Palapas Ventana Blog

The latest news from the Palapas Ventana resort

BLUE WATER WORLD CUP COVERAGE: The Pete Correale Interview

Pete Correale Pete Correale set a world record for striped marlin on a pole spear here in Baja California Sur.

When Pete Correale was 11 years old and shooting striped bass in Montauk's summer waters, he couldn't fathom where it would land him today: world-record holder, professional spear guide, citizen of the world. 

Pete has been a guide with Palapas Ventana for the past 6 years, putting clients on enormous tuna on the Pacific side and combing remote locations in the Sea of Cortez for trophy pelagics and monstrous reef fish. He splits his time among spearfishing hotspots like Panama, Montauk and Mexico. Just before the 2018 Blue Water World Cup, we caught up with Pete to talk tournament strategy and why he keeps coming back to Baja.

When you first started spearing, did you know you were going to make a career—a life—out of it?

I guess I didn’t really think about it like that. We grew up in the woods and on the water and it’s always been a part of our lives. I guess I didn’t really anticipate it as something I’d be doing for a living. I guess it was organic. Originally it started where it was like—how can I be diving and be in the water all the time and feed myself and make a little bit of money? The way it all started for me—it was in Panama when I started that outfit with my friend. There was no other designated spearfishing outfitter. It happened at a time when a lot of people from the US who were going to Vallarta to shoot their trophy tuna said [Panama] was the next big place to go. People were going there before, but it was low key. 

It really came down to—how can I dive all the time? There’s the thrill of the hunt, there’s a connection with the ocean and fish and the cycle of going out and harvesting your own food. It’s a very satisfying, fulfilling feeling from beginning to end. 

 

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5 Awesome Sea Creatures You'll Find in the World's Aquarium

Sea_anemone_baja_california-2 © Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0
Jacques Cousteau once called the Sea of Cortez the "aquarium of the world," and for good reason. Oean currents sweep nutrients into the Gulf of California, while upwellings of rich waters serve up a tasty buffet to colorful reef fish and massive pelagic life.The result is an alignment of perfect conditions for scuba diving and snorkeling. From Cabo Pulmo to reefs off desert islands, the Sea of Cortez is a world-class snorkeling and diving destination.While you can dive and snorkel year round out of Palapas Ventana, the waters are warmest and visibility the clearest in summer months. Bikini-warm, crystal clear waters are home to incredible marine life, from the tiniest of colorful sea slugs to sharks, rays and whales. On a typical day snorkeling or diving in Baja, you might run into some of our favorite locals:BOOK A CASITA1-310-594-DIVE 

Garden Eels

Swim out over a sandy expanse and you may see what looks like seaweed fluttering in the current. Take a closer look and you'll see hundreds of tiny eels, most of their bodies concealed below the sand, peeking out like periscopes. Get too close, however, and they'll retreat into their sandy abodes.'

Guinea Fowl Puffer: Yellow phase

You'll get to know guinea fowl puffers pretty well: they're abundant in Sea of Cortez reefs. But every once in a while you'll catch one in its rare yellow phase: bright, big and the color of a ripe banana. 

Mobula Ray

A member of the manta ray family, mobula rays put on quite the show. Keep an eye on the water while you're eating breakfast and you may see one launch clear out of the water, flap its wings and belly flop on the surface. Lucky snorkels might come across schools of hundreds of mobulas gliding swiftly through the water. 

Pacific Green Turtle

Sea turtles are graceful swimmers, slowly gliding under the water and occasionally surfacing for air. Turtles can hold their breath for hours at a time, even sleeping under rock ledges. but, their excellent camouflage makes these majestic creatures a rare sight 

Whales, whales and more whales

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Best Beaches Near La Paz, Mexico

La Paz Beaches
 

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READ MORE ON OUR BLOG We dish on our favorite spots to wiggle our toes in the sand.

Baja California Sur is a hidden gem for beach lovers. Once you leave the crowds of Los Cabos, you'll find endless deserted beaches along the vibrant Sea of Cortez coastline.

And the beaches around La Paz, B.C.S. are a local secret that we're about to let you in on.

Whether you're looking for a wind-protected sunbathing haven, a goldmine of stunning seashells, world-class kite beach or turquoise waters, our beaches will knock your socks off (so that you can dig your toes into the sand!).

Here are some of our favorite beaches in the neighborhood:

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Ocean Ed-Ventures for the Whole Family

sealion

 

BOOK A CASITA FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY

 

A family vacation at Palapas Ventana is filled with nonstop ocean adventures, up-close encounters with astounding marine life and lifelong learning.

Make Palapas Ventana home for a week and you and your family will be howling with laughter, forging cherished memories, letting loose and gaining new insights into the natural world above and below the water.

Education doesn't stop when break starts -- ed-ventures are the new alternative to the conventional family vacation and they're our specialty!

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Kite the Sea of Cortez on a private yacht

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Welcome to your dream kite-cation

KITE

Secret kite spots with howling northwest wind in picture-perfect locales

PLAY

SUP, snorkel, swim and whale watch in the "world's aquarium"

REPEAT

Gourmet meals, margaritas and comfy cabins

Join Palapas Ventana for the kite cruise of your dreamsBOOK NOWCruise the Cortez

This 47-foot power catamaran could be your home February 9 to 15, 2018. We'll depart from La Paz, Baja California Sur on our luxury yacht and cruise into the sunset to find uncharted kite spots, dreamy bays, flat water fun and a ocean of adventure. Kite your days away and celebrate by evening on this all-inclusive expedition.

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A Day in Mag Bay: Up Close with the Great Grey Whales

Grey Whale

Palapas Ventana is your home for everything WHALE.

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A hush fell over the panga. We knew they were nearby. I studied the surface of the water looking for any ripple, any sign of where the momma grey whale and her calf had gone. How could something so large disappear so quickly in the shallow, protected waters of Magdalena Bay?

And then, in one breathtaking moment, a prehistoric head reared out of the glassy water just a few yards from the boat. Right next to it another miniature head popped up. They both looked like they were smiling - hovering there for a moment before slipping beneath the water again.

Cheers erupted on the boat. I realized I had been holding my breath the entire time.

The staggering power and beauty of these ancient creatures is an experience tough to describe. And in Mag Bay, that experience is right at your fingertips.

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The Palapas Ventana Bucket List

Palapas

We made the list. Now it's up to you to get them done.

We've put together the definitive list of can't-miss, life-changing, adventurous and silly Palapas Ventana activities and traditions.We want to know if you've done them all, so share your pictures with us on Facebook and Instagram or let us know what you think should be on it.Now get down here and start crossing things off!

The PV Bucket List• Swim with whale sharks in La Paz• Drink a mango margarita at the PV bar• Spearfish blue water for wahoo, marlin and tuna• Swim with sea lions at Isla Cerralvo• Venture to the Santiago hot springs• Spend a day on the beach• Hot tub at sunset• SUP downwinder from hot springs• Learn to kite with Cascade Kiteboarding lessons• Make it to level 7 of the hot dog tour• Try a Vaso Loco from Pinky's in La Paz• Picnic on Isla Cerralvo• Pet a grey whale at Magdalena Bay• Snorkel with the garden eels at Cerralvo• Compete in the Beer Pong Championships of the World of La Ventana• Learn how to make the best Mexican salsa you've ever tasted from PV chefs• Eat for dinner the fish you caught that day• After-dark hunting mission with a local• Kite from Cerralvo to PV• Experience a massage from Theresa• Devour PV’s carne asada fries• Make it to 11 on the PV shock machine• Get towed through a pod of dolphins on the subwing

Want to start checking things off your list? Come stay with us this winter and check off some kiteboarding, SUP and social activities. Find out more here. 

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Five Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Kiteboarding

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Take Lessons

I know what you’re thinking: I’m fairly coordinated. I pick up new sports pretty quickly. I don’t mind trying to learn on my own - I don’t need lessons! I can tell you from first hand experience that this is not the way to go. No matter who you are or what your background, take kite lessons. Trying to learn on your own can be immensely frustrating, unsafe and even more expensive. Lessons offer a safe and supportive environment with trustworthy kiteboarding gear.

The best scenario for learning to kite looks like this: One windy week, at least three lessons and a commitment of will to learn. Cascade Kiteboarding at Palapas Ventana has a learn-to-kite package that will get you up and riding with some of the best instructors around in the best place in to the world to learn to kite: La Ventana, Baja California Sur. Starting at $985 plus tax, packages include 6 nights accommodation, 3 kite lessons, breakfast and lunch daily and all the trappings of a Palapas Ventana vacation: hot jacuzzi, cold margaritas, incredible authentic food and stunning views of the Sea of Cortez.

Book Your Kite Casita NowIt’s Worth It

Learning to kite can be frustrating. You’ll take two steps forward and one step back. You’ll spend hours floating in the water some days. Other days you’ll feel like you're on top of the world, then the wind will die and you won’t. You’ll laugh and curse and high-five and whoop with satisfaction as you progress.

Maybe it’s because the learning curve is so steep, but the rewards are ever-so-sweet. Every second of struggle is worth it for the sheer joy of kiteboarding. So when you’re having one of those days on the water, remember that it pays off in the end.

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Fall Fish Report: A Tale of Two Coasts

cama

  Dorado in the Sea of Cortez, Baja's wild side on the Pacific: Choose your own adventure and HOOK UP with Baja’s best guides and captains.

 

Sport, spear or fly, the season is upon us. Warm fall waters bring Dorado up the Sea of Cortez in droves. Reports are that yellowfin tuna have been going “bonkers.”

Seriously, what are you waiting for?

 

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Wind-ter is Coming

la-ventana-kiteboarding

La Ventana kiteboarding is some of the best in the world. Don’t miss out this winter season. Find out how you can kite with us! 

In November, it begins. The Northwest wind is coming back to La Ventana. It’s so close you can taste the salt water. Just two months until ear-to-ear kite grins, high fives over Pacificos and three-session days. We know you have a lot of questions, so let’s get some answers out of the way and get kiting.

Why is everyone talking about La Ventana?

Kiteboarders have discovered a hidden paradise here. La Ventana has it all: consistent thermal winds November to April, affordable (and incredible) food and accommodations, cold Mexican beer and a friendly, stoked community of kiters and windsurfers. Baja California Sur is quintessential Mexico, minus the crowds. And it’s easy to personalize your dream kite-cation: a mellow barbecue with friends watching the sunset, a luxurious day at the spa or a late-night dance party on the beach are all at your fingertips.

 What kite gear should I bring?

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