Baja Bliss


If you picture a Cabo vacation as a tequila infused episode of Girls Gone Wild, think again.  Sure, you can find that scene if Animal House revelry is what you’re looking for. But, what Cabo does best these days is high-end hospitality – the whole enchilada from innovative cuisine to body, mind and soul pampering. Add in Windex-blue seas, a stunning desert landscape, lavish resorts and spas, golf courses, marinas and some of the most amazing marine life this side of the Galapagos and it’s no mystery why Cabo is Celebrity Central. And a Baja vacation need not be limited to Los Cabos – San José del Cabo + Cabo San Lucas. Be sure to check out Todos Santos and La Paz while you’re in the hood.

The good life

If you’re in the market for the good life, the living is luxe at two of the Peninsula’s hottest new resort communities – CAPELLA Pedregal, Cabo San Lucas and CostaBaja, La Paz. Equally serene and solitary, spectacularly designed and sumptuously inviting with over-the-top amenities and service, don’t be surprised if you find yourself scheming and dreaming how to make su casa, mi casa. I know I was!

Spalicious

It takes a lot for a spa to be named #1 Spa in Mexico and Latin America by Travel and Leisure magazine and Conde Nast Traveler UK, but that’s exactly the pedigree of the spa at Esperanza.  Feeling the travel fatigue? Book yourself an afternoon and enjoy handcrafted indigenous botanical products, indoor/outdoor treatment rooms, private soaking tubs, relaxation garden, cooling plunge pool and warming Baja sun. It’s spalicious.

Stay the night

I don’t know why, but when I think luxury hotel, Hilton isn’t the first name that comes to mind. But a stay at the Hilton Los Cabos Beach and Golf Resort disabused me of my ignorance. I experienced pampered hospitality from the moment I arrived. A Pool Concierge dispensed iPods, magazines, books, towels and drinks. Muy cool. And, did I mention executive chef Mauricio López? He’s a genius! Luxury at the Hilton? You bet.

Under sail

Sign on for Cabo Adventures’ America’s Cup Challenge and learn the ins and outs of yacht racing aboard an actual America’s Cup sailboat. Competing against another group of seamen, you can dive into the action and experience the real deal or just hang back and enjoy the view. Oh boy, surrounded by a crew of fine looking Kiwi and Aussie sailors, for the first time in decades, I wished I were 20 again.

All in the family

Melia Cabo Real resort, it’s luxurious, it’s all-inclusive… and it’s family heaven. Thanks to supervised kid’s clubs, hip teen hangouts and unlimited meals, beverages, activities and amenities, mama returns home happy - and so does everyone else.  Better yet, kids 0 – 12 years stay and play for free. Yay!

Tee Time

Arthur Hills Golf Course, Paraiso del Mar resort community and golf club, La Paz, Baja Sur, Mexico.

Scotland it most definitely is not. The towering cacti are a clue. Another hint, for the unsure, is the blistering blue sky. Nevertheless, the new Arthur Hills golf course at Paraiso del Mar in La Paz (100 miles north of Cabo) was created in the spirit of the classic links of the British Isles. Top off a game with a margarita and seafood tacos under a palapa roof café and putter back to town in the resort’s electric water taxi. 

Savor the flavor

Don’t let the resort fun distract you from a trip to San José del Cabo and the delicious Tequila restaurant. Beneath a canopy of fluttering mango trees and the warm glow of candlelit glass globes, you’ll enjoy dishes like yellow fin tuna polenta and chile rellenos flavored by locally grown ingredients, including herbs picked from the restaurant’s organic garden. And if you are feeling adventurous, ask them for a tequila tasting - the bar features over fifty different varieties.

Native wares

Many stores in Cabo are big on bling and brand. For a refreshing break from the generic designer labels, Necri Boutique sells unique Mexican pewter, wood, Talavera pottery and Majolica ceramics.  

Turtle TaLes

Sit down to dinner at a the Playa Grande Resort and watch as nesting sea turtles deposit their eggs into a sandy hole only a few feet from the beachside Brigantine restaurant. And when mama’s done her business, the resort staff is there to mark the nest for the protection of unsuspecting beachgoers and scavenging predators stopping by for their juevos rancheros.

Leatherback sea turtle Tinglar, USVI (5839996547)

Baja Essential: Sunscreens alone won’t protect you from sunburn. For stylish protection bring along TravelSmith’s Women’s Big-Brim Packable Panama. Not only does it provides shade, cool ventilation and a leather bolo to keep it from gusting away, but you’ll look Baja beautiful!

For visitor information and reservations: Los Cabos Convention and Visitors Bureau: (866) Los Cabos or (866) 567-2226; http://www.visitloscabos.travel/

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Ellen Barone has been creating words and images for travel and tourism since 1998. She co-founded and publishes the travel blog YourLifeIsATrip.com and is currently at work on her first book "I Could Live Here".