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THINKING OF TAKING A WINTER VACATION?

HOW ABOUT LOS CABOS, MEXICO?

By Gwen Sarginson, Flight Centre Associate, November 3, 2010

Let me start by saying I love Mexico.  I love the smell when I get off the airplane, that humid, warm, slightly organic smell that replaces the frigid, bone chilling air of a Manitoba winter. 

One of my favourite places in Mexico is Los Cabos. There is something for everyone- golfing, shopping, snorkelling, diving, fishing, whale watching, or just relaxing.  Located at the southern tip of Baja California Sur, Los Cabos refers to the 21 miles between and including Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.  This area has the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range in the background and the Sea of Cortez and Pacific Ocean in the foreground.  Coastal cliffs are lined with cactus.  It is one of the most picturesque areas I have visited.  El Arco, the rock arch that is the tip of Land’s End is one of the most photographed and distinguishing land marks of the area [see the first photo in this article]. The temperature remains consistent in the low 30 Celsius range, December to March, which makes it very comfortable to walk, relax by the pool or on the beach and the evenings cool off nicely.
  
Cabo San Lucas is modern with upscale restaurants, shops, and marina, as well, it is a stop for cruise ships.   Cabo San Lucas offers many shopping choices for visitors.   Water taxis cruise along the beach and are available to take tourists to and from the marina.   Even though our resort was only a 20 minute walk on the beach to Cabo San Lucas, after an afternoon of souvenir shopping, we took a water taxi back to our resort from the marina  and it cost about $10 US each.  As with any form of transportation in Mexico, determine a price up front before you get in.
 
San Jose del Cabo is a quaint colonial town which has managed to maintain its old world feel and relaxed atmosphere. Most of the shops and outdoor cafes are centered in the main plaza area.   San Jose del Cabo is a great place to find paintings, wood carvings, jewellery and hand crafted souvenirs.  Artists thrive in this city.  Take an afternoon to look around at the old buildings and to shop.

There are a number of very good resorts in the Los Cabos area, some are located closer to San Jose del Cabo and some are located closer to Cabo San Lucas. We were close to Cabo San Lucas at the Riu Santa Fe.  It was very nice and we were amazed at the view.  We were able to sit in the infinity pool and watch whales frolic in the distance.  What an experience!
 
Whale watching and snorkelling are two things we really enjoy doing while on vacation.  We took an excursion to snorkel at Santa Maria Bay.  The snorkelling was fun and enjoyable, the water was clear with a sandy bottom and schools of fish were everywhere.  There are many places to snorkel in Los Cabos and many companies available.  When choosing the company to use, consider the ages of your party, as some of the trips available are geared toward a mature crowd and may not be suitable for a younger  family.  Also consider your experience level; some of the snorkelling areas may have rougher water.   We used Pez Gato, and  the crew was very entertaining and ensured all aboard had a great time.   We also went on a whale watching excursion, which was an impulse decision, since we were at the Marina and decided to go.  Normally, I would not suggest taking excursions with companies that were not recommended by your destination representative, but as I said it was an impulse.   By boat, we were taken right up to El Arco and were able to see sea lions basking in the sun; we were so close that we could smell them.   They don’t have a pleasant smell.   Our guide pointed out the rock formations and how many of them have taken unusual shapes due to the waves crashing on them; you can see faces and shapes of people in the rock.   El Arco has other interesting features; it has two beaches hidden in the rocks around it, Lover’s Beach and Divorce Beach.  Lover’s Beach is on the calmer Sea of Cortez side and you can snorkel and swim from the beach.  Divorce Beach is on the rougher Pacific side, and may be better suited for sunbathing rather than swimming.  As we continued on, we came upon a small pod of whales-- first we saw their water spray and then we saw them breach.  You have to be quick with your camera, as it happens so fast, the whales are out of the water and back in before you know it.
  
We took an excursion to Todos Santos, a small town in the interior.  Along the way we stopped at a glass factory  with absolutely amazing craftsmanship that sells glassware around the wold.  We were given a glass blowing demonstration.  We were given an interesting  tour of Todos Santos, a nearby town.  If you have an opportunity to go to Todos Santos make sure you have lunch at the Hotel California and look for the Tulip Tree.  Todos Santos is full of crafts, artists, and jewellery.   Be sure to stop at Joyeria Brilanti or The Dragonfly.  Both locations showcase art and jewellery and are owned by the son and grandchildren of Anna Brilanti, one of the most renowned designers of silver jewellery from the area.
 
Sadly, our stay in Los Cabos ended.  I look forward to returning to explore more of the area. 

Things to be aware of: Because Los Cabos is relatively close to the  Unitesd States, March to April tend to bring the spring breakers to the area.  Many of the resorts put an age restriction on  guests. If you are under age 21, you must have an adult accompanying you.   There are peddlers on the beach, so  if you are not interested,  “no gracias” is usually sufficient for them to move on.  Bartering in the markets is expected, but not in the malls.  Speaking of beach, there is a very strong undertow and several of the resorts warn against swimming in the waters off the beach.


If you would like to visit Los Cabos or any other destination, I would be happy to assist you with your travel plans.  My contact information is [email protected].
 
Gwen Sarginson, Flight Centre Associate can be contacted at:
[email protected] 
P: 204-667-4050 F: 204-415-4930

 
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