Two Sides of Cabo San Lucas

Cabo San Lucas, commonly referred to as Cabo, is a city of approximately 60,000 people and is located at the southern tip of the Baja California Peninsula of Mexico. It overlooks a beautiful bay and extends westward to the Pacific Ocean. To its east lies the town of San Jose del Cabo, which is a quiet, colonial-style city, while Cabo has more of a high energy persona. Both are blessed with great weather, sublime beaches and world-class sport fishing. Deluxe resorts, hotels and every possible type of accommodation make the area one of the top travel destinations in Mexico.

We flew AeroMexico from San Diego to the Los Cabos International Airport. Our in-flight experience was first rate; clean cabin, comfortable seats and friendly flight attendants. It was a reminder of aviation’s glory days and a nice way to kick off our vacation.

We had arranged for private transportation throughout our stay, beginning with the airport pick-up. A pleasant twenty-minute drive brought us to the Rose Resort & Spa. After an efficient check-in, we headed to their beautiful beach and pool area to dive into vacation mode. That evening we ate outdoors, overlooking the Sea of Cortez, at Rose’s Mare Nostrum Restaurant’s grill night buffet; a pleasant end to our first day.

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Pueblo Bonito’s Rose Resort

The next morning, we walked to the Marina to join Cabo Adventures 4×4 Desert Safari. Our knowledgeable guide was equally informative discussing the arid tropical forest we explored, its flora and fauna, as well as the tequila sampling that was included in the tour. The excursion ended with a traditional Mexican luncheon prepared in clay pots and served with freshly made tortillas.

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Arid Tropical Forest Trail

Thursday nights are special in San Jose del Cabo’s Art district. The weekly Art Walk takes place from November through May, with dozens of galleries open for the evening. Later, we had a romantic dinner at La Panga Antigua. The restaurant features a spectacular outdoor setting in a lushly landscaped garden.

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Thursday Night Art Walk in San Jose del Cabo

The following morning we meandered into town for breakfast at the Cabo Coffee Company, a local hangout, for coffee and fresh-baked pastries. Then we spent time shopping and exploring the quaint streets and alleyways of Cabo, as well as the Marina and its mall.

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On the Beach at Pueblo Bonito’s Rose Resort with Cabo Coffee

On Saturday, we moved west to the Pacific Ocean and the eco-friendly, luxurious Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa. Once unpacked, we headed to their award-winning Spa Armonia for signature massages. We dined at their gourmet restaurant, Siempre, which features market fresh ingredients and a spa menu.

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Siempre Restaurant

The resort displays museum quality sculpture throughout its grounds and each day we discovered more art in nooks and crannies in and around the beautifully landscaped gardens.

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Pueblo Bonito’s Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa’s Outdoor Art Gardens

The days were low key and relaxing; hours basking by the pool, lounging in picture perfect weather, long walks on pristine beaches and partaking in hotel-sponsored activities (my wife and I went to a cooking class and I won a Hold ‘em tournament). Pacifica is the perfect spot to unwind.

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Pacifica’s Beach

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye to the two sides of Cabo…

Hotel Hopping. The Pueblo Bonito Resort chain operates four luxury resorts in Cabo San Lucas (including Rose and Pacifica) and two in Mazatlan. For reservations and information, visit their website, www.pueblobonita.com, or call 1-800-990-8250. You will be impressed with their commitment to quality, excellent service and to the environment.

Rose Resort & Spa is the recipient of an Environmental Quality Award. Its location makes it an easy walk into Cabo and the Marina. There are hourly poolside activities including yoga, cooking and fitness classes, etc., plus complimentary children’s programs.

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Daily Free Activites at Rose Resort & Spa

Pacifica Holistic Retreat & Spa has earned awards including Best by Design in the Americas, Condé Nast Gold List, AAA Four Diamond Award, Top 10 Mexico Resorts by Condé Nast Traveler readers and an Environmental Quality Award. The Armonia Spa received the Silver Sage Reader’s Choice Award for Best Resort and Hotel Spas in Mexico by Spa Magazine. Note: no smoking and no kids.
Additionally, the spas at Pueblo Bonito Resorts in Cabo have been rated among the Top 10 Hotel Spas for Mexico, Central America and Latin America by Travel + Leisure Magazine readers; quite an accomplishment.

Food Fun. Rose’s Mare Nostrum Restaurant’s themed buffet features a choice of grilled lobster, steak or chicken and a bountiful selection of appetizers, freshly baked breads, salads, vegetables, pasta and rice and a table laden with desserts.

La Panga Antigua – Don’t miss their pozole or gazpacho and ask about the seafood specials. There is an extensive wine list. For further information go to www.lapanga.com.

Siempre at Pacifica – Gourmet dining at its best; superior wine list and an attentive, well-trained staff. Ask for an outdoor table and try their soft-shelled crab appetizer and the rack of lamb entrée. Five different freshly baked breads with dipping oils start the meal and pastry-chef dessert creations complete the dining experience. They also serve breakfast and lunch, as well as drinks and food poolside.

Maro’s Shrimp House – Order their special drink concoction of tequila, beer and lemonade called a “Bull Dog.” Their Molocajete shrimp served in a stone grinding bowl is superb.

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Gordo Lele’s – This tiny hole-in-the wall restaurant pays homage to Elvis and the Beatles, as well as serving great tacos and sandwiches. A real find and inexpensive.

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Tacos Gardenias – Open only for lunch, they serve traditional Mexican fare to crowds of locals. That’s proof enough that this inexpensive place is worth a visit.

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Cabo Coffee Company – They grind, manufacture and sell coffee from beans purchased from small farms around Mexico. There are two stores in Cabo and both locations offer free Internet access with any purchase. For further information and to buy whole bean coffee online, log onto www.cabocoffee.com.

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Special Note: The water in Cabo is the best in all of Baja and is considered safe to drink. Each of the Pueblo Bonito Resorts has their own state-of-the-art filtering system.

Money Matters. American dollars and major credit cards are readily accepted; charge in pesos, not dollars. Take small bills to pay for inexpensive items and tipping. ATMs abound around town and you receive a better exchange rate than at hotels and/or restaurants. Currently, 100 Mexican pesos equal approximately $7.70 US. Taxis are readily available and there seems to be a standard rate of $6 US in and around town. Hint: it’s cheaper if you pay in pesos.

Transportation Tips. AeroMexico offers complimentary snacks and drinks (including alcohol) on all of their flights. Your first checked bag is free and full meals are served on longer trips. Go online to www.aeromexico.com to check their schedule and fares.

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Cabo Adventures has a full range of activities from scuba diving and swimming with dolphins to sunset cruises. For more information log onto www.cabo-adventures.com.

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Hiring Private Luxury Travel for transportation is a smart decision. It makes getting around uncomplicated. Their staff is state certified and all speak English. They are licensed to provide everything from airport pick-ups, to tours, to daytrips in their fleet of new Escalades, Suburbans and vans. For further information and prices, contact www.privateluxurytravelcabo.com.

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Safe travels and enjoy the journey…

Howard Hian
www.Travels-with-Hian.com

Thanks to the various websites for information and photos. Before you go, please check details including dates, rates, packages and availability; some restrictions may apply.

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