Winter Escape to Los Cabos, Mexico
My perception of Cabo was tequila shots and sloppy spring breakers, and while that's certainly available, there's another, more tranquil side to
Cabo I was only too happy to discover...
WHERE TO STAY
There is an enormous amount of development in this area, meaning travelers have a wide range of choices from all-inclusive mega resorts to smaller, boutique style hotels and Baja tree-house accommodations. We started things out in the Zona Hotelera at Mar Adentro, further away from the hubbub of Cabo, but closer to the airport. This hotel is a design lover's dream created by famed Mexican architect Miguel Angel Aragones. Rooms are a primer in hyper-minimalism with clean, white lines and deep soaking tubs on terraces. There's only one pool on property, but the beach here is lovely. Guests dine on ceviche and guacamole under the shade of the hotels massive bird's nest restaurant, Nido.
The Cape Thompson boasts an unbeatable location on a popular surfing beach with unparalleled views of the famous Arch. Sunsets here are not to be missed; guests can enjoy them from the swim-up bar in the pool, or at the rooftop bar (the only one in Cabo). The service here is top-notch.
Esperanza is a romantic property popular with honeymooners and couples. Rooms here are decorated with a beautiful, soft palette and feature patios with woven hammocks. While the beach here is rocky and not exactly swimmable, there are several different pools guests can chose from. The spa is gorgeous with outdoor rain showers and a beautiful relaxation lounge.
WHERE TO EAT
It can be hard to leave your hotel, especially if you're only visiting for a short time. Those who do choose to explore are in for a treat. Flora Farms is destination dining deep in the Baja desert, about 45 minutes from Cabo proper. If you can snag a reservation, make sure to order a "Farmarita", a riff on a classic margarita made with freshly pressed carrot juice and dry chili flake. Tip: If you can't make it to the Farm, try the Flora Farms Outpost located in downtown Cabo.
Down the road, Acre Baja offers similar farm-to-table style cuisine with flavorful bites like Mexican spiced poké. They make their own Mezcal on-site and have an impressive cocktail menu. Tip: Acre Baja also offers tree-house style accommodations with outdoor rain showers.
Cocina Del Mar (located at The Esperanza Resort) boasts an incredible cliffside location overlooking the ocean. Ask for a table around sunset and plan to enjoy a nightcap around the fire pit once night falls.
WHAT TO DO
Cabo is the perfect place to lay around the pool or beach and do a lot of nothing. But, if you're in the mood to explore, the Old Town of San Jose Del Cabo is beautiful and worth checking out.
La Coyota is a former hacienda a bit off the beaten path and filled to the brim with treasures. Skip the tourist shops that litter Cabo and come here for authentic Mexican handicrafts and textiles, all at reasonable prices.
If you tire of sitting by the pool, take a cooking class at Huerta Los Tamarindos, a full scale working organic farm.
Getting out on the water is a must. Book a sunset sail around The Arch, or do some whale-watching between December and April.
GOOD TO KNOW
Renting a car is not necessary if you don't plan to do much exploring; taxis are widely available and easy to arrange through your hotel, but do keep in mind they are typically cash only.
If you do rent a car, beware the price of "extra" insurance. It pays to do a bit of research ahead of time so you know exactly what insurance you need and what is just an upsell.
US dollars and Mexican pesos are accepted, though the exchange rate isn't always favorable when paying with dollars.
Most high end hotels have filtered water systems for guests, still, it's wise to play it safe and stick to bottled water.