Los Cabos, Mexico is located at the very southern tip of the California Baja, where the desert meets the sea in spectacular fashion. Mike of MikesRoadTrip.com was recently in Los Cabos, so we asked him to share his experience.
I have traveled to many places in Mexico, but had never been to the tip of the Baja. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Los Cabos, other than warm, sunny weather and ocean views. Whatever impressions I did have, were exceeded by my experience. Los Cabos has a stunning landscape, with a combination of rugged coastlines, white sand beaches and clear blue water. There are also dozens of world-class resorts, fantastic restaurants and an endless array of outdoor activities.
Enjoy the View at Hacienda Encantada
My home base while in Los Cabos was the Hacienda Encantada, an all-inclusive resort situated on a bluff, which is perfectly suited to take in the dramatic views. While there is beach access, it’s not a long stretch of sand, nor any place to get into the water. There is, however, a number of beautifully designed pools to keep you cool; a couple pools have negative edges to take advantage of the ocean views.
The rooms are nicely decorated and spacious, some with large patios to enjoy the ocean breeze. I’m not sure about every room, but mine had a small kitchenette where the refrigerator was stocked with bottled water, beer and sodas. The property is quite large, so you will certainly get your exercise walking from one restaurant or pool to the next. However, if you don’t wish to walk, all you have to do is call the front desk and they will send a cart for you. Find out more about Hacienda Encantada here.
Golf With a Side of Tacos
After getting settled, the next day I went off to play a round of golf at one of the best courses in the area, Puerto Los Cabos. This course is really amazing; 9-holes is a Jack Nicklaus Signature, while the other 9-holes is a Signature Greg Norman. Along the course are several holes that butt up against the beach, which showcase the amazing contrast between the brilliant blue ocean waters and the perfectly manicured vibrant green grass.
Since I had a really early tee-time, I didn’t have a chance to grab breakfast at the resort, so I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that along the course, Puerto Los Cabos has taco bars! In the morning hours the first taco bar serves breakfast tacos. As lunchtime nears, the ingredients change and you can even get a margarita, cerveza or other cocktails. The best part, all the food and drinks are part of the greens fees. To keep play moving, they have no seats at the taco stands.
Unique Spa Treatments
Later that afternoon, back at the Hacienda Encantada, I had a very interesting spa treatment called Temazcal. Perhaps ceremony rather than treatment is a better term to use. Temazcal is a native Aztec ritual that brings together the elements of earth, fire, wind and water into a spiritual experience. Click the following link to read more about my Los Cabos Spa Treatments.
The next day I had an opportunity to hang out at the Grand Fiesta Americana Resort for a while, which is also a fantastic resort property in Los Cabos. Similar to Hacienda Encantada, this property has some remarkable pools to enjoy. They also have a nice sandy beach, which is where I experienced another incredible spa treatment. A semi-circle of chaise lounge chairs was set up facing the ocean with a bon fire blazing in the middle. With participants in place, each took a step into a wine barrel to crush grapes by raising and lowering our feet, squishing them in between our toes. With our feet sufficiently detoxed, we laid down in our respective chaise chairs and let the therapists go to work. First they cleaned our feet, then provided a wonderful lower extremity massage.
Later that evening at the Grand Fiesta, I had a sensational meal at Rosato, a fine-dining Italian restaurant that offers the elegance of northern Italian cuisine. The Trattoria-style restaurant offers stupendous evening views of the Sea of Cortez, with both indoor and terrace seating. The dining room offers live piano music with an impressive wine bar. Learn more about Grand Fiesta Americana here.
Paradise for Adventurers
My next day in Los Cabos provided an adrenaline rush as I went off-roading from the desert to the sea. Just north of Cabo San Lucas, the folks at Cactus ATV Tours offer excursions in several types of off-road vehicles, from traditional ATVs to UTVs. If the roar of a Razor is not your thing, they also offer horseback riding. I took out a UTV Razor, a sporty off-road vehicle that really gets up and goes! It was an absolute blast riding around the desert, but once we hit the beach, I was struck by the beauty of cruising down the sand-packed beach as the waves washed up on shore.
That evening I went on a sunset sailing cruise around Cabo San Lucas with the folks from Cabo Adventures. We set sail on 52’ Beneteau from the main harbor right in town. Our excursion took us from the Sea of Cortez, around the tip of the Baja to the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, we passed by the iconic Los Arcos (the arch), the photographic symbol that is so synonymous with Los Cabos. As soon as we got around to the Pacific side, I could feel the temperature drop a bit. It was a glorious evening, made even more eventful by the fact that the Manta Rays were migrating and spawning. Everywhere we looked the sea creatures were jumping high out of the water. It was a spectacular sight to behold. Of course, try as I might to capture one in flight, my camera was always pointed in the wrong direction.
Our cruise included cocktails and a light dinner. While our eager and hardworking crew of three took care of all the details, the passengers sat back and enjoyed the ride. As the sun began to get low on the horizon we headed back toward the harbor. The closer we got, the more brilliant the colors of the sun became, which provided some stunning photos of boats in front of us also heading in for safe harbor.
Exploring Todos Santos
My final day in Los Cabos was a road trip north to Todos Santos, the location of the famous Hotel California, which apparently has nothing to do with the famous Eagles song. Regardless, I still went by to check it out. Even though the Baja Hotel California is an urban legend, it was still fun to stop by the historic property. In addition to the enormous gift shop, they also make their own line of tequila, which I may have sampled.
The small town of Todos Santos is quite charming and full of wonderful art galleries, gift shops and restaurants. Just outside the downtown area is a newly opened venue that I found quite enchanting. It’s called Jazamango. This casual fine-dining restaurant is nestled within a massive garden in which all the fresh fruits and vegetables are grown and cultivated for the restaurant. This delightful culinary experience was created by the renowned Mexican Chef, Javier Plascencia. The concept was inspired by his love for Baja cuisine, which is based on a mixture of locally grown organic ingredients and fresh seafood.
Jazamango doesn’t open until 1pm, so I was a little early for lunch; to pass the time I strolled through the gardens, which is an impressive array of fruits and vegetables beautifully displayed. While I was there I encountered a fishmonger dropping off freshly caught seafood. Many of the dishes created at Jazamango are cooked in a wood-fired oven, where the mesquite fuel is on display as part of the design element of the restaurant. The open-air kitchen allows guests to see the culinary mastery at work.
Many people call Los Cabos “Cabo, or Cabo San Lucas.” Los Cabos is really the entire region of the tip of Baja, where Cabo San Lucas is just one part. Whatever you call this region of Mexico, Los Cabos will certainly provide an unforgettable vacation experience.
If you have any questions about Los Cabos, feel free to leave a comment below.
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