Los Cabos, Mexico was hit pretty hard during category 3 Hurricane Odile on September 15, 2014. It packed winds up to 125 mph and caused damage to houses and hotels in the area, some of which have yet to reopen. But Cabo is back in business and ready to wow visitors with culinary delights, breathtaking scenery, and tranquil beaches.
Using the Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa as my home base in Los Cabos, I began a journey of exploration into the wonders of nature and gourmet Mexican cuisine.
Every tourist needs to visit El Arco (The Arch), the rock formation that dominates the landscape from the ocean at the tip of the Baja Peninsula. Most people know this landmark by the name Land's End. Story has it that if you draw a line from there as the crow flies, you won’t touch land again until you hit the South Pole. Keep an eye out for Pancho, the fish-stealing sea lion who piggybacks on the fishing boats to wait for an opportunity to make off with your catch. He recently achieved international fame with this video.
There are all kinds of tour operators who will take you to catch a peek of the whales that surface just past Land’s End and Lover’s Beach. My favorite tour was with Cabo Adventures, where my guide took an ethical approach to following the whales. He made sure to stay close enough for me to get some fantastic shots of the whales breaching, but not too close that they felt threatened. We also learned why the whales were “showing off” — and it wasn’t for us! The males, my guide explained, were trying to impress the nearby female and by performing a West Side Story-style rumble. Their magnificent breaching — during which they come completely out of the water —is intended to lay claim to the female with a show of force. I don’t know if she found him attractive, but I was certainly enamored!
Downtown Cabo’s live jazz clubs and martini bars give it an upscale vibe; however, it’s also well known for infamous party bars like El Squid Roe and Cabo Wabo. The mostly pedestrian marina area heats up at night with folks of all ages looking to throw back some shots of tequila and experience spring break any time of year.
Chic boutiques are represented in downtown Cabo at the Luxury Avenue building. Here you will find international shopping at Fendi, Cartier, Ferragamo, and Malìparmi. For a local flair, try Mi Mexico, which sells handcrafted jewelry and distinctive art and pottery.
Dining in Los Cabos’ Golden Zone provides selections for every type of diner. Staying at Hacienda Encantada, with its all-inclusive option, offered me the choice to dine out at one of five great restaurants associated with the hotel meal plan. Time to pick between sashimi at Imomo Sushi House, pasta at Presto, seafood at Baja Lobster Co., Mexican appetizers at La Cantina, and a rib-eye steak at Jack’s Bar & Grill.
Located in the heart of the prime beachfront real estate, La Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa surprised me at every turn. Each hacienda is meticulously decorated with style and taste. I also loved the fact that they offer unique experiences for guests that aren’t listed on the website.