Downtown Manzanillo

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog, Safety in Mexico.

The following is a reprint from Robert Reid, Lonely Planet’s U.S. Travel Editor lonely planet 

Are You Safer in Mexico Or America? By Robert Reid Lonely Planet’s US Travel Editor.

As Lonely Planet’s US Travel Editor, I frequently get asked if it’s safe to go to Mexico.  I have always said that, if you’re thoughtful about where you go, the answer is yes. Now, after my most recent trip there, I’m answering the question with another question: Do you think it’s safe to go to Texas?

What you don’t get from most reports in the US is statistical evidence that Americans are less likely to face violence in Mexico than at home, particularly when you zero in on Mexico’s most popular travel destinations. For example, the gateway to Disney World, Orlando, saw 7.5 murders per 100,000 residents in 2010 according to the FBI; this is higher than Cancun or Puerto Vallarta, with rates of 1.83 and 5.9 respectively, per a Stanford University report (see data visualization here, summarized on this chart, page 21). Yet in March, the Texas Department of Public Safety advised against “spring break” travel anywhere in Mexico, a country the size of the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy combined. Never mind that popular destinations like the Bahamas, Belize and Jamaica have far higher homicide rates (36, 42 and 52 per 100,000). Why the singular focus?Before you nix Mexico altogether, consider these five things:

 

1. Mexico may be more dangerous than the US overall, but not for Americans.

According to FBI crime statistics, 4.8 Americans per 100,000 were murdered in the US in 2010. The US State Department reports that 120 Americans of the 5.7 million who visited Mexico last year were murdered, which is a rate of 2.1 of 100,000 visitors. Regardless of whether they were or weren’t connected to drug trafficking, which is often not clear, it’s less than half the US national rate.

 

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2. Texans are twice as safe in Mexico and three times safer than in Houston.

Looking at the numbers, it might be wise for Texans to ignore their Public Safety department’s advice against Mexico travel. Five per 100,000 Texans were homicide victims in 2010, per the FBI. Houston was worse, with 143 murders, or a rate of 6.8 – over three times the rate for Americans in Mexico.

3. And it’s not just Texas.

It’s interesting comparing each of the countries’ most dangerous cities. New Orleans, host city of next year’s Super Bowl, broke its own tourism record last year with 8 million visitors. Yet the Big Easy has ten times the US homicide rate, close to triple Mexico’s national rate.

Few go to Ciudad Juarez, a border town of 1.3 million that saw 8 to 11 murders a day in 2010 (accounts differ – CNN went with 8). It’s unlikely to ever be a tourism hostpot, but things have been quietly improving there. By 2011, CNN reported, the homicide rate dropped by 45%, and the first six weeks of this year saw an additional 57% drop, per this BBC story.

If that trend in Juarez continues all year, and it might not, the number of homicides would have dropped from over 3000 in 2010 to 710 in 2012. Meanwhile New Orleans’ homicide rate is increasing, up to 199 murders last year, equivalent to 736 in a city with the population of Juarez.

4. By the way, most of Mexico is not on the State Department’s travel warning.

The best of Mexico, in terms of travel, isn’t on the warning. The US warns against “non-essential travel” to just four of Mexico’s 31 states (all in the north: Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango and Tamaulipas). The warning goes on to recommend against travel to select parts of other states, but not including many popular destinations such as Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, the Riviera Nayarit, Cancun, Cozumel and Tulum.

Meanwhile, 13 states are fully free from the State Department’s warning, including Baja California Sur, Yucatan, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guanajuato and others.

5. Malia Obama ignored the Texas advice.

Of all people, President Obama and first lady said “OK” to their 13-year-old daughter’s spring break destination this year: Oaxaca. Then Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum made snide remarks over that, perhaps overlooking that Oaxaca state has a smaller body count from the drug war than his home state’s murder rate (Oaxaca’s 4.39 per 100,000 to Pennsylvania’s 5.2).

Oaxaca state, not on the US travel warning, is famed for its colonial city, Zapotec ruins and emerging beach destinations like Huatulco. Lonely Planet author Greg Benchwick even tried grasshoppers with the local mezcal (Malia apparently stuck with vanilla shakes.)

So, can you go to Mexico?

Palace by the Sea in Manzanillo Mexico

Yes. As the US State Department says, “millions of US citizens safely visit Mexico each year.” Last year, when I took on the subject for CNN, one commenter suggested Lonely Planet was being paid to promote travel there. No we weren’t. We took on the subject simply because – as travelers so often know – there is another story beyond the perception back home, be it Vietnam welcoming Americans in the ’90s or Colombia’s dramatic safety improvements in the ’00s. And, equally as importantly, Mexico makes for some of the world’s greatest travel experiences – it’s honestly why I’m in this line of work.

So yes, you can go to Mexico, just as you can go to Texas, or New Orleans, or Orlando, or the Bahamas. It’s simply up to you to decide whether you want to.

 

Robert Reid is Lonely Planet’s US Travel Editor and has been going to Mexico since he was three (most recently to Chacala).

Robert_ReidLa Punta, Manzanillo Mexico

 

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Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog, Safety in Mexico.

Many articles have been written addressing the misconception that Mexico is not safe. The troubles are almost entirely limited to areas near the border or drug related.

Manzanillo is 1,000 miles from the border and has had no problems. It would be misguided to say the U.S. is unsafe because there is a mugging in Detroit.

 

Here is an excerpt from a recent WSJ article to help you assure yourself about a trip to Mexico.

A beach in Playas de Rosarito

 

Is it Safe to Go to Mexico – Wall St. Journal (excerpt)

Despite the travel alert, “we are not advising people not to go to Mexico,” says Heide Bronke Fulton, a State Department spokeswoman. She adds that the main areas of concern are cities and towns near the U.S. border. Travel alerts, which can caution against everything from cyclone season to terrorism threats, are far less severe than the State Department’s “warnings,” in place for countries like Iraq and Sudan, which essentially advise against traveling to a country altogether.

Cabo San Lucas, at the southern tip of Baja California.Mexico Tourism Board

Security experts say tourists can safely travel to Mexico — if they stay within known resort areas, avoid traveling to Mexico by road and steer clear of U.S. border areas. Mike Ackerman, president of the Ackerman Group, an investigative security firm, says most of the drug-trade crime within Mexico is “narco on narco” violence or violence against police. Kidnapping, another growing problem in Mexico, almost always targets wealthy Mexicans, not Americans or other foreigners.

Last month, Mexico’s Tourism Board launched a new Web site, Mexico-Update.com, which has video testimonials from travelers who have visited Mexico recently and a map meant to clarify which areas were included in the U.S. government’s travel alert. Areas with red “alert” dots include Tijuana, Ciudad Juárez, Nogales and Chihuahua, all cities in the northwest part of the country that are near the U.S. border.

Many travelers haven’t canceled their Mexico travel plans, especially those visiting established resort areas of Mexico. Stacy Small, a Brentwood, Calif.-based travel agent, recently returned from Ixtapa and Los Cabos, where she says “there wasn’t any evidence of problems.” Out of more than a dozen clients she’s booked into the area, she says, several have called to ask her about safety, but so far only one has ended up changing plans.

Last week, Mike and Ann McGibbon stayed at the Azul Sensatori Hotel in Riviera Maya, about 1,300 miles from Chihuahua, with their 10-year-old daughter. The family has traveled to the area before, and the only change in their plans this time was that they didn’t “dilly dally at the airport” in Cancuacute, says Mr. McGibbon, a health-care company general manager from Libertyville, Ill. They spent their days walking along the beach, swimming and reading by the pool. “At no point did I feel unsafe,” says Mrs. McGibbon.

 

Palace By The Sea - Aerial View

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog, Safety in Mexico.

Here are a few notes from our Guests who stayed at Palace by the Sea -

“Our whole family thoroughly enjoyed our vacation in La Punta. Palace By The Sea was spectacular.

Frankly, as we had booked the Palace about 8 months prior to our arrival, we were quite disturbed about the negative news about Mexico on TV, radio, and newspapers. However, once we arrived in La Punta/Manzanillo we felt totally at ease. Not once did we feel any apprehension being in Mexico. We went into town and never looked over our shoulder or felt threatened. Everyone we encountered was pleasant and helpful.”

Downtown Manzanillo

Another guest writes:

“La Punta, the gated community where the Palace is located, is very safe. I jog around La Punta by myself – early morning or before sunset. And I never hesitate to leave for the surrounding streets of La Punta, the restaurants and shops etc. by myself.  People are so kind and helpful. I’ve been to many different parts of Mexico but Manzanillo is the only place I feel that way.”

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La Punta

Susan Dearing, an author from Branson, Missouri, who now lives in Manzanillo writes on her web page:

“How many of you grew up in a small town, where you left your windows open to catch a cool breeze on a hot July night, or left your car unlocked with the windows down when you went downtown to grocery shop? I grew up in a town like that, and am living in one now: Manzanillo!”

 

“Manzanillo is a tourist town; its citizens and businesses depend on you having a great and safe time while you’re here. Not only is the Mexican army and navy based in Manzanillo, but so is our PFP (“just say ‘no’ to drugs” cops). Even our traffic police wear buttons that state: “Say no to bribes”!

“Crime is virtually nonexistent here, especially violent crime. This is not Guadalajara, Acapulco or Mexico City. You can feel safe driving on any road in the state of Colima.”

“Manzanillo isn’t Mexico City, nor is it Los Angles, New York, Detroit or Toronto. Every city in the world has its plusses and minuses, but Manzanillo is, for all practical purposes, one of the safest and most friendly places on earth.”

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Gazebo in the Zocalo in Manzanillo

 

You can read more guest comments on our testimonials page.

Palace By The Sea as viewed from the Sunset Cruise

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog, Safety in Mexico.

Sometimes, when people inquire about staying at Palace by the Sea, the question arises – should I be concerned about safety?

The short answer is – in Manzanillo you do not need to be concerned about your safety. You are safer in Manzanillo than many U.S. cities. Mexico has some problem areas, but they are hundreds or thousands of miles from Manzanillo. Would you cancel a trip to New York because there was a crime in Las Vegas?

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Palace by the Sea is located on the peninsula of La Punta which is very private (24 hour gated community) and is remote from metropolitan Manzanillo. See map:

 

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A few years ago, this interesting article appeared in the Chicago Tribune: Is Mexico Safe? by Christopher Reynolds. Here’s an excerpt -

“Robert Reid, who has contributed to Lonely Planet’s Mexico volumes and serves as the New York-based U.S. travel editor for the guidebook publisher, likes to remind people that Mexico is about the size of France, Spain, Germany and Italy — combined.

Before you let trouble in one corner of the country affect your travel to another corner, he said, “Imagine a shootout in Sicily forcing a canceled vacation in Germany.”

Also, as Mexican officials are quick to note, most drug-war victims so far have been active partisans — that is, drug traffickers and law enforcement officials.”

————–

 

Interestingly, cruise lines, which have stopped at Mazatlan for years, have recently rerouted to Manzanillo, as Manzanillo is safe.

 

Here is a short note and video on the topic by Palace by the Sea’s owner.

If you’re thinking twice about booking a vacation in Mexico we’d like you to know that La Punta and Manzanillo are as safe and wonderful as ever. Actually, the town of Manzanillo is very safe, and crime rates are low — mainly because the economy is so good, and jobs are plentiful. Also, the police force is very strong. The security gate is manned 24/7, and there are routine patrol cars. This the only entrance to La Punta, although La Punta could be accessed by boat, with considerable difficulty. The security entrance is very confined — one can’t drive around it. We have a 10-person security force, 24/7, and have had no incidents of any kind.

There are also many very wealthy people who live and stay on La Punta — practically all homes are valued at $1,000,000 or more. There are many prominent people who own/reside on La Punta. We have a 10-person security force, 24/7, and have had no incidents of any kind, much less a kidnapping. The FBI agents were probably referring to Mexico City, which is a problem. Also in the US-Mexico border towns relating to drugs. We are 500 miles from Mexico City, and perhaps 1,000 miles from the border. In all our dealings with Guests, this subject has never come up.

Frankly, I have never even been concerned about this subject, and feel my family and I are quite safe ANYWHERE in Manzanillo.

 

A quick look at google images for Manzanillo will give you and idea of the calm serenity AND beauty of the area. Please feel free to ask us any questions you may have or to contact us to ask for more information. You can contact us here Palacebythesea.com/contact-us

Palace By The Sea as viewed from the Sunset Cruise

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog.

Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous host Robin Leach narrates this feature on Palace By The Sea.

Palace By The Sea is continually beautified and updated by the owners. We want to show you our current look (extended pool deck, new fabrics, bountiful full grown palm trees). The video includes the original TV soundtrack with fantastic new photos by Dale Fazendin.

 

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Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog, Turtles.

Wow! Look at them go!

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While you are enjoying your stay at Palace By The Sea, take the kids on a short drive to the nearby turtle sanctuary. You can find more info here – Turtle Sanctuary. You don’t need to take an expensive tour package, just visit the sanctuary. Here’s a short description and video by one of our renters.

“We ate lunch at a restaurant once and wondered why – since the food at the Palace was so much better.

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“Our trip to La Punta in Manzanillo was amazing! Weather was in mid-eighties w/ low humidity. Not a lot of tourists. Staff was great, spoke English, very friendly. Chef (Pilar) made fantastic meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. One meal I do recommend having out is the grilled fish/shrimp at the restaurants on the beach near the turtle sanctuary. Turtle sanctuary was worth a visit. Kids got to send 1 day old baby sea turtles into the ocean.” Lori B.

 

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click here for baby turtle movie

 

Stay tuned for more wonderful ideas and information of things to do in Manzanillo while visiting Palace By The Sea.

TENNIS 2_2 sketch

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog, Tennis.

Our stay at Palace by the Sea, in the gated community of La Punta – in Manzanillo, Mexico’s Gold Coast, included access to the 4 private tennis courts. The courts have viewing benches and all  amenities. The tennis club is located on the beautiful grounds in the center of the La Punta community surrounded by palm and fruit trees, large grassy areas and beautiful views of both Manaznillo bay (on the left) and Santiago Bay (on the right). Best of all, the courts are within walking distance. A charming cobblestone road lead us past the many exquisite homes right to the club.

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Best hours to play are before 11AM or after 3 PM depending on the time of year. If you enjoy sun, you can play all day long, as many do. Courts are excellently maintained and well lit for night play.

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Salvador, the tennis pro at La Punta for over 20 years, gave outstanding, yet inexpensive instruction. He will fill in if you need a partner or fourth. There are also clay courts nearby at Las Hadas Resort.

TENNIS 2_2 sketch

TENNIS 1 sketch

 

Love, Set, Match. We enjoyed our tennis at Palace by the Sea.

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Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog.

One of the most exhilarating aspects of visiting Palace By The Sea is our unique location. We have 180° ocean views, with incredible sunsets all year round. We are literally on the tip of the peninsula, nothing obstructs our view of the ocean. From our pool deck and balconies we often see  dolphins and whales playing in the bay.

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Afternoons bring cool breezes, Pelicans and hawks fly over head. You can literally feel and hear the ocean 24 hours a day.

It soothes, stimulates and inspires. Be enchanted by a new experience of the elements and a sense of belonging and serenity.

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Here’s a taste of the powerful, fantastic views.

Palace By The Sea - Aerial View

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog.

We call our home Palace by the Sea for good reasons -

First is the majesty of the edifice. Beautiful Moroccan influenced architectural design by Joaquin Torres, features 5 Bedrooms, all with spectacular ocean views.

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The expansive pool deck with jacuzzi, provides multiple lounging options, umbrella tables for shaded reading, game playing or snacking.

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*Pool Deck from Master adj

Open air living and dining areas…

*LR, DR, pool deck

*DR table green

 

 

Gardens media room, massage room and more….

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Sweeping arches, detailed brickwork ceiling, and wall sculptures and artisan touches throughout.

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*Butterfly Room cb

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We think you’ll find the comfort and care of Palace By The Sea unparalleled in meeting your luxury vacation needs. Come see us soon!

 

Posted by & filed under Beachfront, Fantastic Views, Las Hadas, Luxury Vacation Rental, Manzanillo, Palace by the Sea Blog.

Descending a few steps from Palace by the Sea to our sea side palapa (grass hut).

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Complete with seating area, built in table and lights, you’ll find a fantastic opportunity to experience the tranquility of being right at the ocean – a few meters above the surf hitting the rocky shore.

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And you’ll also feel the raw power of this vast body of water. 

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Center stage is our Pelican rock.

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In the early morning and sunset hours, small fishing boats can be seen and divers for sea urchin.

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Pelican rock and the Pacific put on a majestic show for all willing to take these few steps. Because it is shaded you can go there morning, noon or evening to watch the sunset. 

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Refreshing and entertaining. An experience well worth the short journey. 

 

Watch a short video preview of this fantastic experience!

If you are unable to view the view, please click here:  View of Pelican Rock from our Palapa