Los Cabos. The name fits the destination. Simple. Relaxing. Romantic. Translated, it means the capes and takes its name from three capes: Cabo san Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, and Cabo del Este. These capes lie at the tip of the Baja Peninsula, the world’s longest peninsula and is a wonderful choice for a romantic escape or girlfriend getaway. Families are also welcome at this destination, but I would prefer to visit sans kids.
This is where romance is as passionate as Lover’s Beach, a place at the tip of the Baja Peninsula at El Arco, where the sand is only revealed once every six years. This is where the Sea of Cortez mixes with the Pacific Ocean, in a blend of senses. Some couples wait to be married until Lover’s Beach is revealed under the famous arches of Cabo san Lucas.
I was fortunate enough to visit the area, lodging outside of the city, in an area called The Corridor. It’s an 18 mile stretch of beach between Cabo san Lucas and San Jose del Cabo. The flight into Cabo was uneventful and I was the first to get through customs because I only had a carry-on. I was being host by the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort, who had arranged for an airport pickup. A thing to know before going is that the time-share solicitors will try to trick you into telling you they are your ride. A savvy traveler will know that their driver is not allowed inside the airport and will be waiting with a sign outside the glass doors.
The dramatic drive though The Corridor sets Cabo apart from other beachside retreats. On one side of the road you can’t miss the mountains and rocky hillsides. On the other side, you glimpse the shore, the turquoise waters, and of all things, the cacti on the beach. If you are fortunate enough to visit Cabo in the winter, you may catch a glimpse of a majestic whale.
The Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort was not what I expected and was my first experience at a resort-style Hilton Hotel. The entrance was fabulously massive with marble floors throughout the entire property. My room was a junior beachside suite and included a soaking spa tub with marble shower, a sitting room, plush bed, and relaxing patio area overlooking the beach. I felt like a princess in a beachside fairy tale.
The resort is self contained and couples can spend time here without having to leave. The infinity pool is the main pool located near the whale watching area with towel service provided and numerous beach chairs for sunbathers. The beach is just below and is accessible by a pathway of landscaped concrete making it easy for those of all abilities to enjoy the beach. Snorkeling and other water activities are available onsite by a private vendor. Note: The hotel has experienced a renovation since my visit.
Although there is no need to leave the resort, there are many nightlife options available in Cabo san Lucas. My group took a sunset cruise on the Caborey which offers dining and entertainment. The drinks were free-flowing as the ship cruised past El Arco at sunset. This is definitely a romantic kissing moment for those on a romantic escape. As the sun was setting, I could barely make out one of Madonna’s homes, set on an Oceanside cliff. Then it was time to step inside the cabin for dinner and a show.
After the sunset cruise, my companions and I hit the nightlife of Cabo. We headed first to Cabo Wabo Cantina, known for wild times and crazy parties with Sammy Hagar and his friends, such as Kenny Chesney (hello, my favorite singer), Nickelback, and Smash Mouth. Cabo Wabo was closed for a Cuban Jazz Festival that night. With heads drooping in disappointment, we walked across the street to a little place called, The Giggling Marlin.
What a blast! This is a cheesy, touristy bar that made me crack up laughing when the waiters busted out dance moves to “Macho Man.” If you need to spice up your life, get one of the waiters to pull you on the dance floor where you can salsa the night away. One of the main attractions of this fine establishment is getting Hung upside down like a Marlin. Imagine that your feet are tied up and pulled towards the ceiling for a shot of tequila. (Tip: Don’t wear a skirt to the Giggling Marlin)
I don’t remember what time we left, but there are memories of a conga line with tequila. Fortunately, the cab fare back to the hotel was not as expensive as I thought it would be.
A day trip on any vacation is a good way to experience the surrounding areas. We went to Todos Santos, an small community located about an hour’s drive north of Cabo san Lucas. Todos Santos is located on the Tropic of Capricorn and is one of the only places in the world where Mangos are in season twice a year.
Along the desert highway, you can glimpse the area where Troy was filmed. Once arriving in the town, I visited a local contemporary artist, Gabo. I purchased a small canvas of his work to take home (which now hangs in my office). As I walked the streets shopping, I had to stop and look again. There, across the street, was Hotel California. Could it be THE Hotel California? Locals say it is, but Don Henley denies the rumor.
The day was pleasant, but I was ready for some true relaxation. I enjoyed a massage at the Hilton Los Cabos Spa. The spa was well appointed with a separate area for men and women. Couple’s treatments are available, as well. After an hour of pampering, I took my jellied self back to my room and sat on the patio to read. I listened to the waves splashing along the beach as they crashed on the shore, only to be sucked back into the Sea of Cortez to repeat nature’s process. What a way to end a visit.