The well-known Mexican escape has it all: new hotels, an exciting locavore food scene, and plenty of adventures on the water.
Located at the tip of Mexico’s Baja California Sur, Los Cabos has long been a popular beach getaway, with most visitors flocking to either Cabo San Lucas—the southernmost destination known for its high-energy party vibe and beautiful beaches—or the more laid-back San José del Cabo, whose charming historic center is about 30 minutes north. But thanks to a spate of new high-end hotels—many located along the coastal corridor that runs between the two popular cities—and a crop of elegant farm-to-table restaurants, Los Cabos is shrugging off its spring-break image. Here, your guide to the best of what’s new (and a few of the classics).
Not far from downtown San José del Cabo, the 194-room Viceroy Los Cabos launched last May in the city’s ocean-facing hotel zone, taking over what was previously Mar Adentro. The dramatic, white, boxy buildings remain, but there’s a new beachfront pool and bar plus five redesigned restaurants, including El Nido (or The Nest), a domed structure with a latticed exterior that appears to sit right on the water. About eight miles down the coast, Solaz, a Luxury Collection Hotel, opened its doors in September. It also has a modern look, and its 128 rooms are outfitted with custom furniture made from local wood as well as sculptures by Mexico City–based artist César Lopez-Negrete. Continuing south toward the tip of Baja, you’ll find three newbies in quick succession. The Garza Blanca Resort & Spa Los Cabos is set to debut in November, with eight pools, 315 whitewashed rooms, and three refined restaurants. And Chileno Bay Resort & Residences opened in 2017 but continues to add new amenities, such as five ocean-view rooms with a wellness focus (including a juice and smoothie menu, 20 percent off all spa treatments, and other health-focused perks). Finally, there’s the family-friendly Montage Los Cabos, whose claim to fame is its location on Santa Maria Bay, one of the area’s few swimmable beaches.
Throughout Los Cabos, the food scene is also having a moment—one that celebrates local ingredients above all else. Within minutes of downtown San José del Cabo, there are several restaurants set on their own farms. Flora’s Farm has a spa and cottages for rent in addition to its organic restaurant, and nearby Acre is open from breakfast to dinner; dishes include “beets on beets” (served fried, pickled, and roasted) and agnolotti with lobster, sugar snap and snow peas, and aged goat cheese. And at Los Tamarindos, you can book a table—or a cooking class, which includes a trip outside to pick the vegetables and herbs you’ll use to create a four-course meal.
New resort restaurants are in on the trend as well. Take Herringbone at Vidanta in San José del Cabo, which spotlights regional seafood; don’t miss the whole branzino ceviche. And Cocina del Mar at Esperanza, an Auberge Resort, located close to Cabo San Lucas, is reopening in November after renovating both its design and menu. At the outdoor open kitchen, diners can watch as ingredients from area farms and the Sea of Cortez are transformed into such dishes as salt-crusted totoaba fish with confit tomato, onion, corn, and kale.
As tempted as you may be to linger by the pool or on the beach, there are plenty of ways to get out on the water—and some of the most iconic activities are available in and around Cabo San Lucas. From December to April, you can witness humpback and gray whales during their annual migration; Cabo Expeditions offers a Zodiac tour that brings visitors closer than your average boat. Cabo Adventures leads a snorkeling trip in the Sea of Cortez where you’ll spot tropical fish and perhaps sea lions, manta rays, and even whale sharks. And from late August through early December, Cabo Outfitters invites visitors to release baby turtle hatchlings into the Sea of Cortez. Perhaps the area’s most iconic site is the Arch of Cabo San Lucas, or El Arco, a natural rock formation that sits where the Pacific Ocean meets the Gulf of California. You can catch a boat taxi at the marina in Cabo San Lucas or opt for a sunset cruise with Cabo Adventures—an open bar means you can toast what’s sure to be a memorable getaway.
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