Los Cabos: The Tip of Romance

The quiet side of Los Cabos: An aerial view of El Arco  (courtesy, Mexico Tourism)

Located at the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos encompasses three distinct areas: Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and the Corridor—a stretch of Highway 1 that links the two towns. It is in Cabo San Lucas where the crashing waves of the Pacific Ocean meet the milder surf of the Sea of Cortez at El Arco (The Arch), a dramatic rocky outcropping surrounded by some of Mexico's best sportfishing. In fact, it was the fishing that led the first tourists to head to these sleepy villages. Word got around, the Baja highways were built, and now the striking, desert-meets-beach spread of Los Cabos is one of Mexico's premier vacation destinations.

For natural beauty, wonderful beaches, balmy climate, and water sports, Cabo San Lucas can't be beat. But runaway development has left little of Cabo unspoiled. It now has massive hotels and resorts that crowd the beach, waves of cruise-ship crowds, and a raucous nightlife scene—especially during spring break when the place resembles a giant MTV party.

Still, there are plenty of ways to enjoy Cabo, particularly with somebody else. Start with a boat ride out to El Arco, followed by a relaxing afternoon on the smooth white-sands of the Playa de Amor (Beach of Love), a hidden cove right at the tip of the peninsula, or a stroll north of town to the pretty and popular Playa Medano. Change out of your bathing suit in an oceanfront room at the luxurious Finisterra (Domocilio Conocido) or Hacienda (Gomez Farias s n Col. El Medano) resorts, then ask for a table on the candlelit back patio of Mi Casa (Av. Cabo San Lucas, 624.143.1933), where you can enjoy updated Mexican specialties and fresh seafood. For a splurge, try the elegant Peacocks (Paseo Pescador near Playa Medano, 624.143.1858), with seating in either the two-level dining room or on the outdoor terrace.

The next day, take a drive along Highway 1 to the Playa Palmilla, the Corridor's most beautiful swimming beach (surfers prefer the Costa Azul). The best stretch of beach lies in front of the inviting Hotel Palmilla. Besides lovely and spacious rooms overlooking the beach, the hotel also boasts the La Palmilla Golf Club, a 27-hole golf course that also has tennis courts, a pool, and the La Palma restaurant.

Bahía Chileno and Bahía Santa Maria are prime spots for snorkeling and scuba diving, with warm azure waters filled with exotic sea creatures flitting among white coral reefs. After your day on (or in) the water, take an early evening promenade around the pleasant Plaza Mijares in San Jose del Cabo, which often features live music and open-air art shows. Located in old adobe haciendas, Damiana (Blvd. Mijares 8, 624.142.0499) and the Tequila Restaurante (Manuel Doblado, 624.142.1155)—which offers dozens of high-end tequilas for sampling—are two of the top eateries in town, with well-prepared regional specialties and charming surroundings.

Published: 27 Jun 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication

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