Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide

Cabo San Lucas Travel Guide

Gina Samarotto

Mexico’s darling on the Baja Peninsula, Cabo San Lucas is more than just a destination, it’s a lifestyle; a veritable frame of mind set against some of the country’s most spectacular landscapes. Stretching from Cabo San Lucas to the west to San Jose del Cabo to the east and spanning the thirty odd kilometres of adventure laden ‘corridor’ that connects the two; Cabo is where luxury collides with the great outdoors, where the days are brilliantly sultry and the sparkling nights are nothing short of white-hot. Wondering what to do in Cabo San Lucas? Mr Hudson has got you covered.

The best hotels in Cabo San Lucas

From exclusive villas rife with privacy to indulgent resorts rich with luxury, there’s no shortage of swank accommodations in Cabo. At the One&Only Palmilla, kick back and lose yourself in a resort where the service is impeccable (private butler, anyone?), relaxation is an art form, and breath-taking views are de rigueur. Located twenty minutes from the centre of the action in Cabo San Lucas, guests at the One&Only Palmilla can polish their serve from one of three floodlit tennis courts, lounge on the private access beach, charter the resort’s yacht for a luxury spin around the Sea of Cortez, or check in for a day of total indulgence at the One&Only Spa; a tropical sanctuary replete with yoga garden, hot and cold rock pools and thirteen private treatment villas.

If you’re longing to vacation like a rock star, look no further than The Residences at Hacienda Encantada – where you and up to nine of your closest friends can revel in the quintessential privacy afforded by a three-bedroom luxury villa. With more than 3,000sf of sprawling space the dual level villas are elegant havens boasting amenities like gourmet kitchens, pocketing glass walls, grand staircases crafted of smoothly honed stone, and distinctive artwork. The covetable features continue outside where manicured gardens, a private pool with swim-up bar, hot tub, fire pit and views that seem to go on for days are waiting for you. Along with daily housekeeping and a bevy of available services that include everything from private chefs to pre-arrival provisioning; guests may also take advantage of the fine dining, pools and activities at the adjacent Hacienda Encantada Resort & Spa – or simply shut the door and surround themselves in the pure bliss of a tropical world all their own.

Alluring though they may be, the fireplace, private terrace with plunge pool and complimentary bottle of Tequila found in every room at The Resort at Pedregal aren’t the only ways this posh resort greets its arriving guests. Nestled between the Pacific Ocean and the cliffs bordering Cabo San Lucas’ marina area, Pedregal guests are whisked through – yes, through – the mountain via a chandelier illuminated tunnel before being delivered into an open air courtyard and lobby where cold margaritas are served with a warm side of welcome.

One&Only Palmilla

One&Only Palmilla

Things to do in Cabo San Lucas

One look at the ocean sports found in and around the Sea of Cortez, and you’ll see why Mark Twain could have been referring to Cabo San Lucas when he said, “Throw off the bowlines and sail away from the safe harbour. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

In this water sports wonderland, snorkelers will be in their glory with the myriad shallow reefs and inlets waiting to be explored while scuba aficionados can experience the thrill of diving into one of the world’s most preeminent underwater sites with a trip to Sand Falls. First introduced to the world by Jacques Cousteau, Sand Falls is a marvel of nature offering both a challenging dive and the chance to see everything from angelfish to the occasional white shark zipping about in their natural environment. If your idea of fun involves both adrenalin and indulgence, check out Tropicsurf’s luxury surf school and excursion packages. Custom tailored for anyone from the novice surfer to the passionate pro, the Tropicsurf experience is second to none when it comes to hanging ten.

For those who’d prefer to enjoy their day on the sea without having to get their feet wet, a luxury sail with Cabo-Adventures is the way to go. From the comfort of a Beneteau sailboat, you’ll glide past the famous Cabo Arch on your way to a day spent watching breaching whales, spinning dolphins and sunbathing sea lions – all while enjoying a catered, gourmet lunch and cocktails.

With all due respect to Cabo’s impressively sung siren’s song, heading north of the city to the little town of Todo Santos makes for an utterly worthwhile afternoon jaunt. This ‘Pueblo Mágico’ – or ‘Magical Town’ – is home to nearly two dozen art galleries including the Faces of Mexico Ethnic Art Gallery on Marquez de Leon and the Galeria de Todos Santos, known for exhibiting a good selection of reasonably priced, upscale art. While in Todo Santos, make sure to ‘check in anytime you’d like’ at The Hotel California where executive chef Dany Lamote’s black pepper pappardelle with arrachera beef and mushroom cream sauce is legendary and ‘the pink champagne on ice’ is optional.

Bypass the t-shirt shops and top off your day with some old school glamour courtesy of Luxury Avenue in Cabo’s Golden Marina Zone. The boutique mall is the premier luxury retail hub in Cabo and home to the likes of Ferragamo, Vilebrequin, Montblanc and Cartier – the ideal spot to find the perfect accoutrement for a newly acquired tan.

Bespoke Dining at Hacienda Encantada | Photo: Gina Samarotto

Bespoke Dining at Hacienda Encantada | Photo: Gina Samarotto

Where to eat in Cabo San Lucas

After sunset, Cabo comes alive with a cacophony of food, music and fun that continues long into the night. Start your evening with dinner at Manta, located in Thompson’s tony Cape Hotel. The newest gem in Chef Enrique Olvera’s jewel-encrusted crown, Manta’s menu of specialties includes showstoppers like Octopus anticucho with chorizo mayo and beef tacos with smoked oyster dip – all served in a restaurant that is as much a feast for the eyes as it is the palate. After dinner, head up to the impossibly chic Rooftop Lounge where Osvaldo Vazquez’s handcrafted cocktails and stunning, panoramic views have a penchant for luring in Cabo’s beautiful people.

At Richard Sandoval’s Toro, sip strawberry basil caipiriñhas while pondering a menu of Pan Latin flavours infused with South American, Japanese and Chinese flair. For committed carnivores and passionate oenophiles, there’s no reason to go anywhere other than Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Seared where Wagyu is a word spoken as reverently as a prayer and the extensive wine list is arguably Cabo’s finest.

For a dining experience that elevates the very concept of a romantic dinner to an entirely new level, let the concierge staff at Hacienda Encantada plan a bespoke dinner for two on the beach. With live musicians to serenade you and a softly glowing table set against a backdrop of crashing waves; it’s an evening you won’t soon forget.

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