By Becca Hensley
This story originally appeared in the November/December 2017 issue of Elite Traveler.
Hemingway cast for prize marlin from the shores of Cabo San Lucas, back when the now rollicking port was a sleepy fishing hamlet. Today, it is equipped with more than 400 boat slips—many filled with yachts—and has become a bustling year-round vacation destination brimming with restaurants, galleries, nightclubs, curio shops and bars. Set on the tip of Mexico’s 1,000-mile long Baja Peninsula, the resort area also encompasses a 20-mile stretch of swanky hotel-dominated beachscape between Cabo San Lucas and another one-time tranquil town, San José del Cabo—beloved for its traditional plaza and residential ambiance. With cobalt blue seas and beaches strewn with volcanic rock, the Cabo area boasts a distinctive natural beauty, accentuated by the soaring mountains and cactus-studded desert terrain that frames the shoreline. Sunset cruises around the iconic rock arch, deep sea fishing, whale watching in season and swimming with marine life, from whale sharks to dolphins, comprise some of the activities visitors will want to check off their list during a getaway. With premier hotels that know how to cosset, kitchens helmed by celebrity chefs vaunting their penchant for seasonal, gourmet cuisine, and a sophisticated, international flair that attracts vacationers from across the globe, Los Cabos says “bienvenidos.”
What to do
The most sought after tee time in Cabo these days is the new Tiger Woods-designed course, El Cardonal at Diamante Resort. But here’s the catch: that green is for residence owners only. Not to worry, however. Los Cabos has other championship-level courses: Cabo del Sol (an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed ocean course and an 18-hole Tom Weiskopf-designed desert course), One&Only Palmilla (a 27-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed course), Cabo Real (an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones-designed course) and Puerto Los Cabos (includes a newly completed 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature course).
Board a luxury yacht to experience the true grandeur of the region. Yachts Cabo’s superior collection of watercraft range in size, but all rentals include crew, water toys (such as stand-up paddleboards and kayaks), premium open bar, customized menu and chef. Four- or eight-hour trips can be arranged. Consider itineraries for party cruising, snorkeling, sunset jaunts or deep sea fishing. Whale watching from November to April is certain to thrill.
Ride a Wave
Surfing isn’t ubiquitous along Cabo’s sometimes treacherous shoreline, but some beaches bring out long-board enthusiasts. Learn from the experts at Mike Doyle Surf School, located in the Cabo Surf Hotel on Acapulquito Beach, one of Cabo’s most “hang ten” friendly shorelines. Or take advantage of Tropicsurf, a surfing school exclusive to One&Only Palmilla guests, at their swimmable beach.
Swim with the Big Ones
The world’s largest fish, the whale shark, makes the Sea of Cortez its home from August to May. Book a private water safari with Cabo Adventures, which guides you on a snorkeling trip to swim beside these amazing creatures in crystalline waters.