Travel broadens the mind, our horizons – and our aspirations too. Tourists the world over are never content, it seems, always looking for the new “it” spot. And so you might have noticed recently that Australia’s glitterati often mention Mexico’s Los Cabos as the latest must-do holiday destination. Not since Bo Derek in the movie “10” put Las Brisas on the map 30 years ago has a Mexican beach resort gained such far-flung desirability.
Tortillas, quesadillas, mojitos and margaritas – with our own sunny climate we’ve long said an enthusiastic Hola! to Mexican cuisine and culture. But pack those precious Aussie dollars while the exchange rate for USD/pesos is favourable if you want to afford the delights of Los Cabos: it’s not for the financially faint-hearted. Yet, ay caramba!, it’s an experience that’s worth it.
On the extreme west coast of Mexico, on the edge of the Baja California peninsula, Los Cabos is washed by the same Pacific Ocean as Bondi. Fly to Los Angeles, allow say 13 hours, and LAX to La Paz or Los Cabos, a couple more hours (similar to the distance from the Queensland border to Cairns). Los Cabos is the name of the region that stretches 30km between a pair of towns named “Cabo” – in Spanish, cabo means cape, promontory or extremity – because the two, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, bookend an area located at the southern tip of the peninsula. George, Gwyneth, Jen, Brad, Ange and the whole uber-Hollywood Who’s Who are no strangers at Mexico’s number-one celebrity destination, as well as thousands of young gringos wanting to drink in a big gulp of summertime hedonism. The dual destination’s considered to combine the authenticity of old Mexico in San Jose’s narrow cobblestone streets, town square, mission churches and relaxed lifestyle … with frenetic party-central San Lucas, with its glam resorts, Michelin-star restaurants, funky bars and throbbing nightlife that begins jumping nightly at Mexican cocktail hour, around 10pm. (Note the saints’ names: San Jose, San Lucas – relics of the Spanish missionaries whose influence persists in charming Moorish architecture on up the coast into the US, via San Diego and San Francisco).
Among the top dozen most populous nations, modern Mexico is home to 116m people and one of the world’s biggest oil exporters. Los Cabos enjoys a spring/summer climate year-round but best to avoid the heat, humidity and sometimes hurricanes of July to September. February through to June experiences near zero rainfall.
Australian Foreign Affairs advises exercising “high” caution because of drugs-related violence and crime – the same awareness level it suggests for other destinations including Bali, Thailand, Brazil, Peru, the Philippines, South Africa and Turkey.
In the elite echelon of resorts is the highly acclaimed Las Ventanas al Paraiso (Windows on Paradise). It boasts style, exceptional service, cuisine, sophistication and harmony with nature in 70 suites with rooftop terraces, jacuzzis, telescopes for sea and stargazing, some with private pools, hot tubs and outdoor showers. Staff move via a series of underground tunnels to bring chablis and canapes to your elbow and cool you with a spray of chilled Evian – so the relaxing scenery isn’t spoiled by the sight of waiters going about their work! Butler service is 24/7; one of the hotel’s guest hire cars is a Porsche Boxster. Other typical Los Cabos distractions include chi-chi spas, all water sports, game fishing, adventure experiences, and top notch PGA golf. A Tiger Woods-designed 18-hole course, with spectacular ocean views certainly superior to St Andrews’, opens at the Diamante resort in 2014.
At another top resort, Palmilla (pictured), even furry friends get the rock-star treatment with their own cushioned daybed and treats, and a mini beach umbrella and gazebo.
Talk to a travel agent who’s also been there to determine if Los Cabos is your enchilada.
This story was published in issue 84 Port Macquarie