By Kale Cowell
The idea of Spring Break in Los Cabos typically conjures images of bright beaches and clubs packed with partying coeds. With miles of beautiful sandy beaches, thumping beach clubs and a thriving nightlife, Cabo does not disappoint in this regard. Yet there are more attractions here which appeal to different types of travelers. Whether you’d like to spend your vacation walking on the beach or tearing through the desert on an ATV, whether you are a discerning wine drinker and gourmand or if micheladas and street-side tacos are more your style, you’ll find something to suit your taste.
For the Adventure-Seeker:
Some people are content to spend their vacation lounging poolside, taking in sun and sipping drinks. Others prefer a more exploratory approach, searching for experiences and activities unique to the area, and Los Cabos has many options to offer these people. View Cabo from the air, buzz through an arroyo on a high wire or on wheels, hike the back country on two legs or four – choices are plentiful for the adventure-seeker on spring break.
Cabo offers some incredible aerial views on the flight in, but the real fun is had closer to the ground! Cabo Sky Tours provides breathtaking vistas as you and your pilot buzz over the Sea of Cortez and Cabo San Lucas in an ultralight aircraft. If an ultralight tour is a bit too extreme, try parasailing on one of a number of parasailing boats available for hire. You’ll get a view from above while still being safely tethered to a boat below. On the other hand, if heights are your thing, join Skydive El Sol for a unique vista as you leap from an airplane at 12,000 feet and freefall for nearly a minute before a peaceful ride down to the beach.
The Baja landscape provides a unique desert landscape for exploration, and several canyons in the area are home to adventure parks. These exciting parks offer high-speed zip lines, rappelling trips, giant swings… even bungee jumping! Horseback and camel safaris are also available from several tour companies, offering knowledgeable guides and a memorable experience bonding with your mount. If you are looking for something a little faster-paced, try an all-terrain vehicle excursion. Local businesses rent various ATVs – four-wheelers, Rhinos, and Xrail buggies – for multi-hour trips guaranteed to leave you dusty and grinning!
For the Nature Lover:
The Baja has a diverse ecosystem and a beauty unique to the area. Travelers can find many ways to observe the local flora and fauna of Los Cabos, from up-close encounters with marine mammals to bird watching. One example is in the San José estuary, an approximately 125-acre protected region where dozens of species of birds, lizards, and plants can be spotted. For a different aspect, explore the estuary by foot, horseback, or even by kayak!
One of the Baja’s most striking natural formations is the Sierra de la Laguna mountain range. This stretch of mountains bisects the lower portion of the Baja California Sur and offers visitors some incredible day hikes. The mountains are accessible via a number of granite canyons which wind back and up, many punctuated by freshwater pools, waterfalls, and even a few hot springs. Pass through the small town of Santiago, a short drive north of San José, to visit the only zoo in B.C.S. The Agua Caliente hot springs, among others, are just a short drive away.
One of the most popular natural tourist draws in the Baja is the high number of whales which migrate here each year. These spectacular animals can be seen spouting and breaching from the beach or hotel rooms, but whale-watching boat tours offer a real up-close experience. These tours last around an hour and a half and guests can typically spot whales, manta rays, dolphins, and other marine life within a few yards of the boat.
For a real hands-on experience, try swimming with dolphins at one of Cabo Dolphins’ two dolphin centers, in San José and Cabo San Lucas. There are several packages available with varying degrees of interactivity, all guaranteed to provide an unforgettable time. An even grander experience can be found just north in the city of La Paz. Here, guests can charter a tour for the chance to snorkel among migrating whale sharks – gentle, plankton-eating giants which are the world’s largest known species of fish.
For the Foodie:
Los Cabos has become a hub of world-class dining, boasting cuisines from across the world. Traditional Mexican fare – particularly seafood – is incredibly popular and plentiful at local landmarks such as Edith’s Restaurant, Mi Casa, and Hacienda Cocina y Cantina.
Among the traditional Mexican cuisine, visitors can find a number of excellent restaurants offering Italian dishes, sushi, steak, and fusion menus. Ask at many upscale restaurants for tequila and wine pairings, or visit Los Cabos Winery for a wine tasting and lunch or dinner. Visit Don Sanchez in San José to choose from their impressive wine collection, or try Pancho’s in downtown Cabo San Lucas to sample from what may be one of the largest tequila collections in the world, with over 500 tequila and mescal labels.
In addition to incredible food, many popular Los Cabos restaurants offer stunning vistas. Try the Baja Brewing Company atop the Cabo Villas building for an amazing view of Medano Beach, or visit Sunset da Mona Lisa just outside of Cabo San Lucas, which offers one of the best sunset views in the area. For a great view of Palmilla accompanied by wonderful food and drinks, enjoy the 7 Seas restaurant at San José’s Cabo Surf Hotel. A bit farther inland, the patio at Huerta Los Tamarindos showcases their lovely organic farm below.
A different kind of view can be found in downtown San José on Thursday nights, during the San José Art Walk. Local artists and galleries welcome guests to peruse their works while sipping wine and walking through the beautiful downtown area. Stop in at any restaurant you pass for food, drinks and possibly even a live band.
For some, simpler is better. And it doesn’t get much simpler, easier, or cheaper than the well-known Mexican staple – the taco. Tacos are the tortilla-wrapped vehicle for whatever meats, cheeses, and toppings you choose to add, and Los Cabos is rife with excellent taquerias. In fact, they are so numerous on Avenida Lorenzo Cardenas in Cabo San Lucas that the street is known as Avenida Taqueria! Try a “Taco Walk” when hunger strikes – just march up and down this popular thoroughfare and stop at any taco stand you choose and sample the endless combinations available. You won’t be hungry for long.
For the Water Sports Enthusiast:
Spring break in Los Cabos means there are endless opportunities to enjoy the beautiful waters of the Sea of Cortez. The area offers world-class fishing, and there are dozens of boats available for fishing charters. Jet skis are available for rent along Medano Beach for a buzz around the bay or a closer view of the famous arch.
Many beaches offer boogie, surf, and stand-up paddle boards for rent, and some beach clubs offer lessons for newcomers. Zipper’s beach in San José is a popular local surf spot, while beginners may find the long surf and soft sand at Cerritos Surf Colony, north of Cabo San Lucas, to be more forgiving.
Scuba diving excursions are also a popular draw in Los Cabos. Need to get certified? You can do that, too! Several local companies offer PADI certification courses, designed for visitors who are short on time. Guests can often receive a limited certification and be diving in as little as two days.
Real thrill-seekers can try their skills on the flyboard: a fairly new water sport device akin to a wakeboard atop water jets. The power of the jets is controlled by an operator on an attached jet ski while the direction is controlled by the user, allowing one to fly into the air and be propelled under the water. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to fly like a superhero, this may be as close as you’ll get!
For the Party Animal:
Of course, no guide to spring break in Cabo would be complete without a nod to the party crowd! Cabo San Lucas has been known as a party destination for years, and during Spring Break, it more than lives up to its reputation. Libations flow freely every day along Medano Beach, where throngs of coeds, pumping music, and animated emcees hosting adult-themed competitions leave no doubt that Spring Break has come.
During the day, Medano is the place to be. Farther up the beach is the ever-popular and raucous Mango Deck, where you can join in drinking, push-up, and even booty-shaking competitions while the crowd cheers you on. Billygan’s and The Office offer comfortable, quieter spots to sip delicious margaritas and watch people. Spend a day visiting these and other happening spots along the beach to find the one that suits you best.
Once the sun sets, the party continues in downtown Cabo. With a bar seemingly every few feet along the main drag, there is no shortage of options for nightlife. Ask around about ladies’ night; one can be found every night of the week, and taking advantage can save you a bundle if you plan to partake. The nightclubs and bars in Cabo are as various as the people. Do not miss the landmark Cabo Wabo for your classic-rock fix, or try Happy Ending Cantina to challenge your friends to a beer pong match. Mainstays like El Squid Roe and the Giggling Marlin offer rambunctious fun and affordable drinks. Live music can be found most nights throughout Cabo – just follow your ears. If DJs are more to your musical preference, popular nightclubs like Mandala, Pink Kitty, and Knotty Cabo offer open dance floors and spectacular lighting to drive your dance moves. No matter where you start your night out, be prepared for a bar crawl – most places are within walking distance of one another, and your new favorite joint could be right around the next corner. *