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About Chris Sands

Chris Sands is the author of Bohemia by the Bay, and writes about wine, golf, and travel for publications such as Baja.com, Los Cabos Guide, Los Cabos Magazine, 10 Best, and USA Today. He is a full-time resident of Cabo San Lucas.

6th Edition of the Los Cabos International Film Festival Kicks Off in Cabo San Lucas

The spotlight shone on Cabo San Lucas last night for the gala premiere of the Los Cabos International Film Festival, the 6th edition of which takes center stage in the Land’s End city from November 8 – 12.

Luminaries walked the red carpet at El Pabellón Cultural de la República, pausing for photographs and conducting impromptu interviews with the throng of national and international media pressed against velvet ropes.

The governor of Baja California Sur and the state’s Secretary of Tourism were among the many prominent regional figures in attendance, but the headliners were the Mexican film and television stars who graced the red carpet: Lidia Brito, Paulina Goto, Horacio Panchini, Christian Chávez, Cata Marín, Zuria Vega, Paty Lozano, and more. All were on hand for the opening night screening of Battle of the Sexes, a much buzzed about new film about the landmark 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King starring Emma Stone and Steve Carell.

The Los Cabos International Film Festival kicked off its 6th edition last night in Cabo San Lucas, with a red carpet gala at the city’s Pabellon Cultural de la Republica. Photo by Michael Mattos.

Big names and gala screenings have always been the major attention grabbers at the festival – Hollywood stars who have attended in past years include Edward Norton, Matt Dillon, Reese Witherspoon, Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor – but its main goal is to promote collaboration between the film industries of México, the U.S. and Canada. Hence, the festival’s long-running motto, “Come and see what the neighbors are doing.”

In addition to behind the scenes industry meetings, some 40 films will be featured this year, either at El Pabellón or at Cinemex Theaters at Puerto Paraíso Shopping Mall on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Tickets for the screenings at Cinemex are once again available to the general public, and offer an opportunity to share in one of the region’s signature cultural events.

Los Cabos International Film Festival

Battle of the Sexes, a film about the landmark 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King, is one of more than 40 films featured at the 6th annual Los Cabos International Film Festival.

This year’s festival is the first under new director Hugo Villa Smythe, who succeeds former festival director Alonso Aguilar Castillo. Smythe is the current General Director of Mexico City’s Film Commission – an important national position – and thus his commitment to the LCIFF confirms its status as the premiere festival in México, and one of the most important and influential in the hemisphere.

Under Smythe’s guidance, three new prizes will be awarded this year, adding to a list that already includes more honors than any festival in Latin America. Winners for contemporary films and those honored for career achievements will receive La Ballena de Los Cabos, a whale-shaped, gold or silver gilded award that was unveiled last year.

Today’s highlights are expected to include a press conference at The Resort at Pedregal for Paul Schrader, and the gala screening at El Pabellón Cultural of the new Alexander Payne film Downsizing, which stars Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz and Kristen Wiig. Schrader is being honored with the festival’s yearly Tribute Award, and the Taxi Driver writer and long-time director will have two of his films shown this week:  First Reformed and Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

For more information about tickets and screenings, visit www.cabosfilmfest.com.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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Top 5 New Hotels and Resorts in Los Cabos

“Every act of creation,” noted artist Pablo Picasso, “is first an act of destruction.” That adage certainly seems true in regards to one of the most remarkable chapters in recent Los Cabos history, as the widespread destruction of Hurricane Odile in 2014 kicked off an unprecedented building boom that three years later continues to transform the coastlines of cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo.

Not only did existing hotels and resorts in the area take advantage of the forced downtime  following the Category-4 storm to organize upgrades and renovations, but larger hospitality brands took advantage of the new growth friendly economic climate to launch their own luxury projects. Between 2014 and 2018 it is estimated that 4000 new hotel rooms will have come online in Los Cabos, pushing capacity from 14,000 to 18,000. That’s a whopping 28% percent increase, but sheer numbers only tell part of the story.

Big-name brands are moving in with a vengeance. Ritz-Carlton and Four seasons are scheduled  to open properties in the region within the next year, the former at Puerto Los Cabos, the latter at La Ribera on the Los Cabos municipality’s spectacular East Cape. Le Blanc and parent company Palace Resorts also plan to open a Los Cabos based resort later this year, following the success of their flagship Mexican property in Cancún. Hard Rock and Nobu are slated to open resorts at Diamante in Cabo San Lucas in 2018.  

Not all the high-profile properties, however, are still under construction. Some of the most spectacular ones have already opened.

Here are five of our favorites:

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences

With the exception of its magnificent swimming pools – which stretch successively for over 400 meters, inclining gently downhill towards the Sea of Cortés with the majesty of a Grand Canal – one could almost accuse this newly launched resort of having too much class…of displaying an un-Cabo like disdain for conspicuous consumption. This philosophy of understated rather than ostentatious elegance is perfectly consistent, however, with that of nearby Esperanza, a  luxury property that is also managed by the distinguished Auberge brand. And to be perfectly clear:  the resort and residences offer a world-class experience on every level.

Each of the 60 hotel rooms and 32 multi-bedroom suites enjoy gorgeous vantages of Chileno Bay, at a site not far from that occupied by the original Los Cabo “luxury” resort, Bud Parr’s Hotel Cabo San Lucas. A kids club and game room are among the many family-friendly amenities, adding  to a portfolio that already includes the spectacular pools, a superb 18-hole golf course designed by Tom Fazio, and one of the finest restaurants in Los Cabos. The latter would be COMAL, a Latin American themed eatery helmed by Yvan Mucharraz, who made his reputation locally as the Executive Chef at The Resort at Pedregal. Stunning views and delicious food and drinks headline the offerings at Comal, while tacos and tequila reign supreme at beachside bar TnT.

Top 5 New Hotels and Resorts in Los Cabos

Chileno Bay Resort & Residences

Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa

Everyone knows the first law of real estate – location, location, location – but few have taken advantage of its possibilities quite like Breathless. The new resort opened in December 2015 at the juncture of Médano Beach and the Cabo San Lucas Marina, and has been taking guests’ breath away ever since. One infinity pool looks out at the Sea of Cortés and the Land’s End headland that marks the terminus of the Baja California peninsula; the other overlooks the multimillion dollar luxury yachts in the Marina and the movie star mansions that seem to cling perilously to the Pedregal hillside. The gorgeous views are only part of the allure, however. In addition to its 169 stylishly appointed suites – all boasting private balconies – the luxurious property also showcases an indulgently pampering spa, a superb collection of restaurants, and an onsite party scene that never seems to stop…or even to grow stale. The latter achievement is sustained through unceasing variety, from fashion shows, dance contests and toga parties to karaoke nights, talent contests and bonfire lit beachfront fiestas. Celebrity chef Richard Sandoval’s La Biblioteca de Tequila also adds to the party hearty atmosphere at this seaside gem.

Top 5 New Hotels and Resorts

Breathless Cabo San Lucas Resort & Spa

Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort

The biggest news since Grand Velas’ grand opening in December 2016 was the announcement that the boutique Tourist Corridor based property now serves the most expensive tacos in the world. Pairing options for the $25,000 tortilla wrapped treats – whose ingredients include caviar, Kobe beef, lobster, black truffle infused brie, and actual gold flake – are in some cases even more exhorbitantly priced.

Remarkably, the onsite restaurant that makes these tacos, Frida, is not the resort’s signature dining establishment. That would be Cocina de Autor, whose modest 17-course pairing menus are overseen by chef Sidney Schutte, winner of two coveted Michelin stars while helming Librije’s Zusje at the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam. Even more impressive, perhaps, is the onsite spa, a 35,000 square foot facility so preposterously pampering it would cause a corrupt Roman emperor to blush.

Lest one think, however, that Grand Velas is only affordable to billionaires and blue bloods, we should point out that this newly launched luxury resort is actually an all-inclusive (well, except for the tacos). The strikingly shaped structure, seen in profile, resembles nothing so much as a large cruising yacht, an appropriate touch from a family owned hospitality company whose name in Spanish (Vela) means sail. The unique design also ensures that guests in all 304-suites have panoramic views of the golden sands of El Tule Beach, and beyond that the glittering blue waters of the Sea of Cortés.

Top 5 New Hotels and Resorts

Grand Velas Los Cabos Resort

Cachet Beach Hotel

There are few places in Cabo San Lucas that remind one favorably of Miami Beach, but Cachet Beach Hotel, with its lively atmosphere and whitewashed retro style façade, is certainly one of them. The hotel would not look out of place on Collins Avenue, but also seems perfectly placed on the golden shores of Playa El Médano, the largest and most popular beach in Cabo San Lucas.

Cachet is the butterfly to the moth that once was Cabo Villas Beach Resort. Not only has the property been rebranded, but is slowly being rebuilt in graduated phases. The beach club and boutique beachfront accommodations are already completed, as is the multi-level ALETA Seafood Bar & Grill. ALETA is in the capable hands of Edgar Roman, long-time chef for Grupo Mi Casa, and notable member of the Chefs al Rescate (Chefs to the Rescue) charitable organization. Locals will be very familiar with the chef’s culinary mastery, and also with the beachside dining area, which used to house the second Baja Cantina location.

Much remains to be done, including the temporary relocation of Baja Brewing Company’s beloved rooftop restaurant for the construction of a new tower, but Cachet has already established itself as one of the premier spots on Médano Beach for poolside party action, and drinking, dining and live entertainment.

Top 5 New Hotels and Resorts

Cachet Beach Hotel

The Towers at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica

One of the most intriguing aspects of the recent building boom is its transformative impact on the Pacific Coast, just north of Cabo San Lucas. Diamante, a 1,500 acre resort and residential development, already boasts spectacular golf courses from major champions Davis Love III and Tiger Woods. The former’s Diamante Dunes is currently ranked as the 38th best course in the world by GOLF Magazine, while the latter recently added an Oasis short course to accompany his parkland style El Cardonal loop.  Not content to rest on its substantial laurels, Diamante is also adding lodgings from big-name hospitality brands Nobu and Hard Rock to its portfolio, with both slated to open by 2018.

Nearby Pueblo Bonito Resorts founder Ernesto Coppel Kelly has also been making ambitious moves. The Mazatlán born hotelier’s Quivira development, notable for its stunning Jack Nicklaus designed golf course, is adding a new luxury hotel from St. Regis. The 120-room property will also feature 60 opulent private residences, and is expected to open in 2021. This exciting news comes on the heels of the recent unveiling of a resort-within-a-resort concept at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica, already the most impressive of Pueblo Bonito’s four resorts in Los Cabos. The newly minted Towers at Pacifica showcase breathtaking beachfront Pacific views, of course, but also offer world-class amenities.

Chef Octavio Hernández was lured away from Médano Beach based luxury benchmark Hacienda Beach Club’s signature restaurant to helm Península, The Towers at Pacifica’s ode to regional Baja California Sur cuisine and tropical romance. Guests in the 47 new Towers suites also have access to a VIP lounge and state-of-the-art fitness facilities, as well as tee time privileges at Nicklaus’ cliffside masterpiece, Quivira Golf Club. The presidential suite is posh even by Los Cabos standards, boasting 3,200 square feet of exquisite appointments, and round-the-clock butler service. Those on the ground floor, meanwhile, have their own butlers, plus private plunge pools, lest they have to walk 20 yards to the adults-only property’s nearest infinity pool.

Top 5 New Hotels and Resorts in Los Cabos

The Towers at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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New Blue Thai Martini Bar Livens Up Los Cabos Dining, Drinking Scenes

Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Always Blue

If you happen to be in Cabo San Lucas, don’t be alarmed by the audible sounds of pleasure emanating from the vicinity of Plaza Bonita. It’s nothing illicit or illegal. No bordello has opened in the commercial triangle between Starbucks, Liverpool and the broad boardwalk promenade that fringes the Marina. No hedonistic group of free love advocates has chosen the plaza’s beautiful interior courtyard as the site of their annual convention.

No, those sounds you hear are from a crowd of long-time locals, exhaling gratefully after the first sip of an expertly shaken (or for purists, stirred) martini, or gasping delightedly as forks filled with pad thai noodles reach long deprived taste buds.

It’s not an orgy…not in the traditional sense…just the grand opening of the eagerly anticipated Blue Thai Martini Bar.

If martinis and Thai food seem like commonplace pleasures hardly worth getting worked up over, welcome to Cabo, where the sophisticated and the hopelessly provincial have always existed in close proximity.

Los Cabos is currently in the midst of the biggest building boom in its history, with a luxurious new crop of resorts filling out the coastline, from the far western shores of Cabo San Lucas to the East Cape that lies beyond the border of San José del Cabo. Some of the world’s most famous brands are moving in, including Nobu, Hard Rock, Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons.

Each brings its own spectacular beachfront accommodations, its own pampering spas, and its own special access to world-class golf courses. That’s the minimum standard to compete with the international collection of luxury brands that are already here.

When it comes to the drinking and dining scene, however, Los Cabos might as well be lost in the dark ages, clinging to the farthest edge of a flat earth. For most of its tourist history, the area claimed little besides a homogenous batch of Mexican restaurants, with some mom and pop operations, some street corner taquerías, and a few marisquerías specializing in the superb local seafood.  

It’s only in the last two decades that local restaurants have embraced a more international flavor, although this “global” outreach resulted mostly in an overabundance of Italian themed bistros and pizzerias, and a roughly equal number of Japanese inspired sushi restaurants. Good luck trying to find a pierogi or a po’ boy sandwich, much less pad thai or a bowl of Vietnamese style pho soup.

The Saturday, July 22 opening of Blue Thai Martini Bar is thus a big step forward towards a more…excuse the expression….cosmopolitan future. Yes, locals and visitors alike will still be able to get their fill of fresh fish tacos and salt-rimmed margaritas, but they’ll at least have the option of something a shade more sophisticated.

New Blue Thai Martini Bar Livens Up Los Cabos Dining, Drinking Scenes

Much of the interest surrounding the grand opening of Blue Thai Martini Bar is based on the fact that it is unquestionably new; not just in the sense of a new bar and restaurant, but a new approach, a new atmosphere, a new style. There simply are no other Thai food restaurants or martini bars in Cabo San Lucas. The two ideas may not be completely original locally – others have dipped their proverbial toes in the water, albeit briefly – but Blue Thai is the first to fuse them together in one overarching concept. It feels fresh and exciting because it is.     

Set in the heart of the downtown nightlife district, Blue Thai reimagines the classic Cabo party experience. Forget tequila shots, tacos and Sammy Hagar songs. Step into a world of colorful contrasts:  where the menu is simple but the flavors never are, where strangers become friends around a communal fire pit, where jokes are told in both English and Spanish, where the ingredients are never cheap but the prices are never expensive, where the cast of characters always seems familiar but the stories never get old, where cold beers are always available but cocktails rule.

Like the old bridal saw – “something old, something new…” – Blue Thai balances the novelty of its concept with a bit of old-school seasoning, thanks to the well-established track record of its partners:  long-time Cabo Blue owners Scott and Amanda Osborne, and local men-about-town Kirk McCormick and Eric Gausepohl. All four are veterans of the local drinking and dining scene; familiar faces to both the U.S. and Canadian expat crowd, as well as the seasonal visitors who return year after year.

This experience shows in their new endeavor. Blue Thai may be minty fresh, but it also showcases some of the signature elements that have made Cabo Blue a perennially popular downtown hangout since it opened in 2011.

Daily specials and live music are the most reliable ingredients in this now time-honored formula. Each day is expected to bring new budget-friendly pleasures at Blue Thai, from Thursday Ladies’ Night staples like 2×1 martinis, to the occasional $1 drink specials and discounted menu items.  Televised sporting events can also be counted on, from UFC action to Monday Night Football; and weekends will bring live music from a host of local performers, ranging from romantic balladeers to rollicking rock n’ rollers.

New Blue Thai Martini Bar Livens Up Los Cabos Dining, Drinking Scenes

As of today, Land’s End residents (however temporary) can sample and savor edamame, wontons, fresh basil rolls, pho soup, pad thai, red curry and masaman curry potatoes…not to mention Cosmopolitans, Lemon Drops, Espresso Martinis, Manhattans and a hundred other creative, icy cold martini style cocktails.

As of today, Blue Thai is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; with delicious daily food and drink specials, and regular live music performances.

As of today, Los Cabos becomes a little bit newer, a little bit bluer, and quite a bit more interesting.

This was a long time coming…but now it’s here.

¡Salud!  

 

Blue Thai Martini Bar is located at Plaza Bonita in downtown Cabo San Lucas. To find out more about this eagerly awaited new drinking and dining spot, call (624)  143-7323, visit bluethaicabo.com, or go to www.facebook.com/BlueThaiCabo/.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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Sea Turtle Season Opens in Los Cabos

Most visitors to Los Cabos know about whale watching season, the period from December through March when gray and humpback whales make their annual migration to breeding grounds off the coast of Baja California. Although its been considerably less publicized, the Capes region also has a sea turtle season, with five of the eight extant sea turtle species nesting on Baja California beaches from July through February. The turtles aren’t nearly as photogenic as the whales, but which is more satisfying: watching a brief but spectacular breaching by a humpback, or participating in a hands-on program to save area sea turtles from extinction?

Los Cabos isn’t the only nesting ground for Olive Ridley and Leatherback turtles, but female sea turtles generally return to the beach where they themselves were born. They’re sentimental that way. These two species represent both ends of the sea turtle spectrum. Olive Ridleys are the smallest sea turtle, and average about 100 pounds at maturity. Leatherbacks, on the other hand are the largest of the sea turtles, and may be up to 70 inches long, and weigh as much as a ton. A bit of trivia: Leatherbacks are the fastest reptiles on earth (in the water, of course), and one of the deepest divers as well, able to submerge to depths of more than 4,000 feet. Olive Ridley females nest in Los Cabos from July through December, Leatherback females from November through February.

Once sea turtles mature, they have very few predators, but the hatching process is fraught with danger. After a two month incubation process, hatchlings claw their way out of the nest and instinctively edge their way towards the sea. Unfortunately, many are eaten by birds and crabs before they reach the water, and those that do often fall prey to ocean predators or fishing nets. Increasing resort development is also a major problem, as the lighting from hotels and housing developments disorients the fledgling sea turtles, and often leads them in the wrong direction.  As such, hatchling nursery programs have become hugely important in improving sea turtle survival rates, and there are several very good ones in Los Cabos.

Leading the charge is the 2000-acre San Cristobal Nature Preserve, which extends over several Pacific-side beaches north of Cabo San Lucas. The nature preserve is run by the non-profit group ASUPMATOMA (Association for the Protection of the Environment and the Marine Turtle in Southern Baja).

Now that nesting season has begun, ASUPMATOMA is offering several programs that allow locals and visitors the opportunity to help protect these magnificent creatures, and the donations required are minimal.

NIGHT PATROL:  July 1 – October 30

Keep the predators at bay, as you spend a night camping and patrolling with local marine biologists. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn about sea turtles, and to experience Baja in the wild. All that’s required is a small donation of $25 U.S. per person.

ADOPT A NEST:  July 1 – October 30

Protect an entire family of sea turtles, keep their nest clean, and shepherd them on their most important journey. The photographs and memories will last a lifetime, and ASUPMATOMA also includes an informative kit. This program is available for a donation of $25 U.S. per person.

ADOPT A SEA TURTLE:  September 1 – December 15

Help a sea turtle navigate his or her way to the sea, and in the process receive a certificate with your name and the name of the newest member of your extended family. This life-changing experience is only $20 for adults, $15 for kids 12 and under.

To take part in one of these important programs, contact ASUPMATOMA at asupmatoma.org, visit their Facebook page, or call their office at (624) 143-0269.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Few areas in the world boast as many five-star resorts and boutique luxury hotels as Los Cabos, all of them attempting to outduel their competitors with a never-ending array of stylish features and sophisticated amenities.

The coastlines of cape cities Cabo San Lucas and San José del Cabo are now lined with resorts showcasing celebrity chefs, pampering spas and championship-level golf courses. Those are the conventional lures.

In 2017, however, it takes much more than a spa so sumptuous it would stagger a corrupt Roman emperor or a cliffside masterpiece from a legendary golfer to move the proverbial needle. Local hoteliers must create something newer, fresher and more inspired.

With that in mind, here are five of the coolest features and amenities currently offered by local lodgings.

Underground Recording Studio – Hotel El Ganzo

 

No local hotel has been more committed to the arts than El Ganzo. Even its name – a portmanteau word combining el ganso, the Spanish word for goose, with gonzo, the wide-open journalism style pioneered by the late Hunter S. Thompson – is illustrative of a specific artistic sensibility, a singular aesthetic.  As if to prove this point, the hotel itself is a work in progress, its façade and 70 fashionably appointed rooms and suites perpetually in the midst of a metamorphosis thanks to the work of many talented artists in residence.

The boutique, Puerto Los Cabos based property offers many remarkable features and amenities, from full moon yoga and rooftop concerts to the complimentary use of vintage bicycles. The state-of-the-art underground recording studio, however, is the hotel’s trademark feature, its sui generis resource….even though it isn’t available to guests.

Big-name musicians have counted among the artists in residence, and some have used their time here to memorable advantage. Mexican singer and songwriter Natalia Lafourcade recorded her acclaimed album Hasta la Raíz here, a project that led to a Grammy Award, two Latin Grammys, and a documentary that premiered at the 2016 Los Cabos International Film Festival. Grammy nominee Sara Bareilles and Thievery Corporation are among others to have recorded at the unique facility.

World’s Most Expensive Taco – Grand Velas Los Cabos

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Grand Velas had been open for only a few months when it unveiled what is believed to be the most expensive taco in the history of the world. For a mere $25,000 – U.S. dollars, of course – guests and visitors can experience the ultimate in tortilla-wrapped treats. Caviar, Kobe beef, lobster and black truffle infused brie are among the many fillings, with bits of real gold flake thrown in for color. This monument to conspicuous consumption was created by Juan Licerio Alcala, chef at the resort’s Mexican themed restaurant Frida, and is best paired with a cup of wild civet coffee, or perhaps a shot of rare, ridiculously expensive tequila.

If the taco seems a bit rich for your taste, may we recommend the more modest 17-course pairing menu at Cocina de Autor, the onsite dining establishment helmed by Sidney Schutte. The chef and native Nederlander was awarded two Michelin stars for his work at Librije’s Zusje at the Waldorf Astoria in Amsterdam before being lured away by the Vela family. The resort’s striking sail-like architectural features, by the way, are a nod to the Vela name, which means both sail and candle in Spanish. The family now operates three Grand Velas properties, with the recently launched Los Cabos luxury all-inclusive joining sister properties on the Maya and Nayarit Rivieras.

SOMMA WineSPA – Grand Fiesta Americana

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Chardonnay is available by the glass at Grand Fiesta Americana, but it and fellow grape varietals like Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon are also integral parts of the wellness treatments at the resort’s unique SOMMA WineSPA. The vinotherapy focused spa is the first of its kind in México, using antioxidant-rich polyphenol extracts from wine grapes as key ingredients in massages, body wraps, scrubs, facials and other bespoke exfoliations.

SOMMA enjoys a spectacular setting, a cool and cavernous space accessible only via an enormous staircase, occupying a privileged position amid the luxurious all-inclusive on the shores of Shipwreck Beach (the beach takes its name from the Inari Maru, a Japanese longline fishing vessel that went aground there in 1965).

The spa also reaps benefits from the explosion of high-quality wines being produced in Valle de Guadalupe, a wine growing valley just outside Ensenada that accounts for a very large percentage of the nation’s table wines. The region’s wine grapes are creatively integrated into a variety of treatments, and also served up in finished form as a relaxing adjunct to the SOMMA experience.

Hook & Cook Special – Pueblo Bonito Pacifica (The Towers at Pacifica)

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

Cabo San Lucas as a tourist destination was built on big-game sportfishing. For those with the inclination but not the constitution for rolling waves and heaving decks, Pueblo Bonito’s newly completed The Towers at Pacifica has a solution:  the Hook & Cook Special. Each Wednesday, Chef Octavio Hernández and his team invite a group of up to six guests to cast lines directly from the resort’s pristine beach. Beginners needn’t worry. The chef offers the requisite coaching, and the catch of the day is a foregone conclusion. Once the fish have been reeled in, the chef prepares the freshest ceviche guests have ever tasted, sliced and diced for a beachfront feast served with Dover sole, baby scallops and sea bass, and accompanied by a variety of salsas, infused oils and emulsions.

The Towers at Pacifica is the latest triumph for Pueblo Bonito, which operates four first-class properties in Cabo San Lucas:  Blanco, Rosé, Sunset Beach and Pacifica. The latter two enjoy gorgeous settings overlooking the Pacific Ocean, as well as convenient access to the spectacular Jack Nicklaus designed Quivira Golf Club, voted best new international course in 2015 by GOLF Magazine. Those enamored with Chef Hernández’s fare can also experience his culinary mastery at the Towers’ new flagship restaurant, Península.

Wedding Chapel – One&Only Palmilla

5 Unusual Hotel Features and Amenities in Los Cabos

In 1958, the son of a former Mexican president named Abelardo “Rod” Rodríguez Montijo opened the first modern resort in Los Cabos:  the 15-room Hotel Las Cruces Palmilla; whose middle names referenced an earlier resort he had built southeast of La Paz. That fly-in resort, Rancho Las Cruces, helped to jump-start the tourist age in Baja California Sur, drawing celebrities like John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Desi Arnaz and U.S. president Dwight D. Eisenhower, who famously liked to work the barbecue grill.

Rodríguez’s first Los Cabos property was soon known simply as Hotel Palmilla, and after a massive renovation and rebranding, reemerged as One&Only Palmilla in 2004. It has been ranked as the finest resort in México nearly every year since. Private butlers may be Palmilla’s most famous amenity, but there are other ultra-luxury resorts in the area that offer similar service. No one, however, can match the sanctity and majesty of the resort’s historic chapel, which dates back over 50 years to property’s founding. The chapel is an eagerly sought commodity by the many couples who flock to Los Cabos for destination weddings, with added touches that include a horse drawn carriage for the bride, manned of course by a traditionally clad coachman and footman.

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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NOTHING BUT BLUE SKY

Activities Company Breathes New Life Into the Classic Cabo Experience

Fishing has always been king in Cabo San Lucas. Thousands of years before the first tourists began to arrive on the southernmost shores of the Baja California peninsula, the original inhabitants, the Pericú, were diving from bark logs to spear fish in the offshore waters. During the first half of the 20th century, decades before the first tourists began to appear, the local cannery was the most productive in all of Latin America.

The enduring snapshot image for modern travelers, however, is of a sun bronzed angler muscling in an enormous billfish from the fighting chair of an old-school charter boat. This was the image–a leaping marlin or sailfish trying to throw the hook–that not only launched tourism in Los Cabos, but birthed one of the world’s great contemporary sportfishing cultures.  

Blue Sky Cabo

Cabo San Lucas as a travel destination was built on big-game sportfishing. Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Cabo.

Tournaments like Bisbee’s Black & Blue, with its multimillion dollar payouts, were born from this image…which was, in fact, a very tangible reality. Thanks to its unique setting at the confluence of two major bodies of water, the Pacific Ocean and the Sea of Cortez, Cabo San Lucas had been blessed with an almost overwhelming abundance, not only of black, blue and striped marlin, but tuna and sailfish, wahoo and dorado, and a host of other sought-after pelagic species.

There was just one problem with the entire tourism infrastructure that developed around this amazing, sometimes once-in-a-lifetime experience:  What about the ones who didn’t fish? What about the women and extended family of the big-game billfish stalkers?

The local shift towards luxury accommodations and amenities that began in the 1990s was, at the most fundamental level, a response to this need. Spas were added at the big beachfront resorts so that women too could have a world-class destination experience. Restaurants pioneered barefoot fine dining with romantic, seaside tables in the sand, where diners were serenaded by crashing waves. An entire industry was formed around destination weddings, honeymoons and renewal of vows ceremonies. Smart, far-sighted boat owners also adjusted their priorities, complementing their fishing-intensive charters with couples friendly sunset cruises, and family and friends oriented snorkel outings.

No local company has embraced and exemplified this practical and philosophical shift as well as Blue Sky Cabo, whose owner Jim Korchinski, has reimagined the traditional Cabo fishing trip as a complete lifestyle experience.

Imagine being met at the airport, before being whisked away in a limousine or other suitably luxurious transport to your own home away from home…with all the modern conveniences…in a gated community with spectacular views of the half-mile Land’s End headland and the glittering blue waters of the Sea of Cortez. Sound good so far? Now mix a few unforgettable “only in Cabo” style adventures between cocktail sessions around the pool:  say swimming with manta rays, sharks or sea lions; watching 40 ton humpback whales breach spectacularly; or reeling in a blue marlin the size of a Volkswagen.

No worries at the airport. No issues with taxi drivers or hotel staff. No pressure or stress at any point, including from Blue Sky Cabo. Transportation and accommodation are all optional amenities, as are the tours themselves. Everything is custom tailored, specifically geared to the clients’ desires.

This ability to anticipate, in a comprehensive fashion, the needs and wishes of their clients–without ever trying to sell them on anything–is a big reason Blue Sky has enjoyed such remarkable success. The company quickly ascended to the very top of the TripAdvisor activities rankings for Los Cabos, and has remained a fixture there ever since (to read guest feedback, click here).

Fishing, of course, remains the centerpiece activity. Blue Sky Cabo’s experienced captains and crew maintain a superb fleet of similarly named fishing vessels:  including Blue Marlin (a cat quick 31’ Intrepid Express), Blue Star  (a handsome 32’ Luhrs), Blue Sky (a gorgeously fitted out 43’ Riviera), Blue Sea (an exquisitely appointed 60’ Bertram), and Blue Secrecy (a 125’ state-of-the-art Westport luxury yacht that also fishes). The boats are not only graduated in size and price, of course, but also in cabin and creature comforts. The Westport, for example, comes complete with wave runners, in case guests want to get an up-close look at an 84 million year old naturally occurring granite arch, or jet off for a romantic interlude on nearby Lover’s Beach.

For those less interested in fishing than in general water based fun under the Baja sun, Blue Sky Cabo offers plenty of other options aboard the same beautifully cared for boats. Spring Breakers and the young at heart can party like rock stars during afternoon booze cruises, checking out the action on nearby Médano Beach; snorkel jaunts showcase surreal underwater environments along the southern coastline, from reefs and shipwrecks to the teeming abundance of local marine life; sunset tours provide romantic “Champagne” moments amid magnificent natural backdrops (think “huge fiery red ball exploding in a kaleidoscopic burst of tropical colors beyond Land’s End”); floating, fun-filled bachelor and bachelorette cruises are a specialty too, thanks to the multi-talented crew.

These are the stars of the show, by the way. The captains grew up fishing these waters, and know the local conditions–from optimal fishing spots to seasonal species and their bait preferences–as well as the back of their well-calloused hands. Crew excel at just about everything, from fishing and dock hand duties to mixology and “margarita science.” There’s even a musician on hand for many tours, ready to belt out popular songs, croon romantic ballads, or sing dirty sea shanties. Like everything else aboard the Blue Sky Cabo fleet, it all comes down to client choice.

To find out more about fishing packages and other offerings from Blue Sky Cabo, visit www.blueskycabo.com, or call 624-177-7754 (1-866-261-3872 in the U.S.; 780-918-3344 in Canada). Discounts are available with the promo code CABOVIVO, but vary according to tour.

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels  and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, call toll-free (US/CAN) at 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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Pueblo Bonito Offers Turtle Protection and Release Program

Hundreds of endangered sea turtle hatchlings are set free on Cabo’s beaches

It’s that time of year! Summer marks the start of the nesting season for the sea turtles that call Los Cabos home. Through mid-December, hundreds of turtle hatchlings will make their way from the beaches of Cabo San Lucas to the sea. Because the hatchlings are easy prey for natural predators and humans, these gentle reptiles need all the assistance they can get in order to reach maturity and increase their numbers.

Since 2003, Pueblo Bonito Golf & Spa Resorts has made it an important part of the company’s mission to take part in ecological conservation efforts, notably Cabo’s world-renowned Turtle Protection and Release program. Pueblo Bonito believes in educating visitors and residents alike about the importance of active conservation. The annual Turtle Release program provides a fun and fascinating way to assist Mother Nature.

Pueblo Bonito offers turtle protection and release program

Each year, the resort’s team of naturalists observes adult female turtles during their annual summer return to Los Cabos. The beaches in Cabo are important nesting grounds for five species of sea turtles, three of which nest: Pacific Ridley, Leatherback and Galapagos Green Turtle.  Once the location of the nests is recorded, they are marked and protected after the female turtles return to sea. Fences and structures are erected to safeguard the nests from birds, animals and humans until the turtles hatch, usually from late September through mid-December.

For guests and owners visiting Los Cabos during the fall season, Pueblo Bonito offers the opportunity to assist conservation team members as they release the hatchlings from the protected nests. Guests and owners enjoy hands-on participation during a truly rewarding experience, one that creates wonderful memories as well as photo opportunities.

Because there is no way to know exactly when the turtles will hatch, there is no predetermined schedule for the releases. When the eggs in a nest begin to hatch, the director of the ecological program notifies the resort. The event is then organized to allow interested parties to participate. The release is scheduled for just before sunset on that same day. The newly hatched turtles are set free on the beach in front of Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Resort & Spa. In 2015, more than 420 hotel guests from Sunset Beach, Pacifica and Montecristo participated in 33 sea turtle liberations.

Owners visiting their homes in Quivira Los Cabos are invited to take part along with guests at the Pueblo Bonito resorts. Those visiting Los Cabos during the turtle release season can check with the concierge desk at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort for details:conciergesunset@pueblobonito.com.mx. The satisfaction of aiding an endangered species is an unforgettable experience!

Pueblo Bonito offers turtle protection and release program

Guests can check the resort’s Facebook page for updates and interesting information.

About Quivira Los Cabos

Quivira (pronounced key-vee-ra), Mexico’s premier luxury residential resort community, is situated at Land’s End on the Baja Peninsula, with more than three miles of pristine golden beaches, picturesque desert cliffs and panoramic ocean views. This exclusive 1,850-acre master-planned community, founded by renowned resort developer Ernesto Coppel, is a paradise of elegance, serenity and service. Occupying a spectacular natural landscape, Quivira Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, is complemented by an exclusive oceanfront clubhouse. Quivira Los Cabos is the ultimate destination for residents and guests to live, love and celebrate life.

About Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas

Pueblo Bonito Oceanfront Resorts and Spas has eight award-winning resorts in two destinations, Cabo San Lucas and Mazatlán, all offering luxury all-inclusive options. Each of the properties has its own personality, design and ambiance, yet all share the same high level of impeccable quality and distinguished atmosphere. In Cabo San Lucas, the adults-only Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort  is the ideal setting for a romantic getaway, while Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach Golf & Spa Resort, with its large, all ocean-view suites, is perfect for families. Montecristo Estates Luxury Villas, an exclusive gated community, features private two- or three-bedroom villas spaced along a bluff overlooking the Pacific. Pueblo Bonito Rosé Resort & Spa and Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos, both located on El Médano beach, have the best to offer vacationers looking to be right in the middle of all the Cabo action. In Mazatlán, the elegant jewel Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay Resort & Spa overlooks the Pacific Ocean and a private beach, while the charming Pueblo Bonito Mazatlán, is located in the famous Golden Zone. Both resorts are great for family vacations and romantic getaways.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For  more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Cage Fighting Comes to Cabo

The first ever MMA (mixed martial arts) event in Los Cabos, WTC III, was held July 2nd at the spectacularly situated outdoor theater of the Pabellón Cultural de la República, which looks out across the Cabo San Lucas Marina towards Land’s End.

It was a bit of a departure for the cultural center, which since its inception in 2011 has largely hosted dance recitals, book fairs and film screenings. On Saturday, however, an octagonal cage stood center stage, flanked by an announcer, scantily clad ring girls, and a brace of on-call EMTs. Beer vendors roamed the steeply graded stands selling cold cans of Tecate.

Cage Fighting Comes to Cabo

Photo courtesy of Mauricio Rodriguez.

Cabo combat sports aficionados were treated to 10 bouts across weight classes ranging from 121 to 185 pounds. Although half the combatants hailed from La Paz, other Baja locales were well represented – including Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo, Ciudad Insurgentes, Loreto, San Felipe and Ensenada – as were mainland states Sinaloa and Queretaro.

The officially sanctioned melee was organized by Mario Martínez, president of WTC (Welcome to the Cage) and owner of Malosos MMA Club in La Paz, and followed on the heels of two previously successful events in Baja California Sur’s capital city.

Unfortunately, local toughs Daniel Garcia (San Lucas) and Jose “El Primo” Castillo (San Jose) both went down in defeat. But the raucous crowd and high-level of sponsorship bodes well for future events, and Martinez has eyed Saturday, Dec. 3 as a target date for the next WTC event in Los Cabos.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For  more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Solmar Group’s Rancho San Lucas DevelopmentTaking Shape in Los Cabos

Exclusive coastal resort will feature a Greg Norman-designed golf course

Rancho San Lucas, an 834-acre master-planned resort community taking shape on a dramatic site along the Pacific Ocean 20 minutes from downtown Cabo San Lucas, will debut phase one of the development in winter 2017.

Greg Norman, whose design firm celebrated the opening of its 100th course in Australia earlier this year, has created a preliminary routing for Rancho San Lucas that features seven holes set in rolling dunes near the sea, ocean views from 17 holes and an island-style green.

Rancho San Lucas

Artist rendering of Solmar’s Rancho San Lucas development, set on the Pacific Coast north of Cabo San Lucas.

“Known for employing a ‘least-disturbance’ approach with his projects, a Greg Norman-designed course was a natural fit for Rancho San Lucas, a development devoted to conserving the true nature of its environment,” said Claudia Velo, Director of Marketing for Rancho San Lucas. “This partnership with Greg Norman solidifies Rancho San Lucas’ commitment to create a unique, quality product deeply rooted in the love for the land,” she added.

According to Brad Wheatley, Director of Golf Operations, the 7,263-yard, par-72 course will be carved into gently sloping terrain creased by deep arroyos and canyons. “It’s a gorgeous piece of property with beautiful cardon cactus and palo blanco trees,” Wheatley said.

During a recent design visit, Norman discussed numerous course improvements, including re-vegetation plans to conserve endemic flora and fauna and enhance the landscape’s natural features. “What a magnificent piece of Mother Nature I have to work with,” Norman said after his site tour. It (Rancho San Lucas) will be one incredible golf course within a truly unique development.” The course is expected to open by late 2017.

Rancho San Lucas

Situated along a 1.2-mile stretch of white sand beachfront backed by a thick desert forest, the community will be home to the destination’s second Grand Solmar property. Occupying a rustic, rural setting, Grand Solmar Rancho San Lucas Hotel & Resort, featuring a Mexican-Spanish architectural style, will offer a harmonious balance of modern luxury, natural beauty and environmental sensitivity.  A winter 2017 opening is planned for the 600-room hotel.

The residential offer at Rancho San Lucas includes two different real estate opportunities: The Estates and The Villas. The Estates, the community’s most exclusive address, has 32 single-level estate homes and 36 luxury condos. The Villas, located on the development’s highest vantage point, features 134 homes and spectacular views.

The resort community at Rancho San Lucas will include a Mexican-style shopping village with dining and entertainment options; a community park with a lake and amphitheater; a tennis center; and hiking and biking trails, among other amenities.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For  more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Boom Times in Los Cabos

Construction projects are booming throughout Los Cabos, from the Pacific Coast north of Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Los Cabos, the luxury development located just outside San Jose del Cabo. Even the East Cape – a 70 mile stretch of coastline known for its pristine beaches and off-the-grid communities – is not immune, with at least two new high-profile projects in the offing.

One need only drive the 20-mile tourist corridor which connects cape cities San Lucas and San Jose to see the incredible changes that are underway. Enormous building sites teeming with workers rise up every few miles, while the intervening highway lanes are littered with orange cones – for rerouting, and also for the additional entrances and exits needed to accommodate the ambitious new resorts that are transforming the coastline.

Ritz-Carlton, Four Seasons, Nobu, Hard Rock, VieVage, Montage, Solaz and Le Blanc are among the many brands moving into Los Cabos, pushing maximum hotel capacity from 14,000 to 18,000 rooms in the space of a few short years (2015 – 2018). That’s an increase of about 22%; a massive leap. And of course resorts in Los Cabos promise an impressive array of amenities, which means more new golf courses. Already home to 14 impressive courses, including three of the world’s 100 best loops (per Golf Digest), new Los Cabos layouts are on the way from major champions Fred Couples and Greg Norman, among others.

Boom times in Los Cabos

Construction continues at VieVage Los Cabos, a new resort and residential development at Chileno Bay.

Whether this meteoric growth is sustainable or not is a very good question. There are many reasons to believe it is:  steadily rising tourism rates in Mexico, increased numbers of flights and tourists to Los Cabos, and beefed up infrastructure most prominent among them.

Los Cabos saw a 14.7% rise in tourism in 2015, and Mexico as a whole has seen a similar jump in 2016. Flights to Los Cabos were up significantly in 2015, and more gains are expected as carriers take advantage of new liberalized aviation agreements between the U.S. and Mexico. Southwest Airlines, in particular, has ramped up flights to Los Cabos from destinations around the U.S., and is currently seeking permission to expand its Mexican service from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). A new toll road from the Los Cabos International Airport (SJD) to Cabo San Lucas has helped alleviate some of the traffic congestion in an area that is now home to almost 300,000 people.

But it is debatable how much these new developments help local merchants, who have suffered in the wake of the new trend towards all-inclusive resorts. One good storm or incidence of cartel related violence could set the area back substantially, and it still remains to see how a desert area with a limited water supply is going to cope with rapidly rising demands. Yes, desalinization is a requirement for new properties, but desalinization brings its own problems, including harmful impacts on local fish populations. You know, the reason tourists came here in the first place.

What’s not debatable is the remarkable comeback from the situation some 18 months ago, when the vast majority of hotels were still struggling to recover from Hurricane Odile, the category 4 storm that devastated the area during the evening and early morning hours of September 14 – 15, 2014. The storm, with sustained winds of up to 165 miles an hour, knocked out running water, not to mention phone and internet service, pretty much everywhere south of La Paz (530 transmission towers, 1350 transformers, and nearly 8000 telephone poles were put out of commission).

Boom times in Los Cabos

Billionaire Dennis Washington’s $150 million dollar yacht Attessa IV is often docked in Cabo San Lucas, and has become something of a symbol for the growth of the Land’s End city. Photo courtesy of Michael Kull.

Every place is engaged in a constant state of flux. The granite monuments at Land’s End may have been holding steady for 30 million years, but everything else in Cabo San Lucas seems to have been shifting and changing at a rapid rate, especially during the last 50 years.

In 1960 the community consisted of about 300 people,  and the center of commerce was a tuna cannery.  By 1970 several landmark hotels had been built, from tourist corridor based properties like Hotel Las Cruces Palmilla and Hotel Cabo San Lucas to the Hotel Hacienda on Medano Beach. The Transpeninsular Highway opened in 1973, the year dredging began on the Cabo San Lucas Marina. Baja California Sur became the 31st and final state of Mexico in 1974, and Don Luis Bulnes opened Hotel Solmar a few hundred yards from the cannery he had once managed. By 1990, the population of Cabo San Lucas numbered 16,059. Twenty years later it had grown to 68,464.

Hurricanes and other disasters arrived at intervals, as if to illustrate the inherent unpredictability of historical processes. There was even a tornado in the early 1970s, the first and hopefully the last.

CSL Plaza 1947

Construction booms are nothing new in Cabo San Lucas: this picture shows the building of the town square in 1947. Photo courtesy of Museo de Historia Natural de Cabo San Lucas.

I thought about change often after Hurricane Odile, when many of my favorite neighborhood hangouts in Cabo San Lucas were closing. Live in a place long enough and there is a history associated with every person and place you know. Walk by a certain storefront and the last three or six or nine businesses to inhabit the space spring immediately to mind, as well as the ways in which your life was different when each one was open. The change is constant and unstoppable. New businesses open. New people arrive. Old bars and restaurants fade away. Old friends die.

The influx of new hotels and resorts is just the latest manifestation of an age old cycle, one that has been going on since the first inhabitants, the Pericues, arrived on rafts from Melanesia some 10,000 years ago.  The whole place started going downhill, as far as the Pericues were concerned, when Hernan Cortes showed up in La Paz in 1535 seeking pearls and precious treasure; and escalated around 200 years later, when Jesuit missionaries began urging the men to foreswear their polygamous lifestyle. They beheaded Nicolas Tamaral, founder of the mission in San Jose, for that reason in 1734. But their rebellion didn’t staunch the onrush of change. The Pericues were culturally extinct a little over 30 years later.

And so it goes…into the present time, as people bemoan the developments encroaching upon Playas Chileno and Santa Maria, and the new luxury properties popping up like pimples on the East Cape, fouling its immaculate complexion.

Boom times in Los Cabos.

Beachgoers confront the new Montage Los Cabos development at Santa Maria Beach.

That the current massive growth spurt is causing consternation to many residents and long-time visitors is thus entirely predictable. Almost everyone who falls in love with a place wants it to stay just the way it is; if it were in their power, they would ban all progress from that point forward.

Who knows that during the first half of the 19th century Cipriano Ceseña, reportedly the first person to build a permanent dwelling in Cabo San Lucas proper, didn’t wince when he saw others moving in and think “there goes the neighborhood. “

Seen from that perspective, the Land’s End community has only been going steadily to hell for about 185 years.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For  more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

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