Mexico

Mexico’s West Coast Flirts with Adrenaline

written by | Posted on July 1st, 2009

New products and old favorites fill up the action-packed Pacific coastline.

Good things come to those who wait, so if your clients have spent some time pondering a big “adventure trip,” steer them south. It’s a good time to visit Mexico’s Pacific Coast, where you’re never far off from a golden stretch of sunshine or a flutter of fauna. There are just-discovered archaeological sites, new adventure options and that vast ocean rich in underwater marvels. All along Mexico’s west coast, from Riviera Nayarit all the way down to Huatulco, it’s the big thrills and big waves that make Mexico’s Pacific coast a grand getaway.

“making girls out of women” That’s the motto of Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women, which will kindly ask your female clients to step out of their comfort zone and paddle out to an extraordinary vacation where they learn how to surf.

Las Olas’ surf base camp is in the bohemian-like community of Sayulita, where fishermen, surfers, artists, and a few transplants enjoy small-town life as only Mexico can lay out. “The village is small and everything is within walking distance, so it’s really good for our guests; the waves are…probably the most gentle longboard waves I’ve ever seen anywhere; and the local people are incredible and so friendly,” says Las Olas’ founder, Bev Sanders.

Laid-back surroundings and warm waters, along with the impromptu camaraderie that the experience inspires, have brought about rave reviews that have helped the 12-year-old company thrive in a ladies-only environment where the focus is on having fun and building friendships. “A lot of women don’t give themselves credit when it comes to stuff like this,” says Sanders. “Our success rate is amazing. We’ve taught thousands of women—and they all do really well. It’s easier than most people think. You just have to think of yourself as a ‘Yes you can’ type of person.”

Clients stay in comfy shared villas, with each room boasting its own personality and dazzling views of the shoreline. Just a short walk away is La Casita, Las Olas’ clubhouse, where they meet daily to pick up their surfboards—designed specifically for women—and head to their class. The best part of it all, says Sanders, is overcoming challenges and facing your fears—though a surfing getaway in Riviera Nayarit sounds like a pretty good perk, too. Rates for a 7-day surf safari start at $3,050 pp for a shared bedroom (solo guests can be paired together), $3,775 for a private one and $4,150 for a room with a private bathroom and plunge pool. Lower “Dawn Patrol” rates may be available up to 90 days before travel dates, which run throughout the year.

fishin’ and hopin’ Some clients may think diving with sharks is the ultimate in adventure trips, but they’ve probably never been on a boat when a “big one” bites. Pandemonium erupts, forgotten beer cans roll across the deck, rods bend over and threaten to crack, and big men scream like schoolgirls. There’s a chance to do all that this year when the 29th Big Game Trolling Sport Fishing World Championship comes to Mazatlan (the “Billfish Capital of the World”) Oct. 24-29. The 5-day tournament will have participants coming from as far away as Egypt and South Africa to compete.

Clients can combine a fishing jaunt with Hotel Playa Mazatlan’s new, beachfront EduVentura Center, which offers several adventure options. They can sign up for rappelling and ziplining amid waterfalls and bountiful flora, or try their hand at a 3-wall climbing circuit.

Hotel Playa Mazatlan is located right on the city’s Golden Zone, with both the beach and three swimming pools at hand. Its Bed & Breakfast package, priced at $306 for a garden-view room and $351 for an oceanview for three nights, comes with daily breakfast for two, a 20 percent discount on an excursion on a catamaran and a free stay for two children 12 and under. The package is available from Aug. 16 to Dec. 25. Guests can also sign up for a variety of local excursions, including day trips to nearby villages or a visit to the new Huana Cua Canopy Adventure, a park located by the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains—at the 130-year-old Los Osuna Blue Agave Plantation, to be exact. Clients will have time to tour the plantation’s distillery, but before they do they’ll zipline across 12 platforms through a semi-desert tropical forest, walk along an elevated walkway and experience a vertical descent. They’ll also hop on an all-terrain vehicle and drive through trails rich in local flora at up to 50-degree slopes.