Traveling to America’s sunniest metropolis from Jalisco got easier and more affordable when Volaris, Mexico’s largest low-cost airline, began service to Phoenix.
Volaris now offers three nonstop flights per week to Phoenix from Guadalajara. One-way fares start at 2,169 pesos ($166 USD), with advance winter fares as low as 1,993 pesos ($153 USD). That’s cheaper than a luxury bus ticket to Phoenix, and the flight time is only 2 hours, 45 minutes.
Volaris also will begin weekly service between Mexico City and Phoenix beginning Dec. 4.
According to officials at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, the addition of the new Volaris flights means Phoenix’s airport — one of the 10 busiest in the United States — now serves 10 Mexican cities with 15-20 flights per day to the region.
That means it’s easier than ever for Mexican travelers to take advantage of opportunities for shopping, resort getaways and outdoor adventure in Arizona’s cosmopolitan heart. To commemorate Volaris’ new service to Phoenix, here is a list of five things that are worth the short trip:
5 REASONS TO FLY TO PHOENIX
1. Deals on designer fashions at Phoenix Premium Outlets
The new Phoenix Premium Outlets is filled with designer retailers, each offering savings of 25 to 65 percent every day. More than 90 stores showcase designer brands such as Armani, Coach, DNKY, Hugo Boss, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren and Saks Fifth Avenue. This luxury shopping experience is located adjacent to the Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino, minutes away from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. (Of course, the new Premium Outlets center is just one of many shopping destinations in Phoenix. To learn about the city’s other options for “retail therapy,” visit the shopping section of visitphoenix.com.)
2. Pro sports action
Phoenix has franchises in all four major American professional sports leagues, so there is a game in town almost every night. The Arizona Diamondbacks and Phoenix Suns play their home games in the heart of the city, while the Arizona Cardinals and Phoenix Coyotes fill arenas at Glendale’s sports complex. The Diamondbacks have a large and passionate Mexican fan base — D-backs games are broadcast in Spanish, a Sonoran-style hot dog is their signature concession item, and last season they introduced “Luchador” (a masked Lucha Libre character) as an additional mascot. The Suns are one of a handful of NBA teams that participate in the NBA’s Noche Latina program each year, and the team’s “Los Suns” jersey is a top seller. The Arizona Cardinals were the first professional team in Arizona to offer all its games on Spanish radio, and in 2007 they launched a Spanish-language version of the team’s web site (www.azcardinals.com/espanol). The team partners with Larsa Comunicaciones to broadcast games on 26 stations in 18 cities throughout Mexico, including Guadalajara.
3. Downtown dining and nightlife at CityScape
CityScape is the perfect choice for travelers who want to experience Phoenix’s urban nightlife and entertainment. Occupying two city blocks in the heart of downtown Phoenix, CityScape is home to Lucky Strikes Lanes & Lounge (an urban-chic bowling alley); Gypsy Bar (a dance club and arcade for grownups); Copper Blues Rock Pub & Kitchen (a live-music venue with 60 beers on tap); Stand Up Live (a comedy theater that attracts the best acts in America); and Hotel Palomar (a boutique hotel featuring Blue Hound Kitchen & Cocktails and Lustre, a poolside rooftop garden). CityScape is a short stroll from Chase Field (home of the Arizona Diamondbacks) and is located directly across the street from US Airways Center (home of the Phoenix Suns). US Airways is also one of Phoenix’s biggest concert venues, with upcoming shows by Selena Gomez (Nov. 5), Drake (Nov. 16), Michael Bublé (Nov. 22), Justin Timberlake (Dec. 2), Beyoncé (Dec. 7) and Andrea Bocelli (Dec. 8).
4. Surfing without an ocean at the Westin Kierland Resort
Surfing in the desert? Affirmative, dude. With the addition of the FlowRider experience at Westin Kierland Resort and Spa, resort guests can hang ten without the benefit of an ocean. The FlowRider is a 54-foot cushioned ramp with jet-powered waves that fuses the joys of wakeboarding, snowboarding and surfing in a controlled environment. It’s easy. It’s addictive. Kids and teenagers love it. The Westin Kierland even offers lessons from its resident “Wave Master”. An added perk: during winter months, the water in this tiny ocean is heated. The Westin Kierland, which adjoins the Kierland Commons shopping and dining district, is one of more than 40 resorts located in the Phoenix area. Nearly all of those resorts feature year-round golf (metro Phoenix boasts more than 200 golf courses), as well as activities such as spa treatments, photography classes, “dive-in” movies, and scotch tastings. For more information on Phoenix’s most luxurious accommodations, visit the resort section of visitphoenix.com.
5. ‘Women Who Rock’ at the Musical Instrument Museum
Let’s face it: Some museums are more fun than others. Thanks to wireless technology and interactive exhibits, the Musical Instrument Museum is a blast. Founded by former Target CEO Robert Ulrich, this is the first museum in the world dedicated to the celebration of global instruments. Its collection features more than 15,000 instruments—including the last guitar Elvis played in concert—and the Experience Room lets guests actually play several of them. (But not Elvis’ guitar. Sorry.) The museum’s newest exhibition is “Women Who Rock: Vision, Passion, Power,” which showcases handwritten lyrics, stage outfits, concert posters and videos from artists such as Janis Joplin, Madonna, Lady Gaga and Carrie Underwood. The MIM will be the only location in the Southwest to host the exhibition, which will be on display through April 20, 2014.