Four days, three flights, one resort, and too many margaritas!
Los Cabos has always been on my bucket list of places to visit, for its pristine beaches, desert landscapes, art and culture. Lucky me to represent Open Jaw when Los Cabos Tourism Board along with Jesson + Company Communications put a press trip itinerary together that checked off all the boxes and then some.
Los Cabos is located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula and is made up of two main cities, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. Connected by a 33km tourist corridor, the majority of hotels, resorts, golf courses and entertainment are found along this stretch of coastline.
Attracting visitors since the 1940’s, Los Cabos began as a hideaway for Hollywood film stars escaping the limelight and flashbulbs of paparazzi. For decades, Los Cabos was only accessible by private plane or yacht, and it wasn’t until the mid-70’s that a highway running the full length of the peninsula was constructed and in 1986 when the first international airport opened.
Today Los Cabos brings in more than 3 million visitors each year by air and cruise, mostly from the United States, Mexico and Canada. According to Monica Garcia, VP General Manager at Jesson+Co, “Los Cabos is the fastest growing destination in Mexico”.
Sandra de la Garza, Public Relations Director for Los Cabos Tourism Board, shared with Open Jaw the latest numbers: from JAN to SEP, there were over 31,000 arrivals from YVR, 28,000 from YYC and 17,000 from YYZ.
The draw for Canadians is simple; year round sunshine, crystal clear waters, fine Mexican and International cuisine, world class golf courses and a chance to cast their fishing lines in the “Marlin Capital of the World”.
Tale of ‘Dos Ciudades’
Cabo San Lucas is a vibrant city with luxury resorts, yacht marina, bustling shopping, entertainment and nightlife.
It’s from here that we transfer to Animalon by the Sea a floating restaurant designed by Chef Javier Plascencia. Our sea-to-table excursion on a 49-foot vessel set sail for a 3-hour sunset cruise. Famous for marine life and natural attraction El Arco or Arch of San Lucas, where the Sea of Cortes meets the Pacific Ocean, we spot playful sea lions swimming by or snoozing on nearby docks, manta rays splashing out of the warm waters and pelicans chasing local fishing boats for their next meal.
As we sail toward the arches, the bartender prepares a signature cocktail while the chef fires up the grill to curate a special meal for the group: classic Mexican tacos with authentic tortillas, a choice of beef, chicken or shrimp toppings with grilled vegetables and all the fixings.
San Jose del Cabo is steeped in history, and rich colonial architecture. Every Thursday from NOV to JUN, the main square and several blocks of cobblestone streets are closed off to traffic becoming a pedestrian only city. The Art Walk is free to the public, giving you full access to its many art galleries to view paintings, sculptures, textiles and jewelry created by local artists. The narrow streets are decorated with colourful banners, street performers, souvenir shops and restaurants.
Stay - Peaceful or Playful, Take Your Pick!
Nobu Los Cabos Luxury Resort:
From the moment I stepped on to the property, I felt calm, and relaxed. The white stone walls, zen-like manicured gardens and teak wood accents throughout the property make you feel like you’ve been transported to another world.
The first in Mexico and currently the only Nobu Hotel in Latin America, it will be joined by a second Mexico location in Tulum in 2025.
This resort offers 200 Japanese-inspired designed guest rooms and suites, some with adjoining rooms for guests traveling with children or larger groups. Each room is outfitted with high end furnishings, mattress designed specifically for Nobu platform beds, and traditional Onsen teak wood soaker tubs. We toured three room categories: Deluxe Swim Up, Junior Suite Pool view and the Sake Suite with Sales Assistant Raquel Schulte who told us they are currently at 70 percent capacity. Schulte confirmed that their latest restaurant, a poolside Sushi bar will be opening mid-DEC.
As with all Nobu Hotels, guests can embark on a culinary Japanese-fusion experience at Nobu restaurant. The oceanview restaurant features Nobu’s signature dishes with locally sourced ingredients. The bonus to anyone traveling to Los Cabos, Nobu restaurant accepts dinner reservations even if they are not a hotel guest.
Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos Resort:
Rock your socks off or chill by the pool. As Maribel Aguirre, Sales Manager told Open Jaw, 90% of the 639 rooms in the resort feature ocean view, ocean front or partial ocean view rooms, each with a private balcony and soaker tub. Although the beach is not swimmable, to compensate for the unpredictable and dangerous undercurrents of the Pacific ocean, the resort has 7 pools to choose from, including one adult-only Rhythm pool and winding waterslides at the Pulse pool for kids of all ages.
Most of our readers are familiar with the Hard Rock all-inclusive experience; music and memorabilia in the common spaces, entertainment and live performances each night, plus a slew of restaurants to fill your week away from home, and rockin’ clubs for kids and teens.
We tried out the latest HRH marvel, a multi-sensory dining experience, where guests can travel around the world in 90 minutes. ‘Awaken Your Senses” dining is available for groups or individuals to a maximum of 12 participants, offering two seatings nightly for an additional charge of $175USD per adult and $100USD per child under 12. Aguirre recommends that this experience be booked well in advance, or at the time of booking for your clients. The room can also be tailored for special celebrations or wedding rehearsals where photos and video can be displayed in the 360 degree space.
One Hump or Two?
Camels, si, camels in Mexico! Rancho Tierra Sagrada is the setting of our first unique Los Cabos adventure. The ranch is home to more than 35 camels, most rescued from former animal circuses and zoos. The sanctuary not only looks after the camels, who work five days a week to caravan tourists along the sandy beach and pose for photos, but they provide an environmentally safe recycling program called Oh Sheet! Camel diets are largely alfalfa based and contain lots of fibre which then gets converted to sheets of paper through a multi-step process at the on-site eco-farm.
The caravan takes around 30-40 minutes through the cactus lined desert landscape of the park and on to the sand dunes of the beach, overlooking the ocean from a camels'-eye view.
All Terrain Trails
The other caravan is more than one camel-power! We were fitted for our helmets, elbow and knee pads and assigned to our quad. Before the 45 minute thrill ride through the dusty desert sands and bumpy trails begins, we get a quick lesson on safety, signals and most of all speed. The guides at Cabo Adventures took excellent care of us and were so much fun beginning to end.
And if the adrenaline-pumping ride wasn’t enough, we capped off the day with a margarita lesson and tequila tasting.
Farm-to-Table In Style Buen Provecho!
At Flora Farms, we were in awe of the meticulous grounds, rows of vegetable gardens, flora and fauna, turtles, geese, birds and butterflies. Founded in 1996, the owners grew from 9 acres to 35 acres, growing herbs like rosemary and basil, not a well known ingredient in Mexico, to harvests of tomatoes, eggplant, mangoes, hibiscus flowers and more. The property consists of a bakery, restaurant, market, shops, cafe, and spa. They offer outdoor cooking lessons Tuesday to Friday and we took part in Wednesday’s hands-on Tamale class.
What is tamale? Its a traditional Mexican dish made of dough from white or yellow corn, stuffed with chicken, meat, spices and vegetables made into a pocket and wrapped in corn husk or banana leaf and steamed for an hour.
While the tamale is prepared, we learned how to prepare fresh salsa verde, guacamole and homemade caesar salad dressing, sardines and all!
Flora Farms is one of those hidden gems that does not advertise and purely organic marketing and word-of-mouth, so if you have a client interested in a special curated culinary experience, please visit their website to book.
For more information about Los Cabos, please visit their web site.