Friday, June 02, 2006

Los Cabos Travel Report

It's hard to believe that almost three weeks ago we were in Los Cabos! For those of you who are geographically challenged, Los Cabos is in Mexico, on the Baja Peninsula (here's a map). Los Cabos really means "the cape" and signifies the general area at the very tip of the peninsula. The area consists of two towns that are very different from each other -- Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo -- and a corridor full of hotels that connects the two towns.

Sleep-deprived, we got to walk outside from the plane to immigration. It was like walking in a moist oven compared to Anchorage! Our bags took a long time to come in, but the most exciting part of the day was right past immigration.

I had gotten us tickets on a "collectivo" (shuttle bus) to take us to our hotel in San Jose. I thought it strange that the lady gave me really specific directions, like "Go straight through the doors! Don't talk to anyone! Give this ticket to Hito and only Hito -- he is tall!". Boy was she right -- you go out of that immigration place and--whoosh!--into a massive group of opportunists and timeshare body snatchers, all speaking at you at once!

After pushing quite a few timeshare bodysnatchers out of my way, I found Hito, who was tall. Relieved, I gave him our little ticket. We must have looked particulary gullible (which we must have been) because he passed us off to another guy who gave us a timeshare presentation before sending us to the bus. In the bus, as a courtesy, we got to wait for 20 minutes for more passengers.

Our hotel, Posada Real, was actually quite nice. The people there really made the difference, and the room was rather big and roomy. Posada Real was in San Jose, which is the sleepy, more authentic town (Cabo San Lucas is too touristy).

On the first day (yes, before we took a nap), we tried to save some money by walking up to city center. It was very hot, and although it was only a mile, it felt like 5! The city center of San Jose is quite beautiful, with a wide open plaza with very nice benches to sit on after a long walk.

Apparently, at this Mission, the Indians did not like the priests so much.

This palm tree looks unusually big for some reason. Anyways, this is what downtown San Jose looks like. Those yellow and red vans are taxis, and there is always one around if you need to get somewhere (i.e. no reason to be walking uptown unless you are stubborn like we are).

After our long walk, that night we just ate at the hotel and crashed, as you can imagine after being up for a day and a half.

The next day, we went to the estuary in San Jose. It was actually behind one of the hotels (Hotel Presidente) so it's really hard to find. There are all sorts of birds there, like this mom who was trying to distract us while her chicks were scurrying back into the grass.

We even spied this beautiful crane. I would have taken a closer shot, but I don't have a telephoto lens.

The estuary was very quiet and quite beautiful, albeit still a bit hot for my taste.

After going to the estuary, we hopped a taxi to Palmilla beach, which is located on the corridor between San Jose and Cabo San Lucas. It is a beautiful beach tucked in behind some of the most beautiful resorts you will see anywhere, where the swimming (at least that day) was very safe for children. Apparently the birds also like the beach!

Here's the beach and a bird. I know it looks rocky, but just outside of the shot there were many children playing on those rocks while others watched us take photos with interest.

Guess how my shoes got wet taking this shot?

You can see the very exclusive "One and Only Palmilla Resort" on the cliffs behind these fishing boats.

That night we went to Habaneros which is a lovely little restaurant on the road to town. If you go to Cabo, it has fantastic food for an excellent price. Frank had one of the best quesadillas he'd ever had, and my fish sandwich was extremely tasty!

The next day we went to a timeshare presentation in Cabo San Lucas, so that we could get a free lunch and a sunset cruise. The timeshare presentation was the first time in a LONG time that I had to worry about my age -- in order to qualify for the presentation (and all the goodies), you were supposed to be 30 years old, which I am not yet. Luckily, they checked my drivers license, but did not see (or care) about the DOB! The timeshare presentation was just fine (Pueblo Bonito resorts are fantastic!).

By giving Pueblo Bonito two hours of our time, they gave us 100$ to eat at Cilantros, a restaurant in the Blanca resort. Cilantros was right on the beach, and we ate lunch while watching the parasailers and other water toys go by. The food, once again, was fantastic. In addition, they make these HUGE margaritas which are very good as well.

After the lunch, we walked uptown to Cabo San Lucas. I was already feeling very sick, probably from dehydration (margaritas at lunchtime, probably not a good idea), so we went to the air conditioned mall. We had three hours to kill before we needed to be on the boat, so we eventually went outside to walk along the boardwalk, which is very nice but so hot you could probably fry an egg on my forehead. Ugh.

It was worth it to go on the sunset cruise, despite having to wait at the harbor for so long in the heat. We went on the Sunrider sunset dinner cruise, which was pretty much a "booze cruise" with a better boat captain and some food.

Our boat captain was so awesome he got us so very close to the famous arches that dominate the Cabo San Lucas harbor.

You just can't believe how close we got this rather large boat to these rocks -- amazing!

Here's a shot of Lover's Beach -- make sure to click on it to get an up-close look:
Now we are down to the sunset shots. Every place's sunset is different, and Cabo is no exception. The light was really golden and the color of the sky was just amazing. Here's a picture behind one of the many, many hotels along the corridor:
Here are some people enjoying the sunset from the beach:
I had a LOT of boat pictures. Here is a sailboat on its' way back in to the harbor.
Gratuitous "boat and rocks" shot :)
Another sailboat. Can you see all the construction behind the boat? It's incredible the number of resorts going up in Cabo.
The sunset was just beautiful behind those little puffy clouds. About this time in the sunset dinner cruise, the music was turned up and people started line dancing. I took a LOT of pictures so that I did not have to join silliness like the Macarena and random AC/DC songs (sadly no Electric Slide).
About that time, enterprising pirates hijacked our boat and stole all the liquor. Just kidding! We saw many other sunset cruise boats; this was one of them.
This one here was the one that mooned us, which of course was very classy. I believe they are not waving in this picture, but dancing to Achy Breaky Heart. Very glad we were not on that boat!
More pictures of the Achy Breaky mooning people. Their sillouettes came out pretty nice though!
Pirates again! Or is it another sunset cruise?
Can you see how petal pink the sky was? It reminded me of an opal.
Well, that's all I have for our Los Cabos trip. To mis-quote Cash Peters, would I go back? Certainly! The people were really friendly, and the beach was really beautiful. I would learn to take a siesta though to get out of the insanely hot sun.

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