Have you been to a place where the desert meets the sea? Los Cabos, Mexico is that place, and it’s wonderful! Recently back from a week of vacation there with my family has me longing for more. I will share some of the highlights with you.
Cabo lies at the southern-most tip of the Baja Peninsula. You could drive it if you love a road trip, but from San Diego it will take you about 18 hours to go the 1,000 miles, so I don’t recommend it! To the east is the Sea of Cortez, a body of water with amazing sea life…perhaps the richest on the planet.
Here are a few fun facts about the Sea of Cortez.
It’s really deep! the Sea of Cortez now has a remarkable depth of over 2 miles at its mouth. Much of its width is over 80 miles across.
It has more than 900 varieties of fish and more than 2000 species of marine invertebrates.
In Puerto Peñasco, the northern end of the sea, we have 32-foot tidal range, the third largest in North America.
The San Andreas fault runs right down the very middle of the Sea of Cortez. (It formed at a time when a whole lot of earthquakes were going on in the area.)
At around 5 million years old, the Sea of Cortez is the youngest sea in the world.
There is an entire “corridor” of resorts up and down the coast…from the airport you go east towards the old fishing village of San Jose del Cabo, and heading south toward the newer (60s?) marina town of Cabo San Lucas (about a 40 minute drive) at the tip you see resorts all along the sea. From the marina they continue up the Pacific towards the towns of Todos Santos and La Paz (NO swimming due to currents on most of these beaches). With long stretches here of dessert wilderness and mountains, the landscape is quite “other-worldly”!
I will share that while there is lodging for every budget and taste, the vibe here is luxury, for the most part. The all-inclusives and the time-share condos are plentiful. A party atmosphere is common, especially in the marina area. Cruise ships anchor out in the harbor by day. Land’s End has its iconic rock arch for photo ops. Water taxis hustle tourists to and fro, sharing their knowledge of local lore and making a good living in the travel industry.
Sure, you have the locals also sometimes pestering to buy their cheap trinkets, but this doesn’t bother me. They are trying to make an honest living. The locals with a command of the English language certainly (in general) get the better jobs…in hotels, for example. If this is something that annoys you, choose a hotel in a location that is more isolated from beach access. The hotel I typically stay in is Playa Grande, just over the ridge from “Lovers Beach” and the “Arch”. Locals come to the resort there only by invitation, as it is a gated community. But I can buy from locals when I walk into town and go off the beaten path, too.
One of my favorite things to do when I visit is snorkel. My granddaughter, son and his wife joined Dan and I on this trip, and we all brought our gear. The water was warm, surprising them, as they live in LA. We hired a water taxi for less than $10 each to drop us at the beach near the rock we snorkeled around. The wall drops there to VERY deep, and we saw some divers as well. it was wonderful for Rae, almost 7, as a few pelicans were feeding on a giant school of small silver fish. As I came around the rock, a sea lion, maybe 10 feet away from me, swam beside me for a little while. What fun that was! I highly suggest if you enjoy snorkeling to do this. Many of the water taxis also have gear to rent. Oh, you may tell them how long you want to stay at the beach and they will come back for you RIGHT ON TIME!
The Bisbee fishing tournament was happening while we were there. It is fascinating to watch all the boats come back in around supper time from our balcony high on the hill on their way to weigh their catch. We didn’t witness the weighing, but this particular tournament has a purse of 7 MILLION dollars. It costs 25K to enter! You should have seen some of the fishing boats and yachts in the harbor while we were there. Crazy money!
Be sure when you go to order fresh fish to eat when you dine out. The fish tacos are the best you’ve ever eaten, I promise. I had a red snapper one day for lunch that was prepared perfectly. This midwestern girl loves fish, but we rarely, if ever, get the fresh for the sea option, right?
One day Dan and I walked the 40 minutes or so around the marina to the other side where the Breathless Resort sits. (It is the large rectangular building center photo above) The beautiful (adults only) rooms overlook the harbor, and the lively entertainment and pools face the water and Medano, the swimmable beach. My host for the walkabout the resort was Hugo, and I really loved the vibe there. You can choose chill or party. The decor is clean and serene. They have convenient tablets in room for ordering up your eats, drinks and reservations, and the entertainment deck perched above the pool has plenty of room for dancing the night away under the stars…DJ booth and all.
A 15-minute walk north brings you to the Villa La Estancia and its sister resorts, Villa del Palmar and Villa del Arco (Below). We had a lovely tour around these family resorts, each with their own “vibe” and strengths. Would you like to know more? Reach out. There truly is a resort for every taste and budget in this area.
Do you have a need to be active during your vacation? Cabo has some of the best golf courses in the world! You can ride camels on the beach, ATVs can be rented to enjoy amazing views of the ocean while riding in the desert and up and down the sand dunes. Diving is amazing in the Sea of Cortez. There are guided hikes, trips to eclectic Todos Santos to have a drink at Hotel California and browse the art galleries, and there is an art night up the road in San Jose del Cabo, as well. Certain times of the year you can swim with the whale sharks up near La Paz. Whale watching is great in the winter. And don’t forget Cabo Wabo, Sammy Hagar’s famous club, which is just a short walk from the marina.
Here’s a little known fact. From Cincinnati we have a dedicated vacation flight (non-stop!) during May-August for 6 nights. How easy is THAT? These are typically quite a bit less expensive than the major airlines, so reach out if you would like to know more.
That gives you a peek into Los Cabos, Mexico. I hope it piques your interest in planning a visit there soon. As always, share with this your travel companions if you think they would enjoy reading. I have more photos to share, so reach out if you wish to learn more about visiting this beautiful destination.