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Cabo San Lucas Vacation

Cabo – A Sure Thing
January 23, 2013
By , Galavante Contributor

Which of these is a sure thing? 1) Democrats and Republicans will make nice in 2013 on a fiscal plan. 2) Facebook will finally live up to its IPO hype. 3) The third-tier model next to you is going to get to the second tier if she forgoes one more day of eating. 4) Cabo. That’s it, just Cabo.

When it comes to vacations, if there’s such a thing as a sure thing, Cabo San Lucas is it. The best of all worlds, Cabo is the vacation ace in your back pocket. Tony hotels – check. Fresh-off-the-boat seafood – check. Almost 350 days of sun – check. With those basic necessities covered, the rest is up to you.

Good For: Couples, groups of friends, and families. There’s plenty to keep adults as well as little ones entertained – just make sure your hotel is kid-friendly before you book.

Agua Bar

The Highlights:

  • Lazing by the pool at One & Only Palmilla and enjoying freebies like facial mists, popsicles, and foot massages.
  • Learning how to prepare squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta and fish Veracruz with parsley rice at Los Tamarindos Organic Farm.
  • Catching waves at Cerritos Beach or kayaking out to the Arch with Baja Outback.
  • Dancing until the lights come on at Pink Kitty.

What to Know: Los Cabos encompasses three sections: San Jose del Cabo, Cabo San Lucas, and the Corridor, all easily accessible from Los Cabos International Airport. From the east coast, it’s around a six-hour flight, but from the west coast, it’s just over two hours. Once you arrive, though, most hotels are no more than a 30- to 45-minute drive from the airport. If you want to be in the thick of things, stay close to San Lucas, and if you want to get away from the action, San Jose is your best bet.

Suggested Stay: 3 to 4 days

Capella Pedregal

Relax, Amigo

When it comes to a serious chill-out vacation, Cabo has it all. Now, don’t get us wrong – we are 100 percent onboard with diving headfirst into the unknown. But the fact is, when you take chances with travel, there’s room for error. Like the once-in-a-lifetime hike to Machu Picchu that you unknowingly embarked on during the rainy season. And, the ill-timed spiritual journey to a politically unstable country, resulting in a less than enlightened lockdown at the U.S. Embassy. Sometimes, you just want a known quantity. For those times, there’s Cabo. And in Cabo, there’s definitely a known quantity of luxe hotels to choose from – perfect to get your relaxation started right.

Right on the tip of the Baja Peninsula, Capella Pedegral, where beach views and plunge pools come standard in every room, is about as secluded as secluded gets. It’s accessed via the only privately owned tunnel in Mexico, which means the beach is private too. All Mexican beaches are technically public property, but it’s doubtful the locals are going to boat on over, so you can have the strand to yourself. The lavish One & Only Palmilla, whose modernity nicely offsets its Old Mexico vibe, sits right where the Pacific meets the Sea of Cortez. Just like Capella, all rooms have water-facing balconies with beach views, and the service is renowned. Don’t miss out on poolside freebies like facial mists, popsicles, and foot massages. For something a bit gentler on the wallet, especially since it went all-inclusive, consider Pueblo Bonito Pacifica. Swimming isn’t allowed here, so the beach area tends to be exceptionally quiet, ideal for sipping margaritas all afternoon in the shade of a cabana.     

Lazing on the beautiful beaches in Cabo is going to be at the top of your itinerary; you came here to relax, after all. But double-check your hotel’s location and policy on swimming if you can’t bear the sight of the ocean without wading in. Many hotels are right on the Pacific, and the water is too rough to even enter. Some, like O & O Palmilla, do have swimmable beaches, and of course all have swimming pools; most are infinity and there’s usually more than one.

Cabo San Lucas

Surf and Turf

After you’ve achieved the perfect base tan – somewhere between honey and mocha – it’s time to tear yourself away from the beach lounger. There are cooking classes, surf lessons at Cerritos Beach (one of Mexico’s best breaks), and kayaking to the Arch, of which the latter two you can book through Baja Outback. Cooking classes at Los Tamarindos Organic Farm are a must. Most often led by owner Enrique Silver, you’ll tour the farm and gather ingredients before heading up to the open kitchen to prepare your own Mexican specialties like squash blossoms stuffed with ricotta and fish Veracruz. The best part: savoring the four-course meal with a glass of wine on the terrace overlooking the farm.

Cabo has no shortage of quality restaurants, both on and off resort. Two reservations to make: O & O Palmilla’s Market, Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s first venture south of the border, features a unique mélange of Euro, Asian, and Mexican flavors, while the cliffside El Farallón at Capella serves the freshest char-grilled fish around, hauled in daily by local fisherman. With two locations, in San Lucas and in Palmilla, Nick-San has the sushi scene on lockdown with their creative rolls; try the Japengo spicy roll. Meanwhile, real local flavor can be found at Mi Casa. Take your pick of locations – there’s one in San Lucas and one in San Jose – but make sure to order a tamarind margarita to accompany the usual suspects of Mexican fare.

Viva La Noche

Cabo’s nightlife can be as tame or as rowdy as you can handle. Sip frosty cocktails at sunset at O & O Palmilla’s Agua Bar and check out the impossibly sexy Passion Club & Lounge at ME Cabo. But, once you venture past the resort clubs, you’ll find that San Lucas is where it’s at. Most of the bars and clubs are in the compact and walkable downtown area, which makes it easy to club-hop. Throw back some Cabo Wabo shots at Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo Cantina or recline on a sun lounger with a glass of red on the Mandala Food & Wine Club rooftop “beach” – yes, there’s actual sand. Dance until the lights come on at Pink Kitty, then see where the night takes you. After all, that adventurous spirit can’t be quelled for too long.