BY DAVID FLORES
Los Cabos Coronavirus Cases Go Down Big Time. Just last week the state’s health authorities announced the lifting of additional restrictions and more businesses are open now, including some bars. Restaurants are now allowed to fill 40 percent of their seating capacity, and it is expected that within the next two weeks all bars will be allowed to operate, even if at a reduced capacity. Of a total of 8,426 people that got infected in our Southern Baja state since March, an astonishing 7,173 have recovered. The death rate is 5.2 percent, half of the national rate, and over 80 percent of the deceased were the result of comorbidities. To date, the tourism department and hotel association report that no tourists have been infected. Hoooray!
The Fun of Fishing Continues! Since the partial lifting of restrictions begun, a few fishing tournaments have taken place with great specimens caught. One of the best areas to fish is the East Cape, which will hold its Annual Tuna Shoot Out tourney on October 24. It’s an affordable one, with a mere $500 US entry fee per team – yet, the heaviest tuna caught will win $21,000 USD, based on 60 teams. Information at www.vanwormerresorts.com
U.S. Travel Alert to Mexico Downgraded. This week, the travel warning for Mexico, which the U.S. State department updates regularly, was downgraded from a Level 4 “Do not travel” to a Level 3 “Reconsider travel” warning. While there are five Mexican states under the “Do not travel” warning, most of the country is safe. Among the latter Cabo San Lucas, Cancun and Cozumel. Border crossing by land and water borders is still only for cargo and essential travel between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Flying to and from Mexico is still allowed without restrictions. Hotels in Los Cabos are reporting over 60 percent of their rooms reserved throughout October.
WestJet Resumes Flights to Los Cabos. With a once-a-week schedule, WestJet will resume flying from Calgary, Canada to Los Cabos on Saturday, October 10. The announcement was made with great fanfare by the Los Cabos Tourism Board. “We are very excited to have our Canadian friends coming back to Los Cabos for the winter. In the past few years, we have seen a steady increase in the number of Canadians visiting our destination. We want to continue this trend as much as possible. Los Cabos welcomes you with open arms,” stated Rodrigo Esponda, managing director of the Los Cabos Tourism Board.
Los Cabos reopened to tourism on June 15, 2020, and has assembled its health and safety efforts under its new initiative: A Safer Way to Get Away #LosCabosWithCare.
More Foreign Investment in Hotels Coming. According to Rodrigo Esponda, director of the Los Cabos Tourism Fund, there are several foreign investment groups looking to develop at least seven projects of hotels and luxury residences in Los Cabos. “At this point,” said Esponda, “they are looking at land to build small, luxurious hotels of 100 to 150 rooms.” Stay tuned.
Los Cabos and Cancun Compete for Tourists. A report released by Mabrian Technologies, the search for travel information for Los Cabos, Cancun and Puerto Vallarta has increased 50 percent or more in the last few weeks. The three Mexican destinations are experiencing the highest number of searches, with Cancun getting a 60 percent increase, while Los Cabos obtained 57 percent, 3 points above Puerto Vallarta. According to Mabrian’s website, “Mabrian’s platform provides Travel Intelligence for Smart Destinations by analyzing tourist Big Data from multiple data sources. It identifies and predicts tourism dynamics.”
Good News on Property Taxes! The Los Cabos Mayor, Armida Castro, announced that the city council approved the treasurer’s proposition to maintain property taxes in our municipality at the same 3.96 percent rate for next year. It still has to get final approval by the State Congress, but Castro considers that in order to support our population’s economy, gravely affected by the long Covid-19 lockdown and further economic activities restrictions, Congress will also OK this decision. The usual 20, 15 and 10-percent discounts for early payment in January, February and March will also be announced by the end of this year.
Southern Baja Tacos Do Netflix! The second series of Netflix’s “The Taco Chronicles” has been aired since September 15, featuring Seafood Tacos from La Paz, Todos Santos and the popular Barracudas on Cerritos. The popular series had great success in their first airing, making many taco eateries in Mexico City world famous. Don’t’ miss it!
Los Cabos Government Against Bridge on Local Beach. The Los Cabos City Council agreed to review the original permits that allowed a couple of developments to build a bridge between their properties on Playa Las Viudas. This beach is located between the Maravilla residential development and Serena. The bridge, built on an arroyo, blocks access to rescue vehicles, reduces the original beach area and parking space for local visitors. This action is part of the city’s efforts to open all beaches to the public, as they are the property of the nation and no one can make them private. It could become a legal battle. If the city government wins, the bridge will be demolished.
Waldorf Astoria Cabo Under Fire. City councilwoman Tabita Rodriguez has filed a lawsuit before the Federal Attorney General Office against the Waldorf Astoria at the Pedregal, citing damages to the environment. According to Rodriguez, the resort illegally built three jettys on the Pacific side that have “gravely affected the dunes zone and turtle nesting (protected) areas. Rodriguez also said that although the Waldorf Astoria has federal permits, they did not apply for City permits. Stay tuned.
U.S. – Mexico Border Restrictions Extended. Mexico’s foreign affairs ministry confirmed this morning that its office requested its U.S. counterpart the extension of non-essential border crossings until October 21. Cargo, workers that reside in Mexico as well as Americans with permanent residency status or properties in Mexico will be allowed to cross. Flying between the U.S. and Mexico is not restricted.
How to Spend $200,000 US on a Trip to Cabo. That’s what it cost American singer and songwriter Stevie Wonder to send his son Kailand Morris and friends to celebrate his 19th birthday in Cabo. Morris and his party pals flew in aboard Stevie’s private jet and stayed in the presidential suite at the Le Blanc Spa Resort, located on the four lane between Cabo and San Jose. Morris’ trip has been a great promotion for Cabo as he came along with social media influencers that are huge on Instagram and TikTok.
Sailboats Event Canceled for This Year. The famous “Baja Ha-Ha” sailing boats parade from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas bay and back has been canceled for this year. This is the first time in 26 years that we won’t see the boaters, about 400 to 500 families, who nearly filled up Cabo bay for several days, and partied at the Squid Roe. The event organizer Richard Spindler said that “there is still too much Covid-19 risk along the journey and few medical facilities.” The plan for 2021 continues.
Norwegian Cruise Line Returns to Cabo. That’s what their website says, and we hope they come back. The Norwegian Bliss is scheduled to leave the Los Angeles port on November 1 for a 5-night trip to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada, while the Norwegian Jewel is scheduled to sail from Los Angeles on February 7 for a 7-night trip to Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlán and Ensenada. Other vessels may not start until 2021. All information is subject to change due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Over a Hundred Sea Lions Found Dead. Fishermen working in the Gulf of Ulloa found over one hundred dead sea lions along miles of the beach. Federal officials from the Environment Protection Agency (Profepa) flew from Mexico City to investigate and counted 136 males and one female specimen. It was apparent that they did not show wounds or marks that would indicate they could have been trapped in fishing nets. They measured the dead critters and took samples of the brain, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and body fat. An analysis will be done in Mexico City laboratories to determine the cause of death. The gulf is located on the Pacific side of our Southern Baja state and runs from Punta San Lazaro to Punta Abreojos. Stay tuned.