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Cabo San Lucas

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Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are making our final descent into the Cabo San Lucas International Airport. The Winds are light out of the west with a few clouds, and the temperature is 80 degrees. As we prepare for landing….. 

Focusing on the landscape below rapidly coming clearer into view, I released the captain’s voice, taking a deep breath in preparation and gratitude for yet another wonderful seaside escape – five days of sun, cultural exploration, gastronomic adventures and whatever else that may come my way – in Cabo San Lucas. 

Two Seas, One Paradise

After leaving the airport, we embarked upon a fairly new, beautiful four lane highway—one that would rival those found in many U.S. cities today—which cut a swath between an expansive both mountainous and desert landscape peppered on both sides with heavy scrub, a sundry of cacti varieties and sizes, palm trees and plant life.

It’s an interesting topographical mélange in this region of the country, which, although is part of México, is referred to as both Baja México and Baja California.

This land mass stretches from the Mexican border just south of San Diego approximately 1,030 miles to the southern tip through the regions of Baja California, encompassing the major towns of Ensenada, San Felipe, San Quintí, Puertecitos, San Carlos and Bahía Los Angeles, among others, and Baja California Sur encircling Santa Rosalía, Punta Abreojos, San Nuanico, Puerto Escondido, Cuidad Constitución, La Paz, Todos Santos, San José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, just to name a few.

Hugging the west coast is the Pacific Ocean, and to the east bordering the México “mainland” is the Sea of Cortez, also referred to as the Gulf of California.

The drive was a leisurely one, meandering up and down the picturesque hills and long flat areas for about 45 minutes until we arrived at the southern tip of Baja México/Baja California at what the locals call the “dual destination” of Los Cabos.

Like many regions in México, the native peoples who are believed to have thrived here for centuries were conquered somewhere around the 16th century by the Spaniards, and in the Los Cabos area, it was conquistador Hernan Cortés who initially staked Spain’s claim.

Like fraternal twins, San José del Cabo and sibling Cabo San Lucas share the same familial DNA, yet possess their own distinct personalities.

San José del Cabo

San José del Cabo is the more “down-to-earth” child – soft spoken, mellow and exuding a boutique, authentic, Old World Mexican town vibe with cobblestone streets radiating out from the cobblestone streets that connect the historic central main downtown square to the quaint residential neighborhoods that some 70,000 people call home.

These picturesque streets also unite the locals and tourists to San José del Cabo’s many offerings including the beautiful colonial buildings, historic mission church, restaurants, shopping boutiques, and art galleries. And because the town is also the government county seat of Los Cabos, the influx of businesspersons who come here for work and play also give it a bit of an air of sophistication sans the stuffiness of a big city.

Popular locales for recreational activities include a natural estuary, surfing, a marina for boating and fishing adventures, golf courses, and day trips to a handful of smaller villages nearby that exude their own intoxicating flavor and charm.

Connecting the sibling towns is the Golden Corridor, stretching about 17 miles to the east. Though fairly sparsely populated, along the way you will still find a handful of upscale resorts, golf communities, retail shops, restaurants and stunning beaches—many lauded for their wealth of surfing and other watersports excellence. Quiet and inviting, these entities, unlike being in town, are not walkable and most must be frequented by vehicle.

At the end of the Corridor is Cabo San Lucas—the “wild child” that bucks the parental system at every opportunity. Boisterous, busy, and “spring breaky” at times, this is the place for those who enjoy the party lifestyle.

This ambiance also comes with a plethora of chain American and Mexican food, shopping, nightlife and retail establishments (think Starbucks, Harley Davidson, the San Francisco Coffee Company, Squid Roe, Walgreens, Señor Frogs, Kenneth Cole, Baja Junkie, Hooters, The Hard Rock Café, Casa Bella, and so forth) and Mega resorts like Rui Palace and Rui Santa Fe, the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Golf & Spa Resort, and others.

But along with that you’ll also find a beautiful marina, great local boutiques, delicious mom ‘n pop bistros and restaurants, and believe it or not, some local flavor.

That is not to say that that if the party scene doesn’t speak to your vacation needs and desires, that Cabo San Lucas doesn’t have a peaceful, relaxing, and inviting side. It definitely does and it is not a place to be easily dismissed as a challenge you’re not willing to take one. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Written by Lysa Allman Baldwin

Check out these other great México features! 

Allianz Travel Insurance

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