8 Places to Visit in Los Cabos
By Gerrie Summers
Until recently, when I envisioned Cabo San Lucas, I pictured tequila-fueled partygoers, margaritas (not a bad thought, actually) and hordes of cruise ship passengers. I’ll admit, that made me a little reluctant to visit, but when the opportunity presented itself I was boarding the plane. The bait was the Los Cabos International Film Festival and an escape from NYC winter weather to Mexico’s blazing sun and azure waters. And, those margaritas.
Cabo San Lucas is a popular resort city at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula. Along with San Jose del Cabo, it is known simply as Los Cabos. Resorts, spas, golf courses and beaches line an area on the Transpeninsular Highway between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose Del Cabo, known as the Corridor. Cabo San Lucas is known as the party resort, while San Jose Del Cabo is the quieter sister.
Here are my picks for things to do and places to visit in Los Cabos.
Boat Ride to El Arco de Cabo San Lucas
Sure, it’s a tourist spot, but the picturesque rock formation of El Arco de Cabo is stunning against the deep blue of the sky and the sparkling sea. On the way you’ll see Lover’s Beach, which is also considered a must-visit stop. Just note there are no restaurants, changing rooms/showers and no shade. Ironically, nearby is Divorce Beach. It’s not recommended for swimming due to the rough waters (hence, the name.) Dawn Patrol’s cozy boat rides feature a snack buffet with delicious guacamole, fruit platters and beverages, including, of course, margaritas, and tours of the area. (yachtincabo.com)
Medano Beach is the most popular and liveliest — read: loud. It’s the party beach, packed with hotels, bars, restaurants, vendors, water sports and beach parties. It’s convenient because of its proximity to downtown Cabo San Lucas. Santa Maria is your best bet if you want to snorkel or relax at a more secluded beach. Palmilla Beach in San Jose del Cabo, off the One & Only Palmilla Resort property, is also a more tranquil swimming beach and seems to be a hot spot for families on Sundays.
Marina Cabo San Lucas
Located in the heart of downtown Cabo San Lucas, this marina area has restaurants, bars, shopping and where you’ll find sightseeing boats and charters for boat tours and visits to sites in the area. It’s also where you’ll find the Puerto Paraiso Mall and entertainment plaza, which is the location of many of the screenings and events for the Film Festival.
Enjoy your first dinner in Los Cabos at Maria Corona. The Maria Corona restaurant features traditional recipes passed down through the generations, including handmade mole, tortillas, and salsa made in traditional stone molcajete. Start off with the Maria Corona Cheese Fondue and Guacamole Maria Corona, and a generous-sized margarita and listen to live Mexican folk music. 16 de Septembre, Cabo San Lucas MariaCoronaRestaurant.com
Los Tres Gallos
Los Tres Gallos means “the three roosters” – the description of Pedro Infante, Jorge Negrete and Javier Solis, the three stars of the golden age of Mexican cinema for which the restaurant is named. Los Tres Gallos serves traditional Mexican food like enchiladas with mole sauce or cochinita pibil (roasted pork). Sit in the charming hacienda-style courtyard. The handmade tables and chairs, with plates and decor by local artisans, are shaded by fruit trees. Sip on Tamarindo margaritas while listening recordings of the three roosters. 20 de Noviembre S/N, Centro
Los Cabos Film Festival
If you’re a film buff, you can enjoy sand, beach, sun and cinema. Now in its fifth year, the Los Cabos International Film Festival, features films and tributes, along with galas and after parties. Last year’s highlights included Demolition starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts, Carol (Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara), Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet) and Remember (Christopher Plummer). This year’s festival takes place November 9 – 13. For more information, visit cabosfilmfestival.com.
If you venture into San Jose del Cabo, check out:
Aqua by Larbi
Located at One & Only Palmilla, Aqua by Larbi is a popular restaurant overseen by Chef Larbi Dahrouch, protege of chef Jean-Louis Palladin. It features delicious farm to table Mexican cuisine. If you have a party of 10 – 12 reserve Larbi’s Table located cliffside, overlooking the Sea of Cortez. The circular tasting table, has a large lazy susan, to share seafood, ceviche, octopus salad, shrimp, lobster and steak. Km 7.5 Carretera Transpeninsular oneandonlyresorts.com
Hotel El Ganzo
El Ganzo, a small boutique hotel with 69 unique guest rooms, has a distinctive artsy feel in some areas and Bali look at the Rooftop Infinity Pool with its huge daybeds. The rooftop also has an area for live performances. El Ganzo is a favorite of artists and musicians and even has an Underground Studio. The restaurant Ganzo Downstairs with its homey handcrafted wood tables and fireplaces, features traditional Mexican favorites, like seafood tacos and quesadillas. Tiburon Sin Numero, La Playita, San Jose Del Cabo ElGanzo.com.
Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa
I stayed at Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort in a spacious Master Suite. Master Suites have fully equipped kitchens with marble wet bar, dining room, living room, 2 bathrooms with marble counters and floors, walk-in closet and a terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The white sails of boats peek through the resorts’ palm trees. It is romantic at night with the sky turning shades of orange, yellow, red and purple, as lights illuminate the pools.
For a treat, the new Sea Spa (an addition to the spa and beach cabanas) has individual open-air cabanas built into the rock formations, with panoramic views and sounds of waves as natural spa music. Afterwards, relax on the terrace overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Av. Solmar #1A Col. Centro GrandSolmarResort.com.