Unique Experiences in Cabo – Swimming with Whale Sharks

When you become a resident in Cabo, you will discover there is no end to your enjoyment as you can access a whole host of activities. Swimming with whale sharks is just one example of the kind of unique experiences that await you and your loved ones in Cabo. This is the perfect activity during the early winter months through the late springtime. The feeding waters where you can find herds of the harmless shark species are just a quick boat ride from Cabo, and you can enjoy tours that allow you to swim alongside these gentle giants that come to the area each year because of the abundant food supply and warmer waters.

The Biggest Fish Species in the world

Whale sharks are the biggest fish species in the world as they can reach 18-32 feet in length and weigh more than twenty tons. There have been numerous sightings of whale sharks being longer than 40 feet! These gentle and magnificent creatures are slow moving filter feeders and can live up to seventy years.

A Shark or a Whale?

Whale sharks are, indeed, a type of shark and not a whale. They were named whale sharks due to their enormous size, which is more comparable to a whale. Don’t let their massive body size intimidate you, because the whale sharks don’t cause any danger or threats to human beings.

Whale Sharks Up Close

While the whale sharks are easier to watch while diving or snorkeling, it can also be done on a boat. The whale sharks swim very slowly at a pace around 3 MPH and they don’t pay any attention to humans in the water near them. The diet of a whale shark is made up of small fish, plankton, and plants that are microscopic, and they filter their foods through their gills, which is why they are virtually harmless to people. Because whale sharks swim near the ocean surface to feed, it makes it easy to see the whale sharks up close.

Swimming with Gentle Giants

It’s no surprise that swimming with whale sharks is a highly sought out activity in Cabo San Lucas. Any person that is brave and loves a daring experience should go on this activity. You should reserve a boat excursion spot that will take you to where the whale sharks are feeding, then if you see the whale sharks you can just jump right in and have an experience that you will remember forever.

Protect the Whale Shark Species

The whale sharks species are protected as they are an endangered species. At one time the whale sharks were in abundance around the world in the ocean waters. The Mexican and international laws protects the whale sharks, so if you are wanting to swim with the whale sharks you should look for a touring company that is reputable. They must obtain a license for whale shark touring. These compa.ies will ask you to wear sunscreen that is organic and biodegradable, so the whale sharks are protected. The laws in Mexico only permit two people to enter the waters along with their guide to swimming with whale sharks.

Photo credits: Cabo Adventures Facebook page.

Read more about what to do in Cabo San Lucas here.

Is it possible to Purchase Real Estate Legally in Mexico?

You might have heard that there is no way for a foreign national to legally purchase real estate within Mexico. This is largely due to the constitutional limitations put upon the ownership of land and real estate by foreign nationals within 50 km (31 miles) of the coast and 100km (62 miles) of the international borders. Nonetheless, it is more than possible to purchase real estate legally in Mexico as a foreign national; you simply need to have the land held in trust through a fideicomiso. Thankfully, this process is very simple and straightforward since there are plenty of top Mexican banks willing to get involved these days.

Fideicomisos and Bank Trust Institutions

If you wish to purchase real estate in the restricted zones around Mexico (such as in Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit or Cabo) you will need to establish a fideicomiso, or trust deed, through a bank. The bank will then act as a trustee on your behalf; they will manage and oversee the trust in question, but you will retain all of the rights of ownership to the property in question. This means that you will be able to occupy, rent, transfer, sell, or bequeath in a will the property. The requirement to have a fideicomiso in place for property around the coasts and borders of Mexico does not, however, make it illegal for foreign nationals to own land or property in these area.

Renewable Bank Trusts

The initial life of a fideicomiso bank trust is fifty years, and at the end of this term the trust can be renewed for another fifty years, and so on in perpetuity. If you choose to sell your property at a later date to another foreign national the fideicomiso can be transferred, or cancelled so that they can set up their own, and if you sell to a Mexican national the fideicomiso can be terminated.

Appointing Beneficiaries

When you purchase land through a fideicomiso in Mexico you will be required to appoint substitute beneficiaries when the trust is finalized so that if the worst should happen and you pass on before the fifty year lifespan of the fideicomiso, your heirs will be given all ownership rights to the property. This means that your heirs will not need to follow any probate proceedings with the Mexican courts, thereby saving them time, money, and stress in already stressful times.

If you wish to know more about the legality of buying real estate as a foreign national in Mexico, contact us on 1 877 499 1901 or 1 866 843 7005.

Related article: Are Foreigners Allowed to Purchase Real Estate in Mexico?

Interesting Facts about Banderas Bay

Banderas Bay is one of the most stunning and desirable vacation spots in Mexico, and there is no doubt that Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit provides the best base from which to sample all the delights of this region. If you read on you’ll find out some really interesting facts about Banderas Bay with which to impress your friends when you get together again.

Los Muertos Beach

Los Muertos beach is one of the most beloved beaches around Banderas Bay, but many people are a little put off when they realise that the name translates, literally, to The Beach of the Dead. Legend has it that, centuries ago, locals fought off a pirate raid on this beach, and did so with such ferocity that many pirates died on the sands. If you talk to locals in the bars they’ll happily tell you about how many skeletons were found when the first hotels were being built on the beach! Nonetheless, any party you have here is sure to be lively so don’t give Los Muertos the swerve!

Banderas Bay

Banderas Bay is the biggest bay in Mexico, but it’s also one of the deepest and largest bays in the world as a whole! Sitting at over 900 meters it is practically fathomless, and at 42 kilometres wide it is in amongst the 10 largest in the world. The name Banderas, too, has significance as it is based on the Spanish word for flag! It is said that the Spanish Conquistadores, upon arrival, faced 20,000 armed natives with feathered flags, ready to defend their territory!

Las Peñas

The town of Puerto Vallarta, that sites at the heart of Banderas Bay, used to be called Las Peñas, in the 1800s, but was renamed after state governor Ignacio Vallarta in the 1900s.

Source of Income

Today, Puerto Vallarta’s 9 billion peso economy is based most upon tourism and the service industry, but before it became such a hotspot the town was a fishing centre. In those days the main source of revenue for Puerto Vallarta was the export of Corn, Coconuts, Beans, and Bananas to the USA (and, of course, feeding the local market).

The Movie Industry

Many famous faces have graced the shores of Banderas Bay for business and pleasure, and Puerto Vallarta, arguably, became what it is today because of one special movie. The Night of the Iguana, starring Richard Burton, put Puerto Vallarta on the map and the romance of Burton and Elizabeth Taylor made it infamous! This is, arguably, why so many big budget films (like 2011’s Limitless) have been filmed here since. These sands have seen the likes of Robert De Niro and Arnold Schwarzenegger!

Population

In the 1880s Puerto Vallarta had a population of around 1,500 people; today there are over 300, 000 inhabitants in Puerto Vallarta. The population boom was sudden and exponential. In the last 20 years the population has grown by a staggering average of 7.5% each year!

Mariachi Music

If you’ve been to Mexico before you’ll know that this is a culture which loves to party, and mariachi music is a key part of this! The state of Jalisco, where you can find Banderas Bay and Puerto Vallarta, is the epicentre of mariachi and in Puerto Vallarta alone you will find dozens of talented groups. There’s even a kids mariachi band in the city!

Recommended article: Top Tips for Finding the Best Real Estate in Puerto Vallarta and Riviera Nayarit

Invest in Mexican Real Estate for Vacation Rentals

You might think that you have missed the boat when it comes to cashing in on Mexican real estate in the prime locations in Mexico such as Puerto Vallarta, Cancun, and Los Cabos, but there are still plenty of opportunities. Today is easier than ever for foreigners to invest in real estate for vacation rentals, particularly now that there are more websites such as Airbnb and Craigslist where you can advertise your properties for rent.

Investing in Property for Vacation Rentals in Mexico

Foreigners can buy real estate anywhere in Mexico, although there are different regulations for purchasing property within the restricted zones which include areas that are within 50km of the coast and 100km of a national border. Once you have purchased your property, you can begin the task of putting it to work for you by renting it out for either long term or short term rentals. Vacation rentals are rapidly becoming a popular choice for tourists visiting Mexico, with demand for rentals rising steadily. Just last year saw a 9% growth in the industry for popular destinations in Mexico. Occupancy rates are also rising for the top destinations.

Income from Vacation Rentals

One of the major attractions of buying Mexican real estate for vacation rentals is the potential income you can enjoy. You can advertise vacation rentals in Mexico in US dollars, which means that you can enjoy premium rates and establish a stable income, particularly if you are renting your property during the high season, which is generally in the winter months. While you charge in dollars, you expenses, maintenance, and running costs can be paid in pesos, so you can expect to make a good return, even before you consider any appreciation your property might enjoy over the years.

Paying tax on income from vacation rentals

In the past, revenue from vacation rentals in Mexico went somewhat under the radar, but new tax laws for owners and property investors have made paying taxes on any income from vacation rentals enforceable. Be sure to consult a tax attorney to ensure you don’t fall on the wrong side of the law.

A property that is yours to use

Not only can you use your real estate investment for vacation rentals, you will also have somewhere to arrive to in Mexico that you can call your own. The beauty is being able to rent your property when you do not wish to use it.

If you have any questions about Mexican real estate, please contact us today:
Cabo San Lucas – 1 877 499 1901
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico – 1 866 843 7005

Rules on Bringing your Car to Mexico

If you are moving from the States, it is very likely that you are considering the logistics of bringing your car to Mexico. After all, having your own vehicle can make things a whole lot easier in terms of commuting, exploring, and just getting about. Of course, if it’s going to be a huge amount of trouble you may just be better selling your car before you move, and buying one in Mexico.

Driving Within the “Free Zone”

Non-Mexican plated cars are drivable within the “Free Zone” (up to 22 miles/35 kilometers from the border), and cross the border without any further action on your part, but if you leave this area you will need a temporary vehicle import permit. Don’t worry about accidentally straying from the “Free Zone” as you will encounter guarded checkpoints on the road south; make sure you have your permit before you move southwards as you cannot buy one at checkpoints.

Driving Beyond the “Free Zone”

In order to leave the “Free Zone,” you will need certain documents, including a temporary import permit. If you have a legal work permit you may bring in one car, so long as you own it and so long as you take it back with you when your visa expires. Tourists may bring one car even if they don’t own it, but must prove that they have permission to travel into Mexico with the vehicle (such as rental cars).

Vehicle Rules and Limits on Bringing your Car to Mexico

As previously stated, each individual may bring one vehicle into the country with them, and so each adult member of a family may bring their own vehicle if they wish to. The one vehicle per person rule does have some exceptions, however; if you’re towing a car behind an RV both vehicles may be registered to one person. That individual must provide proof of ownership for both, and both vehicles must accompany you when you leave Mexico. Likewise, single passenger vehicles like ATVs and Motorcycles may be registered with the car towing them so long as proof of ownership is provided. A single car may tow up to three single person vehicles (one per passenger up to a limit of three), but all must leave the country in the same manner. A trailer will not be counted as a vehicle, but you will have to provide proof of ownership for it and ensure that it is taken from the country with the vehicle which towed it in.

How Long Import Permits Last

A temporary import permit lasts as long as your current visa, including extensions, and so may stay as long as you. If you already have a permanent resident visa, however, you will not be able to bring your vehicle into the country, but if you change your immigration status while your car is in Mexico with you this differs. In such cases you won’t need to apply for a new permit while your visa is current, but if you leave Mexico with your car you will be required to surrender your vehicle before you re-enter.

We hope that this has made things a little more clear for you about Bringing your Car to Mexico.

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Dining in Cabo

Los Cabos is, and has been for a while, one of the hottest vacation destinations in Mexico; this is one of the best places to enjoy outdoor activities, and it has a really lively cultural scene. Of the many wonderful things about Los Cabos, the culinary options are a highlight in their own right! There are a seemingly endless number of restaurants for all budgets as well as places where you can enjoy cooking classes. Here are some great options to dining in Cabo.

Sunset da Mona Lisa

Atmosphere, atmosphere, atmosphere; Sunset da Mona Lisa in Los Cabos just oozes charm, romance, and ambience. Upon arrival you will no doubt notice the view of the Land’s End arches; this alone is worth a visit! Of course the food, too, is phenomenal; pasta dishes, fresh local seafood, and pizza star on this menu and make it the perfect place for a casual meal or a sunset drink.

Nick-San

This popular establishment has giving birth to a new cuisine; the mingling of traditional Mexican and Japanese flavors is an unusual one, but the result is stunning. The tempura oysters, Bluefin Tuna sashimi, or beef fillet serranito, for example, will make your tastebuds tingle with pleasure when you are dining in Cabo.

El Farallón

This Los Cabos restaurant overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and sits on a stunning Cliffside where it offers diners the chance to select their meal, market style, from a variety of fresh caught fish and seafood. The fare is then grilled to perfection for exquisite tenderness and taste. A great choice for dining in Cabo.

Flora’s Field Kitchen

Flora’s Field Kitchen is located in the middle of an organic farm, from which it gets its name, and serves fresh food direct from the source. Anyone who visits is sure to be enchanted by the ambience as much as the delicious menu which features a huge variety of dishes ranging from vegetarian fare to humanely raised meats, from gourmet pizzas to homemade pastas.

Manta at The Cape

Enrique Olvera is a celebrated chef and restaurateur, and his food can be sampled both in Pujol in Mexico City and in Manta here in Los Cabos. This fine dining venue gives great views of the rock formations at Land’s End, which provides the best backdrop for a romantic evening meal. The menu here rotates, but focuses on locally caught seafood and “Pacific Rim” flavors. There are also taster menus for the adventurous.

Edith’s Restaurante

Edith Jiménez, owner of this eponymous eatery in Los Cabos, drew on the tastes and ingredients of her home state, Guerrero, to create the menu here. The flavors of her home state are effortlessly combined with Baja tastes, and the results are phenomenal; some truly delectable Mexican dishes can be found here, and enjoyed on an alluring patio.

Please add your own personal favorites for dining in Cabo to this short list of restaurants.

Recommended articles: What Makes Cabo So Special?