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A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine Country
As seen on Forbes Magazine, Amanda Arnold , Contributor

Just a two-hour drive south of San Diego across the Mexican border lies a peaceful Baja California valley brimming with ripened grapes, delicious wines and gourmet cuisine concocted from the freshest of fresh local ingredients. Our Forbes Travel Guide editors take a peek at Mexico’s lovely—and somewhat little known—Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley), a wine country destination screaming for a late summer getaway of the great outdoors, delicious food and plenty of vino.

Interested in trying a sweet alternative to beer? Venture over to our blog to explore Washington’s cider scene.

A Taste Of Mexico's Wine Country

A Taste Of Mexico’s Wine CountryThe Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe.

Where To Play
The Fiestas de la Vendimia, a celebration of the annual harvest, runs from Aug. 2 through 18 this year, which is why we recommend a late summer visit to the Valle de Guadalupe. Many of the valley’s wineries participate in the festivities by hosting special events: This year, there’s a wine pairing dinner at oft raved about restaurant Laja with special guest and prominent Mexican chef Daniel Ovadia on Aug. 7; a street party at the Plaza de las Artes in Ensenada on Aug. 8; and a wine pairing dinner at Viñas de Garza on Aug. 15—to name just a few of the happenings.

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Why I choose to live in Northen Baja California
Written By: Tomas Dolcini

Since I was a child growing up in a predominately Spanish-speaking neighborhood, my dream had always been to buy a home and live in Mexico, preferably by the ocean. On May 6, 2011, that dream came true for me and I signed off the escrow paperwork for my beautiful Mexican-style villa in a Golf Resort called Bajamar located in Ensenada.

Mexico Real Estate Testimonial - Buying A Home And Living in Mexico

Mexico Real Estate Testimonial - Buying A Home And Living in Mexico

The entire experience was an adventure for me. Having purchased a home here in the United States, I was somewhat familiar with how a real estate purchase worked, but was unfamiliar with the Mexican laws. I had heard that Americans could not purchase property along the Baja Peninsula and could only lease for 99 years, so that concerned me. I wanted to reside in Mexico, but be close to the United States, so my family and friends could easily visit. I never thought in a million years I would be able to afford a home with an ocean view in Mexico, because homes with ocean views in the United States cost over one million dollars.

I decided to do some research and stumbled across a website titled www.owninginmexico.com. I was blessed to have found that website. This website had links with thorough explanations to all the various developments in Baja California, and lots of pictures to see what I was up against. I was flabbergasted at the inexpensive prices that were totally within my budget. I made a phone call to ask some questions and spoke with Kathy Katz. She was very enthusiastic and answered all of my questions in a friendly and professional manner. I enjoyed the conversation so much and hung up feeling so positive, that I booked a flight and headed out for Baja that same week to look for houses.

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Priceless Views unlike any other on all of North Americas West Coast.

Larry French from the Baja Real Estate Group takes us on an open house tour of unit 802 Punta Marena in the luxurious privacy of Club Marena.

The Most Spectacular Residence on Baja’s Gold Coast!!! There is nothing else that can compare to Club Marena’s “Punta Marena” wrap around corner condominiums with nearly 4000sqft of refined luxury with views from everywhere. Each of the 3 bedrooms is oceanfront with a private terrace. Watch the sun rise on Bahia Descanso and set on the open Pacific Ocean every day. There is nothing else that can compare.

The developers of Club Marena have always created the finest residences in the area and the resort stands alone as the most spectacular & exclusive that Baja has to offer.

If you are looking for true luxury in a location that has drawn some of the most successful people in the world then you have found it in the crowning glory of these very exclusive units. There are only a dozen like these and very few come for resale. This property takes it one step further as the interior was designed by a famous Los Angeles architect. The pictures tell the story of this modern masterpiece.

Book an appointment to experience this property today.

See this and other Club Marena listings for sale here:

http://www.owninginmexico.com/Playas_de_Rosarito/Baja_California/Homes/rosarito/Club_Marena/Agent/Listing_39604429.html

Browse here for more Baja Real Estate, Rosarito Real Estate and Mexico Real Estate.

BY ANDRES OPPENHEIMER
aoppenheimer@MiamiHerald.com

Mexico's big hope: get 5 million U.S. retirees

Mexico's big hope: get 5 million U.S. retirees

MEXICO CITY — Mexico is silently working on proposals aimed at drawing millions of U.S. retirees to this country, which could eventually lead to the most ambitious U.S.-Mexican project since the 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement.

President Felipe Calderón is likely to propose the first steps toward expanding U.S. retirement benefits and medical tourism to Mexico when he goes to Washington on an official visit May 19, according to well-placed officials here. If not then, he will raise the issue later this year, they say.

“It’s one of the pillars of our plans to trigger economic and social well-being in both countries,” Mexico’s ambassador to the United States Arturo Sarukhan told me. “We will be seeking to increasingly discuss this issue in coming months and years.”

Calderón brought it up during a U.S.-Canada-Mexico summit in Guadalajara in August last year, but President Barack Obama asked him to shelve the idea until he was able to pass healthcare reform, another official told me.

Now that Congress has passed healthcare reform, Calderón is preparing to charge ahead.

A GROWING MARKET
There are already an estimated 1 million Americans living in Mexico. And according to Mexican government estimates based on U.S. Census figures, that number is likely to soar to 5 million by 2025 as the U.S. population grows older and more Americans look for sunny, cheaper places to retire.

The U.S. Census projects that the number of U.S. retirees will soar from 40 million now to nearly 90 million by 2050. Already, 5 million American retirees live abroad, of whom 2.2 million are in the Western Hemisphere — mostly in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Brazil. Another 1.5 million live in Europe and 850,000 in Asia.

The key to luring more U.S. medical tourists and retirees to Mexico and other Latin American countries will be getting hospitals in the region to be certified by the U.S. Joint International Commission, which establishes that they meet U.S. hospitals’ standards. There are already eight Mexican hospitals certified by the JIC and several others awaiting certification.

According to Mexican government estimates, healthcare costs in Mexico are about 70 percent lower than in the United States. And from my own experience, those estimates are right: As I reported at the time, when I was hospitalized in Mexico two years ago for an emergency operation, my hospital bill was indeed about 70 percent lower than what it would have been in Miami.

So what will Calderón specifically propose to Obama? Most likely, the Mexican president will suggest starting with a low-profile agreement that would allow the U.S. Health Care Financing Administration to pay for Medicare benefits to U.S. retirees in Mexico. Under current rules, Medicare only covers healthcare services in the United States.

IT JUST MAKES SENSE
My opinion: Mexico and much of Latin America are bound to become growing U.S. retirement and medical tourism destinations, much like Spain has become a permanent living place for Germans, Britons and Northern Europeans.

You won’t read much about it now because neither Calderón nor Obama will emphasize it publicly while the drug-related violence in northern Mexico is making big headlines, and while the political wounds from the recent U.S. healthcare debate are still open in Washington, D.C.

But I’m increasingly convinced that, as the violence in Mexico subsides and the healthcare debate becomes a distant memory in Washington, medical benefits’ deals will become a top U.S.-Latin American priority. Just as free-trade agreements were the big thing of the 1990s, healthcare agreements will be the big deal of the coming decade.

I wouldn’t be surprised if Calderón and Obama take the first baby steps toward a U.S.-Mexico healthcare agreement by finding a way to pay for Medicare benefits for U.S. expatriates in Mexico, or getting U.S. states to allow similar payments. Then, most likely after the 2012 presidential election in both countries, the two would start negotiating a more ambitious deal.

Demography, geography and economics are pointing in that direction. With the U.S. population getting older, a record U.S. budget deficit, rising U.S. healthcare costs, and Mexico and other Latin American countries badly needing more tourism and investments, this should be a win-win for everybody.

Browse for real estate in mexico.

By Kathleen Kirkwood

Brad Billingsley and his Wife

Brad Billingsley and his wife Linda

Brad Billingsley could have been waiting for his tee time at an Arizona golf course.

Instead, the former Lafayette resident and his wife Linda were in a lagoon off Cabo San Lucas, snapping photos of gray whales bobbing next to their small charter boat.

“Every day, it’s an adventure here,” Brad Billingsley said. “It’s added 20 years to my life.”

Brad, 62, and Linda Billingsley, 61, are among the “silver surge” of baby boomers seeking alternative retirement nests in Mexico, according to a recent report by the International Community Foundation.

It’s not certain how many U.S. retirees are living in Mexico — a 2004 study puts it between 500,000 and 600,000 — but the foundation and other researchers say the number is bound to increase as more boomers settle into their golden years and find Mexico an affordable alternative. Almost half the retirees living in coastal areas are getting by comfortably on less than $1,000 per month, said the report, which cites the growth of real estate projects targeted at retirees as proof that expatriates are flocking south of the border.

The Billingsleys had seriously considered a retirement community with a golf course in central Arizona. But they lacked the enthusiasm for fairway living that seemed to consume retirees there. “Their entire lives were involved with golf,” Brad Billingsley said.

In 2007, the couple became expatriates and settled into a $300,000, two-bedroom beachfront condominium in Rosarito Beach, in Baja California.

They’ve made the most out of their retirement dollars, Brad Billingsley said. The cost of living — from groceries to health care — is low in their beachfront town and there’s plenty to do, such as driving down the coast to Cabo, walking on the beach and shopping at the local mercado. continue reading…

Drug cartels. Murders. The news is often bad out of Mexico. Peter Ferry journeys beyond the headlines.

Finally Some Good News on Travel in Mexico

Finally Some Good News on Travel in Mexico

Poor old Mexico. Talk about kicking a guy when he’s down! Just when the price of oil plummets, American jobs dry up, and the fear of drug violence cuts tourism in half, along comes swine flu to cut it in half again.

OK, it’s time for a little good news. In May, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control lifted its recommendation against travel to Mexico; the swine flu isn’t so bad after all, and it probably didn’t come here from Mexico in the first place.

And now a little more good news. Drug violence is not a threat to ordinary tourists like you and me. This is according to the Mexican government, the U.S. State Department and me. Let me give you a little background. continue reading…