Travel Weekly's Mexico E-letter: Dec. 29, 2004

ALASKA AIRLINES said it received DOT approval to fly nonstop between Los Angeles and Loreto, Mexico. Supported by a marketing partnership with the Loreto Bay Co., the primary developer of the area, Alaska's twice-weekly flights will begin on Feb. 17. The flights will operate Sundays and Thursdays, departing Los Angeles at 11:10 a.m. and arriving in Loreto at 1:59 p.m. Return flights will depart Loreto at 4 p.m. and arrive in Los Angeles at 4:55 p.m. Alaska will use MD-80 planes on the route with room for 12 in first class and 128 in the main cabin. Loreto will be Alaska's eighth destination in Mexico. Alaska currently serves Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo/Costa Alegre, Cancun and Guadalajara.

AEROMEXICO will launch its fourth daily flight from Miami to Mexico City on Jan. 10. The new flight is scheduled to depart Miami at 5 p.m. and arrive in Mexico City at 7:15 p.m.

PRESIDENTE INTERCONTINENTAL LOS CABOS: Hoping to boost winter bookings, the Presidente InterContinental Los Cabos is offering an all-inclusive package priced at $230 a night for two people from Jan. 1 to 31 and $290 from Feb. 1 to March 31. The package includes accommodations a Deluxe Oceanview Room with an inside living area or a private balcony, daily activities, all meals (including room service), a free tour of the Los Cabos Arch, a reduced rate at the Palmilla Golf Course and a "hop-on, hop-off" tour for two of Los Cabos' top five attractions. For additional information, visit www.intercontinental.com.

PLEASANT HOLIDAYS joined with the Costa Real Cabo San Lucas for a winter promotion that offers reduced rates to guests who travel between Dec. 23 and April 9 and stay in a run-of-the house room or opt for an all-inclusive package. Four-night, land-only packages start at $259 per person, double, reflecting a savings of $61 per couple. Prices include airport transfers, accommodations, and hotel taxes and surcharges. For information or reservations, call (800) 448-3333 or visit www.pleasantagent.com.

COZUMEL is gearing up for Carnaval, which is celebrated on the island from Feb. 12 to 16. For nearly 100 years, Cozumel has commemorated this pre-lenten celebration, using Carnaval as a way to honor its past. During Carnaval, dance troupes of all ages perform daily throughout the day and night. During the five-day event, locals and visitors come together to enjoy the floats and colorful parades, nightly street fairs with traditional foods and concerts, and daily musical performances and dancing through the streets of downtown San Miguel. The highlight of the week is the Comparsas Ball, featuring the crowning of the king and queen of Carnaval and an intense group dance competition. To learn more about Carnaval in Cozumel, visit www.islacozumel.com.mx.

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