Lose Yourself in Los Cabos
From LuxuryDefined.com, Christie’s International Cabo Real Estate
No trip to Baja California is complete without a long pause on the peninsula’s southernmost tip, Los Cabos, where authentic Mexico meets sublime luxury.
A little off the beaten track and most easily accessible by private jet, Los Cabos is perhaps Mexico’s most exclusive destination. It’s little wonder this secluded southern tip of the Baja Peninsula has become the ultimate nirvana for privacy-seeking A-listers: Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin famously honeymooned at the Esperanza resort, best friends George Clooney and Rande Gerber had twin homes in Cabo San Lucas until recently, while Olympic champion swimmer Michael Phelps chose the El Dorado Golf & Beach Club for his October 2016 wedding celebrations.
Los Cabos comprises the cities of Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo, plus the 20-mile coastal corridor running between the two, but seldom have neighboring cities been so opposite in personality. San José del Cabo resembles an authentic, sleepy Mexican town, full of cobbled streets, traditional multicolored colonial buildings, palm-fringed churches, pretty local markets, small boutiques, and discreet restaurants. Cabo San Lucas is a more bustling, frenetic holiday spot, full of glossy five-star resorts, watersports, lively bars, grand restaurants, and clubs overflowing with party people. San José is often referred to, understandably, as the “mild” sister of “wild” San Lucas.
Both coastal hubs do, however, have a few things in common: stunning scenery, breathtaking beaches, exceptional hotels, excellent restaurants, activities to suit every palate, supremely welcoming local communities, and superb hospitality.
“We have three main communities living here in Los Cabos,” explains Ramiro Palenque Bullrich, owner of Christie’s International Real Estate affiliate 2Seas Los Cabos. “Mexican, American, and Canadian; the fourth would be Argentinean. Los Cabos is the perfect combination of Mexico and the United States; both cultures interact and live peacefully together, with Americans and Canadians choosing to adopt much of the Mexican culture.
“With 350 days of sun throughout the year, Los Cabos is a wonderful holiday destination, full of people, celebrities, and private jets. It is a terrific place for couples, families, and honeymooners. In fact, Los Cabos is becoming the ultimate wedding destination; it’s the area’s fastest-growing industry.”
Whatever visitors enjoy, Los Cabos is full of things to do, from wonderful luxury spas (try Armonia at the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Gold & Spa Resort or The Spa at Las Ventanas al Paraiso, the favorite detoxing spot of Eva Longoria) and phenomenal, high-end shopping opportunities in the exclusive Marina Golden Zone’s Luxury Avenue Boutique Mall, to terrific sports, particularly surfing, tennis, fishing, and golf.
“Golf is tremendously popular here,” says Palenque Bullrich. “And we have golf courses designed by Greg Norman, Robert Trent Jones Jr, Jack Nicklaus, and Tiger Woods.”
The area abounds with day trips, whether you’re just nipping over to El Arco, the dramatic, southernmost tip of the peninsula; journeying out on a glass-bottomed boat to see the life aquatic; mountain biking into the desert; exploring the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park; driving 50 miles up the Pacific coast to the magically bohemian art-focused pueblo of Todos Santos; heading north to the El Chorro hot springs near the deserted swimming spot of Fox Canyon; or visiting one of the area’s organic farms.
“We have several organic farms in Los Cabos, the Todos Santos area, and Miraflores and Santiago,” says Palenque Bullrich. “They make wonderful trips. Flora Farm, a verdant, 25-acre valley farm is probably Cabo’s most popular restaurant these days.”
Of course, the area’s most magnetic pull will always be the beach – and you’re spoiled for choice: “Beautiful bays to swim in are Chileno, Palmilla and Santa María, all of which have Blue Flag certification. I personally love Nine Palms, on the East Cape; it’s a paradise for surfers, particularly when the waves are huge during the summer months. And the Cabo Pulmo park is great for diving and snorkeling.”
Peak season in Los Cabos falls between Thanksgiving and New Year, when Mexicans and Americans fly down to their holiday homes to celebrate, but several other events lure in tourists throughout the year. The 11-day Festival of San José is in March, the month when there are still some great opportunities for whale-watching. June’s Stars & Stripes Tournament, celebrating fishing, golf, and music, is a highlight, as is October’s Bisbee’s Black & Blue Marlin Tournament. November features the film festival; the Día de Los Muertos and the Baja 1000 desert racing events, followed by December’s Sabor a Cabo food festival.
During these busier times it’s wise to book hotels early – but finding one you like won’t be a problem. “We have excellent hotels in Los Cabos, and more high-end ones opening soon,” says Palenque Bullrich. “Classic favorites are Las Ventanas al Paraiso and the One&Only Palmilla. The Marriott, Grand Velas, and Auberge Resorts’ Chileno Bay are superb newer offerings, while the smaller Cabo Surf Hotel is a heavenly boutique option.”
For foodies visiting Los Cabos, there are a wealth of cuisines to choose from. Cocina Del Mar in the Cabo San Lucas resort of Esperanza boasts some of the finest ceviche and tacos in the region, and the Caesar salad at Edith’s is famous. The best sushi in the area can be found at Nick-San in Cabo San Lucas and don’t miss the sparkling fresh seafood at San José Del Cabo’s Blue Fish. Meanwhile, fine dining doesn’t get any better than at Don Sanchez Restaurante.
Disparate as they may be, traveling between San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas is simple. You can rent a car after landing at Los Cabos International Airport in San José del Cabo or use the area’s excellent taxi service. The airport is smaller than Cancún’s, but still receives direct flights from cities including New York, LA, Houston, Dallas, Seattle, Vancouver, Mexico City, and Guadalajara.
Ultimately, whether you choose to unpack your suitcase in energetic Cabo San Lucas or laid-back San José del Cabo, you’re only ever a quick hop away from the other. Where your vacation takes you depends entirely on what sort of mood you’re in when the sound of the ocean wakes you up each day.