Los Cabos, Mexico's Leading Upscale Destination
Los Cabos has been one of Mexico's fastest-growing resort areas and, since the opening of Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort 13 years ago, has evolved into Mexico's leading upscale tourist destination.
Hollywood first discovered the destination in the post-World War II years when stars went down for the sport fishing and to relax in privacy. It was not until the 1980s that tourism emerged as more hotels and infrastructure began to be built. The pace of growth quickened in the 1990s with the opening higher-quality hotels, facilities and services. Then 1997 brought a turning point that paved the future of Los Cabos: the destination got its first Five Diamond, world-class resort property, Las Ventanas. Las Ventanas pioneered the luxury segment in Los Cabos and launched its evolution into Mexico’s most upscale destination. As Las Ventanas garnered growing international recognition for its extraordinary service and guest experience, the luxury segment blossomed in the new millennium with many new high-end hotels and resorts as well as revamped existing properties. Las Ventanas, however, has remained Los Cabos’ only Five-Diamond property.
That Los Cabos has been discovered is no surprise. There is so much here, in a pristine desert and marine environment of startling natural beauty. There's world-class sport fishing, snorkeling, scuba diving, yachting, sea kayaking, surfing and windsurfing. The golfer has four spectacular public courses to choose from including the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones II Cabo Real course that wraps around Las Ventanas. Excursions into the unspoiled desert landscape and whale watching are among the other activities enjoyed in the warm sun that shines year-round. Visitors experience the natural charm and quaintness of Colonial Mexico in the town of San Jose del Cabo with its cobbled streets, plaza and cathedral dating from the 1700s, excellent restaurants and shops with silver jewelry, hand-painted vases and other artisanry. In upbeat, vibrant Cabo San Lucas, tourists are immersed in Mexico’s ultimate tourist Mecca and fun city, teeming with restaurants, cafes on the sand, curio shops, boutiques and famous nightlife with dancing and music into the wee hours at numerous clubs and bars.
Lay of the Land: Located at the southern tip of Mexico's 1,000-mile-long Baja Peninsula, Los Cabos combines a starkly beautiful desert landscape with one of the world’s richest marine environments encompassing both the Sea of Cortez and the Pacific Ocean. The underwater wonderland here is teeming with extraordinarily abundant and diverse sea life, not to mention some of the world’s best sport fishing. The desert is a mosaic of color and texture with forests of saguaro cactus, indigenous plants such as the boogum and elephant trees that exist only here, sand dunes of Saharan proportions and stunning rock formations. The dramatic rock outcropping at land’s end by Cabo San Lucas, known as “El Arco” (The Arch), is the immediately recognizable symbol of Los Cabos.
The Tourist Corridor: Los Cabos (“The Capes”) is the general name given to the area but it refers more specifically to the “Tourist Corridor,” a 20-mile-long strip of white-sand beaches, hotels and resorts between the two towns at opposite ends of the Baja Peninsula’s tip, San Jose del Cabo on the eastern end and Cabo San Lucas on the western.
Weather: The warm, arid climate of the Baja Peninsula, where average annual rainfall is only about 10 inches, results in beautiful sunshine 350 days a year in Los Cabos.
Snorkeling & Scuba Diving: The Sea of Cortez is a colorful underwater world of beauty and wonder with living coral reefs, sand falls, ocean canyons, old shipwrecks to explore, and everything from tropical and schooling fish to hammerhead sharks, moray eels and turtles.
Sailing & Sea Kayaking: Los Cabos is a recreational sailor's dream with endless undeveloped coastline, small islands and open waters to explore. It is also a world-class sea kayaking destination with coves, inlets, water caves and beaches that are only accessible by kayak. Los Cabos is an excellent place to learn sea kayaking skills, as well, since the seas are generally calm.
Windsurfing & Surfing: Los Cabos is a windsurfer's paradise with good wind action, particularly from November through March. And surfing is excellent on the Pacific without the crowds typical of the surfing spots in northern Baja close to the California border.
Whale watching, wave runners and swimming with the dolphins are other activities enjoyed in the warm waters of Los Cabos.
Sport Fishing: Los Cabos is one of the world's great sport fishing destinations. The varieties of fish, in an area so compact and accessible, is unequaled anywhere else. It is particularly famous for its concentration of swordfish, sailfish and marlin, and in fact is known as “The Marlin Capital of the World.” In addition to big trophy fish, you can catch everything from Dorado (mahi mahi) and tuna to roosterfish, halibut, wahoo and corvina. The destination is renowned for its many big-purse fishing tournaments each year.
Golf: Los Cabos has evolved into one of Mexico's leading golf destinations, boasting four public 18-hole championship courses designed by some of the biggest names in golf course design: Robert Trent Jones II-designed Cabo Real, which wraps around Las Ventanas with the 15th hole played at the water’s edge; Cabo Del Sol Ocean Course and Palmilla, both designed by Jack Nicklaus; and Tom Weiskopf’s Cabo Del Sol Desert Course.
Desert Excursions: Exploring the rich desert environment is a popular activity, using a wide array of modes of transportation, including: horse-drawn buggy tours, ATV adventures, Mercedes Benz all-terrain Unimog vehicle safaris, horseback riding, hiking treks, Tomcar tours and zip line experiences.
Shopping: A colorful and diverse selection of handmade artisanry from throughout Mexico is sold in the shops of Cabo San Lucas, San Jose del Cabo and along the Tourist Corridor, including silver jewelry, hand-painted vases, wrought-iron candle holders, ceramic figures and masks, flowing Mexican dresses, and carved-wood objects.
Daytrips: Several towns, easily reached on day trips, offer history, shopping and more. Todos Santos, originally a Spanish-era Jesuit mission and plantation, today is a noted expatriate artists community with many galleries, boutiques and small inns; it’s a beautiful 50-mile drive up the Pacific coast from Cabo San Lucas through a tropical desert landscape with a backdrop of jagged mountains. Miraflores, about 25 miles from San Jose del Cabo, is a 200-year-old village known for leather products and hot springs. About 124 miles north of San Jose is the main town and capital of Southern Baja, La Paz; originally a pirates’ haven, Italian missionaries built a church here more than 500 years ago and today it offers history, shopping, restaurants and more.