Exploring Guadalajara Is Part of the Territory
Mary Maggio, long a member of the Senior Travel and Recreational Activities Council, is the new director of the Los Angeles chapter of Senior Citizens of America, which fosters senior travel to Mexico through senior groups and individual packaged tours.
“We work with the parent Senior Citizen Clubs of Mexico in Guadalajara,” Maggio said. “Former Los Angeles hotel man Marshall Write started the club in 1986. There are now similar clubs in Acapulco, Mexico City, Cuernavaca and several other Mexican cities.”
The purpose of the Senior Citizen Clubs of Mexico is to encourage mature travelers to make an exploratory trip and get to know the territory.
“You could call them retirement exploration trips,” Maggio explained., “but they are excellent Guadalajara vacations in themselves, considering they are just for seniors and offer great value.
Retirement forums are held in connection with the trips. “But they are not compulsory,” she added. “There’s no hard sell, no time-share deals, no pressure. Guadalajara seems to sell itself.”
In addition to working with senior citizen clubs and organizations for group tours, Maggio is promoting an individual packaged tour for mature travelers with Mexicana Airlines for those 62 and over.
The six-day Guadalajara trips leave every Wednesday through Dec. 14. A trip includes five nights at the Calinda Roma Hotel, three local tours, the Folklorico Ballet or bullfights, two dinners, four breakfasts, air fare and airport transfers. It costs $499 per person, double occupancy. Single supplement is $115.
“There’s also the retirement forum and a ‘Welcome Fiesta’ at which they get to meet Americans who have retired in Guadalajara,” Maggio said. “Plus $100,000 in flight insurance and a Senior Citizen Calinda Choice Card.”
The latter hotel card, affiliated with the Quality Inn chain, provides 15% off food and beverages at the Calinda Roma and 30% off on stays at other Calinda Quality Inns in Mexico City, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas and nine other Mexican resort areas or cities.
The Calinda Roma is in downtown Guadalajara, within walking distance of the cathedral, theaters, shops and street markets.
For mature travelers interested in golf and tennis, a similar but more upscale five-night tour offers accommodations at the El Tapatio Hotel/Spa, which gets Mexico’s five-star rating, compared to the Calinda Roma’s four-star.
This trip includes the same features as the other package but adds more meals. It costs $599 per person, double occupancy; $135 single supplement.
With either package, participants can choose a four-day, three-night stay at the five-star La Jolla de Mismaloya on the coast near Puerto Vallarta for $165 per person. This can be before or after the Guadalajara visit with no increase in air fare.
Maggio and the Mexican/American Senior Citizen clubs also are offering a special tour to Guadalajara during the city’s October festival that coincides with the world congress meeting of the International Senior Citizens Assn.
This international organization of seniors is committed to friendship, education and cultural development and to enhance the prestige of mature people in world affairs.
This seven-day, six-night tour, departing Sept. 29, includes congress meetings with other seniors from around the world plus tours, receptions, breakfasts, several special banquets and fiestas, plus activities during Guadalajara’s festival.
The price from Los Angeles is $586 per person, double occupancy, with accommodations at the Calinda Roma Hotel or $686 at the five-star Fiesta Americana Hotel. Also available are three five- to nine-day post convention tours.
For more information, contact Mary Maggio, Mexico/America Senior Travel Club, 715 N. Central Ave., Suite 210, Glendale 91203; (818) 247-5757.