Sun, Fun, and Relaxation in Cabo San Lucas
Leah Walker August 28, 2013

Tell someone you’re going to Cabo San Lucas and more times than not, you’ll get a look of envy. Located on the Baja Peninsula, along the stunning blue waters of the Sea of Cortez, Cabo is a playground for Americans, many of which hail from the southwestern states.

Cabo San Lucas Mexico Arch

From Houston, my flight was right at two hours, making me wonder why I’d never visited before. Cabo is also about the same distance from Los Angeles, which leads me to refer to the area as Really Southern California. Ask ten visitors where they’re from and I’d bet at least eight live in the Golden State.

Because US tourism is vital for Cabo, many of those working in hotels and restaurants speak English. For some travelers, that’s a positive, though I actually like having to stumble through my schoolgirl Spanish. Honestly, if you want a traditional taste of Mexico, Cabo probably isn’t what you’re looking for. However, if you’re interested in a vacation spot that is essentially worry-free with stunning scenery, an abundance of activities, top-notch hotels, delicious culinary options, and comes with a passport stamp, then Cabo San Lucas is your place.

You can do as much or as little as you want in Cabo. From lounging at the pool guzzling margaritas at your all-inclusive resort to hitting the links at the one of the internationally acclaimed golf courses to parasailing in the Sea of Cortez, options abound in this desert playground. Here are some of my favorite activities from my recent four-night trip:

Stand-Up Paddle {SUP}

 

Believe it or not, I like to do stuff. I don’t like just laying around on the beach for hours on end; it just doesn’t appeal to me. I get bored {and burned}. Bottom line: I need to be active for a day at the beach.

Cabo SUP

Stand-up paddle {SUP} seems to be taking over the world. I’m not kidding. When I was in Austin a few weeks ago, I saw people doing SUP in Lady Bird Lake. Before my trip to Cabo, I’d never tried it, but I’m really glad I did.

Hacienda Spa Cabo San Lucas Mexico SUP

The folks at Bahia Hotel set me up with Cabo SUP for a morning session at Medano Beach. I was outfitted with a board and paddle and then given a quick, basic lesson. Given that I was a college athlete, I wasn’t worried about being able to do it. I took my board and paddle out into the water, and before I knew it, I was standing and paddling out to the famous Land’s End arch.

Cabo San Lucas Land's End

It did take a little bit to get used to, but once I got the hang of it, SUP was simple. I’m convinced that anyone with the least bit of coordination can do it. SUP is fun, easy, and a great workout. This probably explains its popularity.

Cabo SUP

Jet Ski

 

I grew up riding jet skis. The thrill of hitting a wake and flying through the air was something that I loved. I hadn’t been on a jet ski in years, and I’d never done it in the ocean. I was very much looking forward to being back in the driver’s seat.

Hacienda Spa Cabo San Lucas Mexico Beach

On Medano Beach, just next to Cabo SUP, is a jet ski rental company, though I’m sure you can find them up and down the beach. I chose to take one for thirty minutes, but they’re available for an hour, or I suppose for however long you’d like to pay. After signing a waiver, I was given about a 30 second lesson on the dos and don’ts of jet skiing. Then I was off.

Jet Ski Cabo San Lucas Mexico

With a serious case of permagrin, I was zipping over the water going 40-50 mph. I sought out waves and flew through the air coming down with a thud. My right thumb ached after 20 minutes—a side effect of going full throttle. The ride was worth it. However, the ride was not worth the $200 fee for the damage I caused to another jet ski. When your instructor says not to get close to another jet ski, I’d heed their warning.

Massage

 

Cabo offers an abundance of excellent spas. And given my SUP and jet skiing activities, I couldn’t imagine not visiting one of them for a massage. The Hacienda Spa is located between the marina and downtown Cabo. It’s quiet, secluded, and is outfitted with traditional Mexican touches throughout.

Hacienda Spa Cabo San Lucas Mexico

A warm towel and cup of tea greeted me into the tranquil setting. After changing into the standard white robe, I walked into a stunning open courtyard where my masseuse met me. Palms, ivy, and cactus softened the stone and stucco walls, but it was the tree with vibrant yellow blooms that took center stage. Comfortable-looking loungers sat in the shade and looked like the perfect place to relax after a treatment.

Hacienda Spa Cabo San Lucas Mexico

My masseuse led me through a thick, wooden door to my treatment room. It was dim and inviting. Soft music came through the speakers and there was a slightly sweet smell in the air. For fifty minutes, I simply zoned out, possibly drooling at one point. She worked the knots from my neck and shoulders accumulated from months of cramped airline seats, SUP, and jet skis. Like all massages, the time passed too quickly. It was heaven and just what I needed.

Hacienda Spa Cabo San Lucas Mexico

Cabo San Lucas is a place where you can do as much or as little as you’d like. I enjoyed it for the beautiful beaches, food, and for the outstanding array of activities. If those things sound ideal to you then Cabo is the perfect destination.

Vaya con dios, y’all!

I was a guest of Bahia Hotel, Cabo SUP, and Hacienda Spa. In no way was I swayed by the superstar treatment I received. As always, opinions are my own.

Note: There are affiliate links in this post, meaning I make a small commission if you make a purchase through my links. It costs you nothing more, but helps keep me stocked in French wine {and a roof over my head}.

Leah Walker

Leah's a luxury travel and food writer who has as many stories as she does shoes. She documents her experiences whether that's in the lap of luxury or riding through a swamp in an airboat. Leah freelances and has contributor/editor roles with The Daily Meal, The Daily Basics, Bonjour Paris, France Today, Luxe Beat Magazine, Four Seasons Magazine, Forbes Travel Guide, and is a travel ambassador for Atout France USA. Leah's thrilled to call Paris home after being awarded the coveted three-year Compétences & Talents visa from France, though her talents don't extend to speaking French. Yet.

30 Comments

  1. the message seems more in my wheelhouse than the SUP and the jet skiing. i would have joined you for that part. and def the happy hour drinks that im sure followed. xo! the wino

    1. There’s plenty to do in Cabo for families, singles, and couples. It doesn’t matter what you’re after, I’d say Cabo has it {except snow skiing, of course}.

  2. We have friends who live about 2 hours out of Cabo – near Los Barriles. The Sea of Cortez is beautiful and next time you go to Cabo – it’s worth a trip to the Costco parking lot just to see the view! Best Costco view ever!

  3. I really want to try paddle boarding! It looks like a great work out! I usually don’t do adventure activities when I travel but for this I would splurge!

  4. You’ve written about one of our favorite places – Cabo! We luv it so much, we actually wrote a travel app about Los Cabos – “Cabo Insider” (and we’re quite proud it’s the top user-rated app on Cabo). Nothing beats starting the day with a quiet SUP paddle from Medano Beach to Land’s End – but we find it best to be back by 10am before all the cruise ship passengers start playing on jet skis :-).

    1. Ohhh…I’ll have to check out your app. I have to agree about getting over to Land’s End and back before the jet skis rough up the waters.

  5. Seems like the perfect way to see Cabo! I have been meaning to try stand up paddle for a while, and I love massages. Unfortunately, I’m not so great on a jet ski and would probably also be charged a fee for damage – not fun. I must make it to Cabo soon – it looks so beautiful!

  6. Aah Haa!

    Not the best post to be reading on a work day, but well, at least something to look forward to. You are right, SUP does seem to be taking over the world, I am tempted to try it on our next vacation. The resort looks amazing and the pictures are equally gorgeous.

    Nice one 🙂

    1. You should totally try it. I was set to do it again in Oahu, but went for the surfing lesson. I think I’ll stick with the SUP next time.

Your comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers

Have the world delivered to your inbox
Well, maybe not the whole world, but some of it. Either way, subscribe to my monthly newsletter. I'll include my latest articles from around the Web, travel announcements, and maybe even a few Paris insider tips.