Showing posts from November, 2012

MEXICO: More Than A Beach Part 4 - Cabo San Lucas

CABO SAN LUCAS, BAJA SUR Our ship dropped anchor in the middle of the harbor. We took the 'tender' to get to the pier/port. The waves were high and rough and getting on the boat was physically challenging. As if to tell us that we could not just go back and forth to the pier and have a drunken party or we would not be able to get on the tender. Before leaving the cruise ship, we were given some background about the place and precautions as to what and what not to do in Cabo. The impression that I had about Cabo San Lucas as a bustling hub for water sport aficionado and party seekers was confirmed as soon I stepped out of the port checkpoint area. A few steps away from the checkpoint area, I found a huge souvenir store, restaurants and bars (emphasis on the bars) featuring Senor Frog (famous place for wild drunken partying). We were approached by many tour guides offering ATV tours, boat tours and all kinds of water sporting activities: para-sailing, deep sea

MEXICO: More Than A Beach Part 3 - Puerto Vallarta

PUERTO VALLARTA, JALISCO   Our cruise ship dropped anchor in Puerto Vallarta before sunrise. I got off the ship and walked to our on-shore excursion designated meeting place a little early. While waiting for the rest of passengers to assemble, I wandered around the port area to inquire about some local tours and to check out some crafts from the local vendors. As I was coming back, I saw some passengers getting off the ship and starting to gather at the meeting place. They were silhouetted. I got a little disoriented to see some silhouettes and the bright orange hidden behind a palm tree. Dusk or Dawn? Nevertheless, I experienced the most spectacular sunrise in Puerto Vallarta. Somehow, I found myself in the most popular on-shore excursion because it took a while to assemble the tour participants. By the time we boarded the bus, the bright orange had disappeared. Given the number of tour participants, I assumed our excursion would fall into what I called a

MEXICO: More Than A Beach Part 2 - Huatulco

Huatulco, Oaxaca   As our cruise ship approached Huatulco, I got a glimpse of the jagged coastline, and luxury condos and villas perched on top of steep cliffs. But as the ship dropped anchor, my attention focused at the lively beach (Playa Santa Cruz) a few yards away from the pier. It was a white sandy beach with emerald green and turquoise blue water, lined with colorful beach umbrellas, restaurants and other commercial stores, accented by a church (the Capilla de Santa Cruz). Given the close proximity to the pier, it was the center of tourist activities. We were approached by people offering crafts, souvenirs and boating excursion and tours. We walked around town, to check out the stores and restaurants, and got a good work-out walking from store to store. By mid- morning, the sun was getting intense, so we went back to keep cool along the beachside where the breeze was constant. Passing a beachside restaurant, I remembered what our ship resident tour guide recommen

MEXICO: More Than A Beach Part 1 - Tulum & Riviera Maya

A photo of old photos of Tulum CANCUN, QUINTANA ROO I happened to be somewhere at the beach in Mexico when the San Francisco Giants were playing in the World Series. Perhaps it was not a complete coincidence. I found late October (World Series season) to be the best time to go to Mexico. My recent visit to Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta and Cabo San Lucas took me back to my trip to Cancun many years ago. I was in Cancun when the San Francisco Giants played in the 2002 World Series. I stayed at Club Med, a resort that offered beautiful surroundings - powdery white sand, pristine beaches, snorkeling area and lagoons – and various water sport activities. So it was an unlikely place to stay inside and watch a game on TV. Besides, my European friends did not care about the game of baseball. So I found myself at the beachside bar watching the World Series on a large screen TV and cheering for the Giants all by myself. That experience stuck with me since. But that was not the only reason wh