Long a favorite destination for golfers, Cabo San Lucas is really just the gateway to an area rich in history, culture and diversity. A short 3.5 hour direct flight from Kelowna, Cabo makes for a quick and easy getaway.
Unlike the rest of Mexico, the relative desert-like conditions allow Cabo San Lucas to be a great destination even during the so called “rainy season” of September and October.
The tourist area of Cabo is divided into three distinct zones. Closest to the airport is San Jose del Cabo. This is the main city and home to the majority of the local people. A great location to stay in if you enjoy being able to walk into an actual city which offers an assortment of local galleries, markets, cafes and unique restaurants and bars. Rich in local atmosphere and entertainment. The drawbacks are that the majority of hotels are definitively older and in need of upgrades. The local beaches are not swimable due to a dangerous year-round undercurrent however they are long flat expanses of powdery soft golden sands which are wonderful for long walks or runs. One exception to the “older resort” comment is the new Hyatt Ziva Resort (formerly the Barceló Los Cabos). Hyatt’s new venture into the “all inclusive” arena is already getting rave reviews on the online travel sites. Upgraded rooms, exquisite a la carte dining, all new Hyatt pillow-top mattresses …… the kudos go on and on!! Definitely an excellent choice for the discerning family traveller looking for quality and amenities.
A short 10-15km along the highway and you enter the Corridor Zone. This area is depicted by the rolling green fairways of various golf courses as well as the newest resort and condominium developments. Again the beaches in this area are not swimable due to the undercurrent but the resorts themselves have made up for that issue with elaborate and extensive pool and water attractions. The popular “adult only” themed resorts find this quiet area perfect for their clientele’s particular requirements. Drawback to this area is that you are truly “in the middle of nowhere”. Good if you’re the type to stay at your resort and/or be only golf oriented, however expensive if you want to explore as the local transportation is pricey.
The resort area most recognized as Cabo San Lucas is the cruise ship port located on Medano Beach and at the foot of the legendary rock formations known as “Land’s End” . This area is home to the famous party bars of Squid Row and Cabo Wabo as well as the fabulous Puerto Paraiso Shopping Mall featuring Dolce & Gabbana, Massimo and its own Harley Davidson store as some of its tenants. Medano Beach is considered swimable however from personal experience it’s still a very rough piece of water to navigate! Lots of accommodations to choose from in this area ranging from the all-inclusive RIU’s to the luxury of the Capella Pedregal resort.
I always recommend that clients rent a car for a few days to explore the surrounding areas outside the tourist zone. Renting and driving a car is a safe and familiar experience in Cabo. Drive a couple of hours north along the Pacific Coast and visit Todo Santos and the real Hotel California made famous by the Eagles! The next day drive 100kms up the East Coast of the peninsula and visit both the kite-surfing haven of Los Barillos as well as the Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park.
Cabo San Lucas, so much more than just a cruise port or beach destination!