Cabo San Lucas, I miss you so

Oh, Cabo, you are the lover that I never had and never knew I wanted.

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Land’s End, Cabo San Lucas

Alright, alright… maybe that’s a bit much, but I can honestly say that I fell in love with Mexico all over again while in Cabo San Lucas! After many trips to the area around Cancun, Playa del Carmen, and Cozumel, I was beginning to get that deja vu kinda feeling. And yes, I know it’s beautiful, it really, really is…

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Playa del Carmen, 2009

…turquoise blue water, clear skies, picturesque palm trees, fruity drink in your hand, *insert record screech sound here*… I was ready for something different.

I pitched the idea of Cabo for Shannon’s 50th birthday, and everyone was in! So at the end of May, The Five (plus 2) headed out on another new adventure.

The Resort

We stayed at the all inclusive Sandos Finisterra resort on the tip of the Mexican peninsula. It is a beautiful resort that gives you both an ocean and mountain experience. It’s only 12 minutes to the famous El Arco and walking distance to the city. For my review of the hotel, click here.

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Sandos Finisterra

The Climate

Cabo is a different Mexico from Cancun. It is a tropical desert climate so it’s much drier. It was great to walk outside and not be completely drenched in sweat in under 5 minutes due to the high humidity. It was also much cooler than I’ve experienced in other parts of Mexico. We were there at the end of May, and the high was around 89, but the breeze! There were several days we sat in the shade at the pool bar and someone would suddenly go searching for sunshine because the breeze was so cool. I’ll take it!!!

The Beach

The beach is also much different. Cabo is on the Pacific side of Mexico, and according to Surfline.com, the wave height during the day gets to around 5 feet (probably more based on what I saw). You may think this sounds great for boogie boarding and light surfing, but the undertow is not to be ignored. There are several swimmable beaches that are listed here by Trip Advisor. I personally wouldn’t attempt it and certainly don’t recommend it. Find those safe, swimmable beaches and save the others for your beautiful photographs.

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Beach at Sandos Finisterra

Medano Beach

We made our way to Medano Beach, which is very popular due to the fact that it is lined with a lot of restaurants, bars, and shops. This is your party beach. It has a real Spring Break sort of feel. The only downside in my opinion, other than the fact that it can get crowded (go stake out your spot before 11 am), there are a lot of vendors. If you decide to go to Medano, I would recommend either moving your chairs down closer to the ocean’s edge, swimming, or finding a spot to “camp out” somewhere inside a beach-side restaurant. Most, if not all, of the restaurants do not allow the vendors to enter.

Young vendors petting a puppy
Young vendors petting a puppy. The business owners highly recommend that you do not buy from the children so that their parents will stop putting them in the position to sell to tourists.

Just a side note; I didn’t partake in the swimming because I’m a bit of a wimp when it comes to cold water…did I mention that the water temp was around 73 degrees? But if you can empathize and feel like you will miss out by not swimming in the ocean, don’t be discouraged! The water temperature does rise significantly in the later summer months. It jumps up to the mid 80’s from August thru October, which is much more in line with the Cancun ocean temperature.

The City

The city of Cabo was well maintained. There are plenty of tourist areas that look similar to other Mexican cities, but one thing that did impress me was that I didn’t seem to see quite as much poverty. I’m sure there are poor areas like you see in every other city, and we still saw people sitting on the sidewalk selling little trinkets in a few places. It just didn’t seem to slap me in the face like it has in other parts of the country.

I was curious about this, so when we returned I did a little research. I found 3 different sites that all agreed there is such a high volume of tourism that the unemployment rate is almost zero. I will not pretend that I’m up to speed on the economic standing of this town, or Mexico in general, but I was impressed with what I saw and love to see a beautiful place that seems to be thriving!

Source: Flickr
Source: Flickr

The Places

We had dinner at Maro’s Shrimp House. I give the food 4 out of 5, the cocktails 2 out of 5 (watered down), and the staff 6 out of 5! They were hilarious! They have a drink called a Bulldog that is quite popular. They also give free 7-Up and tequila shots that the staff generally serve in a very unique way. I won’t spoil the fun. Just get it. Or wait for someone to order it and get your video ready!

We also spent time at a little bar called Tanga Tanga. Small, lounge-like, and has open patios on both ends so you get the amazing outdoor breeze. The waitstaff was very friendly and quick. They also had an amazing local live band, that I really wish I would have gotten the name of. If you decide to give it a try, I can imagine it getting a little warm in the hotter summer months, so place yourself on the outside edges if possible. We did hear as we were leaving that the owner was selling the place. I hope that something just as good is still there when I go back.

The Favorite!!

Ahhhh, my favorite moment in Cabo…the sailing excursion. It was by far one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done. Like ever! We got a great discount on it for participating in the vacation club presentation; I actually went for free. But knowing what I know now, I honestly would pay double! It included a trip to a tequila tasting with time for shopping, the sunset sail with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, and dinner.

I’m not going to spend any time talking about the tasting or dinner. I will only say that it was a perfect start and end to the evening, and Gray Line transportation is awesome. What I really want to talk about is the sailing, because I didn’t want it to stop!

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We were set up with Cabo Sailing, and there were 9 guests total. There are 7 of us, so we almost had it as a private excursion. We had a crew of 3, and they were professional and very aware of keeping everyone safe. They were also a lot of fun. We sailed out toward Land’s End about 90 minutes before sunset to view El Arco, and the well-known Lovers and Divorce beach. There are birds and seals perched on the rocks, and some people were snorkeling in the area. This is in the marina so the water is much more calm.

We then headed out past Land’s End into the Pacific. At this point the wind really picks up and you are truly sailing! I felt just like Bob!!

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

It seemed like the Captain was testing the adventurousness of his passengers with a few questions here and there. Apparently he felt comfortable with our responses because then we were racing another sailboat back into the cove! It was extremely exciting!! The wind blowing, the sails whipping, the boat tilted at an angle and the sea spray hitting you in the face…I loved it!!!

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Once we got back into the cove, the sun was setting and we made our way back to the dock to head into town for dinner.

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I suggested to the Captain that I might just live on the boat with him and his crew for a while. He said that was fine with him, but I could tell his heart wasn’t in it. I’m pretty sure it was my hair that ruined the deal for me.

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I learned that it is impossible to have “good” hair on a sailboat…

So, needless to say, I’m back in the States; not on a sailboat with Ramone. I had the best time with wonderful people in a beautiful place. I will be back, Cabo. You can count on it!

El Arco
El Arco, you can only walk under the arch every few years. The locals said it was very unpredictable as to the timing. I could not find anything online stating exactly when it occurred last, but I believe someone on the sailing crew said it was in 2013, and they hope it will be visible again in 2017.

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