Once upon a time, the typical Cabo visitor chose this destination for one reason: to catch big fish. These days, any number of pastimes might inspire a trip to the southern tip of the Baja peninsula.
What brings them all to the western edge of the Mexican republic? Striking tropical-desert scenery, uncommon wildlife, pristine beaches, friendly residents, five-star resorts, and nearly perfect weather all year round. And that’s just the beginning of the list.
Scuba divers enjoy tropical conditions in a variety of underwater environments. Surfers find waves on both sides of the peninsula, depending on the season. Kayakers can paddle from island to island or beach to beach in the lower Sea of Cortez. Eco-minded travelers can participate in sea turtle conservation programs.
Outdoor recreation may be the primary draw, but Baja offers plenty of opportunities for cultural experiences as well. A distinctive bajacaliforniano cuisine is emerging in the larger towns. In addition, San José del Cabo and Todos Santos host vibrant contemporary art scenes, while La Paz offers opportunities to learn about Baja’s colonial history.
The Cape Region of Baja California Sur, resembles a diamond-and-emerald pendant floating on azure seas. It extends from Cabo San Lucas to La Paz, and from the Pacific Ocean to the Sea of Cortez, and it contains one of the most popular and fastest-growing destinations in all of Mexico, the Los Cabos Corridor. World-famous resorts, including Las Ventanas al Paraíso, Esperanza, and the One&Only Palmilla, have staked their claim to secluded beaches along this stretch of coastline, bringing with them international chefs, luxurious spas, and championship golf courses.
Beyond the five-star resorts, many out-of-the-way places in the interior and along the coast receive but a trickle of visitors. The historic mining and farming towns of San Pedro, El Triunfo, and San Bartolo take you back in time. A network of hiking trails traverses the Sierra de la Laguna, leading to a number of freshwater springs and waterfalls. And many miles of undeveloped beach lie along the West Cape, a short drive from Cabo San Lucas, and along the East Cape north of Punta Pescadero and south of Bahía Los Frailes.
Two protected marine parks help safeguard the abundance of marinelife. Just beyond the Cabo San Lucas harbor, Bahía San Lucas is easily accessible by kayak or water taxi. Farther afield, Bahía Pulmo supports a living coral reef that begins in waist-deep water just beyond the village center. You can be swimming among moray eels, puffer fish, guitarfish, and gentle nurse sharks within minutes of your arrival in Cabo Pulmo.
Long-time Baja travelers will tell you that the Cape Region has changed — that it’s not the offbeat destination it once was. In many ways, they are right. Costco and Home Depot have arrived. The coastal real estate market is in a frenzy. And there are more upscale options than ever before. But though they may pine for the days of deserted beaches and long gas lines, these seasoned travelers are still returning year after year. Whether you are planning your first trip or your 20th, you are sure to find your own tropical paradise.
© Nikki Goth Itoi from Moon Baja, 9th Edition