SEASON along Mexicos Pacific coast, and a number of tour
operators and hotels are offering packages for tourists to view the
whales. Thousands of California gray whales abandon the freezing
waters of the Bering Sea near Alaska each November for the warm
waters of the Baja peninsula. The peak time for whale-watching is
January through early April, after the calves are born. During
these months, boat excursions are available all along the Baja
coast for tourists to view the whales. Lindblads Special
Expeditions (www.expeditions.com) offers nine-day cruises featuring
whale-watching at Magdalena Bay; Los Cabos-based Pronatur/Pro-Tours
(www.rissalena.com) provides three-hour whale-watching
tours. Each winter, humpback whales also migrate south from their
arctic feeding grounds to breed and rear their young in the warm,
protected waters of the Bahia de Banderas in Puerto Vallarta. Tours
are available to view these magnificent creatures, as well as wild
dolphins and a variety of other exotic sea mammals. Visit www.vallartawhales.com and www.vallarta-adventures.com.
INTERCONTINENTAL Puerto Vallarta Resort is offering a
Whale Watching Experience package, which includes a whale-watching
tour for two on Banderas Bay with an English-speaking tour guide,
three nights in a deluxe room, daily breakfast and private
check-in. The package costs $707, double, with additional nights
priced at $189. The package is available now through March 31.
Visit the resort chains Web site, www.ichotelsgroup.com, or call (888)
VACATIONS kicked off the new year with a Winter Relief
sale to Mexico. For bookings made through Jan. 22, Apple is
offering discounted packages for February and March departures.
From Denver, a seven-night package in Huatulco at the Crown Pacific
All-Suite Resort starts at $800 per person, double, including
roundtrip air fare. From Chicago, seven nights at the Fiesta
Americana Cozumel Dive Resort start at $900 per person, double,
including air fare, meals and drinks. For more information on these
and other packages, call (800) 365-2775 or visit www.myappleonline.com.
CUSTOMER DEMAND for its custom-designed furnishings and
linens, the upscale Ikal del Mar Villa Resort & Spa on the
Riviera Maya has begun selling its sheets, pillow cases, robes, bed
canopies, hammocks and other resort items in its new hotel shop.
The shop also sells reproductions of archaeological items; ties,
handbags and shoes by Mexican designers; and silver jewelry
designed by Mexican artisans. Items can be shipped via Federal
Express and delivered within 48 hours. The shop is open seven days
a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For information or reservations, call
(888) 230-7330 or visit www.ikaldelmar.com.