I’ve just returned from the southern tip of the barren Baja California peninsula, Cabo San Lucas and I’m missing everything about it, including the margaritas!
Just to set the scene about this special haven, the peninsula is about 1200 kilometres long and is largely uninhabited. Flying over there is little more than rock and the odd cactus. In 1980 there were just 3,500 people in Cabo but today the numbers have swelled to 350,000, not to mention the two million tourists flocking to the resorts each year to enjoy the warmth and reliably dry climate as it only rains 5-10 days a year.
Not surprisingly there is little agriculture or anything green but the Mexicans have transformed this sparsely vegetated terrain into something colourful, enchanting the tourists.
Like most tourist towns there is a range of accommodation but here it is spread over 30 kilometres of coastline between the laid back local scene of San Jose del Cabo, the more conservative of the two towns and the fun-loving Cabo San Lucas.
Not surprisingly I chose to stay in Cabo San Lucas at The Resort at Pedregal. From the outside world, a tunnel has been drilled through rock (taking two and a half years) to provide exclusive access to the beach and resort. The tunnel with chandeliers and a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, frames the ocean as you exit creating a breathtaking entrance to the resort.
The hotels service is extraordinary and my welcome margarita and massage proved just that, before being escorted to my room with an infinity pool overlooking the ocean.
All the staff knew me by name, providing exceptional poolside service with complimentary drinks and snacks, plus a daily 4 pm delivery of chilled Coronas’ and guacamole to my room.
With all this attention I felt completely safe. However, Cabo and Mexico are relatively new destinations for many travellers and it can be a different story outside the resorts.
I am cautious but still love to have a good time so I always take out travel insurance to ensure I’m covered for any misfortunes. Thanks to Worldcare they sponsored my insurance on this trip and they’ll be relieved to know it all went well and I won’t be putting in a claim.
When I travel to countries like Mexico I leave the majority of my valuables at home although I do cart around a bit of camera gear, my trusty Apple Mac and always take a medical kit.
Cabo is safe and I would have no qualms recommending it to friends so long as they’re sensible especially in the evening and don’t stray from the main streets. There is a party scene and I did visit two of Cabo’s famous bars, Cabo Wabo, Sammy Hagar’s Cabo classic Rock and Roll cantina and El Squid Roe, where the dance floor is always crowded. I was long gone by 11pm but I can’t imagine what the carnage looked like at at 4 am– possibly some easy targets.
Eating in Cabo
The Resort at Pedregal has two excellent restaurants, Don Manuel and El Farallon.
Don Manuel’s Restaurant is casual with El Farallon’s Restaurant more of a celebratory restaurant even if it’s just because you’re on holiday. It serves predominately locally caught seafood and is built into the side of a cliff. With unseasonably high tides the waves were thundering so angrily part of the restaurant was cordoned off providing a dramatic backdrop.
Outside of the resort there are many casual restaurants with two ‘stand outs’ –The Office is on the sand at Medano Beach serving classic Mexican cuisine in a festive atmosphere and Edith’s serves Baja California food. They are both well oiled machines with great food and service.
Cabo is easily accessible flying Air New Zealand to Los Angeles or San Francisco. Connections to Cabo take between 2-3 hours.
Worldcare has generously provided me with travel insurance for my trip to Cabo San Lucas.