Captivating Cabo: Baja Jewel
Updated: Jun 28, 2022
Picture a place where desert sand dunes are dotted with elephant trees and agaves, where palms meet an aquamarine sea hosting humpback whales, where cacti have names like organ pipe, blue candle, fish hook and – velcro! Imagine waking up to gentle surf, where every local greets you smiling, with hand over heart, a place where food is soul soothing cuisine, fresh and organic. Wine tastings on the beach. Cooking classes at an organic farm. Intrigued? Pack a bag. Los Cabos is a feast for the senses.
Scenic Cabo San Lucas and its artsy colonial sister, San Jose del Cabo, comprise the cape of Los Cabos, stretching 20 miles apart along Baja peninsula’s Southern tip. First lesson learned: no jumping into the Sea of Cortez to swim due to strong currents and riptides. Fortunately, the coastline offers 22 “blue flag” beaches designated as safely swimmable with protected coves, such as Hotel El Ganzo. This fashionably bohemian gem is flanked by a marina and beach club…lazy swims, sweet sunsets in flip flop comfort.
Just dropping anchor in Cabo converts winter blues from dreary to cheery. With dolphin flipping and whales breaching right off the shoreline, typical beach walks become nature adventures, especially along Hyatt Ziva’s beach. Better yet: get on a whale watching boat with Isla Tours and see them up close, magnificent sight! Iconic arches provide bonus views, framing a Pacific playground for these playful creatures.
Throughout my visit, I was continually impressed with the focus on health and wellness. Yoga on the beach. Aqua zumba and spin. Restorative spa treatments. Hotel designs feature meandering paths, inspiring scenic strolls. And the cuisine! Produce, meat and fish are locally sourced, creating visual masterpieces on every plate. With so much to see and devour, I lived from one meal to another with plenty of hydrating and hoofing in between.
The cape is laced with pristine beaches, sporting a myriad of outdoor adventures such as horseback (and camel!) riding, parasailing, mountain biking, ATV tours, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling. Fishing was the prime attraction which first put Cabo on the tourism map and remains a huge draw for regular visitors. Colorful, lively marinas are ubiquitous along the coast. Book a seat on a charter boat, the captain might cook the day’s catch. If swing is your thing, 15 scenic golf courses with diverse terrain dot the peninsula, from desert sands to lush palms framing an azure sea. In, on, over, or around the water, Los Cabos is a dazzling slice of heaven.
Notes on logistics…getting there is a snap with nonstops from Miami, Charlotte, Dallas, JFK and nearly every hub city in California. Best to bundle airfare with hotels, transfers. Currency – Mexican pesos are the local standard but USD is widely accepted. Most hotels, tours, golf, fishing expeditions are prepaid in USD. Carry small bills for tips. Lodging – delightful dilemma! Full service, all inclusive hotels abound, such as Hyatt Ziva, Grand Fiesta Americana, along with smaller, charming stylish inns to suit modest to luxury budgets. Hotel El Ganzo is a hybrid, offering all an inclusive option as well as EP (European Plan, no meals) Food and drink ~ delicious perplexity! With a rich abundance of organic farms and bountiful fishing harvests, standard fare is farm to fork, sea to plate throughout the peninsula. I took part in a cooking class at Flora Farms where small groups (as few as two persons) can learn to make authentic salsa and guacamole. Grand Fiesta Americana Los Cabos features sunset wine tastings on the beach with waves crashing feet away. Target travelers – anyone who enjoys beauty and the beach! Numerous hotels have kids clubs, some with separate adults only areas for couples and singles. Golf, fishing buddies, guy or girlfriend trips. A prime spot for destination weddings or sweet getaways, couples love the poetic romance of this stunningly gorgeous location.
FEB 2021 CoGos (comings and goings) including airline, airport experiences will be covered more completely in another post. Suffice to say that safety was never a concern in and out of Mexico; Covid protocols were expertly handled with ease. Before entry to nearly every area hotel and restaurant, shoes and hands were sanitized, temps taken, wipes distributed, along with hydration. Face masks were universally worn. I felt safer navigating Cabo than I do among non mask wearing shoppers back home.
My takeaway ~ I’m going back to Los Cabos and taking my man with me. If you find yourself scouting around for a romantic, family, active, or zen getaway, look no further than this Baja beauty. Cabo San Lucas will delight, surprise, soothe, feed the vacation hungry soul. And lure you back.