelling to the Mexican seaside, make sure it is not hurricane season.
N OT E : Visitors must obtain a landing card (FMM form) from the airline or at any port of entry in Mexico and complete this form with his/her individual information. The immigration officer will stamp the FMM card upon arrival. Please keep it in a safe place and do not lose it. You will be asked for this document on your departure from Mexico The Mexican migratory authorities have the faculty to grant or deny the entry into the country if the visitor does not fully comply with the migratory regulations. According to Mexican Immigration
Law, British/Schengen nationals who are going to undertake the following Activities Non Remunerated in Mexico for less than six months are exempt of Visa: the beginning or execution of an investment project; to perform professional practices; filming; voluntary work; internship; to give technical or professional advice to public or private institutions; research projects; lectures; studies; attending conferences; business meetings; courses or training of staff; to perform an audit; repair or install machinery and software; to design or start the operation of a
plant agreed previously on contracts; or to give services agreed on transfer’s contracts of technology, patents or marks. They miust simply must fill in a FMM migration form (landing card) obtained on the airplane or at the port of entry in Mexico and declare the purpose of their visit. When the visitor has been invited by a Mexican company/Institution to perform Lucrative Activities, the Mexican company/institution must request the work permit at the National Migration Institute in Mexico www.inm.gob.mx.
P U BL I S H E D BY. . . This magazine is published by Pelusa Create. All rights reserved.This publication may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher. We would like to thank the following photographers: Lloyd Images and Puebla Tourism.
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