Summer season is upon us and recently I’ve been seeing extremely cheap fares from the East Coast to Cabo San Lucas. Though it’s property of Mexico, Cabo is located at the tip of California and has beautiful beaches and waves perfect for those that like to surf. This destination is very popular amongst Californians and a luxury vacation destination for Mexicans.
If you love Vegas, you will love Cabo. Cabo is more for poolside posing, with most of the resort beaches being too rough to actually go swimming. The resorts are gorgeous and each one has there own special thing to offer. If you are more of a go with the flow type of individual, there are some important things to know in advanced regarding your trip to Cabo. I’ve also added some of my personal “must do’s” when you are on the island.
YOU DON’T NEED PESOS
I had a layover in Mexico City and was planning to take a taxi to the resort and meet my girlfriend. I changed about $80.00 USD into pesos to make sure I could cover the cab. I had been to St. Maarten the week before and there were no Ubers and the taxi’s only took cash, so I wanted to make sure I had some on hand.
I arrived in Cabo International Airport and everything was in USD (also pricing in pesos). I was able to secure a shuttle for $17 USD to the resort. Your resort will want to charge everything to your room and most places take credit cards, so you don’t have to carry a ton of cash.
THERE IS A LOT OF SECURITY
The interesting thing I found regarding Cabo is how much security there is. When entering a resort, even through an Uber, they take your name, the license plate, the name of the driver, and where you are coming from (or going). I went with two of my girlfriends and at no point did I feel in danger. We went out downtown and even as we were trying to cross a busy street, security popped out of nowhere to help.
While I did feel safe, this overabundance of security made me wonder just what I was being protected from.
IT’S A GROUP THING
There are some places that are great for solo travel and then there are some that are better for groups. Cabo isn’t a solo vacation type of place. You can feel safe going there with friends or family; however, I don’t recommend going to Cabo alone, only because it’s so many groups that you might not meet people.
During Memorial Day Weekend we saw couples, families, and one bachelorette party. I was a bit disappointed as I hoped to meet more people, but I had a great time with my girls.
IT’S RESORT DRIVEN
The resorts are set up so you never feel the need to leave. There were several places we went to dinner and they were all placed on other resorts. I found it surprising that there wasn’t more advertisement for good food in stand alone places that weren’t adjacent to a resort.
WHERE TO STAY
The Sheraton had great food and an old world feel. The resort is absolutely beautiful and if you are looking for a wedding location, the courtyard of this place would be gorgeous. It was also the only resort where I saw people surfing. The resort was lively with lots of guests ranging from families to couples and friends. The room was incredible. We stayed in a duplex and each room minus the top floor had it’s own balcony or balcony access.
Garza Blanca was chosen by my friend who accompanied me on the trip. The hotel opened in January so is currently having a “soft opening” through the Summer. If you want a bit of a discount yet a luxury stay, definitely check this out. With Garza Blanca, it’s about 15-20 minutes from downtown so you aren’t in Cabo directly, but not far from the action. At time of publication, the spa has yet to open and they are still building the other half of the property. However, the pools are nice (and heated!) and we had a great time taking advantage of the cabanas directly on the beach. We stayed in an “ultra suite” which was absolutely gorgeous. It had a jacuzzi, a wrap around balcony, and each room had it’s own shower and bathtub. Online, this room is running for a little over $500/night, but worth it amongst friends.
As mentioned, most things happen at other resorts, so we also visited Pueblo Bonito resort. This resort is huge, consisting of actually 3 properties in one. Monte Cristo, which is up in the hills and consists of villas. Then there is Sunset, which is the largest of them all and hosts everyone, and Pacifica, which is adults only and down on the beach with a little over 100 rooms. This resort was fantastic and the most inclusive out of all the resorts I visited. Because the spa wasn’t finished in my hotel, I visited the spa here and boy was it an experience!
WHERE TO EAT
The best place I ate during my stay was at Captain Tony’s, which is downtown right on the marina. I went on a Friday night where there was a live band and an even livelier staff. We did get a bit lost in the Uber. You literally have to get out of the car and walk on the dock to get to the restaurant. The restaurant is right on the dock making it great for both people and boat watching. The food was out of this world. Seriously.
For an appetizer, we had sushi and everything tasted so fresh.
The guacamole was some of the best I have ever eaten and was made fresh for you at the table. The drinks were great and they have something for everyone including strong mixed drinks, a bevy of beers, and frozen drinks that put Wet Willie’s to shame.
I had the whole fried red snapper and it was seasoned to absolute perfection.
Another cool thing about the restaurant is that it also services boats with food who are heading out for the day. Also, whatever catch you bring back to shore, Captain Tony’s will cook it up right for you!
This restaurant should be on everyone’s radar in Cabo. It’s great for families, couples, whomever!
Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with the food in Cabo San Lucas. We went to the El Farallon. Everyone raved about this place. The views are incredible looking over a cliff. The experience is first class. You essentially pick your meal out before you even sit down and the first stop is the champagne bar. I would do this place for drinks, but not again for dinner. The food was bland and underwhelming for the almost $200.00 price tag/person.
WHERE TO RELAX
If you get bored of bountiful beach views or grow tired of lounging by the pool, you might want to think about booking a spa service. Remember when I discussed visiting Pueblo Bonito resort? Well, their spa is known as being one of the best in Cabo San Lucas and it didn’t disappoint.
The property is massive and walking to the spa, the minute you enter the grounds, you can feel the energy shift to one of relaxation and good vibes. There is a garden like area with a fountain and to the right is Armonia Spa. The general manager explained, “Our main purpose is that your guests experience the spa circuit, facilities and services we offer. They will feel pampered from check in until they finish their service.” You walk into the spa and check in. To the left, there is an area where you can buy products. They have skincare items and also great aromatherapy items. My friend bought several room sprays.
They have lots of organic and multi-treatments for guests. The general manager explained, “We developed the Organic Collection from the beginning and test every product. We started with the 3 Body Rituals and then we continued with teh facial, manicure, pedicure, and massage. The line was developed for a wellness purpose, the ingredients help the body, mind and spirit and offer an emotional and spiritual healing.” For my actual treatment, I got the Detoxifying Organic Ritual. I have only had one body scrub before and this gives you a body scrub and a massage all in one. The session begins with an exotic exfoliation featuring dead sea salts, juniper, laurel and jojoba essential oils that help leave your skin smooth and silky. Then a honey and aloe mask is applied to help with the detoxification and after you are all cleansed and washed you move into another room for a reductive and anti-cellulite massage. It was one of the most lovely experiences ever and I felt relaxed for days to come.
They use quality ingredients and give your first class service from the minute you step into the spa. I’d recommend this spa whether you are staying on the property or not. You simply have to call to make an appointment.
Afterward, I went back to the market hall at Sunset and had a lovely afternoon meal.
Overall, Cabo San Lucas is a trip to go if you just feel like staying on a resort or relaxing with friends. I think this would make a great couples trip as well. It is beautiful, but a beautiful beach where you can’t swim in the water? That’s not my idea of a vacation. Cabo is expensive so be prepared to spend money. It’s also designed for you to stay on your resort so you have to make it a point if you want to jump around.
There are also no direct flights from NYC, so the layover in Mexico City made for a longer travel experience. The travel length combined with the cost and the extra safety (I like to feel safe enough to go off the beaten path), hasn’t made Cabo a place I would necessarily go back. I would want to visit restaurants that locals go to and do activities off the beach, but it’s not that kind of town. If you are more mature and just want a relaxing vacation, Cabo is definitely for you. If you are a couple and just want some relaxation and alone time, Cabo would be a great vacation. It’s a good girls’ trip if you aren’t trying to find a turn up.
Have you been to Cabo? Tell me about your experience in the comment section.